sport

Awford slams first-half display

Caretaker manager Andy Awford admitted his Portsmouth players looked like "rabbits in the headlights" in the 2-2 draw with Wycombe.

The south coast club went a goal down after 22 minutes, courtesy of Matt McClure's low swivel and shot from six yards.

Pompey rallied after the interval and, despite substitute David Connolly having a penalty saved by Wanderers goalkeeper Matt Ingram after 70 minutes, Andy Barcham levelled with a powerful strike two minutes later.

Patrick Agyemang's stooping header put Portsmouth 2-1 up after 84 minutes but Wycombe's Anthony Stewart denied the home side their first win in seven matches with a bullet header from close range in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

Awford was happy with Pompey's second-half display, but believes they were overawed by the Fratton Park roar in the first period.

He said: "The first half was not good enough. Even if we'd had a 10 or 15 per cent better performance in the first half, we'd have won that game.

"In the second half, I couldn't fault them in terms of effort, tempo and application. I don't understand how it can be so different from the first half to the second half.

"They were rabbits in the headlights in the first half. They were scared to play out there. I've spoken about it and it is an intimidating place to play for them. But it's a case of 'get used to it lads; you play for Portsmouth. It isn't going to change'.

"What a performance it was in the second half, to be fair to them. But then we just switched off at the end."