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AWFORD: WHAT A TURNAROUND

26 April 2014

Spirit shone through in 4-4 draw at Bury

With the clock ticking down, Pompey appeared to be dead and buried.

Danny Hollands and Ryan Taylor had given them hope with second half strikes that ate into a three-goal deficit at the JD Stadium.

But then Hallam Hope completed his hat-trick and Bury were leading 4-2 with just a few minutes remaining.

The Blues, however, had won five games in succession and were still able to eke out some more momentum from that incredible run.

Sonny Bradley’s 88th-minute effort got them believing again before Wes Fogden’s stoppage-time goal completed an incredible fightback.

And Andy Awford believes that never-say-die outlook shows he is currently leading a very happy camp.

The caretaker Blues boss said: “I remember being 5-2 up at Oxford with a few minutes remaining and drawing 5-5 during my playing days. You get strange games like that sometimes.

“Manchester United have been the most successful side in recent years for getting late goals and they show that you have to keep going until the end.

“You can see there’s a lot of spirit in that dressing room by the way we turned it around with our second half performance.

“Those players have put in so much effort to get us where we are now and maybe a few of them were a bit tired.

“It took us a while to get going and we weren’t quite right. I take some responsibility for that and we changed our shape after the break. Thankfully it paid off.

“Of course we have to tighten up. I can forgive the fourth goal because we were chasing the game, but the others were disappointing.

“But it was a massive team effort for us to turn that around and get a point to take back.

“This group’s been terrific to work with and I think their attitude shone through again.

“The whole bench erupted when that fourth goal went in and that tells you about the spirit we have here. That’s what got us over the line.

“The crowd also played their part and I have to say that, as usual, our fans were absolutely fantastic.”

Bradley was thrown on a makeshift striker for the closing stages, while an almighty throw from Hollands led to Fogden’s late leveller.

Awford said: “I don’t like to take the credit for things, but Sonny was my idea! We were considering using Jake Jervis, but we just thought that he would unsettle them a little bit.

“I was going to start rollicking Danny because he’s been here for more than a month now and I didn’t even know he had a long throw!

“Why he hasn’t used it before I don’t know, but he’s got it in his armoury and used it to great effect.”

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