Match Report

Dec 232017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Shrewsbury Town    2

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


It was not exactly the Nightmare before Christmas.

But Pompey were certainly lacking festive cheer after individual errors saw their fine run of form brought to an end at high-flying Shrewsbury.

Things appeared to be going the visitors’ way when Luke McGee saved Shaun Whalley’s penalty following a lifeless first half.

But Whalley and substitute Stefan Payne both capitalised on sloppy defending to maintain the Shrews’ magnificent home record.

The game began in cautious fashion and neither side really looked like scoring in a scrappy opening 45 minutes.

Pompey’s three bookings were arguably the most noteworthy incidents, although the Blues could perhaps feel aggrieved to see Matt Clarke, Jamal Lowe and Brandon Haunstrup’s names all taken.

There were a few balls pumped into Shrewsbury’s box, but nothing to trouble Dean Henderson between the sticks.

More concerning was a long-range attempt by Kennedy on 19 minutes, with the keeper managing to push the ball clear after it bounced awkwardly in front of him.

Not too much was happening at the other end of the pitch, although Clarke had to head away Alex Rodman’s curling effort.

And Christian Burgess then made a well-timed challenge inside the box to halt Carlton Morris’ path to goal.

But, with the game drifting towards the interval, neither stopper had realistically looked like conceding.

That almost changed in stoppage-time, though, as McGee showed good reactions after Whalley’s cross was diverted towards the net by an inadvertent Haunstrup deflection.


Half Time

Shrewsbury Town 0

Portsmouth 0


The first half had been forgettable – and Blues fans will be keen for the second period to also escape their memories.

Shrewsbury were given an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock soon after the restart when Christian Burgess lost the ball to Whalley.

He burst into the box and when McGee came charging from his line to deal with the danger, referee Darren Handley decided he took the man and not the ball.

It was Whalley who stepped up to take the spot-kick, only for his tame effort to be saved by the diving Blues keeper.

Pompey almost made him pay for his profligacy when Brett Pitman won a free-kick, but Henderson was equal to the skipper’s effort.

And it was the hosts who took the lead just before the hour mark when McGee tried to stop a deflected Jon Nolan effort from going out for a corner.

The keeper could not keep hold of the ball, however, and Whalley capitalised by sliding it into the net.

Jackett immediately made a double substitution, with Lowe and Kennedy making way for Oliver Hawkins and Kyle Bennett.

But the Blues were looking ragged after falling behind and McGee did well to beat Whalley to Carlton Morris’ threaded pass.

Conor Chaplin replaced Pitman in one last effort by Pompey to try to find a spark of magic and grab an equaliser.

Instead, Shrewsbury grabbed a late second goal, as Payne stole the ball from Clarke and found the target, despite McGee’s best efforts to keep it out.

Pompey kept plugging away – no doubt inspired by a noisy travelling army – but there was to be no Christmas miracle.

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; B.Morris; Whalley, Nolan, Ogogo (c), Rodman (Godfrey 87); C.Morris (Payne 75)
Goals: Whalley 59, Payne 81
Booked: C.Morris, Nolan
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Riley, Gnahoua, Dodds, John-Lewis

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Lowe (Hawkins 60), Evans, Kennedy (Bennett 60); Pitman (c) (Chaplin 77)
Booked: Clarke, Lowe, Haunstrup
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, May, Main

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 7,429 (1,094 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 162017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Bury    0

 


Matt Clarke found the target as Pompey continued their impressive run by seeing off Bury at Fratton Park.

They were on top for most of the contest, but were just lacking a clinical touch in front of goal against League One’s bottom club.

Their persistence was rewarded in the second half, however, when Clarke converted a Gareth Evans corner to seal the victory.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Charlton the previous week.

Conor Chaplin dropped to the bench, with Kyle Bennett taking his place in a central attacking role against his former club.

There had perhaps been too much festive overindulgence on Friday evening, with the atmosphere feeling flatter than usual.

Not that there was too much to inspire them on the pitch in a first half that the hosts controlled, without looking overly threatening.

A tame Brett Pitman effort was comfortably dealt with, while the crossing of Evans was providing some problems for Bury.

Danny Rose had the first of three decent opportunities for the Blues, unleashing a thunderous 30-yard drive that Leo Fasan did well to tip over on 15 minutes.

Bennett and Clarke both had half-chances, as Pompey continued to probe away without getting any reward.

But those other two notable openings came on 34 minutes and there was a touch of fortune about both of them.

First up was a jinking run into the box by Jamal Lowe, with the ball ricocheting kindly into Evans’ path.

He was left with just the keeper to beat, but Fasan did well to spread himself as big as possible and make the save.

Then, just seconds later, an attempt from Lowe took a massive deflection, sending the ball fizzing inches past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Bury 0


There was a change just after the restart for the second week in a row, with Stuart O’Keefe withdrawn for Ben Close in the engine room.

But it was Bury who initially started stronger and a free-kick from Jay O’Shea had to be punched clear by Luke McGee.

O’Shea was also involved moments later, whipping in a corner from the right that skipper Nathan Cameron headed narrowly over.

Jackett made a second switch on the hour mark as Pompey continued their hunt for a goal, with Chaplin replacing Bennett.

And they did forge ahead moments later when Evans whipped in an excellent corner and CLARKE came charging in at the far post to emphatically head home.

Bury then replaced one former Blues striker with another to try to force an equaliser, with Michael Smith given a warm reception as he made way for Chris Maguire.

The new man immediately had an opportunity to level when he was brought down by Lowe, only to send his free-kick straight into McGee’s arms.

Pompey were still looking to get forward themselves, though, and a left-footed attempt from Evans dipped narrowly over.

The Shakers got more men forward as the seconds ticked down, but a lack of firepower meant they never really looked like getting anything from the game.

And it might have been a heavier defeat for the visitors, with Fasan getting down well to palm clear a snap-shot from Close late on.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe (Close 46), Rose; Evans, Bennett (Chaplin 60), Lowe; Pitman (c)
Goals: Clarke 62
Booked: Bennett, Evans
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Donohue, Kennedy, Main

Bury (4-1-2-1-2): Fasan; Edwards, Cameron (c), O’Connell, Leigh; Ince; Tutte (Mayor 65), Reilly; O’Shea; Smith (Maguire 69), Ajose
Booked: O’Connell
Subs not used: Maloney, Aldred, Williams, Dawson, Laurent

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 17,549 (176 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 092017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Charlton Athletic    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Stuart O’Keefe was credited with the goal, although it looked like Josh Magennis had actually sent the ball into his own net.

It might have been a more comfortable victory, but Brett Pitman saw his penalty superbly saved by Ben Amos.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat Northampton in the Checkatrade Trophy the previous week.

Fit-again skipper Pitman returned to lead the line following a hamstring problem, as Curtis Main dropped to the bench.

There were two former Pompey ‘Player of the Season’ winners in the Charlton squad, with Ricky Holmes starting and Jason Pearce named among the substitutes.

The hosts were celebrating the 25th anniversary of their return to The Valley – which, coincidentally, was for a match against the Blues in December 1992.

They won 1-0 on that day and a similar outcome looked on the cards as Jackett’s side struggled to make an impression in the early stages.

For all of the Addicks’ domination of possession, however, they were not doing much to test Luke McGee.

The keeper had to deal with a couple of dangerous crosses into the box, but was otherwise well protected by his defence.

And, as the first half progressed, it was the visitors who started to look the more dangerous outfit going forward.

They almost broke the deadlock on 29 minutes when Pitman laid the ball off for Gareth Evans, whose fierce effort was tipped over the bar by Amos.

The resulting corner was only cleared as far as O’Keefe outside the box and his effort looped onto the roof of the net.

A couple of half-chances followed for Pitman and Evans, with the Blues sensing they could make the most of some nervous defending.

But they were almost hit on the break when Jay Dasilva fed Holmes, whose shot was tipped over by McGee.

The action soon switched back down to the other end and it took a vital Chris Solly block to stop Conor Chaplin from sliding Pompey into the lead.

O’Keefe picked up the loose ball and his long-range shot took a deflection to divert it wide of the post.

But it was Charlton who had the final say before the break and McGee was called into action to deal with Dasilva’s curling effort.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Chaplin did not emerge for the start of the second half, with Kyle Bennett taking his spot just behind Pitman.

And the Blues broke the deadlock within a couple of minutes of the restart – although there was some debate about who should take the credit for the goal.

It was O’Keefe who was announced as the man to have converted Evans’ fine free-kick into the box, although some argued it was Charlton’s Magennis who got the final touch.

Holmes soon had a chance at the other end, but his final delivery was somewhere in between a cross and a shot, with the ball flying out for a goal-kick.

Pompey were still looking to get forward themselves, however, and Pitman was not far off target with one effort, while Bennett then forced Amos into action.

They had an excellent opportunity to double their advantage on 65 minutes when referee Andrew Madley spotted a tug on Pitman by Solly in the area.

It was Pitman who unsurprisingly stepped up to take the spot-kick, only for Amos to dive to his left to make a superb save.

That gave the home side – and their supporters – a boost, but the hosts were still proving difficult to breach.

A bit of needle started to creep into the game, with Evans shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Holmes, who then joined him in the book by fouling McGee.

Nathan Thompson soon became the third player cautioned, although he did appear to win the ball from Holmes cleanly.

There was plenty of action unfolding at both ends and when one promising Blues move broke down, their opponents broke quickly, only for Mark Marshall to shoot straight at McGee.

Pompey’s keeper made a better save late on, though, getting quickly down to his right to keep out Leon Best’s firm header.

And, despite late appeals by the home crowd for a penalty, that ensured the Blues made the trip home with all three points.

Charlton (4-2-3-1): Amos; Solly (c), Konsa, Sarr, Dasilva; Forster-Caskey, Aribo (Reeves 87); Marshall (Best 82), Clarke (Ahearne-Grant 75), Holmes; Magennis
Booked: Holmes
Subs not used: Phillips, Lennon, Pearce, Jackson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe, Rose; Evans, Chaplin (Bennett 46), Lowe; Pitman (c)
Goals: Magennis 47 (og)
Booked: Evans, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Casey, May, Kennedy, Main

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 16,361 (3,870 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 022017
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Northampton Town    0

 


Gareth Evans and Stuart O’Keefe were on target as Pompey cruised into the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy.

A small crowd were not treated to a chance-laden encounter against Northampton, but it was always the hosts who looked more likely to progress.

Evans completed an attractive passing counter-attack to open the scoring a few minutes before the interval.

O’Keefe doubled their lead in the second half and only some impressive saves from David Cornell prevented the margin of victory being even greater.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Plymouth in the league the previous week.

Christian Burgess returned from suspension to replace the injured Oliver Hawkins in defence, while the sidelined Kal Naismith made way for Curtis Main up front.

The other switch saw loanee O’Keefe recalled in the centre of the pitch, with Ben Close, who was nursing a knock, missing out.

A sparse attendance ensured there was an eerie atmosphere inside Fratton Park when the game got underway.

And the action on the pitch did little to warm the spirits of those fans who decided to spurn Christmas shopping to watch the contest.

There were a couple of half chances for the hosts, with O’Keefe’s volleyed effort flying over, while an audacious long-range free-kick from Christian Burgess landed on the roof of the net.

Neither side looked particularly threatening in the opening stages, however, as the game drifted along.

Main headed a difficult chance wide after rising above two defenders to meet Nathan Thompson’s cross.

Evans then drilled a low shot narrowly past the post, while Cornell – who previously had a loan spell at Fratton Park – just about beat Conor Chaplin to a loose ball.

The tie finally got going on 35 minutes, when Danny Rose slipped a fine pass through to Evans, who was denied by Cornell’s save.

Northampton had offered little at the other end, although Burgess made a timely challenge to dispossess Chris Long in the box.

And it was the Blues who broke the deadlock just before the break, courtesy of a fine passing move up the pitch.

Brandon Haunstrup released Evans, who in turn found Chaplin before bursting into the box to receive the ball back.

Chaplin dinked a cross into the centre, and EVANS was there to head home his first goal of the season.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


The advantage was almost doubled early in the second half, as Haunstrup delivered a dangerous low cross that Ash Taylor had to turn over his own crossbar.

But it then took a superb save from Luke McGee to stop the Cobblers from levelling, with the keeper diving to his right to stop Taylor from converting Lewis McGugan’s corner.

Cornell made his own decent stop when Main inventively flicked Rose’s centre towards the net, although the linesman had raised his flag for offside.

The lead did increase just before the hour mark, however, as Thompson cut the ball back for O’KEEFE to neatly steer into the bottom corner.

A third might have followed when Thompson stole back possession, but Evans’ effort from out wide flashed past the post.

Jackett made his first switch on 69 minutes, with Drew Talbot given a chance to impress in place of Haunstrup at left-back.

Evans and Chaplin were off target with shots, as the Blues tried to wrap the tie up with plenty of time to spare.

Main then saw an attempt roll agonisingly wide following good work from Rose and Chaplin to tee him up.

And Cornell made a string of fine saves to limit the damage late on, denying Main, Evans and Chaplin in quick succession.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup (Talbot 69); O’Keefe, Rose; Evans (c), Chaplin, Lowe (Kennedy 88); Main
Goals: Evans 41, O’Keefe 58
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, May, Bennett, Lethbridge

Northampton (4-4-2): Cornell; Moloney, Barnett, Taylor, Buchanan; Hoskins (Bowditch 63), Poole (Waters 78), McGugan, Crooks; Richards (c), Long (Foley 46)
Subs not used: Coddington, Smith, McGivern, Kasim

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 1,780 (128 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 252017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Plymouth Argyle    0

 


Kal Naismith capitalised on a defensive howler to ensure Pompey saw off Plymouth at Fratton Park.

He snatched the ball from goalkeeper Remi Matthews and prodded home midway through the first half.

It was a deserved victory for the Blues, even if there were a few nervy moments towards the end of the contest.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten at Peterborough earlier in the week.

Conor Chaplin replaced Curtis Main up front, while full-backs Nathan Thompson and Brandon Haunstrup came in for Matty Kennedy and the suspended Christian Burgess.

Evans continued to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence – rainbow coloured on this occasion to show the club’s support for LGBT inclusivity – but was pushed into a more advanced role.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Sonny Bradley, Toumani Diagouraga and Jake Jervis all starting, while Nadir Ciftci was on the bench.

After a fairly uninspiring opening, it was the hosts who began to apply pressure as the first half progressed.

The first decent chance fell to Brandon Haunstrup after he was fed by Chaplin and the left-back’s fierce drive was just about palmed over by Matthews.

Matt Clarke – playing in a more familiar central role – then did well to burst forward and square the ball for Evans, whose shot was deflected behind.

Chaplin also had a snap-shot from long-range that was straight at Matthews, but fumbled nervously over by the stopper.

But the Blues were almost caught out at the other end when Yann Songo’o was left in space in the box to meet David Fox’s free-kick, only to guide his header wide.

Instead it was Pompey who broke the deadlock midway through the half – thanks to a huge error from Matthews.

The keeper came out of his area to try to collect Clarke’s long punt forward, but was tackled by the alert NAISMITH.

Matthews tried to tug him back, but the Blues forward kept his composure to poke the ball over the line.

Evans soon had a shot that swerved wide, but Plymouth began to pose some problems as the interval approached.

They were not really creating any scoring chances, although Luke McGee showed good timing to come off his line and dispossess Joel Grant.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


There was an immediate chance for Pompey after the restart, but although Naismith’s shot had plenty of power, it was straight at Matthews.

And the keeper made amends for his earlier error with a stunning save to prevent Naismith from turning in Chaplin’s low cross.

Oliver Hawkins then had a shot deflected behind from the resulting corner, while Plymouth nervously dealt with another set-piece moments later.

But Jackett was forced into a switch just before the hour mark when Hawkins pulled up injured and had to limp off.

Kennedy was brought on to replace him, with Evans moving to right-back and Thompson switching to the centre.

Pompey gave away some sloppy free-kicks in the quest to protect their lead, as Argyle tried to get men forward.

They almost scored a second on 75 minutes, though, when Songo’o diverted Kennedy’s teasing delivery narrowly past his own post.

And there was another great opportunity when Chaplin stole possession and slipped Naismith through on goal.

Matthews came out of his box and the pair collided, with the ball rolling against the post before play was stopped so both players could receive treatment.

Naismith was initially cleared to continue, but soon had to depart and was replaced by Stuart O’Keefe.

There was a hint of nervousness creeping into Pompey’s performance as the seconds ticked down, but the visitors were unable to capitalise.

One throw did cause problems in the Blues back-line, although the danger passed when Diagouraga swiped at thin air.

The display of six additional minutes certainly caused some nerves among the Fratton faithful, but the hosts saw out the closing stages to secure the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Hawkins (Kennedy 59), Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Evans (c), Chaplin (Main 90+1), Lowe; Naismith (O’Keefe 83)
Goals: Naismith 24
Booked: Kennedy
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, May, Bennett

Plymouth (4-1-4-1): Matthews; Sawyer (c), Songo’o, Bradley, Taylor-Sinclair; Fox; Carey (Lameiras 79), Sarcevic (Ainsworth 86), Diagouraga, Grant (Ciftci 71); Jervis
Booked: Sawyer, Diagouraga
Subs not used: Cooper, Miller, Wylde, Fletcher

Referee: Robert Madley

Attendance: 17,923 (1,870 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 212017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Peterborough United    2

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Pompey’s winning run was brought to an end with a 2-1 defeat to Peterborough at London Road.

It was a fairly even contest, but a couple of fine deliveries from Marcus Maddison ultimately proved the difference.

The Posh midfielder provided the assist for Jack Marriott to open the scoring and then saw his free-kick headed into his own net by Matt Clarke.

Conor Chaplin came off the bench to pull a goal back for the Blues, but they were unable to find a leveller.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Southend at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Curtis Main made his second league start of the season in place of Brett Pitman, who missed out with a hamstring injury.

Matty Kennedy also returned in an attacking role wide on the left, with Kyle Bennett dropping to the bench.

But it was Jamal Lowe on the opposite flank who caused the hosts plenty of problems in the early stages.

One promising move saw him surge half the length of the pitch and whip in a cross that was met by Kal Naismith and deflected past the post.

And Naismith was then left alone at the far post to head stand-in skipper Gareth Evans’ corner back across goal, although the Posh defence were able to hack clear.

Peterborough soon began to settle, however, and dominate possession without creating too much of note.

They did go close on 18 minutes when Danny Lloyd threaded a pass through to Gwion Edwards, who lifted the ball over Luke McGee and against the crossbar.

Then, after Ben Close’s effort had been blocked, United charged straight down the other end and McGee – who along with Christian Burgess was facing his former club – palmed behind Maddison’s deflected effort.

But it was Pompey’s turn to threaten more towards the end of the first half and a fierce attempt from Main clipped the outside of the post.

There was one sensational cross-field pass from Oliver Hawkins to pick out Kennedy on the left, although the winger cross was claimed by keeper Conor O’Malley and the sides went in level at the break.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


The opening to the second half was also a pretty cagey affair, with little action to get either of the goalkeepers’ gloves dirty.

Maddison’s free-kick – given for a foul on the edge of the box by Kennedy – was headed clear by Main.

The striker was then involved at the other end of the pitch, sliding in but unable to make contact with Naismith’s teasing low delivery.

Naismith soon had a chance of his own and finally forced O’Malley into a meaningful save with a powerfully-struck effort from the edge of the box.

But it was Peterborough who finally broke the deadlock just before the hour mark when Maddison sent in a low cross from the left and Marriott arrived to bundle the ball home.

Jackett responded by making his first substitution, as the hard-working Main made way for Chaplin in attack.

It was Posh looking more likely to add to the scoring, however, and Hawkins had to turn one effort just past his own post, while Steven Taylor fired narrowly over from a corner.

But they needed a helping hand to double their advantage on 70 minutes after Burgess had been booked for a foul on Maddision.

It was the midfielder who dusted himself down to take the free-kick, which was inadvertently turned into his own net by Clarke.

Chaplin almost reduced the deficit soon after, although his miskicked shot was cleared from the line by a well-placed Anthony Grant.

But CHAPLIN did find the target on 78 minutes, sliding the ball into the net after O’Malley could only parry clear Danny Rose’s effort.

There were a few nerves starting to show for Peterborough as they tried to hang on to their now slender lead.

But for all of Pompey’s attacking intent, they were unable to test O’Malley again as time ran out in the search for a point.

Peterborough (3-5-2): O’Malley; Baldwin (c), Taylor, Tafazolli (Hughes 46); Lopes, Grant, Maddison (Anderson 85), Doughty, Edwards; Marriott, Lloyd
Goals: Marriott 58, Clarke 70 (og)
Booked: Grant, Edwards
Subs not used: Bond, Penny, Forrester, Kanu, Miller

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans (c), Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe, Naismith, Kennedy (Donohue 81); Main (Chaplin 64)
Goals: Chaplin 78
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, O’Keefe, May, Bennett

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 5,217 (841 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 182017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Southend United    0

 


Brett Pitman increased his impressive tally of Pompey goals by heading the winner against Southend at a packed Fratton Park.

Both sides created decent openings in a stop-start first half and Nile Ranger blazed a controversial penalty high over the bar.

Pitman was not so profligate, however, and his effort ensured the Blues claimed a second successive League One victory.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that dramatically won at Blackpool the previous week.

That meant Oliver Hawkins continued to be used as a makeshift centre-back, with Matt Clarke playing on the left.

Nathan Thompson and former Shrimpers midfielder Stuart O’Keefe both had to be content with a place on the bench after returning from suspension.

With it being Pompey’s closest home match to Armistice Day, Normandy veteran John Jenkins MBE read the Ode of Remembrance before kick-off.

A bugler then played the Last Post before everyone inside Fratton Park observed a minute of silence.

The Blues came flying out of the traps and almost broke the deadlock inside the opening five minutes.

Clarke sent a superb cross into the box from wide on the left, but Pitman could not quite steer the ball on target from close range.

Anton Ferdinand then had to hack clear when a deep Ben Close free-kick was headed into the mixer by Christian Burgess.

The hosts were looking dangerous going forward and John White was forced to head behind at the far post when Jamal Lowe centred.

But Southend settled and enjoyed their own spell of pressure midway through the first half, with Luke McGee diving to keep out a snap-shot from former Pompey trialist Theo Robinson.

Kal Naismith then inadvertently diverted the resulting corner into Ranger’s path, although the striker could only fire wide.

It was a contest that offered flurries of excitement in the middle of long spells when the action lulled.

Kyle Bennett almost bagged a rare headed goal when he managed to rise highest in the box to meet Lowe’s delivery, only for Michael Turner to clear off the line.

Shrimpers keeper Mark Oxley was then forced to get down quickly in order to keep out a fierce drive from Close.

There were more half chances at both ends of the pitch before the game controversially exploded into life just before the break.

First Danny Rose and then Clarke bravely threw themselves into the path of shots to protect McGee’s goal.

But the linesman was waving his flag furiously on the sidelines and told referee Carl Boyeson that a hand had been used by Clarke.

The hosts were furious with the decision and Burgess led the protests – backed, of course, by the Fratton faithful.

But it mattered not, as the wasteful Ranger stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it high over the bar.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Bennett did not emerge from the tunnel at the start of the second half, with Matty Kennedy brought on to replace him.

And it was the newcomer who provided the assist as Pompey broke the deadlock on 54 minutes.

He used his right foot to deliver a pin-point cross from wide on the left and PITMAN rose to expertly guide the ball into the net.

Fratton Park was then united in a minute of applause just before the hour mark to honour Blues fan Gary Martin, who recently passed away at the age of 58.

Pitman’s 12th goal of the season had been the only real moment of action in an otherwise slow start to the second half.

But a quiet spell ended when Cox’s shot was blocked by a well-placed Hawkins, with Gareth Evans getting the ball to safety.

Pompey were still looking a threat at other end, although Kennedy’s shot was not powerful enough to trouble Oxley.

Lowe then played a poor pass behind Pitman after being picked out on the right by Naismith’s threaded pass.

Southend tried their best to find an equaliser as they brought more men forward in the closing stages, but the Blues comfortably held on for victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe (Thompson 87), Bennett (Kennedy 46), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 54
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, O’Keefe, Chaplin, Main

Southend (4-1-2-1-2): Oxley; White (McGlashan 82), Turner, Ferdinand (c), Timlin; Leonard; Wright, Kightly; Cox; Robinson (Fortune 77), Ranger (McLaughlin 64)
Booked: White
Subs not used: Bishop, Hendrie, Bwomono, Yearwood

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 18,431 (1,422 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 112017
 

League One


 

Blackpool    2

 


 

Portsmouth    3

 


Pompey brought their three-match losing league run to an end in dramatic fashion at Blackpool.

A dull first half failed to foreshadow what was to come after the break, with five goals arriving in a topsy-turvy 45 minutes.

Twice the Blues took the lead, first through skipper Brett Pitman and then when Ben Close opened his account.

But twice the Seasiders fought back to level, with Viv Solomon-Otabor and an Oliver Hawkins own-goal giving them hope.

It was Pompey who snatched the victory late on, though, when Pitman grabbed his second of the afternoon to complete a breathless encounter.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at Luton the previous week.

Kal Naismith, Gareth Evans, Danny Rose and Kyle Bennett all returned to the side, with Stuart O’Keefe and Nathan Thompson suspended, Matty Kennedy dropping to the bench and Brandon Haunstrup missing out.

Hawkins was once again used as a makeshift centre-half, with Matt Clarke taking on an unfamiliar left-back role.

Both sides emerged from the tunnel with poppy wreaths and had the flower embroidered into their shirts.

A bugler then paid the Last Post, as everyone inside the stadium paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pompey started with plenty of energy and looked to keep the ball moving, but were unable to breach an organised Seasiders defence.

In fact, there were not many clear-cut openings at either end of the pitch during a first half that often failed to get out of third gear.

The best chance for the hosts came when Jay Spearing’s free-kick found Solomon-Otabor in space, only for the winger to smash his shot over the crossbar.

He also had another attempt deflected behind, while a quick Blues break led to Jamal Lowe’s effort being charged down.

Former Fratton loanee Ryan Allsop was enjoying a quiet afternoon between the sticks, although he would have been relieved when Lowe’s cross hit Will Aimson and ricocheted narrowly past the post.

A couple of corners also caused the hosts a few problems, while Close was not too far off target with a dragged shot from 25 yards.

Luke McGee, meanwhile, twice had to come charging from his line to win a race for the ball, although the home support thought he had handled outside his box on the first occasion.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


There had been a distinct lack of excitement before the break, but the temperature rose – at least metaphorically – within seconds of the restart.

A Pompey corner caused havoc in the Seasiders box and Lowe’s shot was blocked, with Pitman unable to get to the loose ball before it was hacked to safety.

The busy Solomon-Otabor then burst down the left, cutting inside and along the edge of the box before hitting a low effort narrowly wide.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 52 minutes – much to the delight of the large travelling horde.

Close’s attempt took a deflection and although Allsop managed to adjust and parry the ball away, PITMAN was there to mop up.

A quick break from Bennett might have seen them double their advantage, only for Curtis Tilt to recover well and stop Pitman from getting a shot away.

The home support grew audibly frustrated as their side struggled to make any headway in their search for a leveller.

And their annoyance would have grown if Christian Burgess had been able to divert a Naismith corner on target.

But those who remained patient were rewarded on 73 minutes when Nathan Delfouneso combined well with substitute Dolly Menga down the right.

The latter – making his debut – sent in a dangerous low cross and Solomon-Otabor arrived at the far post to turn it home.

That might have deflated the visitors, but – backed by a vociferous following – they managed to retake the lead 10 minutes from time.

Pitman met Evans’ cross and Allsop did brilliantly to keep out his header, but when the ball was not properly cleared, CLOSE was there to fire in his first competitive goal for the club.

The action did not stop there, though, and Blackpool were soon level again, as a cross was sent into the visitors’ box and Hawkins inadvertently headed it into his own net.

But an in an incredible 12-minute spell then swung back in the Blues’ favour when they forged ahead for a third time.

Burgess rose to head a delivery back across the face of goal and PITMAN found space to nod past Allsop.

Blackpool tried their best to fight back once again, but the visitors saw out the closing stages to claim all three points.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Turton, Aimson, Tilt, Daniel; Ryan (c), Spearing; Solomon-Otabor, Philliskirk (Menga 70), Cooke (Gnanduillet 87); Delfouneso
Goals: Solomon-Otabor 73, Hawkins 83 (og)
Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, D’Almeida, Longstaff

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe, Bennett (Donohue 87), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 52, 86, Close 80
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, May, Kennedy, Chaplin, Main

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 5,032 (1,711 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 072017
 

Checkatrade Trophy


 

Charlton Athletic    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Pompey progressed to the knockout stages of the Checkatrade Trophy after beating Charlton in their final group match.

Curtis Main netted the only goal in a lethargic contest at The Valley that was watched by very few spectators.

The result ensured that the Blues finished top of Southern Group A and will be at home in the last 32.

Kenny Jackett made eight changes from the side that exited the FA Cup against Luton at the weekend.

Luke McGee, Nathan Thompson and Oliver Hawkins were the only players to keep their place, with the latter two moved to centre-back roles.

Gareth Evans skippered the side at right-back, while Dion Donohue completed the defensive line on the opposite flank.

Danny Rose and Adam May anchored the midfield, with Kal Naismith, Conor Chaplin and Milan Lalkovic making up an attacking trio behind lone frontman Main.

There was also a change made to the substitutes just ahead of kick-off, as Brett Pitman felt a twinge in his knee and was replaced by Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain.

But it was the hosts who got off to the faster start and Anfernee Dijksteel’s cross was turned into the side netting by Karlan Ahearne-Grant at the far post.

Ahmed Kashi then fired a shot straight at McGee, as the Blues felt their way cautiously into the contest.

The Addicks were forced into an early change, however, when Tariqe Fosu hobbled off and Ben Reeves was brought on.

McGee had to come tearing out of box moments later to beat striker Joe Dodoo to a long punt up the pitch.

But Pompey soon found their feet and Naismith picked Hawkins out from a free-kick, with the stand-in defender unable to beat Dillon Phillips from an acute angle.

And they broke the deadlock on 19 minutes, when Lalkovic’s delivery was turned back across goal by Naismith for MAIN to slide home.

He might have had another before the interval, but could not quite make a clean connection to turn Chaplin’s flick on target.

Dodoo was a dangerous presence up front for the hosts, meanwhile, although one shot was comfortable for McGee, while Rose nipped in to prevent him from testing the keeper again.

Charlton’s best chance to level came from one of the opposition players, as Patrick Bauer’s header hit May and was arrowing towards the net until McGee intervened.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


There was a slow start to the second half, with little to warm the hearts of the small number of fans who had braved the wet weather.

Dijksteel did create an opportunity when he stole the ball from Naismith and fed Billy Clarke, whose shot did little to trouble McGee.

Jackett made a double switch just before the hour mark, with Main and Lalkovic making way for Jamal Lowe and Matty Kennedy.

Pompey soon created a couple of openings, with Hawkins having a header deflected behind after meeting Naismith’s free-kick.

Chaplin then saw an effort blocked and when Lowe picked up the loose ball, he was unable to beat Phillips with a shot.

But, in truth, it was pretty turgid stuff, as both sides went about their business without really looking like scoring.

Lowe was showing a bit more urgency, though, and he surged into the box on 75 minutes before watching his fierce drive parried clear by Phillips.

The introduction of former Blues winger Ricky Holmes also saw the hosts pick up the pace as they went in search of a leveller.

But there was to be no late London drama, as Naby Sarr wasted a late chance to level and the visitors saw out the closing stages to secure their progress.

Charlton (4-2-3-1): Phillips; Dijksteel, Bauer (c), Sarr, Mascoll; Kashi, Aribo; Fosu (Reeves 9), Clarke, Ahearne-Grant (Holmes 70); Dodoo (Hackett-Fairchild 59)
Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Barnes, Marshall, Forster-Caskey

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans (c), Hawkins, Thompson, Donohue; May, Rose; Lalkovic (Kennedy 58), Chaplin (O’Keefe 86), Naismith; Main (Lowe 58)
Goals: Main 19
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 1,307 (206 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 042017
 

FA Cup 1


 

Luton Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey fell at the first hurdle in the Emirates FA Cup after a narrow defeat to high-flying League Two side Luton at Kenilworth Road.

James Collins grabbed the only goal of the tie right at the end of a first half that the hosts just about shaded.

But the Blues were much better after the break and were unfortunate not draw level on a number of occasions before Nathan Thompson’s late dismissal.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were beaten by Bradford in the league the previous week.

Kyle Bennett and Dion Donohue both dropped to the bench, with Oliver Hawkins and Brandon Haunstrup restored to the starting line-up.

The first half was a niggly affair, with plenty of fouls to break up the play and little in the way of goalmouth action.

Thompson was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Alan Sheehan, while the reaction of Collins saw him join the defender in the book.

It was the hosts who were first to threaten when Christian Burgess conceded a foul on the left, but Sheehan’s free-kick was just too high for Collins.

Brett Pitman – still wearing a mask to protect his recently broken nose – had a fierce attempt at the other end and Hatters keeper Marek Stech did well to tip it over the bar.

Stuart O’Keefe then fed Ben Close in the box, with Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu coming across to make a vital block.

The Luton midfielder was not quite so assured in attack, though, and his tame effort was comfortably held by Luke McGee.

There was a scare when Andrew Shinnie disappeared into the visiting fans after straining to meet a cross on 34 minutes and a sigh of relief when he emerged unscathed.

Hylton then failed to make the most of a decent opportunity by guiding Shinnie’s delivery straight at McGee.

But the hosts did break the deadlock in stoppage-time, as Hylton teed-up Collins to lash a shot into the net.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Pompey fans were fuming just after the restart when Jamal Lowe went to ground right in front of them and Seb Stockbridge declined to give a penalty.

The referee then rubbed salt into the wound by deciding the winger had dived and brandishing a yellow card.

Luton thought they had doubled their advantage when Hylton tapped home Jack Stacey’s low cross at the far post, but the linesman had his flag raised for offside.

Luke Berry then drew a smart stop from McGee, with the ball looping up into the air and landing on the crossbar.

But the woodwork soon came to the Hatters’ rescue, as Stech managed to divert Matt Clarke’s looping header against the bar.

Pompey were suddenly looking dangerous with every attack and when Lowe met Matty Kennedy’s cut-back, his shot had to be hacked from the line by Sheehan.

Pitman then met a long ball forward by Burgess, forcing Stech into action to make a save at his near post.

That was the last bit of action for the Blues skipper, though, as he and Kennedy made way for Conor Chaplin and Bennett just past the hour mark.

And Luton almost caught their opponents out when Haunstrup was caught dithering, only for Shinnie to fire wide with only McGee to beat.

It was the visitors more eager to get forward, however, and when Stech kept out Close’s drilled effort, Chaplin fired the loose ball over.

Pompey were desperately throwing men forward in search of a leveller, only to come up against solid Hatters resistance.

And their task was made even harder when Thompson was dismissed for a second bookable offence following a foul on Collins down the left.

Luton almost wrapped things up on the break, with Olly Lee not quite able to send his shot over McGee.

But the Blues were not prepared to just sit back and only a fine save from Stech stopped Close from finding the bottom corner to secure a replay.

Luton (4-1-3-2): Stech; Stacey, Cuthbert (c), Sheehan, Potts; Mpanzu; O.Lee, Shinnie (Cornick 83), Berry; Hylton, Collins
Goals: Collins 45+1
Booked: Collins, O.Lee
Subs not used: Shea, Justin, Famewo, Gambin, D’Ath, E.Lee

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Hawkins, Kennedy (Bennett 62); Pitman (c) (Chaplin 62)
Sent off: Thompson (two yellow cards)
Booked: Lowe, Burgess, O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Rose, Evans, Lalkovic

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

Attendance: 5,333 (1,143 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 282017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Bradford City    1

 


Pompey were the victims of a smash and grab raid by Bradford, as they slipped to a third successive defeat.

The hosts were on top for much of the contest, with Kyle Bennett and Matty Kennedy both coming close to scoring.

But they were made to play for their profligacy late on when Matthew Kilgallon headed home a late winner for the third-placed Bantams.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were beaten at Blackburn the previous week.

Brett Pitman – wearing a mask to protect his recently broken nose – was fit enough to start after recovering from a knee operation, with Oliver Hawkins dropping to the bench.

The first half was a lively affair, although neither goalkeeper was given too much to do, with the hosts in particular misplacing their shooting boots.

Bennett had an early attempt charged down by Adam Thompson, while Christian Burgess was unable to turn Dion Donohue’s corner on target at the far post.

The former was producing an energetic performance and he did well to hold the ball up on the right and feed Jamal Lowe, who charged into the box and drew a save from Colin Doyle.

Pompey were looking the more threatening side and when Kennedy whipped in a dangerous free-kick, Pitman’s header was deflected wide.

There were a couple of scrambles in the area at the other end of the pitch, but the ball was cleared to safety on each occasion.

Some of Bennett’s build-up play was superb, but he was lacking a clinical touch when picked out by Kennedy, ballooning a shot high into the Milton End.

Kennedy than had a chance of his own on 36 minutes, trying his luck with a 20-yard curler that dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

Bradford almost took a shock lead just before the break after Matt Clarke had been punished for a foul out wide.

Tony McMahon sent a superb delivery into the Blues box and Romain Vincelot’s header was inches off target.

But it was the hosts who finished the half on top and Ben Close had an effort blocked after being teed-up by Bennett’s clever pass.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Bennett’s mixed afternoon continued after the interval when he did brilliantly to intercept a back-pass and round Doyle.

But that forced him out wider than he would have liked and he was left with head in hands after only being able to fire into the side netting.

The home fans’ frustrations grew further when McMahon took an age to tie his shoelaces, with referee Dean Whitestone doing little to hurry him up.

Bradford then missed an opportunity to forge ahead themselves, with Charlie Wyke directing his free header at Luke McGee.

But the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch and the ball had to be cut out when Lowe tricked his way into the box and tried to send it into the mixer.

The second half was being played at a frenetic pace, as both sides looked to get forward and find an opener.

Jackett made his first change on 67 minutes, with Bennett afforded a standing ovation as he made way for Conor Chaplin.

The newcomer made an instant impact by feeding Close, only for Doyle to leave his line and make a block.

And the keeper then got to his feet and made an even better save when Kennedy thundered the loose ball towards goal.

Donohue sent the resulting corner into the danger zone and a leaping Burgess looped his header onto the roof of the net.

But it was Bradford who were celebrating on 80 minutes after Dion Donohue had been booked for a foul on Alex Gilliead.

McMahon whipped the ball into the box, where Kilgallon was left in too much space to send a header past McGee.

Hawkins came on for Donohue as Jackett added an extra forward option to try to engineer some late drama.

But despite pushing plenty of men up the pitch for the closing stages, the Bantams held on to secure the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue (Hawkins 86); Close, O’Keefe; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 67), Kennedy; Pitman (c)
Booked: Donohue, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans, Naismith

Bradford (4-4-2): Doyle; McMahon, Thompson, Kilgallon, Field; Gilliead, Reeves, Vincelot (c), Law; Wyke, Taylor (Dieng 84)
Goals: Kilgallon 80
Booked: McMahon
Subs not used: Raeder, Hendrie, Robinson, Jones, McCartan, Patrick

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 18,067 (1,003 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 212017
 

League One


 

Blackburn Rovers    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey completed a disappointing week on the road with a 3-0 defeat at Blackburn.

The visitors created little, albeit in terrible conditions, and conceded goals in both halves to make the treacherous trip home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Bradley Dack opened the scoring before the break, while Danny Graham then doubled Rovers’ advantage after it.

Dominic Samuel was sent off for the hosts, but they were still able to wrap things up with a third goal from Craig Conway.

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

Jamal Lowe was restored to the starting line-up and Gareth Evans dropped to the bench, meaning that the captain’s armband returned to Stuart O’Keefe.

Brett Pitman had recovered from keyhole surgery on his knee, but had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There was also a ‘Battle of the Bennetts’, as Pompey winger Kyle was up against his older brother Elliott.

Storm Brian made life difficult for both teams, with heavy rain accompanying the wind swirling around Ewood Park.

And there were not too many clear-cut chances to reward those fans who braved the conditions to watch the game.

It was the hosts looking the more threatening, though, and a couple of dangerous deliveries had to be scrambled clear.

Dack then fired a warning shot narrowly wide midway through the first half after being teed-up by strike-partner Graham.

Richie Smallwood was closer moments later, with a thumping effort from 30 yards that Luke McGee did well to turn over the bar.

The keeper was soon called into action again and denied Dack with his legs before Graham turned the loose ball against the crossbar.

But the Blues soon had a decent opportunity of their own when Bennett met Lowe’s cross with a volley that forced David Raya to save down to his right.

It was Rovers who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, as Harry Chapman stole the ball from Dion Donohue and fed Dack for a powerful finish.

Pompey tried to find a response before the break, although an O’Keefe shot that was comfortably saved by Raya was all they had to show for their efforts.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


The rain got even heavier as the teams came out to start the second half and it certainly seemed to affect the standard of play.

Donohue was shown a yellow card for tugging back Chapman as the midfielder tried to surge into the box.

Skipper Charlie Mulgrew took the resulting free-kick from the side of the box and his fierce effort had to be beaten away by McGee.

But Rovers did double their advantage just before the hour mark, as Derrick Williams got down the left and teed-up Graham for a calm finish into the bottom corner.

Pompey had a chance to hit back when Ryan Nyambe received a yellow card for a foul on Matty Kennedy.

The free-kick was played short to Bennett, whose low shot from outside the area crept narrowly wide of Raya’s post.

That was Bennett’s last contribution to proceedings, however, as he and Oliver Hawkins made way for Conor Chaplin and a mask-wearing Pitman.

Both sides then had attempts from long distance, with strikes from Peter Whittingham and Pitman not too far off target.

With the rain continuing to fall there was plenty of surface water to make life even more difficult for both sides.

And with players struggling to keep their footing, the Blues could at least take comfort from the fact that nobody limped off in the closing stages.

But Rovers did not end the game with all 11 men on the pitch, with referee Chris Kavanagh forced to brandish a red card.

Christian Burgess held up Samuel as he tried to chase a loose ball and the frustrated Blackburn substitute kicked out at him.

The hosts were still able to add another goal late on, however, as Conway broke up the pitch and slotted past McGee.

Blackburn: Raya; Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Chapman (Conway 68), Smallwood, Whittingham, Bennett; Graham (Samuel 74), Dack (Evans 77)
Goals: Dack 38, Graham 58, Conway 90
Sent off: Samuel
Booked: Nyambe
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Gladwin, Antonsson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe (c), Close; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 64), Kennedy (Naismith 76); Hawkins (Pitman 64)
Booked: Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 11,673 (1,209 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC