Crawley frustration still haunts Pompey’s Bennett

Kyle Bennett on the ball at Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett on the ball at Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Pompey were held to a forgettable draw at the Broadfield Stadium in August
  • That was the first of six goalless stalemates for the Blues so far this season
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Kyle Bennett shuddered at the reminder of Pompey’s previous Crawley encounter and insisted: We’ve learnt.

The Blues endured a goalless draw at the Red Devils back in August in an instantly forgettable encounter.

That is difficult to break down so you have to try to find a way. But I think over the past few months we have found a way to get around it

Kyle Bennett

There was no way through for Paul Cook’s men as the hosts stood firm to secure the draw their game plan focused upon.

It represented the first occasion an opposition had shut up shop against the Blues – a scenario which has been repeated many times as the season has progressed.

Bennett was part of Pompey’s side that frustrating evening in front of a 4,003 crowd at the Broadfield Stadium.

The return fixture takes place tomorrow, with Cook’s troops eager for a return to winning ways having collected only one point from two games since Christmas.

And Bennett is keen to this time make goals count against Mark Yates’ team.

He said: ‘It was horrible, awful.

‘We had a lot of the ball that night. I don’t know how it looked in the stand but it seemed like every time you touched the ball there were 10 bodies in front of you.

‘That is difficult to break down so you have to try to find a way. But I think over the past few months we have found a way to get around it.

‘The manager has worked on a few things with us to change that.

‘For instance, our full-backs are quite high so sometimes maybe they can stay back a little bit and let opposition wingers push on to create space in behind.

‘There are a lot of different ways to get around it, maybe even to pump some balls into the box like Leyton Orient’s tactic!

‘It’s something we have been looking at recently and hopefully can find a way through this time and get the three points.’

Since winning at then-league-leaders Northampton before Christmas, the Blues have lost at Orient and drawn to Luton.

Suddenly they again find themselves further adrift of leaders Plymouth.

And Bennett is targeting closing that gap.

He added: ‘It’s a massive game, definitely more so now we are eight points off the top.

‘We don’t want that gap to get any bigger, we still have to keep pace with them.

‘If we had built on Northampton over the next two games goodness knows where we would be now.

‘But we have still to play the top three at home, so it’s a good place to be in.’