Portsmouth powerless to stop Dons’ counterattacking goal

MK Dons 1-0 Portsmouth

Sunday, 12th September 2021, 9:30 am

Portsmouth’s Marcus Harness battles with Daniel Harvie during Dons’ 1-0 win over Portsmouth at Stadium MK

Portsmouth boss Danny Cowley said his side were unable to even make a tactical foul to prevent MK Dons from scoring the only goal of the game at Stadium MK on Saturday.

Countering from a Pompey corner, Troy Parrott released Scott Twine, who in turn slid in Ethan Robson to score in the 71st minute in the 1-0 win for Liam Manning’s side.

Cowley said afterwards he had been working on trying to prevent counterattacks, but were unable to get close to Twine or Robson to prevent Dons from scoring.

He said: “We’ve worked really hard on our defensive transition and for their goal we just had to lock it in on the edge of the area – and didn’t.

“We didn’t have a chance to tactically foul, which sometimes you have to do when a team is counter-attacking, and didn’t track our runners.

“When you make a few errors, you tend to concede.”

In what was a thrilling game between the sides, Dons had the better of the first half but Portsmouth looked the better side until Robson netted .

“It’s disappointing to lose, particularly when we had a really good place in the game,” Cowley continued.

“After 70 minutes, it felt there would only be one winner, we worked really hard to wrestle the control.

“In the second half we came out and played with much more commitment against the ball, pressed much higher, stepped onto their back three and hoped to turn them over.

“We had a period in the second half where we were creating chances at will – and unfortunately didn’t take them.

“People rightly will criticise us offensively because we haven’t scored for three (league) games and definitely have to look at our decision-making and execution at speed.”