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Saturday, 08 August 2015, 15:00

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Whittingham praise for Bird

Guy Whittingham hailed Ryan Bird after his two-goal salvo helped Portsmouth see off Exeter 3-2 in a five-goal thriller.

Last Updated: 02/11/13 at 20:47

Guy Whittingham: Hails on-song striker

Guy Whittingham: Hails on-song striker

Bird grabbed a late equaliser in last weekend's 1-1 draw at Torquay - the first professional goal of his career.

And the former non-league hot shot took his tally to three goals in two games at Fratton Park as Pompey overcame a late Exeter fightback to claim the points.

Whittingham said: "I was delighted for Ryan Bird. I know he has goals in him.

"I know from personal experience what it's like to come from non-league. He showed he's a confident player."

Bird and Patrick Agyemang both went close in the early exchanges as Pompey started the game well well in front of a bumper crowd of more than 16,000.

Exeter almost took the lead after 22 minutes as a Matt Grimes shot from 20 yards rattled the crossbar.

Pompey opened the scoring in fortuitous fashion moments before half-time when Ricky Holmes' attempted cross floated into the net.

Bird doubled the lead four minutes after the restart, planting defender Yassin Moutaouakill's centre into the bottom corner.

In-form Bird looked to have put the game out of Exeter's reach by nodding his second and Pompey's third after 71 minutes.

Danny Coles reduced the deficit with a header of his own from an Arron Davies cross four minutes later before John O'Flynn set up a nervy finish when he stabbed home the visitors' second five minutes from time.

Exeter would have snatched an unlikely point but for a brilliant save from Pompey goalkeeper Trevor Carson to deny Tom Nichols in the 88th minute.

Whittingham added: "At 3-0 we were in control but we knew they had it in them to cause us problems.

"When they pulled a goal back they had the momentum and they chucked players into the box as they had nothing to lose. I would have told our players to do exactly the same thing.

"With the ball coming in and a swirling wind something had to give but thankfully we had enough goals in the bank."

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ood lord that's got me unnecessarily excited. Damn you Storey. Cut to Liverpool being crushed under the wheels of Sparky's Stoke Machine and Firmino brought off the bench to no effect. It's the hope that kills you.

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Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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o Schweini? Have to admit that I did a little sex wee when we signed him and I can't wait to see him in action!!!

spence
F365's Top Ten Players We Can't Wait To Watch

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think he'll do quite well. My only reservation would be Kagawa, who had similar stats to Firmino in the bundesliga before he came, but time will tell.

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Roberto Firmino: Steel To Complement The Silk

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