Nightmare start for Pompey

Pompey fans stand dejected after Oxford's third goal   Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey fans stand dejected after Oxford's third goal Picture: Joe Pepler

Former Pompey boss Frank Burrows

Knight: Gone are Pompey pre-seasons of dodging nettles and brambles

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Pompey’s new era got off to a nightmare start as they were thumped 4-1 by Oxford.

Two goals apiece from Alfie Potter and Deane Smalley saw the Blues well beaten after captain Johnny Ertl was sent off.

That continues their opening-day hoodoo, with it now just a single win in a decade for the season’s curtain-raiser.

It all looked so rosy with Pompey dominant in the first half and Patrick Agyemang putting them in front.

But two goals in four minutes before the break turned the game on its head.

And Ertl’s dismissal for an elbow on Danny Rose then gave Pompey a mountain to climb.

Guy Whittingham’s men went for the equaliser but the visitors revelled in the extra space with a goal apiece from Potter and Smalley making it a day to forget - on an afternoon which had started with a carnival atmosphere.

League Two

POMPEY 1 (Agyemang 25)

OXFORD UNITED 4 (Smalley 34, 71; Potter 38, 64)

For a full match report and pictures from today’s match, don’t miss the Sports Mail - on sale from this evening.

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