Defender pleased to win controversial contest
Pompey fans are certainly getting used to exciting visits to the Abbey Stadium.
With last season’s 6-2 thumping of Cambridge still fresh in their minds, they witnessed another incident-packed encounter.
Christian Burgess was involved in the first of many moments of controversy after referee Sebastian Stockbridge decided he had touched the ball into Robbie Simpson’s path.
That meant a linesman’s flag was ignored and the United striker was able to fire the hosts ahead.
A half-time scuffle then saw United skipper Mark Roberts and Blues coach Leam Richardson dismissed before Pompey netted three goals – including a Matt Tubbs brace – and Gareth Evans was also sent off.
But Burgess was happy to put all that to one side and look back on a positive result on the road.
The defender said: “There were plenty of talking points, but we’re just pleased to come away with the victory.
“Cambridge provided us with a tough challenge and the boys stood up to it well, showing plenty of character.
“The linesman flagged their goal offside – which it was. The referee thought he’d seen me touch it and we were in disbelief.
“I’m not sure how it all started when the referee blew the half-time whistle, but you don’t want to see that on a football pitch.
“The message was just to keep calm and play the way we had been because I think they were already tiring.
“We were always going to be stronger in the second half and there were some great balls put in by Enda Stevens and Ben Davies.
“We got a bit of luck with an own-goal and then capitalised on that with a couple of strikes from Tubbsy.”
Burgess was thrown up front just before Pompey equalised, but with their second goal arriving just seconds later, he soon reverted back to a more familiar role.
He said: “It was ‘Plan B’ and the gaffer thought we needed a bit more height up there, but Jayden Stockley is out injured.
“I had a good training session on Friday and scored some goals, so the gaffer stuck me up top and I was pretty woeful the one time I got on the ball.
“Thankfully, we got the two goals pretty quickly and I was soon sent back into defence.”