Double delight for Haunstrup on Pompey return
Brandon Haunstrup toasted a Pompey victory over Plymouth Argyle '“ and savoured the shackling of dangerman Graham Carey.
The Waterlooville youngster was handed a first league start since September after makeshift left-back Matt Clarke had been restored to the centre of defence.
Haunstrup’s pathway into the side had also been cleared by a hamstring niggle for Dion Donohue.
However, the 21-year-old responded with arguably his finest Blues display on his 14th outing for the club.
Up against Carey, the Pilgrims’ talented top scorer occupying the right flank, Haunstrup did a sterling job to smother his effectiveness.
Unsurprisingly, the Scot was substituted in the 79th minute as boss Derek Adams attempted to find late inspiration for a leveller.
And Haunstrup was delighted with the 1-0 outcome, courtesy of Kal Naismith’s first-half goal.
He said: ‘The idea was for me to attack.
‘We knew Carey was one of their better players, so to keep him back as much as possible is bit of a tactic which worked well.
‘The manager knows I am attacking anyway, so I would say it bolstered retaining him a bit more than normal.
‘He is a good player. I just had to keep as tight as possible to him and he didn’t really get at me in the second half, while they didn’t really feed him that much.
‘I felt we dealt with Carey very well.
‘When he came off that is always a good sign, I suppose.
‘As a full-back, when your man is getting subbed off that is good!’
It was Pompey’s first victory over the Pilgrims since August 2015, when Matt Tubbs and Gary Roberts scored in a 2-1 victory.
A modern-day rivalry has developed between the clubs, influenced by their promotion battles and Paul Cook and Adams’ mutual dislike.
And for Haunstrup, Saturday’s triumph over League One’s bottom club represented a sweet moment.
He added: ‘It always seems to be tight against them and it came down to the wire again.
‘The last 10 minutes we came under a bit of pressure, which you come to expect.
‘But it is something we have to work on and be a bit better at, just trying to see games out a bit more.
‘We were playing to their powers a little bit with their long throw, which is what they wanted but we dealt with it well in the end.
‘In the build up, you read about this game on social media. It gets talked about among the fans.
‘We just had to look at it as another game and aim to come out on top – which we did.’