Date:Wednesday August 20 2014
Something has happened at Fratton park, after the turgid displays of last season, the blanks in front of goal, the shoddy defending in front it and the depression in the stands, the feel good is back. A trip to Fratton is now to be looked forward to, not a test of faith and habitual routine.
The season maybe only 3 games old, but the wheels were set in motion at the tail end of last season when Andy Awford successfully steered us away from the drop zone, this was by installing belief in the team and the long suffering fans.
I don't want to get carried away with gushing praise of the current squad and regime, but I will say that I am now relishing trips to Fratton rather than forcing myself to make the trip.
Andy Awford rotated his squad from Saturdays first win, the formation was tweaked too, Holmes was installed as right wing back with Shorey doing likewise on the other flank, Whatmough was dropped to the bench on his 18th birthday, while Chorley stepped in and Westcarr did likewise up front.
The early proceedings were pretty tame to be fair, Northampton pressed for a while, Ravenhill heading a decent opportunity well wide.
It all changed when Shorey slid in on Alfei high up the pitch, he won the ball cleanly and squared for Wallace, who gleefully slotted home for his second of the season.
Nigel Atangana was again showing get endeavour in the centre with Dunne doing all the mopping up around him, it was his lovely weighted ball through a Northampton defence playing offside that set up Westcarr, with just Duke to beat, he never looked like missing as he doubled the lead.
Pompey with a two goal cushion started playing with great confidence, the belief in the side was evident all through the side, the ball was rarely given away and everyone seemed happy in possession. Another aspect that was evident was the desire to win the ball when not in possession, Holmes almost profiting when he intercepted in his own half, he progressed forward and only Duke denied him.
The second half was a little flatter, Pompey though rarely looked threatened as they were happy not to have to chase the game. The introduction of Miles Storey did liven proceedings, he played in Atangana who clipped a lovely shot against the outside of the post, a goal his display deserved. Storey almost headed a third himself, Atangana played a ball with the outside of his boot, Storey and Duke both stretched for it and the ball went the wrong side of the post.
Still it was a job well done, Pompey have a 100% home record after two outings and the term 'fortress Fratton', may well have some substance again.
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Date:Wednesday August 20 2014
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