Matt’s dou­ble set­tles feisty en­counter to send Pom­pey to sum­mit

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

CAM­BRIDGE United boss Richard Money says his side were “mugged” by league lead­ers Portsmouth who were thank­ful to a sec­ond-half Matt Tubbs dou­ble.

The U’s led early through a con­tro­ver­sial goal from Rob­bie Simp­son, but skip­per Mark Roberts was sent off af­ter the half-time whis­tle had sounded, turn­ing the tide in Pom­pey’s favour.

Tubbs then took charge and his dou­ble, which came af­ter a Leon Legge own goal, was enough to see Portsmouth con­tinue their im­pres­sive start to the sea­son, de­spite a late red card for Gareth Evans.

Money was un­happy with the in­ci­dent that led to Roberts’ dis­missal, which also saw Portsmouth as­sis­tant man­ager Leam Richard­son sent to the stands.

“Roberts has been grabbed round the throat by their as­sis­tant man­ager, who he pushes off, then grabbed from be­hind by their goal­keeper, who he pushes off,” said Money. “Then Chris­tian Burgess comes in and takes um­brage too.

“He’s done noth­ing in the in­ci­dent to war­rant the red card, though he shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

“They’ve mugged us. When you see the as­sis­tant man­ager run­ning to the away end punch­ing the air at the fi­nal whis­tle that tells you ev­ery­thing. They’re a good team, and play lovely football, but if that’s what it takes to win football games it’s time for me to pack in.”

Portsmouth boss Paul Cook didn’t see the send­ing off in­ci­dent, but said Simp­son’s early goal should have been dis­al­lowed.

“It’s off­side, the lines­man flags but the ref­eree says it came off one of our play­ers,” said Cook.

“Ref­er­ees have to make de­ci­sions and I’ll never crit­i­cise them for that. If we’d come off the pitch los­ing 1-0 I’d have said the same thing.

“It was a good test for us. Our pa­tient pass­ing game, which we’re of­ten crit­i­cised for, worked well.We moved the ball re­ally well and in the end they just got tired, and we were able to score goals by putting good qual­ity balls into the box, some­thing we haven’t done of late.

“It was a good day and we’ll move on to New­port next week and see what that brings.”

Simp­son broke the dead­lock in the fifth minute, prof­it­ing from some fine in­ter­play be­tween Barry Corr and Luke Berry to run clear and slot past Aaron McCarey. Portsmouth’s play­ers raced over to the as­sis­tant ref­eree, whose flag went up, then down, as Simp­son net­ted. But af­ter a long pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion, ref­eree Se­bas­tian Stocks­bridge awarded the goal.

Af­ter weath­er­ing the early storm, Portsmouth dom­i­nated the rest of the half. Michael Doyle headed straight at Sam Beas­ant from a Gary Roberts free-kick, be­fore El­liott Omozusi was inches away from shin­ning a low cross from Ben Davies into his own net.

The sec­ond mo­ment of con­tro­versy came af­ter the half-time whis­tle, when an al­ter­ca­tion be­tween the play­ers near the Hab­bin Stand saw Mark Roberts ap­pear to push McCarey away. Though no card was shown at the time, an an­nounce­ment over the tan­noy dur­ing the break con­firmed the U’s skip­per had been dis­missed.

And the visi­tors took com­mand when play restarted, scor­ing twice

in two min­utes. First Legge con­verted a Gary Roberts cross into his own net un­der pres­sure from Tubbs be­fore the for­mer Crawley striker turned in a cen­tre from Kyle Ben­nett.

Tubbs wrapped up the points three min­utes from time in bizarre fash­ion, head­ing home from close range, be­fore Evans was shown a late red card for a high tackle on Omozusi.

“I keep telling our amaz­ing sup­port­ers, who again were a credit to the club, just keep be­liev­ing in us and keep go­ing,” added Cook.

“We are go­ing to have bad days but this is football – it is not a new game we have just made up in the last month or two.We will just keep go­ing and we will be in what­ever po­si­tion we will be in.”


ROBBED: U’s Rob­bie Simp­son

PIC­TURES: Ac­tion Im­ages

MATT FIN­ISH: Matt Tubbs scores his sec­ond which helped seal vic­tory

CALM: Portsmouth’s Matt Tubbs proved the dif­fer­ence

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