Famous Births and Deaths on this day in history
|Portsmouth||2 – 1||Newport County|
Bennett and Naismith on target at Fratton Park
Pompey got their promotion charge back on track as they returned to winning ways against struggling Newport.
Kyle Bennett opened the scoring late in the first half before Kal Naismith headed in a second after the interval.
It appeared that the Blues were cruising towards three points, but Alex Samuel netted for the visitors to ensure a nervy finale.
Paul Cook – in his 100th match in charge – made two changes from the side beaten at Stevenage the previous week.
Bennett and Naismith had both recovered from injury to take their place in the starting 11, with Noel Hunt dropping to the bench and Christian Burgess serving a one-match ban.
There was a minute’s silence before kick-off in tribute to those affected by the recent attack in London.
Pompey soon started to dominate once the action got underway, but struggled to create too many clear-cut chances.
The best ones fell to Eoin Doyle, but twice he just failed to get on the end of teasing deliveries from Naismith.
And the on-loan Irishman was then unable to beat County keeper Joe Day from an acute angle after being slipped through by Carl Baker.
But the striker was forced off midway through the first half after picking up an injury and replaced by Conor Chaplin.
There had not been much for David Forde to worry about and when former Blues striker Ryan Bird cut the ball across the face of goal, Tom Davies and Michael Doyle combined to scramble it clear.
But it was still Pompey causing the most problems, even if Day was not exactly being over-worked between the sticks.
Bennett and Matt Clarke both had shots charged down, while a number of corners were comfortably dealt with.
The Blues did break the deadlock just before the break, however, and it was a goal that was extremely easy on the eye.
Baker intercepted the ball from Bird and slipped a superb pass through the Newport defence for BENNETT, who neatly slotted home.
Half Time: Pompey 1 Newport 0
After seeing off some Newport pressure early in the second half, the hosts went in search of another goal.
Chaplin was never really going to trouble Day with an audacious attempt from wide on the left, while Baker’s effort rose over the crossbar.
Naismith then hit a cleanly-struck free-kick straight into the keeper’s arms, as the Blues started to take control.
They almost doubled their advantage on 58 minutes, but Chaplin – who wanted the pass played earlier – could not quite convert Gareth Evans’ low cross.
But Pompey did strengthen their lead just seconds later, as Bennett found Chaplin, who neatly chipped the ball up for an unmarked NAISMITH to head into the net.
Their attacking intent did not end there, though, and Naismith saw a corner deflected into the side netting, while his second attempt was just too high for Clarke at the far post.
It was not quite one-way traffic and Naismith eventually hacked the ball clear after a County corner caused some problems.
Bennett received hearty applause from the Fratton faithful when he made way for Jamal Lowe on 71 minutes.
But it was the visiting support almost cheering when Marlon Jackson sent the ball curling towards goal, only for Forde to make a fine save.
Newport did reduce their deficit moments later, though, with Samuel rising to convert Sean Rigg’s cross from the right.
And they come close to equalising on 78 minutes as the hosts started to get sloppy, with Forde coming off his line to deny Jackson.
County’s confidence had risen and Jack Whatmough replaced Naismith as Pompey tried to shore things up.
The nerves were starting to grow inside Fratton Park and Evans did well to take the ball off the foot of Samuel as he shaped to shoot.
But the Blues saw out the closing stages with relative ease to seal a valuable victory in the battle for promotion.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, M.Doyle (c); Baker, Bennett (Lowe 71), Naismith (Whatmough 83); E.Doyle (Chaplin 25)
Goals: Bennett 42, Naismith 59
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Linganzi, Hunt
Newport (4-2-3-1): Day; Pipe, Jones (Randall 71), Demetriou, Butler; Labadie (c), Bennett; Samuel, Rigg, Owen-Evans (Myrie-Williams 46); Bird (Jackson 46)
Goals: Samuel 75
Booked: Rigg, Labadie, Myrie-Williams
Subs not used: Bittner, Barnum-Bobb, Nelson, Gordon
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 17,364 (322 away fans)
Model/Presenter – Andrea Helfrich
|Stevenage||3 – 0||Portsmouth|
An afternoon to forget for Blues
Pompey’s promotion charge received a set-back as they collapsed to defeat at Stevenage.
Despite hitting the woodwork twice, goals from Jack King and Matt Godden meant they deservedly trailed at the break.
Jobi McAnuff then wrapped things up in the opening seconds of the second half, while a red card for Christian Burgess and missed Conor Chaplin penalty served to perfectly sum up the Blues’ afternoon.
Paul Cook made two enforced changes from the side that beat Grimsby on home soil earlier in the week.
Kyle Bennett and Kal Naismith both went off injured against the Mariners, so in came Tom Davies and Noel Hunt in a switch to a 3-5-2 system.
The visitors won an early corner and Carl Baker’s delivery was headed clear, with Davies receiving a bloody nose that forced him to change into a numberless shirt.
Enda Stevens then cut the ball across the face of goal and Gareth Evans charged in to send a fierce shot thudding against the crossbar.
But it was the hosts who then started to take control and they almost broke the deadlock on 12 minutes.
David Forde dived to his right to palm clear Steven Schumacher’s well-struck free-kick and then keep out Josh McQuoid’s follow-up.
The ball again fell to McQuoid, though, and his effort had to be hacked from the line by Matt Clarke, with referee Michael Salisbury ignoring pleas from the home fans that it had crossed.
But it was only a brief respite for the Blues and when an ambitious attempt from former Fratton trainee Luke Wilkinson cannoned back off the crossbar, the ball fell kindly for King to nod home.
Pompey tried to hit back and when Stevens’ cut-back evaded both Baker and Eoin Doyle, a shot from Evans flew wildly out of the ground.
Boro were looking full of vigour, however, and after Tom Pett surged through the centre, his strike had to be saved by Forde.
And they did double their advantage on 28 minutes when McAnuff found Godden in acres of space at the back post to fire into the net.
That finally seemed to spark Pompey into life and they did finish the first half strongly, without being able to find a goal.
Baker went closest with a fine free-kick that struck the underside of the bar and hit Stevenage keeper Chris Day, only to ricochet to safety.
Another Baker set-piece on 37 minutes then just evaded the leaping Davies and landed safely into Day’s arms.
Half Time: Stevenage 2 Pompey 0
Pompey would have wanted to build on that positive play just before the interval, but instead found themselves further behind within seconds of the restart.
Godden took advantage of some dithering defending to barge into a shooting position and although Forde did well to deny him, the keeper was powerless to prevent McAnuff from converting the loose ball.
The Blues tried desperately to find a route back into the contest, although their hurried play led to some sloppy moments.
They had a chance to reduce the deficit when Baker’s corner hit a defender in a crowded box and flew narrowly past the post.
But Stevenage were still looking a real threat on the counter-attack and when McAnuff picked out Godden, Davies had to get a block in.
Cook made a double substitution on 64 minutes, with Nicke Kabamba – making his senior debut – and Gary Roberts replacing Hunt and Baker.
A low delivery by Stevens then had to be cut out before it leave the lurking Eoin Doyle with a simple tap-in.
Chaplin came on for Eoin Doyle as Cook made his final throw of the dice, but the afternoon soon got worse for the Blues.
Burgess was booked for a foul and having already been carded for an earlier indiscretion, he received his marching orders.
But there was still time for more misfortune to befall Pompey as they missed an excellent opportunity to grab a consolation.
A penalty was awarded when Fraser Franks tripped Chaplin in the box, but the substitute hit his penalty down the middle and straight into Day’s arms.
That failed to dampen the noise emanating from the away end, though, as the Pompey fans kept cheering on their side despite a disappointing display.
Stevenage (4-2-3-1): Day; Franks, Wilkinson, King (c), Ntlhe (Gorman 74); Pett, Lee; McQuoid (Hinds 67), Schumacher, McAnuff (Loft 88); Godden
Goals: King 16, Godden 28, McAnuff 46
Booked: Wilkinson, Pett, Gorman, Franks
Subs not used: Preston, Johnson, Tonge, McKee
Pompey (3-5-2): Forde; T.Davies, Burgess, Clarke; Evans, Baker (Roberts 64), M.Doyle (c), Rose, Stevens; Hunt (Kabamba 64), E.Doyle (Chaplin 73)
Sent off: Burgess (two yellow cards)
Booked: Stevens, Baker
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Linganzi, Lowe
Referee: Michael Salisbury
Attendance: 4,185 (1,390 Pompey fans)