Ben Close delivers his verdict on barren run in front of goal after crucial intervention in Portsmouth win

Ben Close promised he wasn’t concerned about a lack of goals after his match-winning return to the scoresheet.

Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 12:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 11:48 pm

And the midfielder believes he showed a strength of character to step up with the decisive goal in the 3-2 win over Rotherham after a big first-half miss.

It came after the Southsea home-grown talent blazed over a clear sight of goal in the first half when afforded time and space in the box.

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Ben Close nets Pompey's match-winner

Close’s strike is his third of the season but his first since back-to-back efforts in the second and third games of the season.

They continued an outstanding streak of 10 strikes from 22 appearances, as the 23-year-old set a phenomenal score pace

But now after 20 appearances without adding to that number Close is back in business.

He said: ‘There was a little dry patch.

‘But it wasn’t too much of a concern because in pretty much every game I getting a pretty good chance.

‘I had plenty of chances blocked or saved.

‘There was maybe a few where I didn’t quite hit the target or finish well enough.

‘But I was still getting the opportunities and after the first one it was down to how I reacted.

‘Maybe some players would shy away from getting chances in case they miss again.

‘But I didn’t and I’m happy about that.’

The manner in which Close didn’t let the first-half miss knock his confidence was a source of satisfaction for the player as he stepped up when it mattered for Kenny Jackett’s men.

He added: ‘I’m delighted with the way I reacted to get the one in the second half after the miss in the first half.

‘I think things go through your head.

‘With the first one you go could through it with the laces or side-foot it.

‘You can look at it and choose a corner as well.

‘With the second one, the only thing in your head is to get it under control and hit it low and hard. Sometimes they’re slightly easier.

‘I know I had a little bit more time to think about the first one and I should have scored, so the way I reacted was pleasing.’