A tale of two halves
Without doubt that was the case on Saturday against Gillingham as it was most definitely a case of two halves as defeat against Blackpool was followed up with another at Fratton Park.
Jamal Lowe gave Pompey the lead we deserved, some clever footwork ended with him thumping his effort into the roof of the net. However, when put clear through his failure to take another effort soon after was fairly decisive.
At half time there wasn't ANY sign of the eventual outcome was there? I thought that opening 45 was really good, with the Blues playing some good stuff.
That goal from former loanee Conor Wilkinson within minutes of the second half - admittedly a really good goal we couldn't have done much about - did for us. Then again a slow start to the half had proved costly.
Gillingham's second goal from Lee Martin, which Luke McGee should have saved no two ways about it, was the killer though. As soon as that went in the fading confidence in this young team completely drained away, we then looked what we are, a young and inexperienced side that needs to build confidence.
The race was run 10 minutes from time when Martin got his second, again, in fairness a good finish from where I was sat and one McGee couldn't have done much with on this occasion.
Some things went against us and Gillingham showed some real quality in the second half, looking the side making a lot of improvement and full of the confidence they hold at the moment, but Kenny Jackett knows we had to defend better.
'It was a good first half from us and we could well have been further ahead. There was a lot of promise and it was nice goal from Jamal, while there were other opportunities for us. He went through again, while Connor Ronan hit the post after the break and there was also a chance for Dion Donohue,' he told portsmouthfc.co.uk.
Adding: 'Gillingham started the second half very well and I understand the strikes they had were particularly impressive. But we need to cope with periods of pressure without conceding. It's something we're not doing and it's costing us.'
Like I said this is a young and inexperienced side, but I too think there is 'potential' among it, so now the aim is to finish the season as well as we can, turning around a poor 2018 so far.
Jackett said: 'We can talk about the quality of their strikes, but it's just too many goals that we're conceding of late. They were avoidable and it gave us a mountain to climb at the end. In too many games of late we`re looking brittle in defensive situations and there are moments when a lack of talking and experience is costing us. We just have to keep working with this group because there's potential there. We'll work on what we can do better and focus on trying to have a strong end to the season.'
Yes, Lowe's miss and Dion Donohue both missed chances they could, if not should, have taken and Connor Ronan hit the post, so we did have thing go against us, but it wasn't to be.
On the flip side - perhaps missing recent games helped me - I enjoyed Saturday, all things considered, and take the positives, so I wasn't as despondent as some and, which is perhaps the least you should expect - as a friend said to me, was pleased we kept battling until the last.
PLAY UP POMPEY
2017-18 Prediction League - March
Oldham (a) Saturday 17th March 2018 - click here.
Oxford (h) Sunday 25th March 2018 - click here.
Walsall (a) Saturday 31st March 2018 - click here.