Null By Mouth

DEREK Adams believes Portsmouth’s ability to nullify Argyle’s usual style of play played a key role in their 2-1 defeat.

The Dockyard Derby was played in front of over 11,000 fans at Home Park, and both teams showed quality and passion amidst such a raucous occasion at the Theatre of Greens. 

“[It was a] very good atmosphere,” said Adams. “I think that the players enjoyed it. It was a good derby match; obviously I wanted to see more chances for us, but that’ll come.

“I think that it was very mixed. It wasn’t really free-flowing, and there wasn’t many chances throughout the match. I thought the teams cancelled themselves out."

In stoppage time of the first half, Enda Stevens went to ground in the Greens’ box and won a penalty for Pompey. Matt Tubbs converted the spot-kick, and four minutes from time, Gary Roberts repeated the feat after winning a second penalty himself. 

Gregg Wylde fired in an injury-time goal to halve Argyle’s deficit, but it was too late for Derek’s side, and the boss spoke of his opposition’s adeptness in snuffing out much of Argyle’s threat in the middle of the park. 

“Portsmouth are a good side,” said Adams. “You can see that with the experience they’ve got throughout their team. We know that; they made seven changes to their team the other night and beat Derby. 

“They’re a good team; at times today we’ve been able to create chances, but we didn’t really play the free-flowing football that we can play, and that’s probably credit to Portsmouth. 

“They pressed quite well and didn’t allow us to get into a free-flowing game. There were a lot of fouls, pulls and tugs, and obviously that’s part of the game. The game became a bit fragmented, and that didn’t really help us. There were a lot of stoppages in play.”

“Their players closed us down in midfield, and maybe the option wasn’t there to pass it into midfield. That caused the defenders to play long, and sometimes that happens.”