Aston Villa loanee gets Portsmouth reward but tired legs starting to show 

Sports writer Will Rooney assesses the things we learnt from Pompey’s 1-0 win at Rochdale...

GREEN’S REWARD

Andre Green won the free-kick which lead to his match-winner against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andre Green won the free-kick which lead to his match-winner against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andre Green has had a frustrating loan spell since arriving from Aston Villa in August.

The winger was forced to undergo knee surgery to remove a cyst, sidelining him from action for more than two months.

And when he has been fit, opportunities for Green to display his quality have been limited.

Nevertheless, the travelling Fratton faithful got a glimpse of what he’s capable of against Rochdale. 

Green was introduced by Kenny Jackett from the substitutes’ bench to conjure up a late winner – and did exactly that.

In the 89th minute the 20-year-old drove at the hosts’ defence with power. The only way defender Ryan Delaney could stop Green was by fouling him on the edge of the area. 

The England under-20 international then sauntered into space unmarked, with Lee Brown spotting the opportunity to not go for goal but to tee up the forward.

Green’s shot fortuitously took a wicked deflection and looped into the net, but it was just reward for his menacing foray.

TIME FOR A BREATHER

Pompey were much the better side in the first half at Spotland.

Jamal Lowe was at his rampaging best, Ben Thompson ran the middle of the part with elegance, and Ronan Curtis rattled the crossbar. 

But the Blues couldn’t maintain their high intensity after the interval and Rochdale gained the upper hand.

Lowe has featured in every League One match for the table-toppers this season, while Curtis only had a two-and-a-half week break during the summer.

Gareth Evans was also noticeably jaded after a bright opening period. 

Kenny Jackett’s men can be slightly fortunate not to find themselves out of the FA Cup.

The Pompey boss is convinced his troops are showing little signs of fatigue, but giving his key players a breather might be what’s required ahead of a busy festive period.. 

INDEBTED TO CRAIG

Pompey may be gearing up for a second-round replay if it wasn’t for Craig MacGillivray.

The keeper made an outstanding stoppage-time save to deny Ian Henderson, clawing the Rochdale skipper’s shot away to his left. 

Not only has MacGillivray dominated his area since his arrival but is also an adept shot-stopper.