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CLIVE'S DELIGHT

Posted on 31 August 2006  - 12:00

Clive Allen was delighted to kick-off our reserve campaign with a win at Portsmouth on Wednesday night - his only complaint that we didn't finish Pompey off.

Clive Allen was delighted to kick-off our reserve campaign with a win at Portsmouth on Wednesday night - his only complaint that we didn't finish Pompey off.

Hossam Ghaly struck the only goal of the game after 41 minutes as we started the defence of our Barclays Reserve League South title at Havant & Waterloovilles Westleigh Park.

It could and perhaps should have been more but we came across Pompeys young goalkeeper Nick Jordan in inspired form, making a string of fine saves.

That profligacy could have been punished late on when Louis Bell raced through on goal only to shoot wide.

Ever the perfectionist “ not least in striking matters “ development coach Clive reflected: "I was very pleased to start with a win because this was never going to be an easy game.

"Obviously there is a lot of anticipation and excitement going into the first game but I thought we played the right way and we created plenty of chances, though Im disappointed that we didnt score more goals really because some of our play was good.

"We were a bit sloppy in the final third, as we didnt have the quality that we needed to win the game convincingly.

"I thought we had a very good spell just after half-time for 20 minutes without giving up too many chances at all having got in front just before half-time so it was important that we did it in the right way.

"Some of our approach play was good. We got into goalscoring positions, but our finishing wasnt up to the standards that we needed to make the game easier or get ourselves in a position where we were more comfortable.

"At 1-0 you always know that any mistake can be costly so it just meant that the game was live, right until the very end. We had to concentrate and we did that. So all credit to the boys defensively but in the attacking manner I think we need to improve.

"Their goalkeeper made some decent stops from chances that we created but I always look at it from our perspective and I know that we are capable of finishing in a better way and the goal emphasised that.

"It was an excellent move and Hossam struck the ball very, very cleanly and it was a fine goal. We got in situations to replicate that and we really didnt do that when we had a number of chances to do so.

"I didnt want us to sit back and invite them on to us. We pressed and we caused them problems, we counter attacked very well and that is what got us our opportunities. It was just a case of finishing it off to make it an easier evenings work."