Barcham rues penalty decision
Andy Barcham was left to rue the penalty that never was after Pompey crashed out of the FA Cup at Stevenage.
The Blues winger turned in a fine display on his return to the starting line-up.
He was convinced he should have had a spot-kick in the latter stages of the 2-1 loss.
Pompey turned up the heat is search of an equaliser in a frantic finish to the game after David Connolly’s goal.
It could well have seen Guy Whittingham’s battlers escape with a replay, despite playing most of the second half with 10 men after Gavin Mahon’s red card.
It was by no means clear cut but Barcham was sure he had a good case after he tumbled.
Referee Gary Sutton only pointed for a goal-kick.
Barcham said: ‘I thought it was a definite penalty.
‘Everyone reacted in the same way.
‘I wrong-footed the defender, he tried to get at me and was then pulling me back and leant into me as I tried to cross the ball.
‘He caught me but sometimes you don’t get them.
‘I thought it was pretty clear and it might have meant us getting a replay out of the game, which I felt we deserved.
‘But it is just one of those that the referee didn’t see it that way and it wasn’t given.
‘Even then, we tried to forget about it and still kept going until the final whistle.’
It was not the only decision to go against Pompey on the day with Mahon shown a straight red card for a flailing arm in an aerial challenge.
But it was another call Barcham felt went against his side, although he believes the spirited response from Pompey showed the togetherness in the camp.
He said: ‘It was near me.
‘Gavin only had eyes on the ball. It travelled a long way and he has run his heart out to try to get there.
‘It’s an FA Cup game and there are going to be challenges with desire and passion.
‘But I didn’t think it was a sending off. He’s not a malicious player – far from it.
‘He apologised to the boys because it ended in him being sent off.
‘But it didn’t look like a red card to me.
‘Once that happened, you can cave in and crumble or give it a go.
‘Everything was against us but we had the opportunity to play without fear and get back in the game.
‘That reaction will be great for team spirit and morale.
‘We battled for each other and we were unlucky not to get it back to 2-2.’
Pompey need a response as they go to Newport County in Johnstone’s Paint Trophy action tomorrow night.
And Barcham insists the competition has taken on even more significance after the FA Cup exit.
He said: ‘It’s very important to us.
‘We know there is a chance of Wembley at the end of it.
‘It is every player’s dream to play there so we will be doing all we can to get through, especially after this defeat.’