Wilson’s Wisdom: Away woes don’t add up

Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jed Wallace. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Four players have scored a goal for Pompey away from Fratton Park this season in League Two.

Jed Wallace, Craig Westcarr, Nigel Atangana and Ryan Taylor make up the decidedly short roll of honour.

Only Wallace, with three strikes to his name, has done it more than once.

You don’t have to be Carol Voderman to work out that means Pompey have mustered just six goals on the road in their league campaign this season.

That one win at Oxford way back in August courtesy of Westcarr’s late winner, seems a lifetime ago.

Their total away-day haul is made up of seven draws and seven defeats and adds up to 15 games of underachievement that has derailed the club’s ambitions this season.

Ahead of today’s home showdown with Exeter, Pompey had a total of 34 points on the board.

At Fratton Park, the record is decent enough with 24 points accumulated from seven wins, three draws and four defeats.

Anything like a comparable return on their away days would see Pompey occupying the play-off places.

As we all know, that is not the case.

The statistics do not make for pleasant reading and have not contributed to many jolly away days for travelling fans this season.

Pompey have not scored more than one goal in a League Two away fixture since that crazy 4-4 draw at Bury in the penultimate game of last season.

Since then, it’s been a succession of blanks and singles.

The midweek 0-0 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge was the second goalless draw in succession on the road after the stalemate at Wycombe.

In fairness, that first-half attacking performance at Adams Park should have taken the Blues into double figures for the season but they ended up with a blank again as Matt Tubbs failed to take two glorious chances.

Displays like that suggest the potential is there to do so much better.

But we’ve been scratching our heads and saying the same thing for much of the season.

As yet, the answers still haven’t been found.

Of course, there is still time to change the season’s direction.

Starting at Cambridge United next week, Pompey have eight away fixtures left from their 16 remaining matches this season. And they need to start finding their shooting boots quickly.

After today’s game, there are 48 points left to play for.

Even the most optimistic Pompey fan would find it hard to make a case for them to get beyond the 70-point mark – the usual requirement to be involved in the play-offs.

Something extraordinary now has to happen for Pompey to be anywhere close to that and that probably means a minimum of 10 wins.

It’s not impossible but it’s certainly implausible at this stage of the campaign and many have already written off those hopes.

But when the time comes for the reflections, conclusions and lessons to be learned, a good starting point will be in addressing those away-day woes.