Pompey boss counts cost of Devera miss

Joe Devera heads off target at Spotland. Picture: Joe Pepler
Joe Devera heads off target at Spotland. Picture: Joe Pepler

Richie Barker bemoaned Joe Devera’s costly miss as Pompey supporters endured another agonising evening.

The Blues are now just two points above the relegation zone following their third successive defeat – this time 3-0 at Rochdale last night.

But it could have been so different had Devera managed to head home at the far post in the eighth minute.

With the scoreline goalless, Bondz N’Gala saw his header from Ricky Holmes’ corner cleared off the line, before finding its way to his central defensive partner.

Devera, who has never netted for Pompey, then headed over from close range – with Matt Lund netting for the hosts seven minutes later.

And Pompey’s boss was left to reflect on what could have been following another demoralising loss.

‘Goals change games,’ said Barker.

‘I have been saying that for a long time now and Joe Devera’s chance, well I don’t know if he will get an easier one.

‘Bondz’s header looked like it was going in. I don’t know how it eventually ended up with Joe.

‘But goals change games and seven minutes later a lack of aggression defensively and we are 1-0 down when we should be 1-0 up. I don’t think you have to be a good header of ball to score that one.

‘If you actually just head it down and mis-head it you probably would score.

‘It was the best chance of the game, I think.

‘It was an easier chance than all of theirs that have gone in.

‘If it had gone in it would have been a massive confidence lift and changed everybody’s mentality.

‘It would have been major to start the game in that positive way.’

Pompey have now netted just once in their past six matches – Jed Wallace scoring that goal at Fleetwood.