Portsmouth’s horrible record in play-offs continued last night after being held to a 1-1 draw by Oxford United.
It was the fourth stalemate between the two sides this season and it meant the tie went to a penalty shoot-out. It was a compelling tie that could have gone either way, with John Marquis hitting a post in extra time for Pompey.
However, it wasn’t to be and when it came to spot-kicks, on-loan Cameron McGeehan saw his effort saved by former Pompey stopper Simon Eastwood. That condemned Kenny Jackett’s side to another year in League One and a second successive defeat at this stage of the season.
McGeehan’s inclusion in the starting line up wasn’t entirely a surprise, but fans were shocked to see him paired with Byrn Morris instead of captain Tom Naylor. Naylor has been a regular for Pompey throughout the season but didn’t feature in either of the play off games. He took to Twitter this morning to express his sorrow at the situation, telling fans he was devastated.
“Words can’t describe with the way I’m feeling today,” he tweeted. “Me and the boys are devastated in missing this great chance of promotion. Thank you to the fans all season sticking behind us.”
Whilst he may well not be mentioning his omission from the starting lineup, Pompey fans have made little secret of their feelings towards manager Jackett in the replies to Naylor’s message. With two failed play off attempts behind them, there is a level of discontent brewing at Fratton Park which perhaps could be problematic for the manager going into next season.
Not your fault at all is it, for reasons that nobody other than one person can fathom, a player who hadn’t played all season was favoured. No disrespect to Morris meant either.
— Jody McGrath (@jody_mcgrath) July 7, 2020
Not your fault mate. Some bizarre statement coming from the manager. Chin up and hope to see you next season with a fresh start
— Steve Philip (@LogicLovesYou) July 7, 2020
Gutted that you didn't play your efforts got us into the play offs and you don't get picked joke mate
— Rik May (@rik_may) July 7, 2020
Thanks for your hard work through the season – really wouldn’t blame you if you left after how you have been treated through the play offs though ???
— sam ??????? (@pfcsam) July 7, 2020
You deserved better.
Up the Blues ?
— Pompey Pedro (@PompeyPedro) July 7, 2020
Tom , I find it so so bizarre how you can play the amount games you played and then miss the crucial part ! You keep your head up you’ve been consistent and a leader . You can’t change nothing as you didn’t have a chance .. we will never stop supporting!!
— Nick Simister (@SimisterNick) July 7, 2020
You were missed on the pitch mate for a manager to say you are a winter player is just unbelievable hope the spine of the team stick together and the owners see sense get a manager in that sees your leadership and plays football that gets the right results
— Chris Ellis (@luluboo64) July 7, 2020
A bit of player power is needed to force a change. Get yourselves together as a group and go and see Catlin. It’s time for a change for the sake of the club .
— Boxy (@darrenbox) July 7, 2020