2018/2019

Mar 162019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2 0 Scunthorpe United

Pompey closed the gap on the automatic promotion places with a deserved 2-0 victory over Scunthorpe at a windy Fratton Park.

It was a dominant display from the Blues and there was a palpable sense of relief around the ground when Omar Bogle finally scored in the second half to make their dominance count.

Scunthorpe never looked like finding the net at the other end and the hosts made sure of the points thanks to a fine finish from Jamal Lowe late on.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that won at Walsall earlier in the week, with skipper Brett Pitman playing just behind Bogle.

But with James Vaughan having not recovered from a back injury, Lloyd Isgrove took his place on the bench.

It was a blustery afternoon on the south coast, with the conditions clearly making life difficult for both sides.

So it was perhaps understandable that the passing on show was wayward at best in the opening exchanges.

Lowe and Viv Solomon-Otabor were looking lively on the wings, however, and the former had an effort that sailed narrowly over.

It was pretty quiet at the other end of the pitch, although a tame effort from Tony McMahon flew comfortably into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

Bogle had a couple of shots blocked, but the first decent opening did not arrive until 26 minutes had been played.

Solomon-Otabor threaded a fine pass through to Lowe, who took the ball around Iron keeper Jak Alnwick, but – from a tight angle – could not force it past defender Harrison McGahey.

Pompey were enjoying plenty of possession and applying pressure on the visitors’ defence as the first half progressed.

And they almost broke the deadlock just before the interval after Solomon-Otabor’s delivery was only cleared as far as Bogle.

He managed to dig out a shot that Alnwick did well to save and when Pitman put the ball back into the centre, a stretching Lowe could not make a clean connection with the goal gaping.

Solomon-Otabor then slipped off the ball and required treatment on the pitch, but was okay to continue.

It was only a brief return to action for the loanee, though, who soon had to make way for Gareth Evans.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Scunthorpe united 0


The substitute had the first chance of the second half with a drilled effort from the edge of the box that was deflected past the post.

He then hit another 20-yard effort narrowly wide after the ball had been worked to him from a throw.

Clear-cut openings were proving to be at a premium, although Alnwick leapt out a bending Lee Brown attempt on the hour mark.

A longer-range strike from Tom Naylor then fizzed past the post, as the hosts continued to dominate without really going close to scoring.

Pompey were trying their best to raise the tempo – with the wind still swirling around the ground – and Brown was denied what would have been a soft penalty for an apparent push.

Alnwick did well to stop his side falling behind on 68 minutes, tearing off his line to bravely prevent Lowe from converting Evans’ ball into the box.

But the Blues finally made their pressure count moments later following a foul on Lowe by Rory McArdle.

Evans’ free-kick was flicked on for Close, but BOGLE took the ball and spun sharply before leaving Alnwick flat-footed with his finish.

The hosts tried to put the result beyond doubt and Brown’s cross was just too high for Pitman, while the left-back then saw a shot deflected behind.

Bogle received a warm reception as he made his way off the pitch to be replaced by Oli Hawkins for the final few minutes.

And the win was wrapped up on 87 minutes when LOWE collected the ball from the right, used his touch to make space and then lashed home a fine finish.

It meant that the Fratton faithful could relax for the closing stages, as Pompey comfortably saw the game out.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Donohue 89), Solomon-Otabor (Evans 45+2); Bogle (Hawkins 85)
Goals: Bogle 71, Lowe 87
Booked: Evans
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Isgrove

Scunthorpe (3-4-1-2): Alnwick; McGahey, McArdle (c), Burgess; McMahon (Hammill 74), Perch, Ojo, Pearce; Thomas (Lewis 78); Wootton (Olomola 76), Novak
Booked: Perch
Subs not used: Flatt, Butroid, Webster, Hallam

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 17,308 (198 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 122019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Walsall 2 3 Portsmouth

Pompey recorded their first League One win on the road in 2019, despite a late comeback by Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.

Brett Pitman opened the scoring from the penalty spot and Omar Bogle made sure it was a commanding lead at the break.

The hosts were much better in the second half, but Viv Solomon-Otabor swept home his first Blues goal.

The Saddlers did not give up, however, and Jon Guthrie converted two corners – the second right at the death – to restore some pride.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten at Charlton at the weekend.

Skipper Pitman replaced Gareth Evans for his first start since the end of January, while Oli Hawkins made way for a fit-again Bogle up front.

And with Ronan Curtis suffering a freak injury on the morning of the game – getting his finger trapped in a door – Solomon-Otabor came in wide on the left.

Pompey made a bright start to the contest, although Bogle was unable to bend an early shot around Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts.

But they were temporarily down to 10 men when Matt Clarke reopened the wound in his head and started bleeding from the nose.

The medical team had to patch him up and with the defender requiring a change of outfit, he was stood without a shirt in cold conditions for a number of minutes.

It was during that time, however, that the visitors broke the deadlock, with Morgan Ferrier punished for a shove on Nathan Thompson inside the box.

Referee Trevor Kettle immediately whistled and PITMAN stepped up to send Roberts the wrong way from the spot.

Walsall were struggling to deal with the Blues’ attacks and just about forced the ball clear when Solomon-Otabor tried to convert a mis-hit effort from Jamal Lowe.

But the hosts soon had a chance to level when Ferrier raced on to a ball down the right and saw his shot saved by Craig MacGillivray.

And the keeper immediately provided the assist for Pompey’s second goal from a long punt up the pitch.

The ball reached BOGLE, whose shot appeared to be going over, only to dip on to the top of the post and bounce over the line.

Lowe thought he had added a third on 30 minutes after converting a quickly-taken Pitman free-kick, only for Kettle to decide Pompey had acted too soon.

Walsall failed to deal with the set-piece when it was played a second time and Tom Naylor’s strike was deflected behind.

Pitman then lifted a fine pass over the defence late in the half, although Lowe’s touch was slightly too heavy and Roberts was able to gather.


Half Time

Walsall 0

Portsmouth 2


The hosts had been second best throughout the first half, but had a chance to reduce their deficit seconds after the restart.

A long ball forward bounced awkwardly for Clarke and Josh Gordon was not quite able to send his header looping over MacGillivray.

Gordon’s teasing delivery from the left then had to be headed behind by Lee Brown, as Walsall started to provide much more of a threat.

They were pushing Pompey back for long periods, but the defence were holding firm to repel the red-shirted tide before MacGillivray could be tested.

Lowe won a corner to offer some respite, but Brown’s cross was headed wide by Bogle to let the Saddlers off the hook.

But the Blues did have a third goal on 68 minutes – and it meant that all three of the players Jackett brought into the team had scored.

Pitman was falling to the turf as he sent a pass through to Lowe, who unselfishly squared for SOLOMON-OTABOR to slot home and open his Pompey account.

Bogle was soon withdrawn by Jackett and had his name chanted by the travelling fans as he trudged off to be replaced by James Vaughan.

It looked like it was game over, but Walsall gave themselves some hope when Guthrie nodded in a corner from George Dobson.

Pompey appeared to be seeing the game out with relative ease, only for the Saddlers to grab another goal in stoppage-time.

Another corner was scrambled into the net by Guthrie, but there was not enough time for them to mount any more attacks and the Blues were able to celebrate a victory.

Walsall (4-1-4-1): Roberts; Devlin, Scarr, Guthrie, Leahy; Dobson (c); Ismail (Oteh 87), Kinsella, Edwards (Blackett-Taylor 70), Ferrier; Gordon
Goals: Guthrie 75, 90+4
Booked: Kinsella, Gordon, Ferrier
Subs not used: Dunn, Fitzwater, Norman, Laird, Osbourne

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Walkes 86), Solomon-Otabor; Bogle (Vaughan 74)
Goals: Pitman 13 (pen), Bogle 25, Solomon-Otabor 68
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Evans, Hawkins

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 4,097 (598 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 092019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Charlton Athletic 2 1 Portsmouth

Pompey failed to extend the gap on promotion rivals Charlton after going down to a 2-1 defeat at The Valley.

The hosts went ahead through Joe Aribo just before the break, only for Ronan Curtis to hit back with an immediate equaliser.

But Lyle Taylor restored the Addicks’ advantage early in the second half and despite a late rally from the visitors, they held on for the victory.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that fired five goals past Bradford on home soil the previous week.

Nathan Thompson, Matt Clarke, Oli Hawkins and Ronan Curtis all went off injured last Saturday, but were passed fit to play.

Pompey started brightly and a dangerous delivery from Jamal Lowe was just out of reach for Curtis at the back post.

A cross-field pass from Clarke was soon nodded on first by Thompson and then Hawkins, but Lowe’s effort was blocked before it could trouble Dillon Phillips.

Charlton slowly started to take control of the contest, however, and looked lively without being able to test Craig MacGillivray.

When Thompson was dispossessed in the middle of the park, it took a fine challenge from Clarke to deny Jonny Williams.

And the hosts should have broken the deadlock on 20 minutes following a neat passing move wide on the left.

Williams played a quick one-two with Aribo and sent the ball into the centre to give Josh Cullen a simple close-range finish, only for his shot to hit the back of team-mate Igor Vetokele and fly clear.

Tom Naylor then diverted a Patrick Bauer effort past the post, while efforts from Taylor and Cullen were off target.

Clarke – who is normally so positive in possession – lost the ball to Krystian Bielik, although Taylor’s shot was comfortably kept out by MacGillivray.

But Charlton did make their pressure count late in the first half, as Aribo collected Cullen’s pass, turned sharply and drilled the ball home.

There was, however, still time for the Blues to level before the break, with CURTIS racing forward to convert Lee Brown’s corner with a thumping header.


Half Time

Charlton Athletic 1

Portsmouth 1


The Addicks made a strong start to the second half, although it was the visitors who had the ball in the net on 49 minutes.

Lowe’s shot was diverted into the net by Curtis from a few yards out, although a flag was immediately raised for offside.

Charlton did score soon after, however, to restore their lead after Clarke had attempted to clear Aribo’s cross.

But the ball ricocheted to the feet of substitute Ben Reeves and he squared it for Taylor to convert from close range.

Pompey made a positive reaction to falling behind again, although were unable to capitalise on dangerous deliveries from Lowe and Gareth Evans.

Jackett then made a double switch just past the hour mark, with Hawkins and Ben Close withdrawn for James Vaughan and Dion Donohue.

Pompey were trying to get the ball forward and persistence from Curtis and Vaughan forced Naby Sarr to make an error, but the defender recovered to scramble clear.

The Addicks then came close to extending their advantage, with MacGillivray getting down low to his right to keep out Bauer’s effort.

Donohue released Evans down the left with a fine pass on 73 minutes and the skipper tried to score from a tight angle, but instead fired wildly off target.

Brett Pitman replaced Evans soon after, as the club captain took up residence just behind fellow Vaughan in the forward line.

And he almost provided a leveller late on, with a fine ball into the box that was sent across the face of goal by Lowe and agonisingly out of reach for Curtis to convert.

A dipping long-range effort from Pitman was not too far over the bar, as the Blues started to look a real threat.

It was a vibrant end to the contest from the visitors, with Lowe and Pitman seeing shots blocked inside the box in quick succession.

But despite pushing Charlton back deep for the final stages, the hosts held on to close the gap on Pompey to two points.

Charlton (4-1-2-1-2): Phillips; Dijksteel, Bauer (c), Sarr, Purrington; Bielik (Reeves 46); Cullen, Aribo; Williams (Fosu 59); Vetokele (Pratley 84), Taylor
Goals: Aribo 41, Taylor 51
Subs not used: Maxwell, Solly, Lapslie, Parker

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Pitman 76), Close (Donohue 61), Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 61)
Goals: Curtis 45
Booked: Hawkins, Burgess, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 14,451 (3,097 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 022019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 5   1 Bradford City

Pompey returned to winning ways in the league in some style, with a 5-1 rout of Bradford at Fratton Park.

Gareth Evans got the ball rolling from the penalty spot, while Tom Naylor ensured the interval lead was a comfortable one.

Hope Akpan did reduce the deficit for the struggling Bantams, only for Jamal Lowe to immediately restore the two-goal advantage.

Ben Close then ensured the scoreline received a gloss by adding a brace to cap a fine individual display.

The downside for the Blues were injuries suffered by Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis, Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson – the latter two following a clash of heads.

Throw in a delay while a drone flew over the ground and it was certainly an eventful afternoon on the south coast.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Bury to reach the Checkatrade Trophy final earlier in the week.

Lowe came in for Viv Solomon-Otabor out wide, with Christian Burgess making a quicker than expected return from an ankle injury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Division Three title-winner Bobby Doyle, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

The start of the first half was a disjointed affair, with neither goalkeeper being called into action during the early stages.

Hawkins did almost break the deadlock on six minutes, stooping to head against the post after Evans had lifted the ball into the mixer.

Close then swivelled neatly inside the box moments later, although failed to guide his shot on target.

Those opportunities aside, it was not exactly proving to be a flowing contest, but Pompey started to dominate as the game progressed.

They were handed an excellent chance to open the scoring midway through the half when Oliver Langford pointed to the spot.

Evans had sent a corner into the box and with Hawkins being hauled to the ground by Anthony O’Connor, the referee had no choice.

It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slammed his penalty into the top corner.

The traffic was mostly one-way from that point, with Hawkins proving to be a particular menace to the Bantams back-line.

He played a fine pass through to Curtis on 34 minutes, but the ball got stuck under the forward’s feet and Lowe’s effort was blocked.

And their pressure paid off late in the half when the advantage was doubled, courtesy of another Evans corner.

It was flapped at by Richard O’Donnell and the ball fell for Curtis, whose strike cannoned off the underside of the bar.

The forward thought it had crossed the line, but there was no signal from the officials and NAYLOR followed up to slot home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Bradford City 0


Pompey continued to look bright once the action restarted and Clarke glanced an Evans corner past the post.

But there was a bizarre incident just past the hour mark, when the referee called both sets of players to the sidelines.

Everybody was looking up in the air and there was a drone hovering overhead, but it eventually flew off and the action was able to restart.

It was the Bantams who were next to go close, with Craig MacGillivray doing well to palm over Akpan’s drive.

But Akpan did score from the resulting corner, driving the ball into the net after Kelvin Mellor’s had headed the ball into his path

Pompey’s response was immediate and when Lee Brown whipped a dangerous cross into the box, LOWE got down to convert with his chest.

But Hawkins had picked up an injury and was withdrawn by James Vaughan – not that it stopped the hosts’ momentum.

They soon had a fourth goal, as Evans met a delivery from Curtis with a half-volley that was turned into the net by CLOSE.

There was more injury concern for the Blues following a sickening clash of heads between Clarke and Nathan Thompson.

Both medical teams were quickly on the case and the right-back was withdrawn for Anton Walkes, with Clarke carrying on after getting bandaged up.

Pompey continued to attack and almost increased their lead, only for O’Donnell to tip over Lowe’s fierce drive.

A bloodied Clarke was struggling, however, and Jackett made his final change by bringing him off for Dion Donohue.

The action continued at a breathless pace and the hosts did have a fifth goal on 87 minutes, with Curtis’ pass being cut out, but the ball breaking for CLOSE to fire into the bottom corner.

The various injuries and drone interruption meant there were 10 minutes of stoppage-time displayed by the fourth official.

And Pompey finished the contest with 10 men, as Curtis pulled up while chasing the ball and hobbled off the pitch.

But the final moments passed by incident-free, as the Blues brought an impressive week to a close by collecting all three points.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson (Walkes 77), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 84), Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Close, Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 69)
Goals: Evans 23 (pen), Naylor 41, Lowe 67, Close 70, 87
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor, Pitman

Bradford (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Caddis (c) (Mellor 46), O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Wood (Miller 62); Akpan, Butterfield; Ball, Payne (Clarke 72), O’Brien; Doyle
Goals: Akpan 65
Booked: Caddis, Knight-Percival
Subs not used: Wilson, Anderson, Maltby, Patrick

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 17,657 (493 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 262019
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Bury 0   3 Portsmouth

Pompey romped to a 3-0 victory at Bury to book their place at Wembley in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The first half was a relatively even affair, but the Blues exploded into life after the interval to put their League Two hosts to the sword.

A brilliant Gareth Evans free-kick got the ball rolling, while Oli Hawkins and Ronan Curtis then struck to effectively wrap up the contest.

Pompey will now have to wait for a week before they learn whether their opponents at the national stadium next month will be Bristol Rovers or Sunderland.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Barnsley in the league at the weekend.

Two of them were enforced, as Hawkins and skipper Evans replaced the injured Omar Bogle and cup-tied Bryn Morris respectively.

Nathan Thompson had also fully recovered from a knee problem, so Anton Walkes made way at right-back.

Christian Burgess was presented with the Player of the Round award for his quarter-final display before kick-off and made his 150th appearance for the club.

It was an open start to proceedings, with crosses from Byron Moore and Lee Brown causing problems at either end.

The hosts had a great chance to break the deadlock after just five minutes, with Craig MacGillivray getting down to his left to keep out Nicky Maynard’s curler.

But the danger was not over and Brown was forced to hack the ball to safety before a white-shirted player could capitalise.

Pompey then created an opportunity of their own just seconds later, as Curtis spun on the edge of the box and forced Joe Murphy to make a save at his near post.

Hawkins also had an effort blocked by Will Aimson from Brown’s cut-back, with both sides continuing to play with an attacking mindset.

It was Bury’s turn to try their luck on 18 minutes, but former Fratton loanee Caolan Lavery bent his shot narrowly past the post.

The hosts started to see more of the ball as the first half progressed, although were unable to cause MacGillivray any more problems.

Half-chances were the best the Blues could muster at the other end and Curtis drilled wide after Thompson’s teasing delivery was headed away.

And when Viv Solomon-Otabor’s path to goal was blocked, Brown crossed for Hawkins to head narrowly over.

A deep free-kick from Evans caused alarm for the Shakers on 36 minutes, but Curtis could not make a clean connection in the box.

Then, just before the break, Hawkins slipped a pass through to Curtis down the right and his centre had to be headed away by Aimson before it could reach Solomon-Otabor.


Half Time

Bury 0

Portsmouth 0


Solomon-Otabor did not emerge for the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe replacing him and Curtis switching to the left.

Pompey looked bright once the action restarted, although a deep free-kick from Evans was dealt with by the Bury back-line.

And when the ball bounced up for Ben Close just inside the area, Aimson bravely dived in to block the midfielder’s volley.

The Blues were dominating possession and long-range attempts by Lowe and Burgess forced Murphy to make saves, albeit comfortable ones.

There was a scare at the other end when Burgess’ ball across goal was almost intercepted by Lavery, but MacGillivray got the ball clear.

Instead it was the visitors who made their pressure count with two goals in quick succession just past the hour mark.

Close was brought down by Callum McFadezen just outside the box and four players gathered around the ball.

But it was EVANS who eventually took the free-kick and bent home a fine effort that left Murphy rooted to the spot.

And the advantage was soon doubled, as Evans’ cross was nodded back across goal by Thompson for HAWKINS to slam into the roof of the net.

Bury soon had chances to reduce their deficit, as Maynard arrowed a shot agonisingly past the post, while Jay O’Shea hit a fierce effort straight at MacGillivray.

But Pompey were still looking to attack themselves and a long-range drive from Evans was parried away by Murphy, with a brilliant Aimson challenge stopping Curtis converting the loose ball.

CURTIS did have his goal on 77 minutes, however, with a fine finish that was lashed right into the side of the net.

And MacGillivray then ensured the visitors’ kept their three-goal lead, diving to his left to keep out a Lavery free-kick that appeared destined for the top corner.

But there was a blow for the Blues late on when Burgess limped off the pitch, with Walkes replacing him for the final few minutes.

Bury (3-5-2): Murphy; Aimson, Thompson, McFadzean (Omotayo 77); Adams (c) (Cooney 70), O’Shea, Rossiter, Mayor, Moore; Maynard (Telford 70), Lavery
Subs not used: Moloney, O’Connell, Stokes, Danns

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess (Walkes 88), Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Curtis, Evans (c), Solomon-Otabor (Lowe 46); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 61, Hawkins 64, Curtis 77
Booked: Evans
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Vaughan, Pitman

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 3,900 (452 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 232019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 0   0 Barnsley

Omar Bogle had a penalty saved as Pompey drew with Barnsley to record a fifth successive League One stalemate.

It was a much improved performance from the Blues, who looked dangerous throughout and created some decent chances.

But Bogle missed the best one when his spot-kick was saved and the Tykes came close to capitalising at the other end by striking the woodwork.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Bristol Rovers earlier in the week.

Bogle returned to lead the line, with Viv Solomon-Otabor out wide and Bryn Morris in midfield in a 4-1-4-1 formation.

It meant that Oli Hawkins, Jamal Lowe and Gareth Evans all dropped to the bench, but Lloyd Isgrove was not permitted to feature against his parent club.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Pompey hero Mick Kennedy, who passed away earlier this month.

Fratton Park was bathed in sunshine and it seemed to have a positive effect, with the hosts looking bright and the fans roaring their team on.

Ronan Curtis was a constant menace down the right and was continuously looking to take on the opposition defence.

When one of his free-kicks was only partially cleared to the edge of the box, a low volley from Ben Close was blocked.

There were half-chances for Jacob Brown at the other end, with one effort hooked behind by Anton Walkes and another flashing past the post.

Pompey almost broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Solomon-Otabor whipped the ball into the box, where it was glanced narrowly wide by Morris.

The visitors’ best opportunity before the break came when Brown sent Alex Mowatt’s corner past the post from a few yards out.

Barnsley were having plenty of shots, but none of them were particularly threatening and an effort from Cauley Woodrow rolled tamely into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

Another attempt from the striker was blocked by Close and Dani Pinillos fired the loose ball wildly off target.

The Blues had a better chance on 39 minutes when Bogle slipped a pass through to Solomon-Otabor, but Adam Davies was quickly off his line to make a vital save.

It was an encouraging end to the half for Pompey and Morris dinked a pass into the box, where a stretching Bogle could not get enough power on his header.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Barnsley 0


The hosts picked up where they had left off following the restart, although Bogle could not guide Lee Brown’s cross on target at the far post.

Persistent work from Christian Burgess then allowed Close to release Curtis down the right and his delivery had to be turned behind by Ethan Pinnock.

Morris was producing a lively display and he fired over from long-range before teeing-up Curtis, whose shot was too tamely hit to trouble Davies.

There were chants of ‘Micky, Micky Kennedy’ from the Fratton faithful on 57 minutes, with the midfielder having passed away at the age of 57.

The Blues soon had an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock when Dimitri Cavare dived in recklessly on Solomon-Otabor inside the area.

Referee Charles Breakspear pointed to the spot, but Davies guessed the right way to push Bogle’s penalty clear.

Barnsley came close to making them pay for that miss, as an angled effort from Pinillos narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Jackett made a change on 77 minutes, with Solomon-Otabor afforded warm applause as he made way for Lowe.

But the Blues survived a scare when Brown met Mowatt’s corner and headed the ball down, with the ball ricocheting against the post.

James Vaughan replaced Bogle for the closing stages, as Jackett decided to add fresh legs to his forward line.

Both sides looked capable of finding a winner as the seconds ticked down, but they ultimately had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c); Curtis, Close, Morris, Solomon-Otabor (Lowe 77); Bogle (Vaughan 84)
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Evans, Hawkins

Barnsley (4-2-3-1): Davies (c); Cavare, Pinnock, Lindsay, Pinillos; Mowatt, McGeehan (Dougall 90+2); Brown, Bahre (Adeboyejo 55), Thiam (Hedges 75); Woodrow
Booked: McGeehan
Subs not used: Walton, Jackson, Green, Styles

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 18,624 (1,944 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 192019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 1    1 Bristol Rovers

Pompey battled from behind against Bristol Rovers to draw for a fourth league game in succession.

A controversial penalty from Jonson Clarke-Harris saw the visitors lead at the interval, only for a James Clarke own-goal to level the contest.

The Pirates had the opportunity to leave the south coast with all three points, but a second Clarke-Harris spot-kick was fired high over the bar.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Southend at the weekend.

Tom Naylor was immediately brought back after completing a two-match ban, while there were also returns for Ronan Curtis and skipper Gareth Evans.

Omar Bogle, Viv Solomon-Otabor and Bryn Morris all dropped to the bench, where they were joined by a fit-again Dion Donohue.

Pompey had a chance to score from an early free-kick, although Evans’ effort was not too troublesome for Jack Bonham between the sticks.

A long throw then caused problems at the other end, with James Clarke hurtling the ball into the box, where it eventually bounced into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

Curtis soon sent a dangerous low delivery into the danger zone, although Evans could not make a clean connection.

But it was the Pirates who almost broke the deadlock when Naylor gifted possession to Alex Jakubiak on seven minutes.

He surged forward and hit a low shot that MacGillivray got down to, but the ball squirmed clear and Matt Clarke had to clear behind before Clarke-Harris could pounce.

After that energetic start, however, the contest soon settled down into a more laboured affair, with half-chances the order of the evening.

Curtis spun and hit a tame effort that Bonham easily dealt with after the lively Ben Close had headed the ball into the mixer.

There were gaps around the ground when Curtis collected Oli Hawkins’ pass and lifted a shot against the inside of the post, although the linesman’s flag was raised for offside.

Instead it was the visitors who took the lead from the penalty spot on 37 minutes, although it was a controversial decision.

There did not seem to be much of a challenge from Naylor on Clarke-Harris, but referee Neil Hair pointed to the spot and the striker picked himself up to slam the ball home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Bristol Rovers 1


Jackett made a change at the start of the second half, with Bogle replacing Hawkins as the focal point of Pompey’s attack.

Hair was continuing to make an enemy of the Fratton faithful once the action restarted, with a couple of decisions that went against the hosts.

Bristol Rovers had an opportunity to double their lead when Jakubiak spotted Liam Sercombe inside the area, but the midfielder’s wild effort went out for a throw.

Clarke-Harris then hit a fierce low drive that MacGillivray got his whole body behind in order to make the save.

But the Blues were level just before the hour mark, as Curtis clipped the ball into the box and – under pressure from Bogle – James CLARKE turned the ball into his own net.

That man Clarke was in the action again soon after, however, going down under Jamal Lowe’s challenge and winning another penalty.

It was Clarke-Harris who stepped up to take it once more, but this time blazed his shot high into the Fratton End.

Jackett immediately made his second switch of the night, with James Vaughan adding fresh legs to the forward line and Evans making way.

And his third and final change arrived on 79 minutes, as January arrival Solomon-Otabor came on for Lowe.

There were chances at both ends in the closing stages, with Lee Brown unable to make a connection when Curtis’ shot was deflected into his path.

Rovers substitute Gavin Reilly then sent the ball into the Blues box and Christian Burgess had to clear over his own bar.

But, despite five minutes being added for stoppages and the Fratton faithful roaring their side on, neither team was able to find a late winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe (Solomon-Otabor 79), Evans (c) (Vaughan 66), Curtis; Hawkins (Bogle 46)
Goals: J.Clarke 58 (og)
Booked: Lowe, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Morris, Donohue

Bristol Rovers (4-4-1-1): Bonham; Partington, Lockyer (c), Craig, J.Clarke; Sercombe, Upson, Ogogo, Holmes-Dennis (Sinclair 85); Jakubiak (Reilly 77); Clarke-Harris
Goals: Clarke-Harris 37 (pen)
Subs not used: Smith, Kelly, Lines, Matthews, Nichols

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 17,880 (803 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 162019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Southend United 3    3 Portsmouth

Pompey moved back up to third in the League One table with a 3-3 draw against Southend.

But the visitors were in no mood to celebrate after throwing away a three-goal advantage at Roots Hall.

Bryn Morris, Ben Close – on his 100th appearance for the club – and Oli Hawkins all found the target as the Blues cruised into a commanding advantage.

Simon Cox reduced the deficit before the break, however, then added a penalty before completing his treble late on.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Plymouth the previous weekend.

Viv Solomon-Otabor was handed his debut wide on the left, while Hawkins and Anton Walkes both returned to the starting line-up.

That meant a switch to a 4-4-2 system with Hawkins partnering Omar Bogle, as Matt Clarke claimed the captain’s armband.

Gareth Evans and Ronan Curtis both dropped the bench, while Nathan Thompson missed out with a knock.

There was a minute’s applause ahead of kick-off in memory of World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who passed away earlier in the week.

It was the hosts who had the first effort, but Craig MacGillivray got down to his right to keep out Stephen McLaughlin’s low drive.

Christian Burgess then cleared the danger before Michael Turner could capitalise after Cox’s initial effort had been blocked.

But the Blues soon took control and broke the deadlock on eight minutes, as MORRIS opened his account for the club.

Bogle and Jamal Lowe combined well down the right and when the latter’s cross was pushed out by Nathan Bishop, the midfielder hammered the loose ball into the roof of the net.

They came close to doubling the lead from a corner soon after, with Clarke’s shot blocked and Burgess’ follow-up nervously dealt with by Bishop.

The visitors were well on top, although MacGillivray spilled an effort from Sam Mantom and dived on the loose ball before Michael Kightly could pounce.

And Pompey immediately went up the other end to strengthen their advantage, although the Shrimpers could have dealt with it.

Solomon-Otabor combined well with Lowe, but first Sam Hart and then Mantom made a hash of their clearances and CLOSE sent a neat volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

It looked like they had gone even further ahead when Bogle managed to force the ball over the line, although it was controversially ruled out for offside.

But they did have a third goal on 31 minutes when, at the end of a neat passing move, Morris struck the post.

This time it was Taylor Moore’s chance to decline the opportunity to clear the ball and a grateful HAWKINS slotted home.

Southend looked out of the contest, but gave themselves a lifeline when Cox rose in the box to convert Hart’s delivery.

They almost grabbed another before the break when a corner fell for Turner, who curled his shot just past the post.


Half Time

Southend United 1

Portsmouth 3


The visitors began the second period brightly and a snap-shot from Bogle was saved by Bishop, while a heavy first touch from Lowe allowed the Southend keeper to claim the ball.

But Burgess then made a key challenge inside the box to stop Kightly collecting MacLaughlin’s pass following a quick break.

Pompey immediately created an opening of their own, but Bishop kept out Bogle’s effort and then beat the striker to the loose ball.

It was not as action-packed since the restart, however, and the chances started to dry up as the half progressed.

McLaughlin did try his luck from outside the box, but the ball struck Clarke to divert it wide of the post.

A couple of corners for the hosts also caused problems, although MacGillivray was on hand to deal with them on each occasion.

Solomon-Otabor had faded slightly following a lively start to the contest and was replaced by Curtis on 71 minutes.

And Jackett soon made a second substitution, with Bogle the man to make way as Evans provided fresh legs to the forward line.

The game seemed to be drifting towards a conclusion, but Southend were not done yet and set up a tense finale by pulling another goal back.

Morris caught Kightly in the box and referee Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot, with Cox stepping up to send MacGillivray the wrong way.

Pompey were not just sitting back, though, and Close had a low effort blocked following some patient build-up play.

But Southend completed a remarkable comeback on 88 minutes, as Cox raced onto Timothee Dieng’s fine pass and neatly tucked away his hat-trick goal.

James Vaughan was brought on as the Blues tried to hit back, but they were unable to find another goal before the final whistle blew.

Southend (4-4-2): Bishop; Bwomono, Turner, Moore, Hart; McLaughlin, Mantom (c) (Hutchinson 73), Dieng, Kightly (Wabo 82); Cox, Humphrys (Klass 25)
Goals: Cox 36, 78 (pen), 87
Booked: Klass, Moore
Subs not used: Smith, Kiernan, Lennon, Kelman

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Brown; Lowe (Vaughan 88), Morris, Close, Solomon-Otabor (Curtis 71); Hawkins, Bogle (Evans 75)
Goals: Morris 8, Close 20, Hawkins 31
Booked: Walkes, Vaughan
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, Haunstrup, May

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 7,300 (1,239 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 092019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Plymouth Argyle 1    1 Portsmouth

A first league goal of the season for Ben Close was not enough to secure a return to winning ways, as Pompey drew 1-1 with Plymouth.

The first half at Home Park was a turgid non-event, but the game really exploded into life after the break.

Close’s effort was reward for the fine support from the travelling Blue Army, but Graham Carey’s impressive free-kick ensured the spoils would be shared.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at QPR earlier in the week.

Omar Bogle returned to lead the line, while there were also recalls for Nathan Thompson, Bryn Morris, Ronan Curtis and skipper Gareth Evans.

Oli Hawkins, Anton Walkes and Adam May all dropped to the bench, Louis Dennis missed out completely and Tom Naylor started a two-match ban for collecting 10 yellow cards.

The sold-out away contingent made plenty of noise in the build-up to kick-off and that did not change once the action started.

But they did not have much to get excited about in an opening 45 minutes that was full of endeavour, if short on quality in the final third.

A corner from Evans led to Bogle having a couple of shots blocked in quick succession, although referee Ben Toner spotted an infringement and blew for a foul.

The swirling wind would have been causing problems, especially with Home Park currently boasting only three sides.

And that was perhaps a reason why the contest failed to spark into life, although deliveries into the box from Evans and Close both had to be dealt with.

Both goalkeepers might as well have stayed in the dressing room, as their gloves remained unsoiled as the interval approached.

Half-chances were about as good as it got, with Curtis scuffing a shot wide after Thompson’s effort had been deflected into his path.

Not much was happening at the other end, with Ruben Lameiras’ dangerous low delivery turned behind, while Freddie Ladapo hit a long-range effort high over the bar.

Argyle keeper Kyle Letheren was finally called into action just before the break, but was not overly troubled by Matt Clarke’s tame header.


Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey were first to threaten following the restart when Bogle rose at the far post to meet Lee Brown’s cross with a firm header that was gathered by Letheren.

But the hosts then had a decent opening of their own, as Antoni Sarcevic dug the ball out for Ladapo, whose effort was deflected narrowly over the bar.

It was certainly proving to be a more action-packed contest and when Curtis picked the ball up on the left, he drove inside and hit a fierce drive that Letheren did well to tip over.

And the Blues were ahead from the resulting corner, with Evans’ delivery only cleared as far as CLOSE, who drilled the ball home from the edge of the box.

The midfielder then sent a fine pass over the top for Bogle to race on to, with Ryan Edwards doing well to prevent the striker getting a shot away.

That was Bogle’s last contribution to the game, as Jackett replaced him with Oli Hawkins on 67 minutes.

Argyle boss Derek Adams then began ranting on the touchline when he felt Evans’ free-kick should have warranted a second yellow card, instead earning a booking for himself.

But his mood changed when Thompson was adjusged to have fouled Yann Songo’o 25 yards from goal and Carey stepped up to curl home a fine free-kick.

They might have had another after Morris failed to clear, but Lameiras’ curler was deflected past the post.

Pompey were being pegged back, but had a chance to capitalise when Evans kept the ball in play on the right.

His fine deep pass found Hawkins, who nodded the ball down to Curtis, but the Republic of Ireland international fired high over the bar.

A curler from Evans was plucked from the air by Letheren, while Argyle also applied late pressure before the referee’s whistle brought a competitive clash to a close.

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): Letheren; Smith-Brown, Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer (c); Songo’o, Fox; Lameiras, Sarevic, Carey; Ladapo (Taylor 80)
Goals: Carey 70
Subs not used: Macey, Riley, Jones, Wootton, Threlkeld, Jephcott

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Morris, Close; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Bogle (Hawkins 67)
Goals: Close 56
Booked: Evans, Thompson, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, May, Solomon-Otabor, Vaughan

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 12,052 (1,180 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 052019
 

Match Report

FA Cup 4th Round Replay

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Queens Park Rangers 0    2 Portsmouth

Pompey were beaten 2-0 by QPR in a fourth round replay to end their FA Cup adventure at Loftus Road.

There were just short of 3,000 fans who made the trip to the capital and they saw their side look solid for most of the contest, without creating many opportunities.

Craig MacGillivray also had little to do, although Darnell Furlong did strike the woodwork for the hosts before the break.

But the Championship hosts made sure of a home clash Watford in the next stage, as Nahki Wells and Matt Smith struck in quick succession during the second half.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Doncaster in the league at the weekend.

A fit-again Oli Hawkins made his first start since New Year’s Day, with Louis Dennis, Adam May, Anton Walkes and Christian Burgess also returning.

Jack Whatmough and Dion Donohue made way because of injury, Ronan Curtis was suspended and Omar Bogle ineligible, while Nathan Thompson dropped to the bench.

The hosts had an early chance to break the deadlock, but Smith could not divert Furlong’s cross on target with a powerful header.

Rangers were enjoying plenty of pressure, although there were not many clear-cut openings at either end of the pitch.

A corner led to a scramble in the box and when the ball eventually fell for Massimo Luongo, he blazed over.

The visitors grew in confidence as the first half progressed, but continuously saw attacking moves break down in the final third.

Perhaps their best opening came when May’s corner was not properly dealt with, although the ball would not fall for a black-shirted player.

It was the Championship side who had the best chance of the half when Furlong glanced Freeman’s delivery against the crossbar.

May tried to send Walkes away with a fine pass from deep just before the break, only for Jake Bidwell to spot the danger and make a vital interception.


Half Time

Queens Park Rangers 0

Portsmouth 0


Chances continued to be at a premium once the action restarted, with Luongo clearing the crossbar again before Matt Clarke headed clear a dangerous Freeman delivery.

Josh Scowen then became the first player to be punished by referee David Coote, earning a yellow card for a late challenge on Ben Close.

It was still Rangers looking more of a threat, although Luongo could not divert his header on target after finding space to meet Freeman’s free-kick.

Wells looked like he might break the deadlock after surging into the box, only for Clarke to arrive with a perfectly-timed challenge before he could get a shot away.

Jackett made a couple of changes soon after, with May and Dennis making way for Bryn Morris and Gareth Evans.

It was the latter who had a rare shot for the visitors, but could not divert Lee Brown’s low cross on target.

But QPR forged ahead on 70 minutes when a corner from Freeman was nodded down by Smith for Joel Lynch.

His shot was heading for the target, but might have been stopped by MacGillivray before Wells stuck out a boot to flick the ball into the net.

Jackett immediately made an attacking substitution, throwing on another striker in Brett Pitman to replace Close.

But Rangers soon strengthened their advantage, as Smith converted a Freeman free-kick with a bullet header.

They might have had another moments later, with MacGillivray tearing from his line to deny Bidwell.

Pompey kept battling away in the closing stages, but QPR saw out the final few minutes to book their place in the fifth round for the first time since 1997.

QPR (4-4-2): Lumley; Furlong, Hall, Lynch, Bidwell; Freeman (c), Scowen, Luongo, Osayi-Samuel (Eze 71); Smith (Hemed 90), Wells (Manning 82)
Goals: Wells 70, Smith 77
Booked: Scowen
Subs not used: Ingram, Leistner, Kakay, Wszolek

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c); Lowe, May (Morris 59), Close (Pitman 74), Dennis (Evans 60); Hawkins
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, Haunstrup

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 13,115 (2,941 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 022019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 1    1 Doncaster Rovers

Omar Bogle scored on his Fratton debut as Pompey fought from behind to draw 1-1 with Doncaster on a chilly afternoon on the south coast.

They trailed at the break to Mallik Wilks’ finish, despite controlling the opening stages and recovered from a sloppy period to get a foothold back in the contest.

Bogle struck in the second half to return the Blues to level terms, but the hosts were unable to find the target again.

It ended a three-match losing run in League One, but saw Pompey drop out of the automatic promotion places.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that were narrowly beaten by Luton earlier in the week.

Omar Bogle was promoted to the starting 11, having impressed after coming off the bench at Kenilworth Road.

There were also starts for Ben Close, Dion Donohue and a fit-again Nathan Thompson, with Bryn Morris suffering from an ankle injury.

Anton Walkes and Brett Pitman dropped out of the matchday squad, with Gareth Evans on the bench, meaning Tom Naylor took the captain’s armband.

The hosts started brightly and controlled possession in the opening stages, without managing to test Rovers keeper Marko Marosi.

Thompson was understandably a bit rusty after a spell on the sidelines, however, and was booked for an early foul on Wilks.

Ronan Curtis was sending some dangerous balls into the box from wide on the left, but Doncaster were holding firm.

It looked like Bogle might break the deadlock when Donohue swung a corner towards the far post, but the striker failed to make a clean connection from just a few yards out.

He managed a more powerful header from a Naylor delivery moments later, only for Marosi to cling on to the ball.

The hosts were then dealt a blow on 28 minutes when they were forced to make their first substitution.

Whatmough appeared to hurt his knee and after a brief period of treatment, was replaced by Christian Burgess, although managed to walk off the pitch unaided.

And Doncaster immediately made the most of any uncertainty that change had to the Blues back-line.

Wilks raced on to a long pass from Ben Whiteman, getting past Burgess and slotting a neat finish past Craig MacGillivray.

That left Pompey reeling and they were sloppy for the next 10 minutes, with the visitors looking to take advantage.

But Jackett’s side slowly started to find their footing again and began to look more dangerous as the interval approached.

Donohue whipped a superb corner into a packed box in stoppage-time and Marosi did well to flap the ball away.

A free-kick from Curtis was then not properly dealt with and a long-range attempt from Donohue was not too far off target.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Doncaster Rovers 1


Donohue appeared to be limping as he came off for break and the midfielder did not emerge for the second half, with James Vaughan coming on for his debut.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten following the restart, though, with Danny Andrew flashing an angled drive narrowly wide.

Pompey were seeing plenty of the ball as they searched for a leveller, but struggling to breach an organised Rovers defence.

But there was a mix-up between Marosi and centre-back Paul Downing that allowed the hosts to level on 54 minutes.

They got in each other’s way when trying to deal with Curtis’ ball in from the left and Vaughan’s pass was deflected into the path of BOGLE, who fired home from close range.

Vaughan then tried his luck with an acrobatic overhead effort from Lee Brown’s cross, although the ball sailed over the bar.

It had been a quiet afternoon for Jamal Lowe, but he saw a shot deflected past the post after showing neat footwork to break into the box.

Doncaster were not merely content with a point, however, and a shot from Alfie May sailed over, while Thompson made a superb recovery challenge to deny Matty Blair.

Former Fratton loanee John Marquis then hit skidding low shot from outside the box that MacGillivray got his fingertips to.

But the Blues immediately had a chance at the other end when Lowe’s fine long pass set Curtis clear, only for Marosi to just about get there first.

And Close then hit a fierce first-time shot from the edge of the area that the Rovers keeper did well to tip over the bar.

Jackett made his final substitution on 77 minutes, as Evans came on for Bogle to add some fresh legs to the forward line.

Headers from Burgess and Curtis could not beat Marosi as the Blues tried their best to find another goal.

And Doncaster almost snatched a winner in stoppage-time when Matt Clarke gave away possession, but MacGillivray came to the rescue by saving May’s curling strike.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough (Burgess 28), Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c), Donohue (Vaughan 46); Lowe, Close, Curtis; Bogle (Evans 77)
Goals: Bogle 54
Booked: Thompson, Lowe, Burgess, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, May, Isgrove, Hawkins

Doncaster (4-1-4-1): Marosi; Lewis, Downing, Anderson, Andrew; Whiteman (Crawford 61); Smith (May 61), Blair (Rowe 83), Kane, Wilks; Marquis (c)
Goals: Wilks 30
Booked: Lewis
Subs not used: Jones, Butler, Sadlier, Coppinger

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 17,800 (480 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 292019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Luton Town 3    2 Portsmouth

Pompey twice fought from behind, but a late goal saw them leave League One leaders Luton empty-handed.

They were comfortably second best before the break and James Collins ensured the hosts went in ahead at the interval.

It was a different story in the second half, however, and the Blues dominated for long periods, with Ronan Curtis levelling.

Collins netted from the penalty spot to restore the Hatters’ lead, only for substitute Omar Bogle to equalise on his debut.

Both sides looked capable of grabbing a late winner, but it was George Moncur who struck in the closing stages to strengthen Luton’s advantage at the summit.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Queens Park Rangers in the FA Cup at the weekend.

Bryn Morris was handed a debut in the centre of midfield, while Jamal Lowe made an instant return after completing a one-match ban.

Dion Donohue and Louis Dennis dropped to the bench, where they were joined by recent loan signing Bogle.

There was also a change of formation, with Anton Walkes moving into the centre of a three-man defence, as Lee Brown and Jamal Lowe were used as wing-backs.

The snow fell persistently throughout the contest, although it was not heavy enough to leave more than a dusting on the surface.

It was the hosts who started on the front foot and it continued that way for most of the opening 45 minutes.

There were plenty of dangerous balls delivered into the Pompey box, although the majority were dealt with.

One cross from Kazenga LuaLua – younger brother of former Fratton favourite Lomana – caused difficulties, but Andrew Shinnie’s shot was blocked by Jack Whatmough.

Craig MacGillivray kept out a long-range effort from James Justin, who had earlier seen his corner headed away by Brett Pitman.

Luke Berry then sent a dangerous low ball across the face of goal, but a sliding Collins could not shake off Matt Clarke to convert.

Luton were well on top of and after a spell of intense pressure, LuaLua’s angled drive was kept out by MacGillivray.

Berry was next to try his luck, with a shot from outside the box that fizzed narrowly past the post midway through the half.

The hosts went close again on 29 minutes, as Jack Stacey swung in a dangerous cross that Berry glanced just wide.

Pompey were not creating much at the other end, although a flick from Pitman found Curtis, who was crowded out before he could get a shot away.

The action was soon back down the other end of the pitch, however, and Alan McCormack’s attempt was just off target, while a heavy touch from LuaLua allowed MacGillivray to save.

But Luton finally made their pressure count on 39 minutes, as Collins collected LuaLua’s pass and neatly slotted home.

Pompey’s first shot came just before the break, although Gareth Evans slipped as he connected with the ball, which sailed over the bar.


Half Time

Luton Town 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double change at the start of the second half, with Bogle and Donohue replacing Pitman and Evans.

And the latter made an immediate impression with the visitors’ first shot on target, although James Shea was not overly troubled.

Bogle was also proving to be a real handful, using his strength to steal possession on a couple of occasions.

Pompey looked a different team than the one that had struggled to keep hold of the ball before the break.

And they found themselves back on level terms on 52 minutes, with Clarke getting into the box and Lowe teeing-up CURTIS to drill into the net.

They might have had another moments later when Lowe found Morris, whose fierce effort was tipped over by Shea.

The Blues were applying plenty of pressure and the ball had to be hacked clear when Shea parried clear an angled drive from Curtis.

Luton had a chance to retake the lead on 71 minutes, however, as a cleanly-struck effort from Justin was pushed over by MacGillivray.

But they were back ahead soon after, when referee Simon Hooper decided that Whatmough had brought down LuaLua in the box.

He pointed straight to the spot and Collins sent up to confidently fire the ball right into the bottom corner.

That only served to reinvigorate the visitors, though, and they were deservedly level when Lowe slipped a pass across for BOGLE to bundle home.

He came close to adding another soon after, but Shea managed to get down to his left to push the ball behind.

But there was late heartache as the game swung back in Luton’s favour following a disputed foul on Moncur by Walkes just outside the box.

It was Moncur who took the free-kick and he expertly bent a shot around the wall and into the net to seal victory for the hosts.

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Shea; Stacey, Pearson, Bradley (c), Justin; McCormack; Mpanzu, Shinnie (Sheehan 88); Berry (Potts 73); Collins, LuaLua (Moncur 80)
Goals: Collins 39, 77 (pen), Moncur 86
Subs not used: Isted, Jones, Read, Tomlinson

Pompey (3-5-2): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke; Lowe, Evans (Donohue 46), Naylor, Morris, Brown; Pitman (c) (Bogle 46), Curtis
Goals: Curtis 52, Bogle 79
Booked: Donohue, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis

Referee: Simon Hooper

Attendance: 10,078 (1,033 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC