Tubbs fills his boots at the U’s ex­pense

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matthew Good­ing

PORTSMOUTH dou­bled their away goal tally for the sea­son in the space of 90 min­utes to thrash Cam­bridge – and it left manager Andy Aw­ford de­lighted.

Pom­pey had only hit six goals on the road since the start of the cam­paign, but Jan­uary sign­ing Matt Tubbs net­ted a hat-trick as they eas­ily dis­patched a woe­ful U’s side.

“We’ve got the goals to go with the per­for­mances we’ve been putting in of late, which have been re­ally good,” said Aw­ford.

“We had the fin­ishes to go with it. It was a great fin­ish from Jed Wal­lace to get us go­ing, then we gave away a sloppy goal but we showed good char­ac­ter to bounce back and get the victory.

“Matt Tubbs has had plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the last three or four games and he prob­a­bly hasn’t scored the goals he’d have liked to since he’s been here. But here he’s taken his chances and he was fan­tas­tic. He fully de­serves his match ball.

“You have to give the whole team credit for the way we at­tacked be­cause we looked danger­ous ev­ery time we got into their half.”

Tubbs’ goals grabbed the head­lines, but it was Jed Wal­lace who pulled the strings for the vis­i­tors. The mid­fielder opened the scor­ing in the sec­ond minute, get­ting the bet­ter of Michael Nel­son and slot­ting in from a nar­row an­gle.

Debu­tant Nathaniel Men­dez-Laing lev­eled for Cam­bridge in the 21st minute, prof­it­ing from good work from Ryan Bird and Jor­dan Slew, but Portsmouth were back in front two min­utes later as Tubbs, who scored against Cam­bridge in De­cem­ber dur­ing his spell at AFC Wim­ble­don, got in be­hind the home back-line and fin­ished coolly.

Paul Robin­son made it 3-1 af­ter Chris Dunn had par­ried James Dunne’s shot, and on the stroke of half-time Tubbs nod­ded home from close range af­ter a cross from Dan But­ler.

Cam­bridge hadn’t beaten Portsmouth since 1978, but pulled one back when Rob­bie Simp­son stretched to head home Greg Tay­lor’s cross.

But Ryan Tay­lor and Tubbs took ad­van­tage of slack de­fend­ing to com­plete the scor­ing in front of the ju­bi­lant trav­el­ling fans.

Cam­bridge boss Richard Money ad­mit­ted his side were sec­ond best in all de­part­ments.

“I don’t think any­one can shirk re­spon­si­bil­ity, we got an aw­ful lot wrong, from team se­lec­tion to team shape to per­for­mances,” he said.

“It’s cul­mi­nated in a pun­ish­ing de­feat to a team who should be top of the league with the play­ers we had.

“All sea­son long we’ve made poor mis­takes and it has cost us.We didn’t deal with their front three all af­ter­noon.”

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