Pompey boss: Hopefully there's more Pitman free-kick magic
IT WAS a moment born on the training ground '“ now Kenny Jackett is hoping for a regular repeat of Brett Pitman magic.
The Blues’ skipper was awarded a foul in the 55th minute of Saturday’s friendly at Crawley, following Mark Connelly’s clumsy challenge.
Pitman responded by picking himself up and rifling home a right-footed free-kick into the top corner of the net.
It was a stunning strike launched from around 23 yards, which hauled the visitors level in their final pre-season friendly.
Then Pitman claimed the victory 15 minutes from time with a left-foot finish from Milan Lalkovic’s pass.
The 2-1 victory was Pompey’s – and a new free-kick taker has been uncovered.
Jackett said: ‘Brett has been putting himself up in training to be able to take free-kicks – and it was an excellent one.
‘He practices his free-kicks and it looks like he wants to take them.
‘Looking at the games from last year, Kal Naismith has a very good left foot and so does Conor Chaplin – and they can score goals. There are good options with the right or left foot on the edge of the box.
‘Hopefully it’s a weapon we can use and bring us a source of goals.
‘It was a great execution from Brett, he is capable of it, and both were two good finishes in a period in a second half when we had a lot of the ball and I felt we passed it better.
‘The second goal was also a very, very good finish. Lalkovic did well in the build-up and it was a composed finish from Brett.
‘We haven’t had any penalties yet so we’ll see at the particular time if he also takes them, but it does like it will be hard to get them off Brett.’
Before Pitman’s intervention, Pompey had been trailing to Thomas Verheydt’s close-range header in the third minute.
It capped an impressive opening 45 minutes from the hosts, with Jackett’s men disappointing and lacklustre.
They did improve after the break, though, as Pitman’s two goals led them to a win in the seventh and final match of their pre-season.
Jackett added: ‘Crawley edged the first half, definitely. The big centre-forward in particular gave us a lot of problems. We had problems with them in our box in terms of set-pieces and getting that first touch.
‘We showed good character and good ability not to fall away under some very good play by Crawley and then did well to overcome them and get the win.
‘It was a good test. Now I’m looking forward to the real stuff and seeing where we are in our league.’