Appy blasts Blues defending

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An angry Michael Appleton blasted his side’s defending after witnessing them gift Stevenage victory last night.

Filipe Morais grabbed two goals at the Lamex Stadium, which gave the hosts a 2-1 success to maintain their second place in League One.

Pompey boss Michael Appleton

Pompey boss Michael Appleton

But on each occasion the forward was aided and abetted by some atrocious Blues defending.

Morais was unmarked when he headed in his first in the 14th minute, while his 61st-minute cross-cum-shot slipped through a packed penalty area to enter at the far post.

In between, Jon Harley netted his first Pompey goal with a smart turn and finish from distance.

However, the defensive inadequacies of the visitors proved to be decisive in terms of the result.

And afterwards the furious Blues boss rounded on his team.

Appleton said: ‘It was more a frustrating night more than anything.

‘We created enough chances to win one game comfortably, probably two games comfortably.

‘I have got to give credit to some of their defenders. I thought some of their last-ditch defending at times was fantastic, especially Mark Roberts.

‘But from our point of view, that second goal would have given us all a few nightmares last night.

‘It went through a lot of players, there was no pace on the ball.

‘It was just one of those bizarre goals really where someone needed to take responsibility and they didn’t.

‘It was all about the second goal. It killed the momentum a little bit and took us five to 10 minutes to have a go again.

‘Then there was the first goal. My first reaction was it was five yards off-side.

‘I’ve had a look back at it and you can’t tell because the camera we’ve got was not able to see.

‘But there were enough defenders back there who were meant to be marking him (Morais).

‘It was a little bit of a killer blow because I said to the boys before the game about stopping crosses into the box.

‘We never did enough on that occasion to do that.’

The scoreline was harsh on Pompey, who played some excellent football at times.

Regardless, they suffered a first defeat in six League One matches with, arguably, one of their better showings.

Appleton added: ‘We passed the ball really well in the second half and looked a threat.

‘Even before we scored our goal we had two or three glorious opportunities and there had been a goalmouth scramble, but it just didn’t happen for us.

‘We probably had more chances and the better chances in the first half, and the second half I was happy with the performance.

‘It’s difficult to take losing games of football when you create a lot more chances than the opposition, especially on their patch.’