Pompey 2 Cambridge United 1: Gaffer for a day

Kal Naismith was gaffer for a day Phil Whyte's man of the match against Cambridge United. Photo by Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith was gaffer for a day Phil Whyte's man of the match against Cambridge United. Photo by Joe Pepler
Pompey's Brett Pitman celebrates scoring his second goal against Rochdale at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

Picture gallery: Pompey 2 Rochdale 0

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Saturday’s gaffer for a day for Pompey’s game against Cambridge United was Phil Whyte, aged 59, from Alton.

Enjoy the party, Phil?

What a great atmosphere.

That was the best thing about the match, the fans were outstanding.

People now appreciate what Paul Cook has done for the club, so all credit to him for what he has achieved. He has believed in his team and stuck to it.

More importantly, it has worked and we are in League One next season.

What about the performance?

I wouldn’t say we were outstanding – it was professional and effective, earning us a 2-1 win.

It was a good overall display. We took control and didn’t look like conceding more than one against Cambridge.

Perhaps a 3-1 scoreline would have been fairer – although I wasn’t far off my pre-match prediction of 2-0!

I was half expecting a flat match, but it wasn’t. The manager got the players up for it and bringing in Stanley Aborah and Nicke Kabamba for their full debuts also helped.

They had something to prove.

It gives us a chance to win the League Two title, but I think beating Plymouth to second spot is more realistic. Having said that, I’m just happy we’re up.

Who stood out for you?

My man of the match was Kal Naismith, although it was a close-run thing with Aborah.

Naismith moved the ball around superbly, capped with a fantastic free-kick in a performance which impressed me.

Kyle Bennett was also doing well before his substitution, while Aborah looked the part despite having not featured much before.

But I have been so impressed with Kal this season. I’ve always liked him, but he has often blown hot or cold. In the final third of this season he has been consistent, so hats off to the guy.

He has to be in the running to be crowned the Player of the Season.

What were your thoughts on another full debutant, Nicke Kabamba?

He struggled up front on his own, perhaps trying too hard, but he didn’t do badly.

Considering it was his first start in the Football League, he can be encouraged. He has pace, for sure, and the passion to give everything.

Kabamba should have scored just before half-time with the header, he will know that, but there was a standing ovation from people when he came off.

I think it promises well for him next season. He can see something is there.