Pompey: No parking at Fratton? Let’s hope so

Pompey fans celebrate against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey fans celebrate against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Last weekend’s season-opener against Rochdale offered an insight to the calibre of our League One opponents.

Dale were more disciplined, fitter and stronger than most League Two teams.

Keith Hill's Rochdale refused to park the bus at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

Keith Hill's Rochdale refused to park the bus at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey overcame Rochdale – and perhaps the quality Kenny Jackett has added to the Blues ranks saw us through.

But it was no easy game.

The Blues limited Keith Hill’s side, who had Keith Keane sent off early on, to scraps by way of chances at Fratton Park.

However, the tightly-contested match suggested a competitive season is ahead.

And what was possibly more encouraging was that, despite being down to 10 men, at no point did Rochdale park the bus.

Perhaps the extra quality of Pompey’s opponents this season will see them attack at Fratton Park.

Dale brought Steven Davies and Matt Done off the bench – quality attacking players.

Pompey in the recent past have risen to the occasion against sides that choose to play football.

I think outfits like Charlton and Wigan, who posses quality in their ranks, may allow the Blues to play their game.

I’m excited to see such match-ups that should produce entertaining, quality football.

In the meantime, I expect Rochdale demonstrated the minimum offered by our League One rivals.

A step up the footballing ladder offers a step up in quality.

But this will bring out the best in Pompey.

Dare I say it, the days of half the league parking the bus at Fratton Park are gone.

• Ben Sturt, 18, is a Fratton Park season-ticket holder and writes a column in the Sports Mail every Sunday.