Boss unhappy with performance of referee
It was not the start to 2015 that Pompey had hoped for.
Mark Byrne’s second half strike was enough to secure victory for high-flying Newport at Rodney Parade.
But that does not tell the whole story of a controversial afternoon in south Wales.
The visitors were incensed by a string of refereeing decisions that went against them.
First Jed Wallace was brought down by Byrne inside the box, with Michael Bull not interested in awarding a spot-kick.
He then allowed the winning goal to stand, despite an offside flag being raised, and later waved away a second shout for a Pompey penalty.
Andy Awford felt that his side deserved more for their efforts and was furious with Bull’s decisions.
The Blues boss said: “I’ve got to be careful what I say because I don’t want to get into trouble, but it’s difficult to take.
“We’ve lost because of something that’s out of our hands and that’s what is so disappointing.
“The challenge on Jed Wallace looked a stonewall penalty and there was also a handball in their box late on.
“Their player was clearly offside for the goal, but it was given and that’s incredibly frustrating.
“The players get a kick up the backside when they don’t do enough, but that wasn’t the case here.
“We deserved something – I looked at the stats and saw we had 17 shots to their eight – but you don’t always get what you deserve.
“I have no problem coming out after a match and admitting when we haven’t been good enough, but I thought we were good enough.
“The only criticism I’ve got is that we put enough balls into the box to score a goal and didn’t take any of our chances.
“We asked enough questions to deserve to get something from the game, but we have to keep believing and stay positive.”
Awford handed a debut to new signing Matt Tubbs up front and was pleased with his work-rate.
He said: “Matt worked tirelessly. I was hoping he’d be able to get a goal at the end, but it just didn’t fall for him and on another day it will.”