Coleman’s delight at character

Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman
Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman

John Coleman saluted his side’s character after they recovered from blowing a two-goal lead to seal victory over Pompey.

The Accrington Stanley boss saw his men charge into a 2-0 advtange, only to be pegged back before half-time.

But it was the visitors who grabbed the winner after surviving a good spell of home pressure early in the second period when Jack Rose made a fine save to deny Marcus Bean a second goal.

Coleman said: ‘The goals we conceded were disappointing to let them back into game but I think the lads showed great character.

‘I spoke to them in the dressing room about it and we’ve seen it several times since (assistant manager) Jimmy (Bell) and I have been back.

‘With no disrespect to them, other Accrington teams would have gone under in front of a big crowd after letting a two-goal lead slip.

‘We wouldn’t have gone again. So it was testament to the players – they’re the ones who should take the plaudits.

‘The big turning point was five minutes into the second half when Jack made a fantastic save.

‘Portsmouth would have gone ahead and they had built up a head of steam.

‘Make no bones about it, Portsmouth are a very good side and their home record has been very good.’

Coleman also felt it was a clear penalty when Matt Fish challenged John O’Sullivan, even though it enraged home supporters.

He said: ‘I thought it was a penalty.

‘He nicked the ball through the guys legs and he took him out.

‘We’ve been on the end of some ropey decisions in the past three or four weeks but in the end, it was irrelevant because he missed it.

‘But we knew it was going to be difficult coming here.

‘If someone had said we would have been disappointed to lose at Portsmouth 10 years ago, they’d have been carried away by someone in a white coat!’

Watch official highlights of Pompey v Accrington here.