Football

Jan 192019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Oxford United 2    1 Portsmouth

Pompey lost 2-1 at Oxford to ensure they suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.

Goals from Cameron Brannagan and James Henry meant the hosts enjoyed a comfortable lead at the interval.

The Blues were well below par, but Brett Pitman came on to spark hopes of a comeback with a fine finish.

Those 1,803 travelling fans were not given a result their backing deserved, however, as United held on for the points.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten by Blackpool on home soil the previous week.

One was enforced, with Andre Green being recalled from his loan spell by Aston Villa, while Dion Donohue and Pitman dropped to the bench.

A fit-again Lee Brown returned at left-back, Andy Cannon was handed his full debut and David Wheeler also got a rare league start.

It meant that Jamal Lowe led the line for Pompey and skipper Gareth Evans moved into a more advanced role.

Matt Clarke’s appearance in the side brought up 150 appearances for the defender, but new signing Bryn Morris had to be content with a spot among the substitutes.

The visitors started brightly and won an early corner that was dealt with, while a similar set-piece at the other end was nodded wide by Rob Dickie.

A deep free-kick from Brown then caused problems in the United defence, who were eventually able to scramble the ball to safety.

There were not an abundance of opportunities, with both sides showcasing attacking intent, but unable to produce any meaningful shots.

A couple of set-pieces were comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray, while Evans’ curler from the edge of the box was not too far off target.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the first half, although it might have been the Blues celebrating a goal.

Lowe could not quite charge the ball down following a slip from former Fratton keeper Simon Eastwood.

Instead his long clearance eventually made its way to Brannagan, who drilled a fine low shot right into the bottom corner.

Oxford might have doubled their lead soon after, as a corner led to a spot of pinball inside the Pompey box.

The visitors won a couple of their own soon after and Eastwood dropped the second, but grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

It became a niggly affair as the interval approached, but United were able to double their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Jamie Mackie was unable to get a shot away and instead played the ball across for an unmarked Henry to lash home.


Half Time

Oxford United 0

Portsmouth 0


There were no substitutions for the Blues at the break, although Wheeler and Lowe swapped positions.

And the former had a chance to reduce the deficit moments after the restart, meeting Evans’ free-kick and sending a header just off target.

But it was still Oxford looking more likely to add to the scoring and an effort from Mackie flew narrowly over.

Then, after a Lowe strike had been comfortably dealt with by Eastwood, the hosts had two more chances to put the result beyond doubt.

First, a cross from Jordan Graham was punched away by MacGillivray and Jamie Hanson’s follow-up was deflected off target by Clarke.

Gavin Whyte’s corner was then palmed clear by the Blues stopper and this time Brannagan’s attempt flew into the side netting.

With the visitors struggling to find any kind of fluency, Jackett made a double change just before the hour mark.

Wheeler and Evans were the men to make way, with Pitman and Louis Dennis coming on to replace them.

And it proved to be an inspired decision, as the duo combined to reduce Pompey’s deficit on 64 minutes.

Dennis provided the assist, crossing the ball for PITMAN to convert with an acrobatic overhead effort that left Eastwood helpless.

The Blues were struggling to build on that goal, however, and Cannon made way for Donohue in a final throw of the dice.

One patient move did lead to a chance on 81 minutes, although Lowe could not adjust his body enough to guide Brown’s delivery on target.

And despite producing plenty of effort in the closing stages, Oxford remained firm at the back to secure victory.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Hanson, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels; Mousinho (c), Brannagan; Whyte (Kashi 86), Henry, Graham (Browne 76); Mackie
Goals: Brannagan 25, Henry 45
Booked: Henry
Subs not used: Stevens, Long, Garbutt, Sykes, Carruthers

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Cannon (Donohue 76), Naylor; Wheeler (Pitman 59), Evans (c) (Dennis 59), Curtis; Lowe
Goals: Pitman 64
Booked: Lowe, Whatmough, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Morris

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 8,202 (1,803 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 172019
 

Danny Rose

Transfer : Portsmouth – Swindon Town


Danny Rose


Portsmouth Football Club can announce that Danny Rose has left the club by mutual consent and signed for Swindon.

The 30-year-old midfielder arrived on the south coast in the summer of 2016 and netted five goals in 64 appearances for the club.

He was a key member of the side that secured the League Two title in his first season at Fratton Park.

Rose said: “There is a tinge of sadness because I had plenty of great times at Pompey and we achieved a lot over past few years.

“But it’s come to the point where I need to be playing games again and enjoying being out on the pitch.

“There’s a lot of quality at the club and I’m sure they’ll be doing everything they can to get over the line this season.

“The lads have put in a lot of hard work over the first half of the campaign and promotion would be nothing less than they deserve.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank the fans for the incredible support they have given me.

“I have always been given fantastic backing – both when I was playing on the pitch and also through the more difficult times, like when I was out injured.

Portsmouth FC Danny Rose

Jan 142019
 

Bryn Morris

Transfer : Shrewsbury Town – Portsmouth


Bryn Morris


Pompey have signed midfielder Bryn Morris from Shrewsbury for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old has penned a two-and-a-year-half deal at Fratton Park, having spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Wycombe.

Morris scored against Pompey with a neat curling finish for the Chairboys in their 2-2 draw on the south coast back in September.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He’s played against us in recent times for a couple of clubs and has excellent pedigree.

“We think he’s someone who has his best years ahead of him, so we’re very much looking forward to working with Bryn.

“He’s experienced playing at Fratton Park and is a progressive signing – someone who’s on the way up and hungry to prove himself here.”

Morris – who has previously skippered England at various youth levels – began his career with Middlesbrough.

He signed for Shrewsbury in January 2017 and helped them reach the play-off final last term, making a total of 43 appearances for the club.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 122019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 0    1 Blackpool

Pompey suffered their first defeat of 2019 as they lost by a single goal to Blackpool in a largely turgid encounter at Fratton Park.

The action intensified following a soporific opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who struck through Chris Long.

And they held on for the closing stages as the Blues threw men forward in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find a leveller.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that secured a dramatic FA Cup victory against Norwich the previous week.

Andre Green – who came off the bench to net a stoppage-time winner at Carrow Road – was rewarded with a return to the starting line-up.

He replaced Ben Thompson following the midfielder’s recall by Millwall, meaning Gareth Evans dropped further back.

The first half was a drab affair that was greeted with more yawns than cheers from another packed Fratton crowd.

A Jay Spearing free-kick caused a few problems, but when the ball made its way to Callum Guy, he fired well wide.

Ben Heneghan then did well to turn the ball behind and stop Brett Pitman from capitalising on Jack Whatmough’s long pass.

A corner from Evans was nervously punched clear by Christoffer Mafoumbi on 20 minutes, but the Blackpool back-line were able to clear.

It was the visitors who looked more likely to break the deadlock during a bright 10-minute spell towards the end of the half.

Armand Gnaduillet had two chances in quick succession, but swiped at thin air from a Liam Feeney delivery and then headed a cross from Donervon Daniels straight into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

And a second decent ball into the box from Daniels was turned over by Nathan Delfouneso at the near post.

Pompey finally started to threaten just before the break and a fine Pitman cross was just out of reach for Ronan Curtis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackpool 0


Jamal Lowe had a shot deflected behind as the Blues began the second half with a lot more energy and attacking intent.

Blackpool then survived a couple of corners, while Nick Anderton would have been relieved to see Pitman’s cross evade a blue-shirted player after making a mess of his clearance.

There was an injury-enforced substitution on 55 minutes – but it was not any of the players who had to come off.

Referee Kevin Johnson limped forlornly to the sidelines to swap roles with fourth official Graham Kane.

Pompey continued to look more of a threat going forward, but their moves kept breaking down in the final third.

A good example was when Lowe cut the ball back for Green on the edge of the box, only for the loanee to take an air kick.

That proved to be his last contribution of note, with January signing Andy Cannon coming on for his debut on 64 minutes.

And the new arrival was soon involved in a lovely move involving Matt Clarke, Lowe and Curtis, with the latter seeing his effort blocked.

But it was Blackpool who took the lead on 75 minutes when Gnanduillet flicked the ball on for substitute Long to fire home.

Jackett immediately made his second change, with David Wheeler joining the forward line and Evans making way.

The hosts started to apply more pressure and Marc Bola bravely blocked Lowe’s drive, while Clarke’s cut-back somehow evaded his team-mates queuing up in the box.

Anton Walkes then swung in a fine left-footed cross, but Pitman’s glancing header was held by Christoffer Mafoumbi.

And the goalkeeper made a better save on 88 minutes to keep out Clarke’s hooked effort from a Lowe centre.

Pompey continued to throw everything at the Seasiders as the seconds ticked down, but they held on to take the three points back to the north-west.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Evans (Wheeler 75), Naylor; Lowe, Green (Cannon 64), Curtis; Pitman (c)
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis

Blackpool (4-1-4-1): Mafoumbi; Daniels, Heneghan, Anderton, Bola; Spearing (c); Delfouneso (Long 68), Thompson, Guy (Pritchard 82), Feeney (Nottingham 88); Gnanduillet
Goals: Long 75
Subs not used: Boney, Bunney, O’Sullivan, Kirby

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Graham Kane 55)

Attendance: 18,403 (247 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 082019
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Southend United 0    2 Portsmouth

A youthful Pompey side eased past Southend at Roots Hall to reach the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy for the first time.

They went ahead through Louis Dennis almost immediately from kick-off and never looked like relinquishing that lead.

Gareth Evans then wrapped things up on the stroke of half-time before a turgid second period that did little to excite the small Essex crowd.

Kenny Jackett made 10 changes from the side that secured a dramatic FA Cup victory at Norwich at the weekend.

Evans – who wore the captain’s armband – was the only man to keep his place, although substitute goalscorer Andre Green also featured.

Dan Smith was handed a debut at right-back, with fellow teenagers Matt Casey and Bradley Lethbridge also given an opportunity to impress.

Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup and David Wheeler added first team experience to a young side, with Dennis, Adam May and Alex Bass making up the starting 11.

The hosts – by contrast – were fielding a much more experienced side and yet found themselves behind with just 93 seconds on the clock.

Wheeler played the ball to Smith on the right and his smart delivery into the box was nodded into the net by DENNIS to open his Blues account.

Pompey looked the more dominant outfit throughout the first half and a free-kick from Evans was unconvincingly punched behind by Ted Smith.

May screwed a shot wide of the post after being teed-up by Lethbridge, who then fired a fierce effort narrowly over the bar.

It looked like the lead would be doubled on 28 minutes when Wheeler raced on to Green’s threaded pass, but the winger slotted inches past the post.

Southend had done little to threaten the visitors’ goal, although a short free-kick routine almost saw them level.

The ball was played to former Fratton triallist Theo Robinson and his low delivery somehow evaded both Harry Bunn and Taylor Moore as they slid in at the far post.

Pompey immediately went up the other end to create an opening of their own, as Burgess met an Evans corner and saw his header cleared from the line by a well-placed Robinson.

But they did score again in stoppage-time when Dennis showed neat footwork to tee-up EVANS, who lashed the ball past a helpless Smith.


Half Time

Southend Uited 0

Portsmouth 2


Jackett made a change at the start of the second half, with academy midfielder Freddie Read replacing Green.

And Evans almost got the half off to the perfect start, curling a free-kick past Smith’s grasp and just wide of the upright.

Leon Maloney then became the second Blues player to make his debut, with the youth team forward coming on for Lethbridge.

It was still the visitors looking more likely to add to the scoring and May fired over when Casey sent Evans’ free-kick back into the centre.

The traffic was not totally heading in one direction, however, and Burgess had to block a Stephen McLaughlin shot following a spell of Shrimpers pressure.

But, in truth, neither side was doing much to raise the tempo as the minutes ticked down with very little in the way of noteworthy incidents.

Southend did win a series of corners towards the end of the contest, but it was proving to be a comfortable evening for Bass between sticks

A long-range volley from Read was not too far off target, but Pompey had already done comfortably enough to ensure their name would be in Thursday evening’s quarter-final draw.

Southend (4-2-3-1): Smith; Bwomono, White, Moore (Hutchinson 60), Hendrie; Hyam, Yearwood (c); Kightly (Dieng 46), Cox (McLaughlin 46), Bunn; Robinson
Subs not used: Bishop, Turner, Mantom, Klass

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Smith, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; Evans (c), May; Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Read 46); Lethbridge (Maloney 54)
Goals: Dennis 2, Evans 45+1
Subs not used: Durin, Mnoga, Clarke, Hancott, Lowe

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,649 (189 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 052019
 

Match Report

FA Cup 3rd Round

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Norwich City 0    1 Portsmouth

Andre Green came off the bench to net a stoppage-time winner as Pompey triumphed at Norwich to reach the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.

It looked like a replay was on the cards, despite the high-flying Championship hosts playing most of the game with just 10 men.

Captain Grant Hanley received an early red card, although both sides had chances to settle what was an absorbing contest.

But it was the Blues who came out on top, with Green finding the net right at the death to spark scenes of jubilation from the 2,493 travelling fans.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat AFC Wimbledon in the league on New Year’s Day.

Dion Donohue replaced Brandon Haunstrup to make his first appearance since late October, while Oli Hawkins made way for Brett Pitman up front.

It was a more unfamiliar line-up for the hosts, who made eight changes to rest several key men for their quest to reach the Premier League.

The game took a while to get going, although Tom Naylor would have breathed a sigh of relief when Jordan Rhodes fouled Jack Whatmough while trying to race on to an under-hit back-pass.

But the hosts were dealt a massive blow on 15 minutes, when their skipper was dismissed by referee Darren Bond.

Hanley sent Ronan Curtis clattering to the turf and, with no other defender behind him, the official had no choice but to brandish a red card.

And the Blues should have immediately made the most of their numerical advantage, with Pitman heading Jamal Lowe’s cross over from just a few yards out.

Christoph Zimmerman then went close at the other end, hitting a long-range piledriver that bent narrowly past the upright.

A curling free-kick from Ben Marshall was comfortable for Craig MacGillivray, while Whatmough made a key challenge to deny Rhodes.

But the flow of the game was being disrupted by a series of niggly fouls from both teams, while Donohue had to be cleaned up after receiving a nasty cut to the head.

There was not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities, but the Canaries went close from a Kenny McLean free-kick.

The ball ricocheted into the path of Rhodes, with Matt Clarke using his face to block the striker’s shot and Ben Godfrey’s follow-up going straight at MacGillivray.

Pompey soon had a chance at the other end when Donohue’s delivery was laid off by Curtis, but a fierce effort from Gareth Evans was blocked before it could test Michael McGovern.


Half Time

Norwich City 0

Portsmouth 0


It was the visitors who made the brighter start to the second half and they created a number of openings just after the restart.

Naylor’s skidding effort was held by McGovern, while Pitman had a shot on the half-volley that looped over.

Donohue then sent in a dangerous cross from the left and Curtis glanced his header just past the post.

But Norwich fought back into the contest and Todd Cantwell drilled a shot narrowly past the post from 20 yards.

It looked like Dennis Srbeny was then going to slot the hosts into the lead, only for Anton Walkes to make a superb challenge just as he was shaping to shoot.

The match was finely poised, with the Canaries starting to see more of the ball and their opponents posing a threat on the break.

Jackett decided the time was right to make a change on 67 minutes, with Green coming on for Evans.

He made a lively start, although after skipping past one challenge in the Canaries area, could not repeat the trick.

Both sides looked capable of settling the tie and it was Pompey who almost broke the deadlock on 77 minutes.

McGovern failed to hold a drilled effort from Donohue, with Zimmermann just about getting there in front of Pitman to clear the danger.

An attempt from Lowe also had to be clawed behind by the diving keeper, as the Blues started to apply pressure.

MacGillivray then flung himself to the right at the other end, in order to keep out a diving header from Cantwell.

A replay might not have been what either side was looking for, but it looked on the cards until right at the death.

Donohue broke quickly and hit a superb cross-field pass for GREEN, who did not take the best first touch, but recovered well to hit a shot in off the post.

It left the hosts stunned and there was not enough time remaining for them to find an equaliser, with Pompey booking their place in Monday evening’s fourth round draw.

Norwich (4-1-4-1): McGovern; Passlack (Hernandez 85), Zimmermann, Hanley (c), Godfrey; Trybull; Cantwell, Srbeny (Pukki 85), McLean, Marshall (Klose 78); Rhodes
Sent off: Hanley
Subs not used: Krul, Pinto, Aarons, Vrancic

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (Green 67), Curtis (Wheeler 90+2); Pitman (c)
Goals: Green 90+4
Booked: Lowe, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis

Referee: Darren Bond

Attendance: 23,201 (2,493 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 022019
 

Andy Cannon

Transfer : Rochdale – Portsmouth


Andy Cannon


Pompey have signed midfielder Andy Cannon from Rochdale for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal at Fratton Park, with the club holding an option for a further 12 months.

Cannon has featured for Rochdale in both the FA Cup and Checkatrade Trophy this season, so will not be able to appear for the Blues until the league match against Blackpool on January 12.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “I see Andy as an attacking midfielder and feel he will be a good addition to our squad. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Cannon is a graduate of Rochdale’s youth system who made his debut in a victory over Leyton Orient back in September 2014.

He scored six goals in 127 appearances for the Spotland outfit and came off the bench in their league and FA Cup defeats to Pompey earlier in the season.

Portsmouth FC Andy Cannon

Jan 012019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    1 AFC Wimbledon

Pompey began 2019 with victory at Fratton Park, but were made to work hard for the points by a struggling AFC Wimbledon side.

It looked like a comfortable afternoon might be on the cards for the league leaders when Jamal Lowe gave them an early lead.

But the hosts missed some decent chances to extend their lead and a stunning strike from Kwesi Appiah brought the Dons level.

That seemed to spark the Blues back into life, though, and Ronan Curtis soon headed them back in front to secure the win.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that won convincingly at Fleetwood at the weekend.

Oli Hawkins recovered from an ankle problem to replace Brett Pitman up front, while Brandon Haunstrup came in for the injured Lee Brown at left-back.

The other switch saw Ben Close make way for Gareth Evans, who was rested for the final game of 2018 at Highbury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Hampshire cricket star Mike Barnard, who sadly passed away before Christmas.

It was a quiet start to the contest, both on and off the pitch – with some New Year revelries perhaps explaining the muted atmosphere in the opening stages.

But the noise levels soon grew, as the hosts took the lead with the first proper chance of the game on eight minutes.

Curtis collected a cross-field pass from Anton Walkes and fired in a low shot that was saved by Tom King.

But the keeper could not keep hold of the ball and LOWE was quick to capitalise, dinking a neat finish into the net.

Pompey were dominating possession, but there was not an abundance on clear-cut opportunities to excite a sell-out crowd.

Ben Thompson wasted a decent opening, swiping at thing air after Walkes’ ball into the box had been laid off by Evans.

A couple of other dangerous moments from the hosts were ended by an offside flag, as the Dons struggled to find a foothold in the game.

Lowe was proving a particular nuisance and after showing some nifty footwork inside the box, saw his low shot saved by King.

His clever chipped pass into the box then had to be nodded away by Terell Thomas before Thompson could capitalise.

The visitors finally threatened just before the break when former Pompey winger Andy Barcham burst clear, but a superb Jack Whatmough challenge inside the box halted his progress.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

AFC Wimbledon 0


It was still a fairly sedate affair once the action restarted and a wayward header from Mitch Pinnock was not going to trouble Craig MacGillivray.

Kwesi Appiah was then perhaps fortunate to avoid a booking following a late challenge on Matt Clarke, with the Blues defender quickly back up on his feet.

But the hosts should have doubled their lead on 54 minutes, as a fine Lowe pass sent Curtis through on goal, only for the Republic of Ireland international to drag his shot wide.

Curtis was soon back to his best, however, stealing possession and cutting the ball back for Evans, whose side-footed effort was kept out by King.

Wimbledon tried to make Pompey pay for those missed chances and suddenly enjoyed a spell of pressure.

But one strike from Anthony Hartigan flew high over the crossbar, while another was straight at MacGillivray.

It was the visitors on top, though, and Jackett made a double change on 69 minutes to try to negate their threat.

Evans and Hawkins were the men to make way, with Close and Pitman adding fresh legs to the midfield and forward line respectively.

But it was Lowe who had a chance to doubled the lead, only to head a Curtis cross wide from just a few yards out.

And the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy when Appiah unleashed a superb long-range strike that left MacGillivray helpless.

Thompson had a shot blocked as Pompey went back on the attack, while an effort from Curtis was comfortably dealt with by King.

But CURTIS did restore their lead moments later, rising above his man in the box to nod home a great cross from Thompson.

The Dons threw men forward in an attempt to equalise for a second time, but Pompey saw out the closing stages to start the year on a high.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; B.Thompson (Burgess 90+4), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 69), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 69)
Goals: Lowe 8, Curtis 80
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Wheeler, Green

AFC Wimbledon (4-1-4-1): King; Watson, Kalambayi, Thomas, Purrington (Garratt 83); Nightingale (c); Pinnock, Wordsworth, Hartigan (Egan 73), Barcham (Jervis 87); Appiah
Goals: Appiah 75
Booked: Wordsworth
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sibbick, Trotter, Wood

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 18,732 (634 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 292018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood Town 2    5 Portsmouth

Pompey finished 2018 on a high by thrashing Fleetwood 5-2 in a dramatic League One contest at Highbury.

Ben Thompson’s stunning strike gave them the lead, only for Paddy Madden and a Ched Evans penalty to see the hosts ahead at the break.

But Dean Marney’s red card for two bookable offences proved crucial – and the Blues took advantage.

Brett Pitman levelled with another spot-kick and a first goal of the season from Anton Walkes ensured they retook the lead.

It was left to Jamal Lowe to wrap things up with a brace that ensures Pompey will welcome in 2019 at the top of the table.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a first defeat on the road at Gillingham on Boxing Day.

Two of them were enforced, with Walkes and skipper Pitman replacing Nathan Thompson (hamstring) and Oli Hawkins (ankle) respectively.

The other switch came in the middle of the park, where former Fleetwood star Gareth Evans made way for Ben Close.

That meant a switch to a 4-3-3 system, with Lowe and Ronan Curtis flanking Pitman in the forward line.

The hosts had a great opportunity in the opening stages, but Evans’ header was held low down to his left by Craig MacGillivray.

Pompey soon started to settle and Close was unable to make a clean connection with his shot, allowing Alex Cairns to save.

But the Cod Army keeper made an even better stop soon after, keeping out a volleyed effort from Matt Clarke after the defender’s first attempt had been blocked.

The visitors then received a blow when Lee Brown went down injured and had to come off, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing him at left-back.

There was reason to celebrate for the travelling supporters on 26 minutes, however, as their side took the lead.

It was a fine finish from THOMPSON, whose fierce effort from outside the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

Close might have doubled the lead, but could not get enough power on his header from a Lowe cross to trouble Cairns.

Instead it was Fleetwood who were next to score on 39 minutes, when Madden raced in to meet Lewie Coyle’s cut-back and arrow a first time shot right into the bottom corner.

And it soon got even worse for the Blues as Madden fired past the post, but went down after colliding with Clarke and, following a lengthy pause, referee Matt Donohue pointed to the spot.

It was Evans who stepped up to take the penalty, sending MacGillivray the wrong way to turn the contest on its head.

Pompey might have levelled deep into stoppage-time, only for Ross Wallace to clear behind and prevent Lowe from converting Curtis’ delivery at the back post.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 2

Portsmouth 1


The Blues were quickly out of the traps following the interval, but when a corner was cleared, Haunstrup fired wildly off target.

Hopes were raised soon after, though, when Marney fouled Thompson and – having earlier been booked for a challenge on Curtis – saw red.

A cross from Haunstrup was then hacked to safety, as Walkes raced into the box to try to make contact.

Jackett soon made an attacking switch, with Evans brought on to provide more of a goal threat and Close withdrawn.

But it was two other players who provided the drama that saw the Blues score twice in as many minutes to take the lead.

Donohue pointed to the spot for the second time after Curtis was brought down by Ross Wallace and PITMAN confidently slammed home the spot-kick.

It soon got even better, though, as the Cod Army failed to deal with a Curtis cross and WALKES bent a shot into the top corner with his left foot.

The action did not stop there, however, and MacGillivray kept out Wes Burns’ free-kick, then quickly recovered to keep out James Wallace’s follow-up effort.

There was a period of calm after that, although Pompey were not content to sit back and Curtis continued to torment the home defence.

But they were lucky to still be ahead when, following a Fleetwood corner, both Madden and James Wallace struck the post.

Tom Naylor then hacked the ball clear from the line before Pompey went up the other end to wrap things up.

LOWE collected a pass from Curtis and held off two challenges, turning neatly to sneak a low shot inside the near post.

And it soon got even better for the Blues, as LOWE raced on to Thompson’s fine pass and lashed home their fifth goal of an eventful afternoon.

Andre Green came on for Curtis in the closing stages, but the visitors were unable to grant the wishes of the travelling fans, who chanted ‘we want six’.

Clarke came closest to adding another, but his header was well saved by Cairns. It mattered not, as Pompey had done more than enough to ensure they would end the year at the summit.

Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Morgan (c), Eastham, R.Wallace; Burns (Dempsey 63), Marney, Biggins (Bolger 79), Hunter (J.Wallace 54); Madden, Evans
Goals: Madden 39, Evans 43 (pen)
Sent off: Marney (two yellow cards)
Booked: Madden
Subs not used: Jones, Sheron, Holt, McAleny,

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown (Haunstrup 19); B.Thompson, Naylor, Close (Evans 53); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Green 90)
Goals: Thompson 26, Pitman 57 (pen), Walkes 58, Lowe 81, 84
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Wheeler, Mason

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance: 3,494 (853 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 262018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Gillingham 2    0 Portsmouth

There was a distinct lack of Christmas cheer at Priestfield, as Gillingham inflicted their second defeat of the season over Pompey.

The visitors were in control for long periods of the contest, but suffered a distinctly off day in front of goal.

And Josh Parker made the most of a rare chance for their opponents to net the first goal of the contest just before half-time.

The Blues had to play the closing stages a man down, with Nathan Thompson limping off after all three changes had been made.

And Gillingham then made sure of all three points in stoppage-time, as Callum Reilly fired home a penalty.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that beat promotion rivals Sunderland on home soil at the weekend.

And there did not appear to be any festive fatigue, as the visitors set about dominating the opening 45 minutes.

But for all their control of possession and neat passing build-up, Gills keeper Tomas Holy was not really tested.

A sliced effort from Ronan Curtis was blocked before it could trouble the stopper, who tipped away a Gareth Evans delivery before the Republic of Ireland international could capitalise.

Moments later, a teasing ball across the face of goal from Ben Thompson somehow managed to evade everyone.

Pompey did go close on eight minutes when a fierce goal-bound effort from Evans took a deflection to divert the ball off target.

Oli Hawkins – who was clearly having his shirt tugged by Alex Lacey – then sent an effort agonisingly wide of the post.

It was pretty much one-way traffic, but the Blues were just lacking that final killer ball to really hurt their hosts.

They won a total of seven corners before the break and a couple of them were headed off target by Hawkins.

And the striker met another Evans set-piece – after Holy had pushed Curtis’ effort wide – only for Barry Fuller to clear from the line.

But the Blues were then caught out by a sucker-punch just before the interval, as a cross from Elliott List was emphatically headed home by Parker.


Half Time

Gillingham 1

Portsmouth 0


Pompey immediately set about trying to find a leveller once the action restarted and the hosts eventually hacked clear following a scramble in their box.

A low right-sided delivery from Ben Thompson then somehow managed to evade both Jamal Lowe and Hawkins.

But Gillingham soon threatened at the other end, with Dean Parrett’s deep free-kick missing everyone and having to be pushed behind by Craig MacGillivray.

Holy should at least have been tested on 54 minutes when an unmarked Evans collected a pass from Lee Brown, only to fire over the bar.

Pompey’s skipper hit a cleaner effort from long-range soon after, although the ball was comfortably held by the keeper.

It was generally proving pretty profligate from the visitors and Hawkins could not send his header on target after getting above Gabriel Zakuani to meet a Curtis cross.

And the striker was withdrawn just before the hour mark, with Brett Pitman coming on to add some fresh legs to the forward line.

Jackett made his other two changes not long after, as Lowe and Curtis made way for Andre Green and David Wheeler.

It was Pitman who had the first chance to level, but was unable to make contact with Brown’s low cross at the near post.

And the Blues were dealt a blow when Nathan Thompson pulled up on 77 minutes and had to be helped off the pitch.

With all three substitutions having already been made, it meant the visitors would need to see out the rest of the game with just 10 men.

And their opponents almost took advantage when the ball fell for Billy Bingham inside the box, but he could not beat MacGillivray.

Pompey kept plugging away, but Pitman’s effort – taken on the turn after collecting Green’s pass – lacked enough power to trouble Holy.

And the hosts wrapped things up when Whatmough crudely ended List’s path to goal, with Reilly confidently slamming home the spot-kick.

Gillingham (4-1-4-1): Holy; Fuller, Lacey, Zakuani (c), Ogilvie; Byrne; List, Parrett (Bingham 69), Reilly, Hanlan (O’Neill 76); Parker (Mbo 90+2)
Goals: Parker 45, Reilly 90+1 (pen)
Booked: Byrne, Fuller
Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, Rees, Charles-Cook

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe (Green 69), Evans (c), Curtis (Wheeler 69); Hawkins (Pitman 59)
Booked: Whatmough
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Close

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 6,940 (1,637 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 222018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 3    1 Sunderland

Pompey ensured it would be a very Merry Christmas by seeing off Sunderland in a pulsating encounter on the south coast.

There was plenty of energy, but little goalmouth action before the break – but that certainly changed after it.

Gareth Evans opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Glenn Loovens had been sent off for a foul on Oli Hawkins.

Ronan Curtis soon doubled the advantage, although Luke O’Nien reduced the deficit in front of the biggest crowd Fratton Park had seen for seven years.

Nerves were quickly calmed, however, as Ben Thompson added another for the Blues, who continued to attack right up until the final whistle.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had battled for a point up at Barnsley the previous week.

However, David Wheeler had sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place among the substitutes.

The atmosphere inside a packed Fratton Park was crackling before a ball had been kicked and continued to impress throughout the contest.

But while the action on the pitch was often played at a hectic pace, there were not many clear-cut chances to excite the sell-out crowd during the first half.

Ronan Curtis was a threat for the hosts and Jon McLaughlin came tearing from his line to deny the Republic of Ireland international a shot.

A shot for O’Nien then hit Nathan Thompson right in the face, with the right-back looking dazed, but able to continue.

Pompey put some dangerous balls into the mixer, but the Sunderland defence looked solid and headed everything clear.

Hawkins thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the half after having his shirt tugged by O’Nien, although referee Peter Bankes disagreed.

There were plenty of firm challenges going in, with Lee Brown and Lee Cattermole both receiving a talking to following one clash.

Hawkins was booked by Bankes for a foul on Loovens, with Curtis and O’Nien also getting a ticking off.

Duncan Watmore did well down the Pompey right on 36 minutes, only to see his cross deflected into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

And the Black Cats had the best chance of the half just before the break, with Watmore squaring for Lynden Gooch, whose shot was saved by the legs of MacGillivray.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 0


It had been entertaining fare before the break, but the action moved up a few gears immediately after the restart.

A brilliant ball from Curtis was latched on to by Hawkins, who charged into the box and was unceremoniously hauled down by Loovens.

Bankes immediately pointed to the spot and life soon got worse for the Sunderland defender, who was shown a red card.

It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty, with the skipper slamming the ball right into the top corner.

And it soon got even better for the league leaders after CURTIS collected a header from the hard-working Hawkins.

It looked like crossing for the well-placed Jamal Lowe was the better option, but instead he drove the ball into the net from a tight angle.

But the action was not going to let-up and Sunderland reduced their deficit when O’Nien turned home a cross from Max Power.

It was soon the Blues back on the attack and an effort from Evans was deflected narrowly past the post.

The respite was a brief one for the visitors, however, as they fell further behind from the resulting corner.

McLaughlin did well to keep out a firm Hawkins header, but Sunderland could not get the ball clear and Ben THOMPSON’s drive was deflected into the roof of the net.

The opportunities kept coming at both ends, with another attempt from the on-loan Millwall midfielder going wide, while Gooch blazed over for the Black Cats.

MacGillivray then took a heavy touch from Brown’s back-pass, but recovered well to deny Gooch.

Hawkins almost capped his impressive display with a goal on 73 minutes, sending his header from a Curtis cross inches past the post.

He received a standing ovation when being replaced by Brett Pitman soon after, with Evans having already been withdrawn for Ben Close.

And the two substitutes combined to put the ball in the net late on, only for Pitman to be flagged offside.

Pompey looked likely to add to the scoring in the closing stages and Close had a shot saved by McLaughlin.

But the crowd did not seem to mind settling for just the 3-1 win, as they exited the ground full of festive glee.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 72), Curtis (Green 87); Hawkins (Pitman 81)
Goals: Evans 48 (pen), Curtis 53, B.Thompson 63
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis, N.Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Wheeler

Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Loovens, Baldwin, James; Cattermole; Honeyman (c) (Maguire 58), Power; McGeady (Sinclair 78); Gooch, Watmore (Ozturk 49)
Goals: O’Nien 57
Sent off: Loovens
Booked: Honeyman
Subs not used: Ruiter, Oviedo, McGeouch, Maja

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 19,402 (2,637 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 152018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Barnsley 1    1 Portsmouth

Pompey will definitely be top of the League One table at Christmas after securing a 1-1 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Barnsley at Oakwell.

But they might have been celebrating an even greater haul, as Gareth Evans drilled them into the lead just before the break.

Amidst a freezing downpour, however, Cauley Woodrow levelled in the second half and the Blues were forced to hold on at the end.

A stalemate was probably not the biggest surprise, with the hosts boasting an unbeaten home league record and the visitors having not been beaten on the road.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were beaten by Charlton on home soil earlier in the week.

But with Luke McGee suffering from a hand injury, Alex Bass was recalled from a loan spell at Torquay to sit on the bench.

It was not exactly the right day for a neat, passing game of football, with freezing rain falling from the South Yorkshire sky throughout.

That did not seem to dampen the entertainment on offer, however, as the game was often played at a frantic pace.

It was the hosts who looked on top for much of the first half, although they were let down by some poor finishing.

Pompey actually had the first opening, but Ronan Curtis took a heavy touch from Jamal Lowe’s threaded pass, allowing Adam Davies to come from his line and claim.

Craig MacGillivray was the busier of the two keepers, however, and he had his palms stung by Woodrow.

Meanwhile, some vital tracking back from Evans and Lowe denied Cameron McGeehan and George Moncur respectively.

MacGillivray was called into action again midway through the first half, palming over a fierce drive from Woodrow.

The keeper also kept out an angled Moncur shot, while an effort from McGeehan was then diverted off target.

There was a brief interruption soon after, as one of the floodlights failed, but after consulting with both managers, referee Jon Moss decided it was fine to continue.

Pompey threatened on 33 minutes when Lee Brown whipped in a dangerous cross that Lowe volleyed wide.

Kieffer Moore fired wastefully wide at the other end, while some more good defending from Lowe stopped Brad Potts’ surge.

It was Barnsley on top as the interval approached, but the Blues were able to break the deadlock on 43 minutes.

Alex Mowatt tried to clear the ball, only to send it straight into the path of EVANS, who hit a crisp left-footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.


Half Time

Barnsley 0

Portsmouth 1


Both sides were struggling to keep hold of possession once the action restarted, no doubt hindered by the wet and windy conditions.

Long-range efforts from Jacob Brown and Potts went over the bar, as Barnsley went in search of a leveller.

The home crowd were growing frustrated and were appealing to Moss for some soft penalties, with each turned down by the official.

But their mood improved just after the hour mark, as Potts sent in a low cross that Woodrow neatly turned home at the near post.

Barnsley moved up a few gears after that, only for the Blues to then create an opening on the counter-attack.

Ben Thompson collected the ball in the centre and fed Oli Hawkins, whose low drive was kept out by the boot of Davies.

Curtis thought he should have been awarded a penalty after going down in the box, but Moss thought he fell too easily and brandished a yellow card.

The Republic of Ireland international was withdrawn moments later, with Anton Walkes coming on and Nathan Thompson joining Matt Clarke and Jack Whatmough in a back three.

It was still the Tykes looking more of a threat as the game entered its closing stages and Tom Naylor bravely threw himself in front of a thunderous Woodrow effort.

And they almost snatched a late winner, with Moore collecting a pass from Lloyd Isgrove, turning and sending a low shot inches past the post.

Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies (c); Cavare (Brown 46), Jackson, Pinnock, Pinillos; Potts (Thiam 80), Mowatt, McGeehan, Moncur (Isgrove 63); Moore, Woodrow
Goals: Woodrow 61
Booked: McGeehan, Woodrow
Subs not used: Greatorex, Lindsay, Bahre, Adeboyejo

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Walkes 75); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 43
Booked: Naylor, Curtis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Close, Donohue, Green, Pitman

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 12,441 (1,674 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC