Ward: Poor decisions robbed us

Joel Ward felt there was a handball in the build-up to Jamie Ashdown conceding the Robins' opener
Joel Ward felt there was a handball in the build-up to Jamie Ashdown conceding the Robins' opener
Pompey suffered defeat to Charlton. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gaffer: So predictable Pompey would suffer defeat

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Joel Ward insisted refereeing decisions ‘robbed’ Pompey of their record-winning run.

Steve Cotterill’s men went down to a 2-1 defeat at Bristol City last night – ending their flying six-game streak of successes.

The Blues could have equalled their all-time number of league victories on the bounce with another three points.

But their unlikely late-season hopes of making the play-offs took a hit with the loss at Ashton Gate.

Pompey’s performance warranted a return as they enjoyed the better of the play against the Robins.

And the players were left frustrated with refereeing decisions over both of the home side’s goals.

They felt a handball should have been picked up before Albert Adomah’s opener, while replays showed an offside in the build-up to City’s second.

Ward said: ‘I think we outplayed them.

‘We played well as a team and it was just one of those games.

‘For the first goal, Hoggy (Jonathan Hogg) headed it in the box and there was a handball.

‘Then they have gone on the counter-attack and got the goal. That was a poor decision.

‘The second goal was offside, so it’s quite gutting, really.

‘Things haven’t gone our way. They were big decisions so we feel a bit like we’ve been robbed.’

Pompey now find themselves nine points off the play-offs with 10 games remaining this season.

They can take heart from setting a new post-war league record of minutes without conceding a goal before City’s 40th-minute opener.

That new mark stands at 636 minutes after Jamie Ashdown broke the previous best set by Peter Mellor in the 1978-79 campaign.

Ward praised the Blues for that effort and is now calling on them to lift themselves for Middlesbrough this weekend

He said: ‘There are positives to take from the game, definitely.

‘We played well as a team. It’s frustrating and disappointing it hasn’t gone our way.

‘We just need to focus on the next couple of games now.

‘We have to look after ourselves and recover properly. Then we can go again Saturday and get back to winning ways.

‘It’s hard on the legs but we are quite youthful, so we have to look after ourselves and maintain what we’ve been doing. That will allow us to come out stronger.

‘All credit to the lads for the clean sheet record, too.

‘The partnership at the back has been brilliant.

‘We’ve started from the front with our defending, but all credit to Jamie and the boys.

‘That defending has been crucial to the run of winning games we’ve had.’