Defensive lapses are just criminal

Andy Barcham drills home his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Barcham drills home his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Jamal Lowe. Picture: Mark Robinson

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ANDY BARCHAM conceded the defensive lapses which are wrecking Pompey’s season are ‘criminal’.

And the Blues winger admitted last night’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe felt like a defeat, after the hosts conceded deep into stoppage-time.

Barcham’s second goal in successive home games looked to have helped his side to a much-needed win at Fratton Park.

That was until sub Anthony Stewart scored from a corner with virtually the last touch of the game to salvage the Chairboys a point.

Barcham cancelled out Matt McClure’s first-half opener before Patrick Agyemang glanced home Ricky Holmes’ free-kick.

Then came Stewart’s late, late intervention from a Wycombe corner to save his side a point.

The majority of a crowd of 14,942 were left flattened by the outcome.

Barcham knows there is nothing unfortunate about the manner the team are continuing to drop points.

He said: ‘It’s so disappointing. We showed great character to come back into the game and take the lead.

‘Everyone thought it was going to be a well-deserved three points.

‘Then to have that at the end is very, very difficult to take.

‘It feels like a loss. We are so close but ending up with a point instead of three.

‘You have to see it through to the death. It’s criminal. We’ve defended so well in the second-half but we have to see it out.

‘We were rallying around each other and telling each other to do the right things.

‘We did it right until the last header of the game.

‘You can say it’s unlucky but it’s not. We have to be switched on for the whole of the game.

‘It’s little things like that which are costing us.

‘We have to put that right if we are to go forward.’

Barcham revealed Pompey were given a blast by caretaker manager Andy Awford at the interval for a lacklustre first-half display.

The introduction of top-scorer David Connolly made a difference as they turned the game around.

But the final outcome is Pompey’s winless run has now been stretched to seven games after two draws on the bounce.

Barcham said: ‘We were given what for at half-time and told to defensively tighten up and work as a team.

‘Then we had to let our attacking play build from there and approach the game that way.

‘We regrouped, though, and improved in the second-half.

‘I felt our performance deserved those goals but you’ve got to switch on and be professional – and we haven’t done that.’

Barcham’s goal in the 72nd minute was another eye-catching finish as he rifled home an unstoppable drive.

That made it three goals for the season for the 26-year-old and follows on from his classy finish against Southend last week.

The former Scunthorpe man admitted it’s a source of frustration that his goals are not contributing towards his team getting the results he think they should be getting. And they desperately need a result now to boost brittle confidence.

Barcham said: ’I’ve scored at the Fratton End twice now.

‘I’ve said I’ve been waiting to do that since I’ve come here.

‘The atmosphere was amazing after I scored and it would have been nice to win for them.

‘It’s what this place needs and what we all need. We need that confidence and that result.

‘It’s horrible that when I’ve scored in front of the Fratton End I haven’t been able to enjoy it.’