Blues were ‘fortunate’ to salvage point

Pompey have been told they were fortunate to get a point from their see-saw Morecambe clash.

By Jordan Cross
Sunday, 23rd August 2015, 7:00 pm
Jayden Stockley, centre. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jayden Stockley, centre. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues fell three goals down against the Shrimps in 38 minutes before rallying to gain a 3-3 draw in another dramatic afternoon at Fratton Park.

Paul Cook’s side were continually taken apart by classic counter-attacking from the visitors.

It could have been worse for the home side before two Gary Roberts goals and Jayden Stockley’s late leveller earned a point.

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Blues first-team coach Ian Foster felt the 10-man hosts were lucky to get themselves out of jail.

And he was full of praise for the visitors, stating it would have been a ‘travesty’ if they’d returned north empty-handed.

Foster said: ‘We were fortunate to get a point.

‘If you disrespect the opposition you will get hurt.

‘If you look at Crawley, we knew it wouldn’t be a game like that. Morecambe came here to have a game and win the game.

‘Unfortunately they picked us off on the counter-attack and we didn’t learn.

‘We struggled with it for 45 minutes but the players have shown resilience and great character to get a point.

‘There were a few bits and bobs and a shout for a penalty in the second half.

‘But anything less than a point for Morecambe would have been really harsh.

‘They could have been out of sight by half-time.

‘It would have been a travesty if they didn’t get a point.

‘When we went down to 10 men it looked like it was going to be very difficult.

‘They had a right go and great credit to them. They should have won the game.’

Pompey sprang a surprise as Ben Davies kept his place in the starting 11 with the versatile talent expected to be missing with a hamstring injury.

The problem is a nerve issue rather than muscle strain, which allowed Davies to continue in the team – and the Blues to keep an unchanged league side again.

Foster said: ‘We had a close assessment of Ben and looked at where the injury was radiating from.

‘It appeared to be from somewhere else in his body.

‘It looks like a nerve that is radiating down into his hamstring.

‘It obviously is causing pain and discomfort.

‘Once we had the opportunity to take him off we did. The last thing we want is to change the injury into a long-standing one.

‘We’re mindful of the problem we’ve got.

‘There will be changes tomorrow so we have to wait to see how the manager wants to go about that.’