Three points on the South Coast
County traveled to the South Coast on Saturday afternoon to face a Portsmouth side unbeaten in this seasons Sky Bet Football League 2, while County were looking for their first win of the campaign. Andy Sandell got the decisive goal, as his second half free kick found the back of the net.
The game started in a lively fashion only to match the atmosphere set by the Portsmouth and the traveling Amber army. It was County who had the first real chance of the game as Kevin Feely flicked on from Ryan Jackson's long throw only to see his effort hit the crossbar and fall to Robbie Willmott at the far post. Willmott's shot was well saved by Jones in the Pompey goal.
Mark Byrne picked up the first of County's yellow cards of the afternoon. Just minutes later it was Chris Zebroski's header that was next to test Jones, who saved comfortably. Debutant Joe Day was called into action just before the half time whistle as he saved and held Ricky Holmes' free kick. Shaun Jeffers had the last attempt of the half as his shot from distance was saved on the stroke of half time.
Lee Minshull was the next to test Paul Jones, as his header was held. Portsmouth then had Joe Day at full stretch with a powerful shot from the edge of the box. Adam Chapman was then punished by referee Lee Collins for a challenge on the edge of the box, with the resulting free kick going over the crossbar.
Substitute Christian Jolley was next to try his luck from the edge of the box as his effort curled just wide of the left hand side of the goal. With 12 minutes left Andy Sandell replaced Robbie Willmott. Sandell then stepped up to take a free kick in the 83rd minute, the free kick missed everybody in the box to nestle into the back of the net to send the 600 traveling County fans into wild celebrations.
As the fourth official signaled an additional four minutes County were holding strong. There were late bookings for Andy Sandell and Aaron O'Connor seconds before the full time whistle to signal the first County win of the season.
Justin Edinburgh commented after the game "We’ve shown how much belief we have in this squad I have great belief and respect for the players and the quality they have which is starting to show now. For us as a football club, coming to a place like this is incredible. Eight years ago they were winning at Goodison Park in the Premiership and we were playing in the Conferenece South at Hampton & Richmond. So we have to remember where we have come from in a short space of time."