Pompey benefit as double act hit form
Honed on the training ground, fulfilled on the League One stage.
Jamal Lowe has cranked up his understanding with Brett Pitman – and Pompey are reaping the rewards.
The duo twice combined to net in the 3-0 success over Oxford United on Sunday, close-range finishes laid on a plate by the Blues’ right-sided winger.
On each occasion Pitman converted – lurking around the far post to take his season’s total to 19 as he roars towards the fabled 20-goal mark.
Meanwhile, Lowe presently occupies the summit of Pompey’s league assist charts with five, narrowly ahead of Dion Donohue (four).
The former Hampton & Richmond man has put in the hours during training to develop an awareness with the predatory Pitman.
And Lowe’s hoping that on-pitch relationship can continue to flourish.
Lowe’s said: ‘It’s something I work on in training every day.
‘You need to feed Pits. If he gets a chance in the six-yard box he doesn’t miss. It’s just working on your delivery and getting it into that area for him.
‘We had one in the first half he couldn’t quite get on the end of but even when that happens it’s not a negative.
‘It’s still a positive because he knows – and I know – next time he’ll make sure he gets there to stick it away.
‘Sure enough, that happened twice in the second half on Sunday.
‘The understanding comes with playing and training together because everyone knows what Pits wants, that’s the ball in the box – that’s where he scores his goals.
‘Getting me the ball one-v-one is where I want it as well and it kind of complements each other.
‘I get the ball out wide, try to put in a cross and he receives a ball which allows him to get on the end of.
‘I try to deliver it between the goalie and the last defender and know, more often than not, he’s going to gamble.
‘Pits is a great finisher, one of the best finishers I have seen. Whether half chances, full chances, headers, left foot, right foot, a great finisher.’
Lowe’s first assist in the Oxford clash arrived on 69 minutes – after he controlled Gareth Evans’ ball down the right channel.
The wideman took a touch before delivering a magnificent cross which Pitman met left-footed to fire high into the roof of the net.
Then, 10 minutes later, Lowe was threaded through by Nathan Thompson with just keeper Simon Eastwood to beat, yet was forced wide.
Eventually he squeezed the ball across goal for Pitman to tap home a second – although Lowe felt he should have netted himself.
He added: ‘Getting a goal was in my head, I was going to go for it but was happy to get another assist. It’s not all about me.
‘Even at the last minute I was thinking about squeezing in a shot, that was at the back of my mind.
‘I’ve scored for Pompey from those kind of angles before but thought I had better not risk it.
‘It was easier to pass it to Pits than to try to score. You have to weigh up your decisions.’