Case for defence as Pompey teamwork pays off

Pompey winger Matty Kennedy works hard to support his defence. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey winger Matty Kennedy works hard to support his defence. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's second-year scholars back in 2016 when they signed up. Picture: Colin Farmery

Crunch time approaching for fledgling Pompey talents

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Have your say

Richard Thompson, 57, from Gosport, has his say on Pompey’s victory over Bristol Rovers in our Gaffer For The Day column.

• A gutsy display?

We looked really overrun in midfield at times but learnt to cope with it – the two wide men getting back more.

But at the start of the game it did look like it was going to be a long night because of the problems they were causing us.

Once Ben Close and Stuart O’Keefe took a foothold in the game, they broke everything up, thankfully.

• And defensively?

Everyone worked their socks off, everyone was everywhere, defending as team.

That was key. Soaking up all that first-half pressure was crucial – and then we scored the opener at a vital time.

I would have been happy with a goalless draw at half-time!

• Who was your man of the match?

Matt Clarke threw himself about and blocked nearly everything that came to him.

With performances like that I am a bit worried about whether we will be able to keep him.

There was a dodgy spell from him in the first five minutes of the second half but overall he was immense.

There was a moment in the second period when he was on the floor and as he got up flung himself to his right to head the ball out of the penalty area.

I’m not sure what was wrong with Christian Burgess, though, he looked angry with everybody, which was most unlike him.

• What did you make of Pompey’s strikeforce?

Oli Hawkins worked his socks off, you could see he was shattered when he came off having constantly closed their defenders down.

As for Brett Pitman, he was just doing enough before weighing in with those two goals!

I did notice that when Hawkins won headers, Pitman was not in a position to collect the balls, which is something which needs looking at.
• Richard’s ratings: Luke McGee 7; Nathan Thompson 8; Christian Burgess 6; Matt Clarke 9; Dion Donohue 7; Stuart O’Keefe 8; Ben Close 8; Jamal Lowe 7; Brett Pitman 8; Matty Kennedy 8; Oli Hawkins 8