Jan 012019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    1 AFC Wimbledon

Pompey began 2019 with victory at Fratton Park, but were made to work hard for the points by a struggling AFC Wimbledon side.

It looked like a comfortable afternoon might be on the cards for the league leaders when Jamal Lowe gave them an early lead.

But the hosts missed some decent chances to extend their lead and a stunning strike from Kwesi Appiah brought the Dons level.

That seemed to spark the Blues back into life, though, and Ronan Curtis soon headed them back in front to secure the win.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that won convincingly at Fleetwood at the weekend.

Oli Hawkins recovered from an ankle problem to replace Brett Pitman up front, while Brandon Haunstrup came in for the injured Lee Brown at left-back.

The other switch saw Ben Close make way for Gareth Evans, who was rested for the final game of 2018 at Highbury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Hampshire cricket star Mike Barnard, who sadly passed away before Christmas.

It was a quiet start to the contest, both on and off the pitch – with some New Year revelries perhaps explaining the muted atmosphere in the opening stages.

But the noise levels soon grew, as the hosts took the lead with the first proper chance of the game on eight minutes.

Curtis collected a cross-field pass from Anton Walkes and fired in a low shot that was saved by Tom King.

But the keeper could not keep hold of the ball and LOWE was quick to capitalise, dinking a neat finish into the net.

Pompey were dominating possession, but there was not an abundance on clear-cut opportunities to excite a sell-out crowd.

Ben Thompson wasted a decent opening, swiping at thing air after Walkes’ ball into the box had been laid off by Evans.

A couple of other dangerous moments from the hosts were ended by an offside flag, as the Dons struggled to find a foothold in the game.

Lowe was proving a particular nuisance and after showing some nifty footwork inside the box, saw his low shot saved by King.

His clever chipped pass into the box then had to be nodded away by Terell Thomas before Thompson could capitalise.

The visitors finally threatened just before the break when former Pompey winger Andy Barcham burst clear, but a superb Jack Whatmough challenge inside the box halted his progress.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

AFC Wimbledon 0


It was still a fairly sedate affair once the action restarted and a wayward header from Mitch Pinnock was not going to trouble Craig MacGillivray.

Kwesi Appiah was then perhaps fortunate to avoid a booking following a late challenge on Matt Clarke, with the Blues defender quickly back up on his feet.

But the hosts should have doubled their lead on 54 minutes, as a fine Lowe pass sent Curtis through on goal, only for the Republic of Ireland international to drag his shot wide.

Curtis was soon back to his best, however, stealing possession and cutting the ball back for Evans, whose side-footed effort was kept out by King.

Wimbledon tried to make Pompey pay for those missed chances and suddenly enjoyed a spell of pressure.

But one strike from Anthony Hartigan flew high over the crossbar, while another was straight at MacGillivray.

It was the visitors on top, though, and Jackett made a double change on 69 minutes to try to negate their threat.

Evans and Hawkins were the men to make way, with Close and Pitman adding fresh legs to the midfield and forward line respectively.

But it was Lowe who had a chance to doubled the lead, only to head a Curtis cross wide from just a few yards out.

And the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy when Appiah unleashed a superb long-range strike that left MacGillivray helpless.

Thompson had a shot blocked as Pompey went back on the attack, while an effort from Curtis was comfortably dealt with by King.

But CURTIS did restore their lead moments later, rising above his man in the box to nod home a great cross from Thompson.

The Dons threw men forward in an attempt to equalise for a second time, but Pompey saw out the closing stages to start the year on a high.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; B.Thompson (Burgess 90+4), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 69), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 69)
Goals: Lowe 8, Curtis 80
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Wheeler, Green

AFC Wimbledon (4-1-4-1): King; Watson, Kalambayi, Thomas, Purrington (Garratt 83); Nightingale (c); Pinnock, Wordsworth, Hartigan (Egan 73), Barcham (Jervis 87); Appiah
Goals: Appiah 75
Booked: Wordsworth
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sibbick, Trotter, Wood

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 18,732 (634 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.