Oldham Athletic 0 Pompey 2
Pompey made it three away wins in four trips yesterday with a well-deserved win at Oldham`s Boundary Park. It put an end to an unbeaten run by the home side against clubs such as Blackburn, Bradford and Scunthorpe. It was a hard earned victory but one that nearly did not happen after a heavy snow shower took the teams off for eight minutes while the lines were swept.
Christian Burgess was dropped following a number of below par performances with Jack Whatmough moving to the centre back role. Brett Pitman returned with Brandon Haunstrup replacing Sylvain Deslandes at left back.
The return of their captain proved the catalyst for Pompey to turn in a much improved performance and to keep their first clean sheet since December.
The goals both came in the first period. The opener against the run of play was a deft header from a Connor Ronan cross. The second will have to go down as an assist from home keeper Johny Placide who set up Pitman twice before the Pompey striker rolled home the second.
After that Luke McGee made a few decent stops to maintain the lead and then in the ninth minute of added time Jamal Lowe hit a post.
After 101 minutes referee Stockbridge blew the final whistle and Pompey had won at Oldham for the first time in 34 years. Hopefully Pompey can repeat that performance when they visit the area again in coming weeks at Rochdale and Bury.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close; Lowe, Donohue, Ronan, Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 29, 42
Booked: Clarke, Pitman, Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Deslandes, Widdrington, May, Kennedy, Chaplin
Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge
Attendance: 4,306 (767 Pompey fans)
Jackett told the club`s official site “The referee was okay with the playing surface, but the visibility of the lines was something he was questioning. We all waited and everyone was arguing for 5-10 minutes, although the sun then came out and we were able to continue.
“Obviously Oldham wanted the game off, while we wanted to keep playing because of the scoreline at the time. I`m sure the referee saw the balance of the two arguments and he just wanted somebody to come on and clear the lines. There was perhaps a reluctance from the groundsman to do that because it might have damaged his pitch. Surprisingly, all the shovels seemed to suddenly disappear! But we got through that and thankfully the weather cleared up a bit.”
“They were tough conditions for everyone to play in, but the players adapted to it well. It was our first clean sheet since the middle of December. It was hard-earned and thoroughly deserved. That`s the base for playing good football and also for confidence.
“Brett scored two fantastic goals in the first half and we could have added to that in the second because Jamal hit the post and Kal was also unlucky. He didn`t look favourite for the first one and it was a great header. Then we had tried to put pressure on their goalkeeper and that paid dividends.”
Last week-end the Emirates Stadium witnessed the end of an era. The game between Arsenal and Watford was the final game commentated on by John Motson OBE aged 72.
Players of course hang up their boots but Motty will hang up his sheepskin coat after a career stretching back to 1969. His first live game was on radio when Everton beat Derby 1-0 with the goal scored by none other than Alan Ball.
I met Motty briefly at Highbury on 5 April 1992 before the FA Cup Semi-final with Liverpool. The brushed passed me as I entered the Clock end dressed of course in his sheepskin. I just had time to mutter ‘morning Motty`. In reply I think he just grunted.
Thanks for the memories John.
And finally… you tried
Al Gharafa’s Medhi Taremi provides us with another high quality entry into the And finally… library of hilarious misses this week. Latching onto a through ball, Taremi gets passed a lunging goalkeeper only to feebly miss in the end. At least he tried. Note – FSF video shows the full highlights.
No game now until Oxford visit on Sunday 25 March. The game is live on Sky.