Portsmouth penalty debate prompts pledge for change

Ellis Harrison celebrates with Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and John Marquis after scoring from the spot against Southend. Picture: Robin Jones/Getty Images
Ellis Harrison celebrates with Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and John Marquis after scoring from the spot against Southend. Picture: Robin Jones/Getty Images
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Pompey have pledged to designate a penalty taker following their Southend oversight.

Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and Ellis Harrison all vied for the honour when Sean Raggett was fouled in the box against Sol Campbell’s side on Tuesday night.

Eventually, Harrison got his way, finishing confidently to register his second in the thumping 4-1 win.

Yet the on-pitch debate was noticeable.

Regular takers Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans were on the bench during proceedings, with the other player to take a spot-kick this season, Marquis, was keen for the duty,

Still, Pompey’s sixth penalty of the campaign was finished by Harrison – but Joe Gallen is determined there will be no arguments next time.

He said: ‘We have a lot of people who want them, there is a fight every day in training taking penalties!

‘Obviously Brett and Gareth have taken a lot during our time, John Marquis definitely wants all the penalties, so does Ronan Curtis and then Ellis. That’s a positive and good thing.

‘We didn’t designate a penalty taker against Southend, I think with hindsight we need to designate one for the next game – and will do.

‘There’s always a part of it where whoever fancies it takes it. You could designate someone to take the penalty and they may have just missed from two yards so don’t want to take it.

‘After we won the penalty on Tuesday, Marquis mentioned to the bench that he would like to take it and I am never disappointed when that is the case.

‘I have been around long enough to know when there is a penalty given and no-one wants to take it, that’s a worst scenario, you don’t want everyone leaving it to everyone else.

‘So I think we had quite a few contenders against Southend, which is good. By the next game, we will designate someone.’

Incidentally, Pompey won a penalty shoot-out 5-4 at Oxford United in the Leasing.com Trophy last month.

The scorers were Evans, Harrison, Ryan Williams, Paul Downing and Brandon Haunstrup, with Ben Close and Anton Walkes missing.

Gallen added: ‘We have a lot of very, very good penalty takers, we really do.’