Pompey penalty was soft – but it’s looking promising

Gareth Evans wins the ball against AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans wins the ball against AFC Wimbledon. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey midfielder Gareth Evans

Midfielder set for Pompey return against Oxford

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I’m sure most of you know I’m not the biggest fan of Wimbledon.

Okay, we were facing AFC Wimbledon on Boxing Day and not the Dons side we had so many run-ins with in the 1980s.

But I have admit I would have felt a little bit aggrieved if I was one of their supporters at Fratton Park.

I thought the penalty for our winner was a little bit on the soft side.

And, relatively speaking, they came and had a go without working Luke McGee too much.

It wasn’t pretty, but I’m sure no-one was too bothered by that as we got back to winning ways.

It was a great goal from Ben Close to light up what was a very dour first half.

Closey’s finish and Conor Chaplin’s cheeky shot which nearly embarrassed George Long was all that happened.

We looked a little bit nervous at times after the Shrewsbury defeat, but the penalty knocked the wind out of their sails.

From there, I felt we were pretty comfortable but you’re always fearing they might get something from a set-piece.

There was only Andy Barcham’s ball across the face of goal which was a bit of a heart-in-mouths moment, though.

The win means we’re in among it in the League One table going into the Northampton match.

The Cobblers are proving hit and miss at the moment but it is a game we should be looking to win.

We’re in a pretty good position in the table at the moment and are definitely punching above our weight.

We have to be pleased at the way we’re going along, while having the hope we can improve.

Fair play to not just Kenny Jackett but Joe Gallen, John Keeley and Robbie Blake for the work they’re putting in – it’s bearing fruit.

If we can keep up the current form we have every chance of achieving something this season.

Wigan are the only team who’ve battered us so far and we managed to come out of that game with a draw thanks to some great saves from McGee.

Blackburn were also better than us, but I don’t see any other side to be fearful of.

Shrewsbury are a very hard-working team and that’s been the basis of their success.

They are the best three teams in the league, but we’re around and about the other sides in the division.

There’s a good spirit in the camp going into the new year and I think the manager’s aware he doesn’t want to upset the apple cart with a load of new signings.

I won’t be making any predictions about aims – because I’m normally wrong – but things look promising.