Oct 242015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Mansfield Town    0

 


Pompey endured more Fratton frustration as they were unable to break down Mansfield.

It was not a game of many clear-cut chances, although the Blues did have the best there were on offer.

Ben Davies and substitute Conor Chaplin came closest to finding a goal, although the hosts had to settle for another share of the spoils.

Paul Cook made four changes to the side held to a draw by Stevenage earlier in the week.

Brian Murphy had recovered from a groin problem to replace the departing Aaron McCarey between the sticks.

Caolan Lavery made his first Pompey start in place of Matt Tubbs up front, while there were also returns for Kal Naismith and Danny Hollands in midfield.

And there was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Craig Westcarr named in the Stags side.

The hosts started brightly and Lavery’s ball into the box was turned over by Kyle Bennett in the opening stages.

They then broke quickly up the pitch following a Mansfield corner, only for Naismith to mis-kick in front of goal following good work from Lavery and Enda Stevens

Another decent move followed on nine minutes and ended with Stevens cutting inside and unleashing a thumping drive that was well held by Stags keeper Brian Jensen.

Davies’ crosses were causing problems as usual and one was headed over by Naismith, while another had to be hacked clear by Nicky Hunt.

Mansfield survived that spell of Pompey pressure, however, and saw out the rest of the half with relative ease.

They did not really create much at the other end, though, with an off-target header from Hunt the closest they came to testing Murphy.

Not that Jensen was being over-worked at the other half, although a Davies cross was deflected comfortably into his arms on 37 minutes.

Then, just before the break, the Blues won a free-kick and Davies’ curling effort somehow evaded everyone as it flew wide.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was the visitors who were first to threaten once the second half got underway, although Adam Chapman’s long-range effort flew high over the bar.

Pompey, meanwhile, were struggling to find any sort of rhythm, with too many passes going astray.

Cook tried to liven things up with a double substitution on 56 minutes, as Naismith and Rommy Boco made way for Chaplin and Nigel Atangana.

That seemed to liven up both players and fans and the hosts were injected with a fresh vigour, with ‘Blue Army’ soon reverberating around Fratton Park.

It was Davies who came close to breaking the deadlock on 64 minutes after Lavery’s header from his initial cross had been blocked.

The right-back picked up the loose ball and hit a fierce curling shot that Jensen did well to tip over the bar.

And Davies went close again soon after, curling a 30-yard free-kick inches past the post after Bennett had been felled.

Cook made his third and final switch on 78 minutes, with Tubbs replacing Lavery in the Blues’ attack.

But it was Chaplin who came agonisingly close to scoring moments later, collecting Stevens’ pass and seeing his close-range effort deflected inches wide.

And despite throwing plenty of men forward in the final stages, Pompey were unable to find a winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Boco (Atangana 56), Bennett, Naismith (Chaplin 56); Lavery (Tubbs 78)
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Tollitt, McGurk

Mansfield (4-4-1-1): Jensen; Hunt (c), Collins, Tafazolli, Adams; Rose, Clements, Chapman, Lambe (Yussuf 86); Westcarr (Blair 62); Green (N.Thomas 78)
Booked: Hunt, Blair
Subs not used: Shearer, McGuire, J.Thomas, Beardsley

Referee: Kevin Wright

Attendance: 16,210 (389 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

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