Why Brandon Haunstrup's spell at Sutton meant he knew Portsmouth were in for tough FA Cup tie at Harrogate

Brandon Haunstrup lifted the lid on how much of an advantage Harrogate had on their 3G pitch against Pompey.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 8:00 am
Brandon Haunstrup curls home Pompey's equaliser at Harrogate. Picture: Daniel Chesterton

The full-back revealed the unexpected bobbles meant it took time for the Blues to acclimatise during their 2-1 FA Cup first-round victory.

Kenny Jackett’s side had trained on an artificial surface at the University of Portsmouth's Furze Lane ahead of their trip to Wetherby Road.

However, the astroturf at the non-league side was somewhat different to what Pompey had practised on over the weekend. 

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That gave the hosts the edge in the opening stages of the tie, with Mark Beck breaking the deadlock for Town after just seven minutes.

Slowly but surely the away side began to adjust, though, with Haunstrup scoring a superb equaliser in the 17th minute on his 50th appearance for his boyhood club.

Then Ronan Curtis’ 30-yard effort ensured Pompey will face Altrincham in the second stage of the competition.

Having spent a brief period on loan at Sutton – whose Gander Green Lane pitch is also 3G – earlier in his career, Haunstrup knew how much it would favour the hosts. 

But the academy graduate, who featured in a right-back role, was delighted the Blues booked their place in the next round.

He said: ‘It was a weird one to be honest with you. We trained on a 3G pitch on Saturday at Furze Lane when it was slippy and the ball zipped around.

‘When we came out to warm up at Harrogate, the ball just wasn't staying on the floor and was bobbling.

‘It was a weird one for a 3G pitch and we weren’t used to it. It took a while to adapt in the game.

‘When the ball bounced, it was like a dry bounce and then you get underneath it, so it was a weird one.

‘But I was just happy to get the result and get through.

‘They knew how to play on it. When I went to Sutton earlier in my career on loan, they were pretty unbeatable at home.

‘That is probably the same for Harrogate because they play on it every week.

‘It is a lot different to playing on grass every week so we were very pleased.’

Pompey return to action when they travel to Rochdale in League One on Saturday, November 23.