Westley is seeing an improved Boro side
PORTSMOUTH ....0 STEVENAGE ........0
STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley believes his players are already starting to show signs of improvement after only his second game back in charge of the club.
Boro left Fratton Park with a point after their first visit to Portsmouth, while Pompey – whose future may become clearer following a court hearing next week – stretched their run of unbeaten games at home to six.
Westley, who took charge of Stevenage for the third time last month, is pleased with his players’ response.
“I’ve been really pleased with the attitude of the players and their reaction, they’re really applying themselves,” said Westley.
“I think a lot of players are doing themselves a lot of good, there’s a lot of positive things being showed at the club. Four points in a week and two clean sheets is a good way to start.
“It was our second clean sheet in a week and it was hard earned. I thought the players showed good organisation and resilience but we had the more memorable chances in the game, none more so than the late one.”
Portsmouth’s Jed Wallace had the game’s first real chance in 25 minute with a curling free kick 25-yards out, but Boro keeper Steve Arnold kept it out.
Wallace again tested the Boro defence with a tricky cross, but John Akinde and David Connolly were unable to get on the end of it.
With just over 15 minutes remaining Stevenage should’ve taken the lead. An excellent cross from Luke Freeman was met by Filipe Morais, whose glancing header flashed across the face of goal.
Portsmouth’s Yassin Moutaouakil and Boro’s Anthony Grant then came head-to-head in and incident that could have seen the Pompey man sent off.
In the dying seconds of the game the visitors had the chance to win it when Marcus Haber got on the end of a cross from Freeman, but the crossbar denied the substitute’s effort.
“We expected Yassin Moutaouakil to be sent off,” said Portsmouth caretaker manager Guy Whittingham.
“But having not seen the full incident, and with the linesman and the other officials seeing more of it, we trusted the officials made the right decision.
“Like everybody, we just want to know the result of the court case.We can’t affect that, all we can affect is stuff on the pitch and we just hope things off the pitch work out in our favour.
“The way we view it now, we need as many points as we can possibly get.We’re on such a good run and we cannot take anything for granted.”
WINGER: Impressive Jed Wallace