Football

Sep 152018
 

Match Report

League One


Peterborough
United
1    2 Portsmouth

Pompey climbed to the top of the League One table after goals from Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe saw off Peterborough.

Both sides were unbeaten going into the contest, but it was the Blues who emerged with that record still intact.

The goals arrived in the second half, with Ronan Curtis continuing his fine start to the campaign by providing a couple of assists.

He teed-up Hawkins for his first goal of the season and then helped Lowe extend the advantage further.

Matt Godden reduced the deficit in stoppage-time, but the visitors held on to secure another three-point haul.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Shrewsbury on home soil the previous week.

Curtis returned from Republic of Ireland international duty to replace the injured Andre Green wide on the left.

The other switch came in the centre of midfield, where Ben Thompson dropped to the bench to make way for Ben Close.

Both sets of fans – including more than 2,500 from the south coast – contributed to a vibrant atmosphere as the game began at a breathless pace.

It was a hectic end-to-end affair, although neither goalkeeper was given much to do in the opening 45 minutes.

An early Christian Burgess header was blocked, while Rhys Bennett hooked over at the other end after Jason Cummings had flicked on Colin Daniel’s delivery.

Hawkins then did well to get on the end of a teasing Lee Brown cross and head narrowly over the bar.

The Peterborough coaching team had found reason to berate the fourth official and referee Roger East gave Steve Evans a ticking off.

But even they did not seem to think anything was amiss when Siriki Dembele went down in the box and half-hearted penalty appeals emerged from the stands.

Posh keeper Aaron Chapman was called into action for the first time midway through the first half and comfortably dealt with a long-range Evans effort.

There was a better opportunity at the other end moments later, with Cummings wastefully firing over when the ball fell kindly to him in the box.

Craig MacGillivray then got down at his near post to keep out a low angled drive from Jason Naismith.

Pompey finished the half brightly, but were lacking a decent final pass and with no time added on, the sides went in level at the break.


Half Time

Peterborough United 0

Portsmouth 0


While the first half had started frantically, there was a more measured approach from both sides when the action restarted.

Evans saw a shot blocked from the edge of the area, while MacGillivray commandingly claimed a Dembele free-kick.

That was for a foul on Cummings by Nathan Thompson, a challenge that earned the right-back the game’s first yellow card.

There was a nervy moment when MacGillivray failed to hold a cross from Naismith, but he gratefully gathered at the second attempt.

And it was the visiting army of fans that were celebrating when the Blues broke the deadlock just past the hour mark.

HAWKINS has been in excellent form so far this season and he opened his goalscoring account by meeting Curtis’ cross and guiding home a header.

Pompey then appealed for a penalty when Lowe’s strike hit Ivan Toney on the arm, although it would have been difficult for the Posh substitute to get out of the way.

It mattered not, though, as the visitors did double the advantage just seconds later, with Curtis providing another assist.

He headed Hawkins’ cross back into the mixer and a first-time finish from LOWE nestled comfortably in the net.

There were a smattering of bookings late on as tempers began to fray, but the Blues were looking solid at the back.

Curtis took a knock and limped off towards the end, while seven minutes of added time gave the hosts hope of a comeback.

That grew when Godden took advantage of some sloppy defending to pull one back, but Pompey saw out the closing stages to climb above Peterborough and into top spot.

Peterborough (4-1-2-1-2): Chapman; Naismith, Bennett, Tafazolli, Daniel; Woodyard (c); Ward (Maddison 72), Dembele; O’Hara (Walker 66); Cummings (Toney 59), Godden
Goals: Godden 90+4
Booked: Daniel, Walker
Subs not used: Tyler, Yorwerth, Cooper, Reed

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Close (B.Thompson 86), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Haunstrup 90); Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 62, Lowe 75
Booked: N.Thompson, Hawkins, Close, Burgess
Subs not used: McGee, Rose, Wheeler, Pitman, Mason

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 10,472 (2,513 Pompey fans)



Portsmouth FC

Sep 082018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 1    1 Shrewsbury Town

Brett Pitman came off the bench to net a penalty and ensure Pompey’s unbeaten start to the League One campaign continued.

The first half was a largely drab affair, although the hosts did improve markedly following the interval.

It looked like a first defeat was on the cards when Greg Docherty took advantage of some sloppy defending to give Shrewsbury the lead.

But – much to the relief of the Fratton faithful – Pitman kept his cool from the spot to secure a share of the spoils.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that comfortably saw off Plymouth the previous week.

With Ronan Curtis away on international duty, Andre Green was handed his league debut wide on the left.

There were also a couple of enforced switches at the back, with Christian Burgess and Nathan Thompson replacing the injured Jack Whatmough and Anton Walkes.

The Blues had got off to a flying start against Argyle, but it was flat opening 45 minutes against the struggling Shrews.

That did not look like being the case when Jamal Lowe’s shot was tipped around the post by Joel Coleman in the early stages.

But that was not a portent of what was to come, with the remainder of the half being a fairly lifeless affair.

Indeed, it was Shrewsbury who looked more likely to break the deadlock, without really being able to test Craig MacGillivray between the sticks.

Lenell John-Lewis could not connect with Shaun Whalley’s teasing delivery at the back post, while a drive from Omar Beckles was not too far off target.

And John-Lewis had another decent opportunity after Ollie Norburn had dispossessed Tom Naylor, only to fire high over the bar.

Christian Burgess had to make a timely challenge inside the box on 42 minutes to stop Josh Laurent getting a shot away.

But the visitors’ best chance came just before the break, as Anthony Grant turned neatly and fired inches past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Shrewsbury Town 0


Jackett made a double switch at the start of the second half, as Green and Ben Thompson made way for David Wheeler and Ben Close.

The former won a free-kick after being fouled by Mat Sadler just after the restart, with Gareth Evans’ effort pushed clear by the diving Coleman.

It was much better from the Blues and a corner from Evans caused problems, while Wheeler was unable to beat Coleman at the keeper’s near post.

The visitors thought they should have been awarded a penalty just past the hour mark after Alex Gilliead had cut through the home defence.

He went down under Lee Brown’s challenge and cried foul, but referee Charles Breakspear was not interested.

And Brown then had an ambitious shot from 30 yards that fizzed narrowly wide, amidst anguished cries from the crowd.

They went even closer when Evans met Nathan Thompson’s cross with a firm header that Coleman just about managed to push clear.

Pompey’s final change came on 67 minutes, as the hard-working Hawkins was withdrawn for Pitman.

The hosts had looked much more of a threat since the restart, but it was the Shrews celebrating a goal on 74 minutes.

Burgess was unable to clear a cross from Whalley and Docherty – who had only come on a few seconds earlier – took advantage to lash the ball into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Pitman went down on 81 minutes.

Josh Emmanuel certainly had his hands on the striker, but Breakspear waved away the noisy appeals from players and fans alike.

The referee did point to the spot soon after, though, when Gilliead brought down Nathan Thompson in the box.

It was the linesman who flagged, although Breakspear took a while to make his mind up before awarding the penalty.

PITMAN stepped up to take it and although Coleman went the right way, the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

Five minutes of stoppage-time meant there were even hopes raised for a dramatic winner, but the Blues were unable to strike again.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson (Close 46), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Green (Wheeler 46); Hawkins (Pitman 67)
Goals: Pitman 87 (pen)
Subs not used: McGee, Haunstrup, Rose, Mason

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): Coleman; Emmanuel, Waterfall, Sadler (c), Beckles; Grant; Whalley, Norburn, Laurent (Docherty 73), Gilliead; John-Lewis (Amadi-Holloway 67)
Goals: Docherty 74
Subs not used: Gregory, Sears, Haynes, Colkett, Okenabirhie

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,634 (281 away fans)



Portsmouth FC

Sep 042018
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy


Portsmouth 4    0 Gillingham

Pompey eased to victory over Gillingham in their opening Checkatrade Trophy group match at Fratton Park.

A largely uneventful first half came to life right at the end, with Matt Clarke and Ben Close finding the net in quick succession.

Brett Pitman then hammered home a penalty after the interval to erase any hopes of a Gills comeback.

And a comfortable evening was wrapped up right at the end when David Wheeler opened his Blues account.

Kenny Jackett made 10 changes from the side that comfortably saw off Plymouth in the league at the weekend.

Clarke was the only player to keep his spot, with loan sign Andre Green handed his debut in an attacking role.

Pitman reclaimed the captain’s armband up front, while fellow striker Joe Mason had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

The crowd were packed into the South Stand, but there was not too much to keep them entertained for the majority of the first half.

Pitman thundered a 30-yard free-kick against the crossbar after Wheeler had been fouled by Aaron Simpson.

But that was not typical of a listless opening period that only exploded into life just before the interval.

Neither keeper had much to deal with, although Luke McGee made a regulation save to deny Navid Nasseri.

Pompey finally moved through the gears on 41 minutes when Adam May slipped a fine pass down the line for Wheeler.

His low centre was intended for Pitman, who would have been left with a simple finish had Alex Lacey not cut the ball out.

But the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as CLARKE was left untroubled to convert May’s delivery.

And the celebrations from the home supporters had barely died down before the Blues doubled their advantage.

Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and although CLOSE’s first time effort lacked power, it was neatly placed into the bottom corner.

It might have been even better in stoppage-time, but a long-range effort from May flashed past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Gillinghamn 0


There were only a few minutes on the clock when the hosts had a great chance to extend their lead further.

Wheeler whipped in a teasing cross from the right that would normally have been gobbled up by Pitman, but he fired uncharacteristically wide from a few yards out.

Pompey’s skipper made up for that, however, by opening his account for the season from the penalty spot on 55 minutes.

Alan Young pointed to the spot when Green went down under Aaron Simpson’s challenge, with PITMAN on hand to slam home from 12 yards.

Gills keeper Tom Hadler then came tearing from his line to stop Wheeler reaching Green’s threaded pass.

Mason was introduced for his Blues bow just past the hour mark, with May the man to make way for the on-loan Wolves striker.

The tempo of the contest unsurprisingly dropped with the lead so commanding and the chances started to dry up again.

Wheeler came close to adding a fourth goal after bundling his way into the box, but Hadler came to the rescue with a decent stop.

And that is exactly what he did at the death, with WHEELER on hand to net from close range after Mason’s blocked shot had fallen into his path.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Wheeler, May (Mason 62), Green; Pitman (c)
Goals: Clarke 41, Close 43, Pitman 55 (pen), Wheeler 90
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Brown, Naylor, B.Thompson, Evans, Lowe

Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Hadler; O’Neill (c), Lacey (Scarlett 80), Ogilvie, Simpson (Nash 65); Oldaker; Rees (Chapman 62), Stevenson; Nasseri; Wilkinson, List
Booked: Nasseri
Subs not used: Holy, O’Mara, Woods, Mbo

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 2,011 (69 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 012018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 3    0 Plymouth Argyle

Pompey’s excellent start to the season continued, as they eased to a comfortable victory over struggling Plymouth at Fratton Park.

They dominated for much of the contest and Ronan Curtis’ finish saw them deservedly lead at the break.

Jamal Lowe and Curtis then struck in quick succession after the interval to wrap up another enjoyable afternoon on the sunny south coast.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same starting 11 for a fourth game in succession, with new loan signing Andre Green having to be content with a place on the bench.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, as Stuart O’Keefe was selected in the Argyle midfield.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for former Pompey forward Ron Newman, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

When the action got underway, it was the hosts who quickly gained the upper hand and started to dominate the contest.

Lowe dragged one shot wide, while the winger’s cross then had to be cleared behind before Gareth Evans could strike.

It was an impressive performance from Evans and his fierce 30-yard volley was just about tipped over by Matt Macey.

The keeper then had a nervy moment when he fumbled Lee Brown’s cross and narrowly prevented the ball from going behind for a corner.

Still the Blues dominated and when Oli Hawkins laid the ball off for Lowe, Macey had to get down to his right to save.

Plymouth thought they should have had a penalty on 21 minutes when Freddie Ladapo burst through on goal and collided with Craig MacGillivray.

The ball flew harmlessly wide and the visitors cried foul, but referee Tom Nield disagreed and waved play on.

Pompey rubbed salt into the wound by grabbing a deserved goal just seconds later, as CURTIS continued his fine personal form.

Evans sent a pass over the top for Lowe and although there was a heavy touch, he managed to squeeze the ball across for his fellow forward to slot home.

The advantage might have been doubled soon after when Evans laid the ball off for Hawkins, only for Macey to make a fine save.

It was Pompey who had been almost totally on top, but their opponents started to enjoy more of the ball as the interval approached.

Their best opportunity was a fierce drive from Jamie Ness – earlier booked for a crude challenge on Lowe – that MacGillivray pushed over the bar.

The hosts then received a blow when Hawkins went down off the ball and had to limp off, with Brett Pitman on to replace him.

And Pompey received a scare as MacGillivray came for a corner and missed, but Gary Sawyer failed to capitalise and fired over.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Plymouth Argyle 0


Jackett made his other two changes at the break, as the injured duo of Anton Walkes and Jack Whatmough made way for Nathan Thompson and Christian Burgess.

Plymouth also introduced Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras to try to find a route back into the contest.

But the Blues started brighter and Lowe’s centre had to be cut out by Ryan Edwards before Pitman could strike.

Tom Naylor then had two cracks when a corner fell to him on the edge of the box and the second fizzed narrowly over.

But there would always be some nerves while the lead was so slender and Carey sent the ball against the outside of the post.

It was still the hosts on top, though, and Macey did well to keep out a deflected Lowe effort, while Burgess sent a header looping over.

But the Blues could breathe a sigh of relief when the lead was doubled on 63 minutes, as LOWE arrived at the back post to nod home Curtis’ cross.

And the points were safely in the bag just a few minutes later, thanks to a fine solo goal from the impressive CURTIS.

He bundled Sawyer off the ball with ease and despite looking to have run too far, managed to angle home a fierce shot.

The action calmed after that hectic period, with Pompey comfortably seeing out the closing stages in third gear.

And they were not really troubled by the Pilgrims before the whistle blew and the Fratton faithful could celebrate yet another victory

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes (N.Thompson 46), Whatmough (Burgess 46), Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 41)
Goals: Curtis 22, 69, Lowe 63
Booked: N.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Close, Wheeler, Green

Plymouth (4-1-4-1): Macey; Riley, Edwards, Sawyer (c), Smith-Brown; Songo’o (Lameiras 46); O’Keefe (Fox 70), Sarcevic, Ness, C.Grant (Carey 46); Ladapo
Booked: Ness
Subs not used: Letheren, Wootton, J.Grant, Taylor

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 18,872 (1,226 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 312018
 

Joe Mason

Loan : Wolverhampton Wanderers – Portsmouth



Joe Mason

Pompey have signed Joe Mason on loan from Wolves.

The striker has joined the Blues until January 2 and will wear the number 14 shirt during his time on the south coast.

But the 27-year-old has not arrived in time to feature in Saturday’s League One contest with Plymouth.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “We worked together at Wolves and he’s a player who’s spent much of his career in the Championship.

“He’s scored goals at that level and I’m convinced he can do the same for Pompey, so we’re delighted to add him to the group at this late stage.”

Mason began his career at Plymouth and then spent almost five years with Cardiff before signing for Wolves in January 2016.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international had spells on loan at Burton and MLS outfit Colorado Rapids last season.

Portsmouth FC

Aug 302018
 

Conor Chaplin

Transfer : Portsmouth – Coventry City



Conor Chaplin

Conor Chaplin has completed a move to League One side Coventry.

The 21-year-old striker has initially joined them on loan until January, when the move will become permanent for an undisclosed fee.

Chaplin said: “Playing for Pompey was an absolute dream for me. I’ve got some great memories that will last forever.

“I want to thank the fans and everyone else who has supported me during my many years at the club.”

Blues boss Kenny Jackett added: “Conor’s a terrific character and has been searching for regular football.

“The signing of Andre Green means we have plenty of power along our front line now and gives us plenty of options.

“That allowed us to grant Conor his wish. He was in the final year of his contract here and eager for a fresh start.

“I understand that and everyone here at Pompey wishes him the very best for the future at his new club.”

Chaplin is a graduate of the Blues academy, who made his senior debut in a home defeat to Accrington back in December 2014.

A first goal arrived at Morecambe a few months later, while he played a key role in Pompey’s memorable League Two title success in 2016/17.

Portsmouth FC   .   Conor Chaplin

Aug 292018
 

Andre Green

Loan : Aston Villa – Portsmouth



Andre Green

Pompey have signed winger Andre Green on loan from Aston Villa.

The deal sees the 20-year-old England youth international join the Blues for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “We’re really pleased to bring Andre in on loan, as he has fantastic attacking potential – with pace, close control and the ability to go past people.

“There’s a degree of flexibility as well because he can play out wide or through the middle. I think he’ll fit in very well here.”

Green is a graduate of Villa’s academy and made his senior debut in a Premier League clash with Tottenham back in March 2016.

He has gone on to make 31 appearances, opening his goalscoring account in last season’s 4-2 home victory over Norwich.

Green – who has featured five times in the current campaign – has represented the Three Lions up to under-20 level.

Portsmouth FC

Aug 252018
 

Match Report

League One


Doncaster Rovers 0    0 Portsmouth

Pompey’s winning run came to an end at Doncaster, although they remain unbeaten following a goalless draw.

The visitors were well below-par before the break and survived some nervy moments, but were much improved in the second half.

Gareth Evans was twice denied by excellent Marko Marosi stops, but the keeper was sent off for a handball in the closing stages, meaning Rovers finished with an outfield player between the sticks.

Kenny Jackett named the same side for a third successive game, following victories over Oxford and Bristol Rovers.

But if the visitors were in a confident mood then it was not particularly evident during the opening 45 minutes.

There were plenty of nervy moments in the Blues back-line, with the ball spending much of the time in and around their area.

An early chance from Alfie May was comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray and the chances kept coming for Doncaster.

They had a great opportunity to open the scoring moments later, with unmarked skipper Andy Butler heading Herbie Kane’s corner wide from just a few yards out.

Then, after Anton Walkes had been penalised for a foul on Matty Blair, the free-kick was curled narrowly over by Ben Whiteman.

It was a sloppy start from Pompey and when they failed to clear the danger on 12 minutes, MacGillivray was called into action again to deny May.

The hosts then thought they should have won a penalty, although replays showed Walkes was nowhere near May when he flung himself to the ground.

Not much was happening at the other end of the pitch, with Ronan Curtis and Ben Thompson both sending efforts well off target.

Meanwhile, a cross from Jamal Lowe had to be turned behind by Niall Mason before Evans could connect at the far post.

There was then almost a second own-goal in a week for Jack Whatmough, not that he knew much about it.

Kane’s shot struck the defender and wrong-footed MacGillivray, who managed to recover in time to stop the ball crossing the line.

Rovers continued to dominate as the interval neared and Mallik Wilks’ inventive overhead effort was kept out by MacGillivray, while Whiteman then blazed over.


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 0

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double change at the break, with Thompson and Oli Hawkins withdrawn for Ben Close and Brett Pitman.

And they looked more assured once the action restarted, seeing much more of the ball without being able to test keeper Marosi.

Doncaster still posed a threat, however, and Lee Brown made a timely clearance to stop former Blues loanee John Marquis getting a shot away.

It was Pompey who almost broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, however, when Evans met a low Curtis cross and saw his shot kept out by Marosi at point-blank range.

The ball came loose and Evans picked it back up again, but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

By now the action was switching from one end of the pitch to the other and MacGillivray got down to his right to save Blair’s strike.

Another excellent chance for the visitors followed and once more it was Evans who could count himself unlucky.

He lined up a shot after Pitman’s initial effort had been parried into his path, although Marosi again made a fine save to deny him.

But the ball fell straight back to Evans and although his second attempt beat the keeper, Whiteman was on hand to clear from the line.

The chances started to dry up as the game neared its conclusion, although both sides were still trying to attack.

Suddenly the drama picked up again, however, as Doncaster were reduced to 10 men on 83 minutes.

Marosi came tearing out of his box to beat Curtis to the ball and handled it, earning a red card from referee Andy Haines.

The hosts had made their final substitution moments earlier, meaning midfielder Whiteman had to don the keeper’s jersey.

But he was well protected by his defence in the closing stages, with a simple save from Curtis the closest Pompey came to snatching victory.

Doncaster (4-3-3): Marosi; Mason, Wright, Butler (c), Andrew; Kane, Whiteman, Blair (Rowe 73); Wilks (Coppinger 73), Marquis, May (Kiwomya 82)
Sent off: Marosi
Booked: Whiteman, Kane
Subs not used: Lawlor, T.Anderson, J.Anderson, Beestin

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson (Close 46), Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 46), Curtis
Booked: B.Thompson, Close, Whatmough
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Wheeler

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 7,618 (1,121 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 212018
 

Match Report

League One


Bristol Rovers 1    2 Portsmouth

A late goal from Ronan Curtis ensured Pompey continued their impressive start to the season with victory over Bristol Rovers.

Gareth Evans netted for the second game in succession to give them an interval lead at the Memorial Stadium.

But Chris Lines then levelled from the penalty spot and was sent off in the space of three second half minutes.

It looked like the spoils would be shared, only for Curtis to scramble a shot home late on and secure another three-point haul for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Oxford in such impressive fashion at the weekend.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Kyle Bennett starting against his former club.

The game began in a cagey fashion, as both sides were limited to long-range efforts that failed to find the target.

Tom Naylor, Ben Thompson and Evans had their radars off for the visitors, while it was Ed Upson and Bennett for Rovers.

But Liam Sercombe really should have done better when Bennett’s cross found him unmarked in the box and he screwed over the bar.

Matt Clarke then did well to hook the ball to safety and prevent Stefan Payne from getting a shot away.

Those opportunities came during a spell of pressure for the hosts, but instead it was the Blues that broke the deadlock on 32 minutes.

A long ball up the pitch was flicked on first by Oli Hawkins and then Curtis, with EVANS collecting it and lashing home a rocket of a shot.

Rovers came close to levelling before the break, with MacGillivray getting down to his right to push clear a low Sercombe drive.

Anton Walkes was also called into action to block efforts from Ollie Clarke and Upson, ensuring Pompey went in ahead at the break.


Half Time

Bristol Rovers 0

Portsmouth 1


It was Pompey who threatened first following the interval, but when Jamal Lowe’s cross was headed clear, Naylor was unable to keep his shot down.

There was then a break in play while Clarke received treatment for a cut above his eye and the Blues defender returned to the pitch with a bandaged head.

Rovers then had a great chance to equalise when MacGillivray palmed clear a curler from Tom Nichols, but Sercombe could only send the loose ball into the side netting.

Rovers were on top and after having penalty appeals turned down when Sercombe’s shot hit Thompson, an effort from Nichols had to be blocked by Clarke.

Pompey saw that nervy period out, however, and began to look more of a threat at the other end of the pitch.

Evans came close to his second goal of the evening after a surging run across the edge of the box, but drilled narrowly wide with his left foot.

But then came a couple of moments of controversy, as Rovers sub Lines scored from the spot before being sent off.

It was his corner that referee Graham Salisbury decided Curtis had deliberately handled, with the midfielder just about squeezing his penalty past MacGillivray’s outstretched arm and into the bottom corner.

Brett Pitman was immediately introduced from the bench and was caught by the studs of Lines, whose reckless challenge earned him a red card.

It was a hectic ending, with goals looking likely to go in at either end of the pitch, perhaps thanks to some tiring limbs.

But it was the Blues celebrating on 87 minutes, when CURTIS capitalised on Pitman’s flick from a Thompson pass and just about managed to force a shot over the line.

The visitors were then indebted to MacGillivray, who made a stunning save to deny Bennett, while Pitman cleared off the line from the resulting corner.

Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Smith; Leadbitter, Lockyer (c), Craig, J.Clarke; Bennett, Upson (Lines 69), O.Clarke, Sercombe; Payne (Jakubiak 69), Nichols (Rodman 79)
Goals: Lines 76 (pen)
Sent off: Lines
Booked: J.Clarke
Subs not used: Andre Jr, Broadbent, Mensah Jr, Reilly

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 77), Curtis (Haunstrup 90)
Goals: Evans 32, Curtis 87
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Close, Wheeler, Chaplin

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 9,073 (1,137 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 182018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 4    1 Oxford United

Pompey continued their 100 per cent start to the league season with a convincing victory over Oxford at Fratton Park.

They dominated the contest, but it looked like a frustrating afternoon might be in store when Gareth Evans saw his penalty saved.

The Blues were more clinical after the interval, however, and Evans redeemed himself, while a Rob Dickie own-goal and Jamal Lowe effort gave the scoreline a more realistic gloss.

United staged a late rally and twice the struck the woodwork before Jack Whatmough found his own net.

But the visitors – who are without a league point – were unable to stage an unlikely comeback and Lowe wrapped things up impressively in stoppage-time.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup on home soil earlier in the week.

Ben Thompson was handed an immediate debut in the centre of midfield, having finalised a loan switch from Millwall the previous day.

There were also starts for Craig MacGillivray, Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins.

Luke McGee, Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close, David Wheeler and Brett Pitman were the men to make way, with all of them dropping to the bench.

Pompey had not been overly convincing in their opening day home victory over Luton, but they completely controlled the first half against Oxford.

The contest was slow to get going, but it was the hosts who dominated in terms of both possession and chances.

Tony McMahon had to clear Tom Naylor’s header behind, while Curtis was unable to keep his effort down from a Lowe centre.

Hawkins was proving a constant nuisance, but could not find the target after Whatmough’s long clearance picked him out.

It was a lively display from Thompson in the centre of the pitch and he certainly endeared himself to the Fratton faithful with a crunching – yet fair – challenge on Marcus Browne.

And the host should have broken the deadlock when Hawkins stole possession from Jamie Hanson, only to then be scythed down by the Oxford midfielder.

Referee Lee Swabey immediately pointed to the spot, but Evans’ tame effort was comfortably dealt with Jonathan Mitchell.

The ball stayed in play, though, and when it was worked to Thompson outside the box, his drilled effort fizzed just past the post.

Pompey were totally on top and had another great opportunity, as Hawkins flicked on Thompson’s pass, but Naylor swiped at thin air from just a few yards out.

Evans had another chance after collecting the ball from Lowe, but could not force his shot through a sea of yellow-shirted bodies.

United were racking up the bookings, with Hanson, Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste all cautioned.

But there was a Fratton first when their coach Shaun Derry – formerly of the Blues – argued with the fourth official and – under new FA rules – was also shown a yellow card.

There was one more chance for the hosts just before the break, but Hawkins was unable to connect with Thompson’s low cross at the near post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey had not made the most of their dominance in the first half, but roared into the lead just after the interval.

Hawkins was unable to turn in Lowe’s delivery, but instead managed to lay the ball off for EVANS to steer home.

Naylor then clashed with Brannagan and both players required treatment, with the Blues midfielder returning to the pitch sporting a bandaged head.

It was still pretty much one-way traffic and the lead was deservedly doubled on 56 minutes – albeit in fortuitous circumstances.

Lowe caused more problems on the right and tried to pick out Evans in the box, only for DICKIE to get there first and turn the ball into his own net.

Oxford made a triple substitution just past the hour mark in a desperate attempt to find a route back into the contest.

Instead they found themselves further behind, as Pompey continued to torment their under-siege opponents.

A corner from Evans was helped on by Clarke and turned towards goal by Hawkins, with LOWE sticking out a boot to flick the ball past Mitchell.

The visitors finally came to life in the closing stages and Brannagan forced a decent save from MacGillivray.

Oxford then hit the post twice in quick succession, with James Henry and Jon Obika both denied in a lively conclusion.

Their hopes were raised when Whatmough inadvertently sliced McMahon’s cross into his own net, but that was as good as it got.

Instead it was Pompey who had the final say, as LOWE surged forward and curled home an exquisite finish to complete the rout.

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Evans (c), B.Thompson; Lowe, Hawkins, Curtis (Wheeler 80)
Goals: Evans 48, Dickie 56 (og), Lowe 65, 90+2
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Close, Chaplin, Pitman

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Mitchell; McMahon, Dickie, Nelson (c), Garbutt (Ruffels 61); Hanson, Brannagan; Mackie, Baptiste (Henry 61), Browne; Smith (Obika 61)
Goals: Whatmough 89 (og)
Booked: Brannagan, Hanson, Baptiste
Subs not used: Shearer, Norman, Mousinho, Whyte

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 18,093 (1,312 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 172018
 

Ben Thompson

Loan : Millwall – Portsmouth



Ben Thompson

Pompey have signed midfielder Ben Thompson on loan from Millwall.

The deal sees the 22-year-old – who has been given the number 32 shirt – move to Fratton Park for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He comes here with a point to prove and looking to play football on a regular basis.

“Ben’s a good all-round midfielder and has a little bit of everything – an impressive passing range, energy and is competitive.

“I’m looking forward to working with him and it is an area of the pitch where we do really need to improve.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the next two weeks and if we can improve the squad even further then that’s great.”

Thompson is a graduate of Millwall’s academy and has made 93 senior appearances for the Championship outfit.

He played the full 90 minutes for the Londoners in their Carabao Cup victory over Gillingham earlier in the week.

Following his first full campaign at the club, Thompson collected both the Young Player of the Season and Goal of the Season awards.

Portsmouth FC   .   Ben Thompson

Aug 142018
 

Match Report

Carabao Cup 1st Round


Portsmouth 1    2 AFC Wimbledon

A late Anton Walkes own-goal saw Pompey crash out of the Carabao Cup in the first round for a third successive season.

It looked like they would progress when Christian Burgess nodded in following a first half that was short on entertainment.

But Joe Pigott headed in the equaliser and, with just a few minutes remaining, Walkes found his own net.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that won at Blackpool in the league at the weekend.

Brett Pitman returned to skipper the team, while there was a first Pompey start for on-loan winger David Wheeler.

Luke McGee, Burgess and Brandon Haunstrup were also called upon, with Craig MacGillivray, Jack Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins all dropping to the bench.

The first half was a forgettable affair, with little to entertain the fans packed into the Fratton End and South Stand.

It was the visitors who had the first chance when Mitchell Pinnock crossed from the left, but Scott Wagstaff’s header was off target.

The same player then screwed another effort well wide after Walkes had failed to properly deal with Pinnock’s free-kick.

And it was a hat-trick of chances missed when Wagstaff beat Haunstrup to a header and sent the ball looping towards goal, only for the left-back to recover and hook it clear.

But it was the Blues who almost broke the lead on 23 minutes when Wheeler met Pitman’s centre and sent his header wide.

Neither McGee or opposite number Tom King had been called into action and that did not change when Pinnock’s drive flashed past the post.

Jamal Lowe was not too far off target following a surging run through the centre, but there was still little to whet the appetite.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

AFC Wimbledon 0


Pompey had struggled to create anything meaningful before the break, but they soon took the lead after it.

Pitman did well to bring the ball under control inside the box, only for his shot to be deflected behind.

And the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as a delivery from Evans was emphatically headed home by BURGESS at the back post.

AFC Wimbledon thought they should have won a penalty when McGee and Pinnock collided soon after, but referee Ollie Yates was not interested.

They then came close to a leveller, as Anthony Wordsworth unleashed a rocket form 25 yards that fizzed over the bar.

Jackett made a double change on 67 minutes, with Pitman and Evans withdrawn for Conor Chaplin and Hawkins.

It had been a quiet evening for both keepers, but McGee was certainly not caught napping by a fierce Wordsworth drive that was well saved.

He could do nothing about the Dons’ equaliser on 76 minutes, though, as Pigott found space to meet Wagstaff’s cross and head home from just a few yards out.

That unsurprisingly gave the visitors a boost and they set about trying to find a winner, with Curtis brought on for Pompey to try to offer more at the other end.

But it was Wimbledon looking more threatening and when a corner was not properly dealt with, McGee had to get down and push Wagstaff’s shot around the post.

The Blues then almost retook the lead in a frenetic end to the game, but Hawkins was denied as he tried to convert Lowe’s centre.

Instead it was the visitors who grabbed a late winner – although they had their opponents to thank for the goal.

Tom Soares’ cross found Walkes at the back post and the defender tried to clear it, but only succeeded in planting the ball in the back of his own net.

Pompey threw bodies forward to try to force a penalty shoot-out, but they were unable to find a second goal.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Naylor, Close; Wheeler (Curtis 80), Evans (Hawkins 67) Lowe; Pitman (c) (Chaplin 67)
Goals: Burgess 49
Booked: Close, Naylor
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, May

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): King; Watson (Sibbick 77), Oshilaja (c), McDonald, Garratt; Wagstaff, Wordsworth, Soares, Pinnock (Appiah 66); Hanson, Pigott (Hartigan 90)
Goals: Pigott 76, Walkes 88 (og)
Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Purrington, Ashley

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 6,588 (438 away fans)


Portsmouth FC