View from the Dugout: Last-kick defeat was so cruel but we must make sure there is no fall-out in the league

Phil Parkinson
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Assistant manager Neil Sorvel has today’s column…

The players performed absolutely brilliantly at Fratton Park in the FA Cup last Saturday… to a man each one was somewhere near his best and to go toe to toe with League 1 side in unfamiliar territory was outstanding.

We had 58% possession in the second half and whilst Portsmouth probably had the majority of chances, we had to take a few risks after going a goal down and that opened the game up.

The late drama of Portsmouth scoring the winning goal with literally seconds to play was very cruel on us, but that’s why we all love football so much as it produces such highs and lows.

Some of the hundreds who made the trip to Fratton Park

On Tuesday night, we went out of the Cheshire Senior Cup 2-0 at Stalybridge. All of the players that started at Portsmouth were given a well-deserved night off and I was pleased with the performance of the team, which was a mixture of players from the first team, reserves and youth team.

We should have taken the lead midway through the first half and whilst the two goals conceded, late in the 1st half, were down to individual mistakes, we had five or six young lads playing against the strongest opposition that they have probably played against on a tricky surface and they will take a lot from that.

Watch highlights from the game:

Today, we are back in league action and on our travels yet again, taking on Bradford (Park Avenue).

People will look at the table and see them rooted to the bottom of the league but they will be a far more difficult proposition than if we had played them earlier in the season when they suffered some very heavy defeats.

Mark Bower and Danny Boshell have returned to the club that they have taken to the play-offs in each of the last two seasons and they will try to keep things tight and stay in the game as long as possible.

Phil Parkinson thanks the travelling support at the end

They have pushed both Kings Lynn and Chester very close in recent games and won at Gloucester in the FA Trophy, so we know that it will be a tough game that we will need to perform well in again to win.

We must make sure that there is no fall-out from our FA Cup run and take advantage of the opportunity of a run of games that we have coming up where we can get a good haul of points and progress towards the play-off positions.

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