Match Report

Sep 262017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


Oliver Hawkins opened his goalscoring account as Pompey returned to winning ways against Bristol Rovers.

He headed home just before the interval of an absorbing contest that was often played at a breathless pace.

The Fratton faithful played their part by creating a vibrant atmosphere and Brett Pitman made sure they had plenty to celebrate by adding a second half brace.

Kenny Jackett kept faith with the side that were beaten at Scunthorpe at the weekend.

But there was no place for Conor Chaplin among the substitutes, with his hamstring injury handing Curtis Main a seat on the bench.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break in the opening stages and Christian Burgess got in the way of Ellis Harrison’s strike before Joe Partington’s fine cross somehow evaded Billy Bodin.

Matt Clarke then just about did enough to put off Tom Nichols after the forward had latched onto a ball over the top and advanced on goal.

But the Blues were providing a threat of their own and it took a key interception from skipper Tom Lockyer to prevent Hawkins turning in Jamal Lowe’s teasing delivery at the far post.

The winger sent in another dangerous centre moments later and this time it was Pitman who was unable to get on the end of it.

Limbs were then flying at the other end of the pitch on 21 minutes, with Burgess and Clarke flinging themselves in front of shots from Bodin and Ollie Clarke respectively.

Both sides had a man cautioned before the break, with Stuart O’Keefe penalised for a foul on Partington and Harrison shown a yellow card for tugging back Burgess.

It looked like the players would be heading in all square at the break, but the Blues broke the deadlock – in confusing fashion – on 42 minutes.

Dion Donohue’s first cross was blocked, but his second was perfect for HAWKINS to meet at the back post.

Chris Lines made a valiant attempt to hack the ball from the line, although only succeeded in sending it into the roof of the net.

But celebrations were cut short by a linesman’s flag, only to start back up again when referee John Busby conferred with his colleague and awarded the goal.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Donohue’s set-pieces were proving a dangerous weapon in the Blues’ armoury and one free-kick had to be punched clear.

O’Keefe then tried to convert the loose ball, only for a well-placed Harrison to boot it away and to safety.

Hawkins soon did well to steal the ball from Lockyer and draw a foul, which earned the defender his side’s second yellow card.

Pitman was way off target with the resulting free-kick, however, sending the ball high into the Fratton End.

But the Blues skipper showed some fine trickery to dribble the ball along the byline just past the hour mark, although there was nobody in the box to meet his cutback.

There was a scare at the other end when Bodin burst into the box, only for Nathan Thompson to make a fine challenge to dispossess him.

And O’Keefe then managed to get in the way of Liam Sercombe’s shot when the midfielder received the ball on the edge of the area.

But a quick Pompey break really should have resulted in the hosts extending their advantage on 75 minutes.

Thompson started the move by stealing possession and when O’Keefe delivered the ball to the far post, Hawkins could only guide it wide.

PITMAN did make sure of the victory soon after, though, meeting Matty Kennedy’s pin-point cross with a firm header that Sam Slocombe could not keep out.

Hawkins was afforded a standing ovation when he made his way off the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans for the final few minutes.

But PITMAN’s evening was not over and he shrugged off the challenge of Lockyer with ease before slamming home Pompey’s third goal to complete a successful night.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Bennett 87); Hawkins (Evans 82)
Goals: Hawkins 42, Pitman 77, 85
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Naismith, Main

Bristol Rovers (4-3-3): Slocombe; Partington, Lockyer (c), Sweeney (Brown 78), Bola; Sercombe, Lines, Clarke; Bodin, Harrison (Dunwald 78), Nichols (Telford 66)
Booked: Harrison, Lockyer
Subs not used: Smith, Broadbent, Menayese, Broom

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 17,716 (782 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 232017
 

League One

2 – 0


Pompey’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they left Scunthorpe on the back of a 2-0 defeat.

The damage was done in the first half, with goals from Lee Novak and Duane Holmes giving the hosts a commanding lead.

It was a much more assured performance from the Blues after the break, but they did not really do enough to warrant any return for their efforts.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Fleetwood so convincingly at Fratton Park the previous week.

One was enforced, with Damien McCrory’s knee injury affording Dion Donohue a chance at left-back.

The other switch was up front, with Conor Chaplin dropping to the bench to be replaced by Oliver Hawkins.

Just 12 goals had been scored in Scunthorpe’s preceding eight league games and a barren contest looked likely following a cagey opening.

But it was the hosts that were quickest to settle and Paddy Madden flashed an angled drive narrowly past the post.

Pompey then had their first sighter, although Brett Pitman’s cleanly-struck effort flew straight into the arms of Iron keeper Matt Gilks.

Scunthorpe were looking more likely to break the deadlock, however, and Novak chipped a shot against the crossbar after bundling his way into space.

And it was Novak who did give them the lead on 12 minutes, steering home after Jordan Clarke had collected Neal Bishop’s cross-field pass and sent the ball into the box.

The Blues were struggling to find any fluency, although Hawkins had a great opportunity to draw them level.

Jamal Lowe brilliantly beat his man down the right and delivered the ball into the area, only for the striker to head wide from just a few yards out.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy when Scunthorpe doubled their advantage just a few moments later.

Donohue was only able to head Lewis Butroid’s teasing delivery straight to Holmes, who coolly steered the ball past Luke McGee and into the net.

Pompey kept fighting, though, and a couple of Donohue corners caused problems in the Iron defence.

The left-back’s free-kick was then headed into Christian Burgess’ path by Hawkins, but the defender mis-kicked the ball into Gilks’ arms.

However, there was an escape at the other end just before the break when Novak failed to get on the end of another excellent Butroid cross.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Pompey, unsurprisingly, came out for the second half with a lot more urgency and Pitman bent a shot narrowly wide following good work from Matty Kennedy down the left.

The hosts then received a blow when Novak when down injured and despite trying to carry on for a few minutes, he was soon replaced by Tom Hopper.

It was the Blues who were dominating possession as the second half progressed, without being able to penetrate the Scunthorpe defence and test Gilks.

A challenge for the ball then saw Matt Clarke become the latest member of the Pompey squad to suffer a cut head and he had to be treated on the pitch by physio Bobby Bacic.

It meant the defender was left with a bandaged head, while Pitman was playing with a broken nose and Hawkins still has a huge scar above his eye.

And it was the latter who made way as Jackett made his first switch on 68 minutes, with Chaplin on to lead the line.

It was Ben Close who was next to try his luck, however, with a volley that was deflected behind after Kennedy’s floated delivery could only be partially cleared.

Jackett made another substitution soon after, as Kennedy was replaced by Kal Naismith wide on the left.

But Scunthorpe threatened to add a third goal on 74 minutes, with a long-range drive from Holmes stinging the palms of McGee.

It was still the Blues playing with more intent, but Gilks was being well protected by an organised Iron back-line.

Burgess was almost the unlikely provider of a goal on 83 minutes, volleying narrowly wide with an acrobatic effort after being picked out in space by Close.

Lowe, unlike last week, was then unable to find the net from a tight angle, as Gilks was finally forced into action.

And Scunthorpe comfortably saw out the closing stages to ensure Pompey made the long journey south without any points.

Scunthorpe (4-4-2): Gilks; Clarke, McArdle (c), Wallace, Butroid; Holmes (Mantom 79), Bishop, Ojo, Morris; Novak (Hopper 54), Madden (Burgess 84)
Goals: Novak 12, Holmes 33
Subs not used: Watson, Sutton, Adelakun, van Veem

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Naismith 73); Hawkins (Chaplin 68)
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, May, Evans

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 4,685 (815 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 162017
 

League One

4 – 1


Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe each bagged a brace as Pompey outclassed Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

The skipper opened the scoring with a brave header, only for Devante Cole to impressively level early in the second half.

Lowe then took over, restoring the lead with a header before somehow finding the net from an acute angle.

And it was Pitman – sporting a bandaged nose from his earlier exploits – who curled home a fine fourth to wrap up the points.

A miserable afternoon for the visitors was wrapped up late on when Kyle Dempsey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Northampton earlier in the week.

It came in the centre of midfield, where Adam May dropped out of the squad to be replaced by Ben Close.

The visitors had an early chance when Cian Bolger came forward for a George Glendon corner and headed narrowly over.

But the Blues were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves moments later, with Pitman doing well to connect with Lowe’s pass and scooping the ball just past the post.

It was otherwise a slow start to proceedings, though, with little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the crowd.

Damien McCrory’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 21 minutes when the defender limped off to be replaced by Dion Donohue.

And the newcomer bent a shot just off target from 20 yards after Matty Kennedy had found him with a corner.

But Pompey did forge ahead just before the break when Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and PITMAN arrived at the far post to head home.

The price was a bloodied nose, which saw the Blues skipper disappear down the tunnel for treatment and re-emerge with a new numberless shirt.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


There was a fairly pedestrian start to the second half, but Cole brought the contest to life with a fantastic leveller on 52 minutes.

He was teed-up by Lewie Coyle and unleashed a superb half-volleyed strike that left Luke McGee helpless.

Pitman tried to hit back at the other end of the pitch, although his 25-yard drive was comfortable for Alex Cairns between the Cod Army sticks.

But the Blues did restore their advantage on 57 minutes after Kennedy’s effort had been deflected behind for a corner.

LOWE had spoken earlier in the week about never having scored with his head, but arrived at the far post to nod in Donohue’s corner.

Fleetwood were still a threat, though, and Cole’s shot squirted narrowly wide following a quick break up the pitch.

Dempsey then slid a pass through to Conor McAleny, who should at least have tested McGee with his effort.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes, thanks to a fine individual effort from LOWE.

He collected the ball from Conor Chaplin and burst into the box before finding the target with fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

And any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after, as PITMAN curled home an exquisite shot that stroked the inside of the post on its way into the net.

It soon went from bad to worse for Fleetwood, as Dempsey’s clumsy challenge on substitute Gareth Evans earned him a second yellow card – and subsequent red – from referee Dean Whitestone.

Pitman then made way for Oliver Hawkins and was afforded a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful as he trooped off.

And there were more cheers when the final whistle blew a few minutes later to confirm a thoroughly deserved Blues victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory (Donohue 21); O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 86), Kennedy; Chaplin (Evans 74)
Goals: Pitman 40, 78, Lowe 57, 70
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Naismith, Main

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Bolger (Cargill 59), Pond (c), Eastham; Coyle, O’Neill (McAleny 46), Glendon, Dempsey, Bell; Cole, Hiwula (Hunter 72)
Goals: Cole 52
Sent off: Dempsey (two yellow cards)
Booked: Bolger
Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Grant, Burns

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,192 (115 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 122017
 

League One

3 – 1


Pompey’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they were beaten 3-1 by Northampton at a sodden Sixfields Stadium.

The visitors were well below-par in the first half and trailed to a Chris Long strike and Matt Clarke’s unfortunate own-goal.

But they dominated after the break and Matty Kennedy deservedly pulled one back, with several more chances to level the game soon following.

A healthy travelling support were not able to celebrate a leveller, however, and Long netted again for the hosts to wrap up victory for the Cobblers.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that won at AFC Wimbledon three days earlier.

Oliver Hawkins suffered a nasty head wound in that fixture and was replaced up front by Conor Chaplin.

A mixture of driving rain and strong winds made conditions difficult for both sets of players throughout the contest.

Pompey carved out a couple of half-chances in the early stages before Kennedy curled a 20-yard effort narrowly over the bar.

But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, with Matt Grimes’ free-kick causing confusion between Luke McGee and Clarke before eventually swinging out of play.

It was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, as the Cobblers did forge ahead just a few moments later.

Shaun McWilliams slipped a fine pass through to Long and although McGee came off his line to narrow the angle, the striker neatly slotted home.

Unfortunately, McWilliams’ evening was soon cut short, as he went down injured and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

That did not stop the Cobblers’ charge, though, and some poor defending allowed them to double their advantage on 32 minutes.

Grimes delivered a free-kick from wide on the right and no Pompey player was able to get it clear, with the helpless Clarke only able to turn the ball into his own net at the far post.

It seemed to stun the Blues into action and they had a few opportunities to reduce the deficit before the interval.

Northampton almost provided a helping hand when Ash Taylor diverted Jamal Lowe’s cross against his own post.

Stuart O’Keefe then tried a long-range effort deep into stoppage-time that Matt Ingram did well to tip over the bar.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Pompey had been poor before the break, but whatever Jackett told them during the interval seemed to do the trick.

They came roaring out of the blocks and soon reduced the deficit when O’Keefe teed-up KENNEDY for a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Adam May then had an effort deflected over before Lowe arrived at the far post to head Damien McCrory’s cross just past the post.

The Blues kept pouring forward and Brett Pitman received the ball inside the box, only for some decent Cobblers defending to prevent him getting a shot away.

Lowe then had another excellent opportunity to draw the visitors level, as there was time for him to bring Kennedy’s cross under control before a wild shot that flew wide.

Jackett made his first switch of the evening just before the hour mark, as May made way for Ben Close in midfield.

Lowe seemed to be involved in everything that was happening and soon after being booked for a foul on Daniel Powell, his low centre was deflected into the arms of a grateful Ingram.

It was pretty much one-way traffic and when McCrory’s free-kick was only partially cleared, Kennedy sent the ball back into the box, where it was turned wide by Chaplin.

But rising hopes were dashed on 70 minutes when Northampton scored against the run of play to strengthen their advantage.

There was some good work on the right by Brendan Moloney and Crooks, with the latter’s cross flicked on by Alex Revell for Long to lash home his second of the night.

Pompey, to their credit, kept trying to get the ball into their opponents’ box, but the Cobblers were holding firm at the back.

They forged a decent opening late on, however, when McCrory whipped a fine free-kick into the box, where Christian Burgess’ header was kept out by Ingram.

And the keeper made an even better stop on 87 minutes, flinging himself to the right to palm clear O’Keefe’s cleanly-struck attempt and ensure there was no late drama.

Northampton (4-4-2): Ingram; Moloney, Taylor, Pierre, Buchanan (c); Crooks, McWilliams (Kasim 29), Grimes, Smith (Powell 56); Revell (Richards 78), Long
Goals: Long 18, 70, Clarke 32 (og)
Subs not used: Cornell, Barnett, Poole, Waters

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory; May (Close 57), O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy; Chaplin
Goals: Kennedy 49
Booked: Thompson, Clarke, Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Donohue, Bennett, Naismith, Main

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 5,855 (1,153 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 092017
 

League One

0 – 2


Goals from Brett Pitman and Conor Chaplin helped Pompey secure their first away victory of the season against AFC Wimbledon.

It was Pitman who broke the deadlock in the first half at Kingsmeadow after first winning and then converting a penalty.

Chaplin came off the bench immediately following the interval and took just five minutes to wrap the points up.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side narrowly beaten at home by Rotherham the previous week.

Damien McCrory was handed a debut at left-back, while there were first starts for both Matty Kennedy and Nathan Thompson.

Chaplin dropped to the bench, while there was no place in the matchday squad for Brandon Haunstrup or the injured Jack Whatmough.

There was also a change of system, with the wing-backs dropped in favour of a more familiar four-man defensive line.

AFC Wimbledon included a couple of familiar names in their line-up, giving starts to former Fratton stars Paul Robinson and Andy Barcham.

A large grey cloud made its way ominously across the sky as the first half progressed, although the action on the pitch was fairly sedate to start with.

There were a couple of half-chances, but certainly nothing of note as both keepers enjoyed a watching brief.

Barcham did enjoy a surging run through the Blues back-line, only to end the move with a wild effort that flew over the bar.

Matty Kennedy then did well to pick out Pitman in the box, but the visiting skipper had strayed narrowly offside.

It was midway through the first period when the first noteworthy opportunity finally arrived, as Dean Parrett curled a shot narrowly past the post.

Adam May was slightly more off target at the other end of the pitch, with his effort on the bounce clearing the stadium.

Pompey threatened more on 31 minutes following some great work by Jamal Lowe to beat his man down the right.

But Pitman slipped at the worst possible moment before recovering and seeing a shot deflected just off target.

The resulting corner was swung in by McCrory and led to an almighty scramble, with Matt Clarke eventually poking wide.

It was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, after Pitman was pushed to the ground by Barry Fuller.

Referee Kevin Johnson immediately pointed to the spot and PITMAN dusted himself down to confidently send George Long the wrong way.

A stretching Oliver Hawkins was then only able to send the ball into the keeper’s arms following some good build-up from Kennedy and Lowe.

The home fans were left angry by a couple of challenges just before the break, feeling that Pitman should have been punished for a clash with Robinson that left the defender with a large gash on its head.

There was then a nasty collision between Hawkins and Callum Kennedy that resulted in both players sprawled on the turf.

Johnson decided to blow for half-time and Pompey’s striker was left bandaged and covered in blood, while the Wimbledon full-back had to be stretchered off.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


A large flash of lightning and clap of thunder meant that the start of the second half had to be delayed for a few minutes.

Hawkins, unsurprisingly, was not present when the sides did emerge, with Chaplin on to replace him up front.

And it was CHAPLIN who doubled the advantage just five minutes after the restart, showing typical predatory instincts to capitalise on Anthony Hartigan’s fluffed clearance and slot home.

Another substitute almost reduced the Dons’ deficit at the other end, though, with Luke McGee doing just enough to put off Lyle Taylor as he bore down on goal.

Wimbledon were trying to find a route back into the game and Christian Burgess headed George Francomb’s cross clear, while McCrory’s block kept out Taylor’s follow-up.

But the Blues almost extended their lead on 68 minutes, with a powerful free-kick from Pitman superbly kept out by Long.

The visitors were comfortably holding onto their advantage, although Harry Forrester bundled his way into space before McCrory cleared the danger.

Pompey had understandably tempered their ambitions, although an audacious 35-yard lob from May had to be tipped over by a back-pedalling Long.

The hosts’ day soon got even worse when Burgess attempted an over-head kick and inadvertently caught Robinson.

It was clearly accidental and Burgess was booked, but the defender had to go off and the Dons had already made all three of their substitutions.

But, in truth, a comeback always looked unlikely for Wimbledon, as Pompey comfortably saw out the closing stages to secure all three points.

AFC Wimbledon (4-3-3): Long; Fuller (c), Robinson, Nightingale, Kennedy (Hartigan 46); Parrett (Forrester 57), Francomb, Trotter; Appiah, McDonald, Barcham (Taylor 57)
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sibbick, Kalambayi, Kaja

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory; May, O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Bennett 67); Hawkins (Chaplin 46)
Goals: Pitman 38 (pen), Chaplin 50
Booked: O’Keefe, Kennedy, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Close, Donohue, Naismith

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 4,585 (786 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 032017
 

League One

0 – 1


Pompey suffered their first home defeat since March, as Rotherham left Fratton Park with all three points.

Jon Taylor netted the only goal during the first half of a televised contest that improved as it went on.

The Blues were much better after the break, but were unable to convert any of the numerous chances they carved out.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew at Wigan the previous week.

He handed debuts to Stuart O’Keefe and Oliver Hawkins, while fellow deadline day signings Damien McCrory and Matty Kennedy had to be content with a place on the bench.

Matt Clarke returned from the groin injury that had kept him sidelined since pre-season and there was also a start for Conor Chaplin.

That saw a switch to a 3-4-1-2 system, with Brandon Haunstrup and Jamal Lowe occupying the wide roles, and skipper Brett Pitman playing behind Chaplin and Hawkins.

The rain was falling heavily when the game got underway and the action on the pitch was doing little to brighten the mood.

It was a fairly lethargic opening to proceedings, with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball, perhaps hindered by the wet conditions.

The first chance fell for the hosts, though, and Pitman ran at the Rotherham defence, beat his man and fired narrowly over the bar.

But the Millers soon threatened themselves, with Michael Ihiekwe failing to find the target before O’Keefe bravely blocked Lee Frecklington’s effort.

Kieffer Moore than tried his luck from the edge of the box, but could not make a clean connection and the ball bobbled safely into Luke McGee’s arms.

There were not too many clear-cut openings, but the Blues did have opportunites to break the deadlock.

Haunstrup saw a shot deflected past the post after meeting Adam May’s delivery, while Hawkins’ long-range attempt only flew narrowly wide.

Instead it was Rotherham who took the lead on 36 minutes, as Taylor latched onto a ball down the right and lashed home a powerful strike.

Pompey immediately set about trying to find a leveller and Clarke failed to divert Chaplin’s corner on target.

A superb cross Haunstrup cross from wide on the left was then headed over by Lowe, as the hosts went in behind at the break.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Jackett made a change of personnel and system for the start of the second half, with a return to four at the back.

Jack Whatmough and Chaplin both failed to emerge from the tunnel and were replaced by debutants Nathan Thompson and Kennedy.

And the latter made in instant impression with a cross that Millers keeper Richard O’Donnell could not get to.

The ball landed at the feet of Lowe at the far post and he took a touch before sending in a low drive that was deflected behind.

Pompey fans were baying for a penalty when Hawkins took a boot to the face on 57 minutes, although referee Gavin Ward was not interested.

There was then a lighter moment just past the mark, as Pitman and Kennedy both tried to keep the ball in play and the former ended up taking out the latter!

The hosts were looking much more dangerous than before the break and when a bandaged Hawkins met May’s free-kick, his header had to be cleared from the line by Darren Potter.

Jackett made a final throw of the dice on 70 minutes, with Hawkins given a generous ovation as he made way for Kal Naismith.

But the Scottish forward was getting patched up on the sidelines following a challenge with O’Donnell when the Blues came close to levelling on 79 minutes.

It was a dangerous low ball into the box from a slightly out-of-position Clarke, but a stretching Lowe could not quite make a connection at the far post.

Pompey poured forward in the closing stages, which were played out almost entirely in Rotherham’s half.

And the display of six additional minutes gave the Fratton faithful hope of salvaging something, but the visitors held on for victory.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): McGee; Burgess, Whatmough (Thompson 46), Clarke; Lowe, May, O’Keefe, Haunstrup; Pitman (c); Chaplin (Kennedy 46), Hawkins (Naismith 70)
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, McCrory, Close, Donohue

Rotherham (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Cummings, Ihiekwe, Wood, Purrington; Potter, Vaulks; Williams (Forde 54), Frecklington (c) (Towell 90+1), Taylor (Newell 85); Moore
Goals: Taylor 36
Booked: Potter, Purrington, Vaulks
Subs not used: Bilboe, Ajayi, Clarke-Harris, Ball

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 17,118 (436 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 262017
 

League One

1 – 1


Chaplin to the rescue

Conor Chaplin came off the bench to rescue a point for Pompey at promotion favourites Wigan.

It did not look a likely outcome when Ivan Toney fired the hosts ahead early in the contest and they then dominated the rest of the first half.

The Latics hit the woodwork on three occasions, but Chey Dunkley’s red card turned the tide in the Blues’ favour.

And Chaplin’s header ensured that the noisy travelling faithful had plenty to cheer on the long trip home, despite Gareth Evans also being dismissed late on.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Walsall the previous week.

Dion Donohue was handed a debut wide on the left, with Jamal Lowe returning from suspension to lead the line and Kyle Bennett also given a recall.

Kal Naismith dropped to the bench, while there was no place in the squad for Milan Lalkovic or the injured Drew Talbot.

Wigan immediately showed why they are the favourites for League One promotion and it took just eight minutes for them to break the deadlock.

Nick Powell threaded a pass through to Gavin Massey and he slid the ball across the face of goal for Toney to tap home from close range.

That failed to temper the hosts’ attacking intent and the only surprise at half-time was that they failed to extend their advantage.

It was a combination of Luke McGee and the woodwork that came to Pompey’s rescue to limit the damage.

The keeper made a fine save with his feet to deny Toney a second when the striker looked to convert a dangerous Massey delivery.

Reece James then teed-up Powell, whose fierce strike cannoned back off the crossbar on 22 minutes.

The Blues had created little at the other end of the pitch, with an uncharacteristic heavy touch from Brett Pitman denying him a shooting opportunity.

Wigan, by contrast, were looking dangerous with every attack and Christian Burgess did well to block Samy Morsy’s effort after the midfielder had initially given him the slip.

Pompey did provide more of a threat towards the end of the half and when Evans’ met a Donohue free-kick, his downwards header had to be scrambled clear.

A couple of corners also caused the Latics problems, but although Christian Walton flapped at one, they both ultimately came to nothing.

Paul Cook would have enjoyed seeing his new side dominate his old one, although that failed to stop Wigan’s boss berating the fourth official for some perceived poor refereeing decisions.

And he had more reason to moan when Toney, under pressure from Evans, could only turn Massey’s cross against the post.

The hosts looked like they would grab a second before the break, with Lee Evans’ strike heading for the net until a diving McGee managed to palm it behind.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


It had been virtually one-way traffic before the break, but the Blues came close to levelling just 56 seconds after the restart.

Brandon Haunstrup sent the ball into the box from wide on the left, only for Lowe to turn it wide from close range.

Wigan were soon back on the attack, however, and McGee was at his best once more to keep out Michael Jacobs’ fiercely-struck attempt.

The keeper then failed to hold another effort from the same player, but was quickly able to smother the loose ball.

Jackett made a double switch on 53 minutes in an attempt to spark a reversal of fortunes, with Donohue and Danny Rose withdrawn for Naismith and Ben Close.

And a Wigan player was also departing soon after – although there was nobody coming on to replace Dunkley.

The centre-back lashed out at Pitman off the ball and referee Robert Jones had no choice but to brandish a red card.

But it was the Latics who almost scored again on 69 minutes, with the post coming to Pompey’s rescue once more when an effort from substitute Terell Thomas beat McGee’s grasp.

The Blues were trying to make their numerical advantage count, but were finding it difficult to test Walton.

There was an equaliser for the large travelling support to cheer on 76 minutes, however.

Haunstrup swung in a fine cross from wide on the left and CHAPLIN – who had only just been brought on – deftly nodded it home.

It almost got even better for the visitors soon after, but Walton just about got down quick enough to palm clear Adam May’s daisy-cutter.

There were still chances at the other end, though, and Will Grigg should have done better than divert his far-post header straight into McGee’s arms.

But the Blues also had to play out the closing stages with 10 men when Evans’ foul earned him a second booking of the afternoon.

The fourth official’s display of six additional minutes spurred the home side on in their search for a winner.

But Pompey were able to see that out to secure a point and end Wigan’s 100 per cent start to the League One campaign.

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James; Evans, Morsy (c); Massey (Colclough 83), Powell (Grigg 73), Jacobs; Toney (Thomas 61)
Goals: Toney 8
Sent off: Dunkley
Subs not used: Jones, Perkins, Gilbey, Hunt

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; May, Rose (Close 53); Bennett (Chaplin 73), Pitman (c), Donohue (Naismith 53); Lowe
Goals: Chaplin 76
Sent off: Gareth Evans (two yellow cards)
Booked: Donohue, Pitman, Whatmough
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, Davies, Kabamba

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 9,685 (1,966 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 192017
 

League One

1 – 1


Brett Pitman struck from the spot as Pompey fought from behind to secure a draw with Walsall at Fratton Park.

After a lethargic first half, Luke Leahy capitalised on some sloppy defending early in the second to score for the visitors.

But Pitman confidently netted a penalty following a foul on Nicke Kabamba and it was the Blues who ended the contest on top.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Oxford in the last league outing.

Milan Lalkovic had recovered from an ankle injury to feature against his former club, with Kyle Bennett dropping to the bench.

The 4-2-3-1 system remained, although this time it was skipper Pitman up front, with Kal Naismith just behind.

New signing Dion Donohue had to watch from the stands after completing his Fratton switch too late to feature.

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

Once the action got underway, referee Brett Huxtable soon had to reach for his pocket, showing Saddlers skipper Adam Chambers a yellow card following a late challenge on Adam May.

But it was the visitors who looked brighter in the opening stages and Leahy unleashed a fierce shot that flew narrowly past the post.

The wing-back then missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 15 minutes, heading wide from close range after good work down the right by James Wilson.

Christian Burgess came to the rescue moments later when a sloppy Jack Whatmough pass gifted possession to Amadou Bakayoko.

But it was Whatmough – celebrating his 21st birthday – who then started the move that led to Pompey’s best chance of the half on 31 minutes.

The defender’s superb cross-field ball picked out Gareth Evans on the right and his cross was met by the head of a diving Pitman, only for Shaun Donnellan to make a vital block.

Evans then sent a header over the bar from Danny Rose’s cross, as the hosts finally started to pick up the pace.

But there was a blow for the Blues on 36 minutes, as Drew Talbot became the latest victim of the defensive injury curse.

He went down clutching his hamstring and limped to the sidelines, with Bennett coming on to make his 100th appearance.

The remainder of the half did little to excite a large Fratton crowd, though, with the half-time whistle greeted by yawns rather than cheers.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was pretty sleepy stuff before the break and Pompey clearly had not woken up for the start of the second half.

Wilson sent in a low cross from wide on the right and Leahy was left all alone to tap home at the far post.

The Blues were struggling to create much at the other end of the pitch, as Mark Gillespie continued to enjoy a comfortable afternoon between the sticks.

He was not tested by Bennett on the hour mark, with the substitute firing wide from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Naismith.

Jackett opted to make a double substitution on 65 minutes, as Naismith and Lalkovic made way for Curtis Main and Kabamba.

But Walsall almost doubled their lead soon after, with Luke McGee saving well from Amadou Bakayoko and then Burgess blocking a shot from the same player.

The Blues were presented with an excellent chance to level on 74 minutes, though, when Gillespie tripped Kabamba, who did not appear to be posing a threat.

Huxtable immediately pointed to the spot and PITMAN made no mistake, slamming home his third goal of the season.

That provided a spark for Pompey and they immediately started to display more energy going forward.

Pitman almost grabbed his second with a shot that dipped narrowly over the bar after Bennett had done well to steal possession.

It was the Blues looking more likely to grab a winner and Pitman in particular was looking a threat, not quite able to guide Adam May’s pass on target on 87 minutes.

But, despite five minutes being added on for stoppages, Pompey were not able to complete the turnaround by finding a winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Bennett 36), Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; Rose, May; Evans, Naismith (Kabamba 65), Lalkovic (Main 65); Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 74 (pen)
Booked: Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Close, Chaplin

Walsall (3-5-2): Gillespie; Wilson, Donnellan, Guthrie; Devlin, Morris (Cuvelier 69), Chambers (c), Edwards, Leahy; Oztumer, Bakayoko (Jackson 77)
Goals: Leahy 47
Booked: Chambers, Guthrie, Devlin, Bakayoko
Subs not used: L.Roberts, K.Roberts, Kouhyar, Kinsella, Candlin

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 17,198 (464 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 162017
 

Checkatrade Trophy

3 – 3


Honours even in game….almost

Pompey began their Checkatrade Trophy campaign with an entertaining 3-3 draw against Fulham’s under-21 side at a sparsely-populated Fratton Park.

But it was the visitors who claimed a bonus point after triumphing 4-2 in the resulting penalty shoot-out.

Stephen Humphrys gave the Londoners an interval lead, while the goals rained in following the interval.

Jamal Lowe and Kal Naismith turned the match around before George Williams levelled from the spot.

But there was still time for Lowe to fire the Blues back into the lead, while Elijah Adebayo’s strike then ensured penalties.

Kenny Jackett made seven changes to the side that were beaten at Oxford in the league on Saturday.

First year scholar Joe Hancott – at the age of just 16 years and 161 days – was handed a debut at left-back.

The competition rules also allowed Lowe to feature, despite being in the middle of his three-match suspension.

Gareth Evans, Jack Whatmough, Adam May and Naismith were the only players who started at the Kassam Stadium to keep their place.

There were not too many inside Fratton Park to watch an entertaining first half that saw chances at both ends of the pitch.

A lovely passing move from the hosts ended with May drilling in a low shot that was well held by Cottagers keeper Magnus Norman.

Alex Bass then juggled a dangerous Jon Dagur Thorsteinsson free-kick that was whipped in from wide on the left.

Williams also saw an effort well blocked by Whatmough before Jerome Opku headed a corner straight at Bass.

The action quickly switched from one end of the pitch to the other and Curtis Main glanced a header wide from Ben Close’s cross.

But it was Fulham who broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, as Humphrys drilled an angled shot right into the bottom corner.

Bass stopped Thorsteinsson from doubling their lead moments later, getting down to his right to push the midfielder’s effort clear.

Pompey were soon on the hunt for an equaliser, however, and Close’s snap-shot was deflected inches past the post.

The hosts then broke quickly from a Cottagers corner and Main released Hancott, whose fierce strike was well saved by Norman.

Whatmough wasted a fantastic opportunity to score late in the first half when he was left free to meet May’s delivery, only to send the ball wide.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey had a great chance to draw level just after the interval when May slipped a pass through to Naismith in the box.

The Scottish forward elected to try to squeeze a shot inside the keeper’s near post, but Norman managed to divert the ball behind.

LOWE did find the net on 54 minutes, though, picking up Main’s neat back-heel and angling a shot into the net.

And the match was turned on its head moments later, as Evans whipped in a cross from wide on the right that NAISMITH fired home.

Pompey were not ahead for long, though, as Bass needlessly brought down Williams and referee Antony Coggins pointed to the spot.

It was Williams who stepped up to take the penalty and hammered it straight down the middle to make it all square.

But the goals kept coming and the Blues were back in front on 66 minutes when Evans’ attempt was deflected into LOWE’s path and he swivelled before firing an unstoppable shot past Norman.

Substitute Kyle Bennett almost gave the hosts a cushion, only to see his long-range effort rattle the crossbar.

And Fulham ensured there was more drama in a topsy-turvy encounter when Adebayo slammed home, despite furious Pompey appeals for offside.

That ensured both sides took one point, with a penalty shoot-out held to see who would claim the bonus one on offer.

Fulham took four in the new ‘ABBA’ format and scored them all, but while Conor Chaplin and Bennett both found the net, Norman saved from Naismith and Evans.

Pompey (4-3-3): Bass; Evans (c), Davies, Whatmough, Hancott; May, Baker (Bennett 60), Close (Talbot 76); Lowe, Main (Chaplin 68), Naismith
Goals: Lowe 54, 66, Naismith 57
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Kabamba

Fulham U21 (4-4-2): Norman; Sessegnon, Davies (c), Opoku (Harris 76), Kavanagh; Humphrys, O’Riley, Kait (Kwietniewski 79), Thorsteinsson; Williams, Adebayo
Goals: Humphrys 21, Williams 62 (pen), Adebayo 82
Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Nabay, Andrason, Elstone, Pearce

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 1,520 (62 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 122017
 

League One

3 – 0


Wes Thomas struck against his former club to ensure that Pompey left the Kassam Stadium empty-handed.

A tight encounter was short on clear-cut chances, although Kyle Bennett and Brett Pitman both went close, while the latter also had a goal disallowed.

But Thomas found the net just after the restart before substitute Gino van Kessel and Josh Ruffels both notched late on to ensure the Blues suffered their first league loss of the season.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Cardiff in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

That meant Kal Naismith continued to lead the line, with teenager Adam May given another chance to impress in midfield.

Oxford handed starts to three former Blues players, with keeper Simon Eastwood, defender Mike Williamson and striker Thomas all featuring.

It was the hosts who dominated possession during the first half, although Pompey laid claim to the better of the scoring chances.

Jack Whatmough could not get on the end of a Gareth Evans corner in the opening stages, while Pitman met May’s centre and sent a firm header narrowly past the post.

Bennett then tried his luck with a snap-shot from outside the box, with Eastwood scrambling across his goal to palm the ball behind.

The hosts started to look more threatening as the half progressed and Drew Talbot did well to cut across and prevent Thomas from getting a shot away.

Then, moments later, Christian Burgess made a crunching tackle to dispossess Christian Ribeiro on the edge of the box.

Pompey won a few corners and one of them from Evans was nodded back across goal by Burgess, only for Whatmough to head into Eastwood’s arms.

But United then had their best chance of the half on 39 minutes, as Curtis Nelson turned Williamson’s pass wide from close range.

Pitman did have the ball in the back of the net at the other end moments later when he met Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, but referee Graham Salisbury spotted a foul.

There were still time for Bennett have a shot in stoppage-time, although his cleanly-struck effort was straight at Eastwood.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It had been a fairly calm opening first half, but Oxford broke the deadlock within a couple of minutes of the restart.

McGee failed to hold on to an angled drive from Ribeiro and Thomas was well placed to force home the loose ball.

A substitution then had to be made, as referee Salisbury – who seemed to walk off relatively untroubled – was replaced by fourth official Marc Wilson.

Naismith was not too far away from an equaliser when he sent in a corner from the right that almost swung in at the far post.

But that was his last piece of the action as, just seconds later, the Scottish forward was replaced by Conor Chaplin.

It became an end-to-end affair, as Pompey went in search of a leveller and Oxford looked to hit them on the break.

A couple of dangerous crosses from Talbot and Brandon Haunstrup were dealt with assuredly by Williamson.

On both occasions the hosts were quickly up the other end to go close themselves and twice Burgess came to the rescue, first with a key tackle and then a crucial block.

The Blues made their second switch on 69 minutes and it was an attacking one, with Talbot making way for Carl Baker and Evans moving to right-back.

A moment of confusion between Burgess and Evans almost gave Oxford a second goal soon after, but McGee managed to push Jon Obika’s effort over the bar.

The hosts did wrap things up on 82 minutes, however, when van Kessel – who had only just come on – cut in from the left and coolly fired home.

Pompey kept battling away, but were unable to send the large travelling support home with at least a consolation effort to cheer.

And their misery was compunded deep into stoppage-time when Jack Payne slipped in Ruffels to slot home a third for the hosts.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Ribeiro, Nelson (c), Williamson, Ricardinho; Ledson, Ruffels; Henry (Hall 76), Payne, Johnson (van Kessel 79); Thomas (Obika 69)
Goals: Thomas 47, van Kessel 82, Ruffels 90+4
Subs not used: Shearer, Carroll, Martin, Rothwell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Baker 69), Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; May, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Naismith (Chaplin 56)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Close, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Marc Wilson 51)

Attendance: 9,510 (1,810 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC