Pompey Strikers Flatten Hatters

Last updated : 15 March 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey returned to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Luton thanks to goals from Matt Tubbs and Ryan Taylor.

It took just three minutes for Tubbs to get on the scoresheet as he cleverly hooked Jed Wallace's cross over goalkeeper Elliot Justham with the ball looping into the corner of the net.

That was the high point in an otherwise tedious first half which saw both sides give the ball away cheaply due to poor passing or taking too long to make a decision when in possession.

Luton werepoor and their best chance of the half came from Paul Jones' mishit clearance which hit Cameron McGeehan only for the ball to bounce wide rather than into the net to spare the goalkeeper's blushes.

Pompey started the second half well as Wallace sent in a dangerous ball into the box which was only just cleared but for the majority of the next quarter-hour Andy Awford's men found themselves pinned in their own half by the visitors.

Luton kept pouring forward with the aid of some wayward clearances from the Pompey defenders and it took some brave blocks from James Dunne and Paul Robinson to preserve the lead, whilst other half-chances which fell to the Hatters' strikers were wasted.

That happened to be the difference on the day as Pompey took the next half-chance that came their way to double their lead against the run of play.

Wallace's cross hit Tubbs and the ball bounced kindly for Taylor to lash the ball past Justham for the second goal which ultimately killed the game, although Robinson had to come off soon after the goal with what seems to be a fractured cheek after stopping McGeehan's effort from crossing the line.

Tubbs almost had his second goal of the game but was just beaten to a poor backpass by Justham whilst Dan Butler cleared Luke Wilkinson's header off the line late on to ensure that Jones kept a clean sheet as well as confirm the win for Andy Awford's men.

As mentioned before, the strikers were the difference and the scoreline would probably have been reversed if the opposition had the in-form Taylor and always-dangerous Tubbs on their side. The Pompey defenders also deserve some credit for their work although they certainly rode their luck at times.

Overall, it was hardly the most convincing performance with the play often disrupted by some inaccurate passing and silly fouls, but Luton weren't particularly impressive either and yet after yesterday's defeat still sit sixth in League Two whilst Pompey have moved up a single place to 13th.

The fact that the Blues still sit in the bottom half of the table in what is clearly a poor division will only frustrate fans who will wonder "what might have been" unless there is an absolutely monumental run to come between now and May. Eight points is the current gap to the play-off places, if you're still counting.

Still, it was good to experience the winning feeling again and hopefully that continues on Tuesday when struggling Cheltenham visit Fratton Park.

Pompey Player Ratings

Paul Jones: 6 - Confident when claiming balls into the box but kicking was poor.

Andy Barcham: 6 - Did OK at right-wing-back but clearly more effective going forward.

Jack Whatmough: 7 - Calm and assured for most of the game.

Paul Robinson: 8 - Put his body on the line and hopefully won't be kept out for too long.

Joe Devera: 7 - Typically consistent.

Dan Butler: 7 - Solid at the back for the most part.

James Dunne: 7 - Kept battling away.

Danny Hollands: 6 - Won challenges but passing was poor.

Jed Wallace: 7 - A driving force going forward.

Ryan Taylor: 8 - Worked tirelessly and scored a good goal.

Matt Tubbs: 7 - Quality finish.


Alex Bass

Adam Webster (Robinson 72): N/A - Slotted in fine.

Danny East (Barcham 79): N/A - Good to see him back.

Wes Fogden

Nigel Atangana

Craig Westcarr (Taylor 85): N/A - No late impact.

Conor Chaplin