Pompey duo catch Cook’s eye in play-off draw

Kyle Bennett celebrates the opening goal with scorer Marc McNulty. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett celebrates the opening goal with scorer Marc McNulty. Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Cook praised his two returning players after Pompey’s play-off first leg ended in a draw.

Marc McNulty and Kyle Bennett both made their comebacks from injury in last night’s pulsating Fratton Park fixture against Plymouth.

All the lads were terrific, they gave this club everything they have got and it must have been a great game for the cameras

Paul Cook

McNulty grabbed the opener and also won the penalty for Gary Roberts’ equaliser in the 2-2 draw.

Bennett, who had missed the previous four matches, was a bright presence until his substitution on 62 minutes.

Cook insists the pair did not aggravate their previous injuries, putting them in the frame for Sunday’s second leg.

And he was quick to applaud their input against the Pilgrims.

He said: ‘McNulty trained for two days, he was excellent. Kyle Bennett the same. The substitutions were always planned.

‘Kyle was always going to come off after 62 minutes.

‘He hasn’t trained but I thought he was fantastic.

‘Marc McNulty is the same, they were good substitutions for us.

‘All the lads were terrific, they gave this club everything they have got and it must have been a great game for the cameras.

‘Both teams deserve plaudits for the way they played.

‘We will turn up on Sunday and our fans know we won’t take a backwards step.

‘We are going to attack them from start to finish in our pursuit to get to Wembley and try to get out of the league.

‘Whether we are good or not remains to be seen.

‘It’s a dead evenly-balanced game, I’m looking forward to it. It will be a great atmosphere, two teams doing the best to get to Wembley.

‘If we play like we did in the second half in the game at Home Park then I am sure we will be okay.’