Bristol Rovers 2-2 Portsmouth: they said what at the final whistle?

Two late goals, including a stoppage-time own goal from Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray saw the Blues throw away a 2-0 lead at Bristol Rovers yesterday.

Sunday, 27th October 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 5:58 pm
Ronan Curtis, right, celebrates his goal with John Marquis

Here's what those closest to the action had to say about events at the Memorial Stadium…

Kenny Jackett

We put a lot of effort in and showed a lot of quality. W were 1-0 up at half-time and their keeper made a couple of great saves to stop us getting further ahead.

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In second half, Rovers are always strong going into that end. They pinned us in and it looked like we weathered the storm.

We scored a cracking goal, it was a great cross from Marquis and header from Curtis at the far post.

Although I’d say you never feel comfortable because obviously you need to see it through, it’s two set-pieces – one goal from a wide free-kick and then a series of own goals for the second one.

Have we given away too many free-kicks? Should we then be perhaps be working zonally, where we too deep or not first to the ball?

Set-pieces have cost us some points.

Graham Coughlan

I don't think anyone in the ground could see it (the penalty), I don't even think the Portsmouth players and fans knew what it was for.

The ironic thing was they were going the other way, they thought it was an offside decision.

It's an epidemic, it's in the game and it is what it is. As I said to the referee and the linesman, if they're going to give penalties for that then I've no problem with that.

It hurts the game and destroys the game we all love, but if they're going to give penalties for that, let us lay claim to three or four penalties down to the other end.

I don't like jumping off the bench and asking for soft penalties, I don't like asking for things like that, it has to be a proper penalty in my eyes, but if he's going to give a decision like that down one end, we want the same treatment at the other end.

There was three or four occasions where Abs Ogogo was pushed over and we could have claimed a penalty.

Let me be honest, neither Abs Ogogo or that one was a penalty, but if he's going to give it one end, I want it the other end.

I just want consistency.

At the end of the day, it is what it is. He's made the decision, you see it week in, week out, we're not the only football club that gets horrendous decisions made against us.

Hopefully that's it and it will be someone else next week because that's the way the game is.’

Ronan Curtis

In the first half we battered them and for the first half-an-hour of the second half we battered them. We thought they were there for the taking, don’t stop, don’t take our foot off the gas.

They get one back following a silly set-piece – and the other is an own goal which you can’t do anything about. It came off Ross and hit the back of Craig’s head and has gone in.

Even when they had one back, we didn’t let them get the edge on us, we kept going, and kept our work ethic high.

We felt comfortable the whole game, in the first half we battered them and created so many chances, with so many holes and spaces to run into.

It was just the sucker punch in stoppage time.

Neil Allen – News’ chief sports reporter

Late agony for Pompey, who can feel hard done-by having deserved victory.

Bristol Rovers netted twice in the final 12 minutes to claim what had appeared an unlikely draw, such was the Blues' dominance.

There was no hint of a comeback from the hosts after falling two goals behind, which made the outcome that much more heartbreaking for Kenny Jackett and his players.

And for successive league away games, Pompey have conceded a goal at the death to deny them points.

Will Rooney – Pompey reporter

It was deja vu for Pompey - and in more than many ways.

Two seasons ago, it was two late goals at the Memorial Stadium that cost Pompey victory.

And seven days ago, a stoppage-time set-piece at AFC Wimbledon condemned the Blues to a defeat.

Kenny Jackett's a manager who emphasises the importance of defending corners and free-kicks - it's understandable why he was so frustrated with this result.