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AWFORD: NOT A CLASSIC

10 February 2015

Defensive display pleases boss

Fans will certainly not be clamouring to buy a souvenir DVD of Pompey’s trip to Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Victoria Road clash started brightly, but quickly petered out into a dull goalless draw.

Paul Jones and Mark Cousins were both afforded a comfortable evening in their respective goalmouths.

However, a point away from home and third successive defensive shut-out meant there were still some positives for Andy Awford.

The Blues boss said: “It wasn’t a classic, but there was a lot of huff and puff and both teams defended well. It was generally very even.

“We couldn’t open them up and they couldn’t open us up – we cancelled each other out.

“Any point away from home is a good point, but we didn’t go into the game looking to settle for a draw – we wanted to win.

“We went with the same team that created plenty of chances against Hartlepool and there wasn’t a change in mentality.

“There were a couple of half-chances at either end we both had a penalty shout turned down, although I thought the referee was right in both instances.

“There weren’t many openings, though, and it just didn’t happen in the final third – that’s what we need to improve on.

“I was pleased with the shape of the team, with our professionalism and our solidity.

“The workers in our side all played very well and it was the flair players that needed to do a bit more.

“They all put in a shift and worked extremely hard as a team, but unfortunately we were unable to unlock the door.”

Pompey will now look to return to winning ways when they host Exeter this weekend.

Awford said: “That’s three unbeaten and three clean sheets on the bounce now, so we need to build on that on Saturday.”

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