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DAG & RED 0 POMPEY 0

10 February 2015

Blues claim point at Victoria Road

Pompey kept a third successive clean sheet with a goalless draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.

A spirited defensive display meant that Paul Jones did not have much to worry about between the sticks.

But the Blues created little at the other end in a game that failed to build on a promising opening.

Andy Awford stuck with the same side that ended their long winless run by beating Hartlepool at the weekend.

Both teams started at a frantic pace and Dan Butler could not quite race onto Matt Tubbs’ lay-off in the opening seconds.

The hosts then broke quickly up the pitch, with the evergreen Jamie Cureton’s fierce drive flying narrowly wide.

It was an end-to-end encounter, although clear-cut opportunities were at a premium and neither goalkeeper looked particularly troubled.

Ashley Hemmings was not too far away with a 25-yard free-kick after Cureton’s run had been crudely halted.

Pompey’s best chance of the half arrived on 17 minutes when Joe Devera flicked Danny Hollands’ long throw goalwards, only for Daggers keeper Mark Cousins to show quick reflexes and avert the danger.

Paul Robinson was looking particularly strong in the Blues back-line and when Cureton did eventually get the better of him, he quickly recovered to win the ball back.

At the other end, Cousins punched clear a Wallace free-kick before Ayo Obileye managed to out-muscle Tubbs in the box.

Pompey then threatened late in the half following good work down the right from Wallace and Josh Passley, with the former’s cross dipping inches over the bar.

It was the hosts who launched the last attack before the break, though, and Robinson had to stand firm to halt a quick counter-attack.

Half Time: Dagenham & Redbridge 0 Pompey 0

There was an incredibly laboured opening to the second half, with both sides struggling to retain possession.

It was Dagenham who were first to create an opening, but even then Luke Howell’s hooked volley did not overly trouble Jones.

There was not too much to cheer, but the 885 travelling fans in the Traditional Builders Stand were still making a racket.

And they were well placed to watch an Andre Boucaud corner just clear the head of a leaping Obileye on 62 minutes.

Pompey then had their first chance of the half, but first Wallace and then James Dunne were denied by Daggers defenders flinging themselves in front of the ball.

And the host came close to breaking the deadlock themselves when Boucaud fizzed a fierce effort wide from 30 yards.

Awford made his first switch on 66 minutes as Wallace made for Nigel Atangana in the centre of midfield.

The French midfielder immediately looked to add a creative spark, as Pompey grew stronger without testing Cousins.

And both sides had to settle for a share of the spoils as the closing stages passed by without too much excitement.

Dag & Red (4-4-2): Cousins; Ogogo (c), Doe, Obileye, Widdowson; Howell, Boucaud, Bingham, Hemmings; Jakubiak (Jones 90+3), Cureton (Carr 81)
Booked: Jakubiak
Subs not used: O’Brien, Saah, Connors, Labadie, Chambers

Pompey (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson (c), Whatmough; Passley, Dunne, Wallace (Atangana 66), Hollands, Butler; Tubbs (Westcarr 87), Taylor
Booked: Robinson
Subs not used: Poke, Webster, Ertl, Barcham, Chaplin

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 2,310 (885 Pompey fans)

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