Awford points to de­fen­sive clangers

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Ben Fisher

PORTSMOUTH man­ager Andy Awford rued his side’s poor de­fend­ing as Pom­pey’s tur­bu­lent week went from bad to worse.

First-team coach Alan McLough­lin left his post at Frat­ton Park this week and was sub­se­quently re­placed by for­mer Wy­combe boss Gary Wad­dock.

But the form book sug­gested ev­ery­thing was in place for Awford’s side to bounce back with a win – Pom­pey hav­ing won their last three at home.

Ac­cring­ton had other ideas though. They sailed into a two-goal lead inside 15 min­utes thanks to goals from John O’Sul­li­van and Rob Atkin­son and while Portsmouth were level by half­time Piero Min­goia grabbed a win­ner.

Portsmouth boss Awford, said:“De­fen­sively we gave our­selves a moun­tain to climb.

“We half-climbed it be­cause we showed a lot of character to come back to 2-2.

“It was re­ally sloppy from us to be two-nil down inside the first 15 min­utes.

“You think it’s go­ing to be your day but we’ve made an er­ror for the third goal and it’s un­done us. There was a cou­ple of er­rors lead­ing to the goal and we should have moved the ball for­ward quicker than we have.

“We have con­ceded too early in games.

“Maybe we need to change the warm-up? Maybe we need to kick to­wards the Frat­ton end?

“We scored two good goals with two great fin­ishes and I thought Mar­cus Bean was ex­cel­lent.”

After O’Sul­li­van and Atkin­son had put Stan­ley ahead, Colch­ester loan star Bean curled home after latch­ing onto a Danny Hol­lands throw-in be­fore Craig West­carr took his tally to five for the sea­son with a fine lob on 31 min­utes to draw level.

Ev­i­dent sec­ond-half im­prove­ments made by Awford’s men were to count for lit­tle though when Ac­cring­ton scored a win­ning third.

Pom­pey cap­tain Ben Chor­ley gave the ball away to sub­sti­tute Shay McCar­tan who spread the ball wide to Min­goia, who drilled home inside Paul Jones’ near post 12 min­utes from time. Ac­cring­ton could have scored a third sooner when Matt Fish fouled O’Sul­li­van in the box, but Jones saved Luke Joyce’s spot-kick.

Ac­cring­ton boss John Cole­man said:“We knew it was go­ing to be dif­fi­cult com­ing here but we have in­cred­i­ble belief within the play­ers.

“We showed great character again. The prob­lem is ev­ery time we win the teams above us seem to win.

“I think all the lads who came on did their part and played their part.

“I don’t re­ally think we ever looked like we were go­ing to con­cede at the end.”

STAR MAN MARCU

S BEAN Portsm

outh

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