Portsmouth continued their fine start to the 2021/22 campaign with a 2-0 win over Crewe Alexandra on Saturday in League One.
Danny Cowley’s side have picked up six points from six from their first two league games, having beaten Fleetwood 1-0 on the opening day last week. They lost 2-1 to Millwall in the League Cup between the two matches, but that is to be expected given they were up against a Championship side away from home.
Marcus Harness and John Marquis scored the goals for Pompey, as they were also able to pick up another clean sheet – with Gavin Baznu between the sticks.
Whilst Marquis led the line well and got himself on the scoresheet, Ronan Curtis was exceptional out on the left flank and was an unsung hero for Pompey. He did not get a goal or assist to steal the headlines away from Marquis, but his performance was crucial for Cowley’s side and he was a threat throughout the game.
Curtis was handed a SofaScore rating of 7.9 for his display. No Portsmouth player managed better than that, with Marquis on a 7.2. This shows that the standard of his performance was high in spite of his lack of a direct goal involvement.
For large parts, Ronan Curtis looked like Pompey’s best option to either score a goal or create one himself. Forced a good stop in the first half and while he linked up well with Brown, he failed to increase his goal tally for the club, despite coming close to doing so.
Hampshire Live reporter Jonty Colman awarded him a 7/10 in his player ratings piece, highlighting the forward’s attacking threat. He wrote:
“For large parts, Ronan Curtis looked like Pompey’s best option to either score a goal or create one himself. Forced a good stop in the first half and while he linked up well with Brown, he failed to increase his goal tally for the club, despite coming close to doing so.”
The £3.7k-per-week dynamo put himself about in the game, winning an impressive 14 duels – nine on the ground and five aerially – as he ended the match with five tackles won whilst only being dribbled past once. This shows that he was putting in maximum effort to get up and down the flank to win possession back for his team, helping Portsmouth assert their dominance.
Conan was then able to produce some moments of quality when he had the ball at his feet. He had one key pass and one ‘big chance’ created, per SofaScore, which means that he should have had an assist to his name – with his teammates letting him down on that front.
Therefore, the Irishman should be the one in the spotlight after the win over Crewe, instead of the obvious names who managed to find the back of the net. So, he was the unsung hero for Portsmouth and Cowley will be hoping that he can continue in the same vein for the rest of the campaign, starting with Shrewsbury in midweek.