Match Report

Aug 122015
 

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Derby County

Pompey pulled off a Capital One Cup giant-killing as they dumped Derby out at the first round.

After a positive first half had yielded no goals, Adam McGurk took advantage of some unsure goalkeeping to open the scoring.

Jason Shackell headed the second tier side level before substitute Conor Chaplin sent Fratton wild with a cool finish.

Paul Cook rung the changes, with seven players making way from the side that comfortably beat Dagenham in the league at the weekend.

In came McGurk, Jayden Stockley and Brandon Haunstrup for their full debuts, while there were also starts for Paul Jones, Adam Webster, Ben Close and Danny Hollands.

Only Ben Davies, who wore the captain’s armband, Matt Clarke, Gareth Evans and Kyle Bennett retained their places in the line-up.

Pompey were certainly not over-awed against their Championship opponents and immediately looked to get at Derby.

Haunstrup was finding plenty of joy down the left and saw one cross blocked before another just failed to find Stockley.

A ball then fell invitingly to McGurk inside the box, but he dragged his angled drive wide of the post.

Bennett also failed to find the target and was then involved in a neat passing move with Close and Stockley that ended with Alex Pearce heading clear.

It was the Blues looking more threatening without really testing Rams keeper Lee Grant and Bennett saw another couple of long-range efforts fly narrowly wide.

Derby created their first opening in between, with Craig Forsyth finding Andreas Weimann and the Austrian seeing his shot deflected behind by Webster.

Grant was called in to action on 32 minutes and did well to turn behind Haunstrup’s angled strike.

Despite Pompey’s dominance, it was the visitors who had two good opportunities to open the scoring late in the half.

First they got opened up at the back and a well-placed Clarke had to clear Johnny Russell’s low cross from the line.

Jeff Hendrick then did well to burst through the centre and advance on goal, but sent his shot inches past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Derby 0

It was Derby who were first to threaten after the restart and Weimann had an effort deflected into the side netting.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 49 minutes, with McGURK netting on his debut.

The goal owed a lot to the work of Stockley, who broke down the right and sent in a teasing cross for his team-mate.

McGurk met it well, but Grant should have done better, with the County stopper only able to help it into the net.

That’s was McGurk’s last meaningful contribution and he soon made way for Enda Stevens.

But that failed to blunt Pompey’s attacking verve and they almost doubled their lead on 56 minutes.

Bennett delivered the ball into the box and first Stockley and then Davies saw efforts well saved by Grant.

Chaplin then came on for Haunstrup as Cook decided to shuffle his pack once more.

However, Derby grabbed an equaliser on 74 minutes when Shackell found space at the far post to head home Russell’s corner.

But they were not level for long and Fratton erupted when Stevens sent in a low cross that CHAPLIN expertly guided past Grant’s grasp and into the net.

The breathless play continued and the visitors felt aggrieved when they were denied a spot-kick moments later.

Hollands appeared to foul Russell inside the box, but referee Paul Tierney felt otherwise and the victim’s free-kick went over.

Derby poured forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the Blues held firm to book their place in Thursday’s second round draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Davies (c), Webster, Clarke, Haunstrup (Chaplin 71); Close, Hollands; Evans, Bennett (Tollitt 74), McGurk (Stevens 55); Stockley
Goals: McGurk 49, Chaplin 76
Subs not used: Murphy, Burgess, Atangana, Tubbs

Derby (4-2-3-1): Grant; Ssewankambo (Thorne 70), Pearce, Shackell, Forsyth; Hendrick, Baird (c); Russell, Dawkins (Ince 60), Weimann; Bent (Martin 60)
Goals: Shackell 74
Booked: Thorne
Subs not used: Carson, Keogh, Warnock, Hanson

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 11,573 (1,134 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 082015
 
League 2
Portsmouth 3 – 0 Dagenham & Redbridge

 

The Paul Cook era at Pompey began in spectacular fashion as three second half goals secured a comfortable victory over Dagenham.

A packed crowd saw the Blues dominate the first half without managing to open the scoring.

But that all changed after the interval when Gareth Evans headed home the opener to get the Fratton party started.

And Kyle Bennett then took over with a couple of fine strikes to ensure the home fans left the ground in buoyant mood.

Cook handed debuts to nine players, with Nigel Atanagana and Matt Tubbs the only starters to have ended last season at Fratton Park.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, however, with former Pompey loanees Josh Passley and Nyron Nosworthy in the Dagenham side.

Before kick-off both sets of supporters heartily took part in a minute’s applause in memory of PST chairman Ken Malley, who sadly passed away earlier in the summer.

When the game got underway in glorious sunshine it was the hosts who immediately looked the more threatening.

A lovely chipped pass from Gary Roberts had to be cleared behind by Matt Richards, while Christian Burgess headed wide from the resulting corner.

Nosworthy then did well to intercept Tubbs’ centre following a quick break up the pitch by Bennett.

Another incisive pass from Bennett was just out of reach for Tubbs on 11 minutes, while Roberts saw his effort deflected behind moments later.

Pompey were doing all the pressing and Bennett was next to go close after being fed by skipper Michael Doyle, but saw his shot curl narrowly over.

And it took a superb save from Mark Cousins to keep the scores level on 19 minutes, with the Daggers keeper flinging out a hand to stop Tubbs’ fierce drive flying into the bottom corner.

The game started to quieten down after that frantic opening and there was a bizarre moment midway through the half when referee Carl Boyeson allowed the players a break for drinks.

Pompey started to move through the gears again afterwards and a Roberts free-kick was headed clear before Nosworthy was forced to turn a dangerous low Bennett cross behind for a corner.

The visitors finally had an opening on 36 minutes when the ball bounced around the Blues box before being hacked to safety by Atangana.

But the action was soon back up the other end of the pitch and Evans dragged a shot inches past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Both sides had long-range sighters at the start of the second half, with first Bennett and then Jodi Jones narrowly missing the target.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 51 minutes when Bennett’s corner found EVANS at the far post and he headed back into the opposite corner.

Dagenham came close to hitting back immediately, with Ashley Hemmings’ drive deflected into the side netting by Ben Davies.

At the other end, Burgess was proving an aerial threat from set-pieces and twice he headed behind after meeting corners from Bennett and Roberts.

But it was BENNETT who doubled the advantage on 62 minutes, collecting Enda Stevens’ throw, cutting inside from the left and smashing an emphatic finish off the underside of the bar.

Pompey were forced into a change on 68 minutes when the impressive Atangana limped off and was replaced by Danny Hollands.

Tubbs almost added a third goal seconds later when he met Roberts’ cross with a looping header that was clawed away by Cousins.

Instead it was BENNETT who strengthened the lead on 74 minutes with another stunning strike from 25 yards after collecting the ball from Roberts.

That was the winger’s last involvement, however, as he soon made way for Jayden Stockley in the Blues attack, receiving a standing ovation as he left the pitch.

Pompey kept pushing forward in search of more goals, with Roberts and Burgess both coming close in the final few minutes.

But the Blues – and their supporters – seemed more than satisfied with their three-goal haul when the final whistle blew.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana (Hollands 68), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Stockley 76); Tubbs (Chaplin 84)
Goals: Evans 51, Bennett 62, 74
Subs not used: Jones, Webster, Haunstrup, McGurk

Dag & Red (4-4-2): Cousins; Passley, Partridge, Nosworthy, Widdowson; Jones, Boucaud (c), Richards, Hemmings; McClure (Ferdinand 46), Cureton
Subs not used: O’Brien, Connors, Hamalainen, Chambers, Doidge

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 16,948 (279 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 012015
 

Gillingham 0 – 0 Portsmouth

Friendly finishes in stalemate

Pompey played out a goalless draw with League One side Gillingham in their final friendly before the 2015/16 campaign.

Chances were scarce throughout the Priestfield Stadium clash, although Ben Davies did strike the crossbar before the break.

Gareth Evans was handed a start wide on the right after completing his Pompey switch earlier in the week.

There were also appearances for triallists Davies and Matt Clarke in the visitors’ back-line.

Neither side created much in the opening stages, although Gillingham were forced to make an early change when Aaron Morris limped off after just four minutes.

His namesake – keeper Glenn Morris – then waited for a ball to roll into his area before claiming it and only just got there before the rampaging Evans.

There were a few half-chances, with Bradley Dack curling narrowly wide for the hosts, while Pompey’s Gary Roberts saw his free-kick punched clear by Morris.

But it took until 27 minutes for the first real moment of magic after Davies had been felled by Bradley Garmston just outside the box.

The right-back stepped up to take the free-kick himself and sent a thunderbolt smashing against the crossbar.

That failed to spark a period of goalmouth action, however, and Jake Hessenthaler’s 20-yard drive that flew over the top was as close as the Gills came to beating Paul Jones before the break.

Half Time: Gillingham 0 Pompey 0

There might not have been too much excitement in the first half, but both sides came close to scoring just after the interval.

First Roberts saw his low drilled effort kept out by a brave block from Gills centre-back Adedeji Oshilaja.

The hosts then broke straight up the other end of the pitch and Emmanuel Osadebe’s angled drive drew a smart stop from Jones.

A break in play followed after Matt Tubbs suffered a cut elbow and, despite there not being too much blood visible, the striker was forced to change both shirt and shorts on the sidelines.

When the action resumed Oshilaja came close to breaking the deadlock, but could only head over from a corner.

Paul Cook made a couple of changes just past the hour mark, as Tubbs and Kyle Bennett made way for Jayden Stockley and Conor Chaplin.

A deluge of substitutions then followed from both sides as the game began to peter towards a stalemate.

Pompey did have a chance on the break when referee Fred Graham waved play on following a foul by Osadebe on Evans.

Roberts took control of the ball, burst down the right and sent it into the box, but Stockley was unable to guide it on target and the game finished all square.

Gillingham (4-1-4-1): G.Morris (Nelson 46); Jackson, Egan (Ehmer 46), Oshilaja, Garmston; A.Morris (Hessenthaler 4); Donnelly (Williamson 68), Dack (McGlashan 76), Osadebe, Dickenson (Wright 46); Norris
Booked: Osadebe
Sub not used: Davies

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Bass 81); Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup (Webster 68); Atangana (Close 73), Doyle (c) (Hollands 73); Evans, Roberts (Tollitt 81), Bennett (Chaplin 62); Tubbs (Stockley 62)
Booked: Doyle

Referee: Fred Graham

Portsmouth FC
Jul 242015
 

Woking 0 – 2 Portsmouth

Pompey secured a third successive pre-season victory with a 2-0 triumph at Woking.

Both goals arrived in the first half – and both were scored by triallists.

Gareth Evans opened the scoring with a well-taken strike, while Matt Clarke headed home a second minutes later.

There was a new face in the visitors’ side, with triallist Brian Murphy featuring between the sticks following Michael Poke’s loan switch to Eastleigh.

Gary Roberts was handed a start after recovering from a knee injury and had a couple of early chances.

First he curled a free-kick narrowly past the post after Evans had been felled and then scuffed another shot wide.

Conor Chaplin went even closer to breaking the deadlock on 11 minutes when he smashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar.

The conditions were not ideal, with heavy rain causing both sets of players to slide on the wet surface.

But it was Pompey who dealt with them better and the visitors forged ahead on 28 minutes.

Kal Naismith found EVANS with an incisive pass and the winger smashed an unstoppable shot past the grasp of Cards keeper Nick Hamann and into the net.

He almost added another moments later, only for Hamann to get down and save, with the ball hacked behind.

But the Blues did double their advantage from the resulting corner, as CLARKE rose to head home an Evans corner.

Pompey continued to dominate as the half drew to a conclusion, but Chaplin blazed wildly over to deny them a third.

Half Time: Woking 0 Pompey 2

Cook made one change at the interval, with Ben Davies replacing fellow triallist Frank van der Struijk at right-back.

The hosts had offered little going forward before the break, but substitute John Goddard threatened after the restart.

Twice he caught the ball sweetly and sent it goalwards and twice he was denied by the well-placed Murphy.

And Murphy made an even better stop to deny the midfielder on 55 minutes, getting down low to his left to palm clear an angled effort.

But the Blues then almost strengthened their advantage, with Evans charging in at the far post to meet Roberts’ pass and seeing his fierce drive just about kept out by substitute stopper Jake Cole.

It was still Woking who were creating more opportunities, although Murphy was not overly troubled by Giuseppe Sole’s strike on 79 minutes.

Pompey finished the game on the front foot, however, with Evans and Enda Stevens both failing to find the target following bright attacking moves.

But they were unable to add to the lead and Woking almost grabbed a late consolation as Scott Rendell’s effort was deflected onto the post.

Woking (3-4-1-2): Hamann (Cole 46); Yakubu, Ricketts (c) (Beckles 75), Saah; Caprice (Kouassi 59), Jones, Poku (Murtagh 46), Arthur; Smith (Goddard 46); Rendell, Banya (Sole 59)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; van der Struijk (Davies 46), Burgess (Webster 82), Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Naismith (Close 73); Chaplin (Haunstrup 82)
Goals: Evans 28, Clarke 32
Subs not used: Jones, Robinson, Hollands

Referee: Charlie Breakspear

Attendance: 1,562

Portsmouth FC
Jul 212015
 

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Coventry

Pompey’s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear with a 2-1 victory over League One Coventry at Westleigh Park.

Conor Chaplin grabbed an early opener to take his goal tally to three in the space of just four days.

And triallist Gareth Evans added a second just before the break, while George Thomas pulled one back for City after it.

Evans was not the only player trying to win a contract at Fratton Park, with new faces Frank van der Struijk and Matt Clarke also on show.

The ‘home’ side did not take long to find their feet, with CHAPLIN opening the scoring after just four minutes.

The teenager was on hand to drill home after a far-post header from skipper Paul Robinson had been well saved by Lee Burge.

There was not an abundance of chances throughout the rest of the half, although it was Pompey who looked the most threatening.

Coventry’s best opportunity came on 12 minutes when a 20-yard volley from Thomas was plucked from the air by a diving Paul Jones.

At the other end, Burge comfortably dealt with a deflected Theo Robinson drive, while Chaplin curled a shot over the bar.

The Blues were dominating possession, but it looked like they would have just a one-goal advantage at the break.

However, on the stroke of half-time, Chaplin’s precise pass was seized upon by EVANS, who calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Coventry 0

Coventry might not have troubled Pompey before the break, but they came charging out of the blocks after the restart.

First Jones had to be alert to beat away a shot from Thomas and then Paul Robinson made a sliding challenge to deny James Maddison.

And City reduced the deficit on 53 minutes, courtesy of a superb effort from Thomas, who expertly brought down Reda Johnson’s pass before chipping the onrushing Jones.

Pompey immediately tried to hit back and an Evans free-kick from out wide crept through a host of bodies before being nervously dealt with by Burge.

They had recovered from a shaky start and were suddenly looking the more dangerous side again.

It took a brave challenge from Jordan Willis to prevent Kal Naismith from converting an Evans pass at the far post.

The impressive Evans than had an opportunity of his own, with a fierce drive that was well saved by Burge.

A deluge of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game, with Paul Cook utilising the opportunity to look at the rest of his squad.

Poke was one of them and he denied City an equaliser by tipping Aaron Martin’s bullet header onto the crossbar.

And Pompey saw out the remaining few minutes to secure their second friendly victory in succession.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Poke 76); van der Struijk (Davies 69), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 58), Clarke (Burgess 74), Stevens (Haunstrup 74); Atangana (Doyle 69), Hollands (Close 68); Evans (Nilsen 82), Chaplin (Bennett 68), Naismith (Field 89); T.Robinson (Stockley 64)
Goals: Chaplin 4, Evans 45
Sub not used: Tubbs

Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Willis (Devon Kelly-Evans 74), Ricketts (Finch 80), Johnson (Martin 56), Dion Kelly-Evans; Vincelot (Lawton 68), Fleck (c) (Harries 80); Maddison (Swanson 56), Tudgay (Lameiras 46), O’Brien (Stevenson 68); Thomas
Goals: Thomas 53
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Sambou, Shipley

Portsmouth FC
Jul 182015
 

Gosport 2 – 3 Portsmouth

Conor Chaplin struck at the death to secure a first pre-season victory of the summer for Pompey at Gosport.

The teenage forward had already opened the scoring early on and the win seemed assured when triallist Theo Robinson added another after the interval.

But Justin Bennett and Jamie White scored in quick succession to pull the National League South side level.

There was still left for the Blues to snatch a winner, however, and it was the impressive Chaplin who got it.

There were not an abundance of chances in the opening stages as the game took a while to get into gear.

But CHAPLIN broke the deadlock with the first clear-cut opening on 13 minutes, guiding the ball home following good work from Kal Naismith down the right.

Naismith had an opportunity to add his own name to the scoresheet moments later, but Nathan Ashmore got down low to his right to deny the winger.

Robinson was next to go close on 36 minutes, with his goal-bound effort from the edge of the area blocked by a well-placed Sam Pearce.

Jayden Stockley then had the ball taken off his feet as he prepared to shoot following a scramble in the Borough box.

Gosport had not created much, but they did forge a couple of openings late in the first half.

First Tom Dunford’s drive was deflected over the bar and then Ben Harding scuffed a shot narrowly wide.

Half Time: Gosport 0 Pompey 1

Pompey were unchanged at the start of the second half, while the hosts switched both of their centre-backs.

It was still the visitors looking more threatening, however, and Stockley tested Ashmore’s handling with a curling effort from 25 yards.

But the hosts nearly carved out an equaliser on 52 minutes when Bennett turned sharply in the box and flashed a shot inches over the bar.

The Blues were not troubling their opponents too much, although Ashmore made a regulation save to keep out Stockley’s header.

But they doubled their lead on 66 minutes when ROBINSON collected a pass from Brandon Haunstrup and slid the ball home from an acute angle.

Pompey were easing their way towards a first pre-season triumph, only for Gosport to then score twice in the space of just two minutes.

First Bennett latched onto Steve Ramsey’s pass and took advantage of some hesitant defending to poke the ball home.

And White then drew the hosts level when he charged into the box and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

Stockley flung himself at a Chaplin cross to try to restore Pompey’s lead on 83 minutes, but could not quite make contact.

But CHAPLIN did secure victory just before the end when he collected Stockley’s centre and slotted past Ashmore.

Gosport (4-diamond-2): Ashmore; Cuthebertson (Poate 65), Walker (Woodford 46), Pearce (c) (Brice 46), Williams (Woodward 65); Ryan (Ramsey 60), Harding, Dunford, Robinson (Scott 60); Wort (White 54), Bennett (Stephens 82)
Goals: Bennett 73, White 75

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Poke; Nilsen, Field, Webster, Haunstrup; Close, Hollands (c); Robinson, Chaplin, Naismith (McGurk 65); Stockley
Goals: Chaplin 13, 89, Robinson 66
Subs not used: Jones, Stevens, Atangana

Referee: Dan Cooke

Attendance: 2,020

Portsmouth FC
Jul 172015
 

Bognor 1 – 1 Portsmouth

Matt Tubbs was on target in sunny Sussex as Pompey continued their pre-season programme with a 1-1 draw at Bognor.

The striker completed a flowing attacking move to give the visitors an early advantage against their non-league opponents at Nyewood Lane.

But they were dealt a double blow as Gary Roberts went off injured at half-time before Alfie Rutherford secured a share of the spoils.

Pompey lined up in Cook’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and immediately set about trying to pass their way through the Rocks defence.

They were enjoying plenty of possession and Roberts saw a shot deflected inches past the post in the opening stages.

Teenage Blues keeper Alex Bass had been loaned to the hosts and his first piece of action was to claim a Christian Burgess header from the resulting corner.

But the Blues broke the deadlock thanks to a fine flowing move on eight minutes.

Michael Doyle’s incisive pass sent Enda Stevens clear down the right and he squared the ball for TUBBS to roll home.

The striker almost doubled the advantage moments later when he met Gareth Evans’ knock-down at the far post, only to be denied by a last-gasp Craig Robson challenge.

There were further half-chances from both Evans and Tubbs as the visitors continued to dominate as the half progressed.

But Bognor then, out of the blue, created a couple of excellent opportunities, with skipper Jason Prior’s acrobatic bicycle kick narrowly missing the target.

Stuart Green was next to go close, courtesy of a fiercely-struck volley from the edge of the box that crashed against the crossbar.

Half-Time: Bognor 0 Pompey 1

Cook made just one change at the start of the second half, with Roberts – who picked up an injury just before the break – making way for Adam McGurk.

Pompey did not look as fluid as they had before the interval, with the chances drying up at both ends.

But Bognor found themselves level on 57 minutes when Rutherford stole the ball from Paul Robinson and coolly stroked the ball past Paul Jones.

The Blues immediately went on the attack, with both Evans and Doyle narrowly failing to find the target.

McGurk had a better opening on 65 minutes, but could only fire straight at Rocks keeper Lyall Beazley after cutting inside from the right.

Goalscorer Tubbs was then withdrawn, with triallist Theo Robinson replacing him in the Pompey attack.

However, it was Doyle who came close to restoring their advantage on 75 minutes with a bending effort that beat Beazley’s dive, but also the post.

The Blues continued to push forward in search of a late winner, but the Rocks were resilient and held on for a draw.

Bognor (4-4-2): Bass (Beazley 46); Crane, Robson, El-Abd, Wollers (Horncastle 70); Parsons (Pearce 56), Green, Thomson (Sanders 52), Tuck (Beck 56); Prior (c) (Rowlatt 76), Dodd (Rutherford 46)
Goals: Rutherford 57

Pompey: Jones; Davies, P.Robinson (c) (Nilsen 86), Burgess (Field 86), Stevens; Atangana, Doyle; Roberts (McGurk 46), Bennett, Evans (Hassan 87); Tubbs (T.Robinson 66)
Goals: Tubbs 8
Subs not used: Poke, Haunstrup, Close

Referee: Ashley Slaughter

Portsmouth FC
Jul 112015
 

Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 1 Portsmouth

Doyle on target at Westleigh Park

Michael Doyle netted on his debut as Pompey drew 1-1 with Havant & Waterlooville in their opening friendly at a sunny Westleigh Park.

The visitors had to fight from behind after Adrian Clifton had emphatically headed home before the break.

The Blues looked more dangerous in the second half and Doyle’s finish ensured a share of the spoils.

Boss Paul Cook used 22 players to give most of his first-team squad a work-out against the National League South opposition.

New signings Adam Barton (groin) and Adam McGurk (thigh) were left out as a precaution, while triallists Connor Randall, Gareth Evans, Ben Davies and Theo Robinson were all given a chance to impress.

It was the Blues who were first to threaten with Evans whipping in a cross that Hawks keeper Ryan Young did well to claim.

Randall then found Tubbs in the box, with the striker’s deft flicked header flying inches past the post.

And Christian Burgess was almost an unlikely goal hero, waltzing past a couple of challenges before scuffing a shot straight at Young.

But it was hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the half when Clifton converted Ben Swallow’s free-kick with a bullet header that left Michael Poke helpless.

Pompey were trying to build patiently from the back and enjoyed plenty of possession, but they were not really troubling the Hawks defence.

Jayden Stockley and Tubbs did combine well on 35 minutes, only for the latter to scuff his shot wide.

The striker did do better just before the interval, but his snap-shot was beaten away to safety by Young.

Half Time: Hawks 1 Pompey 0

Cook made 10 changes at the break, with Burgess the only player to remerge after the interval.

And – after surviving an early scare when Matt Paterson fired narrowly wide – the new-boys soon began to take control.

It took a brilliant save from Young to deny Gary Roberts, with the keeper managing to divert his shot over the crossbar.

But DOYLE did level the scores on 48 minutes, driving home from the edge of the box after Kyle Bennett had diverted a corner into his path.

The midfielder almost grabbed another moments later, just failing to find the target following a neat pass from Conor Chaplin.

It was Bennett who was next to go close on 59 minutes, but his header was expertly tipped onto the bar by Young.

The Hawks were struggling to remain on level terms, although they were almost gifted a goal when Adam Webster hit a free-kick back to Paul Jones and the ball bobbled just wide.

But Roberts then almost netted at the right end and Roberts really should have found the target following a mazy run from Theo Robinson.

The action started to wind down after such a frenetic opening, although it was still the visitors looking most likely to add to the scoring.

But they were unable to find another goal as the game petered towards its conclusion.

Hawks: Young (c); Strugnell (Medway 77), Molyneaux (Saunders 46), Harris (Dutton 46), Cummings (Blanchett 46); Swallow (Mullings 46), Donnelly (Kimber 77), Stock (Ridge 86), Ciardini (Gale 46); Clifton (Paterson 46), Morgan (Hayter 46)
Goals: Clifton 21

Pompey: Poke (Jones 46); Randall (Davies 46), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 46), Burgess (Nilsen 77), Haunstrup (Stevens 46), Evans (Chaplin 46 (Tollett 86)), Atangana (Doyle 46), Hollands (Close 46), Naismith (Bennett 46); Stockley (Roberts 46), Tubbs (T.Robinson 46 (Hassan 86))
Goals: Doyle 48

Portsmouth FC