Midfielder adamant Pompey deserved to win

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Ben Close believes Pompey were the better team after suffering defeat against Shrewsbury.

But the midfielder conceded the Blues’ record against League One’s top six is not good enough.

James Bolton’s 21st-minute goal condemned Kenny Jackett’s outfit to a fourth loss in five matches, while their barren streak in 2018 continued.

Nevertheless, Pompey had their share of chances against the high-flying Shrews, with Oli Hawkins and Brett Pitman both missing golden opportunities.

Close felt the hosts did more than enough to win the game but revealed his side were not ruthless enough.

The Southsea talent said: ‘They are always going to limit the amount of chances you are going to get and their pressing is very good all over the pitch, so it makes it hard to pass through them.

‘I think that’s why we had to give Oli (Hawkins) a go up front and play off him. We did that well to an extent.

‘We created a couple of chances off him and enough to win the game but it just didn’t go our way on Saturday.

‘We were better than them, in all honesty, and we were unlucky not to get anything from the game.

‘We were disappointed to give the goal away from a set-piece as they had so few.

‘Overall we were the better team but we’ve got to hold our hands up and say we weren’t good enough to stick the ball in the back of the net.’

Pompey’s loss meant they have picked up just two points from a possible 27 against the sides in the division’s top six.

Close admitted that is a statistic that needs improving.

He said: ‘It’s fine margins and obviously the stat isn’t good enough on our behalf.

‘The games have been extremely unlucky and against Shrewsbury we were extremely unlucky not to win.

‘It’s those fine margins but hopefully we can improve that this season.’