Ian Baird believes Havant & Waterlooville deserved a draw in pre-season friendly against Portsmouth

Hawks striker Jonah Ayunga in action against Pompey. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks striker Jonah Ayunga in action against Pompey. Picture: Dave Haines
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Ian Baird was buoyed by the Hawks’ display in their pre-season friendly defeat to Pompey at Westleigh Park on Saturday.

The assistant manager, who was standing in for holidaying boss Paul Doswell, felt the National League South hosts could take a lot of positives from the 2-1 defeat.

A Gareth Evans penalty gave League One Pompey a first-half lead.

Roarie Deacon levelled shortly after the break before Brett Pitman earned Kenny Jackett’s side the win with 10 minutes remaining.

Baird said: ‘I thought it was an all-round good performance from everybody.

‘One or two looked a little leggy at the end but that is to be expected because it is early days.

‘We gave a good account of ourselves and it should probably have ended 2-2.

‘Wes Fogden created himself a great chance and didn’t do the hardest thing which was stick it in the net.

‘Portsmouth’s second goal was poor from our point of view but overall I am really happy.

‘It was another 90 minutes in the legs and it looks like we haven’t picked up any more injuries.

‘Portsmouth put out around their strongest side and I thought we coped with that quite well.’

Sam Magri and Dean Beckwith looked solid in the heart of the Hawks defence.

Meanwhile, Nicky Bailey showed his experience in breaking up play and frustrating Pompey.

Overall, Baird has been pleased with the way the new-look squad have been buying into their work.

He added: ‘We have been back a couple of weeks and have been working on getting three, maximum four, messages over to the players each session.

‘The focus has been making sure each individual knows how they fit into the structure of the team.

‘So far, so good. We have been very pleased with the reaction from the players.’

While they were difficult to break down, the Hawks also created chances.

Deacon volleyed over in the first minute before netting the leveller with an excellent low strike across Craig MacGillivray.

Fogden should have levelled late on, while Jonah Ayunga, who scored four goals in the opening two Hawks friendlies, was denied by a fine save from the Pompey keeper.