Macca backs referee after Pompey washout

Ryan Bird, right. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Bird, right. Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey manager Alan Ball

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Alan McLoughlin has backed the referee’s decision to yesterday abandon Pompey’s development group match after 60 minutes.

The scoreline against Bournemouth was poised at 2-2 at Westleigh Park after the Blues had let slip a two-goal advantage.

With torrential rain and the ball increasingly being halted by growing puddles on the surface, it was decided to call the fixture off.

Earlier, Nick Awford had turned home an angled shot from Ryan Bird at the far post to put the home side in front.

Meanwhile, Bird himself netted with a header from an excellent Dan Butler cross.

That put Pompey, who included Romain Padovani and triallists Shane Byrne and Chris Dickson in their line-up, 2-0 up after 33 minutes.

But Harry Cornick lashed home from the edge of the area following Charlie Losasso’s left-wing corner to pull one back for Bournemouth in the 41st minute.

And then in the 52nd minute, the Cherries’ comeback was complete when Brandon Goodship converted a ball down the centre.

Not long afterwards the referee opted to scrap the contest – and Pompey first-team coach McLoughlin was in agreement.

He said: ‘From about 15 minutes to go in the first half it started to deteriorate.

‘The pitch had actually held up well but you don’t want someone getting injured.

‘We had a Bournemouth lad slide off the pitch and into the railings and it wasn’t fair to both sets of lads trying to play football.

‘A little mistake cost us for Bournemouth’s second goal but the boys played very well in the first half, dominated them and were quite rightly ahead.

‘In the end, though, their lads came to our bench and said “this is getting a joke now” and I agreed with them.

‘We spoke to the linesman as well.

‘It was right. The safety of the players is most important and when the ball stops like that the game becomes a lottery and it’s not fair on the teams.

‘It was the right decision but I really enjoyed the game.’

Pompey: Triallist, Trigg, Whatmough (Close, 45mins), Warren, Butler, Branford, Byrne, Padovani (Tarbuck, 46mins), Awford, Bird, Dickson