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AWFORD: WE FELL SHORT

7 March 2015

Boss concedes his side weren’t good enough at Accrington

Pompey kept knocking on Accrington’s door, but were unable to break it down.

Ryan Taylor’s close-range header had cancelled out a fine free-kick from Josh Windass in a breathless first half at the Store First Stadium.

The hosts were then reduced to 10 men early in the second when Anthony Barry was shown a straight red for a high challenge on Danny Hollands.

Pompey kept pouring forward after that, but were unable to find a way past a resolute Stanley back-line.

However, it was their display before the interval that Andy Awford felt was most disappointing.

The Blues boss said: “I thought we were probably quite fortunate to go in level at the break because they were the better side in the first half.

“They scored from a very good free-kick, but then a decent delivery from Dan Butler put their goalkeeper under pressure and Ryan was there to nod it in.

“There were elements of our first half performance that I wasn’t happy with, but we upped it after the break without quite being able to get that second goal.

“We had a lot of the ball when they went down to 10 men and had a few chances, but we couldn’t quite take them.

“We shifted the ball around quickly and got the ball into the final third without being able to capitalise on that.

“I’m not going to criticise the players too much because we’ve had a lot of games in a short space of time.

“They looked a bit leggy at times and we didn’t seem to play at our normal tempo or with the same amount of gusto as usual.

“There will still a lot of effort going in – we were just a bit short in certain areas.”

The hosts were unhappy with referee Rob Lewis’ decision to send off Barry, although Awford could understand why the red card was shown.

He said: “I never like to see anyone get sent off, but Danny has got a mark across the inside of his thigh.

“Sometimes they’re given your way and sometimes they’re not, so I wasn’t surprised by the decision.”

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