Hardyman disappointment at Pompey reserves’ draw

Nigel Atangana was on target for Pompey's second string against Bournemouth    Picture: Colin Farmery
Nigel Atangana was on target for Pompey's second string against Bournemouth Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey reserves retained this season’s unbeaten record, yet failed to impress boss Paul Hardyman.

Nigel Atangana’s 38th-minute goal cancelled out Elliott Ward’s opener in yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at Furze Lane.

On a chilly afternoon, it was a sixth draw of the campaign in all competitions for the Blues’ second string.

Yet Pompey, who operated with a three-man central defence and Andy Barcham and Jack Maloney as wing-backs, should have gone in at the break in the lead.

They wasted several opportunities, with central defender Ward netting from a Sam Matthews corner against the run of play.

Atangana converted Maloney’s right-wing cross for the equaliser only five minutes later to ensure it was all-square at the break.

During the second half, skipper Adam Webster saw a drive tipped over the bar by Ryan Allsop, while Miles Addison cleared a Tom Craddock header off the line.

Yet it was the Cherries who finished strongly, dominating possession albeit without truly troubling Alex Bass.

Regardless of the point in the Final Third Development League fixture, Hardyman was far from impressed.

He said: ‘It was a good game but for me the step up from the development group to the first team is a big one.

‘There were a lot of young lads out there today and they need to know it’s not easy.

‘They have got to keep learning – and they will do – but there were a couple of things I wasn’t happy with such as the three central defenders were very comfortable playing with one striker but needed to step out and be more commanding.

‘We have done alright in patches of the game, while defensively we were very good, but it’s not just about that.

‘When we regain the ball we need to be better, we need to be stronger in possession and create more chances.

‘We also played a lot on the counter attack and I want us to be more persuasive in their half and keep it better.

‘Bournemouth’s goal came from a set-piece.

‘You have your jobs to do and a young lad has been done on a run, he just has to be a little bit cuter on that.

‘It was a great equaliser from us with some good football down the right-hand side.

‘Nigel Atangana and Ben Close were given licence to get in the box to support the two strikers and when that ball came in Nigel was there getting across the near post.

‘It is about development but also learning how to win games.

‘A lot of under-21 football I have seen is very comfortable about keeping the ball but when you are playing men’s football it is all about winning.

‘We are trying to create a winning mentality within those players.’

Meanwhile, Pompey goalkeeping coach Scott Bevan had to step in as a linesman when the match officials were shuffled following a calf injury to the referee in the first half.

Pompey Reserves: Bass, Nilsen, Field, Webster, Maloney, Barcham (62 mins, Haunstrup), Awford, Close (76 mins, May), Atangana (62 mins, Granger), Craddock, Chaplin