A PERFECT DAY FOR ME - COOK
PAUL Cook labelled it a perfect day after his Portsmouth side cruised to a rip-roaring first opening-day win in nine years.
New-look Pompey destroyed the Daggers in the second half as summer capture Kyle Bennett lapped up a dream two-goal debut.
Cook made a massive decision in the summer when given the chance to switch from League One Chesterfield, but already it’s looking like a wise one.
He said:“It’s been a perfect day in the end. There were a few nerves around in the first-half, but it has been amazing.
“What can you say about the support here? It was just phenomenal.
“It is early days still, of course, we’ve had a good day today but we have to keep ourselves focused.
“This has been one game out of 46 so let’s not get carried away, but the team did play with a certain style and grace today and I’m delighted with that.
“The players did a fantastic job and they’ll deserve the plaudits. It’s definitely not about me and the coaching staff today.
“Let’s just try our best to carry on this road now and see what happens.”
The atmosphere at Fratton Park was positively raucous at kick-off time and it was Pompey – featuring nine debutants in their starting XI – who went on to boss the first half.
Christian Burgess headed wide early on, before Bennett curled an effort inches wide.
Matt Tubbs – one of those not making his Pompey bow – brought a super one-handed save out of Daggers goalkeeper Mark Cousins.
The visitors – who featured just four debutants – threatened midway through the half when Jamie Cureton, just three weeks shy of his 40th birthday, glanced a header narrowly wide.
But it didn’t take Pompey long to break the deadlock after the restart. And it was a fairly routine strike for the hosts as Gareth Evans – signed from Fleetwood in the summer – powered home a header from Bennett’s cornerkick.
The Pompey shackles were seemingly off and they doubled their lead just after the hour mark. This time former Doncaster man Bennett lashed high into the goal off the underside of the crossbar after latching onto an Enda Stevens throw-in.
Eleven minutes later he grabbed the goal of the game, drilling home from 20 yards.
It proved a miserable day for the Daggers, who ended last season above Pompey in League Two, and boss Wayne Burnett believes his side were the masters of their own downfall. “Portsmouth have got some very good players, but we caused our own problems,” he said.
“They’ve ended up scoring from two restarts and that’s not really good enough.
“We’ve switched off from two corners and in the end that has proved the difference.
“There were too many players who played below their potential, too.
“But it’s the opening day, though. Let’s not forget that. Now we have to dust ourselves down and go again in midweek.”
OFF THE BAR: Kyle Bennett scores Portsmouth’s second
Gareth Evans of Portsmouth heads