Lawrence lifts lid on free-kick theatrics

David Norris played a supporting role in Pompey's theatrical free-kick against Hull
David Norris played a supporting role in Pompey's theatrical free-kick against Hull
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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It was a moment of high drama.

Not quite as spectacular as Erik Huseklepp’s stoppage-time winner, admittedly.

Nonetheless, the free-kick theatrics during the first-half of the Blackpool match certainly got Pompey fans talking.

What’s more, according to Liam Lawrence, the moment had been tirelessly rehearsed on the training pitches for the past two weeks.

It started with a free-kick being awarded in the 35th minute following Ian Evatt’s foul on David Norris.

Some 20 yards from goal, Norris got up to take it and hovered over the ball.

In front of him stood Jason Pearce and Liam Lawrence, with their backs to goal. Norris ran to take it and then stopped, becoming embroiled in a very public argument with Pearce over his failure to move out of the way.

With everyone watching in bemusement, suddenly the ball was touched to Pearce who spun and sent in a left-footed shot which was blocked.

It may not have resulted in a goal, but it was certainly an Oscar-winning performance from those players involved.

Contrary to what some supporters may think, it was entirely planned.

Tonight the Blues face Peterborough looking to make it successive home victories.

And Lawrence indicated the free-kick routine may return to a ground near you very, very soon.

The Pompey captain explained: ‘After we did the free-kick, some people started booing.

‘Hopefully, they saw that it was planned.

‘Mind you, I am surprised the referee didn’t book Chuck (Norris) or Pearcey!

‘We’ve been working on it in training but didn’t get the chance at Hull to use it.

‘When we did it Friday in training Pearcey smacked two in and then, from the other side, Greg (Halford) also smacked two in.

‘It is just meant to confuse the opposition into thinking we have made an error.

‘Then, while they are all on the back foot thinking we are going to do something else, I just touch it quickly and one of them smacks it in.

‘It was the gaffer’s idea. He wanted to do something different.

‘If that goes into the bottom corner then it is a great routine. Unluckily, it hit someone on the legs.

‘Pearcey got a shot in but it hit somebody’s legs – another day they go through someone’s legs and into the bottom corner. We’ll have to see when it’s used again.’

Ultimately, Pompey went on to record their late, late victory, courtesy of Huseklepp’s flying volley from Halford’s long throw.