‘Dejected’ Barcham rues Mansfield stalemate

Andy Barcham buries his head after Pompey gift Mansfield an equaliser. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Barcham buries his head after Pompey gift Mansfield an equaliser. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Andy Barcham admitted he was ‘dejected’ after careless Pompey surrendered a win at Mansfield.

The Blues were heading for a 2-1 victory at Field Mill on Saturday until Phil Smith’s costly blunder.

The keeper let slip a cross after colliding with his own defenders – and substitute Lindon Meikle slotted into the empty net in the 72nd minute.

It was tough to take for Pompey followers and, in particular, Barcham who had netted his first goal for the club during an outstanding performance.

He cut a forlorn figure at the final whistle and the former Scunthorpe winger admitted a 2-2 draw was tough to take.

Barcham said: ‘Me and Pat (Agyemang) were talking as we came off the pitch and it feels like we have really let a win slip. If we want to progress the way we want to, we have to turn those games into wins.

‘Afterwards I was dejected because we could see quite clearly we could have won that game.

‘We’ve shown great character to come back into the game and then to take the lead.

‘Those points were so close and it would have been great to follow up Morecambe with another win and really put a run together.

‘It’s so frustrating that we had worked so hard and didn’t get our reward.

‘We were comfortable at 2-1 and didn’t want half-time to come.

‘In the second half we knew they were going to come at us and I still felt they weren’t causing us much of a threat even though they came back into the game.

‘We had a few chances ourselves on the breakaway, so a goal out of nowhere was really quite difficult to take.

‘I am happy I played well, of course, but it is about the club, it’s about the points, it’s about getting up the table and progressing in the league, that’s all we want to do.

‘It was just disappointing we didn’t come away with three points as a team.’

For Barcham, the Stags’ style of play was a particular frustration.

Paul Cox’s side operated with three at the back and opted to play the ball long as frequently as they could.

A big, strong outfit, it was an aerial bombardment which Guy Whittingham’s men found tough adjusting to in their push for all three points.

He added: ‘It was difficult.

‘We knew they were going to play like that, we have worked on it all week in training.

‘They rough it up and get the ball into the box quite quickly, so we knew what to expect.

‘For most parts of the game I thought we dealt with it quite well. We posed a threat like we usually do going forwards.

‘That makes it hard to take because as a team we defended so well for the whole game and still came away with just a point.

‘I’m sure we will look at it again and try to pick ourselves up because there is a long way to go in the season yet.’