Gaffer: Wasteful finishing going to cost Portsmouth one day

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Gaffer for a day, Basher Benfield, aged 54 from Copnor, delivers his verdict on Pompey’s 2-1 win at Scunthorpe.

Now that got a bit nervy didn’t it?

Matt Clarke was Basher Benfield's man of the match in Saturday's win at Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Clarke was Basher Benfield's man of the match in Saturday's win at Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Well, we are very strong defensively so you are confident we can hold onto leads, but there will come a time when we won’t.

The players dug in brilliant to get the victory, they were very resilient, so no complaints there, but we missed chances and let in the most stupid of goals.

It’s frustrating and it was nervous to watch, but Scunthorpe were not looking like they were going to score.

At the end of the day it was another win to keep us at the top of the table. I can’t criticise the team, even if a couple were not on their game and had to be carried through.

You mentioned about wasted opportunities?

Same old problem, we cannot kill teams off – and we had the chances to do that once again on Saturday.

I was at the Academy game against Cray Wanderers on Wednesday and it’s something which is running through the club for some unknown reason.

We should have been out of sight, Scunthorpe ought to have been buried, instead we collected our fifth 2-1 win of the season.

That record shows we are capable of beating teams, but not finishing them off, we keep letting in goals when we shouldn’t.

Who was your man of the match?

It has to be either Matt Clarke or Jack Whatmough, but I reckon Clarke just shades it.

The pair of them dominated whoever Scunthorpe threw on up front, despite being put under intense pressure during the second half – and dealt with it excellently.

Craig MacGillivray was never troubled because they defended so well in front of him, offering protection and throwing bodies on the line.

Clarke most probably would cope easily with the step to the Championship, so we have to be promoted to keep him. He wouldn’t get a look in at a big club, though.

You clearly weren’t impressed with the wingers?

Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis had one of those games and didn’t spark whatsoever.

Lowe was well off the pace, he didn’t seem to be in the game, which he does occasionally.

He disappeared and I wasn’t surprised to see David Wheeler come on as substitute in the second half. At least Wheeler was winning the ball in the air, which wasted a few seconds for us.

As for Curtis, he kept on using the same trick against the full-back and it never worked.

He would come inside onto his right foot and attempt a shot, but each time the right-back had read it and put in a blocking tackle.

Curtis needed to provided a different option and go down the line.

Basher’s Pompey ratings...

Craig MacGillivray  – 7

Nathan Thompson  – 8

Jack Whatmough  – 8

Matt Clarke  – 8

Lee Brown  – 7

Tom Naylor  – 7

Ben Thompson – 8

Jamal Lowe – 5

Gareth Evans – 7

Ronan Curtis – 5

Oli Hawkins – 8