Yeovil 1-1 Pompey: What we learnt from the game

The Pompey players had a frustrating day at Yeovil Picture: Joe Pepler
The Pompey players had a frustrating day at Yeovil Picture: Joe Pepler
Sylvain Deslandes made his Pompey debut against Rotherham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey duo give Jackett plenty to mull over

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News sports writer Jordan Cross provides us with three things we learnt from Pompey’s 1-1 draw at Huish Park.

Pompey energy wasn’t there

Pompey’s best performances this season have been based around dominance of possession.

The ability to press high up the pitch, win the ball back at source and break at pace are all hallmarks of Paul Cook’s side.

For long stretches of Saturday’s game all of the above were missing.

But that wasn’t the most glaring factor in Cook’s side failing to dominate at Yeovil.

Pompey just didn’t have their usual energy levels.

And we’re not particularly talking about physically covering the Huish Park blades of grass.

The vitality of their passing, especially in the first half, was glaringly missing. It was too pedestrian.

With the tempo slow, Yeovil were largely comfortable.

The only times they were stretched was from honest running from Michael Smith through the channels.

Smith was often too isolated, however, with bodies unable to get up and around him.

Unusually for Pompey, their opponents edged possession at the break, although things did improve immediately after the restart.

Frustratingly, it was only a glimpse of the football the Blues are capable of producing for extended periods, though, and the missing zest was something their manager acknowledged after the game.

Burgess needs to learn

Christian Burgess’ displays have been a real plus point of the season.

But he let himself, his team-mates and Pompey’s fans down on Saturday.

The defender won’t need reminding of that after his two quick-fire yellow cards saw him dismissed at Huish Park.

No-one would particularly begrudge the 24-year-old his mistimed swipe at Ryan Dickson which saw the second of the cautions arrive over a couple of minutes.

The first, however, was totally unnecessary.

Needle had been building between the defender and Francois Zoko following a second-half altercation.

Burgess then decided to get involved off the ball, resulting in ref Mark Haywood issuing a yellow.

It was a costly indiscretion.

‘Losing the plot’ was how Cook described it.

The former Peterborough man has shown on a few occasions this season he’s more than willing to get involved in running battles with opponents.

It’s something he needs to cut out of his game.

Stats are harsh on Fulton

It’s a statistic which is frustrating Paul Cook.

Pompey are now eight games without keeping a clean sheet – a run stretching back to the 3-0 win over Crawley at the start of January.

Six of those games have arrived with on-loan Liverpool keeper Ryan Fulton between the sticks.

Those figures are incredibly harsh on the bright, young Blues No1.

As Pompey legend Alan Knight highlighted last weekend, you’d have a job to fault Fulton for any of the seven goals he’s conceded.

And that fact remains after the weekend’s action at Yeovil.

What is arguably even harsher on the Scotland under-21 international is his potentially match-changing interventions aren’t resulting in more points being picked up.

Like strikers win games, so do the men between the sticks.

And the sprawling stop to deny Francois Zoko a certain goal in the second half deserved to be one of those moments.

Fulton dived spread-eagled – ala Peter Schmeichel – at Zoko to keep out his finish.

‘He’s one of the players who can hold his head high,’ was the way Cook put it after the game. Quite right.