Dave W

Located in Portsmouth UK

Nov 192016
 

 

First away game of the season to Cheltenham, what a journey!

Points frozen at Drayton a whole 5 mins into our almost 5 hour journey forcing us to Fratton!

So our journey now considered of…

Outbound

Havant – Fratton – Bristol Temple Meads – Gloucester – Cheltenham (last part by bus)

Homebound

Cheltenham – Swindon – Trowbridge – Southampton – Havant

Not doing that by rail again

Standing room only on two journeys, on one journey it was a train of only one coach and we got stuck with a bunch of very drunk Pompey fans who only knew one song. On the trip to Bristol about 95% of the train was reserved, luckily it got so crowded they didn’t let anyone else on after a while so we were not moved from our seats.

As for the game, well typical Portsmouth. Lots of passing and few attempts on goal. Followed by a defensive mishap to concede.

Still, I can add another ground to the list

Nov 192016
 
League 2
Cheltenham Town 1 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Smith grabs late leveller

Michael Smith came off the bench to hit his first league goal of the season and earn Pompey a point at Cheltenham.

It looked like the Blues would be made to pay for missed opportunities when Daniel O’Shaughnessy fired the hosts ahead midway through the second half.

But Smith capitalised on a goalkeeping error late on to salvage a deserved point and give the large travelling support something to smile about on the journey home.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Mansfield at home the previous week.

And they had a chance to open the scoring in the early seconds after Carl Baker swapped passes with Gary Roberts and advanced forward, only to see his shot blocked.

But the hosts immediately broke up the other end and thought they should have won a penalty when Danny Wright hit the turf.

The striker was surrounded by three blue-shirted players, but referee John Brooks decided there had been no infringement.

It was end-to-end stuff in the early stages of the game, with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent.

The chances did dry up to an extent after such a lively opening, although there were still opportunities for the deadlock to be broken.

Kyle Bennett was released into the box on 14 minutes, but it was always going to be tough for him to beat Robins keeper Russell Griffiths from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, a promising move for the hosts ended with Dan Holman blazing over, while the same player later bent a free-kick into the arms of David Forde.

Rose soon hit a cleanly-struck effort on target at the other end, but his shot flew straight at a grateful Griffiths.

Harry Pell wasted a good opportunity for Cheltenham on 32 minutes, dragging wide from the edge of the box after Christian Burgess’ clearance landed at his feet.

But it was the Blues who ended the first half on the ascendency and Griffiths superbly kept out Baker’s diving header after the midfielder had met Gareth Evans’ pin-point delivery.

Roberts then saw a shot bending off target and an onrushing Evans could not quite get there in time to turn the ball back on the right path.

Half Time: Cheltenham 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey had two great chances to forge ahead straight after the restart, but Griffiths denied them on both occasions.

First the keeper stayed on his feet to save Roberts’ shot after the midfielder had stayed onside to collect Baker’s threaded pass.

Then he prevented Conor Chaplin from heading home Evans’ cross from just a couple of yards out at the far post.

And when Griffiths was unable to frustrate the Blues, the woodwork came to his rescue, with Bennett’s strike coming back off the post.

But the keeper was soon called back into action, quickly smothering the ball before Bennett could reach Roberts’ pass.

Cheltenham had a decent opening of their own just before the hour mark when the visitors failed to deal with a ball sent into their box, but Wright volleyed over from close range.

And it was the Robins who took the lead on 65 minutes after Burgess had been booked for a late challenge on Holman near the halfway line.

James Rowe’s free-kick ricocheted around the Pompey box before eventually landing at the feet of O’Shaughnessy to fire home.

They should have doubled their advantage soon after, but an unmarked Rob Dickie fired wide when the ball found him unmarked in the box.

Cook made an attacking switch to try to inspire a change of fortunes on 75 minutes, with Bennett making way for Smith.

A double substitution then followed moments later, as Noel Hunt and Kal Naismith replaced Chaplin and Roberts.

And Pompey almost immediately found themselves level when the otherwise impressive Griffiths failed to hold Baker’s cross and SMITH reacted quickly to tuck away the loose ball.

Both sides tried their best to find a winner, but with all their previous meetings ending in a draw, it perhaps came as no surprise to see the game end all square.

Cheltenham (3-4-1-2): Griffiths; Dickie, Downes (c), Parslow; Barthram (Suliman 90+1), Pell, Rowe, O’Shaughnessy (Cranston 90+1); Waters; Holman, Wright
Goals: O’Shaughnessy 65
Booked: Pell, Downes
Subs not used: Kitscha, Munns, Whitehead, Morgan-Smith, Arthur

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 81), Bennett (Smith 75); Chaplin (Hunt 81)
Goals: Smith 82
Booked: Chaplin, Burgess, Baker
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough, Lalkovic

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 4,702 (1,537 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Nov 122016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 4 – 0 Mansfield Town

 

Stags tamed in Fratton rout

Pompey roared back to winning ways at Fratton Park in the league with a comfortable victory over nine-man Mansfield.

Gary Roberts opened the scoring for the hosts, but despite dominating, they struggled to extend their advantage.

Mansfield put up a strong fight, even after Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti had both been dismissed in the second half.

But Noel Hunt came off the bench to make sure of the three points before Carl Baker added a gloss to the scoreline with a late brace.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly made a host of changes from the side that beat Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

Kyle Bennett was the only survivor, with Michael Doyle, Roberts and Conor Chaplin among those recalled to the line-up.

Before kick-off, Pompey paid tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, with D-Day veteran John Jenkins MBE reading the Ode to Remembrance and the Last Post being played.

It was the hosts who made the brighter start in the wet conditions, with their high pressing forcing Mansfield to make errors.

Chaplin had an early chance after he met Roberts’ cross, but was unable to divert his header on target.

But there was an even better opportunity when a corner was only cleared as far as Bennett, whose first touch into the box fooled Matt Green.

His clumsy challenge saw the Blues winger dumped onto the turf and referee Roger East pointed straight to the spot.

ROBERTS stepped up to take the penalty and slammed a powerful effort right down the middle to give Pompey the lead.

It was not all one-way traffic, however, and a misunderstanding between David Forde and Christian Burgess led to Green firing into the side netting.

James Baxendale then did well to get on the end of an Ashley Hemmings cross and send a header crashing against the post.

Pompey thought they should have had a second spot-kick on 33 minutes when Roberts stole possession and saw his cross hit Jamie McGuire’s hand, but East was not interested.

And the hosts soon came close to doubling their advantage, with Baker beating his man and firing in a rocket that cannoned back off the woodwork.

But they received a let-off just before the break when Bennett was harshly penalised for a challenge outside the box.

Chris Clements stepped up to take the free-kick and the Fratton faithful breathed a sigh of relief as he curled the ball over.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Mansfield 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey continued their search for more goals once the second half got underway, with Scott Shearer just about managing to tip over Bennett’s dipping shot from distance.

The same player then exchanged neat passes with Roberts, whose low ball into the box was agonisingly out of reach for Gareth Evans.

And Mansfield were reduced to illegal methods of halting the hosts’ surge, with Howkins booked for cynically hauling down Chaplin on the edge of the box.

It was Chaplin who should have doubled the advantage after being slipped through by Doyle’s clever pass, only to then drag his shot wide.

The Stags’ challenge was soon made harder when Howkins – who had only received his yellow card four minutes earlier – needlessly slid in on Bennett and was promptly dismissed.

Pompey immediately set about trying to make their numerical advantage count and when Shearer failed to hold Baker’s effort, he had to dive on the loose ball before the lively Danny Rose could pounce.

Roberts then did well to dig the ball out from his feet inside the area, only to prod wide from just a few yards out.

And there was more woe for the beleaguered visitors on 74 minutes when substitute Iacovitti dived into a challenge on Doyle and was immediately shown his marching orders.

Cook looked to turn the screw by bringing on some fresh attacking players, with Hunt and Kal Naismith replacing Roberts and Bennett.

The two combined to secure the three points on 84 minutes when a period of patient passing play was ended by Naismith squaring for HUNT to convert from close range.

And BAKER ensured it was an even more enjoyable afternoon when he tricked his way into the box and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

But there was still time for BAKER to add another deep into stoppage-time, with a fine left-footed finish from long-range that flew into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Hunt 77), Bennett (Naismith 79); Chaplin (Smith 86)
Goals: Roberts 11 (pen), Hunt 84, Baker 88, 90+5
Booked: Baker, Chaplin
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Close, Lalkovic

Mansfield (4-1-2-1-2): Shearer; Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning (D.Rose 69); McGuire; Clements (c), Gobern; Baxendale (Iacovitti 59); Hemmings, Green (Henderson 55)
Sent off: Howkins (two yellow cards), Iacovitti
Subs not used: Jensen, M.Rose, Hamilton, Hoban

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,393 (326 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Nov 082016
 
EFL Trophy
Portsmouth 1 – 0 Bristol Rovers

 

Naismith scores late cup winner

Pompey’s hopes of progressing in the Checkatrade Trophy remain alive thanks to a late winner against Bristol Rovers.

Kal Naismith’s long-range strike settled the group stage encounter after Michael Smith had seen his early penalty saved.

The Blues must now hope that Reading under-21s beat Yeovil on Wednesday night to bring the fight for second place down to either goal difference or goals scored.

But the game attracted a crowd of just 1,200 – the lowest attendance at Fratton Park for a competitive post-war fixture.

Paul Cook rung the changes from the side that exited the FA Cup against Wycombe at the weekend.

Adam Buxton, Milan Lalkovic and Ben Close were the only players to keep their place, with the latter handed the captain’s armband.

Those coming into the line-up included a fit-again Drew Talbot and Amine Linganzi, whose suspension does not include games in this competition.

Rovers technically stuck to the rules by only making six changes, although they did replace keeper Kelle Roos with Will Puddy after just 142 seconds.

And the first meaningful piece of action for the new man between the sticks was to give away a penalty.

Smith took advantage of a heavy touch to steal possession and Puddy brought him down, with referee James Adcock pointing straight to the spot.

It was Smith who stepped up to take the penalty and it was certainly not the worst attempt, but the keeper guessed the right way and saved low to his right.

The visitors soon had a chance to make Pompey pay for their profligacy, but Luke James’ shot was deflected wide.

Rory Gaffney then missed an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock after being picked out by Daniel Leadbitter.

He was in space and just a couple of yards out, but headed the ball into the turf and watched as it bounced narrowly over the crossbar.

And James went close for Rovers with an opportunistic long-range strike that bounced back off the woodwork.

But the match settled down after all that early action, with neither keeper given too much to do for the rest of the half.

Liam O’Brien made a regulation stop to deny Jermaine Easter, while Naismith curled a free-kick wide in stoppage-time.

Half-Time: Pompey 0 Bristol Rovers 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The second half began at the same pedestrian pace, but the Blues should have forged ahead on 55 minutes.

Naismith’s free-kick found Linganzi in the box, but the midfielder – like Gaffney before the break – directed his header into the ground and it bounced over.

And Naismith sent in another decent delivery moments later following a foul on Buxton, only for the ball to fly just out of reach for Jack Whatmough.

There was a chance at the other end when Adcock waved play on following a foul on James by Tom Davies.

Leadbitter went charging through on goal, but before he could get a shot away, Whatmough made a superb tackle inside the box to clear the danger.

The game soon turned back into a somewhat turgid encounter, however, and Cook made a double switch on 73 minutes to try to liven things up.

Buxton and Close were the two to make way, with Danny Rose and Gareth Evans coming on to replace them.

The third and final substitution arrived soon after, with Kyle Bennett swapped for Noel Hunt, as Smith was given a partner up front.

And he might have grabbed an immediate goal, only to get tangled up with Rose as the duo both tried to get on the end of Smith’s low cross.

Once again it was a Naismith free-kick that saw Pompey go close on 87 minutes, as Puddy went too far to the right and almost got caught out.

But NAISMITH did grab the winner just seconds later, courtesy of an ambitious 35-yard drive with enough swerve to deceive the keeper.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): O’Brien; Talbot, Whatmough, T.Davies, Buxton (Rose 73); Linganzi, Close (c) (Evans 73); Naismith, Lalkovic, Bennett (Hunt 77); Smith
Goals: Naismith 88
Booked: Bennett, T.Davies
Subs not used: Hall, Hyam, Clarke, Chaplin

Bristol Rovers (4-1-2-1-2): Roos (Puddy 3); Leadbitter, McChrystal (c), Hartley, Roberts; Boateng; Mansell, Colkett; Easter (Clarke 78); James, Gaffney (Harrison 80)
Booked: Mansell, McChrystal
Subs not used: Lockyer, Montano, Lines, Moore

Referee: James Adcock

Attendance: 1,200 (65 away fans)

Portsmouth FC