Gaffer: Time-wasting Fleetwood deserved Portsmouth defeat

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Gaffer for a day Ashley Arnell, aged 19 from Fratton, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 1-0 victory over Fleetwood...

What are your thoughts on the game?

Fratton delight as Pompey won at home for the first time in four matches on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

Fratton delight as Pompey won at home for the first time in four matches on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler

The first half was bad, with Fleetwood doing their best impression of Wycombe, time-wasting and talking back at the referee, which made a frustrating game.

There were also some dirty tackles, particularly from Ross Wallace, which you’d expect from a Joey Barton side.

I thought they would come down and play football considering how well they’ve started the season so it was a bit of a weird one to see them approach it the way they did. Perhaps the feeling before the game was they only wanted a point.

Craig MacGillivray had nothing to do. He caught the odd ball, but otherwise may as well sat down and enjoyed the sun.

Then it changed in the second half

Yes, the system switch by Kenny Jackett did it. Ben Thompson came out of his shell with a more advanced role and Dion Donohue became a holding midfielder, which gave him more time on the ball.

Donohue was lost in the first half and didn’t give us much out wide, but his passing in the second half was brilliant, especially those cross-field passes.

Everyone around me was applauding, that’s the sort of thing you want to see at home, not the backwards and sideways passes.

It was a great corner delivery for the goal as well, he whips in set-pieces consistently well. I can only remember one which went out of play – and that was when Tom Naylor was pulled at the far post.


Who was your man of the match?

Ben Thompson didn’t stop running and was our stand-out player, although I was also impressed with Oli Hawkins and Donohue.

He was the smallest player of the pitch yet wins a lot in the air, chases everything, shows pace on the ball and has great energy with a hard tackle. A really feisty player.

I wasn’t at the Oxford United game when he made his debut, but for me Saturday was Thompson’s best game of the season.

He would be good in the Championship too.


And the ‘Kenny and Joe’ chant?

We were singing it the previous week against Wimbledon, you can actually hear it when Dion Donohue’s corner is delivered for Tom Naylor’s goal.

I didn’t realise it was from 15 years ago and used to have the words ‘Harry and Jim’! Although I did hear someone say in the Fratton end that it had been done before.

Hopefully it will continue at games. It’s a good, catchy song, easy for everyone to join in.

Everything is positive so far this season. The home form has been the issue but maybe that’s done and dusted following the Fleetwood result.

Craig MacGillivray 7

Nathan Thompson 7

Jack Whatmough 7

Matt Clarke 7

Lee Brown 7

Jamal Lowe 7

Tom Naylor 7

Ben Thompson 9

Dion Donohue 8

Ronan Curtis 7

Oli Hawkins 8