Robinson relishing Shots second chance

Defender Paul Robinson is likely to return to the Pompey starting line-up for tonight's FA Cup first-round replay at Aldershot Picture: Joe Pepler
Defender Paul Robinson is likely to return to the Pompey starting line-up for tonight's FA Cup first-round replay at Aldershot Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Robinson didn’t finish the game the last time Pompey locked horns with Aldershot.

Yet it is a certainty he will be starting the rematch as Andy Awford strives to finally dispose of the non-league neighbours.

It will be an instant recall at the Recreation Ground tonight for the loanee from Millwall as the Blues boss strengthens his starting line-up.

Few could argue with sweeping changes to the team who suffered such an abject televised League Two defeat at Plymouth at the weekend.

Robinson is back, though, having served the one-match suspension he collected following an 82nd-minute dismissal in the previous Shots clash.

A major boost for Awford having his star defender among his side again – particularly as the back four was such a concern at Home Park.

And for the 32-year-old, the chance to make amends after being red-carded in the last encounter is a prized one.

‘It was frustrating getting sent off. I was disappointed in myself and I am just using that to motivate myself and be ready to perform tonight,’ said Robinson.

‘I think maybe the first yellow was a little harsh, but once I took that it was a bit rash of me to fly into the second challenge.

‘You know once you do that as a defender – committing yourself and off your feet – there’s every chance by mis-timing it slightly these days you get your second yellow.

‘Once that happened I took it on the chin.

‘The lads did me a favour and managed to hold on for the draw and we have another opportunity now tonight to win the tie.

‘We had just got back in the game at 2-2, so the timing wasn’t great. But even with 10 men the lads really went at Aldershot in the last 10 minutes.

‘The FA Cup throws up a few strange results and we saw from that weekend a lot of non-league sides gave a good account of themselves.

‘We started well but, to be fair, Aldershot came back and scored a very good goal just before half-time and that really opened up the second half.

‘They played very well, probably both sides felt they didn’t deserve to lose, and no team had the right so say they should have won – so a draw was a fair result.

‘We have another opportunity in a classic FA Cup tie now.’

Andy Scott’s side have defeated both Kidderminster and Nuneaton in their subsequent two league matches, without conceding.

It’s a run of form which has lifted them into 13th in the Conference table – precisely the same position their League Two visitors hold in their standings.

And the Shots’ last display against Pompey left an impression on Robinson.

He added: ‘I was impressed with them. I thought they worked hard, they had a lively front two and you know what you are going to get.

‘They put balls into our box and made us defend and put a lot of pressure on, especially in that opening 20-25 minute spell in the second half. We are under no illusions it is going to be tough tonight and we know what is coming.’