Boss delighted with opening day triumph
Fratton Park was bathed in glorious sunshine as the players took to the pitch before kick-off.
And there was also plenty of warmth in the stands as Pompey fans watched their side get the new season off to a perfect start.
After a dominant first half against Dagenham & Redbridge had yielded no goals, Gareth Evans – one of nine debutants – headed in the opener.
Kyle Bennett then netted two fine strikes to wrap up a comfortable 3-0 victory for the hosts.
And Paul Cook was delighted that his Pompey career got off to such a positive start.
The Blues boss said: “It was a great day – one of those days that you dream about. It was the outcome everyone wanted.
“To win in front of that crowd and score some great goals at the Fratton End made it a really positive afternoon.
“I hope everyone enjoyed it because you know that the dark days in football can be just around the corner.
“We want to win promotion this season and this was just the start of the journey, but it was a very good first step.
“You rely on the quality of your players to see you through. Kyle Bennett and Gary Roberts both turned up, Gareth Evans is scoring and Matt Tubbs was getting in good positions.
“I also thought we were sound defensively and limited Dagenham to very few attempts on goal.
“All in all it was a pleasing day for everyone at the club – a lot of people have worked tirelessly to put this club back on the map.
“Everyone can go and have a pint tonight and say we had a good day, but that’s all it is. We’re certainly not getting carried away.”
There were just under 17,000 packed inside Fratton Park to watch the beginning of a new era at Pompey.
Cook said: “I have a great belief in my players and the way we play. Now I’ve also got great belief in our fans because they were absolutely fantastic.
“If we can get some momentum going then I think our support can grow stronger and stronger.”