Portsmouth coach Joe Gallen: We had to hang on to get victory over Bognor

Joe Gallen admitted under-pressure Pompey XI had to hang on for their Nyewood Lane victory.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 11:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 11:31 pm
Matt Casey tries to keep Bognor at bay in tonight's 2-1 Pompey victory. Picture: Tommy McMillan

The Blues ran out 2-1 winners in tonight’s friendly against Robbie Blake’s Rocks on a glorious south-coast evening.

Eoin Teggart and Brett Pitman had established a 2-0 half-time lead which proved to be unassailable.

However, once ex-Pompey player Dan Smith pulled one back on 48 minutes, the visitors endured a tough examination.

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Certainly the Rocks will be entitled to feel disappointed they couldn’t find a leveller as they piled the pressure on a youthful Pompey side.

Yet with Christian Burgess and Matt Casey at the heart of the Blues defence, they managed to fend off the hosts sufficiently to claim the win.

That’s now a maximum from Pompey’s pre-season programme, with three victories from their opening three friendlies.

And afterwards, first-team coach Gallen conceded they found it tough at times.

He said: ‘We had a very young side, but it’s good for them - and I’ve learnt some of their names, truth be told!

‘In the second half we got younger and then they scored an early goal and their confidence shot up and our confidence dropped a little bit.

‘But overall everyone kept going and we got over the line, just.

‘We had a good last 10 minutes and lost our way in the middle of the second half, when they were looking like they were going to get a second.

‘I thought Alex (Bass) made a brilliant save and Matt Casey and Christian Burgess were excellent at that time.

‘Having said that, we hit the bar three times in the first half and it could have been done and dusted.’

Pompey next head to Stevenage on Saturday for their latest summer friendly.

However, of those on duty at Nyewood Lane, only Alex Bass, Brandon Haunstrup, Christian Burgess, Andy Cannon and Brett Pitman can expect to be included in the squad.

Although all are likely to be on the bench for what will effectively be a first-team outing against the League Two side.