Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett has acknowledged that his players ‘felt aggrieved’ with some refereeing decisions in their 1-1 draw with Oxford United last night, but refused to comment further.
The League One play-offs got underway last night. Oxford travelled to Fratton Park to face a Pompey side who had a resurgent second-half of the season, and left with a credible 1-1 draw going into the second leg.
Ronan Curtis had initially fired Pompey into a first-half lead, but Marcus Browne levelled for Oxford soon after. Elsewhere, Wycombe beat Fleetwood Town 4-1 in the corresponding play-off semi-final.
Speaking to www.portsmouthfc.co.uk after the game, Jackett was pleased with how his players performed in their first game since March:
“We looked pretty strong and I felt we both started and ended the game well, with a lot of decent balls sent into good areas. Some didn’t break for us, some were defended well and there were other times when the decisions didn’t go our way.
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“If we can keep knocking on the door like that in the second leg on Monday then we’ll be pretty pleased.”
Jackett will have been disappointed not to win the game last night, and take a lead to Oxford next week. Fans might be feeling the same as well, especially after Pompey were seemingly denied penalties on two separate occasions last night.
Players and fans were left outraged at two incidents involving Christian Burgess and Curtis, where the referee waved away appeals for penalties.
“My players feel aggrieved, but I haven’t seen the incidents again and don’t want to focus on that too much because the decisions were made and you can’t change them,” said Jackett.
Portsmouth were unlucky in a number of ways last night. They looked to be the better team over the 90-minutes and plenty were angered by what appeared to be two strong claims for penalties.
But they move on to Monday night, and a testing tie against an Oxford side who’ve been formidable at home this season. Jackett will need his players at their season best to overcome Karl Robinson’s side.