PLY­MOUTH PAY FOR PENAL­TIES

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO - By Matt Bam­sey

LEAM Richard­son has warned Portsmouth not to get car­ried away af­ter the ti­tle favourites got their sea­son off to the best start in 27 years.

Matt Tubbs and Gary Roberts net­ted from the spot to send Pom­pey to their third suc­ces­sive vic­tory – match­ing the three straight wins notched up in the 1988/89 cam­paign.

De­spite ad­mit­ting that the pos­i­tive start gives cause for op­ti­mism, as­sis­tant boss Richard­son in­sists Pom­pey will not rest on their lau­rels.

He said: “We know what football can bring you and we need to keep our feet on the ground.

“I have worked with Paul Cook long enough now and one thing we won’t get is car­ried away or you will get a smack on the chin dead quick.

“It is im­por­tant that we carry on work­ing hard. The play­ers have set the bar now and it is up to us to keep rais­ing it.

“We have got to be op­ti­mistic with the way we have started but there is a long way to go. This was a good win for us . It was a hos­tile crowd and it was hus­tle and bus­tle all the way through.

“I have to give credit to the of­fi­cials, I thought they han­dled the game well and got both penalty de­ci­sions right.”

Portsmouth en­gi­neered a gilt­edged early chance when Gareth Evans was de­nied first by a smart save by keeper Luke McCormick and then a last-ditch block by Curtis Nel­son.

McCormick came to Ar­gyle’s res­cue again in the 15th minute af­ter an ac­ro­batic save saw him push Kyle Ben­nett’s shot from the edge of the box over the cross­bar.

It took un­til the 25th minute for the hosts to muster an ef­fort on goal, Hi­ram Boateng blast­ing Graham Carey’s free-kick frac­tion­ally over the top.

Carey was left hold­ing his head in his hands in the 35th minute af­ter let­ting fly with a blis­ter­ing volley that was bril­liantly tipped over by Brian Mur­phy.

Portsmouth broke the dead­lock in first-half stop­page time when Boateng was ad­judged to have bun­dled into the back of Enda Stevens and Tubbs kept his cool to lift the penalty down the mid­dle.

Af­ter the break McCormick foiled Pom­pey sub­sti­tute Jay­den Stock­ley’s tow­er­ing header. But Pom­pey sealed the win in the 86th minute af­ter some neat trick­ery from Roberts forced Gary Sawyer into a clumsy chal­lenge and Roberts buried the penalty.

Gregg Wylde pulled one back for Ply­mouth with a fierce close-range strike and Carl McHugh could have grabbed an equaliser but headed straight at Mur­phy.

Ply­mouth boss Derek Adams said: “The first penalty was very soft. Their player has fallen down be­fore he was touched.

“That was a big de­ci­sion and you have to be 100 per cent sure and ob­vi­ously the ref­eree was. “The sec­ond one was a def­i­nite penalty. Portsmouth are a good side, you can see that with the ex­pe­ri­ence they have in their team.”

STAR MAN GARY ROBER TS Portsmouth

PIC­TURES: Media Im­age

WE’RE OFF: Matt Tubbs scores the open­ing goal for Portsmouth from the spot

CON­SO­LA­TION: Ply­mouth’s Gregg Wylde cel­e­brates

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