Craddock makes Pompey goal-scoring return

Tom Craddock is pre-season action back in August 2013
Tom Craddock is pre-season action back in August 2013

Tom Craddock made a Pompey goal-scoring return in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Fulham’s under-21s.

The Cottagers yesterday stepped in to provide last-minute opposition for the reserves after Peterborough had pulled out of a scheduled fixture.

The Posh yesterday informed Paul Hardyman they had instead jetted off for a five-day training camp in Spain.

That left the reserves without a game – until a favour was called in with Fulham boss and ex-Pompey defender Kit Symons.

As a result, a strong Blues side ventured to Motspur Park, with Craddock making his first appearance for 13 months following a serious knee injury.

The visitors, who also included James Dunne, Danny East and Jack Whatmough in their starting line-up, lost 3-1, with Thomas Eisfeld netting twice for Fulham.

But Hardyman was pleased with the run out for his players.

He said: ‘To be fair, there was very little in the game, but Eisfeld scored with two fantastic free-kicks which were both better than Steven Gerrard’s on Monday night!

‘One was in the top corner and hit the crossbar and post on its way in. The other was in the opposite bottom corner, whipped over the wall.

‘Taking that away, we scored a good goal and they scored a good goal – but their set-pieces won it for them.

‘For us, though, it was more about game time, we were not worried about getting the result. The main task was getting through allotted minutes.

‘We really wanted a game after the original match was called off and, thankfully, Fulham were also keen for a fixture.

‘James Dunne started and was given 60 minutes and looked good. There were no problems, he will be in contention for selection for Newport County on Saturday, especially after coming on against Luton in the last first-team game.

‘Danny East also made his first start since coming back from his injury, but the important thing was to get minutes into all our players’ legs.’

Pompey: Poke, Irving, Whatmough (60 mins Haunstrup), Chorley (60 mins Nilsen), Butler, East (60 mins Rwakarambwe), Dunne (60 mins Chaplin), Awford, Close, Tarbuck, Craddock (80 mins Haitham)