Pompey legend: I’ve seen worse on a pitch

Nathan Thompson, left, goes down after Alex Mowatt, right, slapped him in the face
Nathan Thompson, left, goes down after Alex Mowatt, right, slapped him in the face
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder hungry to maintain unbroken run

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The Pompey games in front of the cameras have been quite dour affairs in the past, but the victory over Oxford was full of incidents!

It was a decent game to watch and we had a great start.

The Blues scored early on, which we don’t normally do, and it was nice it came from a set-piece because I know they do work very hard on them.

For the first 20 minutes we were in control, but for the rest of the first half Oxford took control.

Pompey possibly rode their luck a bit and you’ve got to give Luke McGee credit.

He made two fantastic saves, while there was a scramble on the goal line which was cleared by Brett Pitman.

I couldn’t see the penalty decision but, watching the replay, you’d possibly say Matt Clarke was holding him – I suppose it is a penalty.

I’ll be honest, I had a sneaking feeling Luke might save the penalty.

That’s because of Alex Mowatt’s exaggerated run-up.

There’s obviously the controversy of Nathan Thompson’s reaction.

I haven’t spoken to Thommo but it’s not something I’d expect him to do as he’s a really nice guy.

There must be some history, especially with the Swindon-Oxford rivarly.

I’ve heard the Sky commentator at the time and it was a bit over the top.

These things happen. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong what Thommo did, but I can’t see how laughing in someone’s face can be a bookable offence.

People might say it’s ungentlemanly conduct, but if you’re booking people for laughing in someone’s face then what else do you book others for?

Thommo coming back into the side added that bit of aggression. He lives on the edge a bit but that’s the way he plays.

People will draw their own conclusions, but, in theory, he didn’t do anything wrong.

I’m not condoning it but I’ve seen a lot worse on a football field.

And then Mowatt cannot slap someone around the face – you can’t do that, and he cost Oxford the game.

That moment will detract from several good performances.

Luke did very well in goal and Clarkey and Jack Whatmough were outstanding.

We lost it in midfield for a little bit but there was one moment in the first half when there was a tackle from Ben Close which you don’t see many of anymore. It was a fantastic tackle and got the crowd going.

The win puts us in a fantastic position going into Easter. If we can go and do a job at Walsall, then we play the best team in the league, Wigan, and with Cookie coming back it will be a fantastic occasion.