Dunne rues Pompey failings

James Dunne on the ball for Pompey against Ebbsfleet. Picture: Joe Pepler

James Dunne on the ball for Pompey against Ebbsfleet. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey paid the price for failings at both ends of the pitch.

That is the verdict of James Dunne following the 3-0 loss at Ebbsfleet on Saturday.

The Conference South side ran out comfortable winners to inflict a third defeat on Football League opposition during the pre-season.

For the Blues, they failed to emulate the impressive moments of their previous three summer fixtures – drawing a first blank in the process.

They failed to sufficiently test the Fleet keeper in the first half from promising openings, while chances dwindled after the break.

Meanwhile, defensively they were exposed by Charlie Sheringham and Billy Bricknell throughout, conceding three poor goals in the process.

And midfield enforcer Dunne admitted Pompey had been found wanting in such crucial areas.

He said: ‘Ebbsfleet are a strong team, they do what they are good at, if the keeper gets it they look long and get people around the ball.

‘We gave them three goals. In the first half we had a couple of chances – at this moment we are making a lot of chances.

‘But we just don’t seem to be putting the ball into the back of the net and need to be more ruthless in front of goal and that’s what the gaffer is trying to get into us as well.

‘With the chances we create, if we start putting them away it’s a completely different game and looking at all the other games, the scorelines could have been much more in our favour.

‘Everyone is disappointed, you don’t want to the lose games, but the way we also gave away goals wasn’t very good.

‘Obviously it’s nice that we won the last three games, but this was a tougher test.

‘We lost the game yet got good fitness out of it as well.’

Dunne was back in Andy Awford’s side having sat out the victory over Thurrock with a slight hamstring.

His absence from the 2-0 victory was more precautionary and the former Stevenage midfielder saw out 62 minutes on Saturday.

Partnering Danny Hollands at Stonebridge Road, they represent Awford’s likely pairing in the sitting midfield roles for the August 9 opener.

They were replaced by Nigel Atangana and Nick Awford for the final 28 minutes but that couldn’t change the match in the Blues’ favour.

Instead they slipped to a 3-0 defeat against a side who have already beaten Charlton and Dagenham & Redbridge during pre-season.

But Dunne is well aware the real focus is on fitness heading towards the Football League opener at former club Exeter.

He added: ‘Obviously any result matters but the league is what counts, you are not going to win a medal at Ebbsfleet.

‘It was a tough day but it is more about fitness at this moment in time rather than winning.

‘We have each been doing 45 minutes per match but now it is being stepped up to 60 minutes and Saturday was another good work out.

‘I missed the Thurrock game but the training has been really good to get your fitness working, so it’s good and I feel fine heading into the season.

‘Next we have Bournemouth and I’m looking forward to getting even more minutes on the pitch.’