Kabamba aims high with partner-in-crime Lowe

Nicke Kabamba  Picture: Colin Farmery
Nicke Kabamba Picture: Colin Farmery
Michael Smith, left, in action for Bury this season Picture: Sharon Lucey

‘Terrific professional’ Smith earns Pompey boss praise

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Nicke Kabamba is banking on his Jamal Lowe double act firing him into first-team contention.

The 23-year-old last week arrived at Pompey, who represent the third club the pair have featured for together.

We know where each other is going to be, he plays off me. As soon as I receive the ball I know he is going to be running either side, so I just have to put it into his path to continue

Nicke Kabamba

Kabamba and Lowe were previously team-mates at Hemel Hempstead and then Hampton & Richmond.

It was their prolific partnership at the latter which earned both a switch to the Football League with the Blues.

There was a certain inevitability over the outcome after the duo paired up for the first time at Pompey in Monday’s reserve clash with Norwich

The 4-0 victory was achieved courtesy of a Lowe hat-trick and Kabamba’s first goal in a Blues shirt.

The striker remains a player for next season rather than somebody to aid the current promotion push.

But he hopes to continue impressing alongside his familiar partner in crime.

Kabamba said: ‘It was great to get my first Pompey game under my belt to show what I am capable of.

‘The boys were bantering me a little bit about my nerves, but I channelled them into the match to make myself play better.

‘It helped having a goal attempt after 16 seconds following a great ball from Brandon Haunstrup. It makes it so much easier playing with better players, you get better service.

‘And it was a massive relief to later get my first goal – and it came from the connection I have with Jamal.

‘We were at Hemel together but didn’t really play that much. It wasn’t until we both ended up at Hampton where the partnership really started.

‘But the friendship began at Hemel, that is where we first got to know each other, and I’m hoping to bring our connection on the pitch here.

‘We know where each other is going to be, he plays off me. As soon as I receive the ball I know he is going to be running either side, so I just have to put it into his path to continue.

‘A lot of it is instinctive, trying to put him in straight away. We have that understanding.

‘We got four goals between us on Monday – it’s started!’

Last week Kabamba signed an 18-month deal with the Blues for an undisclosed fee.

That was the outcome of a successful two-day trial after initially catching Pompey’s eye during missions to scout Lowe.

Paul Cook is pursuing a loan deal for Eoin Doyle as he attempts to boost his strike force. Competition is fierce, particularly if the Blues employ a 4-2-3-1.

And Kabamba will keep trying to impress.

He added: ‘I’m here to do what I do best – scoring goals.

‘The manager has told me I am in his future plans, but I’m pushing to get into the team as soon as possible.

‘Reserve matches allow me to show what I can do, so hopefully he will see the goals and it can give me a chance.’