Match Report

Jan 192021
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey moved to within a point of the League One summit following a comfortable victory over struggling AFC Wimbledon.

It was the first Fratton fixture in more than a month and the hosts brushed off the wet conditions to seal another valuable three points in the battle for promotion.

The damage was done in the opening 45 minutes, with leading marksman John Marquis breaking the deadlock with a close-range finish.

Ryan Williams then doubled the lead in impressive fashion, while Sean Raggett headed home a third goal before the interval.

And Ben Close came off the bench to complete an enjoyable evening for the Blues with a neat effort late on.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that had secured victory at Fleetwood a few days earlier.

It meant that new loan signing Harvey White had to be content with a place on the bench, where he was joined by Ronan Curtis, who had completed his self-isolation period.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey midfielder Bobby Kellard, who passed away earlier in the month at the age of 77.

The game took a while to get going, with neither side helped by the heavy rain that was swirling around the ground.

It was the hosts who had the first decent chance on 15 minutes, with Sam Walker getting down to parry clear a bending Andy Cannon effort.

Craig MacGillivray was not being troubled at the other end, although a corner caused a few concerns before it was prodded wide in a packed area.

Pompey were showcasing some neat build-up play – despite the tough conditions – without finding an end product.

But that arrived on 28 minutes when Michael Jacobs slipped a pass across to Callum Johnson, who sent the ball in from the right.

It was met by a glancing Williams header that was heading for the far corner, with MARQUIS nipping in at the back post to force the ball home.

Jack Whatmough might have doubled the lead with a bullet header from a Marcus Harness cross, but the ball was directed straight at Walker.

The Blues did have a second goal soon after, though, as Marquis laid the ball off for WILLIAMS, who took a couple of touches before curling a fine left-footed strike into the net from the edge of the area.

And there was time for a third just before the interval, when Jacobs sent a dangerous free-kick into the mixer.

It was attacked by both Whatmough and RAGGETT, but the latter got there first to firmly head the ball home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 3

AFC Wimbledon 0


The visitors started the second half brightly and Ryan Longman’s shot was blocked by Raggett, while a dangerous corner also had to be negotiated.

And they almost reduced their deficit when Jack Rudoni rose to meet a fine Luke O’Neill cross, only to guide his header past the post.

It was soon Pompey’s turn to threaten following some good play from Marquis, who slipped a pass across to Harness, although Williams was not able to flick home the winger’s delivery.

A teasing Lee Brown corner was then not properly deal with and Marquis tried to scoop the ball into the net, but could not find the target.

Jackett made a switch just past the hour mark, with the lively Jacobs withdrawn and replaced on the left by Curtis.

Pompey were cruising, but a deflected cross from Nesta Guinness-Walker – the great-grandson of Obi-Wan Kenobi actor Alec Guinness – had to be scrambled around the post by MacGillivray.

A further double change followed, with White coming on for his debut alongside Ellis Harrison, as Cannon and Marquis made way.

The newcomer soon made a good sliding challenge that would have drawn warm applause from the Fratton faithful, had any of them been inside the ground.

Pompey then saw off a spell of Dons pressure and Harrison had two chances to extend the advantage in quick succession.

A drilled effort was parried away by Walker, while he then headed a Curtis cross down and the ball bounced over.

But it was left for substitute CLOSE to wrap things up, racing onto Curtis’ pass and neatly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Harness, Naylor (c), Cannon (White 70), Jacobs (Curtis 64); Williams (Close 83); Marquis (Harrison 70)
Goals: Marquis 28, Williams 36, Raggett 44, Close 89
Subs not used: Turnbull, Nicolaisen, Hiwula

AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Walker; O’Neill (Kalambayi 64), Nightingale (c), Czoka; Alexander, Rudoni, Woodyard, Reilly, Guinness-Walker; Pigott, Longman (Robinson 78)
Subs not used: Tzanev, McLoughlin, Oksanen, Hartigan, Chislett

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Portsmouth FC

Jan 162021
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




John Marquis found the target as Pompey won at Fleetwood on their long-awaited return to League One action.

It was certainly not the most fluent performance of the season so far, but the striker’s header proved enough to secure all three points.

Their opponents saw plenty of the ball – particularly after the break – without asking any serious questions of Craig MacGillivray.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that visited Bristol City in the FA Cup the previous week.

Jack Whatmough came off the bench in that game, but started against Fleetwood, as Rasmus Nicolaisen dropped to the bench.

Both sides took a while to find their radar, perhaps still a bit rusty having not previously contested a league match in 2021.

But the visitors went ahead with the game’s first proper chance on 16 minutes, as Ryan Williams swung in a fine cross from the right.

It was a difficult delivery to deal with and MARQUIS took advantage, diving forward to head the ball home.

Fleetwood might have grabbed an immediate leveller, but Callum Camps could not beat MacGillivray after Paddy Madden had slipped a neat pass into the box.

Pompey were the side on top, though, and enjoyed a period of possession, without being able to test Joe Hilton between the sticks.

But their opponents gradually started to find their feet and the Blues had to deal with a number of set-pieces sent into the mixer.

They tried to capitalise on a loose ball and Andy Cannon intercepted it and drove forward before finding Williams, whose shot was blocked.

Callum Connolly should have done better at the other end soon after, unable to guide Kyle Vassell’s cross on target.

Pompey were struggling to carve open any more meaningful openings and Marquis could not make firm contact as he tried to glance home a Williams centre.

Cannon and Williams did combine well again before the break, though, and the latter saw another shot blocked by the stretching Camps.

It was the Cod Army who finished the half on top, although Vassell sent two headers off target, while a Josh Morris free-kick was easily dealt with by MacGillivray.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 0

Portsmouth 1


The home side were showing more attacking intent immediately following the restart, with plenty of possession in and around the Pompey area.

But it was the Blues who had a chance to extend their lead when Michael Jacobs collected a Marquis pass and fired straight at Hilton.

The keeper then took a poor touch and Williams tried to take advantage, laying the ball off for Marquis, who could not keep his effort down.

It was still an incredibly tight and scrappy encounter, however, with neither side able to find any attacking fluency.

Fleetwood were certainly seeing more of the ball, but some stubborn defending was keeping MacGillivray well protected.

Tom Naylor also flung himself in the path of one fierce strike to ensure the keeper was not called into action.

Pompey were still posing a threat on the counter, though, and Charlie Mulgrew did well to recover after an initial failure to clear had given the ball to Marquis.

The visitors were still holding firm at the other end and when the ball fell to Camps following a spot of pinball, his shot found a path through to MacGillivray.

A Shayden Morris header was also dealt with by the keeper, as the Blues saw out the closing stages to secure all three points.

Fleetwood (4-2-3-1): Hilton; Connolly, Hill, Mulgrew, Rydel; Whelan (Rossiter 72), Coutts (c); Vassell, Camps, J.Morris (S.Morris 79); Madden
Subs not used: Holgate, Duffy, Finley, Matete, Saunders

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Harness, Naylor (c), Cannon, Jacobs; Marquis, Williams
Goals: Marquis 16
Booked: Whatmough
Subs not used: Turnbull, Mnoga, Bolton, Nicolaisen, Close, Hiwula, Harrison

Referee: James Bell

Portsmouth FC

Jan 122021
 

Match Report

Highlights

Papa John’s Trophy




Pompey were dumped out of the Papa John’s Trophy for the first time in three years after being convincingly beaten at Peterborough.

Goals from Jack Taylor, Jonson Clarke-Harris, Frankie Kent, Siriki Dembele and Ethan Hamilton saw the hosts progress to the quarter-finals.

There was at least a fine stoppage-time consolation for Ellis Harrison to restore some pride at the death.

But while the Blues selected a mixture of fringe players and youngsters, their opponents were almost at full strength.

Kenny Jackett retained just one starter from the narrow FA Cup defeat at Bristol City a couple of days earlier.

Rasmus Nicolaisen kept his place in the side, featuring in a defence that also included Paul Downing and James Bolton in front of debutant keeper Duncan Turnbull.

Teenagers Harry Kavanagh, Harvey Rew and Harry Jewitt-White joined Ben Close and Bryn Morris in midfield, while Harrison partnered Jordy Hiwula up front.

Peterborough, meanwhile, named a much more familiar looking line-up, which included former Blues players Nathan Thompson and Dan Butler.

But the visitors did not look over-awed in the early stages and almost took the lead with just four minutes on the clock.

Close swung a fine free-kick into the box for Harrison to meet at the back post and his header was blocked by Hamilton.

It was their opponents who did break the deadlock on 15 minutes, though, as the defence failed to cut-out Joe Ward’s low delivery and Taylor took advantage to drill into the bottom corner.

Pompey went close to levelling moments later as Bolton nodded on a Close corner and Hiwula’s acrobatic effort was tipped over the bar by Christy Pym.

The keeper was then called into action from the resulting flag-kick, this time keeping out a Jewitt-White header.

Turnbull came to the rescue at the other end, making a point-blank save to deny Siriki Dembele after the forward had stolen possession from Downing.

But he could do nothing to prevent Clarke-Harris doubling Posh’s lead with a fine free-kick after Downing had been penalised for a handball.

And they had a third goal just before the interval, as Ward’s delivery ricocheted off Kent and into the net.


Half Time

Peterborough United 3

Portsmouth 0


It did not get any easier for the Blues when the action restarted and Peterborough soon had a fourth goal.

Butler sent a low cross into the area and Dembele was left in acres of space to turn the ball home from close range.

Jackett made a double switch just past the hour mark, with Taylor Seymour replacing Turnbull to become the second Pompey keeper to make his debut.

The other switch came in the centre of midfield, where Jewitt-White was replaced by fellow academy player Charlie Bell.

He was unable to take advantage on 69 minutes when a cross from Rew was cleared back into his path.

And although the visitors continued to work extremely hard against their more experienced hosts, they were struggling to create meaningful opportunities.

Harrison did win a free-kick in a dangerous position, although Close’s delivery was commandingly punched clear by Pym.

Alfie Bridgman then became the latest Pompey player to make his debut, with the youth team prospect replacing Rew for the closing stages.

But Posh wrapped things up late on, as a free-kick from Hamilton was drilled underneath the wall and nestled in the bottom corner.

There was still time for an impressive Pompey consolation, though, as HARRISON bent home a fine strike from outside the box.

Peterborough (3-4-1-2): Pym; Kent, Thompson, Beevers (c) (Mason 69); Ward (Kanu 46), Taylor, Hamilton, Butler (Burrows 63); Szmodics; Clarke-Harris (Eisa 57), Dembele (Jones 57)
Goals: Taylor 15, Clarke-Harris 29, Kent 45+1, Dembele 52, Hamilton 87
Booked: Beevers
Subs not used: Gyollai, Brown

Pompey (3-5-2): Turnbull (Seymour 61); Bolton, Downing (c) (Johnson 72), Nicolaisen; Kavanagh, Jewitt-White (Bell 61), Close, Morris, Rew (Bridgman 81); Harrison, Hiwula
Goals: Harrison 90+2
Subs not used: Brook, Stanley, Marquis

Referee: Robert Lewis

Portsmouth FC

Jan 102021
 

Match Report

Highlights

FA Cup 3




Pompey exited the Emirates FA Cup at Bristol City, despite putting up a good fight against their Championship opponents.

They were level at the break after Callum Johnson’s first goal for the club cancelled out Famara Diedhiou’s opener.

And the Blues looked the more likely side to score a winner as the seconds ticked down, only for a fine Chris Martin strike to settle the tie in favour of the hosts.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that won at Hull to reach the League One summit before Christmas.

Michael Jacobs made his first start for more than two months, with Ronan Curtis left out as a precaution after feeling unwell.

And with Cam Pring being recalled from his Robins loan spell, the fit-again Lee Brown returned at left-back.

The visitors were first to threaten, but Johnson’s cross was just too high for Ryan Williams, allowing Adrian Mariappa to head the ball safely into the arms of Dan Bentley.

Their opponents went closer at the other end, with Craig MacGillivray preventing Martin from finding the net from an acute angle.

And there were half-chances at either end, as both sides looked confident, without managing to find a clinical touch.

That changed on 19 minutes, however, as Diedhiou played a neat one-two with Hakeeb Adelakun before bending home a neat left-footed finish.

The Blues tried to hit back and carved out an opening following some good combination work down the right by Marcus Harness and Johnson.

A cross from the latter was nodded down by Jacobs for Marquis, who spun neatly and saw his shot blocked.

It appeared as though Bristol City would be taking their lead into the interval, only for a leveller to arrive in stoppage-time.

Cannon received a return pass from Harness and surged into the box, cutting the ball back for JOHNSON to arrow home.


Half Time

Bristol City 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a change at the break, with Rasmus Nicolaisen – who was on a yellow card – being replaced by Jack Whatmough.

The Robins were quicker out of the traps, though, and Tommy Rowe fired a warning shot with an effort from the edge of the box that cleared the crossbar.

But Pompey soon threatened themselves and after a fierce Harness strike was blocked by Tomas Kalas, Tom Naylor’s placed follow-up was saved by Bentley.

And a red-shirted defender then got in the way of another attempt from Harness, who had been teed-up by Williams.

It was then the turn of Bristol City to look dangerous, with Antoine Semenyo spinning sharply in the box to meet Rowe’s delivery and hit a shot that was smothered by MacGillivray.

Pompey’s second substitution followed on 65 minutes, as Ellis Harrison came on to lead the line in place of Marquis.

And the newcomer immediately looked lively, scuffing an attempt wide and then playing a part in a neat move that ended with Harness unable to dig out a shot inside the area.

The visitors were starting to cause a lot of problems and a jinking run by Naylor ended with the skipper forcing a save from Bentley.

And the keeper was soon called into action again to deny both Cannon and Jacobs in quick succession.

He was certainly the much busier of the two stoppers, although a Harrison header lacked enough power to cause too much trouble.

But then, out of nothing, Bristol City restored their lead – and there was little MacGillivray could do to prevent a Martin rocket finding the top corner.

Jordy Hiwula was thrown on for the closing stages, as the Blues fought to take the tie into extra-time.

And he had a chance to equalise right at the death, only for that man Bentley to come to the Robins’ rescue once more.

Bristol City (4-4-2): Bentley; Mariappa, Kalas (c), Mawson (Moore 66), Rowe; Semenyo, Nagy (Massengo 77), Bakinson (Vyner 81), Adelakun (Wells 66); Diedhiou, Martin
Goals: Diedhiou 19, Martin 83
Booked: Nagy
Subs not used: O’Leary, Towler, Edwards, Pearson, Bell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen (Whatmough 46), Brown; Naylor (c), Cannon; Harness, Williams, Jacobs (Hiwula 87); Marquis (Harrison 65)
Goals: Johnson 45+1
Booked: Nicolaisen, Brown, Naylor
Subs not used: Turnbull, Mnoga, Bolton, Downing, Morris, Close

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Portsmouth FC

Dec 182020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey climbed to the top of the League One table with a hard-fought – and deserved – victory over previous leaders Hull.

The goals came early in each half, but the visitors were giving a helping hand on each occasion at the KCOM Stadium.

Jacob Greaves appeared to send the first into the net under pressure from Sean Raggett, while Josh Magennis then did the honours after the break.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that drew with Fleetwood on home soil earlier in the week.

Jack Whatmough was feeling ill on the morning of the match, so his place in the centre of defence was taken by Rasmus Nicolaisen.

The visitors made a bright start and Marcus Harness’ effort was deflected behind after the winger had swapped passes with John Marquis.

And the deadlock was then broken from the resulting corner, although Hull were upset that the goal was allowed to stand.

Raggett tried to attack the delivery Cam Pring, but GREAVES stooped to try to clear and ended up heading the ball into his own net.

He complained of a boot to the head from the Pompey centre-back, although referee Michael Salisbury disagreed.

The Tigers tried to hit back immediately and when Josh Emmanuel cut the ball back into the box, Mallik Wilks slotted wastefully wide.

It was Pompey looking the more dangerous side, though, and Ryan Williams – who featured in the Blues’ last visit to the KCOM Stadium in 2011 – saw a shot diverted past the post.

Josh Magennis then did well to head clear another Pring corner, as Nicolaisen came charging in to try to meet it himself.

But the hosts grew into the contest and began to threaten themselves, with a James Scott cross drifting towards the net and having to be tipped over by Craig MacGillivray.

And Pompey also had to deal with a series of corners towards the end of the half, but defended resolutely to go in ahead at the break.


Half Time

Hull City 0

Portsmouth 1


The visitors had to survive a scramble in their box straight after the restart, with Hull unable to take advantage of several mis-kicks.

It was a similar story just a few seconds later, although this time Pring was well-placed to hack the ball clear.

But Pompey shook off that shaky opening to the second period and soon managed to double their advantage.

Once again, however, it appeared to be another Tigers player who gained the unwanted credit for the ball crossing the line.

A Ronan Curtis free-kick was nodded on by Nicolaisen towards Marquis, but MAGENNIS got there first and sent the ball past Matt Ingram and into his own net.

MacGillivray stopped an instant reply from the hosts, beating away a fiercely-struck fizzer from Regan Slater.

Pompey were looking pretty comfortable, although Mallik Wilks could not connect with a teasing Keane Lewis-Potter delivery at the back post.

But the Tigers finally roared into life in the closing stages, with a couple of dangerous crosses causing problems.

Greg Docherty then lifted a pass into the box and it looked like Magennis had reduced the deficit, only for his header to come back off the bar, with Nicolaisen doing the mopping up.

There were to be no more scares, however, as the Blues saw out the final few minutes to leapfrog their opponents at the summit.

Hull (4-2-3-1): Ingram; Emmanuel, Burke, Greaves, Elder; Smallwood (c), Docherty; Wilks, Slater (Eaves 62), Scott (Lewis-Potter 46); Magennis
Subs not used: Long, Coyle, McLoughlin, Batty, Adelakun

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Pring; Naylor (c), Cannon; Harness (Jacobs 88), Williams (Close 87), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Greaves 6 (og), Magennis 55 (og)
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Morris, Hiwula, Harrison

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Portsmouth FC

Dec 152020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey missed out on snatching top spot in League One after being a held to a goalless draw by Fleetwood.

They looked the more likely side to score in a fractious affair, but could not break down their stubborn opponents.

And Craig MacGillivray then had to make a superb save right at the death to stop the Blues ending up with nothing.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that eased to victory at Ipswich at the weekend.

Lee Brown injured his hamstring in that contest, so Cam Pring came in to replace him at left-back, with a space opening up for Haji Mnoga on the bench.

The contest was a bad-tempered affair before the break, with referee Alan Young having to dish out seven yellow cards – and it could have been more.

Both sides had certainly looked threatening going forward in the opening stages, without either goalkeeper being tested.

That changed on 12 minutes, however, as Jack Whatmough’s long ball was nodded down by John Marquis and Ronan Curtis hit a fierce low shot that was well saved by Jayson Leutwiler.

MacGillivray was then called into action at the other end, getting down to deny Wes Burns following good work from Danny Andrew and Paddy Madden.

But the Blues immediately launched a quick break and Leutwiler was again in top form to keep out a deflected Ryan Williams drive.

Curtis was the man into Young’s book for a foul and Whatmough soon followed him following a challenge on Sam Finley.

Madden, bizarrely, felt the punishment should have been more and his over-the-top remonstrations were also punished by a booking.

Williams and Marcus Harness were next to be carded, as the contest threatened to boil over and the man in black struggled to keep control.

Andrew and Burns also saw yellow as the half drew to a close, but there was almost something better to celebrate just before the break.

Leutwiler did well to adjust his feet and stop the ball crossing the line when Harness’ cross took a deflection and drifted towards the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Fleetwood Town 0


There was a similarly frenetic start to the second period and Pompey were first to go close when a corner was only partially cleared.

The defenders stayed up for when the ball was pumped back into the mixer, but Whatmough could not connect when Sean Raggett headed it across to him.

Jackett made his first change on the hour mark, with Ellis Harrison replacing Williams to join Marquis up front.

Tempers had calmed a bit since the restart, but the game had turned into a scrappy encounter, with both sides struggling to maintain possession.

Pompey were looking fairly controlled, though, and a moment of quality saw them come close to breaking the deadlock.

Curtis collected the ball on the left and played a neat one-two with Marquis before hitting a low shot that fizzed just past the post.

The referee was then the centre of attention again, awarding a back-pass against Fleetwood, but changing his mind after learning from his assistant that the ball came off the defender’s knee.

A second change followed for Pompey on 74 minutes, with Michael Jacobs replacing Curtis wide on the left.

The hosts were showing more ambition as the seconds ticked down, but Fleetwood were proving a difficult nut to crack.

A ball into the box from Jacobs caused problems, though, and when it was only half cleared, a Marquis follow-up was deflected wide.

And a large percentage of those inside the ground thought there was a winner on 85 minutes after Harness had stolen possession.

He burst forward and hit a fierce strike that rippled the net – but, unfortunately, it was the outside of the goal.

Fleetwood almost snatched it at the death, though, with MacGillivray doing brilliantly to deny substitute James Hill from point-blank range.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Pring; Naylor (c), Cannon; Harness, Williams (Harrison 60), Curtis (Jacobs 73); Marquis
Booked: Curtis, Whatmough, Williams, Harness
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Nicolaisen, Close, Hiwula

Fleetwood (4-4-2): Leutwiler; Burns, Connolly (c), Mulgrew, Andrew; Camps, Rossiter, Finley (Coutts 78), McKay (Hill 74); Morris (Duffy 78), Madden
Booked: Madden, Andrew, Burns, Duffy
Subs not used: Cairns, Boyes, Matete, Saunders

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 2,000

Portsmouth FC

Dec 122020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Ryan Williams bagged a brace as Pompey comfortably won at promotion rivals Ipswich to move to within a point of the top two.

The visitors were totally dominant in the first half, just as they had been when the sides met in the FA Cup last month.

And Williams scored his first two goals of the season before the break, completing a fine passing move and then firing home another.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that eased to victory against Peterborough on home soil the previous week.

But there was a welcome return to the bench for Michael Jacobs, who had not featured since injuring his knee at Sunderland seven weeks earlier.

Jack Whatmough just about managed to get a long ball back to Craig MacGillivray soon after the game got started.

But, that aside, the visitors were totally dominant in the opening exchanges, without being able to test their former loan keeper David Cornell.

A series of Lee Brown corners did cause trouble among the Ipswich back-line, but they managed to survive that period of pressure.

John Marquis came close to breaking the deadlock on nine minutes, but Cornell got down low to his left to push behind the striker’s curling shot.

The stopper’s poor clearance immediately put the Tractor Boys in a spot of bother and Alan Judge recovered well to stop Andy Cannon taking advantage.

Another good chance feel the Blues’ way midway through the first half, with Ronan Curtis blazing over after being found in the box by Marcus Harness.

And the hosts then almost broke the deadlock themselves, with Craig MacGillivray using his legs to deny Armando Dobra.

Pompey got the goal their overall play deserved on 29 minutes, however – and it was an absolute beauty that started with a throw.

A pass from Cannon was deftly flicked on by Williams for Harness, who drilled a low cross into the area from the right.

The ball was unselfishly laid off by Marquis and WILLIAMS made no mistake with his finish, rifling into the top corner to open his account for the season.

It almost got even better for the Blues when Brown’s delivery was missed by Curtis and Tom Naylor drove a shot wide.

They did have a second goal to celebrate just before the break, though, as Naylor’s long ball was nodded on by Curtis for WILLIAMS to drill home his second of the afternoon.


Half Time

Ipswich Town 0

Portsmouth 2


Williams then set up a great opportunity once the action restarted, whipping in a teasing cross that was nodded wide by Marquis.

He went closer soon after, heading against the crossbar when Curtis delivered a fine free-kick from the left.

A quick break at the other end led to a corner that was only partially cleared and Sean Raggett had to bravely fling himself into the path of a fierce effort from Dobra.

Pompey were forced to make a change just before the hour mark, with Brown picking up an injury and being replaced by Cam Pring.

It was soon the turn of Curtis to rattle the crossbar after Marquis had played the ball across to him on the edge of the area.

And Cornell then came to the Tractor Boys’ rescue, somehow managing to claw away a Raggett header that appeared destined for the net.

Ipswich made changes to try to find a route back into the contest, with former Blues striker Oli Hawkins among those to enter the fray.

Pompey were working extremely hard to protect their lead and still pose threats at the other end, with Williams a tireless presence all over the pitch.

And the Blues were even able to give a few minutes to Jacobs, who replaced Curtis for the closing stages.

Ipswich (4-1-4-1): Cornell; Chambers (c),Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward; Dozzell; Dobra, Judge (Bennetts 61), Nolan (McGavin 33), Lankester (Hawkins 70); Jackson (Drinan 61)
Booked: Lankester, McGuinness, McGavin
Subs not used: Holy, Nsiala, Kenlock

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown (Pring 59); Naylor (c), Cannon; Harness, Williams, Curtis (Jacobs 86); Marquis
Goals: Williams 29, 44
Booked: Curtis, Raggett, Whatmough
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Close, Hiwula, Harrison

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 2,000

Portsmouth FC

Dec 082020
 

Match Report

Highlights

EFL Trophy




Jordy Hiwula bagged a brace as Pompey cruised to victory at Cheltenham to reach the third round of the Papa John’s Trophy.

Haji Mnoga broke the deadlock with his first goal for the club early in the contest against the League Two high-flyers

Hiwula then took charge by scoring in each half, as the Blues continued their fine record in the competition.

Kenny Jackett made 11 changes from the side that impressively saw off Peterborough in the league at the weekend.

In fact, nobody who set foot on the Fratton turf for that fixture even made the trip to Whaddon Road.

Alex Bass returned between the sticks, behind a back three of James Bolton, Rasmus Nicolaisen and skipper Paul Downing.

Academy midfielder Charlie Bell was joined by Ben Close and Bryn Morris in the centre of the park, with Mnoga and Cam Pring out wide.

Young striker Alfie Stanley partnered Hiwula up front, with a host of teenage prospects on the bench.

The hosts threatened in the opening stages, with Downing having to head behind a dangerous cross and from the resulting corner, Ben Tozer hooked over.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, as Close picked out MNOGA at the back post.

The teenage wing-back cut onto his left foot and drilled a shot into the bottom corner to open his account for the club.

Hiwula might have doubled the lead soon after, but his effort took a deflection to divert the ball over the bar.

Pompey did score again on 29 minutes, though, with Pring’s delivery nodded down by Stanley for HIWULA to fire into the net.

The visitors were, as usual, looking threatening on the break and caused more problems for their opponents before the interval.

But the Robins almost reduced their deficit late in the half, as Andy Williams collected Dan Bowry’s delivery and drilled a shot narrowly past the post.


Half Time

Cheltenham Town 0

Portsmouth 2


Any hopes of a Cheltenham comeback were dashed shortly after the restart when HIWULA raced onto a Morris free-kick down the line and fired in a shot that Scott Flinders was unable to keep out.

The keeper did much better moments later, though, to prevent the striker completing his hat-trick by converting Pring’s cross.

Then, from the resulting corner that was whipped into the box by Bell, a close-range Bolton header went over.

Jackett made a first change just past the hour mark and brought on Gerard Storey for his senior debut in place of Bell.

Pring then went close to increasing the visitors’ lead further with an angled volley from Mnoga’s cross that Flinders gathered at his near post.

The Robins almost pulled once back from a corner and Bolton was well placed to head the ball off the line.

But most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch and Flinders made a fine save to deny Downing after the skipper met Pring’s free-kick.

Seok Jae Lee replaced Stanley for his second Blues appearance, but it was a Cheltenham substitute who almost scored seconds after coming on.

The midfielder was sent haring through on goal, but wasted the opportunity by firing straight at Bass.

Hiwula was still working hard to complete his treble, although was not able to force his shot through a sea of bodies following a spot of pinball in the box.

But the Blues had already done more than enough to seal their progress and maintain their grip on the silverware.

Cheltenham (3-4-3): Flinders; Bowry, Tozer (c) (Lloyd 46), Freestone; Sang, Azaz (Miles 77), Chamberlain, Chapman; Williams, Reid, May (Blair 46)
Booked: Tozer
Subs not used: Griffiths, Hussey, Jakeways, Ebanks

Pompey (3-5-2): Bass; Bolton, Downing (c), Nicolaisen; Mnoga, Bell (Storey 62), Close, Morris, Pring; Stanley (Lee 77), Hiwula
Goals: Mnoga 15, Hiwula 29, 50
Booked: Mnoga
Subs not used: Seymour, Kavanagh, Rew, Jewitt-White, Brook

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Portsmouth FC

Dec 052020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey celebrated the return of fans to Fratton Park with a convincing victory over promotion rivals Peterborough.

They dominated for much of the contest on a wet and windy south coast, but could not find a breakthrough before the interval.

Jack Whatmough finally broke the deadlock, though, and a Tom Naylor special made sure the points were safe.

It was a result that was gleefully welcomed by 2,000 Blues fans, who had waited almost nine months to see their side in action.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had been narrowly beaten at Blackpool earlier in the week.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Papa Bouba Diop, who tragically passed away last weekend at the age of just 42.

When the action started, Pompey looked bright in and out of possession and passed the ball around nicely.

But for all their neat play in the centre of the pitch, they were unable to test Christy Pym between the sticks.

Siriki Dembele went close for the visitors in the early stages with a long-range effort that flew not too far wide of the post.

The Blues were sending in plenty of deliveries at the other end, but Posh were defending them well, with striker Jonson Clarke-Harris coming back to good effect to deal with corners.

Former Fratton full-back Nathan Thompson was then forced into a hurried clearance to prevent Lee Brown from pouncing after Ryan Williams’ low centre had been flicked on by John Marquis.

Peterborough came close to scoring against the run of play on 34 minutes after Whatmough had sliced a clearance.

That sent Dembele through on goal, but Craig MacGillivray was off his line quickly to deny the forward.

The hosts soon had an opening of their own when Ronan Curtis stole possession and fed Williams, whose angled drive flew narrowly past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Peterborough United 0


Pompey broke menacingly from a Posh corner early in the second half and Curtis burst away from inside his own half.

But the winger was cynically brought down by Thompson, who was deservedly shown the game’s first yellow card.

Marcus Harness then lifted the ball into the mixer and Williams had space to rise unmarked, but sent his header wide.

The Blues were certainly posing a threat and Frankie Kent did well to deny Curtis, who also skewed a shot wide from Callum Johnson’s cross.

Williams then outfought Fraser Blake-Tracy and fired in a shot that was parried by Pym, only for Curtis to fire the loose ball wide.

But the hosts finally made their pressure count just past the hour mark after Blake-Tracy had been booked for a foul on Johnson.

Brown swung in the free-kick from the right and WHATMOUGH rose above Kent to emphatically head home.

The visitors responded with a triple substitution, but soon found themselves further behind thanks to a moment of magic from the skipper.

NAYLOR, who headed a corner over a few moments earlier, received a pass from Andy Cannon 30 yards out and hit a rocket into the top corner to continue his recent goalscoring form.

It was still the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and Curtis sent a long-range free-kick dipping onto the roof of the net.

And, with the rain continuing to fall, they saw the contest out with relative ease, much to the delight of those in the stands.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Cannon, Naylor (c); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Marquis (Harrison 86)
Goals: Whatmough 61, Naylor 75
Booked: Cannon, Naylor, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Pring, Morris, Close, Hiwula

Peterborough (4-1-2-1-2): Pym; Thompson (Mason 67), Kent, Beevers (c), Blake-Tracy (Kanu 67); Reed; Taylor, Hamilton (Broom 67); Szmodics (Eisa 74); Dembele, Clarke-Harris
Booked: Thompson, Blake-Tracy, Taylor
Subs not used: Gyollai, Brown, Clarke

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 2,000

Portsmouth FC

Dec 012020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey’s unbeaten away record in the league finally came to an end as they were narrowly beaten in a lifeless clash with Blackpool.

It was a contest befitting the soulless atmosphere inside a mostly empty Bloomfield Road, with hardly any chances at either end of the pitch.

But it was the Tangerines able to celebrate all three points, courtesy of a second half strike from Keshi Anderson.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that drew with Oxford in the last league outing seven days earlier.

Ellis Harrison dropped to the bench to make way for Ryan Williams, who was positioned out on the right, with Marcus Harness joining John Marquis up front.

There was not much to trouble either keeper in an opening 45 minutes that was extremely short on anything that could truthfully be called exciting.

Blackpool dominated possession and territory in the early stages, but were unable to penetrate the Blues back-line.

A Sullay Kaikai effort was bravely blocked by Sean Raggett, while Tom Naylor slid in to prevent Anderson capitalising on the loose ball.

Craig MacGillivray then comfortably dealt with a James Husband header after Kaikai’s corner had been flicked on for the defender.

Pompey began passing the ball around nicely as they settled into the contest, without making any inroads in the final third.

The first decent chance came at the opposite end on 24 minutes, with MacGillivray turning CJ Hamilton’s angled drive into the side netting.

As the half continued, the visitors began posing a few more problems, although could not quite find that final killer ball.

Harness did brilliantly to control Andy Cannon’s pass, only to see his attempted threaded ball for Marquis intercepted.

Their best opportunity arrived when Ethan Robson failed to clear inside his own box and Marquis dug out a shot that rolled narrowly past the post.

MacGillivray made a simple save to deny Jerry Yates as the seconds ticked away, then came quickly off his line to beat Hamilton to the ball.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 0


Any hopes that there would be an improvement in the drama levels straight after the restart were quickly extinguished.

Instead, the game continued in niggly fashion, with plenty of appeals from both sides for free-kicks – most of which were ignored by referee Joshua Smith.

Jackett tried to inject some fresh energy into his side with a double substitution just past the hour mark.

Ben Close and Harrison were the men chosen to lift the visitors, with Cannon and Ronan Curtis making way.

Williams got himself into the path of Hamilton’s shot on 64 minutes, while Daniel Ballard was then booked for fouling Marquis as the Blues tried to launch a quick break.

But Blackpool then broke the deadlock moments later, with Yates wisely leaving Hamilton’s low centre for Anderson to drive into the net.

Cam Pring soon came on for Williams and took up residence just in front of Lee Brown on the left-hand side.

The Blues were trying to find a way back and Marquis hit two efforts off target, the second coming after Naylor had found him with a fine lofted pass.

Pompey were huffing and puffing in search of an equaliser, but Chris Maxwell was still a virtual spectator between the sticks.

Blackpool were at least forcing MacGillivray to get his gloves dirty and the keeper got down low to his right to push clear Kaikai’s shot.

The game was threatening to end with a whimper, but Marquis finally forced Maxwell into action in stoppage-time.

And after the keeper pushed away his shot, the resulting corner saw a spot of pinball in the box before the hosts were finally able to clear the danger.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Maxwell (c); Turton, Ekpiteta, Ballard, Husband; Hamilton, Robson, Dougall, Kaikai; Yates (Madine 82), Anderson (Woodburn 76)
Goals: Anderson 64
Booked: Ballard, Madine, Kaikai
Subs not used: Sims, Gabriel, Gretarsson, Mitchell, Kemp

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Williams (Pring 66), Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 61), Curtis (Harrison 61); Marquis, Harness
Booked: Marquis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Nicolaisen, Hiwula

Referee: Joshua Smith

Portsmouth FC

Nov 282020
 

Match Report

Highlights

FA Cup 2




Pompey eased into the third round of the Emirates FA Cup with a clinical display against non-league King’s Lynn at Fratton Park.

The television cameras had arrived on the south coast hoping to capture an upset, only for Rasmus Nicolaisen to open the scoring in just the second minute.

A stunning strike from Tom Naylor increased the lead and there were chances for it to be extended in the first half.

But the Blues got the job done after the interval, with Sean Raggett and Marcus Harness getting in on the act.

Dayle Southwell came off the bench to reduce the National League side’s deficit, but that was a rare bright spot for them.

Ellis Harrison soon increased their misery by scoring from the spot and Jordy Hiwula added an impressive sixth goal late on.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Oxford in the league earlier in the week.

Three of them came at the back, where Alex Bass was preferred between the sticks, and Cam Pring and Nicolaisen also returned.

Ben Close and Ryan Williams were handed starts, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon and John Marquis all dropping to the bench.

There was a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off in memory of all those who have passed away during these tough times.

That includes footballing greats Diego Maradona and Ray Clemence, as well as former Pompey players Ray Hiron, Fred Smith, John Collins, Alan Garner, Malcolm Manley and Cyril Rutter

When the action started, fears of a giant-killing were quickly soothed, as Pompey took the lead after just 108 seconds.

Williams won a corner on the right and Pring swung the ball into the box for NICOLAISEN to head home his first goal for the club.

The visitors did not look over-awed in the opening stages, however, and Sonny Carey glanced a flag-kick narrowly wide.

Bass was then called into action and got down to his right to push away a cleanly-struck effort from Adam Marriott.

But the Blues soon began to take control and started to play some neat passing football to trouble the opposition defence.

And the pressure paid off on 30 minutes, as the skipper continued his run of fine goalscoring form to double the advantage.

It was a superb strike, with Ronan Curtis’ delivery laid off by Williams for NAYLOR to hit a 25-yard rocket that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

The floodgates might have opened after that, as the hosts unleashed a deluge of pressure, with the Linnets hanging on as the interval approached.

Harrison – who was being held by Rory McAuley – saw his header saved by Archie Mair after a Close effort had been blocked.

There was then an almighty scramble in the King’s Lynn box, with Raggett and Williams unable to force the ball home, while a defender flung himself in the path of Nicolaisen’s effort.

And Curtis was inches away from getting his name on the scoresheet when he intercepted a loose ball and hit a fine 30-yard strike that rattled the bar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

King’s Lynn Town 0


The second half began at the same frantic pace as the first, with a perfectly-timed Kyle Callan-McFadden challenge stopping Close from racing clear.

But the hosts did increase their lead on 51 minutes, when RAGGETT charged towards the far post to firmly convert a Curtis corner.

King’s Lynn were still posing a threat going forward, but whenever their moves broke down, Pompey would break with menace.

And they soon had a fourth, as Harrison stole possession in the middle of the pitch and burst forward.

The striker then laid the ball off for HARNESS, who calmly slipped it into the bottom corner to kill any lingering hopes of a Linnets comeback.

Hiwula and Bryn Morris were both brought on, as Jackett gave Curtis and Naylor the chance to rest any tired limbs ahead of a midweek trip to Blackpool.

But the visitors reduced their deficit when McAuley held the ball up for Southwell to slot neatly into the net.

It was a brief reprieve for King’s Lynn, however, and Pompey had the chance to grab a fifth goal when Pring was fouled in the area by Ross Barrows.

Referee Will Finnie made the simple decision to point to the spot and HARRISON sent Mair the wrong way.

That was not the end of the action, though, and HIWULA opened his Blues account in impressive fashion, cutting inside from the left and curling home a fine strike.

Harness came close to wrapping things up in style following good work by Williams, but Mair was equal to his strike.

And Bass also kept his concentration at the other end, doing well to stop Southwell’s effort flying inside his near post.

But the contest almost finished the same way it had started – with a Nicolaisen goal. The defender nodded a Harness free-kick against the post seconds before the final whistle blew.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Pring; Williams, Close, Naylor (c) (Morris 66), Curtis (Hiwula 59); Harrison (Marquis 81), Harness
Goals: Nicolaisen 2, Naylor 30, Raggett 51, Harness 58, Harrison 72 (pen), Hiwula 80
Booked: Naylor
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, Cannon

King’s Lynn (3-4-3): Mair; Callan-McFadden, Smith, McAuley; Barrows, Clunan (c), Carey, Brown; Power (Gash 81), Marriott (Southwell 63), Loza (King 63)
Goals: Southwell 68
Booked: McAuley
Subs not used: Fleming, Richards, Jarvis

Referee: Will Finnie

Portsmouth FC

Nov 242020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Sean Raggett’s goal was not enough to earn victory for Pompey, as they were held to a draw by Oxford at Fratton Park.

It was probably not a surprising outcome given that all four meetings between the sides last term finished all square.

The hosts looked comfortable after Raggett’s firm header had broken the deadlock, but their opponents were invigorated by some switches in the second half.

And Alex Gorrin levelled for United from the penalty spot, while both teams then had chances to win the contest.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that eased to a comfortable victory over Crewe at the weekend.

They both came in the full-back berths, where Cam Pring and Haji Mnoga made way for Lee Brown and Callum Johnson.

Former Oxford winger Ryan Williams was fit enough to appear on the bench following a hip injury, while ex-Blues stopper Simon Eastwood started for the visitors.

It was a fairly nondescript opening to the contest, with nothing to trouble either keeper in the opening stages.

The hosts were happy to let their opponents see plenty of the ball and then look to hit them on the break.

And Pompey took the lead with their first chance of the game on 19 minutes when RAGGETT decided to stay up after a Jack Whatmough free-kick had been partially dealt with.

Ronan Curtis swung the ball back in the area, where the defender got in front of three players to firmly head home.

They probably should have doubled the lead soon after, but John Marquis uncharacteristically fired high and wide from Ellis Harrison’s centre.

It was the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and when Whatmough met a Marcus Harness cross, his header cannoned back off the bar, with Harrison unable to force in the loose ball.

The striker then thought he had been brought down by Elliott Moore as he tried to race through on goal.

Both players glanced across to the officials, with the defender likely to have been shown a red card if referee Tim Robinson had not waved play on.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Oxford United 0


The visitors had to deal with a couple of dangerous left-sided deliveries from Curtis and Brown following the restart.

Pompey were working hard all over the pitch, with Curtis epitomising that by tracking back and halting a dangerous foray forward from Sean Clare.

They were not doing much to trouble Eastwood between the sticks, but the hosts were looking comfortable.

Karl Robinson responded by making a triple substitution and one of the newcomers, Marcus McGuane, immediately drew a fine save from Craig MacGillivray.

The Blues soon hit back at the other end, as Harrison met Brown’s cross with a neat flick that Eastwood tipped over the bar.

But United had a chance to level on 69 minutes when Robinson deemed Whatmough’s challenge on Dan Agyei to be foul, despite the defender protesting that he won the ball.

And Gorrin made no mistake from the spot, coolly sending MacGillivray the wrong way to draw the visitors level.

Pompey looked to restore their lead and a fine delivery from Tom Naylor was met by Curtis, who screwed his shot wide.

Andy Cannon and Harness made way for Bryn Morris and Williams, as Jackett injected some fresh energy into his midfield for the closing stages.

But it was the Oxford substitutes causing more problems and MacGillivray had to palm away a low Mark Sykes effort, with the ball thankfully not falling for the lurking Matty Taylor.

The Blues also had opportunities to turn one point into three, however, and Williams had two efforts blocked before Raggett glanced a header wide.

Curtis also headed Johnson’s delivery straight at Eastwood, as neither side managed to find a winner during a frantic finish.

But there was a melee after the final whistle, with Taylor escaping punishment for grabbing Curtis in an uncomfortable area.

Instead it was the Pompey winger that received a yellow card, along with Oxford defender John Mousinho.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Harness (Williams 82), Cannon (Morris 80), Naylor (c), Curtis; Marquis, Harrison
Goals: Raggett 19
Booked: Cannon, Raggett, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Pring, Close, Hiwula

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long, Moore, Atkinson, Ruffels; Gorrin; Clare (Mousinho 86), Henry (c) (Sykes 62), Forde (McGuane 62), Shodipo (Obita 62); Agyei (Taylor 82)
Goals: Gorrin 69 (pen)
Booked: Clare, Taylor, Mousinho
Subs not used: Stevens, Kelly

Referee: Tim Robinson

Portsmouth FC

Nov 212020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey climbed up to fourth in the League One table after enjoying an ultimately comfortable victory over Crewe at Fratton Park.

The visitors saw the majority of the ball, but it was the Blues who were deadly in front of goal to secure the points.

Ronan Curtis bagged a brace before the break, with his second strike the result of some terrible defending.

Tom Naylor scored his third goal in as many appearances early in the second half and the prolific John Marquis was also on target before Oli Finney grabbed a late consolation from the spot.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew at Plymouth in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Monday night.

Haji Mnoga came in for his full league debut, while Curtis returned from Republic of Ireland international duty.

There were also starts for Jack Whatmough and Ellis Harrison, as Callum Johnson, Rasmus Nicolaisen and Ben Close dropped to the bench, with Ryan Williams missing out through injury.

It was the visitors who dominated possession in the first half, but Pompey were more assured at the back and more clinical at the other end.

Craig MacGillivray – making his 100th appearance for the club – was called into action in the early stages, making a fine stop to deny Finney.

Skipper Naylor then made a well-timed challenge inside the area to stop Tom Lowery getting a shot away.

The Blues had not really threatened at the other end, but were celebrating taking the lead on 15 minutes.

CURTIS swapped passes with Marquis and scuffed his shot, but that took the ball past the grasp of Will Jääskeläinen and into the bottom corner of the net.

Crewe will wonder how they were not level just moments later after Harry Pickering cut back for Finney.

His goal-bound effort was blocked by Sean Raggett and MacGillivray somehow prevented Daniel Powell from converting the loose ball.

A fine John Marquis back-heel then started a quick counter and the striker received a pass back via Curtis and Marcus Harness, but fired wide.

Offrande Zanzala went close at the other end, with his header from a Lowery free-kick deflected behind off Jack Whatmough.

And Pompey were then gifted a second goal by their opponents late in the first half, as Crewe tried to play the ball across their defence.

Omar Beckles took a poor touch and Curtis took advantage to burst clear, being fouled first by the defender and then Jääskeläinen.

But referee James Oldham played the advantage and CURTIS was able to poke the ball over the line, despite the best efforts of Luke Offord to clear.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Crewe Alexandra 0


Jackett made a double switch at the break and replaced both his full-backs, as Mnoga and Cam Pring made way for Johnson and Lee Brown.

And the hosts almost add a third goal soon after the restart, with Sean Raggett’s header cleared from the line by Finney and Perry Ng then getting the ball to safety.

But they did extend their advantage on 50 minutes, as Harness’ cross was only cleared as far as NAYLOR, who guided the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Blues were well on top now and Curtis started a quick counter-attack, with Harrison sliding a pass across the box and Marquis’ cushioned effort rolling agonisingly past the post.

So it came as no surprise that a fourth goal arrived before the hour mark, although the hosts did get the rub of the green.

Crewe were – rightly – arguing that a throw should have been awarded in their favour, but a quick-thinking Harrison took it quickly and found Curtis.

He cut inside and drew a smart stop from Jääskeläinen, with Marquis hammering the loose ball against the crossbar.

But it bounced straight back towards League One’s top scorer and MARQUIS made no mistake with his header.

Crewe kept battling and MacGillivray did well to tip over Olly Lancashire’s header, not realising the defender had been flagged offside.

They brought Callum Ainley off the bench and he almost reduced the deficit, courtesy of a fierce effort that rattled the post.

Both sides were still looking to get forward when possible, although Harness and Harrison were given deserved rests for the closing stages, as Bryn Morris and Jordy Hiwula entered the fray.

Ainley sent a shot flashing narrowly wide in stoppage-time and Crewe did manage to score a late consolation.

Brown was rather harshly penalised when the ball struck his arm from point-blank range and Finney converted from the spot.

It meant the hosts were unable to add a clean sheet to their three-point haul, but it was still a convincing win for Pompey.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Mnoga (Johnson 46), Whatmough, Raggett, Pring (Brown 46); Harness (Morris 82), Naylor (c), Cannon, Curtis; Marquis, Harrison (Hiwula 87)
Goals: Curtis 15, 40, Naylor 50, Marquis 56
Booked: Cannon, Harrison
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Close

Crewe (4-1-4-1): Jääskeläinen; Ng (c), Beckles (Lancashire 46), Offord, Pickering; Wintle (Ainley 66); Powell (Dale 59), Lowery (Murphy 59), Finney, Kirk; Zanzala (Griffiths 90)
Goals: Finney 90+4 (pen)
Booked: Ng
Subs not used: Richards, Johnson

Referee: James Oldham

Portsmouth FC

Nov 162020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey were denied third spot in the League One standings after being held to a draw at Plymouth.

They were poor in the first half and an unfortunate own-goal from Sean Raggett meant they were trailing at the break.

But they completely turned things around in the space of three minutes following the restart, courtesy of John Marquis’ penalty and a fine Tom Naylor finish.

The Blues were unable to become the first side to leave Devon with all three points, however, as Jerome Opoku hit an Argyle equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that had beaten Ipswich in the FA Cup nine days earlier.

Ben Close – who scored in Pompey’s last trip to Home Park – came in for Ronan Curtis, who was away on Republic of Ireland international duty.

Andy Cannon, Naylor and Raggett had all been doubts ahead of kick-off, but the trio were passed fit to feature.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for Jack Whatmough, who had been missing since the end of October with a hamstring injury.

It was battle between the sides with best home and away records in League One respectively, but the men from Devon made the brighter start.

Ryan Hardie raced onto a pass from Kell Watts and was able to beat Craig MacGillivray to the ball, only for the keeper to recover well and deny the striker.

Watts then did well at the other end to prevent dangerous deliveries from Ryan Williams and Callum Johnson reaching their intended targets.

But Plymouth broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, with Raggett the unfortunate man to be credited with the goal.

The defender had to try to stop Hardie converting Frank Nouble’s pass and could only tun the ball into his own net.

Pompey were seeing plenty of possession and getting into some dangerous areas, although a final key pass or shot proved elusive.

One good example was when Cannon showed some neat footwork to beat Panutche Camara and play a one-two with Marquis, but could not force his way past the last defender.

A sloppy pass from Rasmus Nicolaisen then allowed Camera to find Nouble, who found space and forced a fine stop from MacGillivray.

The Blues continued to push forward and try to find a route through the Arglye back-line, but Michael Cooper was not being forced into action.

Their best opening came in stoppage-time, with Williams not quite able to bring Cam Pring’s cross under control and seeing the ball bounce off him and fly wide.


Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double switch at the break, with Whatmough and Ellis Harrison on to replace Nicolaisen and Close.

But it was Plymouth who were first to threaten following the restart and they will be left wondering quite how the ball stayed out of the net.

MacGillivray got down to parry away Danny Mayor’s attempt and it seemed certain that Hardie would convert the loose ball, only for Pring to make a brilliant block.

Harrison then dived forward to try to meet Harness’ delivery from the right, but could not quite make contact.

And when the substitute was fouled by Tyrese Fornah, a Marquis free-kick cannoned back off the wall and the same players follow-up flashed past the post.

Then, when Williams’ cross was only partially cleared, a fierce Naylor strike had to be tipped over by Cooper.

But the Blues were level just past the hour mark when Watts battled with Whatmough to reach a cross and the ball struck his outstretched arm.

Referee Charles Breakspear had no choice but to point to the spot and MARQUIS confidently converted the penalty.

And the game was flipped on its head a few moments later when the Pilgrims defence failed to deal with Cannon’s cross.

The ball found NAYLOR on the edge of the box and the skipper expertly drilled it right into the bottom corner.

But it was then Plymouth’s turn to hit back on 78 minutes when they won a free-kick wide on the left.

MacGillivray was unable to claim George Cooper’s delivery, allowing Dom Telford to nod the ball back and leave Opoku with a simple finish.

With the game so delicately poised it was little surprise that tempers became frayed and both Naylor and Ben Reeves were booked for a spot of mutual shoving.

A knock from Williams then saw Haji Mnoga brought on for the final few minutes, which passed by without either side able to find a winner.

Plymouth (3-5-2): M.Cooper; Aimson, Opoku, Watts; Edwards (c), Camara (Reeves 84), Fornah (Grant 67), Mayor, G.Cooper; Nouble, Hardie (Telford 63)
Goals: Raggett 11 (og), Opoku 78
Booked: Opoku, Reeves
Subs not used: McCormick, Wootton, Canavan, Abraham

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen (Whatmough 46), Pring; Naylor (c), Close (Harrison 46); Harness, Williams (Mnoga 90), Cannon; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 63 (pen), Naylor 65
Booked: Marquis, Cannon, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Morris, Hiwula

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Portsmouth FC