Northampton 1 Pompey 2: Gaffer for a Day

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler

Roberts: Pompey have handled heat - can title chasers?

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Jack Osmond-Smith, 19, from Chandler’s Ford runs the rule of Pompey’s victory over Northampton Town.

Enjoy that then Jack?

I did, although perhaps we were lucky to win that one. I would say a draw would have been fairer.

Northampton hit the bar twice, Brian Murphy made a couple of good saves in the first half and apart from our two goals what really good chances did we have?

But it was a good performance from Pompey and in the second half especially we dominated for large periods.

Our centre-halves were 
nervy to begin with but grew into the game and Northampton were always a threat from set-pieces.

We ended the first half strongly and then had plenty of possession after the break but I felt didn’t do enough when dominating the ball.

Then when we have our backs to the wall, Conor Chaplin nicks a goal against the run of play!

You mentioned Chaplin, that’s another goal for him.

It summed up his game and I believe he has been underused.

In the home games especially he should be getting more minutes. When we’ve had Jayden Stockley fit he has often been put on ahead of Chaplin.

Still, Chaplin’s goals-to-minutes ratio must be impressive, he is such a menace.

The lad has the goal-scoring instinct of Matt Tubbs but also has a bit of Marc McNulty about him in that he can run at defenders.

Chaplin has really good attributes and is a threat.

So who was your man of the match?

That would be Gareth Evans, who in the first half especially was our best player.

He gives real balance to the side, running up and down whichever flank he is put on.

Evans is not just good going forward, either. You see him defensively in the last minute popping up at left-back and making a slide challenge.

And he is also a player capable of getting into the penalty area, which we saw with the first goal, which was a well-worked move and a superb header.

Paul Cook is going to have a real dilemma with Gary Roberts coming back as Evans gives the side balance.

What did you make of the former league leaders?

You could see Northampton are a good team and why they have been picking up results in this league, particularly from set-pieces which we struggled to defend.

A result like that is so vital at this time of year for us with so many games coming up in quick succession.

We have now made ground on the leaders and I certainly think we will be in the top three at the season’s end.

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