Joe Gallen heaps praise on ‘fantastic’ Portsmouth performance
Assistant boss Joe Gallen hailed a “fantastic performance” from Portsmouth after they earned a fifth successive away win with a 3-1 victory at Lincoln
Two goals from John Marquis and a Ronan Curtis effort put Pompey completely in the driving seat, and if it had not been for the heroics of Imps goalkeeper Alex Palmer it could have been more, before Tom Hopper grabbed a consolation for the home side.
“Most things went right for us tonight – to score three goals was good and it could have been more,” said Gallen. “The players deserve a lot of credit for a fantastic performance.
“An early goal always give you confidence and the platform to go on and get the win that we needed after Saturday’s defeat against Charlton.
“We are very, very pleased we have bounced back so quickly, but it was a bit disappointing to concede as the lads at the back deserved a clean sheet.
“There’s a real determination and desire in this team. The spirit in the group now is as good as it has ever been under Kenny Jackett.”
City barely had a touch in their opponents’ half before going behind inside five minutes. Marquis strode into the Imps box and as the defence backed off, he curled a shot inside Palmer’s left-hand post.
Marquis headed in his second goal of the evening after 50 minutes, nodding Marcus Harness’ delightful cross past the despairing dive of Palmer.
Curtis then had an effort superbly saved by Palmer but followed up to roll in Portsmouth’s third just past the hour mark.
Lincoln pulled a goal back after 72 minutes when Hopper headed in substitute Harry Anderson’s cross.
“I think we got beat by a more experienced side,” admitted former Pompey manager Michael Appleton, who had to send out a makeshift back four due to injuries to regular centre-back pairing Lewis Montsma and Joe Walsh.
“Between both boxes we were better, but they were better in both boxes, more clinical. The three goals we conceded were disappointing, especially the first and second.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but we missed one or two members of the team tonight.
“We went 3-0 down and it could have been five or six, but fair play to the lads to get one back and then to have a couple more opportunities. They kept going and I can’t have a pop at them for that.”
Appleton pointed to two-goal Marquis as a major difference between the two teams, adding: “He bullied our back four at times. He showed his experience and cleverness in and around the box, buying fouls, backing in and we didn’t cope with it.”