Coach happy with Checkatrade Trophy draw
Pompey are not quite out of the Checkatrade Trophy.
They still have a chance of qualifying for the knockout stages with victory over Bristol Rovers next month in their final group stage fixture.
That comes after Curtis Main’s brace ensured the Blues fought from two goals down to secure a draw against a Reading under-23 side at Fratton Park.
The format of the competition meant a penalty shoot-out was then held for the right to claim a bonus point, with the visitors coming out on top.
But Ian Foster was more concerned with the desire shown by his troops and the opportunity to hand game time to those who have been out of the picture in recent weeks.
Pompey’s first team coach said: “It was a great game between two sides who played on the front foot and in the right manner.
“We’re pleased with the way our group showed plenty of character to fight from behind.
“There were some impressive performances out there and, perhaps more importantly, some much needed minutes into a few legs.
“Reading have plenty of very good players who I’m sure will go on to play in the Championship, but we also handled the ball extremely well and were a threat in the final third.
“We lacked a bit of concentration early on and were punished for that, but reacted well and continued to press.
“Michael Smith worked tirelessly to link the play and was a great foil for Curtis, who scored a couple of goals. Both of his finishes were smashing.
“Their keeper made some wonderful saves in the shoot-out – as did Liam. It wasn’t great to miss four, but that’s penalties for you.”
There was one sour note for the Blues, however, with Adam Buxton limping off just before the interval.
Foster said: “It was the same ankle he injured in the reserve game against Southend and we think he’s just rolled it.
“I thought he started the game really brightly and is another boy who’s desperate for minutes, so it’s unfortunate, but hopefully it’s not too bad.”
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