Portsmouth’s Nathan Thompson on his crucial Coventry City block and that 'handball’ at Burton Albion

It was a moment Nathan Thompson felt proved to be a turning point.

Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th April 2019, 6:38 pm
Nathan Thompson appeared to handle the ball in the build up to Matt Clarke's late winner against Burton. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

With Pompey already trailing against Coventry City on Easter Monday, the right-back was forced to make a crucial block to ensure his side didn’t go into half-time two goals behind.

Following Jordy Hiwula’s ninth-minute opener for the Sky Blues, Luke Thomas had the chance to double his side’s advantage 10 minutes later.

The winger rounded home keeper Craig MacGillivray and had the goal at his mercy.

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Nathan Thompson appeared to handle the ball in the build up to Matt Clarke's late winner against Burton. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

However, Thompson tracked back and made a superb goal-line block to thwart Thomas’ effort. 

Kenny Jackett’s men went on to produce a second-half comeback, with goals from Tom Naylor and Brett Pitman ensuring the Blues recorded a seventh straight League One victory and move up to third. 

And Thompson felt his intervention changed the game.

He said: ‘Momentum certainly swung on it.

‘It was fortunate Craig came out and gave the lad a tight angle to finish on.

‘The angle was against him and I managed to get something in the way of it.

‘I saw he had to come in from a tight angle. When you know players are closing in and running back then you rush into decisions.

‘I think he’ll look back and kick himself for not scoring, but I’m very thankful I was in the right place at the right time. 

‘It was important and I needed to make sure he couldn't have an easy finish. It was a turning point in the game and turned in our favour.

‘Coventry were dangerous on the break and thankfully I got in the way and it changed the game. 

‘It’s epitomised the performances on a whole over the past few weeks. 

‘We haven’t been great at times but the lads are willing to put their bodies on the line.

‘Hopefully when the tide turns and we’re able to get on top of games then we’ll capitalise.'

Thompson was also at the centre of Pompey’s 2-1 victory at Burton Albion on Good Friday.

His blocked shot in stoppage-time found its way to Matt Clarke, who finished from close range.

The Brewers appealed Thompson was offside before Ronan Curtis’ cross found him at the back post and that he handled the ball before shooting. 

The ex-Swindon skipper stressed it was purely accidental – but felt it’s about time luck was on Pompey’s side.

He added: ‘It feels like luck is in our favour at this moment in time. 

‘There have been times when it hasn’t been going for us and over the course of the season it evens itself out.

‘I know they were furious but it was purely accidental. It’s a pure ricochet and wasn’t intended, but we'll take it every day of the week.

‘As I took it down, I stumbled, the ball hit my hand and fell into my path.

‘I took the shot and then it’s fell into Clarkie’s path, who passed it into the net.

‘I think Bogs (Omar Bogle) said the cross came off his head so I was quite possibly offside.

‘We’re getting the luck maybe we deserve at this moment in time.’