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Fixture News

Close Enjoying Goal Spree

In-form midfielder added a brace against Bradford

2 March 2019

Ben Close celebrates after scoring for Pompey against Bradford
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

At the start of February, Ben Close had one goal to his name this season – and that arrived in a low-key Checkatrade Trophy group stage clash with Gillingham.

But the homegrown midfielder has enjoyed a prolific spell in recent weeks to help secure points for Pompey.

A brace against Bradford in a 5-1 rout at Fratton Park took his tally to four strikes from the past five league games.

It helped the Blues end a run of five successive third tier draws and Close hopes his side can build on that.

He said: “We needed three points in the league after that victory in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

“It was a good performance against Barnsley last Saturday and we were bright in spells at Bury, and it was the same against Bradford.

"I’ve found myself in more attacking positions and got a few recently, so I went to keep it up."

Ben Close

“The most important thing was to get the win – it’s two on the bounce now and hopefully we can start to kick on.

“I’ve been focusing on just trying to play well since getting my place back in the team and the more games you play, the fitter you get.

“The goals have just come with that. I’ve found myself in more attacking positions and got a few recently, so I went to keep it up.

“It’s something I’ve obviously worked on because goals weren’t coming too often early in my professional career.

“I’m enjoying my football, although you’re never far away from coming out of the side, so it’s just about looking to the next game.”

Pompey will be heading to Wembley at the end of March, when they will face Bristol Rovers or Sunderland in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

Close said: “We’re all looking forward to that as a squad, but it’s still a month away, so we’ve tucked it away for now.”


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