MacGillivray’s magic as Portsmouth move within reach of early-season feat 

0
Have your say

CHIEF sports writer Neil Allen reflects on Pompey’s 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers which marked a fourth-straight League One win…

Confident Curtis

Craig MacGillivray and Oli Hawkins celebrate Pompey's victory at Bristol Rovers. Picture: Joe Pepler

Craig MacGillivray and Oli Hawkins celebrate Pompey's victory at Bristol Rovers. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Irishman has swiftly made a massive Fratton Park impact following his summer entrance into the Football League.

The confidence and self-belief about his play is obvious, demonstrating himself to be a nerveless performer on the pitch.

It was his misjudgement while attempting to head the ball which handed Bristol Rovers a leveller from the penalty spot, yet there was no brooding over that error.

The 22-year-old popped up at the other end to receive Brett Pitman’s flick and register an 86th-minute winner.

That made it three goals and two assists from his five Pompey outings so far – and Curtis’ self-assurance is clearly well-placed.

MacGillivray’s magic

The former Shrewsbury keeper has taken over from Luke McGee as Pompey’s number one, with impressive results.

MacGillivray delivered his best Blues performance yet to keep Bristol Rovers at bay with a string of magnificent saves, particularly during the second half.

Perhaps none was finer than the stoppage-time stop to somehow keep out Kyle Bennett’s effort, leaving the home fans bewildered.

The summer recruit has barely put a glove wrong since joining the Blues, swiftly demonstrating why Kenny Jackett regards him so highly.

MacGillivray has displayed a willingness to dominate his box, consistency with his kicking and, of course, a number of excellent saves to help the Blues maintain their winning streak.

Four they are jolly good fellows

The Memorial Stadium outcome marked four-successive league victories for Pompey at the start of their campaign.

Not even when the Blues were footballing champions of England and Wales in 1948-49 and 1949-50 have they enjoyed such an outstanding opening.

It was achieved most recently in 1980-81 under Frank Burrows – and now Kenny Jackett’s troops have emulated that feat.

Pompey will be looking to make it five-straight wins on Saturday against Doncaster, a tally reached only once previously in the club’s 119-year history.

Have you also read?

Ronan Curtis delighted by instant Portsmouth impact

In-form Portsmouth eye equalling 119-year winning streak record

Bristol Rovers 1-2 Portsmouth: Neil Allen's match report

Portsmouth urged to focus on Doncaster

Portsmouth keeper tells of Kyle Bennett's shock