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AWFORD: DEFENDING LET US DOWN

13 December 2014

Boss laments 'frustrating' display against Accrington

Pompey looked like they had recovered from a sloppy start against Accrington.

With Rob Atkinson and John O’Sullivan giving the visitors a commanding lead, the Blues seemed in trouble.

But goals from Marcus Bean and Craig Westcarr drew them level before Paul Jones saved a controversial penalty.

That appeared to give Pompey the impetus to go on and claim all three points, but instead Stanley secured victory when Ben Chorley lost possession and Piero Mingoia punished him.

Andy Awford was annoyed about the manner of all three goals conceded and also the fact that his side could not capitalise on their opportunities.

The Blues boss said: “You can’t concede three goals when you’re at home – it’s incredibly frustrating and disappointing. 

“The first two are from a set-piece and the third is because of an error, so the defensive unit has let us down.

“Being two goals down after just 15 minutes left us with a mountain to climb.

“But we fought back and the lads showed some character to go in level at the break.

“I’m not sure it should have been a penalty, but when that was saved I thought we’d go on to win it.

“The performance after that slow start was okay, although obviously there was a mistake for the third goal.

“We had a good spell in the second half, but didn’t take our chances and their keeper made a couple of good saves.

“You have to give Accrington some credit because they defended well, but you need to do better when you’re on top.

“We’ll analyse the performance and keep on working hard – that’s all we can do.”

The one bright spot for Pompey was a debut for teenage academy product Conor Chaplin, who came off the bench for the closing stages.

Awford said: “He’s done well lately for the youth team and has also stepped up to the plate for the reserves.

“I just felt it was the right time for him and obviously when you’re 3-2 down you want as many attacking players on the pitch as possible.

“It was good to see Conor out on the pitch, although I’m sure he’s disappointed that it wasn’t a winning debut.”

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