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League Two

Victory eluding weary Whittingham

8 September 2013

Portsmouth boss Guy Whittingham has vowed to address his side's habit of throwing away leads as they were forced to settle for a point in a 2-2 draw at Cheltenham.

Pompey led twice through Patrick Agyemang and Johnny Ertl, but Jermaine McGlashan levelled twice, with his second arriving in the 92nd minute.

"Our first-half performance was decent enough, but in the second half it was backs to the wall and we didn't keep the ball well enough with their pressure eventually telling," Whittingham said.

"In the first half we created a lot of good chances, but we don't seem to keep playing the football we are capable of.

"We've had a discussion about it, with calm heads and we have to make sure we get it right. Three times we've been winning away and not been able to hold out.

"If you look at the games we've conceded, we've defended well on the whole so it's frustrating to let one in at the end, but we'll get it right.

"You are more worried if you are not playing well, but we are and it's just the goals going in that are costing us.

"We have to finish games off and go two goals ahead, which we should have been early in the second half."

Robins boss Mark Yates is faced with a similar problem, with his team leaking goals at an alarming rate, but he hopes their last-gasp leveller has given them something to build on.

"We can't keep conceding goals like we are and having to dig ourselves out of trouble," he said.

"We didn't do enough and goals massively change games and mindsets.

"We started all right and then we go 1-0 down, fight our way back in, score a good goal and then we dominated, but we conceded again before half-time.

"It's getting ridiculous and we have to cut out defensive mistakes and bad decisions, everyone.

"We were the better team for the last 20 minutes of the first half, but heads dropped when we went 2-1 down. We are not playing free-flowing football, but we showed a lot of fight.

"We have to do things better and we are still not there, but it's a start and I've told them well done for showing a bit of spirit, but we know things must improve."

Portsmouth had taken the lead through Agyemang in the fifth minute. He capitalised on Steve Elliott's stumble to poke the ball past goalkeeper Scott Brown from close range.

Agyemang should have been celebrating again in the 13th minute when he blazed over with the goal gaping after a fine run from Yassin Moutaouakil.

Portsmouth held the upper hand for most of the half, but the introduction of Russ Penn from the bench injected life into Cheltenham.

He replaced the injured Ryan Inniss and soon after the reshuffle, Terry Gornell set up McGlashan for the leveller in the 36th minute.

The quick winger rounded Sullivan and applied a neat finish inside the bottom right corner.

Cheltenham pressed for a second, enjoying their best period of the half, but Portsmouth regained the lead in the 43rd minute.

Jed Wallace reached the byline and pulled back for Ertl to tap into an empty net and it looked to be enough until McGlashan struck at the death.

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