If the gaffer is to be believed, this midweek beano down to Portsmouth “is not a game that we should be scared of“. After a decent enough point at Exeter last week, followed up with all three against Connor Wickham’s Wonders indoors at the weekend, you can see the reason behind Teddy’s thinking. And maybe he’s right – maybe that unbeaten run might stretch into a third game.
Yeah, Pompey might well be sitting pretty in second at this relatively early stage of the season – but it’s their away form more than anything else they have to thank for that. No other league team has done better on the road so far this term, with their home form nothing more than average right now. Even we’ve won more points at home than ’em, albeit with the benefit of an extra game.
Portsmouth’s one defeat of the season came at Fratton Park and it came against the Grecians. But don’t get carried away just yet – the Boro’ bus trundles south with the second-worst away form in League Two, with only three draws to show for our efforts and a deeply concerning state of affairs where we’re letting in, on average, more than two goals a game on the road at the moment.
No clean sheets on the road. Just one all season. It’s easy to see where our biggest problem lies at the moment. And relying on the goalkeeper to solve our scoring frailties is probably a bad idea too. We may well get a result at Fratton Park if we impose ourselves on our bloody bell-ringing hosts, but we might need to have a look at locking that back door before we go out the front.
Andy Woolmer‘s the referee for this one. That’s not our fault.
If you have faith in Boro’ to pull this one off, you’ll reap the rewards if they do. The best price you’ll find is 61/10 (Marathon), but generally we’re hovering around 6s. If you follow the form, it’s Portsmouth to win 2-1 at 17/2 for us – and Both Teams To Score at a healthy 19/17. Michael Tonge is 17/2 to mark his first appearance in the Boro’ red and white with a goal, meanwhile.
Call us Negative Norberts if you will, but we’re not holding out too much hope here. Of greater concern is the fact it’s now over six months and 10 games since we last tasted victory on the road. If that becomes 11 at Fratton Park, it equals our longest winless run away from home – the deeper that rut gets, the harder it becomes to get out. Then again, weirder things have happened in football.
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