Shrewsbury 0-2 Portsmouth – they said what at the final whistle?

Pompey moved up to third place in League One after a 2-0 win away at Shrewsbury.

Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 6:48 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd March 2019, 7:01 pm
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Goals from Ben Close and Brett Pitman secured the win for the Blues, building momentum ahead of next weekend’s Checkatrade final.

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Here’s what those closest to the action had to say about the game.

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Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler

Kenny Jackett

The first 20-25 minutes it was tough and MacGillivray kept us in it, generally Shrewsbury were on top and it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon for us.

We made some tactical adjustments, got Brett a little bit closer to Omar Bogle, moved Jamal over to his natural side, with Gareth coming inside, which gave us more of a foothold in the game.

We went from strength to strength. Against their back three we found the spaces and created a lot of chances – and I’m pleased to say put them away.

Then, with Oli Hawkins coming in as well, he gave us a good platform to work off.

It was a very, very good assist for the second goal, which was a key goal because it quietened the stadium.

You are never comfortable as a manager at 1-0 and anything can happen. Then we found a second goal and limited them to the amount of chances.

Ben Close

We expected Shrewsbury to be good. 

They’re fighting for their lives, were on the front foot and gave us a bit of a shock and a bit of a scare.

But luckily we rode through it.

We defended well, came out the other side and then hurt them at the other end.

For us to come out with a win is pretty pleasing.

Sam Ricketts – Shrewsbury manager (via

I thought the first 30 minutes we were very, very good.

We could have been two nil up and it would have been a fair reflection of the game.

We needed to score in those moments but we conceded a soft goal. for three quarters of the game it was us pushing Portsmouth back.

We were the ones asking the questions and we were playing the majority of the game in their half.

Individual errors really just affected the last 15 minutes. We deserved to be one nil down, but even with that we fancied ourselves to get something from the game.

The second goal killed the contest really, which was disappointing because I thought the performance was good – we just lacked the finishing touch.

Neil Allen – The News’ chief sports writer

Pompey registered their third-straight win to maintain hopes of reaching League One's top two.

Yet Kenny Jackett's men had to negotiate a tough opening 25 minutes to lay the platform for a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury.

A system switch to a 4-3-3 changed the game in the Blues' favour and from that moment they mastered the hosts.

A victory which keeps alive automatic promotion hopes - and sees them head to Wembley in encouraging form.’

Will Rooney – Pompey reporter

Pompey Xavi or Pompey Pirlo?

I'm sure Ben Close would have snatched at being nicknamed either when he was coming through the ranks at Fratton Park. 

But the Southsea talent continues his impressive form, netting his sixth goal of the season at Shrewsbury.

Kenny Jackett's side weren't at their best at New Meadow but showed the stoic defending that put them on the road to promotion during the first half of the season.

And when they had the chances at the other end, the Blues ensured they were clinical, with Close and Brett Pitman both displaying composure in front of goal.