Naismith's relief at going from Pompey zero to hero
Kal Naismith spoke of his Pompey relief after making amends for his Newport County penalty miss in dramatic style.
Marking a first League Two start since October 1, the midfielder had the chance to level from the spot as the Blues strived to complete a fightback from a two-goal deficit.
Instead, his 62nd-minute spot-kick flew over the bar, to leave Paul Cook’s men 2-1 down against the league’s bottom club.
However, Enda Stevens’ first goal for Pompey secured an 80th-minute equaliser – then Naismith weighed in.
The in-form winger’s free-kick from the right found its way into the net at the far post three minutes from time to give the Blues a 3-2 success at Rodney Parade.
A moment for the Scot to savour, particularly following his earlier error.
He said: ‘For me to get the winner was a mixture of joy and relief because I missed the penalty and felt I had let the lads down.
‘Getting the winner at Grimsby earlier this month was an unbelievable feeling, don’t get me wrong, that was amazing.
‘But I was fortunate enough yesterday to share with the lads a win which also involved coming back from two goals down and it meant more.
‘Whenever you win a game it is great, but it is not good being behind in games. So to come back from that it is an unbelievable feeling, so credit to the lads.
‘I whipped in the free-kick and was right behind the flight of the ball so could see it was on target. One of their lads got a glance on it but it was on target.
‘You see it happen a lot and, as a free-kick taker, you try to get it into that area, especially when it is in-swinging and any slight nick it can go in.
‘Thankfully I’ve got it into the exact area I wanted and it went in.
‘Even when I missed that penalty I know I have done wrong, I know it is disappointing, but not one person had a go, they kept saying: “Keep going, Kal, keep going”.
‘I came over for a drink of water and the gaffer said “Keep going”. I’m fine with that.
‘This squad is a good squad with loads of great lads and to share a late moment like that with them was brilliant.’
It was Danny Rose who sparked the fightback, with Pompey having slipped behind 2-0 following 51 minutes.
A gutsy effort from the Blues, irrespective of struggling Newport’s lowly position in the League Two table.
And Naismith believes Pompey can build on that.
He added: ‘That game is only going to give us confidence and a good feel about the place.
‘But we have had that result now and have just got to go and match it, there are a lot of games coming up thick and fast, so we have now got to focus on those.
‘The fact we came back showed character, but it’s no good if we go and lose the next one, we have a lot of games coming up and the lads are looking forward to them.’