Defender verdict on whether Portsmouth could have stopped Wolves loanee Ryan Giles' wonder strike for Shrewsbury

Paul Downing gave a Pompey defensive assessment on Ryan Giles’ wonder strike at New Meadow.

Sunday, 4th August 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th August 2019, 9:49 pm

The centre-back felt there wasn't much more the Blues could have done to keep out the Shrewsbury man’s effort – although the video replays will be scrutinised.

Giles’ effort meant Pompey’s 31-year wait for an opening-day win on road continued.

On 68 minutes, the on-loan Wolves midfielder picked up the ball in a fairly innocuous position 25 yards from goal.

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With no bodies around him, though, Giles cracked a shot which left visiting keeper Craig MacGillivray helpless and found the top corner of the net.

It was that moment of class which condemned Pompey to a 1-0 loss.

Downing admitted Pompey expected Giles to float a cross into the box given his position.

Craig MacGillivray attempts to stop Ryan Giles' winner for Shrewsbury Picture: Simon Davies

He accepted it was a quality effort – but it won’t stop Kenny Jackett’s men assessing the footage to see if they could have done better.

The former Blackburn defender said: ‘They played the ball short and a few of us were ready for the ball to come into the box.

‘He was a long way out and to find the top corner is a hell of a strike.

‘We will look at it on the video. There is always something you can do that’s better so we’ll watch it back and see what we can find.

‘Shrewsbury are a big side and we obviously knew set-pieces were going to be important.

‘We expected the ball into the box, but the ball’s just been squared and their man’s hit it.

‘We’re not trying to be too hard on ourselves. It was one of them were it just went into the top corner.’

Downing is certain that will improve, though.

He added: ‘We had some good combinations going forward and built it up quite well.

‘We knew they played three at the back and got the ball wide. It was just the quality really going into the box.

‘We do a lot of work on it and spoke about being a crossing club but it just didn’t happen on Saturday.

‘It was just we didn’t make enough first contacts in the box or cause them enough problems with the balls in the box.

‘It’s something to work on and will definitely be doing that.’