US Portsmouth march on in the FA Vase after ‘really nervous’ first half against Millbrook

US Portsmouth marched into the last 32 of the FA Vase despite a ‘really nervous’ period in the first half against Millbrook.

Sunday, 20th December 2020, 4:10 pm
Harry Bedford, left, greets (from left) Frankie Paige, Tom Cain and Tom Jeffes at the end of US Portsmouth's FA Vase win against Millbrook. Picture: Daniel Haswell.

The hosts were given the perfect start when Dec Seiden converted a first minute penalty.

But Millbrook were the more threatening of the two teams for a while after that in what was an evenly-contested third round tie.

‘In the first half we were mainly sixes out of 10,’ Turnbull said. ‘We usually say if most players are a seven and there’s a couple of eights and nines we’ll be ok because we are a good side.

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‘Sometimes we’ll say to the players to take some time weighing up the opposition, and other times we’ll look to start fast.

‘That was the idea at Portchester (against AFC Portchester in the Vase) and we tried it at the weekend, but it didn’t quite come off in the way we’d hoped.

‘I know we scored early, but for 10 or 15 minutes after that we looked really nervous.’

After beating three Wessex Premier sides in the Vase – Portchester, Bournemouth Poppies and Brockenhurst - this was the first time US had faced a team they had little information on.

‘We didn’t know much about them, we just set up the way we always do, Turnbull explained.

‘We like to get the ball out wide, we like to get our full-backs high.

‘Josh Hazell did that superbly in the first half.

‘I strongly believe we are good enough without having to worry about other teams, and that’s not meant to sound disrespectful.

‘I believe in the 11 players we put out, and I equally believe in the seven who were on the bench.

‘Apart from the last 10 minutes I thought we were the better side,’ said Turnbull.

‘We created the better chances, if Franko (Franklyn) and Dec had taken some of theirs we could have been out of sight.’

After a week of heavy rain, The Victory Stadium pitch was further hit by a ‘biblical’ storm midway through the first half. Despite that, it held up well.

‘I couldn’t believe how good the surface was,’ the boss remarked. ‘When I woke up at 7 in the morning I could hear the rain smashing against the window, but I got to the ground at 11 and I couldn’t believe it; in some places you’d barely need a stud.

‘Fair play to the groundsman.’