Football

Nov 112019
 

Match Report

Highlights

FA Cup 1




Pompey finally saw the light at Harrogate Town to book their place in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The tie was delayed for 55 minutes because of a power failure at the non-league side’s Wetherby Road home.

And they shocked their higher-ranked opponents by racing into an early lead, courtesy of Mark Beck’s header.

But Brandon Haunstrup impressive drew the Blues level and Ronan Curtis hit an even better winner before the break.

It was the visitors’ first victory on an artificial pitch and the result secured a home clash with Altrincham in the next stage of the competition.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that comfortably beat Southend in the league six days earlier.

Craig MacGillivray recovered from a thigh problem to replace Alex Bass between the sticks, while the injured Ellis Harrison and Ross McCrorie made way for Haunstrup and Gareth Evans.

The teams finally emerged following two delays – the second, thankfully, a lot briefer than the first – and observed a minute’s silence to mark Armistice Day.

But Pompey might have been wishing that the game had been called off after falling behind with just seven minutes on the clock.

The hosts had already enjoyed a couple of forays forward before taking the lead following a free-kick from deep on the left.

George Smith’s delivery was not dealt with and Jack Muldoon headed the ball across the face of goal for Beck to nod home.

The Blues did look dangerous at the other end, although seemed to struggle with the strong wind and artificial surface.

John Marquis was not quite able to collect Haunstrup’s threaded pass, while Ryan Williams’ cross was cleared before it could reach Evans.

But a leveller did arrive on 17 minutes and it was a fine strike from HAUNSTRUP to open his Pompey account on his 50th appearance for the club.

The left-footed right-back raced in from the flank and collected a pass from Williams before curling a shot past James Belshaw from the edge of the box.

Josh Falkingham tried to hit back immediately, but the Town skipper’s strike hit team-mate Beck on its path to goal.

The 3G surface had been much talked about before the tie and more questions were posed when three players went off injured before the break.

Two of them belonged to the visitors, with skipper Tom Naylor and later Sean Raggett limping from the field and replaced by Anton Walkes and Paul Downing respectively.

There were chances at both ends in between those changes, with Muldoon crashing a shot into the side netting.

A fierce low effort from Ben Close was then smartly saved by Belshaw, who had to get down quickly to beat the ball away.

Harrogate caused problems with a corner on 36 minutes, but MacGillivray – appearing against his former club – was able to punch clear.

And the Blues then took the lead before the break – and it was a goal that was certainly worth waiting for.

Williams laid the ball off for CURTIS, who hit a rocket from 30 yards that dipped beautifully into the net.


Half Time

Harrogate Town 1

Portsmouth 2


Curtis put in a shift at the opposite end of the pitch once the action restarted, getting back into his own box to halt a dangerous Harrogate attack.

Williams came close to scoring his first Pompey goal soon after, with an audacious attempt from wide on the right that Belshaw managed to palm away.

The loose ball eventually fell to Walkes, whose own effort was not quite so impressive, with the ball flying out of the ground.

It was generally a much calmer occasion, however, with little of the frantic action seen before the interval.

But the Blues almost extended their lead just past the hour mark, as Belshaw twice denied Marquis from point-blank range after the striker had been picked out at the back post by Evans.

George Thomson, just moments after coming off the bench, then hit a fierce shot inches past the post for Harrogate.

He subsequently sent a corner into the Blues box, where Beck’s downward header was comfortably held by MacGillivray.

And the same duo combined again from a set-piece soon after, with Beck this time depositing the ball onto the roof of the net.

Lee Brown went close with a cross-shot that could neither find the bottom corner or Williams at the far post.

But Harrogate were still applying plenty of pressure and MacGillivray was called into action to deal with Alex Bradley’s effort.

They saw plenty of the ball in the closing stages, but the Blues were able to see things out to secure progress.

Harrogate Town (4-4-2): Belshaw; Fallowfield, W.Smith, Hall, G.Smith; Kiernan (Bradley 70), Falkingham (c), Burrell (Emmett 32), Diamond (Thomson 63); Muldoon, Beck
Goals: Beck 7
Subs not used: Cracknell, Taylor, Brown, Jones

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Haunstrup, Burgess, Raggett (Downing 31), Brown; Naylor (c) (Walkes 24), Close; Williams, Evans, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Haunstrup 17, Curtis 41
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Cannon, Harness, Pitman

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 3,408 (616 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Nov 052019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey had to remain patient before finally easing to victory against struggling Southend at Fratton Park.

It looked like being a frustrating evening for the hosts against their stubborn opponents until John Maquis opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.

Ellis Harrison forced home another after the break, although Brandon Goodship’s Shrimpers strike got supporters fretting about more dropped points.

But they need not have worried, as Harrison converted a penalty before Marcus Harness came off the bench to wrap things up.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Oxford on home soil at the weekend.

One of them was enforced, with an injury to Craig MavGillivray meaning Alex Bass was handed a third league start between the sticks.

The other switch saw Harrison replace Gareth Evans and play up front, with Marquis sitting a bit deeper.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the visitors’ dug-out, as Southend had recently appointed a management team of Sol Campbell, Hermann Hreidarsson and Andy Cole.

Svetoslav Todorov, meanwhile, recently left his role as Shrimpers coach, but was at the game to watch his former clubs in action.

The first half was, for the most part, a frustrating one for the hosts, who dominated possession, but found their disciplined opponents difficult to break down.

Clear-cut chances were very much at a premium, with a few teasing crosses that nobody could get on the end of about as good as it got.

Bass was the busier of the two keepers in the early stages, smothering one effort from Isaac Hutchinson and then making a better save to deny Goodship.

At the other end, Sean Raggett was unable to nod Ronan Curtis’ free-kick on target, while Harrison’s header was blocked by Hutchinson.

Pompey then received a blow when Ross McCrorie pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be substituted, with Brandon Haunstrup on to replace him.

The hosts were looking more dangerous as the interval approached and Mark Milligan just about got in front of Ryan Williams to turn the ball behind.

Ben Close was then fed by Marquis inside the box and drew a smart stop from Nathan Bishop, with his second attempt deflected behind.

But, with virtually the final kick of the half, the deadlock was broken and the assist was provided by the man who came on.

It was a delightful left-footed cross from wide on the right by Haunstrup and MARQUIS found space to prod past Bishop.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Southend United 0


Harrison should really have doubled the advantage straight after the interval, but could not keep his header down from Curtis’ centre.

But he made up for that moments later by taking a much more difficult chance to provide a bit of breathing space.

An initial cut-back for Williams was headed back to the striker and HARRISON somehow managed to sneak a shot home, via the underside of the bar, from the byline.

Southend were suddenly being run ragged, with Pompey looking dangerous with every attack and almost adding a third goal.

Brown cut the ball back for Tom Naylor outside the box and the skipper’s fierce effort struck the inside of the post before rebounding safe.

Another long-range attempt – this time from Marquis – was then fumbled behind by Bishop, as the hosts continued to dominate.

Curtis had been the provider of plenty of fine crosses and another one on 65 minutes had to be cleared by Timothee Dieng, with Harrison lurking.

And when Lee Brown’s corner was nodded back by Christian Burgess, an inventive over-head effort from Williams flew narrowly over.

Pompey had to be careful not to switch off at the other end, though, as substitute Emile Acquah headed wastefully wide from Hutchinson’s corner.

They did concede soon after, though, with Bass getting his hands to Goodship’s ferocious strike, but unable to keep it out of the net.

Jackett responded with a second substitution of the evening on 73 minutes, as the lively Williams made way for Harness.

He had an early sighter after Elvis Bwomono’s clearance fell into his path, but the winger’s shot flew off target.

The nerves were settled soon after, though, as Raggett tried to reach Curtis’ free-kick and was tugged to the turf by Rob Kiernan.

Referee Lee Swabey pointed straight to the spot and although HARRISON’s penalty caught Bishop’s trailing leg, it was hit with enough power to find the net.

But the scoring was not over and after entering the area from the right, HARNESS lashed home to ensure there would be no comeback.

And Close almost got in on the act just a few moments later, with a shot that was deflected inches past the post.

Harness also drilled narrowly wide in stoppage-time, as the Blues finished a productive game with a flourish.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie (Haunstrup 40), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams (Harness 73), Marquis, Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Marquis 45+2, Harrison 50, 80 (pen), Harness 84
Booked: Marquis
Subs not used: McGee, Downing, Evans, Cannon, Pitman

Southend (3-4-1-2): Bishop; Shaughnessy, Dieng, Lennon (Kiernan 74); Bwomono, Hutchinson, Milligan (c), Ralph; Goodship; Cox (Acquah 61), Hopper (Rush 87)
Goals: Goodship 69
Booked: Milligan
Subs not used: Oxley, Demetriou, Taylor, Ndukwu

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 16,995 (316 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Nov 022019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




It was a case of déjà vu for Pompey, as they dropped points in a game they dominated for the third Saturday in succession.

They created plenty of chances against an in-form Oxford outfit at a windy Fratton Park and were on top for most of the contest.

A confident penalty from Gareth Evans, awarded for a foul on Ben Close, looked to have secured all three points.

But United applied late pressure and salvaged a draw when Matty Taylor nodded home in the final minute of normal time.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were unlucky not secure all three points at Bristol Rovers the previous week.

The earlier rain had died down ahead of kick-off, but a strong wind was still swirling around the stadium.

It made life difficult for the veterans, Gurkhas and standard bearers, who paraded onto the pitch for the annual Remembrance commemorations, which included a bugler playing the Last Post.

And the players also had to deal with the tricky conditions, with the ball blowing out of play as Ryan Williams shaped to cross.

The Australian winger also bent a shot wide, while an Evans effort was deflected past the post as the hosts dominated the opening stages.

They almost broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, but brave blocks denied both Williams and John Marquis in quick succession.

Ross McCrorie’s delivery then took a deflection off Alex Gorrin, forcing former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood into action to prevent an own-goal.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Christian Burgess had to deal with Josh Ruffels’ cut-back before a Tariqe Fosu corner was cleared by Sean Raggett at the back post.

But it was still the Blues looking more likely to score and Ruffels made a key block after Ronan Curtis had spun and fired in a shot.

Evans then managed to get a cross into the centre at the second attempt, but Marquis could only nod into Eastwood’s arms.

The visitors were forced to make a change before the break, as Ruffels limped off after McCrorie had been booked for a firm challenge on the left-back.

His team-mate Jamie Mackie had already received treatment for a cut head, angrily accusing Raggett of foul play.

Oxford then came close to scoring in stoppage-time – and it would have been a second unfortunate own-goal in the space of a week for Craig MacGillivray.

Mackie’s low drilled effort was cleared from the line by Raggett, but the ball ricocheted off the keeper’s back and trickled just past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey continued to look bright following the restart and McCrorie’s centre was behind both Marquis and Curtis in the centre.

The latter then looked to have taken Williams’ pass too wide, but still managed to hit a ferocious strike that cannoned against the crossbar.

But the hosts were presented with an excellent chance to finally take the lead just before the hour mark.

It was a lovely flowing move and when Marquis slipped a pass through to Close, the midfielder was clearly tripped by Elliott Moore.

Referee Ben Toner pointed straight to the spot and EVANS leathered home the penalty to leave Eastwood with no chance.

The lead might have been doubled moments later, as the Blues marauded quickly up the pitch through Williams and Marquis.

But the latter’s pass for Evans was not quite right and the midfielder’s shot was parried behind by Eastwood.

Still the chances kept coming and after Eastwood did well to parry Williams’ drilled effort, John Mousinho cleared behind before Curtis could convert the loose ball.

Oxford had a dangerous set-piece of their own on 73 minutes, but MacGillivray was able to parry clear Anthony Forde’s free-kick from the edge of the box.

They then won a corner that led to an almighty scramble in the Blues box and there were plenty of hearts in mouths before the ball was eventually got to safety.

A MacGillivray goal-kick might have led to an assist at the other end, but Williams could only lift his shot over the bar.

Oxford had been second best for most of the afternoon, only to exert plenty of pressure in the closing stages, winning a number of corners.

McCrorie – who was carrying a yellow card – was replaced at right-back by James Bolton for the final five minutes.

A free-kick from Forde then narrowly cleared the crossbar after the United substitute had tried to move the referee’s foam forward a few yards.

But Oxford did level on 90 minutes, as James Henry crossed towards the far post, where Taylor was waiting to guide home a header.

Ellis Harrison was immediately brought on for Evans to add another attacking option in stoppage-time.

Curtis crossed to the back post, but nobody could make a connection, while another delivery from the same player was nodded over by Williams.

But they were unable to find a winning goal, leaving most inside a sold out Fratton Park feeling deflated.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie (Bolton 85), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans (Harrison 90+1), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Evans 58 (pen)
Booked: McCrorie, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness

Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Ruffels (Moore 42); Gorrin; Sykes, Henry; Fosu (Forde 70); Taylor, Mackie (Baptiste 70)
Goals: Taylor 90
Booked: Mackie
Subs not used: Stevens, Agyei, Lofthouse, Lopes

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 18,528 (1,747 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 262019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey conceded a stoppage-time own-goal, as Bristol Rovers fought from behind to snatch a draw at a rain-soaked Memorial Stadium.

A Gareth Evans penalty set them on the way in the early stages and there were plenty of chances to add to the lead.

Ronan Curtis eventually headed home to calm some nerves, only for Alex Rodman’s strike to ensure a nervy finale.

And, with just seconds remaining, a corner struck Ross McCrorie, the bar and Craig MacGillivray before crossing the line to leave the Blues heartbroken.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that had beaten Lincoln on home soil earlier in the week.

It came on the left of the forward line, where Marcus Harness dropped to the bench to make way for Curtis.

Former Rovers hero Lee Brown kept his spot in defence, but Ellis Harrison had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There were only seconds on the clock when Sean Raggett received a booking for a late challenge on Victor Adeboyejo.

But it was otherwise an encouraging opening for the visitors, who looked a constant threat on the break.

Ryan Williams teed-up Ben Close for an early effort that was blocked by Ed Upson and the deadlock was broken soon after.

Evans’ cross was met by the head of Curtis and the ball flicked off Raggett’s shoulder and came back off the post.

But John Marquis had received a shove from Luke Leahy that was spotted by referee Darren Handley.

He pointed straight to the spot and EVANS made no mistake, slamming home a penalty that left Anssi Jaakkola with no chance.

The keeper managed to prevent Williams from doubling Pompey’s lead soon after, while a teasing delivery from McCrorie was agonisingly over the heads of both Marquis and Curtis.

MacGillivray had to palm away a corner at the other end, but the counter-attack that followed led to three great chances in quick succession.

Curtis sent Marquis racing clear, only for Abu Ogogo to fling himself bravely into the path of the striker’s shot.

But the hosts could not get rid of the ball and crosses from Evans and Brown were met by Burgess and Raggett respectively, with Jaakkola making decent saves on each occasion.

Rovers had seen more of the ball, but not done much with it and their first decent chance arrived on 26 minutes.

Upson did well to keep possession in the middle of the park and drive forward, before drilling a low effort inches the past.

Pompey were still looking the more threatening side and when a Curtis cross missed Marquis, the ball appeared to be dipping under the bar, forcing Jaakkola into action.

They received a second booking before the break, although McCrorie was furious to be penalised for simulation after appearing to be tripped by Alfie Kilgour.

There was a corner for the visitors to deal with in stoppage-time and Marquis was back to block Ollie Clarke’s attempt.


Half Time

Bristol Rovers 0

Portsmouth 1


The home side – and their supporters – cried for a penalty straight after the restart when Leahy’s shot hit McCrorie in the box.

But the Blues loanee was far too close to get out the way and replays showed that it hit him on the head.

There was then a nervy moment when MacGillivray could not keep hold of Adeboyejo’s cross, although the keeper immediately leapt on the loose ball.

Pompey were still trying to do damage on the break, with one promising move breaking down when Marquis strayed offside from Curtis’ pass.

The hosts were certainly providing more of a threat since the break, though, and a diving Ogogo could not quite get on the end of Rodman’s centre.

An Evans free-kick caused problems at the opposite end of the pitch, although Rovers were eventually able to scramble the ball behind.

The visitors calmed things down with a spell of possession and might have gone further ahead, only for skipper Tony Craig to bravely get in the way of Close’s fierce volley.

And they did create some breathing space on 70 minutes, when a Marquis delivery was firmly headed home by CURTIS from close range.

Pompey’s counter-attacking credentials were still impressive and a low Williams cross had to be cut out to deny Marquis a simple tap-in.

But they were dealt a blow soon after, with Rodman reducing the hosts’ deficit after a free-kick had not been properly dealt with.

That meant there were plenty of nerves among the large collection of away fans for the closing stages of the contest.

Rovers brought former Fratton winger Kyle Bennett on to try add more potency to their attack, but it looked like Pompey would comfortably see the game out.

Right at the death, however, Liam Sercombe whipped in a corner and the ball struck McCrorie, ricocheting off the bar and the back of MacGillivray’s head before nestling in the net.

Bristol Rovers (3-5-2): Jaakkola; Davies, Craig (c) (Little 80), Kilgour; Rodman, Clarke (Sercombe 71), Upson (Bennett 89), Ogogo, Leahy; Adeboyejo, Smith
Goals: Rodman 78, MacGillivray 90+3 (og)
Booked: Upson, Ogogo
Subs not used: van Stappershoef, Kelly, Menayese, Nichols

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans, Curtis; Marquis (Harrison 90+1)
Goals: Evans 9 (pen), Curtis 70
Booked: Raggett, McCrorie, Curtis, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 8,648 (1,404 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 222019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




John Marquis was on target as Pompey returned to winning ways against a spirited Lincoln side at Fratton Park.

There were chances at both ends before the break and Marquis scrambled the ball home to end his barren spell.

It was a more turgid affair in the second half, but Craig MacGillivray was not overly troubled as the Blues saw the game out.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were unlucky to lose at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

It came at right-back where James Bolton dropped to the bench to make way for on-loan Rangers youngster Ross McCrorie.

There was a familiar face in the starting line-up for the Imps – now managed by former Fratton boss Michael Appleton – as striker John Akinde led the line.

Pompey continued the theme of recent weeks by dominating possession throughout the first half, although the visitors had arguably the better chances.

There were half-chances for Ryan Williams and Marquis, but Lincoln really should have broken the deadlock on seven minutes.

Michael O’Connor’s free-kick found Callum Connolly totally unmarked in the box, but the defender headed wastefully wide.

He rescued his side at the other end soon after, though, with a key interception to stop Marquis meeting Williams’ cut-back from a neat Ben Close pass.

MacGillivray was then called into action to keep the game goalless, getting down to his left to save a fierce long-range effort from the lively Bruno Andrade.

It looked like being a brief reprieve, however, as the resulting corner saw the ball ping around the Blues box, but twice stopped from crossing the line by the Scottish keeper.

Marquis then fired over from a tight angle as the hosts continued to see plenty of the ball, while Sean Raggett – facing his former club – saw a header deflected into the arms of Josh Vickers.

But the Lincoln keeper was beaten on 28 minutes, despite making a decent stop to keep out Christian Burgess’ bullet header.

The ball ran loose, though, and MARQUIS had the simple job of nudging it over the line from just a yard out.

Andrade was still proving a menace at the opposite end of the pitch and a teasing cross somehow evaded everyone in the box, while a crunching Tom Naylor challenge halted his run down the left.

There was one more chance for Lincoln to level before the break, although MacGillivray was not too bothered by Andrade’s firmly-struck effort from outside the box.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Lincoln City 0


Raggett collected the first booking of the evening shortly after the restart following a late challenge on Tyler Walker.

But referee Tom Nield somehow failed to spot the defender getting his shirt clearly tugged as he tried to meet a free-kick moments later.

Williams then had a chance to double the hosts’ lead following good work from Marquis and Marcus Harness, but was unable to find the target with a fierce finish.

Lincoln had a chance to equalise following a quick break on 54 minutes, but again nobody could get the finishing touch on his dangerous delivery and Lee Brown swept up.

The game became more scrappy as the second half progressed, with the hosts struggling to keep possession as well as they had before the break.

But they almost strengthened their lead just past the hour mark, as Vickers only just managed to prevent a firm Burgess header from crossing the line.

Jackett made his first substitution on 67 minutes, with Ronan Curtis replacing Harness wide on the left.

The new man was soon involved in the action and crossed for McCrorie, who took a touch before blazing over the bar.

Gareth Evans then did well to win a corner that he took himself and although Vickers flapped at it, he got enough on the ball to get it safe.

It was as committed a display as ever from Naylor and after losing possession in a dangerous area, the skipper did brilliantly to win it back again.

A quick break offered the chance to relive some growing pressure, but McCrorie’s pass to Marquis was not quite right and the striker did well to get the ball under control before firing over.

And Evans was also unable to keep his shot down after Naylor’s cross from the right had been only partially cleared.

It had been a strange display from the referee and when a late challenge on Williams went unpunished, even the normally placid Jackett was left raging on the sidelines.

But it did not prove costly for Pompey, who saw out the four minutes of stoppage-time to claim a welcome three points.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans, Harness (Curtis 67); Marquis
Goals: Marquis 28
Booked: Raggett, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harrison

Lincoln (4-4-2): Vickers; Eardley, Connolly, Shackell (c), Toffolo; Andrade (Hesketh 85), O’Connor (Grant 80), Morrell, Payne; Akinde (Anderson 76), Walker
Subs not used: Smith, Melbourne, Lewis, Chapman

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 17,266 (753 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 192019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey were dealt a late blow, as AFC Wimbledon scored a stoppage-time winner at Kingsmeadow to end their three-match unbeaten run.

Both sides had earlier chances to secure victory, with Christian Burgess and Anthony Wordsworth striking the woodwork.

It was the Blues who looked more dangerous, though, and Nathan Trott was kept busy between the sticks.

The points looked like being shared, only for Terell Thomas to head past Craig MacGillivray’s grasp right at the death.

It was a disappointing way for Gareth Evans to make his 200th appearance for the club – becoming just the third man to achieve that feat in the 21st century.

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

MacGillivray returned from international duty to replace Alex Bass between the sticks, while John Marquis came in for the injured Brett Pitman.

Ryan Williams also started out wide, as Pompey switched to a 4-2-3-1 system, with Ellis Harrison dropping to the bench.

Both sides looked dangerous on the break during an opening 45 minutes that saw play quickly switch from one end to the other.

The visitors had the first opportunity to break the deadlock, although Marcus Harness hit his effort into the turf and the ball bounced over.

Burgess then had to bravely fling himself into the path of a shot from the lively Marcus Forss to avert the danger.

Pompey were next to go close and after doing well to bring the ball down, Marquis prodded a shot past the post.

The see-saw nature continued with the Dons going close to breaking the deadlock on 13 minutes and it took a brilliant Lee Brown block to stop Forss.

A quick counter led to another Blues’ opening moment later, as Marquis collected Harness’ pass, held off his man and sent the ball rolling agonisingly wide.

Tom Naylor might have done better midway through the half after charging in to meet James Bolton’s dangerous delivery and heading over.

It was a bright period for the visitors and Burgess nodded against the crossbar after connecting with a Brown cross.

The danger was not over for Wimbledon, however, and Sean Raggett’s follow-up header was claimed by Trott.

There were a couple of bookings for Pompey and while Brown was right cautioned for fouling Scott Wagstaff, it was a harsh yellow for Marquis for simply standing his ground.

Bot sides had one more decent opportunity to forge ahead just before the break, with Trott getting down well to deny Evans.

Joe Pigott then spotted MacGillivray off his line and tried to lob him, only for the ball to fly narrowly wide.


Half Time

AFC Wimbledon 0

Portsmouth 0


It looked like the hosts had been awarded a penalty just after the restart when Pigott went down under Burgess’ challenge.

Referee Sam Purkiss seemed to point to the spot, only to eventually award a free-kick right on the edge of the box.

But it still almost led to a Wimbledon goal, as Forss hit a ferocious effort that flew through the wall and was superbly beaten away by MacGillivray.

Another free-kick for the Londoners was curled around the wall by Wordsworth, although it was easily dealt with by the Pompey stopper.

Jackett made a double switch just before the hour mark, as Williams and Marquis were withdrawn for Ronan Curtis and Harrison.

And the latter was almost gifted a bizarre goal moments later, charging down Trott’s clearance and seeing the ball ricochet just wide.

Harrison was proving a menace and after collecting Bolton’s ball into the box was unable to get enough on his header to trouble Trott.

Pompey had struck the woodwork before the break and it was the Dons’ turn on 65 minutes, with Wordsworth’s drilled effort cannoning back off the inside of the post.

Harrison then had two men on him as he tried to meet Bolton’s cross, but still managed to get a header away that was saved by Trott.

Some sloppy play at the back gave the Blues another opening, with Paul Kalambayi’s desperate block stopping Curtis’ shot testing the keeper.

The loose ball then came out to skipper Tom Naylor, whose drive was fierce, but straight at a grateful Trott.

Ben Close eyed up one of his special strikes from the edge of the box when a free-kick was only partially cleared, but the ball could not quite find its way through a sea of bodies.

Jackett’s final change came on 81 minutes and saw Andy Cannon replace Harness, with Evans moving out wide.

Pompey were looking the more threatening side in the closing stages and Trott did well to smother Close’s low attempt.

Curtis then spun and curled a shot wide following good work from Brown, who managed to avoid a late Scott Wagstaff lunge that earned the Dons skipper a booking.

The display of four additional minutes gave travelling fans hope that their side could score a late winner.

But it was the Dons celebrating when, with just seconds remaining, Thomas glanced home Max Sanders’ free-kick.

It was harsh on Pompey and there was not enough time left for them to mount any more meaningful attacks.

AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Trott; Kalambayi, Delaney, Thomas; Wagstaff (c), Sanders, Wordsworth, Pinnock (Hartigan 76), Osew; Pigott, Forss (Appiah 85)
Goals: Thomas 90+3
Booked: Wagstaff
Subs not used: Tzanev, Madelin, Stabana, Guinness-Walker, McLoughlin

Pompey (4-2-31): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams (Harrison 57), Evans, Harness (Cannon 81); Marquis (Curtis 57)
Booked: Brown, Marquis, Raggett
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Haunstrup, McCrorie

Referee: Sam Purkiss

Attendance: 4,525 (712 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 122019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey were left frustrated at a sodden Fratton Park after failing to break down a resilient Gillingham side.

They enjoyed the majority of possession and chances, with Sean Raggett heading against the woodwork.

But the visitors from Kent were able to hold on and limit the Blues to their third home stalemate of the season.

Ellis Harrison was rewarded for his dramatic late winner against Doncaster with a spot in the starting line-up.

He replaced John Marquis up front in one of two changes from the side that were victorious in south Yorkshire.

The other switch was enforced, with Alex Bass making his second league start for Pompey between the sticks, as Craig MacGillivray was away on international duty with Scotland.

It was a dominant display from the hosts before the break and they almost took the lead in just the second minute.

Gareth Evans stole possession and charged forward before unleashing a low, skiddy drive that Jack Bonham did well to turn around the post.

Another drilled attempt from Ben Close soon after was parried by the Gillingham stopper and Tom O’Connor had to hack clear with Harrison waiting to pounce.

A teasing left-footed delivery then fell just between Christian Burgess and Harrison, as Pompey continued to apply pressure.

Evans was next to go close midway through the first half with a free-kick from wide on the left that was dipping under the crossbar before Bonham’s late intervention.

There was nothing to trouble Bass at the other end of the pitch, as long-range attempts from Mark Byrne and Mikael Ndjoli flew well off target.

The Blues were looking much more likely to break the deadlock and their opponents were left breathing a sigh of relief on 34 minutes.

An Evans free-kick was met by Raggett’s firm header and appeared to be flying in, only for the ball to come back off the inside of the post and be hacked to safety.

There were bookings for both sides, as Lee Brown and Max Ehmer were punished for fouls, while former Fratton loanee Stuart O’Keefe saw yellow for dissent.

Meanwhile, the hosts were still proving a real threat, with half-chances for both Harrison and Close as the interval loomed.

They almost received a helping hand from Connor Ogilvie, who swiped at thin air while trying to deal with James Bolton’s cross and had to be rescued by Bonham.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Gillingham 0


It was Pompey who had the first opportunity to score after the break and Bonham got down to deal with Harrison’s effort.

Jackett made a change on 54 minutes and Pitman appeared to have collected a knock as he made way for Marquis.

Bass was still waiting to make his first save of the afternoon, although there was one nervy moment in the Blues box for the defence to deal with.

It was still the hosts seeing most of the ball and they were being left frustrated by a well-drilled opposition back-line.

Meanwhile, the Gillingham management team were constantly in the ear of the fourth official, drawing plenty of ire from the Fratton faithful.

Marquis tried to spin Ogilvie and race through on goal from Naylor’s long pass on 68 minutes, but a free-kick was awarded for a foul against the Gills centre-back.

And Brown then did well to beat his man on the left and charge into the box, only to follow it up by firing wide.

A double substitution soon followed for the hosts, as Close and Evans made way for Andy Cannon and Ryan Williams.

But chances were proving to be hard to come by and the visitors were doing their best to waste as much time as possible.

It had taken 82 minutes for Bass to have a save to make and he was not particularly troubled by Brandon Hanlan’s weak effort.

Pompey were the side trying hardest to turn one point into three and hopes were raised by the display of five additional minutes.

The winner almost arrived at the death when Williams’ cross dropped nicely for Brown, but he could only flash a shot wide.

And despite plenty of endeavour and application, they were unable to break down the red-shirted wall.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Harness, Close (Cannon 75), Naylor (c), Evans (Williams 75); Harrison, Pitman (Marquis 54)
Booked: Brown
Subs not used: McGee, Downing, Haunstrup, Curtis

Gillingham (4-1-4-1): Bonham; Tucker, Ehmer (c), Ogilvie, O’Connor; Jones; Ndjoli (Mandron 80), O’Keefe, Byrne, Jakubiak (Marshall 76); Hanlan (Hodson 90+5)
Booked: Ehmer, O’Keefe, Byrne, Jones, Tucker
Subs not used: Walsh, Pringle, Lee, Charles-Cook

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 18,036 (672 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 082019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




Bradley Lethbridge scored his first senior Pompey goal in a draw with Oxford in the Leasing.com Trophy.

The striker cancelled out Matty Taylor’s opener at a sparsely-populated Kassam Stadium in Southern Group B.

Anton Walkes then looked to have won it for the youthful visitors with a late strike, only for Rob Dickie to level in stoppage-time.

But the night ended on a happy note for the Blues, as they won 5-4 on penalties to claim a bonus point and secure top spot, guaranteeing a home draw in the second round.

Kenny Jackett changed the entire side that won at Doncaster in the league at the weekend, with five teenagers getting a chance to impress.

Harvey Rew was handed his debut a week after signing a first professional contract and was joined in the starting line-up by Joe Hancott, Josh Flint, Leon Maloney and Lethbridge.

Paul Downing skippered a defence that also included Brandon Haunstrup and Walkes, with Alex Bass between the sticks.

Ryan Williams – who previously had a spell on loan with the hosts – and Andy Cannon completed the team, while there were plenty of experienced reinforcements on the bench.

Pompey’s young side started brightly and enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages, without being able to test former Fratton keeper Simon Eastwood.

They had a chance to break the deadlock when Cannon and Williams combined to tee-up Lethbridge, but he screwed wide from 10 yards.

And the more experienced hosts soon started to take control, with Rob Hall dragging a shot wide before Bass denied Taylor at his near post.

Rew was perhaps unfortunate to be shown a yellow card on 19 minutes for a challenge that referee Will Finnie deemed excessive.

United then broke the deadlock soon after, as Taylor latched onto Shandon Baptiste’s threaded pass and slotted home.

And the same player should have immediately doubled the lead, only to see his first effort saved by Bass and the second fly off target.

Pompey picked up after that nervy period, though, and levelled on 33 minutes thanks to a first senior goal for Lethbridge.

It started when Cannon stole possession and cut the ball back for Flint, whose effort was deflected into the striker’s path.

The angle was tight for LETHBRIDGE, but he got enough power on his shot for the ball to squirm under Eastwood and over the line.

It was United who finished the half on top, however, and a fierce drive from Cameron Brannagan had to be parried down by Bass and gathered at the second attempt.

And the keeper made an even better save just before the break, acrobatically tipping over Taylor’s firm header from a Josh Ruffels delivery.


Half Time

Oxford United 1

Portsmouth 1


Jackett made a double switch at the start of the second half, with Flint and Rew replaced by Gareth Evans and Ben Close.

It was Cannon who had the first shot following the restart, but quickly saw four yellow shirts around him and could only fire wide.

An angled effort from Maloney was then comfortably dealt with by Eastwood in a low-key opening to proceedings.

Then, after Hall had an effort deflected wide at the other end, Dickie diverted a corner straight at Bass.

Jackett made his final switch just past the hour mark, with goalscorer Lethbridge withdrawn and Saturday’s hero Ellis Harrison on in his place.

But it was United on the attack and they had two decent chances to retake the lead in quick succession.

First, Bass came off his line to narrow Taylor’s angle and make a smart stop after the striker had been sent through on goal.

Another header from Dickie was then blocked on the line by Williams, with Finnie waving away handball appeals.

Close has scored a couple of spectacular strikes already this season and tried to add a third when he hit a dipping ball cleanly on the volley, but it lacked the power to overly trouble Eastwood.

Evans then had a great chance after being sent through on goal by Maloney, only to lose his balance at the crucial moment, allowing his shot to be saved.

But Bass was keeping the Blues in the contest and he made another fine save to repel Brannagan’s fierce angled drive on 75 minutes.

And Walkes was also called into action moments later to block a powerful goal-bound effort from substitute Dan Agyei.

Pompey might have capitalised on a quick break, but the onrushing Williams could not quite reach Harrison’s ball across the box.

And they did go ahead on 85 minutes after WALKES raced on to a fine pass down the right from the lively Cannon.

Eastwood came off his line, but the right-back just about got there first and was able to send the ball rolling over the line.

But Oxford managed to draw level in stoppage-time when a free-kick was launched into a crowded box and Dickie spun before finding the bottom corner.

Full Time: Oxford 2 Pompey 2

A penalty shoot-out was then held to decide who would take the bonus point, with Evans, Harrison, Williams and Downing all scoring.

But Close sent his attempt high over the bar to hand the advantage to the hosts, only for Ruffels’ shot to be brilliantly saved by Bass.

Walkes and Agyei both failed to find the target in sudden death and after Haunstrup rolled home his penalty, Sam Long blazed high over the bar.

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Moore, Ruffels (c); Gorrin (Sole 86); Hall, Brannagan, Baptiste (Lopes 73), Sykes; Taylor (Agyei 69)
Goals: Taylor 21, Dickie 90+1
Booked: Agyei
Subs not used: Stevens, Jones, Cadden, Fosu

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Walkes, Downing (c), Haunstrup, Hancott; Cannon, Rew (Close 46); Williams, Flint (Evans 46), Maloney; Lethbridge (Harrison 63)
Goals: Lethbridge 33, Walkes 85
Booked: Rew, Haunstrup
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Raggett, Harness

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 1,548 (274 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 052019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Ellis Harrison headed home in stoppage-time to dramatically earn Pompey a first away league win of the season.

A goal on the break from Gareth Evans in the second half had earlier given the visitors the lead at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Doncaster twice struck the woodwork and looked to have salvaged a point when Reece James bundled in a leveller.

They were chasing a winner, but instead finished with nothing, as Harrison deftly guided the ball into the net at the death.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that had beaten Bolton on home soil earlier in the week.

Lee Brown came straight back into the starting line-up after recovering from an Achilles injury, while there were also returns for Evans and Marcus Harness out wide.

Brandon Haunstrup and Ryan Williams both dropped to the bench, but there was no place in the matchday squad for Ronan Curtis because of a tight hamstring.

Pompey kept with the same 4-4-2 system that had helped them secure all three points against Wanderers, with Brett Pitman utilised alongside former Rovers striker John Marquis.

Neither side created much in the opening stages on a grey afternoon in south Yorkshire, although that did not stop the travelling faithful for being in fine voice.

Shots at either end for first Ben Whiteman and then Marquis lacked enough power to trouble the respective goalkeepers.

But it was Doncaster who found their feet quickest and Alfie May’s shot from nothing cannoned against the crossbar.

Craig MacGillivray then head to come tearing from his line to stop Jon Taylor after the winger had burst in from the left.

Rovers were looking particularly threatening on the break and Harness hacked clear after one dangerous counter-attack.

The visitors collected a couple of bookings, with Tom Naylor punished for a late challenge on May and Harness seeing yellow after catching Whiteman with a flailing arm.

Doncaster had their best chance of the half in between, when Kieran Sadlier was left unchallenged to charge in and meet James Coppinger’s delivery, only to send the ball wide from a few yards out.

There were a couple of opportunities at the other end, though, and Evans’ cross was just too high for Pitman in the box.

The striker tried to return the favour after beating his man on the right, but Seny Dieng came off his line to just about get there first.


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 0

Portsmouth 0


There was a change at the start of the second half, with Marquis not emerging from the tunnel and fellow summer signing Harrison replacing him.

But it was the hosts who were first to have an opening following the restart, with MacGillivray getting down to his left to keep out Whiteman’s fierce drive.

James Bolton was then fouled by Kieran Sadlier in the race for the loose ball and required treatment, but was fine to continue.

MacGillivray was soon called into action again, although not overly troubled by Coppinger’s long-range attempt.

And the stopper had to adjust his feet to make an ultimately comfortable save when Sadlier’s effort deflected off Sean Raggett.

But it was the noisy 1,351 travelling fans who were celebrating the opening goal, which came against the run of play on the hour mark.

A clearance was collected by Ben Close in the middle of the pitch and he slid a pass across for the charging EVANS.

The midfielder was able to race through on goal and neatly slot home past Dieng before wheeling away to celebrate.

A stunned Rovers tried to hit back, but a corner was dealt with by Harrison and Whiteman’s 25-yard shot received a deflection to divert it off target.

And another Blues counter-attack almost led to the lead being strengthened, as Close’s curler from the edge of the box had to be expertly palmed over by Dieng.

The visitors were having to work hard at the other end, though, and the imperious Christian Burgess did well to block Taylor’s strike, with the ball looping wide of the post.

Doncaster went even closer to levelling soon after, courtesy of a thunderous shot from Whiteman that rattled the crossbar.

Pompey were looking solid at the back, but the hosts finally made their pressure count on 82 minutes.

An angled cross-shot from May was parried away by MacGillivray and James reacted quickest to force home the loose ball.

Williams had been waiting to come on in the build-up to that goal and immediately replaced the tiring Harness.

Rovers were looking to grab a winner and Whiteman’s effort from the edge of the box just about cleared the crossbar.

But it was the Blues who instead secured all three points when, in stoppage-time, HARRISON met Bolton’s cross and sent a fine header looping over Dieng and into the net.

There were still some nervy moments to contend with, however, and a collective sigh of relief greeted the final whistle.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Dieng; Halliday, Anderson, Daniels, James; Sheaf, Whiteman (c); May (Wright 90+4), Coppinger, Taylor; Sadlier
Goals: James 82
Subs not used: Lawlor, Amos, Greaves, Gomes, Longbottom, Kiwomya

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Harness (Williams 82), Close, Naylor (c), Evans; Marquis (Harrison 46), Pitman
Goals: Evans 60, Harrison 90+1
Booked: Naylor, Harness
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Downing, Haunstrup, McCrorie

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 8,962 (1,351 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 282019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Brett Pitman went from villain to hero, as Pompey battled to a hard-fought victory over Bolton at Fratton Park.

The striker missed a penalty in the second half, although put that behind him to head home the winning goal.

There was growing frustration from the home fans during a disjointed opening 45 minutes, but their side were much better after the break to seal the three points.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were beaten in the south coast derby earlier in the week.

It was an enforced switch, with the injured Oli Hawkins replaced in the centre of defence by Sean Raggett.

There was room on the bench for a fit-again Marcus Harness – following a thigh problem – and the previously suspended Ellis Harrison.

Pompey had an early chance when Brandon Haunstrup’s corner was nodded back by John Marquis for Pitman, whose header was claimed under the crossbar by Remi Matthews.

There was then an injury scare when Raggett and Tom Naylor collided, although the Blues skipper was able to continue following some on-field treatment.

Chances for the hosts were at a premium during the first half and there was growing frustration at their play in the final third.

It was Craig MacGillivray who was given more to do, although a weak Will Buckley effort was comfortably dealt with.

Marquis and Ronan Curtis combined well at the other end, with Ryan Williams not quite able to reach the latter’s pass before Matthews gathered.

Curtis then had a decent opportunity when Pitman dummied Marquis’ pass, but took too long to get a shot away, allowing the Wanderers defence to deal with the danger.

And the visitors soon started to pose more of a threat themselves, with MacGillivray doing well to parry clear Adam Chicksen’s drive.

Thibaud Verlinden then lifted in a cross that was just out of reach for Daryl Murphy in the centre of the Blues box.

They should have been ahead just before the break, with an unmarked Will Buckley unable to send Murphy’s delivery on target.

But there was still time for one more chance for the hosts, which came after Jack Hobbs had been booked following a scything challenge on Williams.

Pitman stepped up to take the free-kick from 25 yards out and his goal-bound effort was repelled by a one-handed Matthews save.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Bolton Wanderers 0


There was a long-awaited return for Harness at the start of the second half, with the winger taking Williams’ place on the right.

Pompey had a dangerous attack soon after the restart, when Marquis shrugged off several challenges to bundle his way through the Bolton back-line.

But Matthews came bravely off his line to halt his path to goal and had to receive treatment following a clash between the two.

There was still a lack of fluency on display, however, and it took a Bolton error to provide the hosts with an excellent chance to break the deadlock.

Marquis received a pass from Curtis and was tripped by Hobbs, with referee Darren Drysdale pointing straight to the spot.

Pitman stepped up, but the usually reliable penalty taker saw his fierce effort cannon back off the base of the post.

A second Blues substitution followed just past the hour mark, with Curtis making way for Gareth Evans.

Matthews then flapped at a Haunstrup corner, but got enough on the ball to get it clear, before Harness fizzed a low shot narrowly past the post.

And Pompey finally made that growing pressure count on 67 minutes, with a goal that had been coming.

James Bolton sent a cross into the box from deep on the right and PITMAN hung in the air before guiding home a perfectly-placed header.

With the visitors having to commit men forward to chase an equaliser, it ensured the game became a lot more open.

Some dangerous deliveries from either wing had to be dealt with, while Hobbs’ intervention prevented Pitman from having a clear shot on goal.

And Ben Close almost wrapped things up late on, making space for himself with a neat touch before drilling inches wide.

Thy then looked to keep possession in Bolton’s half as the seconds ticked down, although a display of five additional moments led to some audible groans.

Ali Crawford’s 30-yard free-kick was not too far off target, while Close fired a good chance over at the other end soon after.

But the Blues held on through the closing stages and the final whistle was met by a mixture of relief and jubilation.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Haunstrup; Williams (Harness 46), Naylor (c), Close, Curtis (Evans 62); Pitman, Marquis
Goals: Pitman 66
Booked: Curtis, Close
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, McCrorie, Cannon, Harrison

Bolton (4-1-4-1): Matthews; Emmanuel (L.Murphy 67), Hobbs, Zouma, Chicksen; Bridcutt (c); Buckley, Lowe, Crawford, Verlinden (Politic 60); D.Murphy
Booked: Hobbs, Lowe
Subs not used: Alexander, Boon, Senior, Graham, Weir

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 18,382 (824 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 242019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Carabao Cup 3




It was a case of what might have been for Pompey as they exited the Carabao Cup at the hands of rivals Southampton.

They dominated the opening proceedings at a packed Fratton Park, with John Marquis striking the woodwork before a couple of goal-line blocks rescued their opponents.

But the impressive Danny Ings proved the difference between the sides, with two goals before the break.

He then provided an assist for Cedric to ensure a fourth round spot, with Nathan Redmond wrapping things up late on.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Wycombe in the league on Saturday.

Brett Pitman and Ryan Williams both returned to the starting line-up, with Andy Cannon dropping to the bench and Ellis Harrison serving a one-match ban.

Backed by a vociferous crowd – and with the rain bucketing down – it was the hosts who started stronger against their top-flight opponents.

And they almost broke the deadlock on nine minutes, as John Marquis collected Williams’ pass and bent a shot against the post.

Then, after Tom Naylor had been fouled and the visitors struggled to deal with Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, a fierce Pitman effort was deflected narrowly over.

A corner from Haunstrup led to an excellent chance to break the deadlock midway through the first half.

But Pitman’s glancing header was somehow stopped from crossing the line and Christian Burgess was unable to force the ball home from close range.

It had been one-way traffic for much of the half, but Southampton took the lead against the run of play on 21 minutes.

Craig MacGillivray had done well to keep out an initial effort from Ings, but when the striker received the ball back, he curled a fine shot into the bottom corner.

They almost doubled the advantage moments later, as Ings raced through, only to be denied by MacGillivray.

But the danger was not over and Pierre-Emile Hokbjerg’s sent the loose ball towards the net, with a diving Oli Hawkins getting in the way.

Pompey kept battling, though, and a series of good balls into the box caused Southampton problems before Burgess prodded past the post.

The visitors were causing problems on the break and MacGillivray did well to get behind a skiddy shot from James Ward-Prowse.

Ronan Curtis had an effort deflected narrowly off target, while Pitman’s corner was intercepted before it could reach Naylor at the back stick.

But Southampton grabbed a second goal just before the break, as Ings met Michael Obafemi’s low centre and lifted the ball over MacGillivray.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Southampton 2


Several former players were welcomed on to the pitch at the break, with warm applause given to Benjani, Adam Webster, Greg Halford and derby heroes Joel Ward and David Norris.

But it was up to the current crop of Blues to get back into the tie and Curtis had a shot blocked, before Williams skied another over the bar.

For all the passion displayed on the pitch and in the stands, it had not been a dirty contest, with 53 minutes on the clock before Hawkins collected the first yellow card for a foul on Ward-Prowse.

But he was quickly joined in referee Kevin Friend’s book by Pitman, who was penalised for a trip on Obafemi.

Pompey were seeing a lot of the ball without really testing Alex McCarthy and a dangerous corner from Haustrup somehow flashed through a crowded box and out the other side.

The hosts were dealt a blow just before the hour mark, as Hawkins – who had again impressed at the back – limped off to be replaced by Paul Downing.

They continued to push forward and find gaps in the visitors’ defence, but things were not quite landing right for the blue-shirted players inside the box.

And Southampton wrapped things up on 77 minutes, as the ball was cut back by Ings for Cedric to slot home.

Jackett made a couple of substitutions to try to lift the Blues again, with Gareth Evans and Ross McCrorie both brought on.

The hosts kept pushing for the goal that their spirited play deserved, but it was Southampton who instead added a late fourth.

They broke quickly up the pitch and substitute Redmond curled a fine finish past the grasp of MacGillivray.

It did not stop the Fratton faithful from raising the volume levels, though, as they continued to get behind their team for the closing minutes and after the final whistle.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Hawkins (Downing 59), Burgess, Haunstrup; Naylor (c), Close (McCrorie 82); Williams (Evans 78), Pitman, Curtis; Marquis
Booked: Hawkins, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Cannon, Maloney

Southampton (4-3-3): McCarthy; Cedric, Bednarek, Yoshida, Bertrand; Ward-Prowse, Romeu, Hojbjerg; Obafemi (Redmond 72), Adams, Ings (Long 83)
Goals: Ings 21, 44, Cedric 77, Redmond 86
Booked: Bertrand
Subs not used: Gunn, Stephens, Valery, Boufal, Armstrong

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 18,707 (1,981 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 212019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey’s disappointing start to the league season continued as a late penalty saw them slip to defeat at Wycombe.

Adebayo Akinfenwa netted the only goal of a game that was largely lacking in quality and saw both sides finish with 10 men.

Nnamdi Ofoborh was dismissed for a late challenge on Tom Naylor, with Ellis Harrison’s reaction in an ensuing melee earning him a second booking.

Substitute Brett Pitman had the best chance to secure a fourth successive League One stalemate, but headed against the woodwork.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew with Burton on home soil earlier in the week.

Oli Hawkins made his first start of the season alongside Christian Burgess in the centre of defence, with skipper Naylor moving back to midfield.

James Bolton came in at right-back, Andy Cannon returned to midfield and Ellis Harrison joined the forward line.

Paul Downing, Ross McCrorie, Ryan Williams and Pitman were the players to make way, all dropping to the bench.

There were a couple of former Fratton loanees in the hosts’ squad, with keeper Ryan Allsop starting and David Wheeler named among the substitutes.

It is fair to say that the opening 45 minutes will not live long in the memory of anyone present in Buckinghamshire.

Neither keeper had any meaningful save to make in a scrappy, attritional contest that was lacking any kind of attacking flair.

Naylor sliced an early attempt wide, while Ronan Curtis also failed to find the target with a shot on the half-volley.

The only scare for the visitors was when Craig MacGillivray failed to hold Allsop’s long punt up the pitch, but the referee quickly blew for a foul on the Blues stopper.

Pompey’s best chance of the half came when Ben Close slipped a pass through to Harrison, with the forward bending a shot into the side netting.

He then picked up the game’s first booking, although it was slightly unfortunate, with a slip sending him careering into the imposing figure of Akinfenwa.

The Chairboys were then forced to make a change when captain Matt Bloomfield – who has already suffered from concussion this term – was replaced by Ofoborh following a clash of heads.

One bright spot was the display from Hawkins, who was looking as natural a defender as anyone on the pitch.

But there was still not much to talk about in terms of attacking, with Close skewing wide from long-range after a poor Allsop clearance had left the net unguarded.

Everyone seemed ready for the interval, but that was delayed by an injury to stand-in Wycombe skipper Joe Jacobson.

Jamie Mascoll replaced him and the armband changed hands yet again, although Akinfenwa struggled to get it around his arm.


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 0


Both sides looked more purposeful once the action restarted, but that all-important final ball was still lacking.

The game then exploded into life following a late challenge by Ofoborh that led to both teams being reduced to 10 men.

Referee Sebastian Stockbridge immediately brandished a red card to the Wycombe substitute, who was in tears as he left the pitch.

There was then plenty of pushing and shoving from both sets of players, resulting in bookings for Akinfenwa and Christian Burgess.

And the final yellow was shown to Harrison – and it was his second of the afternoon, resulting in a walk down the tunnel.

Once the football restarted it was Pompey on the attack and a John Marquis cross had to be nodded behind before Curtis could reach it.

A free-kick from the left by Curtis was then parried away by Allsop and Burgess’ follow-up was deflected wide.

Stockbridge was drawing ire from both sets of supporters, not helped by some soft free-kick decisions for both sides.

Pitman replaced Bolton as Jackett looked to freshen up his attacking options, with both sides then going close to breaking the deadlock in quick succession.

Wycombe were first to try their luck and MacGillivray made a smart stop to deny Scott Kashket before the ball was hacked to safety.

And Pompey went straight up the other end of the pitch, with a long-range effort from Close deflected inches past the post.

Then, after Pitman was booked for a foul on Dominic Gape, a Mascoll free-kick was turned behind by MacGillivray.

But the Chairboys took the lead on 83 minutes after Naylor had been penalised for handling from a Nick Freeman corner.

Stockbridge pointed to the spot and, although MacGillivray went the right way, Ainfenwa’s penalty nestled in the bottom corner.

Pompey almost levelled soon after when Pitman met Brandon Haunstrup’s delivery, but his header hit the crossbar.

The visitors kept pushing throughout seven minutes of stoppage-time, but they were unable to find a late leveller.

Wycombe (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Grimmer, Stewart, Charles, Jacobson (Mascoll 45+2); Gape, Bloomfield (c) (Ofoborh 22); Kashket, Freeman, Onyedinma (Pattison 72); Akinfenwa
Goals: Akinfenwa 83 (pen)
Sent off: Ofoborh
Booked: Akinfenwa
Subs not used: Yates, Phillips, Wheeler, Jarvis

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Bolton (Pitman 70), Hawkins, Burgess, Haunstrup; Close, Naylor (c), Cannon; Harrison, Marquis, Curtis
Sent off: Harrison (two yellow cards)
Booked: Burgess, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Downing, McCrorie, Evans, Williams

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 7,688 (2,125 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC