BY LOUIS MENDEZ
Portsmouth outfought Charlton as they wrestled all three points away from The Valley on Tuesday evening, admits Lee Bowyer.
Kenny Jackett’s side ran out 3-1 winners in the hastily rearranged game following Saturday’s postponement due to a waterlogged playing surface in SE7.
Michael Jacobs had volleyed fellow promotion hopefuls Pompey into the lead before half-time, with Jayden Stockley levelling shortly after the interval with his first goal for the Addicks since joining on loan from Preston.
But parity was short-lived as Tom Naylor headed the visitors back ahead just three minutes later. Andy Cannon then put the game out of sight as he capitalised on Ben Watson’s error just beyond the hour-mark.
The result sees the South Londoners drop to eighth in the League One table after a miserable run of results in which they’ve tasted victory just twice in their last ten outings.
After the game, Bowyer said: “I thought they outfought us. Portsmouth, we all know what they are like as a team. They do the basics well, they’re physical and they compete. Today, they were better than us at that. They deserved to win. We all know that’s the way they play. Did I feel at times the ref gave them a helping hand and gave them a lot of fouls? They put a lot of balls into our box from fouls that looked really soft. He kept falling for it, the ref, so we were under a bit of pressure from balls going into our box from free-kicks.
“But I think Portsmouth deserved to win the game on chances crated. Their defenders defended the box well, made a lot of blocks. We looked soft. The goals we gave away were soft. A free-header from five yards out. The last one, you have to put your foot through it at times. That’s what Portsmouth do, they do the basics well.
“On chances, I think they deserved to win. I think we started well. First 10-15 I thought we looked the better side. And then we got a but complacent and kept giving them the ball in dangerous areas and they kept breaking on us. It’s not like they were cutting us open through good football, it was just us giving them the ball in bad areas and them breaking with three v twos and four v threes. Before the goal we looked the better side.
“Our decision making was poor, first-half. Our quality in the final third. Maybe the pitch played a part. I don’t want to keep making excuses for them really but our final little pass, little slides, are normally better than what we showed there tonight. Young Albie had an opportunity to slide Shinnie in, Shinnie probably scores. Small details but big moments in games. We could have been going in 1-0 up instead of 1-0 down.”
One bright note for the Addicks was the display of Preston loanee Stockley up top. He battled for every ball in the Pompey penalty area and capped his performance with his first Charlton goal, heading home from a corner.
“Jayden played really well,” added Bowyer.
“If there is any positive to take from tonight, it’s Jayden’s performance. Balls that went up to him. Even balls that he shouldn’t even hold onto and keep, he keeps. He’s just a constant threat. Every time there’s a ball going into the box, you’re thinking, where is he? He must be a nightmare for defenders. Our midfielders getting around him, when he can’t score himself he’s always looking to tee up someone else. Four or five occasions, we had shots that came from his lay-offs and their defenders got good blocks on them. I thought Jayden was very good tonight.”
PHOTOS: KYLE ANDREWS
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