Thompson reflects on match Portsmouth couldn't win

Victory from an unwinnable occasion.

Sunday, 11th November 2018, 11:47 am
Updated Monday, 12th November 2018, 8:53 pm
Ben Thompson opens the scoring against Maidenhead. Picture: Joe Pepler

Certainly Ben Thompson felt the trip to Maidenhead was a thankless task for the League One table-toppers, irrespective of the outcome.

Kenny Jackett's men were anticipated to comfortably overcome a non-league side reeling from six-successive National League defeats and having shipped 15 goals in their last three matches.

They duly pulled off a 4-0 triumph to safely reach round two of the FA Cup.

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Ben Thompson opens the scoring against Maidenhead. Picture: Joe Pepler

Yet Thompson acknowledged Pompey were on a hiding to nothing when landed with their York Road trip.

Expectations met, but credit will never be due.

He said: '˜As a side playing against opposition from leagues below, you can't win.

'˜It's a tough game when facing anyone in the lower leagues, they are out to prove a point, they have no worries, they can win or lose, it doesn't really matter.

'˜Whereas for us we go there expecting to win, everyone expects us to win '“ we don't go there with the right mentality and we don't win the game.

'˜Sides like that can punish you, but we've got a great set of lads, a good team spirit, and on Saturday everyone was on their game.

'˜It's the same as any other match, you can't take it lightly, you approach it the same way as you would a league game, the same as the Checkatrade Trophy or a friendly. Every game is important at this level, we are representing a professional club.

'˜The boys are top drawer, everyone is here with one focus '“ to win games.'

During a tight first half, it was Thompson's 43rd-minute opener which finally broke Maidenhead's resilience.

After the break the Blues strengthened their control, running out comfortable 4-0 winners and seeing the game out playing keep ball.

The midfielder added: '˜I think after the second or third goal you feel more comfortable, 1-0 or 2-0 is a tough scoreline.

'˜I have been 2-0 up before and the other team have come back to win 3-2, it's a dangerous scoreline and once the third or fourth goal goes in you are pretty comfortable to be fair, you just have to see out the game and manage it.

'˜It was a different sort of match to what we normally play in the league.

'˜We had a lot of possession and a lot of time on the ball, which sometimes can be harder making the right choice and the right pass, but I thought we coped with it well and got the win.'