Pompey 3 Dagenham & Redbridge 0

Patrick Agyemang. Picture: Joe Pepler
Patrick Agyemang. Picture: Joe Pepler

Patrick Agyemang had pleaded for the chance to help Pompey end their scoring drought.

Last night the veteran striker was as good as his word as he inspired Pompey to a 3-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge.

Several renditions of the Patrick Agyemang song and a standing ovation upon his 73rd-minute substitution reflected an impressive display for the fit-again forward.

Starting his first match of the season, he had a point to prove and promptly turned in a man-of-the-match showing.

It was his clever use of the ball which fed James Dunne to crash home a spectacular opener on 40 minutes.

That moment lit up an otherwise mundane first half during which Ashley Chambers struck the bar for the visitors.

Then on 61 minutes, with the Blues under pressure, an ugly challenge on Agyemang by Andre Boucaud brought him a second yard card and suddenly the hosts had the numerical advantage.

Jed Wallace effectively settled matters on 69 minutes when he tucked home a penalty following a foul on Paul Robinson.

But it was the Agyemang show and three sides of Fratton Park rose to applaud when he left the pitch with 17 minutes to spare having done his job magnificently.

It was left for substitute Andy Barcham to complete the scoreline, ramming home Wallace’s right-wing cross in stoppage-time.

Pompey boss Andy Awford made three changes to the side which produced a miserable display at Southend at the weekend.

Ricky Holmes finally succumbed to the back complaint which has hampered his early season and was out of the match-day 18.

He was joined on the sidelines by Nicky Shorey, who has a slight calf problem.

Meanwhile, Miles Storey dropped to a bench which contained Jack Maloney among the seven substitutes.

That meant a maiden start of the campaign for Agyemang, following his two recent appearances as a substitute.

With Pompey opting for a 3-5-2 system, Dan Butler was recalled to feature at left wing-back in place of the injured Shorey.

Devera took the other spot, coming in as part of a back three including Jack Whatmough and Paul Robinson.

But still unavailable to Awford were Nigel Atangana, Nick Awford, Ryan Taylor, Ben Chorley, Danny East and Tom Craddock.

When the match got under way, Agyemang whipped in a fourth-minute cross from the right which teed up Jed Wallace in front of goal.

But Damian Batt put in a superb covering tackling to block and the Daggers managed to hack the ball clear.

On 12 minutes the busy Agyemang won a corner down the right but Butler’s attempt to pick out a player outside the box failed as a Daggers defender intercepted.

The veteran striker was causing all sorts of problems and in the Blues’ next attack he swivelled and attempted a one-two with Westcarr, only for the ball never to arrive back.

Roared on by the Fratton end, the hosts were dictating the play but still suffering from a poor final ball.

On 21 minutes, Luke Howell forced the first save of the game with a 25-yard shot which had Paul Jones pushing it around the post.

At the other end, Wallace drove in a rasping left-foot attempt from distance which fizzed just past the right-hand post.

Still the opening goal eluded both teams and when a Daggers corner was delivered from the right, Howell found himself with room at the far post yet could only steer his shot over.

Pompey nearly snatched what would have been a freak goal on 39 minutes after Alex Wynter had drilled in a weak left-foot shot.

There appeared no danger until Brian Saah stretched out a leg and deflected it goalwards before the sprawling Mark Cousins superbly finger-tipped it away.

The deadlock was broken seconds later, however, through Dunne.

Agyemang started it, holding the ball up before laying it off into the path of his team-mate who surged into the box and unleashed a powerful left-foot effort high into the net.

The Blues’ tails were up and Wallace cut in from the left and fired in a low shot from 35 yards which was dealt with comfortably by Cousins.

Chambers gave them a scare in first-half stoppage-time, though, when his thunderous left-foot drive from 30 yards cannoned off the crossbar.

The visitors started the second half strongly and when George Porter whipped in a dangerous cross from the right, Jones did well to claim a take.

Pompey needed to keep possession to take the sting out of the Daggers, who looked a threat whenever they came forward.

Sure enough, on 55 minutes Abu Ogogo crashed in a right-foot shot from long range which Jones had to beat out, with the ball fortunately bouncing clear of any potential follow-up.

Then Nathan Green’s left-wing cross was deflected goalwards, forcing Whatmough to head off the line, with Jamie Cureton blazing the follow-up well over.

Awford’s side were under pressure and when Wallace countered down the right on the hour mark he could only whip in a cross too close to the keeper.

But the Daggers were reduced to 10 men on 61 minutes when Boucaud received his marching orders.

The midfielder was already on a yellow and when he took Agyemang down from behind another soon followed and he was off.

In the 69th minute, Westcarr swung in a corner from the right and Matt Partridge was correctly penalised for holding back Robinson inside the six-yard box.

Wallace did the rest, driving a right-foot shot into the bottom corner, sending Cousins the wrong way in the process.

Agyemang was withdrawn to a standing ovation in the 73rd minute with Storey replacing him.

Moments later Butler sent in a deep cross from the left and Wallace produced a fierce snap-shot which bounced just over the bar.

On 80 minutes, substitute Storey crashed Westcarr’s right-wing cross home at close range only for the assistant referee’s flag to cut short celebrations.

Unsurprisingly, Pompey were now dominant and in stoppage-time the victory was wrapped up when Barcham finished Wallace’s cross from the right.

And after three successive league defeats, Pompey were back on track.