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BOSS PLEASED WITH PROGRESS

22 July 2014

Blues continue to build at Thurrock

Thurrock provided Pompey with their biggest pre-season test yet.

The Blues have romped to 4-0 and 6-1 victories in their opening games of the summer.

But they had to settle for just a 2-0 triumph against Ryman League opposition at Ship Lane.

Craig Westcarr grabbed both goals late in the first half, while Joe Devera and Ryan Bird both struck the woodwork in the closing stages.

And Andy Awford is happy with Pompey’s progress ahead of the 2014/15 campaign.

The Blues boss said: “A lot of people got an hour under their belts and it’s good to start building up the minutes.

“I was pleased once again with their application and attitude – I don’t think you can fault that.

“But we did need to take more care in the final third because we should have scored more goals.

“They’re tough games when you come to play non-league sides – it’s a potential banana skin.

“But we weren’t troubled too much defensively and I was really pleased with that.

“It was a good competitive game on a fine surface and probably closer to what we can expect in League Two.”

Teenage forward Bradley Tarbuck only lasted eight minutes against Thurrock after picking up an ankle injury.

But James Dunne is close to a return to action after recovering from a hamstring problem.

He said: “Bradley rolled his ankle and I felt for him because he had only just come on, but it’s one of those things you have to deal with as a footballer. We’ll have to see how he is once the swelling goes down.

“I think James will definitely be available on Saturday. We didn’t want to risk him against Thurrock, but it was just a precaution.”

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