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22 July 2014

Westcarr brace downs non-league hosts

Craig Westcarr hit a brace as Pompey continued their pre-season winning run with victory at Thurrock.

The striker netted two first half goals against the non-league outfit to take his summer tally to four.

There was not too much for the sparse crowd to cheer in the opening stages, which were full of effort, but short on any goalmouth action.

Skipper Johnny Ertl had an opportunity on eight minutes when he diverted Jed Wallace’s corner straight into the arms of Thurrock keeper Andy Walker.

But the Blues were struggling to find any rhythm in attack as the hosts comfortably dealt with their forays forward.

They did manage to run through the gears towards the end of the half, however, and broke the deadlock on 33 minutes.

In truth, WESTCARR’s low shot should have been dealt with, but Walker’s weak hand could not keep the ball out of the net.

The lead might have been doubled just seconds later as a Wallace drive sailed inches past the post.

But Pompey did strengthen their advantage on 39 minutes when WESTCARR collected the ball and perfectly placed it into the bottom corner.

There was still time for another opportunity just before the break, as Alex Wynter just cleared the crossbar from the edge of the box.

Half Time: Thurrock 0 Pompey 2

Awford made three changes at the break, as goal hero Westcarr made way for Bradley Tarbuck.

Andy Barcham and Ben Close were also brought on, replacing Wallace and Jack Whatmough.

Tarbuck did not last long, however, limping off following a challenge on him and being replaced by Ricky Holmes.

Substitutions were the only noteworthy action of the second half as a further six Pompey players made their way from the bench on the hour mark.

But Wynter should have added a third Blues goal soon after, sending a close range header wide after being left unmarked to meet Holmes’ corner.

The defender – the only player to feature for the entire 90 minutes – then hit another effort over from close range.

And Pompey hit the woodwork twice late on, with Joe Devera sending a shot against the post before Ryan Bird struck the crossbar.

But the visitors had already done enough to secure another victory ahead of Saturday’s trip to Ebbsfleet.

Thurrock (4-4-2): Walker; Clark, Gilman, King (Honeness 46), Sutton; Reynolds, Stuart, Spence (c), Warner (Goode 46); Stimson (Ibe 60), R.Clark (J.Clark 46)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Bass 75); Wynter, Webster (Chorley 60), Whatmough (Close 46), Butler (Shorey 60); Ertl (c) (Devera 60), Atangana (Hollands 60); Wallace (Barcham 46), Westcarr (Tarbuck 46 (Holmes 53)), Storey (Awford 60); Agyemang (Bird 60)
Goals: Westcarr 33, 39

Referee: Nigel Lugg

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