2019/2020

Oct 122019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Gillingham 0


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 18,036 (672 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 082019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Oxford United 1

Portsmouth 1


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Time: Oxford 2 Pompey 2

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 1,548 (274 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 052019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 0

Portsmouth 0


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Andy Haines

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

Portsmouth FC

Sep 282019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Bolton Wanderers 0


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 18,382 (824 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 242019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Carabao Cup 3




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Southampton 2


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Kevin Friend

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

Portsmouth FC

Sep 212019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 0


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

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

Portsmouth FC

Sep 172019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey salvaged a dramatic point against Burton, courtesy of Brett Pitman’s stoppage-time penalty.

Joe Sbarra and Kieran Wallace – the latter with the help of a huge deflection – struck for the visitors in the opening stages.

But the Brewers had to play much of the contest with just 10 men following two quick bookings for John-Joe O’Toole.

Ronan Curtis pulled a goal back before the interval and Pitman converted from the spot right at the death following a foul on Ellis Harrison.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Blackpool in the last third tier outing at the end of August.

Pitman and summer signing Ryan Williams were both handed their first league starts, with Andy Cannon dropping to the bench and Marcus Harness out injured.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Fratton forward Dennis Edwards, who passed away the previous week.

The hosts got off to a dreadful start and found themselves two goals down inside the opening six minutes.

Lucas Akins did well down the right and passed across the box to Wallace. His shot was blocked by Williams, but the ball fell for Sbarra to slot home.

And it soon got even worse for the Blues, with Wallace’s long-range effort taking a wicked deflection off Paul Downing’s knee to leave Craig MacGillivray wrong-footed.

Fratton Park was left stunned and the home side did not immediately look like getting back into the contest.

But there was a lifeline when O’Toole picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to leave Burton with just 10 men.

John Marquis felt it should have been a straight red after getting tugged to the turf by the defender, although referee Craig Hicks decided there was a covering defender.

Ross McCrorie then swung a cross into the box from the left and skipper Tom Naylor rose highest to head narrowly wide.

Marquis tried to wriggle his way through on goal moments later, but again O’Toole clumsily brought him down.

Hicks played the advantage and it almost paid dividends, with Pitman thundering a shot against the crossbar.

But the official then called O’Toole over to send him for an early bath, forcing Sbarra to be sacrificed for an extra defender.

The hosts tried to make their numerical advantage count and a stretching Curtis saw his header held under the crossbar by Albion keeper Kieran O’Hara.

Akins was still causing problems at the other end, though, and saw off both Naylor and MacGillivray from a long clearance, but there was nobody to meet his cut-back.

It had been a disjointed display from the Blues, but they found themselves back in the contest on 39 minutes.

Burgess’ cross caught a deflection and looped into the box, where Marquis’ header was saved by O’Hara.

But CURTIS was quickest to the loose ball and lashed it into the roof of the net to reduce Pompey’s deficit.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Burton Albion 2


There was a change of system and personnel at the start of the second half, with Gareth Evans replacing Williams and the Blues playing with three at the back.

And the newcomer almost provided an equaliser on 50 minutes, sending in a cross that was met by Curtis, forcing O’Hara to tip it over the bar.

Ben Close then had an effort blocked by Wallace after Burgess’ delivery had been turned back into the centre by Curtis.

The visitors were briefly down to nine men just past the hour mark when substitute Colin Daniel received a head injury, but the defender returned with a bandage on.

Pompey, meanwhile, were being undone by too many sloppy passes that were halting their momentum in the final third.

And when Evans did whip in a dangerous delivery, Curtis and Pitman got in each other’s way as they both tried to attack the ball.

It had been a difficult evening for McCrorie and the on-loan midfielder made way for Cannon on 70 minutes.

Pompey did start to pick up the pace, however, and when O’Hara palmed away Curtis’ shot, Brandon Haunstrup’s fierce follow-up was blocked.

And the keeper made an even better stop moments later to keep out a goal-bound Curtis header from Haunstrup’s cross.

That was the left-back’s final contribution to the cause, though, as he was withdrawn for Harrison in an attacking move.

Cannon thought he should have won a penalty after going down under Akins’ challenge and Hicks took a moment before deciding there had been no foul.

Some patient build-up play then ended with Close slipping a pass through to Marquis, who spun and fired narrowly wide.

There were four minutes of stoppage-time for the Brewers to survive and they almost held on for the win.

But when Pitman lifted the ball into the box, Harrison was bundled to the turf by Jake Buxton and Hicks pointed to the spot.

It was PITMAN who stepped up to take the penalty and kept his cool, slamming the ball into the roof of the net to rescue a point.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Burgess, Downing, Naylor (c), Haunstrup (Harrison 77); Close, McCrorie (Cannon 70); Williams (Evans 46), Pitman, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 39, Pitman 90+5 (pen)
Booked: Downing
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Walkes, Hawkins

Burton (4-2-3-1): O’Hara, Brayford (c), O’Toole, Nartey, Wallace; Edwards, Quinn; Sarkic (Boyce 77), Sbarra (Daniel 26), Broadhead (Buxton 83); Akins
Goals: Sbarra 3, Wallace 6
Sent off: O’Toole (two yellow cards)
Booked: Boyce
Subs not used: Bywater, Hutchinson, Anderson, Fraser

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 16,610 (116 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 142019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey took a giant stride towards the Leasing.com Trophy knockout stages with victory over Norwich U21s at Fratton Park.

Ellis Harrison made the most of fine passes from academy players Eoin Teggart and Josh Flint to bag a brace in the Southern Group B contest.

And it was a debut to remember for Flint, who lashed home a goal of his own in an entertaining fixture.

Thomas Scully came off the bench to reduce the Canaries’ deficit, but it was a mostly comfortable occasion for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that beat Crawley in the last group fixture 11 days earlier.

There were debuts for teenage academy players Flint and Teggart, while Joe Hancott – who became the club’s youngest player when fielded in this competition two years ago – also started.

A fit-again Oli Hawkins made his first appearance of the season in the centre of defence, with Andy Cannon and Anton Walkes the others to return.

Alex Bass, James Bolton, Sean Raggett – featuring against his parent club – Leon Maloney and Harrison kept their places in the starting line-up.

It was a bright start in the south coast sunshine, with both sides playing on the front foot and looking to attack.

But the hosts were more threatening and Ciaren Jones – under pressure from Harrison – had to turn behind Teggart’s cross.

The same duo combined again moments later and Canaries keeper Archie Mair kept out Harrison’s header from point-blank range.

So it did not exactly come as a surprise to see the duo play pivotal roles in the hosts’ opening goal on 10 minutes.

Teggart whipped in a delivery from the left that was met by Maloney at the back post. He nodded the ball into the centre, where HARRISON headed home from a couple of yards out.

A clever pass from Cannon was missed by Harrison midway through the first half, but Teggart collected the ball and Jordan Thomas made a key block.

Norwich had opportunities of their own, but were limited to long-range efforts that did not trouble Bass.

The best chance came following a surging run through the centre from Aidan Fitzpatrick, with the resulting shot flashing narrowly past the post.

Teggart was impressing down the left and Saul Milovanovic had to make a crude challenge to halt one charge, earning a yellow card from referee Brett Huxtable.

Harrison tried to double the lead before the break, spotting Mair off his line and attempting an audacious effort from the halfway line, but screwed the ball wide.

A second goal did arrive moments later, however, with Teggart again playing a key role by crossing from out wide

The ball was headed back by Harrison for FLINT and although the Waterlooville youngster saw his first effort saved, he collected the ball, turned and sent a rocket into the roof of the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Norwich City U21 0


There was a break in play soon after the restart when Raggett required treatment following a clash of heads, but the centre-back was able to carry on.

Another fine cross from Teggart was then just too high for the onrushing Maloney, as the Blues went in search of more goals.

And the hosts did strengthen their advantage on the hour mark, when Flint slipped a neat pass through to HARRISON.

The striker – wearing the captain’s armband for the day – took a neat first touch before slotting the ball into the net.

Pompey appeared to be cruising, but they received a jolt when Norwich pulled a goal back on 67 minutes.

Raggett took a heavy touch and the ball fell for substitute Scully, who hit a fine angled strike into the top corner.

There was a welcome introduction soon after, with Maloney making way for Ryan Williams, giving the Australian winger his second debut for the club.

Ben Close and John Marquis were also brought on for Flint and Teggart, with the youngsters all receiving warm applause as they made their way off.

Harrison should have completed a hat-trick after being left unmarked to meet Cannon’s free-kick on 77 minutes, but directed his header straight at Mair.

And Marquis almost added a fourth goal late on when he raced onto Williams’ pass, only for Mair to stick out a boot and divert the ball to safety.

Mair again used his foot to keep out a goal-bound Marquis shot in stoppage-time, moments after Cannon had flashed an effort past the post.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Hawkins, Raggett, Hancott; Walkes, Cannon; Maloney (Williams 71), Flint (Close 72), Teggart (Marquis 77); Harrison (c)
Goals: Harrison 10, 60, Flint 44
Subs not used: McGee, Downing, Burgess, Pitman

Norwich U21 (4-4-1-1): Mair; Thomas, Jones (Omobamidele 73), Famewo (c), Nizet; Fitzpatrick, McAlear, Milovanovic, Adshead; Ahadme (Scully 61); Thorvaldsson (Hondermarck 85)
Goals: Scully 67
Booked: Milovanovic
Subs not used: Johnson, Parsons

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 2,855 (7 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 032019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




Brett Pitman came off the bench to score his first goal of the season and ensure Pompey began their defence of the Leasing.com Trophy with a win against Crawley.

Both sides had chances, although it appeared as if the Fratton contest might be heading for a bonus-point penalty shoot-out.

But Pitman neatly converted a corner from the impressive Brandon Haunstrup to secure all three for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that drew with Blackpool in the league at the weekend.

Haunstrup, Paul Downing, Ben Close, John Marquis and skipper Tom Naylor all kept their place in the starting line-up.

Teenager Leon Maloney was given an opportunity to impress out wide, with Ellis Harrison also recalled to the forward line.

Summer signings James Bolton and Sean Raggett were in a defence protecting Alex Bass’ goal and Gareth Evans returned in midfield.

It was a rare outing of the 4-4-2 system for the hosts and although the first half was lacking in quality, there were opportunities at both ends.

Crawley were first to go close following a quick break and Bass had to get down well to push Mason Bloomfield’s effort around the post.

Their opponents were applying plenty of pressure and dominating possession, but failing to trouble keeper Michael Luyambula.

Paul Downing conceded a free-kick right on the edge of the box on 20 minutes, only for Jack Powell to shoot straight into the wall.

The Blues soon stormed up the other end of the pitch and following good work from Harrison and Marquis, a goal-bound Evans strike was blocked by Jamie Sendles-White.

Both sides were taking advantage of some sloppy passing to steal possession and counter, and Tarryn Allarakhia was forced to stop one attack by fouling Maloney and collecting a booking.

Harrison slipped a neat pass through to Evans on the half-hour mark, but the midfielder could not find the target from an acute angle.

There was then a break in play while Evans got treatment following a challenge with Sendles-White that resulted in a yellow card for the Red Devils defender.

Both sides came close to breaking the deadlock in a breathless conclusion to the opening period of the contest.

Evans whipped in a dangerous cross that was not at the ideal height for Maloney, but he managed to fire in a shot that was saved by Luyambula.

George Francomb then fizzed an effort narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box, before Ashley Nathaniel-George sent an attempt just past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Crawley Town 0


Evans – who had taken a knock on the head earlier in the game – did not emerge for the second half, with Pitman replacing him.

A couple of Haunstrup corners might have caused Crawley problems just after the restart, but his team-mates were unable to take advantage.

The visitors then had a chance to score when the ball was cut back for unmarked substitute Nathan Ferguson in the box, with Bolton making a timely block.

Bass soon had to tear from his line to beat Ashley Nadesan to the ball, with the Red Devils man needing treatment after the pair collided.

Naylor played a clever pass over the defence for the onside Harrison to collect just past the hour mark, although his cut-back for Marquis was intercepted.

Then, after a quickly-taken free-kick broke down, Bolton claimed possession, cut on to his left foot and curled narrowly wide.

It looked like the opening goal would arrive on 68 minutes after Haunstrup had delivered a superb cross, but Luyambula pulled off a fine save to keep out Harrison’s header from point-blank range.

Maloney then sent in a dangerous ball of his own that was nodded back by Marquis and hacked over the bar by Sendles-White.

And it was from the resulting corner that the hosts took the lead, with another excellent Haunstrup cross hooked home by PITMAN.

The left-back’s delivery had been a particular highlight and a low centre was then met by Pitman again, although this time Crawley were able to block.

Pompey then saw out the final stages in relatively comfortable fashion to get the group stage campaign off to a successful start.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Bolton, Downing, Raggett, Haunstrup; Maloney, Naylor (c), Close, Evans (Pitman 46); Harrison, Marquis
Goals: Pitman 70
Subs not used: McGee, Casey, Burgess, Hancott, Walkes, Flint

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Luyambula; Francomb, Sendles-White, Dallison (Tunnicliffe 46), Young (c); Payne; Nadesan, Powell (Ferguson 54), Allarakhia (Galach 80), Nathaniel-George; Bloomfield
Booked: Allarakhia, Sendles-White
Subs not used: Morris, Forrest, Doherty, Camara

Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 3,784 (96 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 312019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey had to settle for a share of the spoils at Blackpool, despite Marcus Harness netting his third goal for the club.

The visitors improved as the first half progressed and deservedly went ahead through the winger’s neat finish.

But the Seasiders were much better following the interval and Armand Gnaduillet’s header ensured they claimed a point.

There were chances for both sides to grab a winner after that, with Gnanduillet and John Marquis going close for their respective clubs.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at QPR in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

It was a straight swap, as Andy Cannon replaced Gareth Evans in midfield, with Tom Naylor taking the captain’s armband.

The latter remained stationed in the centre of defence, as Christian Burgess continued in a right-back role.

It was a blustery day in the north-west and the windy conditions were clearly making life difficult for both sides.

But Blackpool started brightly and delivered plenty of early crosses that had to be dealt with by the Blues back-line.

Paul Downing conceded a foul in a dangerous position and took responsibility by heading behind the resulting free-kick.

The visitors soon started to move through the gears and Ronan Curtis had a shot blocked before sending in a ball that was just out of reach for the diving Marquis.

Some neat Harness footwork and sheer persistence from Andy Cannon then provided a chance for the latter, who prodded wide.

Blackpool threatened at the other end, with Sullay Kaikai sliding in and not quite able to meet James Husband’s pass.

But it was Pompey who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes after Marquis had done well to catch Curtis Tilt in possession.

Ryan Edwards made a good recovery challenge on the striker, only for the ball to land for HARNESS to flight home with his left foot.

The visitors looked well on top and Marquis soon had a shot deflected narrowly wide after racing through.

A cross from Ross McCrorie was then just behind Harness, who could not get enough power on his header to trouble Jak Alnwick in the Blackpool goal.

Both sides picked up a booking each, with McCrorie penalised for a foul on Kaikai, while Edwards was punished for a cynical tug on Marquis.

There was a scare for Pompey when the former collided with Tilt and fell into the advertising hoardings, but the Scottish midfielder was able to continue.

It was Harness who was replaced just before the break, however, with the winger appearing to limp off, despite not collecting any obvious injury.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 1


Both sides took time to get back up to full speed following the restart, with a few loose passes halting any attacking fluidity.

Burgess had to make a key challenge inside the box on 54 minutes to prevent Gnanduillet from getting a shot away.

There were half chances at each end for Kaikai and Marquis, but neither keeper was being given much to do.

Blackpool found themselves level just before the hour mark, however, as Liam Feeney’s fine cross was converted by a firm Gnanduillet header.

And the striker almost scored a second moments later after meeting Husband’s centre, but Naylor and Craig MacGillivray combined to divert the ball behind.

Pompey were under pressure and Jackett made his second switch on 65 minutes, with earlier substitute Evans replaced by Ellis Harrison.

The hosts were causing plenty of problems and after one corner had been turned behind, a second was headed just past the post by the dangerous Gnanduillet.

It was then the Blues’ turn to go close to taking the lead on 70 minutes following good work down the left by Curtis.

He cut inside and found Cannon and after the midfielder’s blocked attempt fell for Marquis, his shot was kept out by a fine Alnwick save.

Pompey’s final change came in the centre of midfield on 76 minutes, with Anton Walkes on for McCrorie.

So it was a worrying sight to see Curtis hobbling along after picking up a knock, although the winger was fine to continue following some treatment on the pitch.

He soon collected a threaded pass from Naylor and advanced towards goal, flashing in a dangerous cross-shot that flashed past the post.

Both sides were looking capable of scoring the goal that would turn one point into three, but ultimately had to settle for a draw.

Blackpool (4-3-1-2): Alnwick; Turton, Edwards, Tilt, Husband; Feeney, Spearing (c) (Guy 81), Thompson; Kaikai (Virtue 85); Gnanduillet, Nuttall
Goals: Gnanduillet 58
Booked: Edwards, Spearing
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bushiri, Heneghan, Shaw, Hardie

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Burgess, Downing, Naylor (c), Haunstrup; McCrorie (Walkes 76), Close; Harness (Evans 40 (Harrison 65)), Cannon, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Harness 17
Booked: McCrorie, Haunstrup
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Maloney, Pitman

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 10,605 (1,816 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 282019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Carabao Cup 2




Pompey reached the third round of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2010 after scoring two second half goals at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

There was not much to separate the sides for much of a low-key contest, but the Blues finally showed a clinical touch towards the end.

John Marquis broke the deadlock from the penalty spot and Marcus Harness then wrapped things up following good work from Ross McCrorie.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that dramatically drew with Coventry eight days earlier.

Brandon Haunstrup came in for the injured Lee Brown, while Sean Raggett dropped to the bench to make way for Christian Burgess.

The latter started in an unfamiliar right-back role, as Tom Naylor stepped back into defence and McCrorie moved to midfield.

It was a largely forgettable affair in the first period, with neither keeper being particularly over-worked.

The Championship hosts were marginally on top in the early stages and their best chance to break the deadlock arrived on 11 minutes.

Jan Mlakar raced past Naylor and slipped a cross-shot towards the far post, where a sprawling Bright Osayi-Samuel could not quite make a connection.

A long-range attempt from the lively Ilias Chair was then comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray.

Pompey had a couple of decent opportunities of their own midway through the half, as they began to move through the gears.

A 30-yard effort from McCrorie bounced awkwardly in front of Rangers keeper Liam Kelly and he did well to push the ball clear.

Ronan Curtis then took a poor first touch from Marquis’ pass, but spun quickly and curled a shot narrowly past the post.

Another Chair effort failed to properly trouble MacGillivray, while his team-mate Ryan Manning was booked for a late challenge on McCrorie.

It was the Blues who looked brighter just before the break, although Harness’ delivery was just too high for skipper Gareth Evans in the box.


Half Time

QPR 0

Portsmouth 0


The action did not immediately heat up once the action restarted, with the contest continuing to drift along.

But Rangers carved open a decent chance just before the hour mark after Harness and Burgess had combined to negate Osayi-Samuel’s tricky footwork.

The ball was immediately sent back into the area by Manning, however, and Marc Pugh could only direct his header straight at MacGillivray.

That came during a bright spell for the hosts, who started to cause Pompey a few problems at the back.

Jackett freshened things up by making a substitution, as Evans made way for Andy Cannon, with Naylor taking the armband.

Burgess soon had a chance to be the unlikely goalscoring hero, hitting a fierce first-time shot from the edge of the box that fizzed over the crossbar.

And the visitors did take the lead on 77 minutes after Toni Leistner tugged Marquis to the turf inside the box.

Referee Ross Joyce immediately pointed to the spot and MARQUIS sent Kelly the wrong way, coolly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

But it got even better for the Blues just four minutes later, as they doubled their advantage following a quick break.

Marquis laid the ball off for McCrorie, who suddenly shot forward, leaving Leistner trailing in his wake.

The Scotland under-21 international then slid a pass across the face of goal, teeing-up HARNESS for a simple finish.

Rangers should have reduced their deficit soon after, only for Mlakar to hit a tame effort straight at MacGillivray from just a few yards out.

Pompey then went close themselves in a breathless finale, with Kelly doing well to keep out a fierce close-range strike from Marquis.

The hosts thought they had given themselves a chance of taking the tie to penalties when Ebere Eze found the net in stoppage-time.

They raced back to the centre circle, but after conversing with his assistant, Joyce ruled the goal out for offside.

QPR (4-4-1-1): Kelly; Kane, Leistner (c), Barbet, Manning; Pugh (Ball 75), Owens, Smith, Osayi-Samuel (Eze 60); Chair (Wells 60); Mlakar
Booked: Manning, Wells, Kelly, Kane
Subs not used: Barnes, Masterson, Scowen, Hugill

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Burgess, Downing, Naylor, Haunstrup; Close (Walkes 90+4), McCrorie; Harness, Evans (c) (Cannon 60), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 77 (pen), Harness 81
Booked: Cannon
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Maloney, Pitman, Harrison

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 7,783 (1,874 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 202019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey threw away two points at Fratton Park after nine-man Coventry staged an incredible fightback.

They looked to be cruising to victory, having recovered from the setback of falling behind to Jordy Hiwula’s early strike.

Ronan Curtis headed the hosts back on level terms and John Marquis turned the game on its head just before the break.

The win appeared to be wrapped up when Gareth Evans raced through to score and their opponents saw Fankaty Dabo dismissed.

Matt Godden then netted a penalty as the drama continued, only for Gervane Kastaneer to also be sent off.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Michael Rose grabbed a late equaliser for the Sky Blues to leave the Fratton faithful stunned.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Sunderland on Saturday.

Evans returned to skipper the side, with Ross McCrorie starting at right-back, having impressed from the bench on Wearside.

Sean Raggett also came in for his full Pompey debut, as Andy Cannon, Christian Burgess and Anton Walkes made way.

The first half was played at breakneck speed and Coventry keeper Marko Marosi was forced to parry clear Marcus Harness’ delivery, with Liam Kelly on hand to clear the loose ball.

But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in just the third minute after breaking quickly from a Blues corner.

Godden was sent clear down the left and he slipped a pass across for the unmarked Hiwula to lash a shot into the roof of the net.

The hosts were not behind for long, however, and when the impressive Harness intercepted a clearance, it led to the equaliser.

He received the ball back and whipped in a superb cross towards the back post, where CURTIS arrived to powerfully head home.

And Pompey felt they should have had the chance to go ahead just moments later when Marquis went down in the box.

It appeared as though he had been tripped by Rose and the striker was furious when referee Kevin Johnson awarded a corner.

McCrorie then went close with a swerving strike from the edge of the box that a diving Marosi did well to push clear.

Coventry were looking dangerous themselves, though, and Hiwula fired into the side netting after collecting Brandon Mason’s threaded pass.

The hosts were forced to make a change on 31 minutes when Lee Brown went down injured and had to be replaced by Brandon Haunstrup.

And their opponents soon had a couple of players booked, with Dabo and Kyle McFadzean having their names taken for fouls on Harness and Marquis respectively.

It seemed as though the players would be heading in all square for the interval, but a fine move ensured Pompey would be ahead.

Tom Naylor played a superb long pass up the pitch for Curtis, whose backheel was collected by the overlapping Haunstrup.

He fired in a low cross and a stretching MARQUIS was able to poke the ball into the net for his first goal since his Fratton return.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Coventry City 1


Paul Downing somehow managed to head wide an Evans free-kick once the action restarted, although his blushes were spared by the linesman’s flag.

His centre-back partner did nor fare much better when Evans cut a corner back for him, with Raggett ballooning a shot over the bar.

Coventry certainly looked capable of scoring themselves and it took a fine save by Craig MacGillivray to deny Godden when Downing’s clearance ricocheted into his path.

McCrorie then made a perfectly-timed challenge inside the box to halt the progress of the marauding Hiwula.

Both defences were looking susceptible to conceding more goals and it was a mistake from the hosts that led to Pompey’s third goal.

McFadzean was caught dithering on the ball by EVANS, who burst clear and calmly slotted into the net.

The hosts were then furious when play was stopped for Dabo’s handball, despite Curtis racing clear and finding the net.

But the Coventry right-back had already been booked and received his marching orders from Johnson.

Marosi then came close to gifting Harness a goal, fumbling his fierce shot and quickly recovering to prevent the ball from spinning over the line.

MacGillivray looked more assured at the other end, adjusting his position to push over a swerving Liam Kelly strike.

But the Sky Blues did have a lifeline on 75 minutes, as Godden stroked home from the spot after Ben Close had been penalised for upending Kelly.

Their hopes of a comeback almost immediately received a setback, however, when Kastaneer – who had only been on the pitch for 11 minutes – was dismissed.

He lunged in on Downing having already received a yellow card and despite his pleading, was shown a red card by Johnson.

But it looked as though they had equalised on 82 minutes when Rose turned the ball home at the back post, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

Burgess replaced Evans, as Pompey tried to shore up their backline for the closing stages of the contest.

Coventry had other ideas, though, and the nine men remarkably levelled when Rose poked home from a long throw.

Brett Pitman was thrown on for the closing stages, although it was Close and Curtis who had half-chances to rescue the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie, Raggett (Pitman 90), Downing, Brown (Haunstrup 32); Naylor, Close; Harness, Evans (c) (Burgess 85), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 10, Marquis 43, Evans 56
Booked: Naylor, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Cannon, Harrison

Coventry (4-3-3): Marosi; Dabo, McFadzean, Rose, Mason; Shipley, Kelly (c), Westbrooke (McCallum 64); Jobello (Kastaneer 67), Godden, Hiwula (Bakayoko 80)
Goals: Hiwula 3, Godden 75 (pen), Rose 86
Sent off: Dabo (two yellow cards), Kastaneer (two yellow cards)
Booked: McFadzean
Subs not used: Wilson, Hyam, Eccles, Bapaga

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 18,748 (950 away fans)

Portsmouth FC