2015/2016

May 152016
 

Match Report

League Two (Play Off)


 

Plymouth Argyle    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Late goal denies Blues a Wembley trip

Peter Hartley struck deep into stoppage-time to condemn Pompey to another season in League Two.

The game seemed to be heading for an extra 30 minutes when the defender rose to head home a corner and break Blues hearts.

Both sides had earlier chances to score as the tie became increasingly ragged and open towards the end.

But it was Plymouth who were celebrating a 3-2 aggregate victory and trip to Wembley, while Pompey will have to go again in August.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that drew 2-2 with Argyle in the first leg at Fratton Park.

The only change came on the bench, where a fit-again Conor Chaplin replaced his namesake Wilkinson.

Both sets of supporters at a warm and sunny Home Park were anticipating another exciting, incident-packed affair following Thursday night’s drama.

But, in reality, it was much cagier contest, with the sides unwilling to take too many risks in search of a goal.

It was the hosts who started brighter, though, and Ryan Allsop pushed Graham Carey’s shot over before Jake Jervis hit a free-kick off target.

But Pompey began to get a grip as the half progressed and the lively Kyle Bennett found the side netting after cutting into the box.

Marc McNulty then latched onto a long ball forward, only to roll a tame shot straight into the arms of Luke McCormick.

The visitors were starting to dominate possession, but were unable to cause the Argyle keeper any more problems.

Gary Roberts’ cute pass for Gareth Evans was cut out, while McNulty’s effort from distance sailed high over the bar.

Pompey received a blow on 31 minutes when Evans was caught by a strong challenge from Carl McHugh.

The Plymouth midfielder was booked by referee Paul Tierney and Evans limped off to be replaced by Adam McGurk.

And the replacement was soon involved in the action, first just failing to beat McCormick to Roberts’ clever pass and then teeing-up Bennett for a shot that was scuffed wide.

The Pilgrims were struggling to see much of the ball and when they did create an opening, Jervis wasted it.

Then, with the interval approaching, Cook was forced to make another substitution. This time it was Danny Hollands who went down, with Ben Close coming on in his place.


Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey were quickly out of the traps following the restart and after McNulty had bundled his way into the box, Roberts saw a shot deflected behind.

They then broke quickly up the pitch, with space opening up for the advancing McGurk, whose effort was comfortable for McCormick.

The visitors were starting to look a real threat and after Roberts was impeded 25 yards out, Ben Davies stepped up to curl a free-kick into the side netting.

It was Roberts who was next to have a go when McCormick raced from his box and made a poor clearance, but Pompey’s talisman could not steer the ball home.

Plymouth then enjoyed a decent spell of their own, with Jervis bending a shot past the post before Hiram Boateng steered Gregg Wylde’s low cross wide.

And they should have broken the deadlock on 58 minutes after McNulty over-ran the ball and Michael Doyle’s attempted clearance ricocheted into Jamille Matt’s path.

The striker bore down on goal, but went for power over accuracy and blazed his shot over the crossbar.

It was certainly more open than the first half and McGurk fired over after attempting to capitalise on a poor clearance.

And the action soon switched to the other end of the pitch, where Matt headed Carey’s corner wide from just a few yards out.

Pompey received another let off on 73 minutes when Carey’s header cannoned off Adam Barton and had to be cleared from the line by a well-placed McNulty.

They were struggling to keep hold of the ball, but did enjoy a spell of pressure late on, as Bennett beat a couple of challenges before seeing his shot deflected behind.

Plymouth could only partially clear the resulting corner and when the ball was sent back into the box, Close volleyed over.

But the hosts almost grabbed a winner on 89 minutes, only for an unmarked Jervis to head against the post after being picked out by Craig Tanner.

It was only a brief respite, however, as with just seconds remaining, Carey swung in a corner and Hartley arrived at the far post to head home.

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): McCormick; Mellor, Nelson (c), Hartley, Sawyer; Boateng, McHugh; Jervis, Carey, Wylde (Tanner 75); Matt
Goals: Hartley 90+2
Booked: McHugh
Subs not used: Dorel, Forster, Purrington, Harvey, Rooney, Reid

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Davies, Burgess, Barton, Stevens; Hollands (Close 44), Doyle (c); Evans (McGurk 31), Roberts, Bennett (Chaplin 90+3); McNulty
Booked: Close
Subs not used: Whatmough, Haunstrup, Tollitt, Naismith

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 15,011 (1,696 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

May 122016
 

Match Report

League Two (Play Off)


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Plymouth Argyle    2

 


McNulty and Roberts on target

Pompey and Plymouth could not be separated in an absorbing first leg play-off contest at a packed Fratton Park.

Marc McNulty’s early strike got the Blues off to a dream opening, only for Jamille Matt’s brace to turn the game on its head.

Argyle’s forward escaped a red card following a tussle with Michael Doyle in between those two goals.

But the hosts grabbed an equaliser in the second half, courtesy of Gary Roberts’ confidently-taken spot-kick.

Paul Cook made seven changes from the side that narrowly lost to champions Northampton at the weekend.

One of them took everyone by surprise, with a goalkeeping injury crisis seeing Ryan Allsop signed on loan from Bournemouth and thrown straight into the team.

There were also returns for Christian Burgess and Enda Stevens at the back, Danny Hollands and skipper Doyle in midfield, and Kyle Bennett and McNulty in attack.

The game began at a frenetic pace and there was plenty of controversy to spice up the first half on the south coast.

But the Blues made an excellent start by breaking the deadlock after just three minutes.

Doyle stole possession from Curtis Nelson and the ball feel kindly for McNULTY to drive into the net.

The hosts set about trying to double their advantage, but Luke McCormick did well to claim a dangerous cross from Stevens.

Instead Plymouth found soon themselves level, with Gregg Wylde sending the ball into the mix and Matt beating Allsop to head home from close range.

The Argyle striker was arguably fortunate to stay on the pitch moments later, after appearing to headbutt Doyle following a scuffle between the pair.

Cook was livid on the sidelines and his reaction saw him sent to the stands by referee Oliver Langford, quickly followed by Plymouth first team coach Paul Wotton.

And Matt soon added salt to the wound by firing the visitors ahead, controlling Kelvin Mellor’s long throw and sending an acrobatic over-head effort looping into the net.

There were then half-chances at both ends as the game continued at a breathless pace, with Hollands firing wide before Graham Carey’s effort fizzed narrowly off target.

Pompey were pushing for a leveller and it took a fine challenge by Peter Hartley to dispossess Gareth Evans in the box as the winger prepared to shoot.

McNulty was next to go close, but his fierce effort flew narrowly wide following good link-up play between Burgess and Roberts.

Both sides certainly looked capable of adding to the scoring and some Pilgrims fans thought their side had when Carey’s free-kick hit the side netting.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Plymouth Argyle 2


Pompey went straight on the attack after the interval and Evans hit one effort over before Bennett saw his shot blocked.

And the hosts were level on 51 minutes after Langford pointed to the spot for a foul on McNulty by Hartley.

The Plymouth defender was shown a yellow card before ROBERTS stepped up to emphatically fire home the penalty.

McCormick then had to make sure he held Evans’ cross from the right, with Roberts waiting to pounce at the far post.

And the Argyle keeper also made a decent stop to deny McNulty following a quick Blues break, although an unmarked Bennett was screaming for the ball to his left.

The hosts made their first switch just past the hour mark and it was Bennett who was withdrawn for Kal Naismith.

He was soon involved in the action, but could not quite get on the end of Evans’ teasing cross from the right.

Pompey were dominating possession by this point and forcing their opponents to sit deeper, but the Pilgrims defence were holding firm.

McNulty was withdrawn on 81 minutes, with Adam McGurk given a chance to impress up front.

It was Ben Davies who had a chance to fire them in front soon after, however, with McCormick forced to save at his near post.

But, with the game ending 2-2, the outcome was still very much up in the air as the sides prepare to do battle once more at Home Park on Sunday.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Davies, Burgess, Barton, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Naismith 62); McNulty (McGurk 81)
Goals: McNulty 3, Roberts 51 (pen)
Booked: Hollands, Barton
Subs not used: Whatmough, Haunstrup, Close, Tollitt, Wilkinson

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): McCormick; Mellor, Nelson (c), Hartley, Sawyer; McHugh, Boateng (Purrington 80); Jervis, Carey, Wylde; Matt (Tanner 90+1)
Goals: Matt 9, 19
Booked: Carey, Hartley, Sawyer, Purrington
Subs not used: Dorel, Forster, Harvey, Rooney, Reid

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 17,622 (1,902 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

May 072016
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Northampton Town    2

 


Freeman sent off as Blues lose to champions

Pompey will host Plymouth in the first leg of the play-offs on Thursday evening after losing 2-1 to Northampton.

The champions took the lead through Jack Whatmough’s unfortunate own-goal in the opening stages.

Kieron Freeman then received his marching orders for a late challenge, only for a Kal Naismith stunner to draw the hosts level.

A series of attacking substitutions were made as the Blues searched for a winner, but instead James Collins secured all three points for the Cobblers.

Paul Cook made five changes from the side that won at Hartlepool the previous week.

Whatmough was handed his first start for more than a year in the centre of defence, with fellow academy graduates Brandon Haunstrup and Ben Close also featuring.

Ben Davies returned and skippered the side in place of Michael Doyle, while Adam McGurk came in up front.

Meanwhile, former Pompey players Ricky Holmes and John Marquis led the line for the visitors, who were afforded a guard of honour as they entered the pitch.

There were a plethora of awards handed out before kick-off, with Ben Davies picking up six from various supporters’ groups.

But it was Doyle who was named The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season – and the reaction from the fans indicated that it was deserved recognition.

Both sets of supporters then paid their respects to all the Blues fans who have sadly passed away over the past year with a minute’s applause.

Once the action got underway at a warm and sunny – and packed – Fratton Park, it was the visitors who looked more threatening.

Whatmough had to deal with a couple of dangerous crosses as a new-look Pompey side struggled for fluency.

But they were not too far away from opening the scoring on 12 minutes, with Adam McGurk flinging himself at Naismith’s cross and not quite making a clean connection.

Almost immediately, however, they found themselves behind as Whatmough inadvertently sliced Nicky Adams’ cross into his own net.

Pompey were not really playing with a recognised striker, as Gary Roberts occupied a ‘false number nine’ role, flanked by Naismith and McGurk.

They did start to create more as the half progressed, though, with McGurk curling a shot over and Naismith steering narrowly wide.

But Northampton still looked dangerous themselves and Marquis might have done better than firing wildly over after being picked out by Holmes.

Pompey should have been level on 33 minutes following a good move that started with a poor clearance from Cobblers keeper Adam Smith.

Roberts picked the ball up and it soon found its way, via Freeman, to Davies down the right flank.

The full-back sent in a low cross, but Smith redeemed himself by somehow denying Naismith from point-blank range.

Roberts then collected a lovely pass over the top from Close and spotted Smith off his line, although he could not quite chip the ball over the back-pedalling keeper.

Both sides picked up a booking before the break, with Davies and Lawson D’Ath penalised for fouls on Holmes and Haunstrup respectively.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Northampton Town 1


Pompey’s hopes of getting anything from the game were dealt a massive blow just after the restart when they were reduced to 10 men.

Freeman slid in to try to win the ball and although he did not really catch John-Joe O’Toole, referee Mark Brown decided it was dangerous.

He immediately brandished a red card to rule the on-loan Sheffield United utility man out of the play-offs.

But the hosts found themselves level just seconds later – thanks to a strike right out of the top drawer.

There did not look much on when NAISMITH advanced goalwards, but he hit a stunning, swerving 35-yard strike that arrowed into the net.

Cook was forced to make his first substitution on the hour mark, as Close limped off to be replaced by Adam May.

Haunstrup then had the ball in the back of the net, but Brown had already blown his whistle for a foul on Smith by McGurk.

Northampton soon enjoyed a period of pressure, with Marquis denied by Brian Murphy before Alfie Potter fired into the side netting.

Cook made an attacking switch on 69 minutes, as Conor Wilkinson replaced Whatmough for his debut.

That resulted in a defensive reshuffle which saw Gareth Evans drop to right-back and Davies move into the centre.

And Naismith was soon employed at left-back when Haunstrup made way for Ben Tollitt on 77 minutes.

Pompey now had an abundance of attack-minded players on the pitch, but the visitors soon made their numerical advantage count to retake the lead.

Cobblers skipper David Buchanan swung the ball into the box and Collins got a faint touch to turn it home.

Naismith tried to draw the Blues level with another attempt from long-range, but this time Smith dived across goal to make the save.

And Pompey were unable to find a late leveller as the visitors secured victory to cap a memorable campaign.

But plenty of fans still stayed behind to salute the Blues as they returned to the pitch after the final whistle for a lap of appreciation.

Pompey (4-3-3): Murphy; Davies (c), Whatmough (Wilkinson 69), Barton, Haunstrup (Tollitt 77); Freeman, Close (May 60), Evans; McGurk, Roberts, Naismith
Goals: Naismith 48
Sent off: Freeman
Booked: Davies, McGurk, Evans
Subs not used: Jones, Stevens, Doyle, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Northampton (4-4-2): Smith; Lelan, Diamond, Prosser, Buchanan (c); D’Ath (Hoskins 80), O’Toole, Rose, Adams (Potter 62); Marquis (Collins 67), Holmes
Goals: Whatmough 13 (og), Collins 81
Booked: D’Ath
Subs not used: Clarke, Cresswell, Taylor, Byrom

Referee: Mark Brown

Attendance: 18,746 (2,807 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 122015
 

Match Report

League Two

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 4    0 Hartlepool United

Pompey gave the Fratton faithful a perfect early Christmas present with a comfortable victory over Hartlepool.

After a slow start, the hosts took the lead through Caolan Lavery’s impressive finish and an Adam Jackson own-goal soon lifted the home support further.

Gareth Evans then slotted in another after the interval and Marc McNulty added a fourth late on to stretch the Blues’ unbeaten run to seven matches.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that progressed to the third round of the FA Cup by beating Accrington the previous week.

Lavery – who had been ineligible to feature against Stanley – replaced Adam McGurk, while Matt Clarke made way for Christian Burgess.

Former Pompey keeper Trevor Carson received a warm round of applause when he took up position in the Fratton End goal for Hartlepool.

The game was slow to get going, with the strong winds making passing football difficult for both sides.

Ben Davies swung in an early corner that none of his team-mates were able to make a connection with.

Then, after Adam Webster was dispossessed in the centre, Brian Murphy had to get down to hold Rakish Bingham’s shot.

And Bingham soon took advantage of heavy touch from Christian Burgess, but was unable to find the target.

There were nothing more than half-chances to warm up the crowd, with McNulty drawing a comfortable save from Carson and Davies fizzing a free-kick past the post.

Kyle Bennett livened things up on 32 minutes, however, with a fierce 20-yard effort that flew narrowly wide.

And the Fratton faithful were buoyant moments later, when LAVERY broke the deadlock with a fine strike from the edge of the box that flew into the top corner.

The visitors then gifted Pompey a second goal on 37 minutes, as Jackson was only able to divert Davies’ low cross into his own net.

Matthew Bates almost copied his central defensive partner and would have breathed a sigh of relief when his mis-cued header flew safely into Carson’s arms.

Murphy had enjoyed a quiet afternoon at the other end, but was called into action just before the break with a diving save to keep out Scott Fenwick’s sweetly-struck volley.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Hartlepool United 0


Evans should have extended the hosts’ advantage early in the second half, but fired wide after McNulty had embarked on a mazy run to tee him up.

They received a let-off at the other end, though, when Enda Stevens conceded a free-kick that Jake Carroll curled narrowly wide.

A corner then led to an almighty scramble in the Blues box before Evans eventually got the ball to safety.

And EVANS soon made up for his earlier miss by scoring Pompey’s third goal just past the hour mark.

Stevens did well down the left and fed McNulty, who showed quick feet to beat a couple of challenges and get a shot away.

His effort was well saved at point-blank range by Carson, but Evans popped up to confidently tuck away the loose ball.

Cook made his first switch on 75 minutes, with Bennett making way to allow Ben Tollitt a run-out, while McGurk came on for Lavery soon after.

It took a fine last-gasp challenge in the box from Stevens to prevent Nicky Featherstone from reducing the deficit.

Pools substitute Mikael Mandron was then booked for a late challenge on Christian Burgess, which saw the defender limp off and be replaced by Clarke.

The closing stages passed by without much incident, but McNULTY added a fourth goal at the death, calmly slotting home after being sent through by Stevens.

It meant there was plenty of cheer when the final whistle was blown, with the hosts delivering a festive feast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess (Clarke 85), Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McNulty, Bennett (Tollitt 75); Lavery (McGurk 80)
Goals: Lavery 33, Jackson 37 (og), Evans 61, McNulty 90
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Close, Chaplin

Hartlepool (4-3-2-1): Carson; Duckworth, Bates, Jackson, Carroll; Gray, Featherstone, Magnay (c) (Walker 75); Oates, Fenwick (Mandron 75); Bingham
Booked: Bingham, Mandron
Subs not used: Bartlett, Harrison, Woods, Richards, Smith

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 15,610 (145 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 282015
 

Match Report

League Two

Wycombe
Wanderers
2    2 Portsmouth

Caolan Lavery and Adam Webster were on target as Pompey fought from two goals down to snatch a point at Wycombe.

It looked like they would leave empty-handed when Michael Harriman and Garry Thompson netted within the space of three first half minutes.

But Lavery grabbed a lifeline just before the interval before Webster levelled with a thumping header after it.

Paul Cook made one change to the side that romped to a 6-0 victory over York during the week.

Adam McGurk came into the attacking three behind lone striker Lavery, with Gareth Evans dropping to the bench.

Jayden Stockley was also named among the substitutes having missed the last nine games with an ankle injury.

There was not much excitement to warm the crowd up in the opening stages, with chances at a premium.

Marc McNulty could only head a Ben Davies free-kick wide, while Danny Hollands was forced to divert a corner over his own crossbar at the other end.

The hosts tried to liven things up with a clever free-kick routine midway through the first half, but after Sam Wood cheekily flicked the ball up, Paul Hayes could only fire into the wall.

Wycombe were gifted the lead on 28 minutes, however, when Brian Murphy charged from his box and sent a clearance straight to Luke O’Nien.

The midfielder’s effort was blocked, but the ball fell to Harriman, who calmly finished from 30 yards with Pompey’s keeper yet to get back into position.

And things soon got even worse for the visitors as, less than three minutes later, Harriman got clear down the right and swung in a dangerous cross that Thompson fired home.

The Blues tried to hit back, with Lavery and Kyle Bennett both denied by some last-gasp defending from the Chairboys.

But it took a fine stop from Murphy to stop them falling further behind on 38 minutes, with the keeper spreading himself to deny Wood from point-blank range.

Pompey had been well below-par, although they finished the half with a flourish and Aaron Pierre diverted Enda Stevens’ low cross just past his own post.

And the visitors grabbed a lifeline in stoppage-time after McNulty beat the offside trap to latch onto Christian Burgess’ threaded pass and unselfishly squared for LAVERY to slot home.


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 2

Portsmouth 1


Cook made a switch at the start of the second half, with Hollands making way for Adam Barton in midfield.

Pompey soon had a chance when Davies delivered a free-kick into the area, but Wycombe were able to scramble clear and referee Mark Haywood ignored Webster’s pleas for a penalty.

WEBSTER was celebrating on 55 minutes, however, when he was left unmarked to convert Davies’ corner with a bullet header that was too powerful for Chairboys keeper Matt Ingram to keep out.

Hayes had his own chance from a set-piece moments later, but he could only divert the ball straight into Murphy’s arms.

The Blues then surged straight down the other end and Pierre made a decent block to keep out McGurk’s effort.

Cook made his second switch on 67 minutes, with Evans getting a chance to impress in place of McGurk.

He soon made an impact, but after ghosting in at the near post, was unable to divert a corner from Davies on target.

And Evans was in the thick of action again moments later, only to be denied by a vital Anthony Stewart block after Lavery had done well to hold the ball up.

Bennett was next go close when he cut along the edge of the box before firing in a shot that Ingram did well to beat away.

And Burgess thought he should have been awarded a penalty on 84 minutes after going to ground under Pierre’s challenge while trying to attack a corner.

Pierre then fouled Lavery right on the edge of the box and Davies’ free-kick was pushed clear by Ingram.

It was Pompey who were doing all the attacking as the game entered its closing stages, but they were unable to find a late winner.

Wycombe (4-4-2): Ingram; McCarthy, Stewart, Pierre, Jombati; Harriman (Kretzschmar 90+3), Bloomfield, O’Nien, Wood; Hayes (c) (Amadi-Holloway 81), Thompson
Goals: Harriman 28, Thompson 30
Booked: McCarthy, Pierre
Subs not used: Richardson, Rowe, Banton, Sellers, Ugwu

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands (Barton 46), Doyle (c); McGurk (Evans 67), McNulty, Bennett (Tollitt 89); Lavery
Goals: Lavery 45+2, Webster 55
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Chaplin, Stockley

Referee: Mark Haywood

Attendance: 5,816 (1,976 Pompey fans)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Nov 242015
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 6    0 York City

Pompey scored six second half goals as the Fratton dam finally burst on a magical night on the south coast.

York held firm for the first 45 minutes, but Jonathan Greening’s red card just before the break was a huge blow.

And the Blues made the most of their extra man, with Ben Davies getting the ball rolling just after the restart.

Marc McNulty then endeared himself to the home fans with a hat-trick to put the result beyond doubt.

But the hosts were not done there and substitutes Conor Chaplin and Ben Tollitt added a further gloss to the already impressive scoreline.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew with Carlisle at the weekend.

McNulty was rewarded for his goal at Brunton Park with a place in the starting line-up, as Adam McGurk dropped to the bench.

Pompey showed plenty of attacking purpose straight from kick-off and Gareth Evans’ low cross was just behind the onrushing Caolan Lavery.

The visitors had an opportunity to break the deadlock on eight minutes, but Vadaine Oliver could not make a clean connection with Greening’s quickly-taken free-kick.

It was the Blues causing more trouble, however, and Kyle Bennett had a shot blocked before Christian Burgess saw his header deflected wide.

Lavery then showed great skill to control Bennett’s flick and lift the ball over a defender, but at full-stretch he could only poke wide.

Davies was, as ever, providing plenty of dangerous crosses and one of them was glanced narrowly past the post by McNulty on 14 minutes.

Pompey kept pouring forward and Michael Doyle sent a volley over the crossbar after Minstermen keeper Scott Flinders had failed to hold a corner.

McNulty then had cries for a penalty turned down by referee Iain Williamson after he went down under Eddie Nolan’s challenge.

Flinders was soon called into action once more, keeping out Evans’ angled drive after the winger had latched onto Lavery’s threaded pass.

When York did manage to get forward, the hosts were quick to catch them on the break and one such move ended with Lavery firing wide.

The Blues kept knocking on the door and Bennett was next to go close with a long-range snap-shot that was agonisingly off target.

But the big talking point came right at the end of the half when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Greening clattered into Doyle extremely late and appeared to catch Pompey’s skipper with his elbow.

The challenge angered the home side and Williamson quickly put his hand in his pocket to pull out a red card.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

York City 0


Pompey were soon back on the attack once the second half started and it took a fantastic save to stop them taking the lead within a minute.

Lavery met Davies’ cross from the right and his header appeared destined for the net until Flinders stuck out a hand to somehow tip the ball over.

But the Fratton faithful did not have to wait long to see their side open the scoring, as a cross from DAVIES somehow evaded everyone on its way into the net.

Doyle’s shot was then well held low down by Flinders as the Blues tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.

And they did extend the lead on 52 minutes when Doyle sent Evans’ low cross back into the box and McNULTY calmly diverted it home.

The rampant Blues soon added a third goal, as McNULTY doubled his tally for the evening by converting Bennett’s cut-back.

Pompey kept pouring forward in search of even more goals and Flinders just about managed to prevent Evans from getting in on the act on 63 minutes.

There was not too long to wait for the fourth to arrive, however, and it was McNULTY who got it, latching onto Doyle’s pass and coolly sliding home to complete his hat-trick.

He immediately left the pitch to a standing ovation, with Davies also departing, as Chaplin and Rommy Boco were invited to the party.

Chaplin immediately looked a threat and sent a free-kick dipping narrowly over before weaving his way into space and seeing a shot blocked by George Swan.

But it was fellow substitute TOLLITT who grabbed the fifth on 80 minutes, surging into the box to convert a fine low cross from Enda Stevens.

CHAPLIN did get in on the act moments later, though, following up to score after Flinders had failed to hold Evans’ effort.

“We want seven,” was the cry from the stands and although the Blues could not oblige, the home fans still left the ground with huge smiles on their faces.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies (Boco 73), Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McNulty (Chaplin 73), Bennett (Tollitt 76); Lavery
Goals: Davies 49, McNulty 52, 60, 71, Tollitt 80, Chaplin 84
Booked: Bennett
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, McGurk

York (4-2-3-1): Flinders; Nolan, Swan, Boyle, Ilesanmi; Greening, Berrett (c); Sinclair (Godfrey 56), Morris, Straker; Oliver (Hyde 75)
Sent off: Greening
Booked: Swan
Subs not used: Ingham, Hare, Tutonda, Turner

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 13,616 (141 away fans)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Nov 212015
 

Match Report

League Two


Carlisle United 2    2 Portsmouth

Pompey were cruelly denied a deserved victory at Carlisle after conceding in the last minute of stoppage-time

It looked like the points were heading back down to the south coast when Caolan Lavery and Marc McNulty found the target in quick succession after the break.

That turned the contest on its head after Danny Grainger had netted from the spot on the stroke of half-time.

But the United skipper ensured there would be a share of the spoils after scoring a fine strike right at the death.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew at home to AFC Wimbledon the previous week.

Kyle Bennett returned to the starting line-up and took up position wide on the left, with McNulty dropping to the bench.

Pompey – backed by almost 1,000 hardy travelling fans – immediately set about trying to find an early goal and it almost arrived after five minutes.

Lavery met Ben Davies’ cross from wide on the right, but his header was parried clear by Carlisle keeper Mark Gillespie.

Webster then tried a shot from the resulting corner and his effort bounced off the turf and was cleared from the line by Grainger.

The Blues were totally dominant and after Gillespie got a hand to Davies’ cross, the keeper recovered to twice prevent Enda Stevens from converting the loose ball.

And when Gareth Evans’ follow-up hit a body in the area, the visitors’ cries for a penalty were dismissed by referee Scott Duncan.

Webster surged forward and tried his luck from long-range on 14 minutes, but his shot flew over the bar.

And there were further half-chances for Christian Burgess and Michael Doyle as the Blues continued to apply plenty of pressure.

The home support were starting to grow frustrated at their side’s inability to keep hold of the ball, while Pompey passed it around neatly.

But for all of their possession, Gillespie was not exactly being overworked in the Cumbrians’ box as the final killer pass just eluded the visitors.

He had been more involved than Brian Murphy, however, with the Blues stopper a virtual spectator during the first half.

But his first task of note was to pick the ball out of the net just before the break after Burgess needlessly slid in on Grainger.

There was some debate about whether the foul took place inside or outside the box, but Duncan pointed to the spot.

Grainger dusted himself down to take the penalty and slammed it straight down the middle to leave Pompey stunned.


Half Time

Carlisle United 1

Portsmouth 0


The Blues continued to see more of the ball when the second half got started, but were still finding it difficult to penetrate the opposition defence.

Carlisle, meanwhile, had a chance when Alex Gilliead broke clear on 55 minutes, only for Murphy to palm his cross to safety.

Pompey had a good chance to level on the hour mark when Davies was bundled over by Luke Joyce.

The right-back insisted that the foul had taken place inside the box, but Duncan did not agree and the visitors had to settle for a free-kick.

Adam McGurk fired it straight into the wall, however, and after picking up the loose ball, his cross was claimed by Gillespie.

Cook responded with a double substitution on 64 minutes, as Evans and McGurk made way for Ben Tollitt and McNulty.

And the substitutes both made an immediate impact as Pompey turned the game on its head in the space of just two minutes.

It was Tollitt who delivered the ball that LAVERY slid in to convert at the near post to level the scores on 66 minutes.

Then, seconds later, McNULTY took advantage of some poor defending to steal possession and slam the ball past Gillespie.

It was only a brief cameo for the striker, however, as he was soon clattered while at the back to deal with a United corner and had to be replaced by Nigel Atangana.

Pompey’s patient passing game then started to come unstuck as they nervily tried to hold on for all three points.

Carlisle were understandably showing more urgency and forcing the visitors back deeper and deeper.

And they managed to snatch a leveller in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when Grainger fired impressively home from long-range.

Carlisle (4-2-3-1): Gillespie; Miller, Raynes (Asamoah 73), Ellis, Atkinson; Joyce (Sweeney 78), Dicker; Gilliead, Kennedy, Grainger (c); Ibehre (Wyke 73)
Goals: Grainger 44 (pen), 90+5
Booked: Dicker
Subs not used: Hanford, McQueen, Hery, Brough

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans (Tollitt 64), McGurk (McNulty 64 (Atangana 74)), Bennett; Lavery
Goals: Lavery 66, McNulty 68
Booked: McNulty, Lavery
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Boco, Chaplin

Referee: Scott Duncan

Attendance: 5,503 (953 Pompey fans)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Nov 152015
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 0    0 AFC Wimbledon

There were more Fratton frustrations as Pompey were unable to break down AFC Wimbledon.

The hosts improved as the game wore on, but there were not an abundance of opportunities to get the crowd – or those watching on Sky Sports – excited.

Marc McNulty had the best of them after the interval, but was denied by a smart save as the Blues had to settle for another home draw.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that beat Macclesfield in the FA Cup eight days earlier, as he switched to a 4-4-2 formation.

Caolan Lavery and McNulty came in to lead the line, with Kyle Bennett and Conor Chaplin dropping to the bench.

With the match being Pompey’s designated Remembrance fixture, there was a minute’s silence before kick-off, with the Last Post played in front of an audience of veterans.

Also, in tribute to those who lost their lives in the attacks on Paris on Friday, Nigel Atangana and Rommy Boco carried out a French flag, while ‘La Marseillaise’ rang out over the PA system.

Pompey made a bright start when the game got underway and Lavery delivered a dangerous low cross that Gareth Evans could not quite convert in the opening seconds.

But it was the visitors who found the back of the net moments later when a George Francomb free-kick was headed home, only for their celebrations to be cut short by the linesman’s flag.

Brian Murphy then failed to hold a fierce long-range drive from Sean Rigg, but quickly recovered to pounce on the loose ball.

However, there were not too many other openings in a first half that saw both sides guilty of some sloppy passing.

Christian Burgess had to make a key interception to prevent Jon Meades latching onto an Ade Azeez ball.

Pompey, meanwhile, delivered a few dangerous crosses into the opposition box, although there was nothing to trouble Dons keeper Ben Wilson.

Azeez might have given the visitors a stoppage-time lead when a long throw was flicked into his path, but could not beat Murphy from an acute angle.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

AFC Wimbledon 0


As was the case in the first half, it was Pompey who were first to threaten after the interval.

McNulty collected the ball on the left, beat former Blues defender Paul Robinson, cut inside and then saw his powerful effort pushed over by Wilson.

The visitors were then gifted an opportunity at the other end when Adam Webster dwelt on the ball for too long and was forced to concede a corner.

It was Robinson who was there to meet the ball when it was whipped into the box, but he could only head over.

Cook made his first substitution on 58 minutes, switching to three at the back with Matt Clarke replacing Evans.

The atmosphere picked up as Pompey started to show more attacking intent, but they were still not doing enough to test Wilson.

Another change was made on 66 minutes as Adam McGurk made way for Bennett wide on the left.

The Blues had won a corner before the switch happened and, when play restarted, Ben Davies swung in a cross that Burgess headed over.

There was not too much action at the other end of the pitch, although substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa guided a header past the post.

Pompey tried a quick break up the pitch on 66 minutes, with skipper Michael Doyle surging forward and just unable to pick out Lavery with a curling pass.

Cook’s third and final change saw Lavery make way for Nigel Atangana, with Bennett pushed further up alongside McNulty.

But it was the memory of former Blues player and manager Bobby Campbell that got the Fratton faithful clapping when the clock turned to 83 minutes – the year he led the club to the Division Three title.

Unfortunately, there was not a late Pompey winner to give them something else to cheer.

Pompey (4-4-2): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Evans (Clarke 58), Hollands, Doyle (c), McGurk (Bennett 66); McNulty, Lavery (Atangana 79)
Subs not used: Bass, Boco, Tollitt, Chaplin

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Wilson; Fuller (c), Robinson, Osborne, Meades; Frabncomb, Bulman, Reeves, Rigg (Kennedy 82); Taylor, Azeez (Akinfenwa 61)
Booked: Reeves
Subs not used: McDonnell, Toonga, Gallagher, Beere, Kaja

Referee: Stuart Attwell

Attendance: 15,892 (794 away fans)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Nov 072015
 

Match Report

FA Cup 1st Round


Portsmouth 2    1 Macclesfield Town

Pompey’s long wait for an FA Cup victory finally came to an end as they saw off Macclesfield to progress to the second round.

It looked like being a comfortable afternoon when Adam McGurk fired them ahead in the opening stages.

But Kristian Dennis took advantage of some sloppy defending to bring the non-league side level soon after.

The Blues created plenty of chances and the winner arrived in first half stoppage-time, with McGurk again on target.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side beaten at Notts County in the league the previous week.

With Caolan Lavery not given permission to play by parent club Sheffield Wednesday, Conor Chaplin came in to lead the line.

That meant that recent loan arrival Marc McNulty had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence in memory of former Pompey player and manager Bobby Campbell – who sadly passed away on Friday – as well as all those who have lost their lives in service of their country.

When the game got started it was the hosts – attacking the Fratton End in the first half – who looked more dangerous.

And they broke the deadlock after just three minutes when McGURK collected a fine pass from Kyle Bennett and fired home off the inside of the post.

Brian Murphy got down low to keep out Paul Turnbull’s long-range effort soon after, but most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch.

A dangerous cross from Ben Davies had to be cleared behind, while Adam Webster’s header from the resulting corner was comfortably saved by Shwan Jalal.

Chaplin then saw a shot swerve wide before Macclesfield levelled the tie in farcical fashion on 15 minutes.

Murphy took too long to clear when Enda Stevens threw the ball back to him, allowing Dennis to charge him down with the ball ricocheting into the net.

Pompey immediately set about trying to restore their advantage and Gareth Evans’ drive was punched clear by Jalal.

Murphy then atoned for his earlier error with an acrobatic save to deny Danny Whitehead from distance.

The Blues dominated the rest of the first half, however, and Chaplin drilled wide before Andy Halls made a vital interception to stop an unmarked McGurk collecting the ball inside the area.

David Fitzpatrick was then forced to clear Evans’ shot from the line after fine work from Bennett and McGurk down the left.

Pompey continued to pour forward and there were several more half chances as the clock ticked down on the first half.

But they did manage to forge ahead in stoppage-time when Stevens’ cross caused an almighty scramble in the Macclesfield box and McGURK kept his composure to stab home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Macclesfield Town 1


It was the visitors who looked more eager immediately after the interval and Murphy had to be alert to keep out Danny Whitaker’s effort.

Stevens’ clearance then ricocheted off Michael Doyle and fell kindly for Dennis, but his shot flew over the bar.

Pompey carved open their first chance of the half on 56 minutes when Bennett and McGurk showed good perseverance to win possession and Chaplin’s shot was deflected narrowly wide.

Evans and Danny Hollands were unable to test Jalal from long-range as the hosts lacked the attacking threat that had been so evident before the break.

With that in mind, Cook made his first change on 66 minutes, handing McNulty his debut in place of Chaplin.

And a second switch soon followed as the inventive Bennett made way for Kal Naismith down the left.

McNulty looked lively, but was caught offside from Doyle’s pass and then there was no-one to meet his low centre.

The striker probably should have added a third goal on 83 minutes, only to head Evans’ pin-point cross over the bar.

And he then saw his fierce shot beaten away by Jalal after doing well to weave past a couple of challenges.

But it mattered not as the hosts comfortably held on for their first FA Cup win in five years to book their place in Monday night’s second round draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McGurk (Boco 90), Bennett (Naismith 69); Chaplin (McNulty 66)
Goals: McGurk 3, 45+1
Booked: Bennett
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Atangana, Tollitt

Macclesfield (4-1-4-1): Jalal; Halls, Pilkington (Byrne 46), Diagne, Fitzpatrick; Turnbull (c) (Sampson 75); Holroyd, Whitehead (Lewis 75), Whitaker, Rowe; Dennis
Goals: Dennis 15
Subs not used: Branagan, Cowan, Churchman, Meikle

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 9,834 (411 away fans)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Oct 312015
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 2    1 Portsmouth

Pompey’s long unbeaten away record finally came to an end as Notts County fought from behind to claim all three points at Meadow Lane.

It looked like being a familiar tale for the Blues when Caolan Lavery fired them ahead midway through the first half.

But the Magpies soon levelled through Graham Burke’s fine strike and a second half Alan Sheehan free-kick somehow found its way into the net.

The visitors could feel somewhat hard done by, however, as they contributed plenty to a chance-filled contest.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Mansfield at Fratton Park the previous week.

Gareth Evans returned from suspension to take his place wide on the right, while there was also a start for the fully-fit Adam McGurk, with Kal Naismith and Rommy Boco the men to make way.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence in memory of all those who have lost their lives in conflict.

When the game got underway it quickly turned into an open affair, with both sides contributing to an entertaining affair.

Pompey came close to breaking the deadlock on seven minutes, but Adam Webster could not quite divert Ben Davies’ corner on target.

The home support were then cheering when former Blues striker Izale McLeod had the ball in the net moments later, although referee Andy Haines had long since blown his whistle for offside.

And the action soon switched back down to the other end of the pitch, where Sheehan was on hand to hack clear after Roy Carroll had slowed down Evans’ drive.

County then enjoyed a spell of possession in Pompey’s half and Brian Murphy denied McLeod before beating away a curling effort from Burke.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes, as LAVERY opened his account for the club.

Kyle Bennett and Enda Stevens combined well down the left and the latter delivered a low cross that Lavery deftly turned into the bottom corner.

They were only ahead for a matter of minutes, however, as a free-kick was cleared as far as Burke, who struck a fine volley into the net from the edge of the box.

Lavery tried to restore the visitors’ advantage on 30 minutes, only to see his low angled drive kept out by Carroll, while Evans was then millimetres away from connecting with Bennett’s dangerous cross.

But it was Webster who went closest to scoring again before the break, surging forward from the halfway line before firing a shot against the inside of the post.

There were half-chances for both sides as the seconds ticked down, with Liam Noble and McGurk both unable to find the target from long-range.

But it took fine headed clearance from Mike Edwards to prevent Lavery from converting Davies’ cross in stoppage-time.


Half Time

Notts County 1

Portsmouth 1


The second half started in the same way that the first had finished – with both sides keen to get forward.

And the hosts survived when Bennett’s effort cannoned off a defender and was just about kept in play by Carroll.

Then, at the other end, McLeod opted to lay the ball off for Burke rather than shoot, with Danny Hollands gratefully nipping in to intercept.

McGurk was next to go close on 57 minutes, only to see his effort inadvertently blocked by Evans at close range.

Lavery then collected Bennett’s sweeping pass and curled in a shot that Sheehan did well to get in the way of.

Bennett had penalty appeals turned down just past the hour mark after the winger felt he had been tripped in the area, while Evans’ follow-up was deflected into the side netting.

Cook made his first change on 67 minutes, with the tiring McGurk making way for Conor Chaplin.

But the hosts then enjoyed a spell of sustained pressure and won a couple of corners before Murphy had to come charging from his box to clear the danger.

Pompey responded with a second substitution on 76 minutes, as Ben Tollitt made his first league appearance in place of Bennett.

But the hosts were ahead within seconds, with Sheehan’s long-range free-kick – won for a foul on McLeod – evading everyone on its way into the net.

Matt Tubbs was immediately brought on as the shell-shocked Blues went in search of a late leveller.

Notts County held firm at the back for the final few minutes, however, as Pompey were finally vanquished on the road.

Notts County (4-1-4-1): Carroll (c); Hewitt, Edwards, Sheehan, Barmby; Aborah; Stead, Noble (Thompson 86), Smith (De Silva 72), Burke (Campbell 60); McLeod
Goals: Burke 23, Sheehan 77
Subs not used: Loach, Amevor, Jenner, Spencer

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McGurk (Chaplin 67), Bennett (Tollitt 76); Lavery (Tubbs 80)
Goals: Lavery 20
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Atangana, Naismith

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 6,917 (2,162 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC


Oct 242015
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 0    0 Mansfield Town

Pompey endured more Fratton frustration as they were unable to break down Mansfield.

It was not a game of many clear-cut chances, although the Blues did have the best there were on offer.

Ben Davies and substitute Conor Chaplin came closest to finding a goal, although the hosts had to settle for another share of the spoils.

Paul Cook made four changes to the side held to a draw by Stevenage earlier in the week.

Brian Murphy had recovered from a groin problem to replace the departing Aaron McCarey between the sticks.

Caolan Lavery made his first Pompey start in place of Matt Tubbs up front, while there were also returns for Kal Naismith and Danny Hollands in midfield.

And there was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Craig Westcarr named in the Stags side.

The hosts started brightly and Lavery’s ball into the box was turned over by Kyle Bennett in the opening stages.

They then broke quickly up the pitch following a Mansfield corner, only for Naismith to mis-kick in front of goal following good work from Lavery and Enda Stevens

Another decent move followed on nine minutes and ended with Stevens cutting inside and unleashing a thumping drive that was well held by Stags keeper Brian Jensen.

Davies’ crosses were causing problems as usual and one was headed over by Naismith, while another had to be hacked clear by Nicky Hunt.

Mansfield survived that spell of Pompey pressure, however, and saw out the rest of the half with relative ease.

They did not really create much at the other end, though, with an off-target header from Hunt the closest they came to testing Murphy.

Not that Jensen was being over-worked at the other half, although a Davies cross was deflected comfortably into his arms on 37 minutes.

Then, just before the break, the Blues won a free-kick and Davies’ curling effort somehow evaded everyone as it flew wide.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Mansfield Town 0


It was the visitors who were first to threaten once the second half got underway, although Adam Chapman’s long-range effort flew high over the bar.

Pompey, meanwhile, were struggling to find any sort of rhythm, with too many passes going astray.

Cook tried to liven things up with a double substitution on 56 minutes, as Naismith and Rommy Boco made way for Chaplin and Nigel Atangana.

That seemed to liven up both players and fans and the hosts were injected with a fresh vigour, with ‘Blue Army’ soon reverberating around Fratton Park.

It was Davies who came close to breaking the deadlock on 64 minutes after Lavery’s header from his initial cross had been blocked.

The right-back picked up the loose ball and hit a fierce curling shot that Jensen did well to tip over the bar.

And Davies went close again soon after, curling a 30-yard free-kick inches past the post after Bennett had been felled.

Cook made his third and final switch on 78 minutes, with Tubbs replacing Lavery in the Blues’ attack.

But it was Chaplin who came agonisingly close to scoring moments later, collecting Stevens’ pass and seeing his close-range effort deflected inches wide.

And despite throwing plenty of men forward in the final stages, Pompey were unable to find a winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Boco (Atangana 56), Bennett, Naismith (Chaplin 56); Lavery (Tubbs 78)
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Tollitt, McGurk

Mansfield (4-4-1-1): Jensen; Hunt (c), Collins, Tafazolli, Adams; Rose, Clements, Chapman, Lambe (Yussuf 86); Westcarr (Blair 62); Green (N.Thomas 78)
Booked: Hunt, Blair
Subs not used: Shearer, McGuire, J.Thomas, Beardsley

Referee: Kevin Wright

Attendance: 16,210 (389 away fans)


Portsmouth FC


Oct 202015
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 1    1 Stevenage

Pompey’s home frustrations continued as a late Brett Williams goal denied them victory against Stevenage.

Conor Chaplin came off the bench to fire the hosts in front and seemingly back to the top of the League Two table.

But, just seconds after leaving the bench, Williams levelled to burst the Blues bubble and send everyone home deflated.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that won at Newport on Saturday.

Rommy Boco came in for his first Pompey start wide on the right, with Kal Naismith dropping to the bench.

The visitors started brightly, with Aaron McCarey and Christian Burgess forced to deal with some dangerous crosses.

But the Blues had chances of their own in a very open first half and Jesse Joronen got down quickly to keep out Gary Roberts’ drive following a quick counter-attack.

The keeper was called into action again moments later and only just got his hand to a long-range Boco effort that was headed for the bottom corner.

It was Stevenage who were next to threaten on 17 minutes, as Tom Pett flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal before Arnand Gnanduillet headed wide at the far post.

Pompey began to dominate as the half progressed, however, with a series of pin-point crosses from Ben Davies causing Boro plenty of problems.

One of those was met by the livewire Boco, whose stooping header lacked enough power to really trouble Joronen.

The right-back also had a penalty appeal turned down when, after shaping to pass, he went down under Jerome Okimo’s challenge.

It was Roberts who should have broken the deadlock on 32 minutes, firing into the side netting after Matt Tubbs had taken advantage of Mark Hughes’ slip.

And the midfielder then whipped in a cross that was headed back into the danger zone by Boco, with Hughes only just getting there before Tubbs could pounce.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Stevenage 0


Boro came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half and they should have forged ahead on 48 minutes.

A fine passing move cut open the Blues back-line, but with just McCarey to beat, Dipo Akinyemi fired wide.

And it was Pompey wondering why they had not scored moments later, following a fine surging run from Enda Stevens.

The left-back picked out Roberts, whose low pass across the face of goal should have been turned home by Tubbs at the far post.

The hosts were, by now, looking the much more dangerous side and they created another decent opening just before the hour mark.

And the chance owed a lot to the perseverance of Davies, who managed to lay the ball off for Michael Doyle, with the skipper’s pile-driver well saved by Joronen.

Cook then made his first substitution, with Caolan Lavery coming on for his home debut in place of Tubbs.

The loan signing did brilliantly to control McCarey’s long clearance on 66 minutes and feed Bennett, whose fierce drive was saved by Joronen.

He then had another attempt after bursting down the centre, but slipped as he shot and the ball rolled tamely into the keeper’s hands.

A second change followed on 71 minutes, with the tiring Boco making way for Chaplin’s fresh legs.

And it was the teenager who finally found a route through to goal on 77 minutes following a spell of intense Pompey pressure.

Adam Webster was the creator, bursting forward and sending a pass down the channel which Jamie McCombe missed, allowing CHAPLIN to beat Joronen at his near post.

Stevenage sent men forward in search of an equaliser and Tom Pett fired narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was the Blues who looked likely to score in the closing stages, with Chaplin sending a curling effort just past the post.

However, the hosts were left with their heads in their hands deep into stoppage-time when substitute Williams met Charlie Lee’s long throw and his header looped over McCarey and into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Barton (Atangana 79), Doyle (c); Boco (Chaplin 71), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Lavery 61)
Goals: Chaplin 77
Subs not used: Murphy, Clarke, Hollands, Naismith

Stevenage (4-1-4-1): Joronen; Franks, McCombe, Hughes (c), Okimo; Tonge; Kennedy (Lee 72), Parrett (Williams 90+1), Pett, Akinyemi (Conlon 57); Gnanduillet
Goals: Williams 90+3
Booked: Tonge
Subs not used: Day, Wells, Jebb, Loza

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 14,900 (133 away fans)


Portsmouth FC