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Fixture News

Close: An Incredible Feeling

Midfielder revels in first Fratton goal

26 December 2017

Ben Close celebrates scoring for Pompey against AFC Wimbledon at Fratton Park

The 2017/18 campaign is proving to be a breakthrough one for Ben Close.

He has enjoyed an extended run in the side and netted his first goal for the club at Blackpool back in November.

And now he has also opened his Fratton Park account after opening the scoring in a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon.

Close drilled home a low finish late in the first half to help the Blues climb back up to seventh in the League One standings.

The midfielder said: “It was obviously a great feeling to score after playing a lot of games here.

“Getting the goal in front of all those travelling fans at Blackpool was brilliant, but to get one in front of almost 19,000 supporters was incredible.

"I haven’t been involved in a Boxing Day game in the past few years, so it’s great to be involved – and scoring just topped it all off."

Ben Close

“I was told by Gareth Evans and Conor Chaplin that they were in space and I should have passed it to them!

“But I’d made my mind up early and decided I was going to shoot. I didn’t really think about giving the ball to anyone else, so it was nice to make a good connection.

“I haven’t been involved in a Boxing Day game in the past few years, so it’s great to be involved – and scoring just topped it all off.”

Pompey had to deal with a torrential downpour to secure the victory – their fifth in succession on home soil.

Close said: “The conditions made the pitch a bit skiddy, but that probably helped us to pass the ball around a bit faster.

“It’s great to be winning so regularly at home, although we’d like to score more and finish sides off earlier.

“But I believe that as we continue to grow together as a squad, then that’s something we will start to see.”


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