Date: 2nd February 2006 at 12:27am
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City Reserves coach Steve Beaglehole certainly lived the match with his side against Portsmouth Reserves at Hinckley last night.

Instead of simply watching the play he was constantly prompting, encouraging, manoeuvring and cajoling his players.

And everything he said and did made sense.

Often at all levels of City games this season it has seemed quiet on the bench and some fans have wondered why someone wasn’t off their seat sorting something out.

Beaglehole was onto everything, co-ordinating City’s push out of defence to the halfway line, pushing young full-back Joe Magunda inside when cover was needed, prompting centre-back Liam Norval to get tighter on his man, even demanding urgency from Alan Sheehan on the far side of the field.

He seemed exactly what City’s young team needed to steer them through to better things and keep them focused during the present managerial uncertainty.

Certainly the result should have been a resounding win rather than the 4-4 draw achieved but there was plenty to be pleased with.

Louis Dodds has had injury troubles this season but was looking lethal again last night taking his two goals with the minimum of fuss and being close to others.

Eric Odihiambo proved the handful predicted at centre-forward, making a first half goal and being so unlucky not to score with a piledriver which smashed onto a post.

He, Dodds and Andy King just sliced through the Portsmouth defence courtesy of some precision through balls from Sheehan and the clever touches of Max Gradel on the right wing.

City’s passing and movement was overwhelming at times and if they could have maintained the pace they set in the first half of this and other games they would be formidable indeed. But, as against Arsenal, they faded at the finish and conceded goals.

It was a shame so much was spoiled by a decidedly creaky defence.