T ‘n’ T stir memories of great goal pairings

Ryan Taylor and Matt Tubbs celebrate a goal against Cambridge. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Taylor and Matt Tubbs celebrate a goal against Cambridge. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Hollands hails strike pairing
  • Midfielder lauds work rate of duo
  • Taylor and Tubbs have hit 12 goals in 10 games

They are playing in the shadows of goalscoring heroes.

But Pompey’s strike partnership is now beginning to step into the limelight in their own right with their explosive finishing form.

Fratton folklore echoes with tales of the exploits of Paul Walsh and Guy Whittingham, Alan Biley and Mark Hateley and Colin Garwood partnering Jeff Hemmerman in attack, to name a few.

Then came the link-ups between the likes of Svetoslav Todorov, Yakubu, Lomana Lualua and Teddy Sheringham in recent years.

Now a duo for the new era has formed in Ryan Taylor and Matt Tubbs.

The pair made it 12 goals from the last 10 games between them with a finish apiece against Cheltenham on Tuesday night.

Taylor has six in the last seven to his name, while Tubbs took his total to six in 10 against the Robins.

Behind them, Danny Hollands is watching the strike force flourish.

Hollands said: ‘They are both doing fantastically.

‘They are there to score goals, even if you can’t rely just on them.

The pair of them are a joy to have in the team

Danny Hollands

‘They are doing a great job at the moment.

‘It’s not just their goalscoring, though, both lads are working really hard.

‘Goals give you confidence.

‘Tayls, up until the last few weeks, hadn’t scored that many.

‘Now he’s a striker in form with a lot of goals.

‘When you hit one, two and three can follow quickly.

‘Every time he goes forward he looks like he’s going to score.

‘The pair of them are a joy to have in the team.

‘Hopefully that can now continue for them between now and the end of the season.

‘If you’ve got strikers scoring you goals, it’s goals which win you games.’

Tubbs and Taylor have been the preferred choice up front for Pompey boss Andy Awford in the past 10 games.

Previously, Craig Westcarr was firmly in the mix for the Blues but the summer arrival from Walsall has found himself a victim of his team-mates’ success.

Tubbs always looked the favourite to have one of the starting positions nailed down when he arrived from AFC Wimbledon as the division’s top scorer.

Taylor’s all-round game, as well as his goals, has seen him excel alongside.

Hollands said: ‘Tayls’ hold-up play is excellent and he’s looking a real, top player at the moment.

‘It’s nice to be playing with him because you give him the ball and you know it’s going to stick.

‘He brings other players into play and we are building off him.

‘It’s massive – especially when teams are defending and making it difficult for you.

‘You need that focal point and you know it will stick with Tayls. He’s doing brilliantly.

‘It helps that you can build off him because, once you can build off him you can get the ball wide and the balls in the box.

‘When you haven’t got that up there it’s very tough to do anything.’