Michael Doyle: Pompey deserved Cheltenham outcome

Pompey skipper Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey skipper Michael Doyle. Picture: Joe Pepler
Samantha Quayle. Picture: Jordan Hampton

Flying start for Pompey with Cardiff swept aside

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Pompey left it late but Michael Doyle was adamant they were worthy of their Whaddon Road point.

Michael Smith’s first league goal of the campaign arrived in the 82nd minute to secure a 1-1 draw for Paul Cook’s men.

All credit to Cheltenham, they are effective in what they do. There’s a big man up front who is a handful and it was difficult at times

Michael Doyle

Cheltenham had broken the deadlock against the run of play when Daniel O’Shaughnessy netted following a free-kick.

However, within seven minutes of entering as a substitute, Smith pounced after Russell Griffiths had failed to hold the ball.

Saturday represented a fifth straight draw between the sides, who had never met until the 2013-14 campaign.

And for the Blues’ skipper, the draw was no more than the visitors deserved.

Doyle said: ‘We had a lot of chances, even in the first half we played well, but it was one of those days when we didn’t score when on top.

‘Then Cheltenham get a free-kick and, following one unforced header, they scored to put us on the back foot. It was probably the one header we didn’t win. At that stage it’s disappointing because we thought we should be out of sight with the way we started the second half but that happens.

‘Last week we scored four goals and this week had the chances but weren’t able to take them.

‘We kind of lost our way for a 10-minute spell, but managed to get ourselves together and got our just reward.

‘I think we would have been really disappointed if we didn’t take something from that game.

‘Not scoring when on top happens in football, it was just important to get ourselves back in the game after going 1-0 down.

‘We’ve found ourselves in that position a few times this year and end up pressing the self-destruct button having gone one down and chasing.

‘We are sticking at it, though, and there’s lots to build on now.

‘The lads dug right in, the substitutes gave us a right lift when we needed it, especially Michael Smith, and we got a point.’

Pompey may feel disappointed they never managed to earn all three points, such was their dominance in parts of Saturday’s encounter.

During a storming start to the second half, Kyle Bennett struck a post, while Griffiths pulled off a number of saves as the visitors failed to take advantage of their pressure.

Yet Gary Johnson’s side were always a threat with balls into the box, particularly through striker Danny Wright.

And Doyle believes the improving Robins are tough opponents on their home turf.

He added: ‘All credit to Cheltenham, they are effective in what they do.

‘There’s a big man up front who is a handful and it was difficult at times.

‘The pitch as well had a lot of bumps and divots and it’s difficult to play on at this time of year, but the lads against showed great character and spirit after the last two league games to keep going.

‘It’s a really difficult place to come and Cheltenham will be fine this season.

‘They are a good team, very effective with big strong lads.’