Sep 162017
 

League One

4 – 1


Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe each bagged a brace as Pompey outclassed Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

The skipper opened the scoring with a brave header, only for Devante Cole to impressively level early in the second half.

Lowe then took over, restoring the lead with a header before somehow finding the net from an acute angle.

And it was Pitman – sporting a bandaged nose from his earlier exploits – who curled home a fine fourth to wrap up the points.

A miserable afternoon for the visitors was wrapped up late on when Kyle Dempsey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Northampton earlier in the week.

It came in the centre of midfield, where Adam May dropped out of the squad to be replaced by Ben Close.

The visitors had an early chance when Cian Bolger came forward for a George Glendon corner and headed narrowly over.

But the Blues were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves moments later, with Pitman doing well to connect with Lowe’s pass and scooping the ball just past the post.

It was otherwise a slow start to proceedings, though, with little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the crowd.

Damien McCrory’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 21 minutes when the defender limped off to be replaced by Dion Donohue.

And the newcomer bent a shot just off target from 20 yards after Matty Kennedy had found him with a corner.

But Pompey did forge ahead just before the break when Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and PITMAN arrived at the far post to head home.

The price was a bloodied nose, which saw the Blues skipper disappear down the tunnel for treatment and re-emerge with a new numberless shirt.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


There was a fairly pedestrian start to the second half, but Cole brought the contest to life with a fantastic leveller on 52 minutes.

He was teed-up by Lewie Coyle and unleashed a superb half-volleyed strike that left Luke McGee helpless.

Pitman tried to hit back at the other end of the pitch, although his 25-yard drive was comfortable for Alex Cairns between the Cod Army sticks.

But the Blues did restore their advantage on 57 minutes after Kennedy’s effort had been deflected behind for a corner.

LOWE had spoken earlier in the week about never having scored with his head, but arrived at the far post to nod in Donohue’s corner.

Fleetwood were still a threat, though, and Cole’s shot squirted narrowly wide following a quick break up the pitch.

Dempsey then slid a pass through to Conor McAleny, who should at least have tested McGee with his effort.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes, thanks to a fine individual effort from LOWE.

He collected the ball from Conor Chaplin and burst into the box before finding the target with fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

And any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after, as PITMAN curled home an exquisite shot that stroked the inside of the post on its way into the net.

It soon went from bad to worse for Fleetwood, as Dempsey’s clumsy challenge on substitute Gareth Evans earned him a second yellow card – and subsequent red – from referee Dean Whitestone.

Pitman then made way for Oliver Hawkins and was afforded a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful as he trooped off.

And there were more cheers when the final whistle blew a few minutes later to confirm a thoroughly deserved Blues victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory (Donohue 21); O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 86), Kennedy; Chaplin (Evans 74)
Goals: Pitman 40, 78, Lowe 57, 70
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Naismith, Main

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Bolger (Cargill 59), Pond (c), Eastham; Coyle, O’Neill (McAleny 46), Glendon, Dempsey, Bell; Cole, Hiwula (Hunter 72)
Goals: Cole 52
Sent off: Dempsey (two yellow cards)
Booked: Bolger
Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Grant, Burns

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,192 (115 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

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