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Whittingham: Captain was wound up

Portsmouth boss Guy Whittingham admits frustration cost David Connolly after he was sent off in the 2-0 loss to Chesterfield.

Last Updated: 31/08/13 at 19:33

David Connolly: Saw red on the night

David Connolly: Saw red on the night

Armand Gnauduillet's header in the 87th minute and Tendayi Darikwa's strike two minutes into stoppage time snatched the Spireites their fourth League Two win in their opening five games.

But Pompey's hopes of victory suffered a huge blow seven minutes before the break when Connolly was sent off for an off-the-ball incident with Chesterfield's Sam Hird.

The clash came just moments after Connolly had strong claims for a penalty turned down by referee Stephen Bratt after he was tripped in the box as he raced on to Simon Ferry's through ball.

Whittingham admits Connolly was frustrated after being denied a spot kick, but was surprised by his confrontation with Hird, which was punished after assistant referee Michael Webb witnessed it.

He said: "David has apologised for it, but I didn't see the incident. Of course, you are a little bit surprised by it. He's a seasoned pro.

"I think he was wound up by one or two decisions he didn't get earlier. That's no excuse, but the referee is probably the only one who didn't think it was a penalty, Even the Chesterfield staff said it was a stonewall penalty."

Whittingham's men still looked the more likely of the teams to score until the closing stages and he hailed Pompey's fighting spirit.

He said: "I think that's what we need to focus on - not the fact David was sent off. The fans certainly appreciated the spirit the team showed.

"We all feel disappointed we didn't come out of the game with any points, but we have showed people there is a real desire and spirit to do well in front of our great fans.

"The positives outweigh the negatives. We fought for everything. We created chances even though we were down to 10 men."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

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