Date: 12th July 2017 at 8:48am
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Pompey bagged six goals for a second consecutive game – making it 15 in three friendlies – but did concede for the first time as a ‘Blues XI’ recorded a 6-3 victory at Poole on Tuesday.

Recovering from the shock of falling two goals behind inside 10 minutes Pompey, with only academy goalkeeper Jack Collins a non-first team player in from the start, battled back to win.

Olli Balmer put Poole ahead before Luke Burbidge added a second for the National League South side on seven minutes.

Back in the game through Nicke Kabamba, Poole keeper Nick Hutchings, Pompey’s academy goalkeeping coach too, was beaten again before half time when Ben Close got on the scoresheet.

Ahead of the hour Curtis Main put Pompey in front for the first time only for Luke Roberts to soon draw Poole level. However, Close’s second quickly had the Blues ahead again and Main’s second a couple of minutes later broke the Dolphins’ resistance.

Kabamba had the final say as he become the third player to score a brace to wrap up the win.

Poole (4-4-2): Hutchings; Moore, Cooper, Spetch (c), Smeeton; Burbidge, Richardson, Pettefer, Neale; Lee, Balmer
Subs: Rees, Lindsay, Sanchese, Whisken, Leslie-Smith, Devlin, Ismajli, White, Roberts, Mitchell, Herrington, Wright, Davis

Pompey (4-4-2): Collins; Talbot, Whatmough, Widdrington, Haunstrup (Bedford 46); Lowe, Close (Hancott 77), Roberts (c), Lalkovic; Kabamba, Main
Subs not used: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mayes

Referee: Gary Parsons
Attendance: 407

New Pompey boss Kenny Jackett’s assistant Joe Gallen was pleased with the evening’s work at the Black Gold Stadium.

He told ‘We’ve got a solid group of players with a very impressive attitude and they all came back extremely fit. With the way that they perform you can tell they’re in a good place after what happened last season. They`re very confident in their style of play.’

That confidence has seen a ‘few new things’ Jackett and Gallen are looking to implement added, which is being taken on board.

Yes, Gallen was happy but as always improvement is still wanted.

He said: ‘We’ve tried to introduce a few new things to them – they’ve taken that on board and are trying to apply them in the games. So we’re very happy with what we’ve got, although of course you’re always looking to improve – that’s natural.’

Adding: ‘Working on that understanding does take time and you need continuous, repetitive work. We’re trying to get more shots and crosses in, and be a bit more direct when we get into the final third.’

Having arrived over the summer Gallen said he’s ‘loved it so far’ and ‘had a really good understanding of what we were walking into’ along with the fact Pompey is a ‘fantastic club with loud and passionate support’ that can hopefully be ‘on the way back to bigger and better things.’

It wasn’t such good news about Matt Clarke though. Gallen revealed the defender ‘is struggling to be fit for the start of the season’ after sustaining a groin problem at Havant on Saturday – not great but we have other options thankfully.


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