Date: 29th July 2017 at 7:21pm
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Brett Pitman bagged a brace as Pompey went into the new season with the win Kenny Jackett was hopeful would came as the Blues secured a 2-1 victory at Crawley.

Recovering from a poor start, Thomas Verheydt heading Crawley into an early lead at the Broadfield Stadium from a Mark Randall corner, Pitman curled Pompey level with a 25 yard freekick into the top corner 10 minutes into the second half.

The Blues completed the comeback 15 minutes from time when Pitman kept his cool to lift the ball over Crawley goalkeeper Glenn Morris from a Milan Lalkovic assist.

Crawley (5-4-1): Morris; Young, Lelan, Yorwerth, Connolly, Evina; Boldewijn, Bulman (c), Randall (Payne 68), Roberts (Lewis 80); Verheydt (Harrold 70)
Subs not used: Mersin, Arthur, Cox, Blackman, Djalo, Clifford, Tajbakash, Sanoh, Camara

Pompey (4-4-1-1): McGee; Evans, Davies, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis; Naismith, Baker, Rose, Bennett; Pitman (c); Chaplin (Lalkovic 62)
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Close, May, Lowe, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Carl Brook
Attendance: 1,603 (778 Pompey fans)

Jackett told the News Crawley were worthy of their half time lead: ‘Crawley deserved to be in the lead at half-time, but in the second half we had the majority of the play and scored two good goals which got us the win.’

Adding: ‘We didn’t do well enough at set-pieces and need to be more aggressive in our own box and make sure we handle size and power because it comes at you in every league. We were looking at the killer ball too much, they (Crawley) were quite open when we turned the ball over. Too many passes went long and we needed to play it shorter, be constructive, build up and try to control the game more.’

However, the second half response made the Pompey boss happy, which is more in line with what he wants to see. Pitman’s brace, along with the quality of his finishes, also pleased Jackett.

‘We did that in the second half and looked more like a side that I want to see. When your striker scores goals it’s a good thing, but it was a good free-kick from Brett and similarly so was the second goal.’

PLAY UP POMPEY

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