Football

Nov 182017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Southen United    0

 


Brett Pitman increased his impressive tally of Pompey goals by heading the winner against Southend at a packed Fratton Park.

Both sides created decent openings in a stop-start first half and Nile Ranger blazed a controversial penalty high over the bar.

Pitman was not so profligate, however, and his effort ensured the Blues claimed a second successive League One victory.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that dramatically won at Blackpool the previous week.

That meant Oliver Hawkins continued to be used as a makeshift centre-back, with Matt Clarke playing on the left.

Nathan Thompson and former Shrimpers midfielder Stuart O’Keefe both had to be content with a place on the bench after returning from suspension.

With it being Pompey’s closest home match to Armistice Day, Normandy veteran John Jenkins MBE read the Ode of Remembrance before kick-off.

A bugler then played the Last Post before everyone inside Fratton Park observed a minute of silence.

The Blues came flying out of the traps and almost broke the deadlock inside the opening five minutes.

Clarke sent a superb cross into the box from wide on the left, but Pitman could not quite steer the ball on target from close range.

Anton Ferdinand then had to hack clear when a deep Ben Close free-kick was headed into the mixer by Christian Burgess.

The hosts were looking dangerous going forward and John White was forced to head behind at the far post when Jamal Lowe centred.

But Southend settled and enjoyed their own spell of pressure midway through the first half, with Luke McGee diving to keep out a snap-shot from former Pompey trialist Theo Robinson.

Kal Naismith then inadvertently diverted the resulting corner into Ranger’s path, although the striker could only fire wide.

It was a contest that offered flurries of excitement in the middle of long spells when the action lulled.

Kyle Bennett almost bagged a rare headed goal when he managed to rise highest in the box to meet Lowe’s delivery, only for Michael Turner to clear off the line.

Shrimpers keeper Mark Oxley was then forced to get down quickly in order to keep out a fierce drive from Close.

There were more half chances at both ends of the pitch before the game controversially exploded into life just before the break.

First Danny Rose and then Clarke bravely threw themselves into the path of shots to protect McGee’s goal.

But the linesman was waving his flag furiously on the sidelines and told referee Carl Boyeson that a hand had been used by Clarke.

The hosts were furious with the decision and Burgess led the protests – backed, of course, by the Fratton faithful.

But it mattered not, as the wasteful Ranger stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it high over the bar.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Bennett did not emerge from the tunnel at the start of the second half, with Matty Kennedy brought on to replace him.

And it was the newcomer who provided the assist as Pompey broke the deadlock on 54 minutes.

He used his right foot to deliver a pin-point cross from wide on the left and PITMAN rose to expertly guide the ball into the net.

Fratton Park was then united in a minute of applause just before the hour mark to honour Blues fan Gary Martin, who recently passed away at the age of 58.

Pitman’s 12th goal of the season had been the only real moment of action in an otherwise slow start to the second half.

But a quiet spell ended when Cox’s shot was blocked by a well-placed Hawkins, with Gareth Evans getting the ball to safety.

Pompey were still looking a threat at other end, although Kennedy’s shot was not powerful enough to trouble Oxley.

Lowe then played a poor pass behind Pitman after being picked out on the right by Naismith’s threaded pass.

Southend tried their best to find an equaliser as they brought more men forward in the closing stages, but the Blues comfortably held on for victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe (Thompson 87), Bennett (Kennedy 46), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 54
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, O’Keefe, Chaplin, Main

Southend (4-1-2-1-2): Oxley; White (McGlashan 82), Turner, Ferdinand (c), Timlin; Leonard; Wright, Kightly; Cox; Robinson (Fortune 77), Ranger (McLaughlin 64)
Booked: White
Subs not used: Bishop, Hendrie, Bwomono, Yearwood

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 18,431 (1,422 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 112017
 

League One


 

Blackpool    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey brought their three-match losing league run to an end in dramatic fashion at Blackpool.

A dull first half failed to foreshadow what was to come after the break, with five goals arriving in a topsy-turvy 45 minutes.

Twice the Blues took the lead, first through skipper Brett Pitman and then when Ben Close opened his account.

But twice the Seasiders fought back to level, with Viv Solomon-Otabor and an Oliver Hawkins own-goal giving them hope.

It was Pompey who snatched the victory late on, though, when Pitman grabbed his second of the afternoon to complete a breathless encounter.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at Luton the previous week.

Kal Naismith, Gareth Evans, Danny Rose and Kyle Bennett all returned to the side, with Stuart O’Keefe and Nathan Thompson suspended, Matty Kennedy dropping to the bench and Brandon Haunstrup missing out.

Hawkins was once again used as a makeshift centre-half, with Matt Clarke taking on an unfamiliar left-back role.

Both sides emerged from the tunnel with poppy wreaths and had the flower embroidered into their shirts.

A bugler then paid the Last Post, as everyone inside the stadium paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pompey started with plenty of energy and looked to keep the ball moving, but were unable to breach an organised Seasiders defence.

In fact, there were not many clear-cut openings at either end of the pitch during a first half that often failed to get out of third gear.

The best chance for the hosts came when Jay Spearing’s free-kick found Solomon-Otabor in space, only for the winger to smash his shot over the crossbar.

He also had another attempt deflected behind, while a quick Blues break led to Jamal Lowe’s effort being charged down.

Former Fratton loanee Ryan Allsop was enjoying a quiet afternoon between the sticks, although he would have been relieved when Lowe’s cross hit Will Aimson and ricocheted narrowly past the post.

A couple of corners also caused the hosts a few problems, while Close was not too far off target with a dragged shot from 25 yards.

Luke McGee, meanwhile, twice had to come charging from his line to win a race for the ball, although the home support thought he had handled outside his box on the first occasion.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


There had been a distinct lack of excitement before the break, but the temperature rose – at least metaphorically – within seconds of the restart.

A Pompey corner caused havoc in the Seasiders box and Lowe’s shot was blocked, with Pitman unable to get to the loose ball before it was hacked to safety.

The busy Solomon-Otabor then burst down the left, cutting inside and along the edge of the box before hitting a low effort narrowly wide.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 52 minutes – much to the delight of the large travelling horde.

Close’s attempt took a deflection and although Allsop managed to adjust and parry the ball away, PITMAN was there to mop up.

A quick break from Bennett might have seen them double their advantage, only for Curtis Tilt to recover well and stop Pitman from getting a shot away.

The home support grew audibly frustrated as their side struggled to make any headway in their search for a leveller.

And their annoyance would have grown if Christian Burgess had been able to divert a Naismith corner on target.

But those who remained patient were rewarded on 73 minutes when Nathan Delfouneso combined well with substitute Dolly Menga down the right.

The latter – making his debut – sent in a dangerous low cross and Solomon-Otabor arrived at the far post to turn it home.

That might have deflated the visitors, but – backed by a vociferous following – they managed to retake the lead 10 minutes from time.

Pitman met Evans’ cross and Allsop did brilliantly to keep out his header, but when the ball was not properly cleared, CLOSE was there to fire in his first competitive goal for the club.

The action did not stop there, though, and Blackpool were soon level again, as a cross was sent into the visitors’ box and Hawkins inadvertently headed it into his own net.

But an in an incredible 12-minute spell then swung back in the Blues’ favour when they forged ahead for a third time.

Burgess rose to head a delivery back across the face of goal and PITMAN found space to nod past Allsop.

Blackpool tried their best to fight back once again, but the visitors saw out the closing stages to claim all three points.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Turton, Aimson, Tilt, Daniel; Ryan (c), Spearing; Solomon-Otabor, Philliskirk (Menga 70), Cooke (Gnanduillet 87); Delfouneso
Goals: Solomon-Otabor 73, Hawkins 83 (og)
Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, D’Almeida, Longstaff

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe, Bennett (Donohue 87), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 52, 86, Close 80
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, May, Kennedy, Chaplin, Main

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 5,032 (1,711 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 072017
 

Checkatrade Trophy


 

Charlton Athletic    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Pompey progressed to the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy after beating Charlton in their final group match.

Curtis Main netted the only goal in a lethargic contest at The Valley that was watched by very few spectators.

The result ensured that the Blues finished top of Southern Group A and will be at home in the last 32.

Kenny Jackett made eight changes from the side that exited the FA Cup against Luton at the weekend.

Luke McGee, Nathan Thompson and Oliver Hawkins were the only players to keep their place, with the latter two moved to centre-back roles.

Gareth Evans skippered the side at right-back, while Dion Donohue completed the defensive line on the opposite flank.

Danny Rose and Adam May anchored the midfield, with Kal Naismith, Conor Chaplin and Milan Lalkovic making up an attacking trio behind lone frontman Main.

There was also a change made to the substitutes just ahead of kick-off, as Brett Pitman felt a twinge in his knee and was replaced by Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But it was the hosts who got off to the faster start and Anfernee Dijksteel’s cross was turned into the side netting by Karlan Ahearne-Grant at the far post.

Ahmed Kashi then fired a shot straight at McGee, as the Blues felt their way cautiously into the contest.

The Addicks were forced into an early change, however, when Tariqe Fosu hobbled off and Ben Reeves was brought on.

McGee had to come tearing out of box moments later to beat striker Joe Dodoo to a long punt up the pitch.

But Pompey soon found their feet and Naismith picked Hawkins out from a free-kick, with the stand-in defender unable to beat Dillon Phillips from an acute angle.

And they broke the deadlock on 19 minutes, when Lalkovic’s delivery was turned back across goal by Naismith for MAIN to slide home.

He might have had another before the interval, but could not quite make a clean connection to turn Chaplin’s flick on target.

Dodoo was a dangerous presence up front for the hosts, meanwhile, although one shot was comfortable for McGee, while Rose nipped in to prevent him from testing the keeper again.

Charlton’s best chance to level came from one of the opposition players, as Patrick Bauer’s header hit May and was arrowing towards the net until McGee intervened.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


There was a slow start to the second half, with little to warm the hearts of the small number of fans who had braved the wet weather.

Dijksteel did create an opportunity when he stole the ball from Naismith and fed Billy Clarke, whose shot did little to trouble McGee.

Jackett made a double switch just before the hour mark, with Main and Lalkovic making way for Jamal Lowe and Matty Kennedy.

Pompey soon created a couple of openings, with Hawkins having a header deflected behind after meeting Naismith’s free-kick.

Chaplin then saw an effort blocked and when Lowe picked up the loose ball, he was unable to beat Phillips with a shot.

But, in truth, it was pretty turgid stuff, as both sides went about their business without really looking like scoring.

Lowe was showing a bit more urgency, though, and he surged into the box on 75 minutes before watching his fierce drive parried clear by Phillips.

The introduction of former Blues winger Ricky Holmes also saw the hosts pick up the pace as they went in search of a leveller.

But there was to be no late London drama, as Naby Sarr wasted a late chance to level and the visitors saw out the closing stages to secure their progress.

Charlton (4-2-3-1): Phillips; Dijksteel, Bauer (c), Sarr, Mascoll; Kashi, Aribo; Fosu (Reeves 9), Clarke, Ahearne-Grant (Holmes 70); Dodoo (Hackett-Fairchild 59)
Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Barnes, Marshall, Forster-Caskey

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans (c), Hawkins, Thompson, Donohue; May, Rose; Lalkovic (Kennedy 58), Chaplin (O’Keefe 86), Naismith; Main (Lowe 58)
Goals: Main 19
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 1,307 (206 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 042017
 

FA Cup 1


 

Luton Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey fell at the first hurdle in the Emirates FA Cup after a narrow defeat to high-flying League Two side Luton at Kenilworth Road.

James Collins grabbed the only goal of the tie right at the end of a first half that the hosts just about shaded.

But the Blues were much better after the break and were unfortunate not draw level on a number of occasions before Nathan Thompson’s late dismissal.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were beaten by Bradford in the league the previous week.

Kyle Bennett and Dion Donohue both dropped to the bench, with Oliver Hawkins and Brandon Haunstrup restored to the starting line-up.

The first half was a niggly affair, with plenty of fouls to break up the play and little in the way of goalmouth action.

Thompson was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Alan Sheehan, while the reaction of Collins saw him join the defender in the book.

It was the hosts who were first to threaten when Christian Burgess conceded a foul on the left, but Sheehan’s free-kick was just too high for Collins.

Brett Pitman – still wearing a mask to protect his recently broken nose – had a fierce attempt at the other end and Hatters keeper Marek Stech did well to tip it over the bar.

Stuart O’Keefe then fed Ben Close in the box, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu coming across to make a vital block.

The Luton midfielder was not quite so assured in attack, though, and his tame effort was comfortably held by Luke McGee.

There was a scare when Andrew Shinnie disappeared into the visiting fans after straining to meet a cross on 34 minutes and a sigh of relief when he emerged unscathed.

Hylton then failed to make the most of a decent opportunity by guiding Shinnie’s delivery straight at McGee.

But the hosts did break the deadlock in stoppage-time, as Hylton teed-up Collins to lash a shot into the net.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Pompey fans were fuming just after the restart when Jamal Lowe went to ground right in front of them and Seb Stockbridge declined to give a penalty.

The referee then rubbed salt into the wound by deciding the winger had dived and brandishing a yellow card.

Luton thought they had doubled their advantage when Hylton tapped home Jack Stacey’s low cross at the far post, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.

Luke Berry then drew a smart stop from McGee, with the ball looping up into the air and landing on the crossbar.

But the woodwork soon came to the Hatters’ rescue, as Stech managed to divert Matt Clarke’s looping header against the bar.

Pompey were suddenly looking dangerous with every attack and when Lowe met Matty Kennedy’s cut-back, his shot had to be hacked from the line by Sheehan.

Pitman then met a long ball forward by Burgess, forcing Stech into action to make a save at his near post.

That was the last bit of action for the Blues skipper, though, as he and Kennedy made way for Conor Chaplin and Bennett just past the hour mark.

And Luton almost caught their opponents out when Haunstrup was caught dithering, only for Shinnie to fire wide with only McGee to beat.

It was the visitors more eager to get forward, however, and when Stech kept out Close’s drilled effort, Chaplin fired the loose ball over.

Pompey were desperately throwing men forward in search of a leveller, only to come up against solid Hatters resistance.

And their task was made even harder when Thompson was dismissed for a second bookable offence following a foul on Collins down the left.

Luton almost wrapped things up on the break, with Olly Lee not quite able to send his shot over McGee.

But the Blues were not prepared to just sit back and only a fine save from Stech stopped Close from finding the bottom corner to secure a replay.

Luton (4-1-3-2): Stech; Stacey, Cuthbert (c), Sheehan, Potts; Mpanzu; O.Lee, Shinnie (Cornick 83), Berry; Hylton, Collins
Goals: Collins 45+1
Booked: Collins, O.Lee
Subs not used: Shea, Justin, Famewo, Gambin, D’Ath, E.Lee

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Hawkins, Kennedy (Bennett 62); Pitman (c) (Chaplin 62)
Sent off: Thompson (two yellow cards)
Booked: Lowe, Burgess, O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Rose, Evans, Lalkovic

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

Attendance: 5,333 (1,143 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 282017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Bradford City    1

 


Pompey were the victims of a smash and grab raid by Bradford, as they slipped to a third successive defeat.

The hosts were on top for much of the contest, with Kyle Bennett and Matty Kennedy both coming close to scoring.

But they were made to play for their profligacy late on when Matthew Kilgallon headed home a late winner for the third-placed Bantams.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were beaten at Blackburn the previous week.

Brett Pitman – wearing a mask to protect his recently broken nose – was fit enough to start after recovering from a knee operation, with Oliver Hawkins dropping to the bench.

The first half was a lively affair, although neither goalkeeper was given too much to do, with the hosts in particular misplacing their shooting boots.

Bennett had an early attempt charged down by Adam Thompson, while Christian Burgess was unable to turn Dion Donohue’s corner on target at the far post.

The former was producing an energetic performance and he did well to hold the ball up on the right and feed Jamal Lowe, who charged into the box and drew a save from Colin Doyle.

Pompey were looking the more threatening side and when Kennedy whipped in a dangerous free-kick, Pitman’s header was deflected wide.

There were a couple of scrambles in the area at the other end of the pitch, but the ball was cleared to safety on each occasion.

Some of Bennett’s build-up play was superb, but he was lacking a clinical touch when picked out by Kennedy, ballooning a shot high into the Milton End.

Kennedy than had a chance of his own on 36 minutes, trying his luck with a 20-yard curler that dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

Bradford almost took a shock lead just before the break after Matt Clarke had been punished for a foul out wide.

Tony McMahon sent a superb delivery into the Blues box and Romain Vincelot’s header was inches off target.

But it was the hosts who finished the half on top and Ben Close had an effort blocked after being teed-up by Bennett’s clever pass.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Bennett’s mixed afternoon continued after the interval when he did brilliantly to intercept a back-pass and round Doyle.

But that forced him out wider than he would have liked and he was left with head in hands after only being able to fire into the side netting.

The home fans’ frustrations grew further when McMahon took an age to tie his shoelaces, with referee Dean Whitestone doing little to hurry him up.

Bradford then missed an opportunity to forge ahead themselves, with Charlie Wyke directing his free header at Luke McGee.

But the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch and the ball had to be cut out when Lowe tricked his way into the box and tried to send it into the mixer.

The second half was being played at a frenetic pace, as both sides looked to get forward and find an opener.

Jackett made his first change on 67 minutes, with Bennett afforded a standing ovation as he made way for Conor Chaplin.

The newcomer made an instant impact by feeding Close, only for Doyle to leave his line and make a block.

And the keeper then got to his feet and made an even better save when Kennedy thundered the loose ball towards goal.

Donohue sent the resulting corner into the danger zone and a leaping Burgess looped his header onto the roof of the net.

But it was Bradford who were celebrating on 80 minutes after Dion Donohue had been booked for a foul on Alex Gilliead.

McMahon whipped the ball into the box, where Kilgallon was left in too much space to send a header past McGee.

Hawkins came on for Donohue as Jackett added an extra forward option to try to engineer some late drama.

But despite pushing plenty of men up the pitch for the closing stages, the Bantams held on to secure the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue (Hawkins 86); Close, O’Keefe; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 67), Kennedy; Pitman (c)
Booked: Donohue, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans, Naismith

Bradford (4-4-2): Doyle; McMahon, Thompson, Kilgallon, Field; Gilliead, Reeves, Vincelot (c), Law; Wyke, Taylor (Dieng 84)
Goals: Kilgallon 80
Booked: McMahon
Subs not used: Raeder, Hendrie, Robinson, Jones, McCartan, Patrick

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 18,067 (1,003 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 212017
 

League One


 

Blackburn Rovers    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey completed a disappointing week on the road with a 3-0 defeat at Blackburn.

The visitors created little, albeit in terrible conditions, and conceded goals in both halves to make the treacherous trip home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Bradley Dack opened the scoring before the break, while Danny Graham then doubled Rovers’ advantage after it.

Dominic Samuel was sent off for the hosts, but they were still able to wrap things up with a third goal from Craig Conway.

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

Jamal Lowe was restored to the starting line-up and Gareth Evans dropped to the bench, meaning that the captain’s armband returned to Stuart O’Keefe.

Brett Pitman had recovered from keyhole surgery on his knee, but had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There was also a ‘Battle of the Bennetts’, as Pompey winger Kyle was up against his older brother Elliott.

Storm Brian made life difficult for both teams, with heavy rain accompanying the wind swirling around Ewood Park.

And there were not too many clear-cut chances to reward those fans who braved the conditions to watch the game.

It was the hosts looking the more threatening, though, and a couple of dangerous deliveries had to be scrambled clear.

Dack then fired a warning shot narrowly wide midway through the first half after being teed-up by strike-partner Graham.

Richie Smallwood was closer moments later, with a thumping effort from 30 yards that Luke McGee did well to turn over the bar.

The keeper was soon called into action again and denied Dack with his legs before Graham turned the loose ball against the crossbar.

But the Blues soon had a decent opportunity of their own when Bennett met Lowe’s cross with a volley that forced David Raya to save down to his right.

It was Rovers who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, as Harry Chapman stole the ball from Dion Donohue and fed Dack for a powerful finish.

Pompey tried to find a response before the break, although an O’Keefe shot that was comfortably saved by Raya was all they had to show for their efforts.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


The rain got even heavier as the teams came out to start the second half and it certainly seemed to affect the standard of play.

Donohue was shown a yellow card for tugging back Chapman as the midfielder tried to surge into the box.

Skipper Charlie Mulgrew took the resulting free-kick from the side of the box and his fierce effort had to be beaten away by McGee.

But Rovers did double their advantage just before the hour mark, as Derrick Williams got down the left and teed-up Graham for a calm finish into the bottom corner.

Pompey had a chance to hit back when Ryan Nyambe received a yellow card for a foul on Matty Kennedy.

The free-kick was played short to Bennett, whose low shot from outside the area crept narrowly wide of Raya’s post.

That was Bennett’s last contribution to proceedings, however, as he and Oliver Hawkins made way for Conor Chaplin and a mask-wearing Pitman.

Both sides then had attempts from long distance, with strikes from Peter Whittingham and Pitman not too far off target.

With the rain continuing to fall there was plenty of surface water to make life even more difficult for both sides.

And with players struggling to keep their footing, the Blues could at least take comfort from the fact that nobody limped off in the closing stages.

But Rovers did not end the game with all 11 men on the pitch, with referee Chris Kavanagh forced to brandish a red card.

Christian Burgess held up Samuel as he tried to chase a loose ball and the frustrated Blackburn substitute kicked out at him.

The hosts were still able to add another goal late on, however, as Conway broke up the pitch and slotted past McGee.

Blackburn: Raya; Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Chapman (Conway 68), Smallwood, Whittingham, Bennett; Graham (Samuel 74), Dack (Evans 77)
Goals: Dack 38, Graham 58, Conway 90
Sent off: Samuel
Booked: Nyambe
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Gladwin, Antonsson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe (c), Close; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 64), Kennedy (Naismith 76); Hawkins (Pitman 64)
Booked: Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 11,673 (1,209 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 172017
 

League One


 

Doncaster Rovers    2

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


A disastrous start cost Pompey as they made the long trip home from Doncaster on the back of a 2-1 defeat.

They conceded twice inside the opening five minutes, with Liam Mandeville opening the scoring before Christian Burgess inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

A comical own-goal from Mathieu Baudry sparked hopes of a comeback, but they were dashed when Dion Donohue – figuratively and literally – saw red.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that convincingly beat MK Dons on home soil at the weekend.

Gareth Evans returned to the starting line-up in a wide attacking role on the right and was also handed the captain’s armband.

Jamal Lowe dropped to the bench, having travelled up later than the rest of the squad following the birth of his baby daughter.

Pompey were looking to build on successive league victories, but got off to a terrible start and found themselves two down before some fans had even taken their seat.

They had looked bright immediately following kick-off and a couple of attacks were thwarted by the Rovers back-line.

But the hosts were more clinical and broke the deadlock when Rodney Kongolo collected Tommy Rowe’s pass and squared for Mandeville to prod home.

And Doncaster doubled their advantage a few seconds later, as Burgess inadvertently sliced Harry Toffolo’s corner into his own net.

It almost got even worse for the Blues, but Andy Butler could not guide his header on target after meeting another Toffolo set-piece.

Pompey almost reduced their deficit midway through the first half, with Joe Wright forced to clear from the line when Burgess guided Matty Kennedy’s free-kick towards goal.

That was about it for clear-cut opportunities before the interval, with much of the battle taking place in the centre of the pitch.

Ben Close did see a volley charged down when Kennedy’s cross was headed into his path by Nathan Thompson.

Donohue then lifted a free-kick into the box with the seconds ticking down, but Kennedy was unable to force his shot through a sea of bodies.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Jackett, unsurprisingly, decided to make a couple of changes at the start of the second half, as the visitors looked for a route back into the game.

They were both attacking substitutes, with Evans and Kyle Bennett making for new father Lowe and – making his 100th appearance – Conor Chaplin.

And Chaplin almost made an immediate impression when Oliver Hawkins was fouled right on the edge of the box.

The diminutive striker stepped up take the free-kick and managed to bend it over the wall and against the crossbar.

But the Blues were handed a lifeline in bizarre fashion on 54 minutes – and it is a moment that Ian Lawlor will be keen to forget.

Doncaster’s keeper allowed Baudry’s back-pass to slip under his foot and was unable to hack the ball clear before it crossed the line.

That gave the visitors a visible lift, while their opponents started to display some nerves now their lead was so narrow.

A couple of dangerous Kennedy corners had to be headed clear, while a cross from the winger was then flicked narrowly wide by Chaplin.

But just when the 620 travelling fans started to dream of a comeback, Pompey were suddenly faced with an even steeper mountain to climb.

A frustrated Donohue kicked out at Niall Mason in an off-the-ball incident and although referee Martin Coy missed it, his assistant advised that the left-back should be dismissed.

The visitors kept trying to push forward in search of a leveller, but were obviously now finding it more difficult.

When they did get the ball into dangerous areas, Doncaster had plenty of players back to halt their charge.

There was clearly a bit of needle between the teams and something Mandeville said as he was substituted left Burgess enraged.

But Pompey were almost celebrating deep into stoppage-time when Lowe met Kennedy’s cross, only for his deft header to be superbly kept out by Lawlor.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Lawlor; Blair (Mason 46), Wright, Butler (c), Baudry (Beestin 72); Houghton, Whiteman; Kongolo, Rowe, Toffolo; Mandeville (Garratt 88)
Goals: Mandeville 3, Burgess 5 (og)
Booked: Rowe
Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Ben Khemis, Fletcher

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Evans (c) (Lowe 46), Bennett (Chaplin 46), Kennedy; Hawkins
Goals: Baudry 54 (og)
Sent off: Donohue
Booked: Burgess, O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rose, Naismith

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 7,211 (620 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 142017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


A brace from Oliver Hawkins ensured that Pompey beat MK Dons to secure successive league wins for the first time this season.

Both goals arrived in a first half that was almost completely one-sided, as the visitors struggled to deal with the Blues’ attacking play.

Hawkins was the beneficiary of some good work from the hosts’ wide players, as he converted crosses from first Matty Kennedy and then Jamal Lowe.

It was no surprise that the Dons were better after the break, but they did not do enough to test Luke McGee.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Gillingham the previous week.

Christian Burgess had recovered from a calf injury to start in defence and make his 100th appearance for the club, allowing Hawkins to move to a more natural position up front.

A slight niggle ensured that Curtis Main was the man to miss out, with Stuart O’Keefe continuing to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence.

The visitors had an early chance when Osman Sow got past Matt Clarke, only for the centre-back to recover well and win the ball back.

But after that it was a first half that saw Pompey enjoy almost total dominance, as they poured forward at every opportunity.

Kyle Bennett burst free down the right and Kennedy just got a touch to his cross to take the ball away from the advancing Lowe.

But the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes – and Kennedy had a large part to play in giving the hosts the lead.

He intercepted a sloppy pass from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and burst past the Dons defender before teeing-up HAWKINS for a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

There was a scare for both teams when Kennedy and Callum Brittain disappeared over the advertising hoardings at the Fratton End.

But the Blues winger soon reappeared and, after some treatment, the visiting right-back was able to continue.

Lee Nicholls was looking nervous between the MK Dons sticks and was perhaps lucky to win a free-kick after failing to hold Dion Donohue’s corner.

He then made a hash of dealing with Lowe’s centre and would have been relieved to see no Pompey player nearby to take advantage.

Donohue then tried his luck from 25 yards when Kennedy’s free-kick was only partially cleared, but could not send the ball on target.

With the visitors clinging on, O’Keefe was next to try his luck and Scott Wooton had to fling himself in front of the shot.

And Nicholls then charged from his line to dive on the ball following some fine work between Bennett and Lowe on the right.

MK Dons finally threatened late in the half and it took a fine challenge from Clarke to deny Sow after the striker burst through on goal.

But there was still time for Pompey to double their lead prior to the interval, as a persistent Lowe was able to cut the ball back for HAWKINS to turn home from close range.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


A Kennedy corner caused issues for the visitors just after the restart, but they were eventually able to scramble the ball clear.

Burgess then had to deal with Gboly Ariyibi’s dangerous low delivery from the right and just about managed to turn it the right side of the post.

MK Dons were looking more of a threat in the second half, but McGee was still a virtual spectator between the sticks.

And Hawkins had a chance to complete a hat-trick on the hour mark, only to swipe at thin air as he tried to convert Kennedy’s cross.

Bennett then missed another decent chance to put the result beyond doubt, firing wide when Lowe’s centre somehow found its way to his feet.

MK Dons might have made the most of that let-off and the Blues survived a couple of nervy scrambles in their box.

Ed Upson then whipped a free-kick into a crowded box and McGee did well to find his way through the bodies and punch clear.

Kennedy received a rousing reception from the Fratton faithful when he made way for Gareth Evans for the closing stages.

And Pompey saw out the final few minutes with relative ease to secure all three points on the sunny south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe (c); Lowe, Bennett, Kennedy (Evans 81); Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 14, 45+2
Booked: Kennedy
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Rose, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naismith

MK Dons (4-1-4-1): Nicholls; Brittain (Williams 41), Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Golbourne; Cisse (Agard 66); Ariyibi, Upson, Gilbey (c), Nesbitt (Aneke 46); Sow
Booked: Williams, Nicholls, Ebanks-Landell
Subs not used: Sietsma, Walsh, Lewington, Seager

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 17,608 (580 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 082017
 

League One


 

Gillingham    0

 


 

Porstmouth    1

 


Matty Kennedy scored early in the second half to ensure Pompey picked up all three points at Gillingham.

The winger converted after Curtis Main’s header had come back off the woodwork to give the large travelling army – and all those watching live on Sky Sports – plenty to cheer.

A one-goal advantage ensured it was a nervy finale at Priestfield, but the struggling hosts never really looked like claiming an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side beaten by Oldham in Pompey’s last league outing.

Striker Main was handed a first league start in more than a year in place of the injured skipper Brett Pitman.

Drew Talbot dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett, with Oliver Hawkins continuing to be deployed as a makeshift centre-back.

Nathan Thompson – who went off against the Latics with concussion – was declared fit to feature at right-back, but the game came too soon for Christian Burgess.

The watching television audience might have been forgiven for reaching for their remote, as the game took a while to find its flow.

In fact, the most noteworthy moment in the opening stages was the continuing efforts of various Priestfield staff to replace a dislodged corner flag.

Kennedy tried his luck with a curling right-footed effort, but the ball flew safely into the arms of Gills keeper Tomas Holy.

A delightful delivery from the outside of Jamal Lowe’s boot caused some problems, with Josh Parker having to head clear.

It was Ben Close who had the first decent chance on 20 minutes, though, with Holy having to get down to deal with his low drilled effort.

And a dangerous centre from Bennett flashed across the face of goal, with none of his white-shirted team-mates able to get a touch.

But the hosts grew in confidence as the first half progressed and thought they should have won a penalty on 34 minutes.

Hawkins’ challenge sent Sean Clare tumbling to the ground, only for referee Christopher Sarginson to ignore the appeals.

Pompey won a trio of corners before the break and two of them were met by Matt Clarke, but the defender sent both wide of the target.

It was Gillingham who ended stronger, though, and Parker volleyed narrowly past the post after being picked out by Lee Martin.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey came tearing out of the traps at the start of the second half and were ahead after just 26 seconds.

Thompson whipped a cross in from the right and when Main’s header came back off the post, KENNEDY was waiting to stroke home the loose ball.

And Thompson might have added a second, with a cross that drifted towards goal and dipped narrowly over.

It was the visitors looking more likely to add to the scoring and a long-range attempt from Kennedy was not too far off target.

Hawkins then met another Kennedy corner, although his header lacked enough power to trouble Holy.

But Gillingham thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Finn O’Mara’s cross was converted by Parker.

The home fans leapt from their seats to celebrate before realising that the linesman had raised his flag for offside.

Jackett was forced to make his first change moments later, as Dion Donohue limped off to be replaced by Brandon Haunstrup.

Pompey had a chance to extend their lead when Bennett broke quickly on 74 minutes, but he took too long to find Lowe, whose effort was blocked.

Gareth Evans and Danny Rose were brought in for the closing stages, with Bennett and Close withdrawing to the bench.

But it was Clarke who almost grabbed a second goal for the Blues late on, diverting Kennedy’s free-kick inches past the post.

Gillingham (3-5-2): Holy; O’Hara, Ehmer, Nugent (Tucker 45); Parker, Hessenthaler, Martin (c) (List 57), Bingham, Ogilvie; Wilkinson, Clare (Oldaker 67)
Booked: Ehmer
Subs not used: Arnold, Simpson, Wagstaff, Nash

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue (Haunstrup 67); O’Keefe (c), Close (Rose 83); Lowe, Bennett (Evans 83), Kennedy; Main
Goals: Kennedy 46
Booked: Clarke, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naismith

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 8,163 (1,333 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 032017
 

Checkatrade Trophy


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Crawley Town    1

 


Pompey boosted their chances of a qualifying for the Checkatrade Trophy knockout stages with victory over Crawley at a sparsely-populated Fratton Park.

Matt Clarke opened the scoring with the type of goal you would not normally associate with a defender.

His stand-in back-line partner Oliver Hawkins then doubled the lead, only for Moussa Sanoh to pull one back after the break.

But Stuart O’Keefe added a third for the hosts to wrap the points up and move the Blues to the top of Southern Group A.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that were beaten at home by Oldham at the weekend.

Gareth Evans returned to skipper the side at right-back, while Danny Rose and Adam May were recalled in midfield.

Curtis Main led the line and there were also starts in attacking roles for both Kal Naismith and Kyle Bennett.

Pompey’s defensive injury crisis meant that striker Hawkins had to continue partnering Clarke in the centre of defence.

It was a fairly quiet start to proceedings, with neither side managing to create any clear-cut openings.

Bennett had an effort blocked, while Rose’s diagonal pass was just too heavy for Main, allowing Red Devils keeper Yusuf Mersin to claim.

Main did go close on 12 minutes, though, collecting Naismith’s through ball and fizzing an angled drive just past the post.

Crawley then forced Luke McGee into action for the first time midway through the first half, with the keeper doing well to push behind Kaby Djalo’s fierce drive.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 30 minutes and it was an impressive goal from CLARKE.

He ran more than half the length of the pitch before feeding Main and was on hand to calmly convert when the striker’s shot was saved.

And his central defensive partner HAWKINS soon doubled the lead, slamming home the loose ball after Main’s header from a Naismith free-kick had been kept out by Mersin.

The visitors then missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit just before the break when Panutche Camara fired wide.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


The Red Devils made a bright start to the second half, but a couple of half-chances failed to test McGee.

Ibrahim Meite then took a heavy touch from Sanoh’s dangerous low delivery to waste another decent opening.

And when Sanoh crossed dangerously for a second time, the ball was just out of reach for both Meite and Camara, as the visitors continued to threaten.

The impressive Sanoh had a shot of his own just before the hour mark, but McGee was equal to his powerful effort.

Jackett made a double switch soon after, withdrawing May and Rose for Brandon Haunstrup and Jamal Lowe.

But it was Bennett who had a great chance to wrap the game up when he took the ball past Mersin, only to fire over with the goal gaping.

And Crawley immediately went down the other end to reduce their deficit, with Sanoh racing onto Camara’s flick and sliding past McGee.

But Bennett soon made up for his miss by providing the assist for Pompey’s third goal of the evening on 71 minutes.

He jinked his way into the box and teed-up O’KEEFE to slot home and open his scoring account for the club.

Bennett might have added a gloss to the scoreline late on when he was left unmarked to meet Lowe’s cross, but sent his header wide.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans (c), Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue; May (Haunstrup 62), Rose (Lowe 62); O’Keefe (Close 87), Bennett, Naismith; Main
Goals: Clarke 30, Hawkins 34, O’Keefe 71
Booked: May
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Kennedy, Chaplin

Crawley (4-2-3-1): Mersin; Tajbakhsh (Lewis 76), McNerney, Yorwerth, Djalo (Smith 87); Payne, Bulman (c); Camara (Boldewijn 76), Clifford, Sanoh; Meite
Goals: Sanoh 65
Booked: Djalo
Subs not used: Morris, Evina, Connolly, Lelan

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,527 (44 away fans)


Portsmouth FC