Pompey midfielder thanks ‘competitive’ hosts

Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Barcham thanked Thurrock for providing a physical test for Pompey.

The Blues ran out 2-0 winners against the Ryman League north division outfit at Ship Lane last night.

The Essex side are operating in the eighth tier of the English game but that didn’t stop them giving Andy Awford’s men a decent test.

Thurrock made their presence felt with some tough tackling.

But that was something Barcham reckoned helped his team as they edged closer to the League Two curtain-raiser at Exeter on August 9.

He said: ‘These games are important.

‘We have to get to where we need to get to in terms of building for the season.

‘The new boys have come in and we’ve got together and eased them in.

‘We are looking forward to the rest of the training camp now and building things up.

‘There was a competitive edge to the game.

‘That was a good thing because that is what is needed going into the season.

‘They were trying to make things difficult for us.

‘That’s great because we are going to have to deal with that when we go into league games.

‘We have to deal with those tackles and I think we did.’

Barcham has faced a tough period as he tackled a thigh injury last season.

That paved the way for a summer of extra work for the 27-year-old when his team-mates were on holiday.

The winger wasn’t moaning about that, however, and feels those long hours have reaped rewards.

Barcham said: ‘It’s not nice doing that stuff but if that is going to benefit me that is what I’ll do.

‘After being so long out it was just nice to be out on the training pitch kicking a ball.

‘I still have to be careful but I’ve got the fitness in.

‘I am feeling the benefit of that at the moment.’

A promising second-half display culminated in Barcham having a goal disallowed with the last kick of the game for being offside.

He was adamant it should have stood, although he wasn’t getting too worked up.

Barcham said: ‘It was a goal. No way was it offside!’