2016/2017

May 062017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    6

 


 

Cheltenham Town    1

 


We are CHAMPIONS!

Pompey thrashed Cheltenham 6-1 to secure the League Two title on a memorable afternoon on the south coast.

They became only the fifth team to win all four divisions after both Plymouth and Doncaster failed to secure three points.

Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s own-goal opened the scoring at Fratton Park, but the lead was a slender one at the break.

It all changed in the second half, however, as Kyle Bennett, Jamal Lowe and Gareth Evans found the target – the latter from the penalty spot – while Kal Naismith bagged a brace.

Fans then flooded onto the pitch at full-time to begin a party that will likely last for quite a while.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that won at Mansfield the previous week, meaning that it was Conor Chaplin who again led the line.

But it was a Robins player who inadvertently gave the hosts a welcome lead with just 13 minutes on the clock.

Enda Stevens – who collected The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season award before kick-off – delivered a low cross that O’Shaughnessy deflected into his own net.

Chaplin had a chance to double the advantage soon after, but his fierce drive was kept out by Scott Brown.

Cheltenham were not creating too much at the other end, although David Forde got down to his left to keep out Harry Pell’s effort.

The Blues were looking more threatening, meanwhile, and when a free-kick was played to Carl Baker, his curling shot was deflected inches past the post by the knee of Danny Wright.

The visitors grew stronger as the first half progressed and Forde made a comfortable save to deny Billy Waters.

Then, after the keeper did well to keep out Dan Holman’s strike, Danny Rowe curled the ball narrowly wide.

Bennett had a shot saved by Brown, while a stretching Chaplin could not quite reach Naismith’s centre.

But Cheltenham almost grabbed a leveller just before the interval, Dan Holman finding Rowe and the midfielder firing in a shot that was deflected narrowly over.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Cheltenham Town 0


There was also a great chance for the visitors moments after the restart, but Danny Wright could only head Kyle Storer’s cross wide from close range.

Holman then had a shot that was racing towards the net before Forde dived to his right to push the ball clear.

But the Blues almost had a second when Danny Rose unleashed a fierce volley that cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar.

Cook made a double switch just past the hour mark, with Baker and Chaplin making way for Lowe and Gary Roberts.

And Pompey soon doubled their advantage, as BENNETT fired in a shot that took a wicked deflection to leave Brown stranded.

That was the cue for the floodgates to open and, following a quick counter, Bennett slipped the ball through for NAISMITH to calmly slip home.

It was substitute LOWE who was next to get in on the act on 72 minutes when he found the bottom corner from a tight angle.

And when Roberts was tripped in the box by Liam Davis, referee Christopher Sarginson pointed to the spot, with EVANS stepping up to slam home the resulting penalty.

The fans were celebrating in the stands with news coming through that both Doncaster and Plymouth were being held.

Pompey had certainly done their job, although Cheltenham pulled a goal back through substitute James Dayton.

That failed to stop the hosts’ attacking charge, however, and Bennett’s strike was superbly saved by Brown.

NAISMITH did grab a sixth goal on 85 minutes, with Michael Doyle sending a ball over the top and Pompey’s top scorer calmly slotting into the net.

All the attention now was to what was happening at Grimsby and Hartlepool, with plenty of fingernails being chewed.

Fans ran onto the pitch in celebration at the final whistle, with news filtering through that Plymouth could only draw.

And when Doncaster’s match at Hartlepool finished in defeat, it was confirmed that Pompey were League Two champions.

We’re on our way.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Aborah 71), M.Doyle; Baker (Lowe 61), Naismith, Bennett; Chaplin (Roberts 61)
Goals: O’Shaughnessy 13 (og), Bennett 62, Naismith 66, 85, Lowe 72, Evans 75 (pen)
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Linganzi , Lowe, Roberts, Kabamba

Cheltenham (4-4-2): Brown; Cranston (Barthram 66), O’Shaughnessy, Boyle, Davies; Pell (Dayton 54), Storer (c), Rowe, Waters; Wright, Holman (Munns 71)
Goals: Dayton 78
Booked: Storer
Subs not used: Kitscha, Winchester, Downes, Wootton

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 17,956 (545 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 162016
 

Match Report

League Two


Morecambe 2    0 Portsmouth

Pompey still await first win

Pompey made the long trip home from Morecambe disappointed after suffering a first league defeat of the season.

They were poor in the first half and the hosts took advantage with goals from Ryan Edwards and Tom Barkhuizen.

There was a marked improvement after the interval, but a string of fine saves from Barry Roche kept the Blues at bay.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that drew with Crewe at the weekend.

Enda Stevens recovered from the groin problem that kept him sidelined at Alexandra Stadium to replace Kal Naismith at left-back.

Adam Barton came in for the injured Jack Whatmough in the centre of defence, while Milan Lalkovic dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett.

Pompey made an encouraging start, with Stevens and Drew Talbot sending in a couple of dangerous deliveries that the hosts were able to clear.

But Morecambe soon settled and a free-kick from skipper Michael Rose had to be cleared by his namesake Danny.

Cole Stockton then cut along the edge of the Blues box and fired in a shot that hit Christian Burgess and looped over the bar.

Pompey were being allowed to see plenty of the ball and were not having any trouble getting into the opposition half, but were struggling to get through the defence and test Roche.

And the Shrimps were looking an increasing threat on the counter-attack before they broke the deadlock after just 10 minutes.

The visitors failed to deal with a ball in from the left and it fell kindly for Edwards to hit through a host of bodies and into the net.

It was becoming a familiar story at the other end of the pitch, with plenty of teasing crosses, but no end product.

Morecambe, meanwhile, were looking far more clinical and broke quickly upfield after Carl Baker had a penalty appeal turned down to double their advantage.

It was a fine finish from Barkhuizen that flew past the grasp of David Forde and into the top corner, but he was allowed far too much space to burst forward.

Roche was finally called into action on 25 minutes, just about beating Baker to the ball as the midfielder tried to latch onto Bennett’s incisive pass.

Michael Smith then rose highest in the box to meet another cross from Stevens, but could only glance his header wide.

They failed to build on that spell of pressure, however, and instead almost fell further behind.

Barkhuizen ran into the box from the right and lifted the ball over Forde, only to see the ball hit the side netting.


Half Time

Morecambe 2

Portsmouth 0


Baker was trying to be positive at the start of the second half and hit a couple of efforts that did not really trouble Roche.

He certainly made a clean connection on 52 minutes, though, hitting a fierce effort that Roche did well to turn behind.

Baker was single-handedly trying to bring the Blues back into the contest and his next attempt flashed narrowly past the post.

Pompey were looking a lot brighter since the restart and Barton twice found himself in the opposition area to have shots that were deflected wide.

Cook tried to keep the momentum flowing by making a double switch on 64 minutes, with Smith and Bennett making way for Curtis Main and Lalkovic.

But it was Roberts who soon had a chance to reduce the deficit with a firm low drive that Roche managed to get a hand to and palm clear.

And the Shrimps stopper made an even better save soon after, somehow keeping out a Main header from point-blank range.

Then, after Lalkovic was fouled 30 yards out, Baker stepped up to curl a free-kick over the wall, but also over the bar.

Pompey were totally dominant, with Morecambe unsurprisingly content to sit back and soak up pressure.

But they were indebted to Roche, who added to his tally of super stops by denying first Main and then Burgess.

The keeper was not done yet, flinging himself to his right on 82 minutes to keep out a free-kick from Roberts that was heading for the top corner.

Noel Hunt replaced Rose for the closing stages as Cook made one last attacking throw of the dice.

But that failed to spark an improbable late comeback as Pompey’s wait for a first win of the campaign continued.

Morecambe (4-2-3-1): Roche; Wakefield, Edwards, Whitmore, Conlan; Fleming, Rose (c); Barkhuizen (Kenyon 87), Dunn (Molyneux 60), Ellison; Stockton (Mullin 75)
Goals: Edwards 10, Barkhuizen 21
Booked: Stockton, Fleming, Molyneux
Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Turner

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Barton, Burgess, Stevens; Rose (Hunt 85), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 64); Smith (Main 64)
Booked: Doyle, Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, T.Davies, Linganzi

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 1,838 (546 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 132016
 

Match Report

League Two


Crewe Alexandra 0    0 Portsmouth

Stalemate at Crewe

Pompey collected their second successive league draw with a goalless stalemate at Crewe.

Both sides had chances to turn one point into three on a nippy August afternoon at Alexandra Stadium.

Chris Dagnall missed the best of the chances for the hosts, while Curtis Main had several openings after coming off the bench.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side that drew with Carlisle in the last league outing.

That came at left-back where Kal Naismith deputised for Enda Stevens, who missed out with a groin problem.

The game was only a few seconds old when Carl Baker attempted a long-range effort that flew narrowly over.

Naismith then whipped in a dangerous cross that was just out of reach for Michael Smith running in at the far post.

The stand-in defender was looking an attacking threat and when his run was illegally halted, Baker curled in a free-kick that was comfortably dealt with by Alex keeper Ben Garratt.

Pompey had started brightly and a Naismith delivery had to be turned over his own bar by Jon Guthrie, while Milan Lalkovic saw a shot blocked after exchanging intelligent passes with Baker.

It was the visitors dominating possession, but some unsure moments at the back allowed Crewe chances to score before the break.

Dagnall was first to go close, only to see his header deflected wide after being picked out from a corner.

Then, after Lalkovic wasted a decent opportunity by firing a free-kick straight into the wall, Drew Talbot was caught out of position, but recovered well to deny Charlie Kirk.

Dagnall proved wasteful again on 26 minutes, opting to head the ball back to no-one rather than test David Forde when he was found unmarked in the box.

There were still openings at the other end and a cross-shot from Lalkovic looped over Garratt and narrowly cleared the crossbar.

But Crewe were gifted another chance late in the half when Christian Burgess collected a throw and hit the ball straight at Ryan Lowe.

The striker spotted Forde off his line and had an audacious effort from long-range, but the ball flashed wide.


Half Time

Crewe Alexandra 0

Portsmouth 0


The second half began in a very open fashion, with both sides keen to get forward whenever they could.

Neither goalkeeper was being overworked, although Burgess did well to mop up the danger after Dagnall had been picked out by a fine Billy Bingham pass.

And Cook clearly wanted to see more from his attacking players as he made a double switch on 54 minutes, with Smith and Lalkovic making way for Main and Kyle Bennett.

The duo immediately looked lively, with the former doing good work to win a corner and the latter looking to test Crewe right-back Oliver Turton.

But it was Michael Doyle who came close to breaking the deadlock just past the hour mark. The skipper’s shot was deflected wide after Bingham had lost the ball to Gary Roberts.

Bennett then did well to cut inside from the left and put the ball into the box, but it would not sit up kindly for Roberts and the hosts were able to clear.

Alex substitute Alex Kiwomya was looking a real threat and, after breaking clear down the right, his cut-back somehow evaded everyone on its journey across the box.

Cook was then forced to make his third and final change when Jack Whatmough went down injured on 74 minutes.

It looked worrying when he lay on the ground clutching his leg, but the defender was able to hobble off and be replaced by Adam Barton.

The Blues soon had a chance to take the lead, but Main could not guide his header on target after a header had been flicked into his path.

It was Main who was involved again moments later when he could not quite make a clean connection with Talbot’s low cross.

And the striker should have done better on 81 minutes, but he failed to turn home Naismith’s low delivery at the near post.

Main did have the ball in the back of net soon after, but referee Dean Whitestone had already blown for a foul before his crisp finish.

Crewe were after a late winner themselves, though, and Talbot threw himself into the path of a Bingham drive.

The same player then drew a smart stop from Forde in the closing stages, while Main’s header failed to beat Garratt at the other end.

It was a frantic end to proceedings, but neither side was able to find a winner and the spoils were shared.

Crewe (4-4-2): Garratt; Turton, Davies, Guthrie, Bakayogo; Cooper (Kiwomya 59), Jones, Bingham, Kirk (Ainley 66); Lowe (c), Dagnall
Booked: Dagnall
Subs not used: Richards, Ray, Nugent, Saunders, Udoh

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Whatmough (Barton 74), Burgess, Naismith; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 54); Smith (Main 54)
Booked: Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Chaplin, Hunt

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 4,742 (1,257 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 092016
 

Match Report

EFL Cup


Coventry City 3    2 Portsmouth

Extra time defeat for Blues

Pompey produced a brave performance, but were beaten after extra-time to exit the EFL Cup at Coventry.

They were certainly not over-awed against their League One opponents and took the lead courtesy of a Curtis Main penalty.

But the hosts were much better after the break and goals from Ryan Haynes and Vladimir Gadzhev looked to have secured safe passage into the second round.

Kal Naismith levelled late on with a free-kick to ensure another 30 minutes, however, before Andy Rose finally won it for Coventry.

Paul Cook changed the entire side that started Saturday’s draw with Carlisle in the league.

He handed debuts to summer signings Adam Buxton, Tom Davies, Amine Linganzi and Main, while there was also a first appearance for teenage keeper Alex Bass.

Adam Barton was handed the captain’s armband against his former club, while Naismith featured in an unfamiliar left-back role.

But there was no sign of nerves from the visitors against their higher-ranked hosts in a half that was low on clear-cut chances.

Bass was able to steady any nerves by holding onto a couple of ambitious Coventry efforts from long-range.

Ben Tollitt scuffed a shot wide at the other end, while a Kyle Bennett cross was headed clear after the midfielder had done well to beat his man down the right.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 19 minutes – and it was down to more good work from Bennett.

He tricked his way into the box and after being brought down by Marcus Tudgay, referee Andrew Madley pointed to the spot.

It was MAIN who stepped up to take the penalty and he confidently hammered it home, giving Reice Charles-Cook no chance.

But the keeper prevented the same player from having a chance to double the lead moments later, racing from his line to get to the ball first.

And it was Main who came close again on 22 minutes, forcing a decent stop from Charles-Cook after being teed-up by Bennett.

The hosts’ best chance of the first half arrived soon after, with Bass adjusting well to keep out Tudgay’s close-range header.

But Pompey were still proving to be an attacking threat themselves and Gareth Evans fizzed a shot narrowly over following good work from Tollitt and Adam May.


Half Time

Coventry City 0

Portsmouth 1


Coventry looked sharper after the restart, but were still finding it difficult to breach the Blues back-line and test Bass.

Ben Stevenson decided it would be better to try his luck from long-range on 54 minutes and saw the ball fly wide.

Ruben Lameiras had a better chance moments later, firing over the bar following an almighty scramble in the box.

And the hosts finally made the pressure count by levelling the tie on the hour mark.

Davies could only head Lameiras’ cross as far as Haynes, who drilled a precise low shot past the grasp of Bass and into the bottom corner.

Pompey had looked ragged since the break, so Cook freshened things up by replacing Evans with Conor Chaplin on 64 minutes.

He immediately made an impact by getting free down the right, but his cut-back fell in between Bennett and Tollitt and the chance disappeared.

It was still Coventry looking more dangerous, however, and Lameiras skipped past Naismith, but could not beat Bass from an acute angle.

Kyel Reid then sent in a dangerous cross from the right that was inches too high for Jodi Jones, who was only able to head over.

And the hosts did go ahead on 82 minutes when Gadzhev collected Lameiras’ threaded pass and confidently tucked the ball home.

The lead did not last long, though, as NAISMITH was fouled by Stevenson just outside the box and picked himself up to curl a stunning free-kick into the top corner.

There might have even been a late winner before the full-time whistle when Chaplin and Noel Hunt exchanged passes, but the latter dragged his shot wide.

The duo combined again in stoppage-time and this time it was Chaplin who was off target with a looping header.

After 90 Minutes: Coventry 2 Pompey 2

Extra-time took a while to get going, but both sides had opportunities to score in the first period.

Bass made a couple of key saves, stopping Jones from sliding one in at the near post and also keeping out a drive from Lameiras.

Pompey’s best chance came when Tollitt released Hunt down the right and the striker squared for Bennett, who could not take it round Charles-Cook with just the keeper to beat.

But Coventry scored just moments into the second period, with Rose pouncing to tuck home the loose ball after Bass had pushed clear Haynes’ attempt.

They almost added another, only for Bass to produce a stunning stop to deny Lameiras from point-blank range.

And Pompey were unable to find a late moment of inspiration to take the tie to a penalty shoot-out.

Coventry (3-4-3): Charles-Cook; Willis (Finch 76), Ricketts (c), Harries; Rose, Gadzhev, Stevenson, Haynes; Thomas (Jones 46), Tudgay (Reid 68), Lameiras
Goals: Haynes 60, Gadzhev 82, Rose 106
Booked: Gadzhev, Stevenson, Lameiras
Subs not used: Burge, Page, Kelly-Evans, Thomas

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Buxton (Talbot 77), T.Davies, Barton (c), Naismith; May, Linganzi; Tollitt, Bennett, Evans (Chaplin 64); Main (Hunt 84)
Goals: Main 19 (pen), Naismith 85
Booked: Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Doyle, Baker

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 4,976 (722 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 062016
 

Match Report

League Two


Portsmouth 1    1 Carlisle United

Baker hits debut equaliser

Pompey had to settle for a point on the opening day of the season after coming from behind to draw with 10-man Carlisle.

They created plenty and had their visitors pinned back for most of the match, but could not quite manage to find a winner.

United had taken an early lead through Reggie Lambe, only to be reduced to 10 men when Jamie Devitt collected a couple of bookings.

Carl Baker fired in an equaliser on his Blues bow, but a string of fine saves from Mark Gillespie frustrated the hosts.

Paul Cook handed full debuts to five players, with David Forde, Drew Talbot, Danny Rose, Milan Lalkovic and Baker all starting.

There was a raucous atmosphere to accompany the opening stages, as Pompey set about trying to attack their opponents.

And it was the hosts who were first to threaten when Baker broke quickly up field and teed-up Lalkovic, whose shot had to be beaten away by Gillespie.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Enda Stevens was forced to head clear a dangerous Danny Grainger cross.

But Pompey were looking the more likely to forge ahead and Gary Roberts curled narrowly wide after cutting inside.

Baker then had an effort blocked from the edge of the box, before Lalkovic’s free-kick somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play.

So Fratton was left stunned when Carlisle broke the deadlock on 14 minutes, as Lambe raced onto Shaun Miller’s pass and slotted past Forde.

That was the cue for the visitors to sit back and try to waste as much time as legally possible.

Referee Graham Salisbury was soon forced to issue the first booking of the afternoon after Devitt crudely brought down Talbot.

And it was Devitt who also received the second following a tug on Roberts on 28 minutes, reducing United to 10 men.

Pompey immediately sought to make their numerical advantage count and Macaulay Gillesphey did well to get in the way of Talbot’s well-struck volley.

Baker then forced a smart save from Gillespie following some encouraging build-up play from Roberts.

But the Blues did find themselves level just before the break, with BAKER firing a fierce drive under the keeper’s body after once again receiving a pass from Roberts.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Carlisle United 1


Roberts and Baker had combined effectively before the break and it was the same when the second half got underway.

The former did well to set-up his fellow midfielder in the area, but Baker took too long and his effort was blocked.

Michael Smith then turned a Lalkovic cross wide from close range, only to see his blushes spared by the linesman’s flag.

Roberts was soon back on the ball, though, and his cut-back was agonisingly out of reach for Baker in the box.

Pompey came close again just past the hour mark when Roberts was able to nick the ball away from the onrushing Gillespie and find Smith, who did not have time to get a shot away before a Carlisle defender came to the rescue.

Then, from the resulting corner, Jack Whatmough was left alone to glance a header narrowly past the post.

It was Baker’s turn to try his luck again on 64 minutes and after turning a defender inside-out, his shot was saved by the outstretched foot of Gillespie.

The midfielder was certainly not afraid to have a crack and one long-range effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar.

Cook made a double substitution on 68 minutes to add some attacking impetus, with Smith and Lalkovic making way for Conor Chaplin and Kyle Bennett.

The latter immediately combined well with Stevens down the left, leading to a chance for Rose that went wide.

But the midfielder went a lot closer moments later, sending a shot cannoning off the inside of the post after being given time to drive forward.

Gillespie then had to get quickly down low to his left to stop an effort from Bennett creeping inside the post.

Cook threw on an extra striker for the closing stages, with Rose making way to give Noel Hunt is first taste of competitive action in a Blues shirt.

But it was still Baker looking most likely to score and his shot was again kept out by the legs of Gillespie.

And skipper Michael Doyle then had two long-range attempts in the space of a few seconds that were both superbly palmed behind by the over-worked keeper.

Pompey continued to pour forward in search of a late winner, but Carlisle held on for a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Whatmough, Burgess, Stevens; Rose (Hunt 83), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 68); Smith (Chaplin 68)
Goals: Baker 42
Subs not used: Bass, T.Davies, Barton, Main

Carlisle (4-2-3-1): Gillespie; T.Miller, Raynes, Gillesphey, Grainger (c); Kennedy, Jones; Lambe (Joyce 58), Devitt, Adams; S.Miller (Ellis 70)
Goals: Lambe 14
Sent off: Devitt (two yellow cards)
Booked: Gillespie
Subs not used: Crocombe, Penn, Brough, Wyke

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 17,570 (481 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 302016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Bristol City 0    0 Portsmouth

Blues look bright in Ashton Gate stalemate

Pompey impressed in a goalless draw at Bristol City in their final dress rehearsal for the 2016/17 campaign.

They more than held their own against a City side who were skippered by Blues academy graduate Marlon Pack.

Paul Cook’s side created plenty of chances against higher-ranked opposition, but were not quite able to find a winner at the impressively-renovated Ashton Gate.

Pompey did not look over-awed against their Championship hosts and were passing the ball around confidently.

But despite enjoying plenty of possession in the opposition half, there were not too many clear-cut chances for either side before the break.

A stretching Aden Flint could not quite get enough on Joe Bryan’s free-kick to divert the ball on target.

Carl Baker had a couple of attempts at the other end of the pitch, only to clear the crossbar on each occasion.

Pompey’s best opening arrived on 14 minutes when Milan Lalkovic sent in a teasing cross that Christian Burgess could only glance wide of the post.

David Forde was not being overworked on his first appearance in a Blues shirt, but made a regulation save to deny Bryan from an acute angle.

He also looked confident when coming off his line to palm a Bobby Reid corner to safety amidst a sea of bodies.

It was generally positive stuff from Pompey, but that was a sour note on 34 minutes when Jack Whatmough went down injured.

The centre-back walked gingerly to the sidelines and had to be replaced in the Blues back-line by Tom Davies.


Half Time

Bristol City 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey continued to impress after the interval, with Michael Smith not quite able to chase down dithering Robins keeper Richard O’Donnell.

The lively Lalkovic then went close when his shot caught a deflection and fizzed narrowly past the post.

It was the visitors who looked the more threatening side, although they were not quite able to really test O’Donnell.

There was a scary moment at the other end just past the hour mark when Forde failed to hold a corner, but the visitors were able to scramble the ball behind.

And Bristol City suddenly came alive, creating three chances in the space of a breathless minute.

First Forde came tearing off his line to deny Jonathan Kodija after the forward had been sent through on goal.

Substitute Luke Freeman then saw a shot deflected inches wide before Forde made a super stop to keep out Hordur Magnusson’s close-range header.

It was soon Pompey’s turn to threaten and O’Donnell had to fly across his goal to tip Baker’s cleanly-struck effort over the bar.

Gary Roberts was next to try his luck, with his shot hitting Kodjia, looping up in the air and having to be cleared from the line by a well-placed Luke Ayling.

And Michael Doyle twice went close to grabbing a late winner, first seeing his low drive turned past the post by O’Donnell, who then just about kept out the skipper’s volley.

But the home keeper soon dropped the ball at the feet of Conor Chaplin, only to see his blushes spared by Magnusson, who made a key block to ensure a stalemate.

Bristol City (4-3-3): O’Donnell; Matthews (Ayling 60), Flint, Magnusson, Golbourne (Smith 83); Reid (Brownhill 60), Pack (c), Bryan; O’Dowda (Freeman 61), Kodjia (Agard 77), Tomlin (Wilbraham 77)
Subs not used: Lucic, Williams, De Girolamo

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde (Bass 85); Talbot (Oxlade-Chamberlain 87), Whatmough (T.Davies 34), Burgess, Stevens (Naismith 87); Rose (Close 83), Doyle (c); Baker (Tollitt 83), Roberts (Main 83), Lalkovic (Bennett 68); Smith (Chaplin 68)
Subs not used: May, Linganzi, Evans, Hunt

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 5,317 (721 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 272016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Bognor Regis Town 1    4 Portsmouth

Chaplin, Main, Smith and May on target

Pompey eased to victory in their penultimate pre-season test against Isthmian League outfit Bognor at Nyewood Lane.

They created plenty of openings before the break, with Conor Chaplin and Curtis Main both finding the target.

Harvey Whyte reduced the deficit early in the second half, but Michael Smith then scored from the spot before Adam May wrapped things up.

Chaplin started particularly brightly and after one early shot was saved, Ben Close wastefully fired over the bar.

He was then sent through on goal, but Billy Granger was quickly off his line to make a crucial save.

The Rocks keeper was almost single-handedly keeping the Blues at bay and made another key stop to deny Ben Tollitt from long-range on 15 minutes.

Main was next to try to break the deadlock, but could not find the target after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had laid the ball into his path.

It was Chaplin with another go on 19 minutes and his deflected shot was heading for the net until Granger showed superb reflexes to divert it over the bar.

Tollitt’s set-piece delivery was also causing trouble, with Amine Linganzi and Tom Davies not quite able to take advantage.

Pompey finally got the goal their attacking dominance deserved on 23 minutes after CHAPLIN was brought down just outside the box.

The teenage forward stepped up to take the free-kick and expertly curled it over the wall and beyond Granger’s grasp.

Bognor then enjoyed their best spell of the game and should really have bagged an equaliser.

Paul Jones did well to deny Dylan Barnett from point-blank range and when the ball popped up nicely for James Fraser, he could only fire against the woodwork.

Pompey then made the hosts pay for their profligacy just before the break, as MAIN got above his marker to convert Chaplin’s teasing cross.


Half Time

Bognor Regis Town 0

Portsmouth 2


Jones was called into action early in the second half, flinging himself to the right to keep out Barnett’s effort.

But he was unable to keep hold of the ball from the resulting corner, giving Whyte the chance to poke home.

The chances were not arriving as frequently as they had before the break, although one good move involving May and Main ended with Close firing over.

Paul Cook gave his two scorers a breather just past the hour mark, as Main and Chaplin made way for Smith and trialist Dean O’Halloran.

And it was SMITH who restored the Blues’ two-goal lead on 67 minutes, sending substitute stopper Joe Taylor the wrong way from the penalty spot after Darren Budd had brought down Tollitt.

The game was meandering towards its conclusion, but MAY livened things up again with a fourth goal, driving a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.

A couple of academy starlets entered the fray late on and Tommy Scutt came close to adding his name to the scorers, meeting Theo Widdrington’s cross and volleying into the side netting.

And Oxlade-Chamberlain denied the Rocks a late consolation when he cleared Jimmy Wild’s drive from the line.

Bognor (4-3-3): Granger (Taylor 56); Crane, Field (Wollers 70), El-Abd (Sanders 56), Barnett; Whyte (Budd 56), Beck (c) (Robinson 81), Tuck (Consaro 70); Davies, Pearce (Penfold 81), Fraser (Wild 56)
Goals: Whyte 48

Pompey (4-diamond-2): Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Davies, Barton (c), Widdringron; May, Linganzi (Yates 69), Tollitt, Close (Scutt 75); Main (Smith 62), Chaplin (O’Halloran 62)
Goals: Chaplin 27, Main 43, Smith 67 (pen), May 74
Sub not used: Bass

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,200


Portsmouth FC

Jul 192016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Salisbury 2 2 Portsmouth

Hunt and Roberts net for Blues

Pompey were twice pegged back by Salisbury and had to settle for a draw in their latest pre-season outing at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

They created a host of chances and finally forged ahead through Noel Hunt, only for Justin Bennett to immediately equalise.

Gary Roberts’ restored the lead after the interval, but the Whites – despite rarely posing a threat – levelled again when Eddie Perrett headed home.

On a sweltering evening in Wiltshere, it was the hosts who made the brighter start and Pompey had to deal with a couple of free-kicks.

But Paul Cook’s side soon started to take control and Milan Lalkovic saw a shot deflected wide following a quick counter-attack.

Jack Whatmough then missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock on eight minutes, heading Gary Roberts’ cross wide after being left unmarked in the box.

Carl Baker has already shown that he is unafraid to have a pop, but appeared to leave his shooting boots at home with a couple of efforts that failed to find the target.

And Lee Angel then made a superb diving block to deny the midfielder as the Blues continued to threaten.

Hunt was looking a danger up front for the visitors and lifted a shot narrowly wide following a fine through ball by Roberts.

One fine flowing move involved Hunt and Baker, but Enda Stevens was unable to beat Whites keeper Charlie Searle after being teed-up.

Searle then made a stunning save to keep out a close-range Roberts header that seemed destined for the net.

But Pompey’s pressure finally paid dividends on 42 minutes when HUNT collected Stevens’ low cross and steered a shot inside the near post.

The lead lasted for just a minute, however, as a corner from Lewis Benson was emphatically headed home by Bennett.

There was still time for the Blues to go close before the break, but another superb Angel block denied Lalkovic.


Half Time

Salisbury 1

Portsmouth 1


Pompey continued to look bright after the interval and Roberts’ header was deflected wide after the midfielder had met Drew Talbot’s cross.

Baker then slid a pass across the face of goal that was just out of the reach of substitute Michael Smith.

It was Smith who probably should have restored the Blues’ lead on 54 minutes, but he failed to find the target with a close-range header.

Pompey were dominating and it came as no surprise when they did score a second soon after.

Lalkovic slid a pass through to ROBERTS in the box and the midfielder’s shot creeped over the line, despite the best efforts of the Salisbury back-line to get the ball clear.

Salisbury were not doing much to test trialist keeper Chris Kanopka at the other end, with an effort from Tony Lee almost going out for a throw.

But they found themselves level on 72 minutes with another goal from a corner, as Benson’s cross was headed back for Perrett to flick home.

Pompey had an immediate chance to restore their advantage, but Smith could not quite squeeze the ball in from a tight angle.

Kyle Bennett then fired over the bar after Stevens had been released down the left by Roberts and delivered a low cross into the box.

Pompey continued to dominate possession as the game drew to a conclusion, but were unable to convert that into a winning goal.

Salisbury (4-4-2): Searle (Childs 62); Colson, Wheeler (c) (Leigh 74), Angel, Perrett; Herbert (Jones 46), Whelan, Benson, Young (Masterton 59); Wright (Lee 46), Bennett (Flint 67)
Goals: Bennett 43, Perrett 72

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Konopka; Talbot, Whatmough, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 62); Hunt (Smith 46)
Goals: Hunt 42, Roberts 59
Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Haunstrup, Close, May, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Linganzi, Tollitt, Chaplin

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 1,124


Portsmouth FC

Jul 162016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Sutton United2 Portsmouth1

Oxlade-Chamberlain on target for Blues

Pompey’s unbeaten start to pre-season was ended by Sutton on a muggy afternoon at the Borough Sports Ground.

The hosts dominated the first half and deservedly led at the break thanks to goals from Roarie Deacon – who was on trial with the Blues earlier in the summer – and Bedsente Gomis.

But Paul Cook’s side looked much stronger following a host of second half substitutions and grabbed a consolation through Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.

After a slow start, it was the non-league side who were first to threaten – and they immediately forged ahead.

It was Deacon who opened the scoring on eight minutes, steering the ball into the bottom corner after Dan Spence’s low cross had been laid into his path.

The hosts were, unsurprisingly, looking more comfortable on their artificial surface and caused the Blues back-line a few problems.

Ross Worner was not being overly troubled in the United goal, although he made a regulation save to deny Conor Chaplin following good work by Adam May and Brandon Haunstrup.

Instead it was Sutton providing most of the attacking threat and Ryan Burge swung a free-kick narrowly over the crossbar.

Alex Bass then had to beat away a shot from Dan Wishart after the left-back had beaten Chris Sessegnon and burst into the box.

Gomis was next to go close when he met Deacon’s cross and sent a header crashing against the crossbar.

And it was the midfielder who doubled the hosts’ advantage on 33 minutes, arriving at the far post to convert Ross Stearn’s cross.


Half Time

Sutton United 2

Portsmouth 0


Sutton should have had a third goal early in the second half, but Craig Eastmond blazed over the bar after being picked out by Deacon.

Pompey were still struggling to find a way through at the other end, although Curtis Main was not too far away with an audacious long-range effort that flashed over the bar.

They had another opening after breaking quickly up the pitch moments later, but Ben Close was crowded out and Main’s neat flick landed on the bar.

Main was the pick of the bunch for the Blues and he went close again on 65 minutes, with an effort that was deflected narrowly over.

Jack Whatmough came on just past the hour mark, with a further nine changes following a few moments later as Cook looked to give his whole squad a run-out.

And the visitors immediately looked brighter, with only a brave block preventing Theo Widdrington from reducing the deficit.

Pompey were suddenly providing a real attacking threat, with Carl Baker keen to add to his brace at Havant & Waterlooville during the week.

The summer signing fired a free-kick just past the post and then saw a shot kept out by the feet of Worner.

In between those chances, Gary Roberts was also denied by the Sutton keeper as the Blues tried to reduce the deficit.

And that is exactly what they did on 81 minutes when trialist Noel Hunt played a quick free-kick to Baker, whose low cross was converted by OXLADE-CHAMBERLAIN.

A resurgent Pompey tried to grab an equaliser, but it was last season’s National League South champions who able to celebrate the victory.

Sutton (4-1-4-1): Worner; Spence, Beckwith (John 69), Collins (c), Wishart (Amankwaah 63); Eastmond; Deacon, Gomis (Bailey 75), Burge (Downer 74), Stearn (Hudson-Odoi 66); Fitchett (Dundas 60)
Goals: Deacon 8, Gomis 33

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Sessegnon (Talbot 69), Burgess (c) (Whatmough 63), Barton (Widdrington 69), Haunstrup (Stevens 69); Close (Rose 69), May (Doyle 69); Tollitt (Baker 69), Chaplin (Roberts 69), Lalkovic (Oxlade-Chamberlain 69); Main (Hunt 69)
Goals: Oxlade-Chamberlain 81

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 1,188


Portsmouth FC

Jul 132016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Havant & Waterlooville0 Portsmouth5

Blues ease to friendly victory

Carl Baker bagged a brace as Pompey hit five unanswered goals past non-league neighbours Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park.

The midfielder struck either side of the interval to give the Blues a commanding lead after Gary Roberts had opened the scoring.

Trialist Noel Hunt and Curtis Main then both came off the bench to cap a comfortable victory for Paul Cook’s side.

There was good news for the hosts before kick-off, as they announced the return of former Pompey midfielder Wes Fogden on a two-year deal.

But it was the visitors who had most of the joy once the action belatedly got underway, following a 15-minute delay to allow all the fans to get into the ground.

Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin went close in the opening stages, with the pair both narrowly failing to find the target.

In between was the Hawks’ only decent chance of the evening, with a crisp effort from ex-Fratton youngster Bradley Tarbuck superbly tipped around the post by Michael Crowe.

And Pompey broke the deadlock on 12 minutes when Milan Lalkovic slid a fine pass through to ROBERTS, who neatly lifted the ball over keeper Ryan Young and into the net.

The Blues continued to dominate and Baker had a hat-trick of efforts – the first clearing the ground, the second fizzing narrowly over and the third hit straight at Young.

Rose was next to go close midway through the first half, firing into the side netting following good build-up play from Michael Doyle and Lalkovic.

Baker was not afraid to try his luck from distance and another attempt from the summer signing had to be pushed to safety by Young.

And his persistence paid off just before the break with a strike that was most definitely worth the wait.

BAKER picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and hit a stunning shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, leaving Young rooted to the spot.


Half Time

Havant & Waterlooville 0

Portsmouth 2


Pompey picked up where they left off after the restart and Young had to come charging from his line to stop Chaplin racing onto Lalkovic’s pass.

The Hawks keeper then kept out Lalkovic’s stinging drive, but was unable to stop the Blues from grabbing a third goal.

He could only parry the ball as far as Roberts, who cut it back for BAKER to tap home from just a couple of yards out.

The usual pre-season flurry of substitutions meant that chances began to dry up and the pace started to slow.

But two of those late arrivals managed to find the net and give the scoreline an added gloss for the visitors.

First trialist HUNT slid in to convert Enda Stevens’ low cross from wide on the left after the full-back had picked up Doyle’s raking pass.

Then, after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had stolen possession and seen his shot parried by Young, MAIN followed-up to poke home.

He almost scored again late on, but a thunderous effort from 30-yards hit the inside of the post and flew clear.

There was a bit of needle between Main and Ben Swallow late on that would normally have received a harsher punishment than the ticking off dished out by referee Dean Treleaven.

But that was a rare moment of petulance in a good-natured contest that saw the Blues continue their preparations for the 2016/17 campaign in fine style.

Hawks (4-4-2): Young (Searle 65); Strugnell (Miller 89), Woodford (Molyneaux 54), Robinson, Williams (Medway 65); Swallow, Lewis (Ridge 65), Stock (c) (Whittingham 84), Tarbuck (Barker 54); Prior (Hayter 65), Paterson (Rutherford 54)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Crowe; Talbot (Sessegnon 74), Whatmough (Bradbury 85), Burgess (Barton 78), Stevens (Haunstrup 76); Rose (Widdrington 74), Doyle (c) (Bedford 74); Baker (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71), Roberts (Main 69), Lalkovic (Tollitt 60); Chaplin (Hunt 57)
Goals: Roberts 12, Baker 45, 56, Hunt 69, Main 73

Referee: Dean Treleaven

Attendance: 2,300


Portsmouth FC

Jul 092016
 

Match Report

Friendly


Bohemians0 Portsmouth2

Rose and Chaplin on target for Blues

Pompey brought their Irish tour to a close with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Bohemians.

Both goals arrived in the first half, with a couple of neat finishes from Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin.

Paul Cook’s side dominated proceedings and created enough chances to have won by a greater margin in Dublin.

A healthy number of Pompey fans were packed into one side of the dilapidated Dalymount Park.

And they saw their side control the first half, with plenty of openings carved out in the final game of the Blues’ Irish tour.

Bohemians keeper Shane Supple did well to keep the scores level early on, racing from his line to deny Carl Baker.

Chaplin then saw two shots blocked in quick succession before an effort from Kyle Bennett met the same fate.

The blue tide kept pouring forward and Milan Lalkovic’s drive was comfortable for Supple, while Baker could not avoid a visiting defender after rounding the Bohs keeper.

There was a nasty moment midway through the first half, however, as Stephen Best came off worse in a challenge with Bennett and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

Pompey soon broke the deadlock, with Lalkovic stealing possession and feeding ROSE, who neatly dinked the ball into the net.

Chaplin almost doubled the lead moments later, only for Supple to stick out a hand and divert his angled drive wide.

But the Blues did increase their advantage in stoppage-time, as CHAPLIN took advantage of a poor back-pass and kept his composure to round the keeper and slot home.


Half Time

Bohemians 0

Portsmouth 2


Pompey picked up where they left off following the interval, although Chaplin was not quite able to force a shot through a packed six-year box.

But Bohemians did have a couple of chances of their own, even if efforts from Ayman Ben Mohamed and Mark Quigley failed to overly trouble Martin Crowe in the Blues goal.

When the action returned to the other end of the pitch, Bennett was crudely felled right on the edge of the box, only for Enda Stevens’ low free-kick to be cleared.

Baker was next to try his luck following good work from the lively Lalkovic, but saw his shot deflected wide.

A steady stream of substitutions from the visitors disrupted any fluidity, as the game began to drift towards it conclusion.

There was a shot from Brandon Haunstrup – playing in a more advanced role than usual – but it rolled comfortably into Supple’s arms.

And Pompey suddenly looked brighter in the closing stages, with Ben Tollitt denied by a fine save before Gary Roberts narrowly failed to find the target.

They could not find another goal to reward those who had made the trip across the Irish Sea.

But the travelling Blues fans would have seen their players make another step forward as they prepare for their opening League Two encounter next month.

Bohemians (4-4-2): Supple; O’Hora (Hollywood 78), Mulcahy (c), Best (Lopes 31), Fitzgerald (Kelly 17 (Akinade 78)); P.Kavanagh (Buckley 46), Morris, J.Kavanagh, Caffrey (Flynn 81); Mohamed (Graydon 74), Quigley

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Crowe (Bass 69); Talbot (Sessegnon 72), Burgess, Barton (Whatmough 69), Stevens; Rose, Doyle; Bennett (Roberts 58), Baker (May 77), Lalkovic (Haunstrup 69); Chaplin (Tollitt 60)
Goals: Rose 33, Chaplin 45+1


Portsmouth FC