Tom Naylor: Portsmouth draw against Gillingham felt like defeat

For Tom Naylor, it was the draw which felt like a defeat.

Monday, 14th October 2019, 7:00 am
Tom Naylor was deeply disappointed with just a point from Pompey's home clash with Gillingham. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

There was no reflecting on a point earned, or an unbeaten run now stretching to four games – rather a shake of the head and ruing a wasted opportunity.

Gillingham were delighted with Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Fratton Park, contrasting the feelings of the Blues’ skipper.

Naylor was frustrated at the scoreline as the stubborn visitors defended deep and made themselves infuriatingly tough to break down.

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Pompey’s inability to score was particularly disheartening considering an opening 45 minutes during which Sean Raggett hit the post and keeper Jack Bonham pulled off several stops.

And Naylor found little cheer in the goalless outcome.

He said: ‘Every time we play at Fratton and don’t win it does feel like a defeat, especially considering how we battered Gillingham.

‘That is probably a bit of a kick in the teeth.

‘We want to win every game, like we did the majority of last season, but when people come here and if the gameplan is to sit back for 90 minutes, it’s hard, it’s hard to break down.

‘It was like playing against 10 men, they had so many people back. Everyone defended in that game, even the striker. 

‘Their manager said they were defensively magnificent, well that was their game plan, some teams do that when they come to Fratton, we saw it a lot last season and have seen it a few times this.

‘In those situations, you’ve got to give it out wide, give it to the lads who are creative and have a bit of pace.

‘But it’s hard to play through people when they’ve got two backs of four, you have to be patient, and I think we were, but just didn’t get there in the end.’

Certainly Pompey failed to net during their first-half purple patch, a period which proved pivotal.

Naylor added: ‘We needed to get that goal in the first half when on top, but in the second half we were a bit lethargic and laid back.

‘Everyone was up for it, everyone was confident at half-time, let’s push on again, but we didn’t get going in the second half.’