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Portsmouth 2 v 1 Stevenage
SkyBet League One
Monday, 1st January 2024 Kick-off 15:00
We defended brilliantly when we needed to: Mousinho hails gritty Pompey after Stevenage are sunk
Monday, 1st Jan 2024 21:29 by staff

John Mousinho was delighted to see Pompey begin 2024 with a win over Stevenage - but warned his players they must make more of clear-cut opportunities that come their way.

Paddy Lane and Colby Bishop got the first half goals that earned the win but the Hertfordshire side pushed hard in the second half and threatened to take a share of the points.

Abu Kamara spurned three one-on-ones and a couple of other half chances went begging but it didn't matter in the end as an indisciplined Stevenage, who picked up six yellow cards and two reds, went home without reward.

Mousinho told the club media: 'I thought we played really well in the first half and were good value for our lead. We were frustrated to concede a goal without really making our opponents have to do a huge amount.

'But we came back from that, recovering from a tricky period to go in ahead at the break, and that was pleasing. Colby probably feels he could have scored more in the past few games, but we always know he’s going to produce for us and it’s brilliant that he’s back on the scoresheet.

'It wasn’t great from us on the ball in the second half and we made a few poor decisions, but we showed a lot of grit and determination. We defended our box well and Will Norris didn’t have a huge amount to do, despite that pressure on us.

'The most important thing was to start the new year with a win and we definitely needed it because of the sides behind us picking up points. Stevenage were fresher than us and we tired a bit, sinking into our box, but we defended brilliantly when we needed to.

'We just need to make sure we take those opportunities when they come along to put the game to bed.'

Ex-Blues man Nathan Thompson was sent off in stoppage-time for catching Christian Saydee in the face with a very high boot and Mousinho said: 'He’s okay after getting a pretty nasty cut right by his eye. It was one of the worst challenges I’ve witnessed and not the sort of thing we want to see on a football pitch.'

Photo: Action Images

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