Portsmouth didn't make the extra man count in Sunderland showdown
Gareth Evans admitted his frustration at Pompey not making their numerical advantage count against Sunderland.
The Blues had the extra player for the final 23 minutes as they fell to a 1-0 play-off defeat at the Stadium of Light.
That’s after defender Alim Ozturk was given his marching orders by ref Andy Woolmer for taking out Evans as he burst through on goal.
The 31-year-old cracked a shot against the woodwork from the resulting free-kick, but Pompey failed to threaten Jon McLaughlin’s goal over the game’s finale.
And the fact they didn’t pose more questions was a disappointment for Evans.
He said: ‘I struck the free-kick well and thought it was in.
‘It was a good strike but it was unfortunate and not to be.
‘I think we possibly didn't use the advantage of the extra man when we had it, but they put 10 men behind the ball.
‘When a team does that it's always difficult, but we had to be aware of them on the break as well and not allow that to happen.’
The semi-final first leg will not be one which will live long in the memory with it a game low on quality in the first half.
It sprung to live following Chris Maguire’s introduction, as he fired in the decisive goal and Ozturk was dismissed amid a period of Pompey pressure.
Evans felt his team were largely comfortable throughout, however.
He added: ‘It felt like we were the better team in the first half and were on top.
‘Apart from the goal I felt we were pretty solid.
‘We knew they would come out in the second half and apply pressure for 10 to 15 minutes.
‘They got the goal from that but it still feels like we're right in the tie.’