Pompey Back To Winning Ways

Last updated : 08 February 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey finally recorded their first win of 2015 with a 1-0 win over rock-bottom Hartlepool United.

Andy Awford decided to stick with the same wing-back formation that he used at Wycombe with Joe Devera replacing the injured Ben Chorley and Pompey set about the Pools early on with some dangerous crosses being whipped into the box but not being converted due to interceptions from David Mirfin.

The game soon became a drab affair after a bright start from the hosts as the "wall of noise" turned into frustration with passes going astray and attacks breaking down. Hartlepool barely threatened during the first half but Pompey were blunt until just before half-time as Paul Robinson headed Dan Butler's cross straight at goalkeeper Scott Flinders.

The home side showed more attacking intent after the break as Robinson again failed to score from a great cross from Butler, but Pompey did take the lead when Ryan Taylor produced a cross for Matt Tubbs to head in his first goal for the club.

There were only a couple of other chances for Pompey to extend their lead as Joe Devera had a shot blocked and Danny Hollands volleyed the ball narrowly over the bar but that was as good as it got during a rather tepid affair which saw Paul Jones untested by a blunt Hartlepool attack.

The final whistle blew to confirm Portsmouth's first win since November 22nd but it would be difficult to say that it was "hard fought" given how terrible the opposition were. Hartlepool's performance on the day reflected their league position and thus Pompey fans shouldn't get too carried away with a narrow victory over the worst team in the Football League, no matter how comfortable it was.

The result means that Andy Awford's job is safe for now and he deserves some credit for not tinkering with the team apart from the enforced change whilst the defence deserve some credit for being organised enough to snuff out Hartlepool's admittedly meagre attacks. Two consecutive clean sheets for this team is nothing to be sneered at.

However, you would have to believe that Pompey will have to up their game if they are to take the three points at improving Dagenham on Tuesday in what is another key fixture in the League Two relegation battle.

Pompey Player Ratings

Paul Jones: 6 - Virtually nothing to do.

Josh Passley: 7 - Looks like a very useful player.

Joe Devera: 7 - Solid performance.

Paul Robinson: 7 - Some important interceptions and probably should have scored.

Jack Whatmough: 7 - Snuffed out the occasional Hartlepool move.

Dan Butler: 7 - Continues to impress with his deliveries.

James Dunne: 6 - Tackled well but passing was poor.

Danny Hollands: 6 - Improved as the game went on.

Jed Wallace: 6 - Things didn't quite work for him.

Ryan Taylor: 6 - Nice assist but not much of a threat.

Matt Tubbs: 7 - Worked hard and scored the crucial goal.


Michael Poke

Adam Webster

Johnny Ertl

Nigel Atangana

Andy Barcham

Craig Westcarr

Conor Chaplin (Tubbs 90): N/A - Nice to get a quick run out in the first team.