Blackpool boss says ‘belief in the group is showing’ after Pompey are humbled

By Sports Desk November 25, 2023

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley said ‘belief in the group is showing’ after his team ended Portsmouth’s 27-match unbeaten record in Sky Bet League One with a 4-0 win at Fratton Park.

Former Pompey loanee Owen Dale, Jack Beesley, CJ Hamilton and Albie Morgan scored the goals as Pompey, who had midfielder Joe Morrell dismissed, were knocked off the top of the table by Bolton.

Critchley said: “It’s a big win for us, coming to the leaders and getting four goals.

“The team was selected to go at Portsmouth and get the win. Even after we went ahead, you could see Pompey’s quality in how they came back at us.

“We’ve got the second early in the second half, and then we’ve seen them go down to 10 and gone on to get two more.

“You could say things have gone slightly for us today, but we played bravely for the whole game.

“We had to defend the goal very well, which we did.

“The belief in the group is showing after a busy summer, and it’s showing on the training ground.”

The Seasiders took the lead in the ninth minute as Hamilton crossed for the unmarked Dale to find the net.

Pompey should have equalised on 23 minutes, but new signings Josh Martin could not beat goalkeeper Dan Grimshaw in a one-on-one situation.

Grimshaw then produced a stunning push out from Marvin Ekpiteta’s sliced attempted clearance a few minutes later.

Blackpool made it two 11 minutes into the second half as Karamoko Dembele’s shot was deflected in by Jake Beesley.

Things got worse for Pompey when skipper Morrell received a second yellow card and was sent off in the 64th minute.

Hamilton got a third 16 for the visitors minutes from time and substitute Morgan sealed the rout with three minutes remaining.

Pompey boss John Mousinho felt Morrell’s dismissal was a key moment in the game.

He said: “The result is obviously very disappointing, and I think there is loads to pick out of the game.

“You’ve probably got to look at it as two separate games really. What happened before the red card and after it.

“We responded well to going behind, and I said to the lads at half-time that we played pretty well.

“We created some chances that we didn’t put away, along with a couple of good saves from their goalkeeper, who we didn’t work enough.

“We were slow to get at it in the second half. Their second goal was deflected off of Beesley, who was blatantly offside, but the officials said he wasn’t interfering.

“I thought Joe’s sending off was correct. He needs to stay on his feet, and I’ve told him that.”

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