Pompey Suffer Pre-Season Defeat At Sutton

Last updated : 17 July 2016 By Jim Bonner

Pompey lost their first pre-season match of the summer after a much-changed team lost to National League side Sutton United.

If there was anything to be taken from this match it was that Pompey's fringe players have a lot of work to do if they are to ever break into the first team. The manner of the defending in the first half will also have been cause for alarm for Paul Cook.

It took just eight minutes for Sutton to score as former trialist Roarie Deacon was given too much time to pick his spot and fire the ball past Alex Bass. Bedsente Gomis was unmarked to head in a second goal at the far post late in the half after hitting the woodwork moments before.

This was arguably one of Pompey's poorest pre-season performances in years and they never really got going until the senior payers were brought on in the 69th minute to salvage a result.

It was Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain who pulled a goal back after converting Carl Baker's cross but despite piling on some pressure late on, the team that won the Conference South last season held on for a deserved win.

As pre-season shapes up it's becoming easier to see who might shine when the campaign begins for real next month. Baker has looked bright and out of the youngsters looking to make an impression, Chamberlain looks like he could break into the first team if he can force his way ahead of the multitude of Pompey's attacking midfielders in the pecking order.

The might in that last paragraph should be highlighted as pre-season can often see fans make false judgements of players. Remember how many times Ivica Mornar and Franck Songo'o flattered to deceive when Pompey were in the Premier League?

The result also shouldn't matter based on Cook's initial team selection and the fact that some players were clearly playing within themselves on Sutton's artificial pitch. Gary Roberts shared his opinion of the playing surface on Twitter this morning and he wasn't very complimentary!

Next up for Paul Cook's men is a trip to Salisbury on Tuesday evening as the squad look to continue improving their fitness whilst the fringe players and trialists will look to be more impressive following yesterday's dismal display.