Defender rues late lapse

Sonny Bradley was left frustrated as Exeter snatched a point. Picture: Joe Pepler
Sonny Bradley was left frustrated as Exeter snatched a point. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Brett Pitman scores a penalty in the Blues' 1-1 draw against Walsall at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South.

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Sonny Bradley bemoaned the late, late lapse which cost Pompey victory at Exeter.

Richie Barker’s men were undone by Liam Sercombe’s injury-time leveller in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at St James Park.

Pompey disputed the award of a throw-in during the build-up to the goal which cost them three crucial points.

Dan Alfei was left out of position as he retrieved the ball to take the throw which went the other way.

That paved the way for Exeter to advance and see Sercombe rifle a deflected finish past Trevor Carson.

Bradley was left disappointed by the manner in which he felt Pompey switched off for the goal.

The 22-year-old came off the bench to replace the injured Joe Devera and delivered a rock-solid performance.

He felt his team were showing the resilience to hold out for the win.

That made the manner of the goal ‘heartbreaking’ for Bradley to take.

He said: ‘Everyone is gutted. We gave everything we had.

‘But we have to switch on quicker at the end from the throw-in.

‘When it goes in it’s heartbreaking.

‘I think the ref was trying to even a few things up in the last 10 minutes,

‘There were three or four throw-ins which went against us which were clearly ours.

‘It felt like we were going to see it out.

‘They had a couple of chances but nothing major.

‘It’s annoying.

‘Normally a point’s good on the road but it feels like we need more and it wasn’t good enough. We need to start winning games.

‘We’re looking down and the only thing we can do is win games.’

Pompey looked a good bet to pick up their fifth clean sheet in the last nine games against an Exeter side struggling for winning form.

And there were chances for Barker’s men to put daylight between the sides after Jake Jervis’ ninth-minute opener.

A number of fine deliveries from Ricky Holmes and sub Andy Barcham went unrewarded.

Holmes also poked a shot narrowly wide of the post.

The best of the chances for the second goal fell to Ryan Taylor, who fired wide of an unguarded goal after a mistake by Grecians keeper Artur Krysiak.

Bradley said: ‘We had good chances to win the game.

‘Ryan could have scored one and there were balls flying across the box but no one could get on the end of them.’

Despite the late goal, it’s now just one defeat in the last six for Pompey under Barker.

It’s also seven goals conceded in nine games for the Blues.

Bradley is adamant that the work being put in by the team and their manager is slowly reaping dividends.

He said: ‘I think we’ve been a lot better.

‘We’re getting there.

‘There’s still a lot of work to do but anyone who comes along must be seeing progression.

‘We have been working a lot harder and doing more sessions.

‘The manager’s bringing in his players. It’s coming on and we’re stepping it up,

‘We need to do it and go into another gear.’