Gaffer: Kal to rescue in superb Pompey atmosphere

Kal Naismith helped save Pompey's point. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kal Naismith helped save Pompey's point. Picture: Joe Pepler
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The News’ gaffer for a day Wayne Harris, 40, from Fareham, answers questions about the draw with Doncaster...

What did you make of that?

The opening 20 minutes we were all over the place and fortunate not to be 2-0 down to Doncaster.

They had a very close offside given after Brett Pitman’s header, and should feel aggrieved at that. Once we equalised, though, I felt we were the better side going into the interval.

Overall, considering the circumstances, you would accept the point, but we could have had more.

What about the atmosphere late on?

It was typical Pompey – when it’s backs against the wall the fans react in a positive way.

The last 15 minutes was reminiscent of Stockport in February 1998.

When Doncaster scored their second on 63 minutes, our crowd went quiet and I noticed a few people leaving the North stand. Well that was a bit hasty!

Just like the previous week, when Brett Pitman came on it gave the whole team a lift, and this occasion he scored a goal.

What did you think of the emergency goalkeeper?

Remarkable wasn’t it. I have been going down Fratton Park since the 1983-84 season and that is the first time I have seen an outfield play go in goal for Pompey.

I have seen it a few times on our travels, the most recent Russell Perrett at Swindon in February 1999, but never at Fratton Park.

Thanks to Matt Clarke, Christian Burgess and Nathan Thompson, Kal Naismith only had one save to make.

Obviously outfield players are too scared to dive, they just haven’t got that instinct.

When Stephen Henderson went off, Matt Clarke was pointing to himself about going in goal, but Kenny Jackett pointed to Kal, which made far more sense.

Who was your man of the match?

It’s a close one and I was surprised to see Matty Kennedy come off after doing so well.

But Matt Clarke gets my vote, it was a typical performance and so far he is my player of the season.

He is so comfortable on the ball and was excellent defensively, particularly towards the end when we were hanging onto the point.

We rely on Pitman for goals, but Clarke is just as important at the opposite end of the pitch to ensure the defence is solid and we have a platform to play from.

I will be extremely surprised if he is still a Pompey player after the summer.

He is a Championship performer – and I don’t think we are going to get there, we lack that X-factor.


Stephen Henderson 7

Anton Walkes 7

Christian Burgess 7

Matt Clarke 8

Dion Donohue 7

Ben Close 7

Nathan Thompson 8

Gareth Evans 6

Connor Ronan 6

Matty Kennedy 8

Oli Hawkins 6