May 052018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Peterborough United    0

 


Brett Pitman bagged a brace as Pompey secured a comfortable victory over Peterborough to finish eighth in League One.

They both arrived in an electric spell of first half football that belied the game’s status as an end of season dead rubber.

The prolific striker also missed a great chance to claim his first Blues hat-trick, while the fare on offer after the interval was significantly more forgettable.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side beaten at Bury the previous week.

The most notable incoming was Alex Bass, with the academy graduate handed his league debut between the sticks.

There were also starts for Brandon Haunstrup, Gareth Evans and Kal Naismith, with Luke McGee, Dion Donohue, Connor Ronan and Oli Hawkins all dropping to the bench.

Matt Clarke had plenty of reason to celebrate before kick-off, as he picked up The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season award – one of a host of trophies dished out.

And he was up for a Gareth Evans corner on 13 minutes, only for PITMAN to get there first and head Pompey into the lead.

It was a quiet evening for Bass in the south coast sunshine, although he did well to come from his line and dive at the feet of Idris Kanu.

Most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch, however, and it came as no surprise when the advantage was doubled on 25 minutes.

An angled drive from Jamal Lowe may well have been heading for net anyway, but PITMAN made sure by tapping the ball into the net from a yard out.

He really should have completed his treble before the break following some fine attacking play from Clarke.

The defender charged forward from the back and accepted a return pass from Haunstrup before back-heeling the ball into the path of Pitman, who blazed over from close range.

And the skipper went close again late in the half, with Jonathan Bond at full stretch to push clear his swerving strike.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Peterborough United 0


If the first half made you long for the season to continue, then the second would have had you booking your summer holiday.

There were certainly no notable opportunities to speak of in a period of football that was played at a pedestrian pace.

Evans dragged a long-range shot at one end, while Bass made a comfortable save at the other when Clarke’s block took the sting from Danny Lloyd’s effort.

Fratton Park was briefly livened when Lowe went down in the box, but referee John Busby waved away his appeals.

There were also a couple more half-chances for Pitman, but nothing that ever looked like increasing his impressive tally.

Matty Kennedy replaced Naismith for the closing stages, with the outgoing players receiving warm applause as he vacated the pitch.

The game then continued to meander towards its conclusion, as players and fans alike seemed happy to bask in the sunshine.

The whistle then blew to signal the end of Pompey’s first season back in the third tier and a final position they can certainly be satisfied with.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): Bass; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe; Lowe, Evans, Close, Naismith (Kennedy 77); Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 13, 25
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Donohue, May, Ronan, Chaplin, Hawkins

Peterborough (4-4-1-1): Bond; Shephard, Baldwin (c), Taylor, Hughes; Maddison, Da Silva Lopes, Grant, Edwards; Cooper (Lloyd 46); Kanu (Ward 46)
Subs not used: Tyler, Anderson, Doughty, Forrester, Marriott

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 18,118 (598 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

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