Plenty of Pompey positives in Cherries loss

Patrick Agyemang on the ball for Pompey at Bournemouth   Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Patrick Agyemang on the ball for Pompey at Bournemouth Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Dave Wright. Picture: Colin Farmery

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Pompey went down to a 2-1 defeat to Championship new-boys Bournemouth.

Andy Barcham cancelled out a fine opener from Mohamed Coulibaly with his own super 25-yarder.

But it was sub Harry Cornick who got the deflected winner with 10 minutes left.

The result means little, though, on a night which produced plenty of positives for Guy Whittingham’s side.

Pompey matched Eddie Howe’s side for long periods and looked largely comfortable at the back.

It was a display which will answer more questions for Whittingham ahead of their League Two opener next Saturday.

Pompey proved competitive for much of the early proceedings at Dean Court.

But as the half wore on it was the newly-promoted Championship outfit who were in the ascendancy.

It took 18 minutes for the home side to create their first real chance, but Phil Smith saved smartly as Wes Thomas diverted Charlie Daniels’ cross goalward.

Smith was having a solid game as the race for the starting keeping role against Oxford gathers pace.

It took 29 minutes for Pompey to carve out their first chance, Tom Craddock turning smartly and firing a shot from 12 yards which Darryl Flahavan saved.

There was no stopping the Cherries’ opener after 35 minutes when Mohamed Coulibaly smashed a 25-yarder past Smith after Pompey could only half clear.

The Blues wobbled after that and former Pompey loanee Thomas should have had a second a minute later when he put a free header wide.

Still, it was a largely-encouraging half from the visitors as Whittingham looked towards his starting line-up for next week.

There was one change for Pompey at the break - Danny East for Dan Butler - among seven changes from the home side.

The game’s flow remained largely the game with both side trying to play as much football as they could.

Pompey’s wide men then rewarded them with an impressive leveller after 65 minutes.

Ricky Holmes drove at the heart of the Bournemouth defence before freeing Barcham who made no mistake with a fine 25-yard effort.

Holmes was a whisker away from putting Pompey in front as they took control of the game.

But then the home side got the key goal with 10 minutes as sub Cornick’s shot from inside the box took a big deflection off Smith.

There was still time for a late rally from Pompey with a couple of half-chances.

It was defeat against the Cherries, though, - but a display which offered positives.