Boss delighted with performance in Plymouth draw
Many expected a dull clash between two sides with nothing but pride to play for.
But the Fratton faithful were actually treated to an entertaining six-goal affair between Pompey and Plymouth.
Unfortunately the Blues were not able to end the season with a victory – as the Pilgrims fought back to equalise on three occasions.
The last of those goals came right at the death and saw Pompey slip from ninth to 13th in the final League Two standings.
But Andy Awford had nothing but praise for his players at the end of a seven-match unbeaten run.
The Blues boss said: “We were in front three times, so to get pegged back three times was a bit disappointing.
“We were flying when we were 3-2 up and I was hoping we would kill the game off, but unfortunately that didn’t happen and Plymouth caught us late.
“But I’m not going to start criticising after the effort and results we’ve seen over the last seven games.
“The players have been a real credit to this club and I thought the performance was up there with the best we’ve seen this season.
“Our lads were excellent, but you don’t always get what you deserve in football.
“We’d have taken 22nd when I first came in, so to finish 13th is pleasing. Five wins and two draws from those seven games was beyond anyone’s wildest dreams.”
All of Pompey’s goals were scored by Danny Hollands, with the midfielder netting his first career hat-trick.
And Awford hopes the loan signing – whose Charlton contract expires this summer – will be at Fratton Park next season.
He said: “Danny deserved the match ball. He was brave to get in the box for all three of his goals.
“But his overall performance was top drawer and he’s made a great impact since coming into the side.
“We’d be delighted if we could keep him here. We’ll talk with him and his agent and see where that goes.”
Awford led the Pompey team out after the game for a ‘lap of thanks’.
He said: “It was the right thing to do because we wanted to thank the fans for the massive part they’ve played in keeping this club in the league.
“We need them as much as they need us and so we had to show our appreciation.”