Gaffer brands Pompey opponents ‘absolutely appalling’

Pompey's Adam May wins a header. Picture: Mark Robinson
Pompey's Adam May wins a header. Picture: Mark Robinson
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Basher Benfield, 54, from Copnor, delivers a damning assessment of Fleetwood as he reflects on Pompey’s 2-1 victory at Highbury Stadium.

• What did you make of that?

Fleetwood are the worst team I have seen at this level for many a year. They were absolutely appalling.

During 1989-90, I remember seeking a shocking Hull City side at Fratton Park – and this lot were just as bad. They were terrible.

They look doomed. They make MK Dons look quite good. They clearly overachieved last season.

• Okay, but what did you make of a youthful Pompey side?

Obviously we all saw how young the starting XI was before kick-off but it didn’t bother me.

Once we got into the opening five minutes you could see us controlling the match and the team looked very mature.

The only one who seemed young was Connor Ronan when he came off the bench. He may get plenty of space in the academy but it’s different at this level.

He’s a bit like Sammy Igoe but a better player. He has the skill but needs to bulk up, just like Ben Close and Adam May did in the summer.

• A 21-year-old captain in Matt Clarke, too.

There can’t have been many captains that young for Pompey before but it was a good choice.

The fact the match was away from Fratton Park helped, it eased the pressure on him. Mind you, me and Steve Tovey could have done well at the back against Fleetwood!

Clarke is old beyond his years, very mature looking. Let’s give him a few more games in the role and see how he makes that step up.

• And your man of the match?

Adam May produced his best performance this season, definitely.

He also vindicated my pre-match comments about him having a hell of a shot. Only the inside of the post stopped him scoring!

I wouldn’t say he was dominant but he sprayed the ball around and controlled the midfield area.

There is a player there with a good future.

• Basher’s ratings: Luke McGee 6; Anton Walkes 6; Christian Burgess 6; Matt Clarke 6; Dion Donohue 7; Jamal Lowe 7; Ben Close 6; Adam May 8; Matty Kennedy 5; Oli Hawkins 7; Conor Chaplin 7