Fagan miss gave Pompey belief

Craig Fagan misses Bury's best chance in the first half at Fratton Park. Picture: Barry Zee
Craig Fagan misses Bury's best chance in the first half at Fratton Park. Picture: Barry Zee
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It was the wretched miss which planted the belief in Guy Whittingham it might be Pompey’s day.

Sure enough, Bury were left to rue Craig Fagan’s wastefulness as the Blues ran out 2-0 winners.

David Connolly settled matters in the second half with a double strike to complete a first home win since October 20 against Shrewsbury.

Yet in the first-half Fagan gave Pompey a real let-off.

The former Hull forward controlled a pass well only to blaze his shot over the bar from six-yards out.

It was a remarkable miss and one which meant Bury failed to mark their first-half superiority with the lead at the break.

And Whittingham was a relieved man.

He said: ‘Fagan should have scored that.

‘When a good chance is missed like that you start thinking this may be your day.

‘The interval came at the right time.

‘We didn’t play well at all and they were very much in the ascendency, so it was one of those half-times you were glad you were coming in at 0-0.

‘I don’t know what the problem with us was.

‘You think you might be able to play your football and go out and win just because you are confident from the game before.

‘In the second half we were a lot more forceful with the ball.

‘We kept it better, we pushed it forward a lot better.

‘Jed Wallace’s energy was in there, Liam Walker used the ball a lot better, Johnny Ertl got around like he used to, Therry Racon got on the ball and we actually stretched them a little bit more instead of coming short.

‘We didn’t need to shout at the interval.

‘There were raised voices, of course there was because we had to get over how disappointed we were with the first half.’

The victory over the Shakers also saw Jack Maloney come off the bench to mark his Football League debut.

Among the substitutes was fit-again Shaun Cooper following his recent injury lay-off.

Although, striker John Akinde was notably missing from the five-man bench – an absence Whittingham explained as illness.

He added: ‘John Akinde was ill. He came in and had a sickness bug and wasn’t feeling too good and rather than having him hanging around we told him to go straight back home.’

– NEIL ALLEN