Loan : FC Midtjylland – Portsmouth
Loan : FC Midtjylland – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed defender Rasmus Nicolaisen on a season-long loan deal from FC Midtjylland.
The move for the 23-year-old former Denmark youth international is subject to international clearance.
Nicolaisen progressed through the FC Midtjylland academy and made his debut for their first team in 2017.
He was part of the squad that lifted the top-flight title in both 2017/18 and 2019/20, as well as the Danish Cup in between.
Nicolaisen has also appeared in the Europa League and has scored six goals in 51 appearances for FC Midtjylland.
‘The Wolves’ are currently managed by Brian Priske, who featured for Pompey in the Premier League during the 2005/06 campaign.
Loan : Portsmouth – Bromley
|Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has returned to Bromley on loan until January 3.
But Pompey have an option to recall the 22-year-old forward from the National League side after the initial 28 days of the deal.
He arrived at Fratton Park from the London outfit at the start of 2020, making his debut in an EFL Trophy victory at Walsall.
But Hackett-Fairchild has been left frustrated by a series of knocks and will now be looking for a regular run of games back at Bromley.
He scored eight goals in 25 appearances for them during the first half of last season and previously played for Charlton.
The first half was a lifeless affair, but the visitors were on top throughout the second period and had several opportunities to score.
They were unable to take any of them, however, and Matty Done missed a glorious chance to make them pay for that profligacy at the death.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup at Brighton earlier in the week.
Andy Cannon replaced Ryan Williams, with the midfielder making his first start of the campaign against his former club.
The other switches both came in the full-back roles, as Cam Pring and James Bolton made way for Lee Brown and Callum Johnson.
But summer signing Michael Jacobs had to be content with a place among the substitutes as he waited to make a Blues bow.
It was a fairly uneventful opening 45 minutes in the Greater Manchester sunshine, with neither keeper forced into meaningful action.
Marcus Harness was looking the most dangerous player for the visitors and sent in a number of dangerous crosses that could not be capitalised on.
Ollie Rathbone tried a rocket of a 25-yard shot at the other end that flew not too wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.
And when Stephen Humphrys did get into a decent position inside the Blues box, he fired wastefully over the bar.
Pompey’s best opportunity came on 27 minutes when Tom Naylor could not spot a free player and instead delivered a rasping strike that Gavin Bazunu had to turn around the post.
A run from Ronan Curtis then led to the ball ricocheting back into the winger’s path, although his eventual drive lacked another power to seriously trouble the keeper.
Humphrys – making his second Dale debut – limped off injured late in the half and his replacement might have made an instant impact.
Matty Done received a square pass from Alex Newby, but could only stab the ball straight at MacGillivray.
A deep cross from Brown created an opening soon after restart, but Harness’ angled header was claimed by Bazunu.
And they squandered a great chance to open the scoring moments later after the keeper played the ball straight to Harness.
He squared the ball for John Marquis, who slotted the ball wide of the post from inside the Rochdale box.
Pompey had looked a lot more positive since the break and a Curtis cross caused plenty of problems for the Dale defence.
Sean Raggett was then unable to guide Harness’ centre on target, with appeals for a push on the defender waved away by referee Michael Salisbury.
And the visitors went close again on the hour mark, as Harness flung himself at a Cannon pass, but could not quite make contact.
That was the last piece of meaningful action for Cannon, who was replaced by debutant Jacobs on 66 minutes.
Pompey then had the ball in the back of the net when Bazunu claimed Brown’s corner and was sent tumbling into the net, but Salisbury decided the keeper had been fouled.
Good work from Harness soon led to a cross that was partially cleared, with Tom Naylor snatching at his shot and seeing it fly wide.
The chances kept coming and two corners from Curtis saw a Raggett header deflected behind and Harness nod wide.
Ellis Harrison came on for Curtis, as the Blues continued to try to turn their second half dominance into a goal.
It was Marquis who had the next opportunity, though, and could not make a connection when he tried to deftly guide home Brown’s cross.
Bazunu then made two fine saves in quick succession, first keeping out another Marquis header from Johnson’s fine cross, then diving to his right to save from Raggett.
But the Blues were almost caught out by a sucker-punch when Harrison’s intended pass back to MacGillivray was intercepted by Done.
He was left with an empty net to slot into, but sliced his attempt horribly and when a second chance arrived, Jack Whatmough averted the danger.
And Whatmough almost starred at the other end in stoppage-time when he met Brown’s corner and saw his header cleared from the line.
Rochdale (4-3-1-2): Bazunu; McLaughlin, O’Connell (c) (McNulty 80), McShane, Keohane; Lund, Ryan, Morley; Rathbone; Humphrys (Done 38), Newby (Dooley 70)
Subs not used: Lynch, Brierley, Tavarez, Baah
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Morris; Harness, Cannon (Jacobs 66), Curtis (Harrison 79); Marquis
Booked: Brown, Naylor
Subs not used: Turnbull, Downing, Pring, Close, Williams
Referee: Michael Salisbury
The visitors matched their higher-ranked opponents in the first half and only trailed to Alexis Mac Allister’s header at the break.
It was a different story after it, though, as the Seagulls struck three times in under 20 minutes – through Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Bernardo and Viktor Gyokeres – to ensure comfortable progress.
Sean Raggett almost restored some pride for the Blues late on, but his header was kept out by a stunning Jason Steele save.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Shrewsbury in the league at the weekend.
James Bolton came in for the cup-tied Callum Johnson, with Cam Pring replacing Lee Brown on the opposite flank.
And the final switch saw Ryan Williams handed a wide role in the attacking midfield trio, as Gareth Evans made way.
Brighton had an early chance to break the deadlock, with Craig MacGillivray making a fine save to deny Gyokeres and Bernardo sending the loose ball wildly off target.
But the Blues were not looking over-awed against their top-flight opponents and created several opportunities of their own in the opening 45 minutes.
The first was a low Ronan Curtis free-kick from the left that was turned inches past his own post by Dan Burn.
Marcus Harness then came close to scrambling a John Marquis header over the line, although an offside flag had been raised against the Pompey striker.
Brighton were almost gifted an opener midway through the first half, courtesy of a poor Raggett back-pass.
Pascal Gross tried to take advantage, but MacGillivray took the sting off his shot and Jack Whatmough headed clear from the line.
It was then the turn of skipper Dale Stephens to go close, with his low drive clipping the outside of the post.
The visitors were looking a threat on the counter, though, and Curtis broke quickly up the pitch from a Seagulls corner, only to see his shot blocked.
But it was Brighton who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, as Mac Allister charged in unmarked to firmly head home Jahanbakhsh’s cross.
Pompey were still posing a threat at the other end and thought they should have been awarded a spot-kick just before the break.
A strike from Harness might have deflected onto the arm of a prostrate Joel Veltman, although it was certainly not deliberate from the defender.
Brighton & Hove Albion 1
The Blues had a chance to level following the restart, when Curtis was fouled on the left and was not quite able to sneak the resulting free-kick inside Steele’s near post.
But the Premier League side had a cushion moments later following a quick passing move up the pitch.
The ball eventually found Jahanbakhsh on the edge of the box and he hit a rocket of a shot into the top corner.
And the situation soon got even worse for the visitors, as a cross from Gross was deftly glanced home by Bernardo.
It took a heroic piece of defending from Tom Naylor to deny Brighton a fourth goal, with the skipper – making his 100th appearance – somehow stopping the ball crossing the line and ending up in a heap in the net.
Jackett made a double change just past the hour mark, with Curtis and Marquis replaced by Ellis Harrison and Andy Cannon.
But Brighton continued to dominate and put the result beyond doubt on 71 minutes, as Gyokeres twisted one way and the other before sliding the ball past MacGillivray.
Whatmough was immediately removed and on came Paul Downing, perhaps with one eye on Sunday’s league visit to Rochdale.
It was fellow centre-back Raggett who came close to a consolation, though, meeting Pring’s corner and seeing his header brilliantly repelled by Steele.
And the Seagulls had to play out the final few minutes with just 10 men, as Stephens limped off with all three substitutions having already been made.
Brighton (4-2-3-1): Steele; Molumby, Veltman (Sanders 68), Burn, Bernardo; Propper, Stephens (c); Jahanbakhsh (Roberts 68), Gross (Gwargis 77), Mac Allister; Gyokeres
Goals: Mac Allister 38, Jahanbakhsh 54, Bernardo 57, Gyokeres 71
Subs not used: Sanchez, Yapi, Dendoncker, Cochrane
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Whatmough (Downing 71), Raggett, Pring; Naylor (c), Morris; Williams, Harness, Curtis (Cannon 63); Marquis (Harrison 63)
Subs not used: Turnbull, Brown, Close, Evans
Referee: Matthew Donohue
|Pompey have completed the signing of midfielder Michael Jacobs.
The 28-year-old has penned a two-year deal, with the club holding the option for a further 12 months.
He left Wigan at the end of last season and will wear the number 24 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.
Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “Michael’s an exciting player with good Championship experience and an excellent track record of getting out of this division.
Jacobs began his career with Northampton, where he impressed enough to earn a move to Championship side Derby.
He was then signed by Jackett – initially on loan – at Wolves and helped them secure the League One title with a record points tally of 103.
Jacobs moved to Wigan in the summer of 2015, where he picked up a medal for topping the third tier table on two more occasions.
He made a total of 188 appearances for the Latics and scored 32 goals, including a fine solo strike against Blackburn back in June.
Most of the action took place in the second half, with Jack Whatmough – making his 100th appearance for the club – among those to go close.
And both sides came close to snatching a late winner, as Rekeil Pyke was denied by Craig MacGillivray, while Tom Naylor’s header struck the woodwork.
But the visitors had to play the final few seconds with just 10 men after Aaron Pierre was dismissed for a second bookable offence.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat Colchester in the EFL Trophy earlier in the week.
That came at left-back, where summer loan signing Cam Pring dropped to the bench to make way for Lee Brown.
It did not take long for Jason Cummings to collect an early booking following a late challenge on Marquis.
And Bryn Morris then came close to haunting his former club with a fierce drive that was parried by Matija Sarkick.
The ball ran loose and John Marquis desperately tried to get there first, but the keeper was able to smother it.
But it was, generally, a laboured start from the hosts and Shrewsbury almost made them pay from a corner on 12 minutes.
The ball was headed against the post by Brad Walker and, with the goal gaping, Ethan Ebanks-Landell then nodded it wide.
There was controversy when Marquis collected a Ronan Curtis pass and was fouled outside the box by Pierre.
The Blues striker felt he was last man and it should have warranted a red card, but referee Charles Breakspear opted to brandish only a yellow.
Several players were hovering over the free-kick and when Brown eventually took it, he curled the ball inches past the post.
There were half-chances at both ends of the pitch, although it had certainly not been the most entertaining period of football.
Shrewsbury Town 0
Marquis came close to breaking the deadlock soon after the restart, trying an inventive lofted effort from the right side of the box that drifted narrowly wide.
And their opponents then went close at the other end, as Brad Walker danced past a number of challenges, only to screw his shot horribly off target.
Jackett made his first change 10 minutes into the second half, with Andy Cannon on to replace Gareth Evans.
Both sides were looking to counter with pace and one such attack led to Marquis having a header deflected over the bar.
Clear-cut chances were still proving to be few and far between, though, and it took an unlikely source to find the next shot on target.
A Curtis free-kick was nodded back into the centre by Sean Raggett and Whatmough’s volley was saved by Sarkic.
Ryan Williams came on for Marcus Harness on 69 minutes, as Jackett decided to freshen up his forward options.
And when the newcomer was hacked down by Josh Vela, Breakspear played the advantage and Pompey broke.
Cannon timed his run to stay onside and collect Curtis’ pass, but could not get the ball on his right foot and the move broke down.
Vela was then shown a booking and so was substitute Marlon Fossey for a foul on Curtis down the left.
Brown was the one to take it and tried to send the ball over Sarkic, with the keeper back-pedalling to just about prevent it finding the net.
Pompey were well on top now and Scott Golbourne was well-placed just in front of the line to block Raggett’s header.
Then, after Ben Close had replaced Morris, the left-back also managed to divert Williams’ goal-bound header to safety.
But it was Shrewsbury who almost grabbed a late winner from a corner, with MacGillivray – who had experienced a quiet afternoon – making a stunning save to deny Pyke.
The ball was still loose and the danger was not over, however, with Whatmough managing to hack from the line.
Pompey then almost secured all three points for themselves, with Naylor meeting another fine Brown free-kick and rattling the crossbar with his header.
Pierre was sent off late in stoppage-time, picking up a second booking for a clear foul on Marquis 20 yards out.
It meant that Brown had the final chance to secure victory, sending his low free-kick through the wall and seeing Sarkic turn it around the post.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Morris (Close 80); Harness (Williams 69), Evans (Cannon 55), Curtis; Marquis
Booked: Harness, Morris
Subs not used: Turnbull, Bolton, Pring, Harrison
Shrewsbury (4-3-3): Sarkic; Williams (Fossey 72), Pierre, Ebanks-Landell (c), Golbourne; Vela (Norburn 78), Walker, High; Cummings (Barnett 84), Pyke, Whalley
Sent off: Pierre (two yellow cards)
Booked: Cummings, Whalley, Vela, Fossey
Subs not used: Burgoyne, Love, Daniels, Udoh
Referee: Charles Breakspear
The competition holders are still waiting to hear the date for their return to Wembley for last season’s final.
But they produced a professional – and largely dominant performance – against their League Two opponents.
Both of the goals arrived in the space of a few first half seconds, with Harness displaying some precise finishing to secure all three group stage points.
Pompey handed debuts to full-back duo Cam Pring and Callum Johnson, who arrived from Bristol City and Accrington respectively over the summer.
They replaced Lee Brown and James Bolton, as Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that won at Stevenage on penalties in the Carabao Cup 10 days earlier.
Craig MacGillivray came in for the injured Alex Bass between the sticks, while Paul Downing made way for Jack Whatmough.
The hosts dominated possession in the opening stages, although chances were hard to come by at both ends of the pitch.
It was the Blues who, unsurprisingly, had the first decent one following a fine bit of trickery down the left from Ronan Curtis.
He sent the ball into the centre and it bounced off both Harness and John Marquis before being grabbed by grateful keeper Shamal George.
It was proving to be a quiet evening for MacGillivray at the other end, although he had to deal with a simple angled effort from Miles Welch-Hayes.
Pompey were looking more likely to break the deadlock, although Gareth Evans could not bring Curtis’ pass under control and the ball flew harmlessly wide.
Referee Craig Hicks then got in Luke Gambin’s way during an attack from the home side and would undoubtedly have been relieved to see the move break down.
Curtis was looking a real threat for the Blues and following one mazy run, his placed shot was saved low down by George.
A goal seemed to be moving closer as the first half progressed and a corner was nodded over by Sean Raggett.
And the deadlock was broken on 37 minutes, with HARNESS collecting a pass from Curtis and firing in a shot that had too much power for George.
HARNESS then scored his second in as many minutes, racing onto a long ball over the top from Whatmough and clinically finding the net.
There was still time for Tom Naylor to go close before the break, with the skipper stealing possession and scuffing his effort just past the post.
Colchester United 0
Pompey continued to dominate following the restart and an Evans corner caused problems, while Curtis then fizzed a shot narrowly wide.
The latter soon had another opportunity after being fed by Harness and his stabbed attempt was saved by George.
It was pretty much one-way traffic and a teasing delivery from Harness had to be dealt with by Omar Sowunmi before Evans could pounce.
Evans should probably have strengthened the advantage following another fine cross from Pompey’s goal hero, but his header was too deft.
MacGillivray was called into action to deal with Ben Stevenson’s drive on 65 minutes, although it was regulation stuff for the Scottish stopper.
Harness then tried to complete his treble at the other end, but could not make a clean connection with Pring’s cross.
His hat-trick hopes were over soon after, as he was withdrawn with fellow winger Curtis, as Andy Cannon and Ryan Williams came on.
Marquis then had a shot saved by the feet of George before also being replaced, with Ellis Harrison given a cameo.
The game had started to drift by that point, but it burst back into life on 86 minutes following a poor Colchester back-pass.
Harrison could not quite get there in time to tuck away the loose ball and Cannon was also denied before Evans blazed over.
The hosts had already comfortably done enough, though, and saw out the remaining moments to seal the victory.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Pring; Naylor (c), Morris; Harness (Williams 77), Evans, Curtis (Cannon 77); Marquis (Harrison 82)
Goals: Harness 37, 38
Booked: Williams, Pring
Subs not used: Turnbull, Bolton, Brown, Close
Colchester (4-2-3-1): George; Welch-Hayes, Sowunmi, Eastman (c), Scarlett; Stevenson, Chilvers; Poku (Cowan-Hall 66), Gambin (Marshall-Miranda 78), Senior; Brown (Taylor-Crossdale 66)
Subs not used: Coulter, Bramall, Smith, Harriott
Referee: Craig Hicks
Transfer : Accrington Stanley – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed Callum Johnson from fellow League One side Accrington for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old right-back – who has been handed the number two shirt – has penned a two-year deal, with the club holding an option for a further 12 months.
Johnson progressed through the academy at Middlesbrough and joined Accrington – initially on loan – in the summer of 2017.
The versatile defender can play anywhere across the back four and has also featured in the centre of midfield.
He made a total of 119 appearances during his time with Stanley, scoring his only goal in a 2018 victory over Forest Green.
A few hundred fans were allowed in to watch the contest and saw defender Cameron Pring come on to make his debut, just a few hours after arriving on loan from Bristol City.
Ronan Curtis opened the scoring, while Reeco Hackett-Fairchild added a brace and Ryan Williams wrapped things up.
Kenny Jackett decided to name a strong side at Privett Park, with the entire starting 11 involved in the Carabao Cup victory at Stevenage a few days earlier.
There were also returns from injury for attacking duo Ellis Harrison and Hackett-Fairchild, who both featured in the second half.
John Marquis and Marcus Harness had early half-chances before a Curtis header was cleared from the line.
The visitors also had appeals for a penalty turned down by referee Tim Godfray when Marquis went down in the box.
And they broke the deadlock midway through the first half, as Gareth Evans’ cross was flicked on by Bryn Morris for CURTIS to fire home.
Pompey were searching for more goals and Marquis was denied by a block, while Sean Raggett nodded over and Harness saw an effort saved by Pat O’Flaherty.
Gosport Borough 0
The entire Blues side was changed at the break, with new arrival Pring among the players entering the fray.
But it was HACKETT-FAIRCHILD who soon doubled the advantage, expertly firing home after being slipped through by Andy Cannon.
And the same played added a third goal on 54 minutes, with HACKETT-FAIRCHILD making space for himself on the edge of the box and crashing the ball into the corner.
There was not too much happening to trouble Duncan Turnbull at the other end, although he did have to turn a Rory Williams free-kick around the post.
That sparked a busy period for the American stopper, though, who brilliantly denied Matt Paterson from point-blank range.
Most of the action was happening at the other end and a Hackett-Fairchild delivery was deflected against the crossbar.
And Australian winger WILLIAMS did add a fourth on 70 minutes after reacting quickest to a loose ball in the Boro box.
It almost got even better for the Blues moments later, but Harrison Brook was unable to find the target.
Hackett-Fairchild then came close to completing a hat-trick late on, only to see his free-kick bend over the bar and another fierce shot saved.
First Half: MacGillivray; Bolton, Downing, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Morris; Harness, Evans, Curtis; Marquis
Second Half: Turnbull; Mnoga, Whatmough, Rew, Pring; Close, Storey (Brook 68); Williams, Cannon, Hackett-Fairchild; Harrison
Loan : Bristol City – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed left-back Cameron Pring on a season-long loan deal from Bristol City.
The 22-year-old will wear the number 23 shirt during his time at Fratton Park after arriving from the Championship outfit.
Pring began his career in the academy of hometown club Cheltenham before moving to Ashton Gate in the summer of 2016.
He had temporary spells with non-league sides Guernsey, Merthyr, Aldershot and Hereford, then had a stint with Newport.
Pring returned to Cheltenham for the second half of the 2018/19 season and spent the entirety of the last campaign with Walsall, where he made 24 appearances.
Carabao Cup 1
Elliot List and Charlie Carter took advantage of some extremely sloppy defending to give Stevenage a commanding lead in the opening 10 minutes.
Ronan Curtis reduced the deficit, but again Pompey were their own worst enemy to allow Scott Cuthbert to score.
But Gareth Evans converted from the spot on the stroke of half-time and, in a much-improved display following the interval, John Marquis emphatically levelled.
The tie went to a penalty shoot-out and substitute MacGillivray saved three of the hosts’ four efforts to ensure the Blues progressed.
Kenny Jackett named a strong squad for the opening game of the 2020/21 campaign, with skipper Tom Naylor returning to the side following his play-off absence.
There was room on the bench for a couple of talented youngsters, though, with teenagers Haji Mnoga and Alfie Stanley both included.
The players and coaching staff from both sides – as well as the officials – all took the knee before kick-off in a show of support for the fight against racism.
It did not feel like August at an eerily quiet Broadhall Way, with the rain falling and temperature unseasonably low.
And Pompey were certainly caught cold in the opening stages, with two pieces of dreadful defending gifting their opponents goals.
Sean Raggett was caught out by a Luke Prosser pass on nine minutes, allowing a gleeful List to nip in and slot home.
And it got worse just a few seconds later following a dreadful mix-up between Paul Downing and Alex Bass.
But there were still several chances for the visitors to get the ball clear before it ricocheted into the path of Carter to score.
Pompey almost grabbed an immediate lifeline when Evans delivered a cross from the right, only for Jamie Cumming to make two fine saves in quick succession to deny Marquis and Curtis.
But the deficit was reduced midway through the first half, as Raggett and Lee Brown combined well down the left.
The latter slipped a pass across to CURTIS, who cut onto his right foot and curled a precise shot into the net.
With the ground closed for supporters from both sides, there was still the familiar sound of a cowbell outside the ground.
Even that was failing to lift the Blues, though, who continued to lack much cohesion in their forward play.
And they were still looking nervy at the back, with another defensive error restoring Boro’s two-goal advantage.
Bass punched a corner straight up into the air and an almighty scramble followed before the ball landed for Cuthbert to poke over the line.
Pompey tried to fight back and Raggett was at least showing desire, with a crunching – yet fair – challenge on List.
Evans perhaps showed a bit too much just before the break, though, and his foul on Carter was punished with a yellow card.
But the same player pulled one back for the Blues from the penalty spot right at the end of the first half.
Ben Coker was punished for handling Marquis’ shot in the box following some tricky play from Marcus Harness.
It was the reliable EVANS who was entrusted with converting from 12 yards and he calmly sent Cumming the wrong way.
There was probably no surprise that Jackett decided to make a change at the back during the break and it was Bass who was withdrawn for MacGillivray.
His first piece of action was to watch on nervously as Carter’s effort was dragged narrowly past the post.
But the Blues were a lot brighter and they found themselves impressively back on level terms on 51 minutes.
Curtis delivered a first-time pass to MARQUIS, who raced onto the ball and hit a rocket of a shot into the top corner of the net.
Pompey looked like a different team, as they started to dictate the tempo of the game and get forward down the left.
And when Harness collected Evans’ pass and lifted a cross into the area, Curtis met the ball with a volley that was well saved by the busy Cumming.
Bryn Morris was unable to test the keeper soon after, blazing high over the bar after an initial Curtis effort was blocked.
Jackett brought on some fresh attacking legs on 76 minutes, with Andy Cannon and Ryan Williams replacing Evans and Harness.
And when Cannon was brought down on the edge of the box, it almost led to the Blues taking the lead for the first time.
Brown played a clever free-kick through to Curtis, whose angled drive was pushed against the post by Cumming.
Penalties were looming, but Danny Newton came close to a stoppage-time winner for the hosts, bursting into the box and forcing MacGillivray into action at the keeper’s near post.
Full Time: Stevenage 3 Pompey 3
Both sides scored their first penalties, with Inih Effiong on target for Stevenage and Marquis quickly levelling.
But then MacGillivray took control and made three fine saves to deny Newton, Elliot Osborne and Coker.
The last of those sealed a 3-1 shoot-out triumph after Curtis and Brown had both converted their spot-kicks in style.
Stevenage (4-3-3): Cumming; James-Wildin, Cuthbert (c), Prosser, Coker; Osborne, Vincelot (Newton 64), Carter; List (Hutton 79), Effiong, Marsh (Akinwande 53)
Goals: List 9, Carter 10, Cuthbert 29
Subs not used: Johnson, Smith, Marshall, Dinanga
Pompey (4-3-3): Bass (MacGillivray 46); Bolton, Downing, Raggett, Brown; Evans (Cannon 76), Naylor (c), Morris; Harness (Williams 76), Marquis, Curtis
Goals: Curtis 21, Evans (pen) 45+2, Marquis 51
Subs not used: Mnoga, Whatmough, Close, Stanley
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Both goals came in the first half of the contest at a drizzly and humid Five Lakes Resort in Essex, where the Blues have been based for a training camp.
Kenny Jackett named a different side in each 45-minute period, with plenty of youngsters featuring after the break.
But Ben Close (groin), Reeco Hackett-Fairchild (knee) and Ellis Harrison (calf) all missed out with minor injury problems.
It was the ‘hosts’ from the south coast who were first to threaten with a John Marquis shot from the edge of the box that drew a comfortable save.
The game was taking place behind closed doors, but a few residents stopped by on their golf carts to catch some of the action.
They witnessed Bryn Morris fire another effort over the crossbar, while a corner from Marcus Harness was parried to safety by Jon McCracken.
At the other end, when Alex Bass parried a shot, Paul Downing, Brown and James Bolton all had to fling themselves in front of the ball in quick succession.
Marquis was denied an opener by McCracken, who acrobatically tipped over his header from a pin-point Brown delivery.
And it was BROWN who did break the deadlock on 30 minutes, curling a free-kick around the wall and into the bottom corner after Curtis had been felled just outside the box.
Another set-piece saw the advantage doubled moments later, with a foul on Marquis leading to CURTIS impressively finding the net.
Norwich almost reduced their deficit in fortunate fashion just before the break, but Bass brilliantly prevented Downing from nodding into his own net.
Norwich City U23 0
Eight academy products were among the 11 players introduced after the interval, with Jack Whatmough among them.
Harvey Rew and Eoin Teggart looked particularly threatening going down the left, although chances were proving harder to come by.
Harrison Brook had penalty appeals waved away following a challenge in the box, while Teggart’s low effort was well saved.
The latter then had another effort – this time from an acute angle – kept out after being released by Alfie Stanley.
But Norwich had opportunities of their own and Craig MacGillivray made several fine stops to ensure Pompey’s clean sheet remained intact.
First Half: Bass; Bolton, Downing, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Morris; Harness, Williams, Curtis; Marquis
Second Half: MacGillivray; Kavanagh, Mnoga, Whatmough, Rew; Storey, Cannon; Brook, Evans, Teggart; Stanley
|Pompey have signed defender Sean Raggett on a two-year deal.
The 26-year-old centre-back scored two goals in 38 appearances during a loan spell at Fratton Park last season.
He was the last Blues player to find the net before the league was suspended in March, scoring in a 2-2 draw with Fleetwood.
League 1 Play Off Semi Final
Marcus Harness had given the Blues a second leg advantage, only for an unfortunate Ellis Harrison own-goal to level the tie.
Extra-time failed to find a winner and so it headed to a shoot-out, with Cameron McGeehan’s miss proving decisive.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Fratton Park just three days earlier.
Steve Seddon and James Bolton returned to the full-back berths, while Ryan Williams was handed an attacking wide role.
That saw Lee Brown, Ross McCrorie and Andy Cannon drop to the bench, with Christian Burgess claiming the captain’s armband.
As in the first leg, there was a minute of applause in recognition of the NHS and other key workers, while players then took the knee to show opposition to racism.
The hosts were first to threaten, but Alex Bass got down to keep out an early effort from Jamie Mackie.
Pompey, meanwhile, looked bright going forward, although their attacks often broke down before former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood could be tested.
There was one perfectly-timed challenge inside the box to stop the energetic Williams collecting a threaded Harness pass.
Williams then swung in a dangerous left-footed cross that Bryn Morris was not quite able to guide on target.
Harrison thought he received a shove in the box from Elliott Moore following the mid-half drinks break.
But referee Darren England did not agree with that assessment, while a follow-up effort from McGeehan was blocked.
The visitors finally forced Eastwood into action on 36 minutes, with a decent stop preventing Harrison converting a low Williams delivery.
Bass denied Marcus Browne at the other end – just seconds before a route-one move saw the Blues break the deadlock.
The keeper’s long punt up the pitch was flicked on by Harrison, with HARNESS collecting the ball, spinning sharply and slotting a shot into the bottom corner.
It looked like Pompey would take that lead into the break, only for some sloppy play to allow Oxford to level right on the stroke of half-time.
James Henry’s corner caused problems in the box and Harrison inadvertently flicked the ball towards his own net.
Sean Raggett tried frantically to hack clear, but after a quick check of his watch, the referee signalled that it had crossed the line.
Oxford United 1
The hosts were quicker from the blocks once the action restarted and their opponents had to deal with some tricky balls into the box.
They were unable to make the most of their control of possession, though, with a Henry effort that flew over the bar summing things up.
And frustration boiled over when Sam Long fouled Ronan Curtis, with pushing and showing ensuing and the United defender shown a yellow card.
Curtis soon curled a free-kick off target and Jackett then decided to make a double switch on the hour mark.
It was Harrison and Seddon who made their way from the pitch, with John Marquis and Lee Brown on to replace them.
But Marquis’ first contribution was a foul on Oxford skipper Rob Dickie that saw his name added to England’s book.
The striker came close to restoring the visitors’ advantage following the drinks break, though, when he headed a Curtis cross against the post.
Harness then attempted an ambitious curling effort that did not quite have enough dip to send the ball under the crossbar.
That was his last piece of meaningful involvement in the contest, with Cannon replacing him on 81 minutes.
But it was Oxford substitute Dan Agyei who came close to a late winner, embarking on a persistent run before eventually being forced to fire wide by Brown.
The hosts also threatened from a free-kick and corner in stoppage-time, but 180 minutes of action ended with the sides all square at 2-2 on aggregate.
Full Time: Oxford 1 Pompey 1 (2-2)
An early extra-time Pompey chance saw Curtis send a free-kick over the bar after Dickie had been shown a yellow card for bringing down Marquis.
There were set-piece opportunities for the visitors, although a couple of Brown deliveries were dealt with.
But there was then a scramble at the opposite end, with Burgess forced to make a key block amidst a sea of bodies.
Pompey’s players were furious when Cannon was the victim of a meaty Alex Gorrin challenge, but England decided it only warranted a booking.
There were more frayed tempers after a brief interval when Matty Taylor was booked for catching McGeehan late.
Marquis then had a chance to put Pompey back into the lead, but could only nod an excellent Brown cross wide at the back post.
Hawkins replaced Williams for the closing stages and when he chased down Eastwood, the keeper’s clearance ricocheted against the substitute and flew wide.
But the sides could still not be separated and that ensured a mammoth play-off tie would be heading for penalties
After Extra Time: Oxford 1 Pompey 1 (2-2)
There were some impressive penalties from both sides, with Marquis, Gareth Evans – on as a late substitute – and Brown all finding the net.
But Eastwood went the right way to keep out McGeehan’s effort and although Hawkins hit the target, Oxford scored all five of their attempts.
It was Cameron Brannagan who converted the last of them to ensure it would be United who are heading to Wembley.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton (Evans 120+1), Burgess (c), Raggett, Seddon (Brown 60); Morris, McGeehan; Williams (Hawkins 114), Harness (Cannon 81), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 60)
Goals: Harness 38
Booked: Marquis, Curtis
Subs not used: MacGillivray, McCrorie, Downing, Naylor
Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long (Woodburn 120), Dickie (c), Moore, Ruffels; Gorrin (Mousinho 120); Sykes (Hanson 85), Henry (Forde 100), Brannagan, Browne (Agyei 85); Mackie (Taylor 63)
Goals: Harrison 45+3 (og)
Booked: Long, Browne, Dickie, Gorrin, Taylor
Subs not used: Stevens, Atkinson, Kelly
Referee: Darren England