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Portsmouth second leg match report
15 May 2016 21:14 Post ID: #71710
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Argyle head to Wembley after a fantastic 1-0 win against Portsmouth.

Absolutely incredible! How the hell do you describe that? The feeling, the emotion and the elation!

We were far the better team and Portsmouth only troubled us during the first 10 minutes of the second half. We just didn't let them play and the work-rate in closing Portsmouth down was incredible, typified by Graham Carey.

First Carey would chase and hassle and that was the signal for Wylde, Matt or Jervis to close down and the whole team moved up 10 yards. Ot Matt would go to close down followed by the others, it was incredible to see such commitment and it set the tone for the whole match.

Huge credit to the Argyle fans, we backed the team the whole way and then some as we entered that last fantastic five minutes.
After missing so many chances it was a bundled header in the 91st minute from Hartley that sent us to Wembley.
Carey's corners had been very average until that dramatic 91st minute but then he sent over one of the best corner's of his career and there was Hartley to head in at the far post. He actually headed it twice with the aid of a rebound off a defender.
The roof lifted off Home Park, it was incredible to be there.

Once the last of the two minutes of injury was played with no problems the fans invaded the pitch. Once the pitch was cleared the players came back out and joined in the celebrations. Fantastic scenes!

What now for Portsmouth? Who cares, but after such a lack-lustre performance (or was it that we made them look so poor?) manager Paul Cook's future must be a doubt.

Derek Adams kept faith with the same starting 11 from Fratton Park and it was Carey who set the pace of the match with a blistering 30 yard shot that Pompey keeper Allsop turned over.

Chances followed and one fell to Jervis who shot well over when he just had to hit the target.
Home Park was rocking with both sets of fans giving everything for their team.

Portsmouth just didn't trouble us and much like the first half at Fratton Park we had to make the most of our attacking play. We couldn't manage it and the half-time was 0-0.

Portsmouth started the second half the better team and finally attacked us, we weathered the storm for the first 10 minutes and then took the game to them with Carey at the centre of it all.

The hassling and closing down unsettled Portsmouth, especially centre-back Burgess (how the hell is he a professional footballer, surely a player needs to control a ball and kick straight?) and we were content for the Portsmouth centre backs to pass amongst themselves.

Matt missed a glorious chance when he shot over from 15 yards out, quickly followed by a header that was wide, it was easier to score.

Carey hit the outside of the post with a bundled effort and Jervis had a header that hit the inside of the post and trickled along the goal line before being cleared.

It looked like it wasn't going to be our day and it looked like this poor Portsmouth team were holding out for penalties. With one goal always likely to settle the contest the nerves became even more frayed, it was one of the most nervy games I've attended.

And then came that last dramatic moment which will be entered into Argyle folklore.
Step up our uncredited leader to battle for that superb Carey corner and head in at the far post.
You might not know it just yet Peter but you'll now become an Argyle legend.

Just brilliant scenes at the end! So hard to describe.

Each and every player gave everything. There were concerns from some fans that these players were not up for it, they were up for it alright!
They showed the Portsmouth players what playing for the shirt actually means.

Man of the match: Carey.

McCormick 7, Mellor, 8, Nelson 8, Hartley 8, Sawyer 8, Boateng 7, McHugh 8, Carey 9, Wylde 8, Jervis 8, Matt 8, sub - Tanner 7.

And credit to the club for getting the arrangements spot on. There was no loud pre-match music which allowed the atmosphere to build and the songs at the end were perfect.
It was also good to see Ryan Brunt and Deane Smalley join in the celebrations on the pitch at the end.
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