Oastler: Giving Pompey blues is my career high

Joe Oastler, second from right, had a night to remember as Aldershot dumped Pompey out of the FA Cup
Joe Oastler, second from right, had a night to remember as Aldershot dumped Pompey out of the FA Cup

Joe Oastler put his hometown club to the sword and admitted: This is a career high.

The former Pompey trainee played a key role in his old side’s downfall in the FA Cup at Aldershot Town last night.

Oastler epitomised non-league Shots’ dogged spirit as they picked up a 1-0 first-round replay success at the Recreation Ground.

The defender from Milton had no doubt the night was right up with his finest in his time in football.

He said: ‘This ranks at the top with the very best moments in my career.

‘I’ve played in a League Two play-off final and got to those kind of games.

‘But I’ve always dreamed of playing against Pompey and playing at Fratton Park.

‘Thankfully I’ve been able to do that and to get Pompey back here and win is massive.

‘Me and my family have grown up Pompey fans, so it means a lot.

‘I struggled to get to games playing on Saturdays myself but it was something else getting a result against them.’

Oastler stated there were no divided loyalties and he couldn’t afford to have any sympathy at Pompey’s current plight.

The 24-year-old was supported by his childhood friends from the city – in both ends of the ground.

He explained he will return to backing the Blues now after causing them pain.

Oastler said: ‘Pompey are a good side with good players.

‘And I’m sure they will bounce back.

‘I do follow the team and their results.

‘I can’t feel sorry for them after this result, though, because our careers are on the line, too.

‘I was doing everything I could to win the game.

‘But I’ll be supporting them from now on and hoping they turn things around.

‘My mates were in the Pompey end and Aldershot end.

‘I’m sure there will be a few texts flying around but I think, deep down, they are happy for me.’

Andy Awford now finds himself under pressure as his team’s season hits a low ebb.

Pompey had never been knocked out of the FA Cup by a non-league side before the exit at the hands of the Conference Premier outfit.

But Oastler feels Awford has the qualities to come out fighting and get his players to turn the club’s fortunes around.

He said: ‘Andy is someone I know of and someone who was around the club when I was there.

‘He is going through a tough time right now but I’m sure they will bounce back.

‘He is a good manager with good players.

‘They’ve shown at times what they are capable of doing.

‘I hope they can turn it around and I wish him all the best.’