Cheltenham 1 Pompey 1: Gaffer For A Day

Michael Smith celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain is on loan at Oxford City. Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey loan watch – weekend report

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Kevin Pocock, 34, from Ryde, gives his verdict on the League Two draw at Cheltenham.

Happy with a point at Cheltenham?

My honest opinion was it was two points dropped. With Plymouth losing we could have also badly done with victory and Luton will be a tougher game.

I didn’t find the game as entertaining as some fans did, we had to dig in deep at times, similar to Cambridge United, showing a different side to us.

There is more resilience in this team now, heads may have dropped in the past but we fought to the end.

The pitch wasn’t the best for the way we play football and Cheltenham’s home record is not bad, but we should have been two or three up by the beginning of the second half.

What do you think about Michael Smith?

Their keeper fumbled it and Smith was in the right place at the right time to equalise – and it was a massive, massive relief.

He has struggled this season, he’s a confidence player, like Kal Naismith, and needs a run of matches. With Conor Chaplin suspended for Luton, this may be his chance.

I love Chaplin, he has been a revelation, but it may be time to bring him out a little longer than a one-game ban.

Smith is a different sort of player, you sometimes need that big man up top as an extra option. It does not necessarily have to be all about pace.

Your man of the match?

I thought Matt Clarke was absolutely brilliant.

Despite his age, he is starting to look like a leader and took control of the backline really well.

I always thought it would be the older figure of Christian Burgess who would marshall that defence, but from my place behind the goal I noticed it was Clarke.

He read the game extremely well and was our best performer, but I also thought the whole defence did well.

Although perhaps David Forde could have done a little bit more for their goal.

What about the 1,537 away fans?

They provided an absolutely brilliant atmosphere and stood by their team from the first minute to the last.

There was not a lot of frustration and there were no boos.

I thought our fans were superb.

Kevin’s ratings: David Forde 7; Gareth Evans 6; Christian Burgess 7; Matt Clarke 8; Enda Stevens 7; Michael Doyle 7; Danny Rose 7; Carl Baker 7; Gary Roberts 6; Kyle Bennett 6; Conor Chaplin 6