Elation and anger for Gaz in Pompey draw

This Is Local London: Gareth Ainsworth Gareth Ainsworth

WANDERERS boss Gareth Ainsworth admitted to having mixed emotions after seeing his side snatch a dramatic injury time equaliser against Portsmouth.

Anthony Stewart - only able to play after Wanderers staff had come up with compelling video and written evidence to overturn a red card - rescued a point against the 2008 FA Cup winners with a 94th minute header.

But although the Blues boss was on a high after that intervention - and some of the football his side played in the first half - he admitted to being annoyed at a listless second half performance that almost proved costly.

Wanderers were in front at the interval thanks to Matt McClure's sixth of the season, but Pompey fought back to take the lead despite Blues keeper Matt Ingram saving David Connolly's penalty.

Ainsworth said: "I'm elated but also angry with the way some of the play was done. That'll be put right.

"First half I thought we were the better side. We could have had a couple more. Second half they were definitely the better side, they camped out in our half. I was disappointed with the way we approached and cleared the ball and didn't get forward and didn't hold it up. There's plenty gone wrong second half.

"I think it's a fair reflection - I don't think people in Portsmouth will because of the second half. In the first half we did knock it round really well and thought we could have had a couple more. we've got to finish the game. They made a change and it caused a different dimension to their team.

"Anthony Stewart said to me as he came off, 'I was at fault for the goal against and I've put it right'. I'm not sure he was, it's difficult to tell who was at fault. The free kick being given away was a bit naive.

"Anthony's gone down the other end and done it right. We don't have many late goals for, usually they're against, so it's nice to get one in the for column."

He added: "Some of the football we played - some of their players came over at the end and said 'You played some good stuff first half'.

"Fair play to them, the changes were made - Connolly and [Patrick] Agyemang made big changes with the way they played. We tried to combat Agyemang pace for pace with Anthony Stewart and I thought it worked.

"The Portsmouth team that started, we dealt with very well with the experience of our two centre halves."

Ainsworth admitted his players, who have faced midweek matches in each of the last four weeks, looked tired towards the end of the game.

Billy Knott played despite illness, while Josh Scowen and Matt Bloomfield were both absent from the midfield engine room.

Ainsworth said: "They bring energy to that midfield, which I thought we were lacking a bit in the second half. Billy Knott was dead on his feet at the end.

"Some of the guys have battled hard, they have played all eight games in four weeks so they are shattered and looking forward to a rest next week."


Comments are closed on this article.


Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree