Off to a flyer
Well, to be frank, I was disappointed, I turned up to Fratton expecting to watch the Pompey I know and love, instead I was watching a completely different side, vibrant, fit, composed and playing expansive football, where were the misplaced passes, hoof balls and disinterest in a jaded squad?
I'm sorry Mr.Cook, but if you persevere with trying to entertain and actually get out of league 2, you going to upset thousands of fans. (Scummers)
Pompey had nine debutants on display, one of which was Brian Murphy, most people didn't even know he had signed!
Only Nigel Atangana and Matt Tubbs survived from last season, Tubbs was to play the lone striker role with Roberts, Bennett and Evans playing behind him in an attacking formation.
Pompey set out their stall early, the ball was played along the lush new Fratton turf, confidently and with purpose, the onus on pushing forward and closing down the opposition in their own half.
It's hard not to get over excited on the first day of a new season, but Pompey looked good, I mean REALLY good, Paul Cook had come out before kick off to acknowledge his new supporters, his new team displayed all the hallmarks of his coaching philosophy, his new recruits didn't look like they are going to need much bedding in, hopefully a pointer to a fine start to the season.
The first half finished goalless, for all Pompey's pressing, a clear cut chance had not presented itself, Burgess had had a couple of misplaced headers from corners, while Tubbs was denied by a flying save from a well directed snapshot.
Half time was a good place to listen to the optimistic chatter about the season ahead and aspirations for the new regime, we had no goals, but plenty of promise.
The second half is where it happened, and it came quickly, for all Pompey's passing philosophy, it was by another route we scored, a deep corner was met solidly by Gareth Evans' forehead and into the net, the deadlock was broken and Dagenham would have to open up.
To be fair, the Daggers could have been level straight away, Partridge not been able to replicate Evans' header, missing the target.
Kyle Bennett had looking promising but not threatening so far, that was to change just after the hour, Enda Stevens took a throw and Bennett was able to run across the area and smash a fine finish into the roof of the net, lead doubled, expectations raised further.
The goal of the game was to come though, and it's catalyst was Roberts, his persistence in midfield saw him rob the hapless daggers defender, he then fed Bennett who advanced and curled a lovely finish inside the post to further ice an already luscious looking cake.
To sum up the new team, one moment stood up, it was around 85 mins, the game was already won and Pompey didn't even have the ball, but Dagenham were deep in their own half and couldn't progress up the pitch, Pompey were pushing high up the pitch and pressing each defender as the tried to move forward, and that for me Mr. Cook is what I and every other fan love to see, drive and commitment.