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Club News

CLARKE OFF THE MARK

11 February 2017

Defender revels in his first goal of the season

Not being deadly enough from set-pieces is a criticism often levelled at Pompey.

So Matt Clarke was delighted that he scored from one to help the Blues beat Accrington 2-0 at Fratton Park.

There were less than two minutes on the clock when the centre-back headed home a Gary Roberts cross to open his account for the season.

And Clarke was pleased that practice paid off for Pompey, who climbed up to sixth spot in the League Two table.

He said: “We work on those set-pieces at the training ground, but you’re never completely sure where the ball is going to go.

“Fortunately, I found myself at the back stick on my own and from then on things seemed to happen in slow motion.

“If I had missed it would have been embarrassing, so I really had to make sure that I tucked it away.

“It doesn’t always work out, but it’s nice to get that reward for the work that we put in during the week.”

It took until stoppage-time for Kal Naismith to secure the three points, but Clarke was confident the Pompey defence could keep Accrington at bay.

He said: “We’d have taken that if it was offered to us when we woke up in the morning and it’s just nice to get back to winning ways.

“Not being able to find that second goal kept Accrington in the game and made sure they had their tails up.

“We clearly need to work more on being able to kill games off because then it will be a more enjoyable afternoon.

“But we think that we’re a solid defensive unit and know that if we do our jobs the opposition won’t score.

“It’s a massive win because we could have dropped out of the top seven which isn’t a nice thought, so now we just want to keep looking up.”

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