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Fixture News

Clarke Targets Fratton Dominance

Defender pleased with manner of win over Gillingham

5 September 2018

Matt Clarke scores for Pompey against Gillingham
Photo: Robin Jones

Matt Clarke wants teams to fear coming to Fratton Park.

And that will certainly be the case if they keep racking up 4-0 results, as witnessed in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening.

Gillingham were the victims of a group stage rout, with Clarke and Ben Close both striking just before the interval.

Brett Pitman then added another goal from the penalty spot in the second half, before David Wheeler wrapped things up late on.

It was a much-changed side – with Clarke the only player to keep his place from the weekend – and the defender was pleased with how they fared.

He said: “These games can be seen as obstacles when you look at the bigger picture of the league.

“But we had people on the pitch who haven’t had a lot of minutes in the past month or so and it took a little time to get up to speed.

"At home we want to be dominant – for the match to be over by 60 minutes and the opposition just wanting the whistle to blow."

Matt Clarke

“That team hadn’t had any games together, although once we got going then I felt we played some really good stuff.

“We got the first goal and were happy to go in 1-0 at half-time, but then the second arrived really quickly and that put us on the front foot for the rest of the evening.

“At home we want to be dominant – for the match to be over by 60 minutes and the opposition just wanting the whistle to blow.

“We’re looking to be imperious at Fratton Park, so it’s nice when the third and four goals go in, even if we have to maintain our standards to keep the clean sheet.

“The squad in general is very strong this season and the club seems to be moving forward on and off the pitch.”

Clarke opened his goalscoring account for the season after rising to head home a corner from Adam May.

He said: “It was a good ball that was a bit too flat for the keeper to come for. He wasn’t in my eyeline and there weren’t too many big markers in there, so I fancied myself.”


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