MONEY IS LEFT COUNTING THE COST BY HOT TUBBS
Matt’s double settles feisty encounter to send Pompey to summit
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.”
STAR MAN GARY ROBERTS Portsmouth
ROBBED: U’s Robbie Simpson
MATT FINISH: Matt Tubbs scores his second which helped seal victory
CALM: Portsmouth’s Matt Tubbs proved the difference