Painter: Away sides getting buzz from Fratton visits

Marcos Painter returned for the visit of Fleetwood on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Marcos Painter returned for the visit of Fleetwood on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler

Fratton Park has already witnessed three Pompey defeats before the end of September.

For Marcos Painter, it’s more proof how visiting sides raise their performances for footballing trips to the south coast.

On Saturday, Fleetwood followed Oxford and Chesterfield so far this season in clinching victories at the home of Guy Whittingham’s side.

Except, on this occasion it was against a full Pompey team rather than 10-men.

Incidentally, the trio currently occupy three of the top four spots in League Two.

Still, the Cod Army took advantage of a below-par Pompey to claim a 1-0 victory, courtesy of a Sonny Bradley own goal.

John Sullivan kept the scoreline down with several fine saves, while at the other end, opposite number Scott Davies barely had a shot to contend with.

The match finished 1-0, making it three defeats in four Fratton Park matches this season.

And Painter, returning at left-back following injury, believes teams are thriving on the prospect of playing at the famous old ground.

He said: ‘Away teams get a lift when they come to Fratton Park. Without a doubt, they get a lift.

‘I’ve been here myself with Brighton and it’s a ground you know where, if you start well, it gives you that buzz as an away team.

‘I think there have been some good performances at home this season – Morecambe was the first game I played in and they are not an easy team to beat. There are no teams in this division that are a walkover.

‘But I just think maybe teams are set up against us differently when they come here than they do on their own grounds.

‘I was here for Brighton a couple of years ago and we won 1-0 when Liam Lawrence missed a last-minute penalty.

‘If you play for any team coming to any ground that is well supported, you know that if you have a good start it gives you that buzz.

‘I don’t know what it is about it, it’s hard to explain, but it gives you that buzz and that edge on the team at home sometimes. Fleetwood are a good side who were solid at the back and I think this season they have been a threat going forward.

‘It didn’t quite happen for us but that happens to the best of teams.

‘And I would like to stress, we hate losing, we don’t like losing at home especially but it’s a long season and you will have to judge us further down the road.’

While Simon Ferry was Pompey’s man of the match, it was also a fine display from Sullivan.

The decisive goal came after he saved from Jamille Matt, only to see the ball ricochet unluckily off Bradley and into the unguarded Milton end net.

Regardless, Painter was impressed with the goalkeeper’s performance on the day.

He added: ‘Our keeper had one or two saves.

‘And you need your keeper to be strong and claim a few balls behind you.

‘It’s one of them where you have to try to forget about this result, work on it in the week and take in the points the manager can get across to us and wants us to improve on.’