Birmingham ace Steve Seddon keeps delivering for Portsmouth as team-mate Andy Cannon fires on all cylinders in win over Barnsley
Sports writer Will Rooney picks out the main talking points from Pompey’s 4-2 FA Cup victory over Barnsley on Saturday...
Cannon firing on all cylinders
Large contingents of supporters couldn’t quite fathom why Andy Cannon continued to be left on the Pompey periphery this season.
The midfielder himself started to grow disillusioned as he went three months without a League One start – to the point of pondering his own future as the campaign progressed.
But having now featured from the outset in seven of the Blues’ past eight league and FA Cup games, Cannon’s firmly established himself in Kenny Jackett’s line-up.
His harrying and pep caused Barnsley all sorts of problems, denying the Championship outfit time on the ball to play out from the back.
Granted, a couple of passes were off radar, but he delivered a man-of-the-match display in a Pompey performance considered the best of the campaign.
Operating in the No10 role, it was crucial the former Rochdale man increased his threat in the final third.
And Cannon’s nimble footwork on the edge of the box created unselfish space to tee-up Ben Close to open the scoring.
It’s another assist as the 23-year-old’s burgeoning form continues – a key factor behind Pompey's upturn in results, too.
It’s getting to a point where you fancy Pompey to score from every set-piece they’re awarded.
And it's no coincidence that Steve Seddon's arrival has been the catalyst for it.
Having struggled to take advantage of dead-ball situations during the first half of the campaign, the on-loan Birmingham defender has completely changed that.
Two of the Blues’ four goals against Barnsley stemmed from Seddon corners, with John Marquis prodding home Ronan Curtis header in the first half, before Christian Burgess emphatically met the ex-AFC Wimbledon man’s whipped delivery after the interval.
In total, the left-back has impressively now contributed towards six goals in just five appearances.
But it's not just Seddon’s set-piece prowess that’s caught the eye.
He’s constantly looking to maraud forward and has built a sound rapport with Curtis down the left flank.
Meanwhile, he’s yet to put a foot wrong defensively.
The Berkshire-born ace has made an impact no-one could honestly have predicted – and long may it continue.
A welcome boost to the coffers
A prize-money sum of £180,000 at League One level will never be scoffed at.
But in the final week of the transfer window, it makes the windfall that much more important.
It’s a cash boost that ultimately could help Pompey recruit a player previously out of reach as we head towards Friday’s deadline
Kenny Jackett is relaxed as the window’s end looms and doesn’t feel he needs to panic buy for the sake of bolstering his set-up.
Should the right player become available then it seems the Blues boss will be willing to do a deal.
And that extra money in the Fratton Park coffers could well persuade him.