Barker regret at Pompey penalty snub

Jake Jervis on the ball for Pompey against Mansfield. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jake Jervis on the ball for Pompey against Mansfield. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Richie Barker was left to rue the penalty that never was after Pompey’s barnstorming finish could only earn them a point.

The introduction of David Connolly and Jake Jervis from the bench in the 68th minute helped inspire the Blues against Mansfield on Saturday.

Trailing to Lee Stevenson’s 50th minute overhead kick, Connolly set up Ryan Taylor for a 78th minute equaliser.

Connolly also saw a shot pushed against the post, while Patrick Agyemang inexplicably failed to connect with Nicky Shorey’s corner from six-yards out.

Then there was Ryan Tafazolli’s trip on Jervis minutes before the final whistle, which had the Fratton faithful appealing for a spot kick.

Referee Darren Sheldrake spotted no infringement, but Barker was adamant a penalty should have been awarded.

He said: ‘They (Mansfield) looked like a boxer that was punch drunk, they were desperate for the whistle.

‘Although I have to say when it went out for a corner for them in the 94th minute my heart was in my mouth for a little bit because it was an unnecessary corner we didn’t need to concede.

‘After that last 30 minutes, if you had offered them the whistle they would have taken it.

‘It should have been a penalty on Jake as well.

‘It looked slightly theatrical to start with and after the game I saw it again and it should have been a penalty.

‘He has turned his man, the lad has stuck a leg out and it has hit him. Did Jake go down gracefully? I am not so sure. But having seen it on DVD I thought it was.

‘I can sort of see why the ref didn’t give it because at the time I thought “does he look like he has made a meal of it?”, but the lad has caught him and he was never going to get the ball.

‘I thought it was an excellent touch by Jake to have taken it back inside and we should have had a penalty.

‘At the end there, it was wave after wave of attack and fair play to the lads, they responded extremely well having gone a goal down.

‘It took them a couple of minutes but that is what we are trying to instil now and I think they reacted very well.’

Despite battering Mansfield in the final 22 minutes, the Blues still dropped two points in the 1-1 result.

Viewed by many fans as a must-win fixture at Fratton Park, instead it was, disappointingly, another draw.

And while frustrated with the final result, Barker was satisfied with the majority of the performance.

He added: ‘In the first half I thought we were the better team.

‘We had the better chances but they always looked dangerous from set pieces and balls into the box.

‘Teams like that only need one chance sometimes – and it was proven right in the end with the cross and the goal for theirs.

‘We were, though, the slightly better team without penetrating a great deal.

‘In terms of football it was probably the best we have played in a long time, we took the game to them and moved the ball around very quickly.

‘We had a game plan and I thought the players stuck to it very well.’