sport

Barker relief at first win

Manager Richie Barker believes the 1-0 victory over Dagenham could be the result that enables Portsmouth to turn the corner.

Taking charge of Pompey for the third time, Barker watched Frenchman Romain Padovani score his maiden goal in English soccer and clinch a first win since early November.

"It's a relief to have got a win at long last, hopefully it will give the players confidence and enable us to move on from here," he said.

"A win was just what the players needed, a real confidence boost for us all and one which we deserved.

"We played some good football in the first half and, in the last 20 minutes when Dagenham stepped up the pressure, showed a real desire to not allow our lead to slip away."

Padovani, a 24-year old midfielder, joined Pompey on a summer free transfer from AS Monaco and was making his first start since October.

His winner came on the stroke of half-time when the Frenchman got a crucial touch to steer a right-wing corner from Ricky Holmes past the outstretched arms of Dagenham goalkeeper Chris Lewington.

"Romain deserved his goal," Barker added. "He had a fine all-round game, covering a lot of ground and playing in the second half in an alien role to which he's accustomed.

"He looked comfortable on the ball and considering he was playing his first full league game for three months, did very well."