Awford delight at Pompey ‘Good advert’

Andy Awford, right, is all smiles. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Awford, right, is all smiles. Picture: Joe Pepler

Victoria Road was a lacklustre affair four days earlier offering little in the way of entertainment.

Then there was Fratton Park.

According to Andy Awford, Saturday’s encounter with Exeter was everything good about League Two.

Jed Wallace’s last-gasp goal provided the drama, while the crossbar was struck three times and there was also a missed penalty.

It was a big contrast to Pompey’s 0-0 draw at Dagenham on Tuesday night.

And Awford felt the spectacle on Saturday was one for fans to enjoy.

He said: ‘It was a great game, a really good advert for League Two.

‘I don’t want to criticise the pitch but it is difficult to play on at times.

‘Regardless, you saw two teams pass the ball very, very well and adapt to the surface to create a real open game.

‘Fair play to Exeter, they have played their part in that.

‘Not many teams leave three up when it’s 0-0 at Fratton Park with 10 minutes to go.

‘It was an open game. He (Paul Tisdale) is wanting to win it, we are wanting to win it and thankfully we got it and I think it was deserved.

‘I think the whole performance was really good. We have hit the bar first half, had a couple of opportunities, and in the second half looked a stronger team, hit the bar again and missed a penalty.’

Despite extending their run to eight points from the last four matches, the Blues remain in 16th spot.

During that time the 3-5-2 system has not yielded a goal and once again on Saturday the back line were in strong form.

As the game wore on, Awford’s men as an attacking unit grew stronger, although it appeared had spurned their best opportunity from the penalty spot.

And their manager was pleased with the second-half showing.

Awford added: ‘We had a little sort out at half-time after a couple of things Exeter did.

‘They changed their shape after 20 minutes, which tells you that we have got something right.

‘Matt Oakley goes from playing in the middle of a back three to playing behind the front two.

‘Paul changed the system and we had to adapt to that, but I am more about us so it was important we had a little chat at half-time and got that sorted out tactically.

‘I thought we looked pretty solid again throughout.

‘They have hit the bar with a good strike from distance, Paul Jones has actually had something to do for the first time in three games.

’But as a unit we looked solid again.’