Thompson reflects on match Portsmouth couldn’t win

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Victory from an unwinnable occasion.

Certainly Ben Thompson felt the trip to Maidenhead was a thankless task for the League One table-toppers, irrespective of the outcome.

Ben Thompson opens the scoring against Maidenhead. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Thompson opens the scoring against Maidenhead. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett’s men were anticipated to comfortably overcome a non-league side reeling from six-successive National League defeats and having shipped 15 goals in their last three matches.

They duly pulled off a 4-0 triumph to safely reach round two of the FA Cup.

Yet Thompson acknowledged Pompey were on a hiding to nothing when landed with their York Road trip.

Expectations met, but credit will never be due.

He said: ‘As a side playing against opposition from leagues below, you can’t win.

‘It’s a tough game when facing anyone in the lower leagues, they are out to prove a point, they have no worries, they can win or lose, it doesn’t really matter.

‘Whereas for us we go there expecting to win, everyone expects us to win – we don't go there with the right mentality and we don’t win the game.

‘Sides like that can punish you, but we’ve got a great set of lads, a good team spirit, and on Saturday everyone was on their game.

‘It’s the same as any other match, you can’t take it lightly, you approach it the same way as you would a league game, the same as the Checkatrade Trophy or a friendly. Every game is important at this level, we are representing a professional club.

‘The boys are top drawer, everyone is here with one focus – to win games.’

During a tight first half, it was Thompson’s 43rd-minute opener which finally broke Maidenhead’s resilience.

After the break the Blues strengthened their control, running out comfortable 4-0 winners and seeing the game out playing keep ball.

The midfielder added: ‘I think after the second or third goal you feel more comfortable, 1-0 or 2-0 is a tough scoreline.

‘I have been 2-0 up before and the other team have come back to win 3-2, it’s a dangerous scoreline and once the third or fourth goal goes in you are pretty comfortable to be fair, you just have to see out the game and manage it.

‘It was a different sort of match to what we normally play in the league.

‘We had a lot of possession and a lot of time on the ball, which sometimes can be harder making the right choice and the right pass, but I thought we coped with it well and got the win.’