Isn't it nice to be pleasantly surprised? Well I guess it is the season for such gratuities.
To take it back, I was more than surprised at our starting line up. Not in a good way. Then a bit of research into Pompey line up, they were without Rose and oKeefe, chaplain on bench....hmmmm, cause for optimism.
Positives... Sincs. My m o m as his hardworking, ball winning basically being a nuisance set up loads of chances today. To take his goal in front of Thatchers End too was cap on it. Look, we all know what we get with Stu, but his heart, endurance and pure stamina has to be admired, and although many players played to their potential, proportionately I thought he deserved his m o m award.
Our midfield. In first half dominant. I thought we bossed the mid most the 90mins and it ended up deciding the match for us. Well taken goals especially Sercombe.
Broadbent. I thought he was awesome today, even got forward for a shot that was blocked!
Dc. Fair play he called it right. We played well. It's nice to see us a bit confident, a bit adventurous, a bit secure. He said in post match interview we have already have rejected three bids on separate players. My guess would be Bodin, Ellis and Sercs, so maybe bids will be improved? It's set to be a long month.
Negatives... Our final ball. Some lovely approach play today, passing one touch, back heels, pretty stuff, easy on eye to see. Just our last ball in or shot was too often a poor or wrong choice. It's a small negative, but the parody was lovely to get the chance to play a last ball!
Partington should have done better with the conceded header. He cant be allowing a header to beat his efforts from a player whom is no higher than him in stature. Also a couple of times ball watching, not blocking crosses in second half. To counter, he won some balls in midfield, supported the front and over all I thought had a reasonable game.
Our crowd. Sometimes pin drop time. We did spark up later on, but the roar or rovers umphhh was a little lacking today.
Nichols. I'm not going to knock him, he showed some good football, nice touches. I just haven't seen anything in him yet to make me think he can score goals on regular basis. Hey, we all know we need width.....why not try to coach him into more wing format? At least try?
Hey we played well today. We weren't met with a Pompey tem on form like expected, or in the past, but we can only play what's in front of us.
That's one win, two draws in last 3 and only one goal conceded in open play (I know, I know!) and I think that's a really good positive start to the new year.
So a long playing break. I hope we don't lose anyone in attacking roles in our team. Well, maybe one. I'm sure there'll be news of comings/goings before our scheduled seaside next match.
So, thats what I mean by a pleasant surprise: We weren't beaten by teams around us, we held out, we've shown character to come from behind and we have more than competed. Well done, it is indeed a happy new year!