The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Jon Palmer

ANDY AWFORD is urg­ing his Portsmouth side to use a de­served point against Chel­tenham as a spring­board for the busy fes­tive pe­riod.

Portsmouth ended their away day mis­ery with this point, but they had to hit back from a goal down to halt a los­ing streak of five matches on the road in all com­pe­ti­tions.

And after Nigel Atan­gana fired a lev­eller boss Awford felt they could eas­ily have been cel­e­brat­ing a vic­tory come the fi­nal whis­tle.

“I’m pleased with the per­for­mance, which was ex­cel­lent,” Awford said.

“We came with a game-plan and the play­ers car­ried it out.

“We wanted to keep it tight and grow into the game as it went on and I thought we were un­for­tu­nate to go in be­hind at half-time be­cause it’s the only shot on tar­get I can re­mem­ber them hav­ing.

“We upped the qual­ity in the sec­ond half and cre­ated more chances. The lads dug in and showed plenty of character.

“We prob­a­bly de­served to win the game on the ba­sis of our pos­ses­sion and chances cre­ated.

“I have to say that our sup­port­ers were ab­so­lutely mag­nif­i­cent – yet again – and we’re all in this to­gether.

“We’ve now got some­thing to build on go­ing into a busy pe­riod.”

Omari Ster­ling-James put Chel­tenham ahead in the 42nd minute with his first Foot­ball League goal, two days after sign­ing a oneyear ex­ten­sion to his con­tract, pow­er­ing into the box and beat­ing Paul Jones with a left­footed strike.

Robins boss Paul Buckle praised the 21year-old for­mer Red­ditch United player, de­spite see­ing him miss a good chance to make it 2-0 seconds be­fore Atan­gana lev­elled for Pom­pey.

“We scored a bril­liant, well worked goal and I brought Omari in to play shorter off Terry Gor­nell and it worked well be­cause they didn’t trou­ble us much in the first half,” Buckle said.

“Omari looked a con­stant threat, but we knew they’d come out strongly in the sec­ond half.

“They had ex­pe­ri­ence on the bench and they re­ally came at us, throw­ing a lot into the box, which was a huge test for us.

“We did well, but for one mo­ment we lost our shape and they scored with a shot that looped up off Lee Vaughan’s foot, hit the bar and went in.”

Danny Hol­lands hit a scis­sor-kick from Lee Holmes’ cross into the side net­ting for Portsmouth after ten min­utes be­fore they headed in at the break a goal down.

The vis­i­tors made a strong start to the sec­ond pe­riod, but Ster­ling-James should have scored a sec­ond in the 55th minute.

He raced through on goal after an er­ror from Joe Dev­era, but Jones saved well and Pom­pey lev­elled almost im­me­di­ately.

Jack What­mough sup­plied Atan­gana and his pow­er­ful drive crashed in off the cross­bar via a de­flec­tion.

Paul Robin­son shot wide from a good po­si­tion with a minute left and Trevor Car­son saved from Holmes as Portsmouth pushed for a win­ner.

PIC­TURES: Shane Healey



outh Portsm AT YOUR SER­VICE: Portsmouth’s Nigel Atan­gana points to the sky after equal­is­ing

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