Pompey snowed in – but MK Dons duty calls for Jackett

Anton Walkes. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep

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Storm Emma dictated a blank Pompey weekend, with players handed an impromptu two days off following the busy recent schedule.

Yet for manager Kenny Jackett, there was no downing tools – with an afternoon at the MK Dons instead beckoning.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

Such was the level of decimation amid the Football League programme, only five matches were possible in the bottom two divisions.

Elsewhere, there was a lone game in the entire National League’s three division, with Dover hosting Leyton Orient, as the weather intervened.

Jackett’s desire to maintain his footballing fix, however, took him to Stadium MK, where they entertained Bristol Rovers in a League One encounter.

The Blues boss subsequently witnessed Rovers’ Ellis Harrison net the only goal of the contest in the 50th minute to leave the hosts languishing in the relegation zone.

My job is not work, it’s going to watch a football match

Kenny Jackett

There was even the chance to catch up on Kyle Bennett’s progress since his transfer window switch to The Gas, with the winger featuring for 66 minutes before his substitution.

Pompey do not have to face either side again this season.

But the opportunity to expand his knowledge of players ensured this represented a worthwhile trip.

Jackett said: ‘With Pompey’s game off, it was a good opportunity for me to go elsewhere.

‘It was a case of looking around Saturday to see what the options were – and it’s good to be able to go to a game.

‘A lot of other coaches and managers were there at MK Dons as well, watching it from afar is no bad thing.

‘In an ideal world, you use your scouting to find the next player. You may go and watch someone, but in the end your scouting is best used for recruitment.

‘However, sometimes you go and watch a game and 6-9 months down the line someone is available who you didn’t know, so any knowledge is never wasted.

‘The more players you know, the more you know when names come up, particularly towards the last two weeks of the window and players might suddenly be available.

‘My job is not work, it’s going to watch a football match. I don’t see it like that, it’s fine – I enjoyed it.’

While Pompey were out of action in League One, three matches in did place.

In addition to MK Dons, Southend suffered a 3-0 home loss to Walsall, while Scunthorpe incurred defeat at the hands of Oldham, with ex-Pompey loanee Eoin Doyle scoring in the 2-0 scoreline.

In League Two, Cambridge United hosted league leaders Luton, the match ending in a 1-1 draw, while Carlisle collected a 2-0 victory over Grimsby.

Dropping into non-league and Dover’s Crabble Athletic Ground clash with Leyton Orient survived the weather to yield an 82rd-minute winner.

The hosts’ Mitch Pinnock struck to maintain their play-off interest, ending Orient’s six-match unbeaten run.

Incidentally, seventh-placed Dover’s starting XI contained former Pompey players Josh Passley and Ryan Bird.

Bird has netted 13 times this season for Chris Kinnear’s side, while right-back Passley has made 30 appearances.