Coleman’s men hold firm after red card
ACCRINGTON Stanley manager John Coleman might not have agreed with referee Rob Lewis but he insisted there was nothing wrong with his troops as they battled for a hard-earned point against Portsmouth.
Anthony Barry was shown a straight red card eight minutes into the second half for a late tackle on Portsmouth midfielder Danny Hollands.
But Stanley held on for a draw with ten men after a header from Pompey striker Ryan Taylor cancelled out Josh Windass’ superb free-kick opener in the first half.
“We started the game well and I felt we were the better team in the first half,” Coleman said.
“It was an open game and we created more chances in the first 45 minutes than we have in the last few matches combined.
“It was a great goal from the free-kick by Windass, who has new found confidence and we started the second half well.
“I thought the game was there for us but that all changed when the referee decided to show a straight red card to Anthony.
“I was disappointed, the game was ruined by the sending off and did not agree with the decision, but was pleased we had enough character to hold on for a point.”
Accrington took the lead in the 16th minute, Windass curling a freekick over the wall and beyond Pompey goal- keeper Paul Jones after James Dunne fouled Kal Naismith.
Hollands had already had a header cleared off the line when Scott Davies spilt a Dan Butler corner and Taylor nodded the visitors level only four minutes later.
Andy Proctor volleyed narrowly wide and Naismith missed from close range as Stanley piled on the pressure before halftime.
The game turned in Pompey’s favour with the dismissal of Barry and the south coast side could have snatched victory. Paul Robinson’s effort off target from a Jed Wallace corner was as close as the former Premier League outfit came to a winner.
Pompey have now lost only one of their last nine games but failure to secure all three points all but ends their hopes of making a late charge for the play-offs.
Visiting boss Andy Awford said:“I thought we were fortunate to be level at half-time as Accrington were the better side.
“The free-kick they scored was superb and there was nothing we could have done to stop it.
“I was pleased with the way we came straight back and got the equaliser and overall happy with the chances we made.
“I am disappointed we didn’t get another goal, especially against the ten men.”
STAR MAN MATT CROOK