Two first half goals extended Pompey’s win streak to three games as they dispatched of bottom of the league Rochdale. It wasn’t as easy as the league positions would suggest, but ultimately a professional performance did the job for The Blues.
Here are my Pompey player ratings:
Craig MacGillivray: 6.5
It was quite an uneventful game for The Blue’s number one, with most of Rochdale’s efforts on goal missing the target. He was called into action late in the first half, closing down a one-on-one opportunity that looked destined to end in a goal. There wasn’t much he could have done to prevent the late consolation goal, with it being slid across the face of goal to be tapped home. He’s been one of Pompey’s most consistent players this season, and today gave as good of a performance as he could of.Embed from Getty Images
Callum Johnson: 6.5
A decent performance from a defensive standpoint but it was his passing that let him down at times. There were a few misplaced passes as well as overhit crosses, however this is to be expected with the team getting used to playing it out from the back.
Jack Whatmough: 7
He looked comfortable with the ball at his feet and was able to move the ball around the backline under pressure. He was solid defensively and didn’t really put a foot wrong.
Sean Raggett: 7
Raggett was an aerial presence at the back, winning a lot of crucial headers in defensive situations. He was able to cut out a couple of passes to prevent Rochdale from having clear cut chances on goal. He was also on hand to clear the ball away from bouncing into an empty net, after MacGillivray’s save ricocheted goal bound.
Lee Brown: 7
Brown often gets criticism from fans but I think he’s been a regular strong performer this season and today was no different. He defended well throughout and also offered constant support down the left hand side, where he combined will with Curtis on a few occasions. On the ball he was composed and looks like he is taking to the playing out the back naturally.
Tom Naylor: 7
Just your classic Tom Naylor performance really. Worked hard constantly to win the ball back and make it difficult for Rochdale to get into their rhythm in the middle of midfield. A few counter attacking opportunities in the first half came from possession being won by the skipper, making him heavily involved in the performance.Embed from Getty Images
Ben Close (Off 87′): 7
Ben Close has been revitalised under the management of the Cowley Brothers. He was pretty much frozen out of Kenny Jackett’s squad, but has now flourished under the new high-tempo passing approach. He showed his creativity by trying different things (e.g one touch football, longer balls, etc) and was definitely a key playmaker in midfield.
Michael Jacobs (Off 65′): 7
Jacobs had a good showing before being substituted in the second half. He played a key role in both goals, kickstarting the counter attack for the first and directly assisting the second. He looked to play longer balls quite frequently, which didn’t really come off a lot of the time. Jacobs also had a golden opportunity to score in the first half after being played through on goal by Curtis. It was a chance that really should have been put way, but other than that a decent performance from Crackers.Embed from Getty Images
Marcus Harness (Off 82′): 7.5
Harness was Pompey’s main attacking outlet in the first half, with pretty much everything going through him. There were occasions where he perhaps took to long to make a decision, but ultimately he still offered a major threat coming forward. It was his ball across goal that put it on a plate for Williams early on, giving him another assist for the season. Even before the Cowley’s took over, Harness liked to play more of a fast paced passing/dribbling game so has taken to the new style very well.
Ryan Williams: 8
For me Williams has really come into his own this season, adding another top performance to the list today. He always has a high work rate leaving it impossible to question his heart for the team. It was his finish that got The Blues off to a strong start, and he remained a constant threat until the final whistle.
Ronan Curtis: 8
Without a natural striker available it was Curtis who had to step up to the plate and he looked a natural fit. He looked to make runs in behind Rochdale’s centre half’s as well as linking up will with both wingers to help progress attacks up the pitch. A well taken finish to the far corner saw Curtis put Pompey up by two and on the path to another three points.
Charlie Daniels (On 87′): N/A
Not on long enough to be able to give a rating.
Andy Cannon (On 82′) : N/A
Much like Daniels just not on long enough to give an informed opinion. He did look energetic when he came on though, injecting a bit more life into the side as energy levels were dropping.
Harvey White (On 65′): 6.5
Didn’t really do a whole lot wrong but just didn’t quite have as much of an impact as others. He was always looking to receive the ball and worked well when combining in triangles down the left flank.
Check out check out the highlights from the game below: