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Southend United 0 v 2 Portsmouth
Johnstone's Paint Trophy
Tuesday, 8th January 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Defensive effort is key to Pompey's latest victory on road
Wednesday, 9th Jan 2019 22:08 by pompey-fans.com staff

Pompey assistant boss Joe Gallen saluted the whole team for the way they defended and laid the foundation for the Checkatrade Trophy win at Southend.

An early header from Louis Dennis and a neat finish by Gareth Evans saw an inexperienced Blues team overcome Chris Powell's team at their Roots Hall home and move into the last eight of the competition many fans love to hate.

Gallen picked out scorers Dennis and Evans for praise - as well as versatile youngster Dan Smith - but said it was a great team effort that earned the victory.

Kenny Jackett's right hand man told the club website: 'We made a lot of changes from our usual starting line-up and were up against a very strong Southend side. But I thought we played very well – two good goals, a clean sheet and on to the next round. It was extremely pleasing.

'Dan Smith would say he’s a centre-forward, but he slotted in at right-back and put in a decent cross for the opener. Louis headed it in well and that’s his first goal for us, so we’re happy for him and for the combination between those two players.

'Gareth’s a very fit guy and is having a great season for us. He had a slightly different role than usual and it was a clean finish – he strikes the ball brilliantly with left and right foot.

'We had certain rules to abide by with picking the team and also wanted a bit of experience with so many youngsters. Southend didn’t have too many chances and that’s always the starting point for us, so well done to everyone for the defending, which begins from the front with our pressing and works back.

'We expected to be up against it more in the second half, but it was fairly comfortable and it was pretty good going for us.'

Pompey: Bass; Smith, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; Evans (c), May; Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Read 46); Lethbridge (Maloney 54). Subs not used: Durin, Mnoga, Clarke, Hancott, Lowe

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,649 (189 Pompey fans)

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