Deadly attacking trio help Portsmouth make statement of intent at Peterborough
Will Rooney looks at the talking points from the victory at Peterborough on Saturday... Â
STATEMENT OF INTENT
These are still embryonic stages of the League One campaign.
But Pompey have firmly underlined their title credentials and sent out a statement of intentÂ with a victory at Peterborough to move top of the table.Â
Steve Evans' side had set the early standard before the Blues travelled to London Road on Saturday.
The Posh had won six and drawn one of their opening seven matches, scoring 19 goals in the process.
But Kenny Jackett's menÂ now remain the only unbeaten teamÂ in the third tier after defeating Peterborough.
Although the game only burst into life after Oli Hawkins' opening goal, Pompey deserved to collect all three points.
The Blues' defence was only really put under siege in the closing stages and displayed their resolve to handle the pressure of Peterborough's attacks.
Jackett's midfield also won the battle in the middle of the park. Tom Naylor was dogged, Gareth Evans tenacious and Ben Close kept the ball intelligently.Â
With Barnsley and Walsall having their copybook blemished at the weekend, Pompey are the only team this term not to be defeated in League One.
They're perched at the summit of the table and looking down at the 23 sides below.
Although Pompey now have a target on their back, it's a situation they are more than happy to be in.Â
And the Blues highlighted they have the quality andÂ steel to defeat the best sides in the division.Â
A DESERVED GOAL FOR HAWKINS
Oli Hawkins' celebration told all about how relieved he was to finally hit the goal trail this season.
After heading home Ronan Curtis' cross in the 62nd minute to open the scoring at Peterborough, the former Dagenham & Redbridge man displayed how much it meant to him.
By his own admission, Hawkins admitted he felt like he needed to break his duck for the campaign at London Road.
Granted, the striker's remit is far more than scoringÂ goals in Kenny Jackett's side.
He is the focal point of the Blues' attack, with his role primarily to hold the ball up and bring others into play.
But the man spearheading Pompey's forward lineÂ must still weigh in with his share of goals.
And with someone with theÂ quality ofÂ Brett Pitman lurking on the substitutes' bench, Hawkins knew he needed starting to find the target sooner rather than later.
The 26-year-old missed three decent headed opportunities in the first half, failing to hit the target with each of them.
However, Hawkins displayed character to not let that affect him.
The marksman found himself a yard of space in the box after half-time and showed composure to find the back of the net.
It was a deserved goal for an impressive start to the season and should be a big upshot for Hawkins' confidence.Â
Paris Saint-Germain have Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
Liverpool boast Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
And Pompey brag their own deadly trio in Ronan Curtis, Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe.
The Blues' three-pronged attack is no doubt one of most potent in League One.
Following the win at Peterborough, they have nowÂ been involved in a combined 11 goals and nine assists for Kenny Jackett's side this term.
Curtis has been a revelation for Pompey since his summer arrival from Derry City.
At London Road, he registered a further two assists and delivered yet another man-of-the-match performance.
The Irishman skipped past Joe Ward on the left wing before his inch-perfect cross picked out Hawkins to head past Posh keeper Aaron Chapman.
All three then linkedÂ to double the Blues' lead with a wonderful team goal.
The roles were reversed when Hawkins stood a ball up for Curtis at the back post.
Instead of going for glory from six yards out, the 22-year-old showed intelligence to nod down to Lowe, who calmly stroked home his fifth goal of the campaign.
The triumvirate wreaked havoc on the Peterborough defence and likely will continue to do so against most rearguards that step in their path this term.
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