Why on-loan Swansea ace George Byers isn't only one with an assist for Portsmouth winner against Bristol Rovers

The official match stats will credit George Byers with the assist to Ronan Curtis’ match-winner against Bristol Rovers.

By Mark McMahon
Saturday, 24th April 2021, 5:30 pm

However, an asterisk should accompany any reference to the goal in the future if Pompey head coach Danny Cowley has his way.

That’s after the Blues boss highlighted the key role analyst Dan Ashby played in the game’s decisive moment.

Curtis’ 27th-minute effort, which proved to be his 13th of the season, came about after some quick thinking from Craig MacGillivray, who initiated a Pompey counterattack following a Rovers corner.

The ball was soon at the feet of the Republic of Ireland international as he headed towards the visitors’ penalty area.

And a neat one-two with Byers, whose delicate flick bamboozled the stretched visiting defence, presented the winger with the chance to fire the ball past keeper Anssi Jaakkola.

That moment of magic from the on-loan Swansea midfielder will be a hot topic among Blues fans in the days ahead.

Yet, Cowley believes Ashby’s role in the goal proved just as vital and should not be underestimated.

George Byers congratulates Ronan Curtis following his winner against Bristol Rovers

He said it was his stats man who spotted how Joey Barton’s side left themselves exposed to the quick counter by packing the opposition box at corners.

The Blues boss explained to The News: ‘The goal, it's a great goal.

‘And, you know, credit to Dan Ashby, our analyst.

‘He's the one who saw that when our goalkeeper caught it, they put a lot of balls in the box, a lot of numbers in the box, and when you do catch it there's an opportunity to break.

‘We were able to break on them and Ronan did great (with the finish).

‘George - that improvisation and little bit of quality when the team needs it!

‘It was a great finish from Ronan.’