Match Report

Mar 252018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Oxford United    0

 


Pompey made a mockery of their poor Fratton form in 2018 with a resounding victory over Oxford.

Kal Naismith grabbed an early opener, although the visitors responded well and it looked as though there might be a nervy finale.

That all changed when Alex Mowatt saw his penalty saved and was promptly sent off for lashing out at Nathan Thompson.

There was only going to be one winner from that point and Brett Pitman twice capitalised on good work from Jamal Lowe to wrap things up.

There was a single change from the side that won away at snowy Oldham the previous week.

Thompson came straight back into the starting line-up after returning from a four-match ban, with Brandon Haunstrup dropping to the bench.

A fit-again Gareth Evans – who had missed the same number of games with a hamstring injury – had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the visitors’ line-up, with former Pompey players Simon Eastwood and Wes Thomas both featuring.

The hosts made a bright start and the fans inside Fratton Park – as well as those watching on Sky Sports – had a goal to celebrate in just the fifth minute.

Connor Ronan sent a corner into the box and Matt Clarke nodded it back into the centre, where NAISMITH was waiting to hook home from close range.

He might have had a second after getting down well to meet another Ronan delivery with a diving header that flashed wide.

Oxford were all over the place and Ryan Ledson collected an early booking following a late challenge on the energetic Ronan.

Eastwood then grabbed Dion Donohue’s free-kick before Naismith could make a connection, while a cross from the Scottish forward had to be turned past his own post by Ashley Smith-Brown.

But United improved as the half progressed and James Henry turned sharply on the edge of the box before crashing a shot against the bar.

The Blues soon had a chance at the other end, with Lowe’s centre agonisingly out of reach for Pitman, as the skipper slid in at the far post.

Pitman was then brought down by Rob Dickie as he burst through on goal. The Fratton faithful were baying for a red card, but referee Charles Breakspear instead brandished a yellow.

It was Oxford who dominated as the interval approached, though, and Malachi Napa’s effort was diverted wide by Luke McGee’s fingertips.

Then, from the resulting corner, a well-placed Pitman had to hack Dickie’s goal-bound header from the line.

And the United defender should have done better just before the break, rising at the far post to meet a corner, only to send the ball wide from just a few yards out.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Oxford United 0


Oxford were still on top in the early stages of the second half, with Jack Whatmough doing well to deal with Todd Kane’s dangerous cross.

And the hosts made a change after just 51 minutes, with Evans making a welcome return to action in place of Ronan.

Pompey were struggling to keep hold of the ball and United were growing in confidence as they pushed forward, without forcing McGee into too much action.

And it looked as though the visitors would draw level just past the hour mark – only to miss a penalty and then be reduced to 10 men.

Clarke was penalised for a tug on Dickie inside the box, with Mowatt sending the spot-kick cannoning against the post.

The Oxford forward immediately clashed with Thompson, lashing out to send the Blues player tumbling to the turf.

That sparked a melee, involving plenty of pushing and shoving. When it all calmed down, Breakspear booked McGee for his reaction, before dismissing Mowatt.

It did not take long for the hosts to make the most of their numerical advantage, with the lead doubled on 69 minutes.

The delivery from Lowe on the right was superb and PITMAN was there to lash the ball into the roof of the net from a few yards out.

Pompey were, unsurprisingly, completely on top, with Evans seeing a shot blocked as home players started to fancy seeing their name on the scoresheet.

Instead it was the familiar figure of PITMAN who extended the advantage – with Lowe again playing a key role.

He raced onto a Thompson pass and rounded Eastwood with ease, only to be forced wide.

But the winger maintained his composure and squared for the Blues’ top scorer to stab into the net and complete an enoyable afternoon.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson (May 87); Lowe, Close, Ronan (Evans 51), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Naismith 5, Pitman 69, 79
Booked: Thompson, Naismith, McGee
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Kennedy, Chaplin

Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Kane, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Smith-Brown (Ricardinho 77); Brannagan; Ledson, Mowatt; Henry (Mehmeti 77); Napa (Rothwell 66), Thomas
Sent off: Mowatt
Booked: Ledson, Dickie, Brannagan
Subs not used: Shearer, Martin, Ashby, Ruffels

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,892 (1,050 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Mar 172018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Oldham Athletic    0

 


 

Portsmouth    2

 


Brett Pitman bagged a brace on his comeback, as Pompey returned to winning ways at Oldham.

The striker headed home the opener before taking advantage of some comical goalkeeping from Johny Placide to double the advantage.

With snow falling throughout the game, there were fears that it might be abandoned when play was stopped during the second half.

But it started up again and the Blues saw out the closing stages with relative ease, claiming a clean sheet to complement their three-point haul.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side beaten at home by Gillingham the previous week.

Pitman returned from a three-game injury absence to skipper the side, while Brandon Haunstrup also started, as Christian Burgess and Sylvain Deslandes dropped to the bench.

The snow had been falling heavily before kick-off, but bright sunshine had taken over as the sides emerged from the tunnel.

It would not be the end of the white stuff, however, with plenty more flurries following throughout the afternoon.

There were not an abundance of chances in the opening stages, although both sides looked to get forward whenever possible.

Anton Walkes’ failure to deal with a Cameron Dummigan delivery caused a few butterflies, but the right-back recovered well to clear the danger.

Placide was also giving the home support reason to be nervous, with the keeper dallying in possession on several occasions.

One instance saw Connor Ronan tackle him, only for the ball to land clear and let the maverick stopper off the hook.

A quick break presented Oldham with their best chance of the half, only for former Fratton loanee Eoin Doyle to stab his shot straight at Luke McGee.

Jamal Lowe soon had an opportunity at the other end, bursting between two defenders and seeing an effort deflected wide.

And they went even closer soon after, with Matt Clarke sending Dion Donohue’s corner into the mixer, where Jack Whatmough’s header was cleared from the line by Wilfried Moimbe.

But the deadlock was broken on 29 minutes, as PITMAN rose to meet Ronan’s cross and send a deft header past Placide and into the net.

Pompey’s skipper was also proving useful at the other end of the pitch, getting back to nod clear a corner.

The hardy travelling support were then given more reason to cheer when the Blues doubled their advantage before the break.

Placide had failed to learn the error of his ways, with PITMAN stealing the ball from his feet and slotting home from an acute angle.


Half Time

Oldham Athletic 0

Portsmouth 2


The Latics were given an opportunity to get back into the contest straight after the restart, when Clarke was booked for a foul on Craig Davies.

Kean Bryan took the free-kick from just outside the Blues box and although his effort went through the wall, it was straight into the arms of McGee.

It was becoming to difficult to spot Pompey’s white-shirted players, as the snow fell more heavily – and began to lay.

There would have been a few worried fans in the Zen Office Stand when referee Sebastian Stockbridge called a halt to proceedings.

“Off, off, off,” cried the Oldham supporters, perhaps in hope more than expectation and – following an eight-minute delay while the lines were cleared – the action resumed.

Doyle then had a couple of shots saved by McGee as the hosts tried to find a route back into the contest.

The second was closest to finding the net, with Pompey’s keeper just about getting his fingertips to it and diverting the ball over.

And McGee also dealt with a low drive from substitute Duckens Nazon, as time started to run out for Oldham.

But the Blues almost wrapped things up on 85 minutes when Pitman teed-up Kal Naismith, only for Placide to put the forward off, with Dummigan hacking the ball clear.

The earlier delay meant 11 minutes of stoppage-time were displayed by fourth official Ken Haycock, giving hope to the home support.

But it was Pompey who almost added to the scoring when Lowe cut inside from the right and drilled a low shot against the inside of the post.

Oldham (4-4-2): Placide; Dummigan, Wilson, Bryan, Moimbe (Nazon 80); Byrne, Fane, Gardner, McLaughlin (McEleney 55); Davies (c) (Amadi-Holloway 59), Doyle
Subs not used: de la Paz, Hunt, Edmundson, Pringle

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close; Lowe, Donohue, Ronan, Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 29, 42
Booked: Clarke, Pitman, Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Deslandes, Widdrington, May, Kennedy, Chaplin

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 4,306 (767 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Mar 102018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Gillingham    3

 


Poor form continues.

It was the proverbial game of two halves at Fratton Park, as Pompey’s poor 2018 form continued with a 3-1 defeat to Gillingham.

They dominated the opening 45 minutes and forged ahead through Jamal Lowe, only for some wasteful finishing to deny them a healthier advantage at the break.

That proved costly, as Conor Wilkinson and Lee Martin – with the latter bagging a brace – both hit the target in impressive fashion to turn the contest on its head.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that were beaten at home by Blackpool a fortnight earlier.

The most noteworthy inclusion was that of Jack Whatmough, who made his first appearance since injuring his knee against Rotherham at the beginning of September.

There were also returns for Kal Naismith – playing alongside Lowe up front – Connor Ronan and Sylvain Deslandes, as Pompey switched to a 3-5-2 system.

Conor Chaplin, Matty Kennedy and Adam May all dropped to the bench, while Oli Hawkins missed out with a hamstring injury.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of Hall of Fame inductee Billy Wilson, who sadly passed away last month.

The Blues might have been on a poor run of form, but it did not show as they set about attacking their visitors in the opening stages.

Ben Close and Naismith both had chances from long-range and while the former’s effort was well off target, the latter’s flashed inches past the post.

And Lowe also missed a great opportunity by nodding Anton Walkes’ delivery over from just a few yards out.

But it was LOWE who broke the deadlock on 19 minutes, lashing the ball into the roof of the net following good work from Dion Donohue and Naismith.

There were cries for a penalty soon after when the ball appeared to hit Max Ehmer’s arm in the box, although referee Carl Boyeson decided the defender was unable to get out of the way.

Lowe should have extended the hosts’ advantage when Walkes’ long pass sent him racing through on goal.

But the forward spent too long getting his shot away, allowing Luke O’Neill to get back and make a timely challenge.

Pompey kept driving forward against a Gills defence who looked nervy, although keeper Tomas Holy was an assured presence between the sticks.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Gillingham 0


Gillingham brought on Wilkinson – who made one substitute appearance for Pompey when on loan from Bolton in 2016 – at the start of the second half.

And the striker made an immediate impact by grabbing the equaliser moments after the restart, beating three men before curling a fine finish past Luke McGee.

That, unsurprisingly, gave the visitors a lift and the Blues were forced to deal with some more pressure.

But they almost restored their lead just before the hour mark when Ronan curled a free-kick against the post.

Pompey were starting to look more of a threat again, only to then fall behind seconds after Brandon Haunstrup had come on to replace Deslandes.

A free-kick had been awarded to Gillingham before the switch and when it was played to Martin, the skipper’s curler somehow evaded everyone and bent into the net.

The hosts tried to fight back and Close’s 25-yard drive was not too far off target, while Donohue was unable to test Holy after being teed-up by Naismith.

Chaplin was brought on for Whatmough on 76 minutes, as Jackett tried to add some attacking vigour to his side.

But instead it was the Gills celebrating another goal – and it was a fantastic long-range strike from Martin that rocketed into the top corner.

Pompey tried to get forward in the closing stages and force a nervy finale, but there was to be no late drama on the south coast.

Pompey (3-5-2): McGee; Whatmough (Chaplin 76), Burgess, Clarke (c); Walkes, Ronan, Close, Donohue, Deslandes (Haunstrup 65); Lowe, Naismith
Goals: Lowe 19
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Widdrington, May, Smith, Kennedy

Gillingham (4-2-3-1): Holy; O’Neill, Ehmer, Zakuani, Reilly; Byrne, Hessenthaler; Wagstaff (List 79), Martin (c) (Nasseri 90+2), Parker; Eaves (Wilkinson 46)
Goals: Wilkinson 48, Martin 66, 80
Subs not used: Hadler, Nugent, Garmston, Moussa

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 18,247 (1,551 away fans)


Feb 242018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Blackpool    2

 


Pompey conceded a goal in each half as they slipped to defeat against Blackpool in a dire contest at Fratton Park.

The visitors were not exactly sparkling, not that there would be much concern from them as they headed back north with three points in the bag.

Sloppy defending cost the Blues once more, with Kyle Vassell and Clark Robertson taking advantage to find the net.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that secured victory at Fleetwood earlier in the week.

That meant Matt Clarke continued to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence, while a fit-again Kal Naismith had to be content with a place on the bench.

The first half was an instantly forgettable affair, with both sides guilty of a lack of quality and a poor range of passing.

It was not without chances, though, and Vassell dragged a shot past the post after Conor Chaplin had lost possession in the centre.

Jamal Lowe whipped in a decent cross at the other end of the pitch, but a diving Oli Hawkins could not quite make a connection.

He did get on the end of another Lowe delivery on 15 minutes, although this time the ball was diverted over.

The striker was left punching the turf after going down injured soon after, but was thankfully able to run it off.

Blackpool then had a chance from a Jay Spearing corner that centre-back Robertson glanced past the post.

Lowe had earlier been booked for kicking the ball away, although Vassell somehow escaped the same punishment for a blatant off-the-ball trip on Christian Burgess.

Hawkins should at least have tested Seasiders keeper Joe Lumley on 31 minutes, only to hook wide when Dion Donohue’s deep free-kick was headed down by Clarke.

Vasell was more clinical just before the interval, however, calmly slotting the ball home after stealing possession from Burgess.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackpool 1


Anyone expecting an increase in entertainment following the interval was in for a disappointment, as the action continued to meander along.

That was no concern for Blackpool, though, who were more than happy to protect their slender lead.

A promising move involving Lowe and Anton Walkes eventually broke down just inside the visitors’ box, while Clarke slid on to deny Jimmy Ryan at the other end.

Jackett made his first switch just before the hour mark, with Kennedy withdrawn for the fresh legs of Connor Ronan.

With things not improving a second change soon followed, as Naismith was brought on for Hawkins, who still appeared to be affected by his earlier knock.

But it soon got worse for the Blues, with Ronan’s clearance only finding Jay Spearing, whose cross from the right was nodded home from close range by an unmarked Robertson.

A late fightback was not really looking on the cards and it might have got worse, with Curtis Tilt only able to head Ryan’s centre straight into Luke McGee’s arms.

Plenty of fans took an opportunity to beat the traffic, with a steady stream heading for the exits as the minutes ticked away.

But they did not miss much, as the only cheers were of the ironic variety when Pompey finally had a late shot on target.

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Donohue; Lowe, May, Close, Kennedy (Ronan 56); Chaplin, Hawkins (Naismith 61)
Booked: Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Deslandes, Smith

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Lumley; Turton, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel (Taylor 90+2); Spearing, Ryan (c); Mellor, Delfouneso, Solomon-Otabor (Philliskirk 68); Vassell (Gnanduillet 83)
Goals: Vassell 41, Robertson 63
Booked: Ryan
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Aimson, D’Almeida, Agyei

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 17,895 (264 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 202018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Fleetwood Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    2

 


Jamal Lowe and Oli Hawkins were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Fleetwood.

They edged a fairly uneventful first half at Highbury Stadium and forged ahead through Lowe’s smart finish.

Hawkins’ close-range effort looked to have wrapped up a comfortable night for the Blues, although a stunning strike from Conor McAleny ensured a nervy finale.

Kenny Jackett made three enforced changes from the side beaten at Southend on Saturday.

Matty Kennedy, Hawkins and Adam May were all recalled, with the injured duo of Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman making way, along with the suspended Nathan Thompson.

Matt Clarke was handed the captain’s armband in Pitman’s absence, while there was a welcome return to the bench for a fit-again Jack Whatmough.

The first half was not one to get the pulses racing, with clear-cut chances at a premium at both ends of the pitch.

There was a shot from Conor Chaplin that took a deflection and looped safely into the arms of Alex Cairns.

Fleetwood then went close at the other end when, following good build-up play from Joe Maguire and Bobby Grant, a drive from Kyle Dempsey flew just past the post.

It was Pompey looking more dangerous, though, and Cairns had to get down to his right to keep out an effort from the impressive May.

And they broke the deadlock on 24 minutes after Ben Close’s strike from the edge of the box had been blocked.

LOWE was on to the loose ball in a flash and showed great composure to curl it past Cairns’ grasp and into the net.

Kennedy then bent a free-kick over the wall after Chaplin had been fouled, but Cairns was equal to this attempt.

The goal had given the Blues a spike in confidence and Dion Donohue’s dangerous low delivery had to be intercepted by Cian Bolger before Chaplin could convert it.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 0

Portsmouth 1


The visitors made a bright start to the second half and Bolger cut out Donohue’s cross with Hawkins ready to pounce.

Then, from the resulting corner, the ball almost flew into the net off a Fleetwood player before it was scrambled clear.

But the Cod Army soon had a chance up the other end, as Ashley Hunter’s daisy-cutter flew inches past the post.

It was the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and Chaplin had a couple of efforts blocked, while a third chance flashed wide.

Hawkins then did well to juggle the ball and get a shot away that narrowly cleared the crossbar in front of the noisy travelling support.

Fleetwood substitute Wes Burns was off target from an acute angle on 65 minutes, while Close also saw an effort fly wide.

It looked like the visitors’ lead was to be doubled soon after when May hit a sweet curling effort from 30 yards.

The ball flew towards goal and clipped the inside of the post, but instead of nestling in the net it bounced back out.

But Pompey did have a second goal on 75 minutes, when Chaplin fed a pass through to Lowe down the right.

The winger’s low cross could only be parried away by Cairns and HAWKINS was there to convert the loose ball from close range.

Fleetwood almost pulled one back immediately, as Hunter rose in the box to meet Burns’ cross and glance a header narrowly wide.

Jackett decided the time was right to bring on some fresh legs, with Chaplin withdrawn for Connor Ronan.

And the Cod Army then saw their spirits raised, courtesy of a thunderous shot from McAleny that flew past Luke McGee and into the top corner.

Hawkins soon had a fierce effort of his own, although the Blues player was not quite able to beat Cairns.

Fleetwood poured forward in search of a late leveller, but the visitors held on to secure a welcome three-point haul.

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Eastham, Pond (c), Bolger; Coyle (Burns 61), Dempsey, Biggins (McAleny 69), Grant, Maguire; Hunter (Sowerby 82), Madden
Goals: McAleny 81
Booked: Hunter, McAleny
Subs not used: Neal, Oliver, Jones, Schwabl

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Donohue; Lowe, May, Close, Kennedy; Chaplin (Ronan 78), Hawkins
Goals: Lowe 24, Hawkins 75
Subs not used: Bass, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Deslandes, Widdrington, Smith

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 2,561 (470 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 172018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Southend United    3

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Pompey suffered a nightmare afternoon in Southend, with injuries and suspensions adding to a 3-1 defeat.

Matt Clarke’s own-goal and a Jason Demetriou strike saw the hosts roar into an early lead at Roots Hall.

Gareth Evans reduced the deficit before the break, only to pick up a knock and have to be withdrawn.

Hopes of a comeback were then dashed in the second half, as Nathan Thompson was sent off before Brett Pitman also limped down the tunnel and Demetriou added a third for the Shrimpers.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten by Blackburn on home soil earlier in the week.

And it looked to be a good decision as the visitors came flying out of the traps in the warm Essex sunshine.

They should have broken the deadlock when Evans fed Conor Chaplin in the box, but the striker could only fire narrowly past the post.

Instead it was Southend who took the lead against the run of play – and thanks to a large slice of fortune – on six minutes.

Anton Walkes was caught in possession by Shayon Harrison and when Clarke tried to nick the ball from him, he could only succeed in burying the ball into the net.

That saw the confidence levels switch, with Southend unsurprisingly lifted and the Blues looking stunned.

The hosts soon capitalised on that by doubling their advantage, as Demetriou collected a pass from Stephen McLaughlin and lashed the ball home.

They almost added a third goal moments later, but Dru Yearwood’s drive flew inches wide of Luke McGee’s post.

It failed to dampen the spirits of the travelling fans packed into the North Stand, who kept backing their side.

But they were not given much reward, as Pompey struggled to find any kind of fluency going forward.

They managed to reduce the deficit on 36 minutes, however, thanks to good work from Jamal Lowe on the right.

He sent in a teasing cross and Pitman was able to turn it back into the centre, where EVANS was waiting to bundle the ball over the line.

Unfortunately, the winger got injured in the process of scoring and limped off to be replaced by Connor Ronan.

There might have been a leveller in stoppage-time, but Pitman could not quite get on the end of another dangerous delivery from Lowe.

It was Southend who had the final say of the first half, though, and Freddie Lapado should have done better than divert a free header straight at McGee.


Half Time

Southend United 2

Portsmouth 1


Chaplin had a speculative strike that only narrowly missed the target just after the action got back underway.

A Southend break then looked concerning for the Blues, only for McLaughlin to over-hit a pass and the danger to subside.

Lowe was looking lively at the other end of the pitch, but was unable to find the net from an acute angle after leaving his marker on the turf.

It was the visitors now looking the more ambitious side, although they were struggling to test Mark Oxley in the Shrimpers goal.

But Pompey’s task was made much tougher when Thompson caught Ben Coker with a late challenge on 64 minutes and was shown a straight red card by referee Lee Probert.

It almost – and really should have – got worse for them, as Harrison glanced Michael Timlin’s cross wide from a few yards out.

More bad news was just around the corner, though, with Pitman limping off to be replaced by Oli Hawkins.

Southend came close to making their numerical advantage count when McGee failed to claim McLaughlin’s cross.

But the keeper redeemed himself with a superb save using his legs from Simon Cox’s ferocious follow-up.

Lowe was looking the biggest threat for the Blues and after twisting his way into space on the right, the winger’s cross somehow evaded everyone as it flew out of play.

Southend wrapped up the points on 84 minutes, however, as Demetriou collected a pass from Yearwood and rolled the ball home.

Southend (4-4-2): Oxley; Demetriou (Bwomono 90+4), Turner, Ferdinand, Coker (c); McLaughlin, Yearwood, Timlin, Harrison; Cox (Wright 87), Ladapo (Fortune 73)
Goals: Clarke 6 (og), Demetriou 12, 84
Subs not used: Bishop, Kyprianou, McGlashan, Robinson

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Evans (Ronan 38), Close, Thompson, Lowe; Chaplin, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 69)
Goals: Evans 36
Sent off: Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, Haunstrup, May, Naismith

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 9,397 (1,920 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 132018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Blackburn Rovers    2

 


Pompey conceded a late goal as high-flying Blackburn left a chilly Fratton Park with all three points.

It looked like Conor Chaplin would be the hero for a second game in succession when he headed the Blues level early in the second half.

Adam Armstrong had earlier scored for Rovers and the same player struck again to deflate a large home crowd.

Lewis Travis saw red for the visitors in stoppage-time, but they held on to boost their automatic promotion hopes.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that dramatically beat MK Dons at the weekend.

Chaplin was rewarded for his stoppage-time winner with a start, along with Jamal Lowe and – returning from suspension – Christian Burgess.

Matty Kennedy, Connor Ronan and Oli Hawkins were the men to make way, with the trio dropping to the bench.

There was an early warning for the hosts when Ben Close lost possession to Jack Payne. He found Bradley Dack, only for Luke McGee to come to the rescue with a smart stop.

Pompey tried to make an impact at the other end and Dion Donohue’s volley was kept out by David Raya, while the keeper then prevented Chaplin’s cross from reaching an unmarked Brett Pitman.

It was the visitors looking more dangerous, though, and when Charlie Mulgrew whipped a free-kick into the box, Paul Downing glanced just wide.

And the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes, as Mulgrew flicked on Richie Smallwood’s cross and Armstrong turned the ball home.

The Blues picked up the pace in the search for an equaliser, with Chaplin and Close both seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.

Ryan Nyambe then made a vital header when Nathan Thompson tried to float a pass to Close in the Rovers box.

Pitman had the hosts’ best chance on 32 minutes, as he wriggled into a shooting position, with Raya getting down to save his angled drive.

Pompey kept plugging away, but Gareth Evans ballooned over when Donohue picked him out in the area.

Pitman also lacked his usual composure by firing wide, while Lowe was then off target with a diving header.

But the Blues finished the half strongly and Raya got down to save when Evans met another dangerous Donohue delivery with a deft flick.

Anton Walkes also had a decent effort in stoppage-time and there were gasps as the ball curled agonisingly past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackburn Rovers 1


The hosts had improved as the first half progressed and found themselves level within five minutes of the restart.

Donohue sent a cross in from the left and Walkes did well to hook it back into the centre, where CHAPLIN was waiting to head home from close range.

They might have had another soon after when Raya came tearing from his box, but failed to collect the ball.

Pitman did gather it and steadied himself on the left side of the area, although he was unable to curl his shot on target.

Raya had collided with team-mate Nyambe in that incident and the defender received warm applause as he was stretched off towards a waiting ambulance.

McGee denied Dack at the other end, but the action had started to lull following a breathless start to the second half.

But Pompey injected life back into proceedings when Donohue’s cross was not properly dealt with and Close’s follow-up was deflected narrowly wide.

There was a sense of urgency at both ends of the pitch as the clock ticked down into the final 15 minutes.

Close did well to get down the right and centre the ball, with it being headed behind before Lowe could take advantage on the back post.

A seemingly innocuous cross from Armstrong then crept narrowly wide, as did Mulgrew’s deep free-kick moments later.

Chaplin was cheered off the pitch when Jackett decided to replace him with Hawkins for the final few minutes.

But the mood soon soured, as Rovers restored their advantage. Darragh Lenihan’s cross ricocheted off Matt Clarke and fell kindly for Armstrong to lash in his second of the night.

Hopes were raised by the display of seven additional minutes, while Travis’ red card for a late challenge on Thompson provided more cause for optimism.

Pompey threw men forward in a desperate search for another equaliser, but Blackburn held on to secure the spoils.

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Evans, Thompson, Close, Lowe (Kennedy 90+2); Chaplin (Hawkins 85), Pitman (c)
Goals: Chaplin 50
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, May, Ronan, Naismith

Blackburn (4-2-3-1): Raya; Nyambe (Lenihan 56), Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Bennett, Smallwood; Payne (Travis 56), Dack, Armstrong; Samuel (Graham 82)
Goals: Armstrong 21, 87
Sent off: Travis
Booked: Dack
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Bell, Evans, Conway

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 18,152 (884 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 102018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Leyton Orient    1

 


 

Portsmouth    2

 


Conor Chaplin struck deep into stoppage-time as Pompey battled from behind to secure a dramatic victory at MK Dons.

Matt Clarke had already grabbed a late equaliser on his 100th appearance to cancel out Ike Ugbo’s opener.

Luke McGee also made several fine saves, while Brett Pitman and Oli Hawkins both went close as it seemed as though the Blues were heading for defeat.

But Clarke’s header lifted a large travelling army and substitute Chaplin sent them delirious at the death.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Doncaster on home soil the previous week.

Both were enforced, with the injured Stephen Henderson and suspended Christian Burgess making way for McGee and skipper Pitman.

It meant that striker Hawkins was once again forced into the central defensive role, where he has featured on many occasions this term.

Burgess was present at Stadium MK, however, sat with team-mate Stuart O’Keefe among the 6,257 away supporters.

The first half was an open affair, with the contest quickly switching from one end to the other, although it was the visitors who had more of the ball in the early stages.

Connor Ronan’s curling effort drew a save from Lee Nicholls, while the keeper also punched clear Matty Kennedy’s cross under pressure from Pitman.

Peter Pawlett’s drive was pushed away by McGee at the other end, but the first clear opportunity fell to Kieran Agard on 12 minutes.

The striker was slipped through on goal by Ed Upson, but was unable to keep his composure and shot wide of the post.

Pompey then threatened themselves when Gareth Evans picked up a loose ball and hit a fierce effort that Nicholls was just about able to parry behind.

Dion Donohue was next to force the stopper into action with a low drilled attempt after cutting along the edge of the box.

But it was MK Dons who broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, even if Ugbo almost managed to miss a simple chance.

Josh Tymon did well down the left and centred for Agard, who saw his effort saved at point-blank range by McGee.

Ugbo was left with an empty goal to fire into, however, and his shot clipped the inside of the post before nestling in the net.

Pompey tried to hit back and Kennedy’s sighter flew wide before a better effort from Ben Close swerved inches over the bar.

A brilliant effort from Pitman almost drew them level, only for a back-pedalling Nicholls to tip over the striker’s lob.

But the Blues might have found themselves further behind at the break, as McGee first saved Callum Brittain’s shot and then kept out a thumping Scott Wootton header from the resulting corner.


Half Time

MK Dons 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double substitution at the start of the second half, with Kennedy and Ronan withdrawn for Jamal Lowe and Chaplin.

Pitman thought he should have won a penalty when he went to ground under pressure from Dean Lewington, but referee John Brooks was not interested.

Chaplin then cut the ball back for Evans, who hit his shot cleanly enough, but the ball flew straight at a grateful Nicholls.

But the Blues were again indebted to McGee for a couple more fine pieces of goalkeeping around the hour mark.

Firstly, he used his feet to deny Ugbo and then, from the resulting corner, somehow managed to athletically tip over Upson’s header.

Again the action switched back down the other end and Pitman went it alone, bundling his way into a shooting position, only for a well-placed Wootton to hack the ball from the line.

The ball then fell for Lowe inside the area, but it bounced up at an awkward angle and forced the winger to fire over.

Pompey were struggling to break down their stubborn hosts, although they came close to levelling when Hawkins headed Donohue’s corner against the post.

Close then did well to steal possession and although his pass was too heavy for Pitman, the skipper managed to win a corner.

And it was from that set-piece that the Blues levelled on 84 minutes, as Evans played the ball to Donohue and his cross was headed home by CLARKE.

The visitors then survived a scare at the other end, as Upson’s free-kick somehow evaded everyone and flashed just past the post.

But it was the Blues who grabbed a last-gasp winner when Donohue’s cross deflected into CHAPLIN’s path and the striker swept the ball into the net.

MK Dons (3-5-1-1): Nicholls; Williams, Wootton, Lewington (c); Brittain, Pawlett (McGrandles 58), Upson, Cisse (Ebanks-Landell 80), Tymon; Ugbo; Agard
Goals: Ugbo 21
Booked: Tymon
Subs not used: Sietsma, Nesbitt, Rasulo, Muirhead, Thomas-Asante

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Walkes, Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson, Close; Evans, Ronan (Chaplin 46), Kennedy (Lowe 46); Pitman (c)
Goals: Clarke 84, Chaplin 90+3
Booked: Clarke, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, Widdrington, May, Naismith

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 14,762 (6,257 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 032018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Doncaster Rovers    2

 


Pompey twice battled from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Doncaster in an eventful contest at Fratton Park.

They recovered from a disastrous start that saw James Coppinger score and Anton Walkes grabbed a deserved equaliser.

The hosts dominated from that point on, only for John Marquis to leave them trailing once more after the break.

But Brett Pitman came off the bench to level and the Blues saw out a nervy conclusion that saw Kal Naismith go in goal following an injury to Stephen Henderson, before Christian Burgess was sent off.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side narrowly beaten at home by Shrewsbury the previous week.

New signings Henderson and Walkes were both handed debuts, with there were also starts for Matty Kennedy and Connor Ronan.

That meant Luke McGee, Jamal Lowe and Naismith all dropped to the bench, while Adam May was serving a suspension.

But Henderson’s first job was to pick the ball out of his own net, as – for the second time this season against Doncaster – Pompey made a terrible start.

Walkes blocked Alfie Beestin’s path to goal, but Coppinger picked up the loose ball and managed to force the ball home.

It might have got even worse for the hosts, as they struggled to keep hold of the ball in the opening stages.

The evergreen Coppinger was proving a nuisance and one shot was dealt with by Henderson, while another was deflected just past the post.

Rovers did have the ball in the net again on 16 minutes when former Fratton loanee Marquis stooped to convert Coppinger’s cross, but their celebrations were cut short by the linesman’s flag.

Pompey suddenly found their feet, though, and proceeded to dominate the remainder of the first half.

Burgess was not quite able to take advantage when Ben Close’s free-kick was helped on, first by Matt Clarke and then Oli Hawkins.

But a leveller did arrive on 19 minutes and it was WALKES who was able to celebrate a goal on his Blues bow.

A corner was sent into the box by skipper Gareth Evans and that led to a scramble in the visitors’ box.

Clarke and Walkes both tried to stab home the loose ball, although it was the latter who got the vital touch before wheeling away to celebrate.

Pompey did not stop there, though, and a shot from Evans was deflected behind, while Tyler Garratt did well to beat Hawkins to Kennedy’s cross.

Ian Lawlor then made a stunning save to keep out Clarke’s header from point-blank range when the centre-back met Dion Donohue’s excellent corner.

There were plenty more dangerous deliveries into the Doncaster box – particularly from Kennedy – although the visitors were defending firm.

But there was late drama at the other end just before the break, as a late challenge from Donohue led to a melee.

Referee Graham Salisbury calmed things down, though, showing yellow cards to the initial perpetrator, as well as Burgess and Marquis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Doncaster Rovers 1


It was still the hosts on top once the action restarted, although clear-cut opportunities were at a premium.

Hawkins met a low cross from Kennedy, only for a well-placed Andy Boyle to make a vital block in the Doncaster box.

Pompey almost took the lead just before the hour mark, though, as Ronan sent Close through on goal, only for Lawlor to tear from his line and make another fine save.

Jackett soon made his first change of the afternoon, as Hawkins was withdrawn for top scorer Pitman.

But the Blues then undid all their good work by leaving Marquis in acres of space to head home Coppinger’s corner and restore Rovers’ advantage.

The hosts tried to battle back, but some wayward crossing was undoing their progress into promising areas.

A double substitution was made to reinvigorate Pompey on 72 minutes, with Kennedy and Evans withdrawn for Naismith and Lowe.

Naismith almost levelled when he tried to sneak a long-range shot inside Lawlor’s near post, only for the keeper to get down and save.

But Pompey did find another equaliser from Donohue’s resulting corner, as PITMAN managed to bundle the ball over the line.

Delight turned to concern soon after, though, as Henderson went down off the ball and – clearly distraught – had to limp off.

Jackett had already made all three of his allowed changes, meaning Naismith had to don the gloves for the closing stages.

The challenge became even harder early in the seven minutes of stoppage-time, when Burgess handled and was shown a second booking to leave the Blues with nine men.

Naismith came to the rescue, though, making a key save with his feet to deny Ben Whiteman and ensure Pompey secured a point.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Henderson; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson, Close; Evans (c) (Lowe 72), Ronan, Kennedy (Naismith 72); Hawkins (Pitman 59)
Goals: Walkes 19, Pitman 81
Sent off: Burgess (two yellow cards)
Booked: Donohue
Subs not used: McGee, Deslandes, Widdrington, Chaplin

Doncaster (4-1-2-1-2): Lawlor; Blair, Anderson, Boyle, Garratt (McCullough 59); Houghton; Whiteman, Rowe; Coppinger (c) (Kongolo 73); Beestin (Kiwomya 59), Marquis
Goals: Coppinger 4, Marquis 63
Booked: Marquis, Anderson
Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Mason, May

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 17,364 (366 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 272018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Shrewsbury Town    1

 


Pompey’s barren start to 2018 continued as they suffered a narrow defeat to high-flying Shrewsbury at a damp Fratton Park.

James Bolton was left in space to score the only goal of the game midway through a first half that failed to sparkle.

But there was plenty of controversy before the break, with two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.

The Blues looked more inventive following the interval, but keeper Craig MacGillivray and the woodwork came to the Shrews’ rescue.

Adam May’s late dismissal for a second bookable offence only served to compound the hosts’ misery.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a dramatic defeat at Rotherham the previous week.

Gareth Evans returned from injury to skipper the side, while there were also recalls for May and Oli Hawkins.

Regular captain Brett Pitman dropped to the bench, along with Sylvain Deslandes and Matty Kennedy.

Pompey were guilty of some sloppy play before the break, although the wet conditions were undoubtedly making life tough for both sides.

But they dominated possession throughout the first half and Hawkins could not quite connect with Evans’ cross after leaping in the box.

May then received the game’s first booking for a late challenge on Shaun Whalley as the contest continued to meander.

And the goal that gave Shrewsbury the lead was indicative of what had come before, as the Blues failed to deal with a corner and Bolton took advantage at the far post.

There might have been a second when Luke McGee lost out in a race for the ball with Abu Ogogo, but Ben Close was on hand to clear the danger.

But the hosts were soon back on the attack and when Close’s free-kick was only partially cleared, Donohue’s follow-up volley was deflected wide.

Pompey were even closer to a leveller on 31 minutes, as Hawkins met Evans’ delivery, only for MacGillivray to make a superb save.

There was controversy either side of that, however, as the hosts were controversially denied a penalty on two occasions.

Referee David Coote had a clear view of Christian Burgess’ shirt being tugged as he tried to attack a corner, but opted to do nothing.

The official then failed to spot Whalley’s handball in the box, much to the fury of the home side, who rushed to complain, earning Evans a booking.

The Blues had to put that to the back of their minds and Hawkins almost capitalised when the Shrews defence failed to deal with May’s pass.

Evans also had a shot blocked by Omar Beckles and another effort that went over, as the hosts went in behind at the break.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Shrewsbury Town 1


Former Fratton favourite Ricardo Rocha – who made almost 100 appearances for the club – was introduced to the crowd during the interval.

That provided a lift, but the supporters were soon up in arms again when Coote missed another handball, although at least this one was not in the box.

Pompey were still struggling to find any fluidity and Jackett soon made a switch, replacing Jamal Lowe with Pitman.

That certainly provided the required spark, as the hosts soon began to take control and had a series of chances to draw level.

Toto Nsiala was well-placed in the box to keep out Evans’ shot and when the skipper delivered the ball back into the box, Pitman’s guided header was saved by MacGillivray.

Matt Clarke then saw an opening from the resulting corner, but could not force the ball through a sea of orange shirts.

And MacGillivray came to Shrewsbury’s rescue once again when he dived to his right to expertly keep out Kal Naismith’s 30-yard drive.

But the chances began to dry up again and so Naismith was withdrawn on 70 minutes for the fresh legs of Connor Ronan.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and McGee managed to claw away Carlton Morris’ header at point-blank range.

Whalley then arrowed an angled drive narrowly past the post after Shrewsbury had countered quickly.

Time was rapidly running out for the hosts, but they almost found an equaliser on 84 minutes.

Ronan’s looping header was volleyed towards goal by Pitman and a deflection took the ball onto the crossbar.

And there was more controversy late on when the ball bounced up and hit the arm of Beckles, only for Coote to remain unmoved.

But there was still time for the afternoon to get even worse for the hosts, as May’s foul on Stefan Payne saw him receive a second yellow card and subsequent red.

Pitman almost rescued an unlikely point deep into stoppage-time, however, with an angled shot rolling agonisingly past the post.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; May, Close; Evans (c), Naismith (Ronan 70), Lowe (Pitman 55); Hawkins
Sent off: May (two yellow cards)
Booked: Evans, Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, Bennett, Kennedy, Chaplin

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (John-Lewis 90+2), Nolan, Ogogo (c), Rodman; C.Morris (Payne 83)
Goals: Bolton 21
Booked: C.Morris, Rodman, Payne
Subs not used: Rowley, Hendrie, Lowe, B.Morris, Gnahoua

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 17,779 (498 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 202018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Rotherham United    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey were cruelly denied a point at Rotherham after conceding a goal in stoppage-time.

It looked like they had done enough to secure a draw after surviving plenty of second half pressure.

But two of their former players combined for the Millers’ late winner, with Michael Smith teeing-up Joe Mattock for a headed finish.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Scunthorpe on home soil the previous week.

Sylvain Deslandes was handed a debut at left-back, while Matty Kennedy also returned, as Oli Hawkins and Connor Ronan dropped to the bench.

Jackett was facing the club where he had a short spell as manager last term, while former Blues boss Richie Barker was in the opposition dug-out.

The ball was a regular visitor to both ends of the pitch in the early stages, although a lack of quality in the final third meant a goal did not appear likely.

Dion Donohue – in a natural midfield role – made a block to deny Will Vaulks, while Kal Naismith sent a volley wildly over the bar after meeting Kennedy’s cross.

A fierce effort from Jamal Lowe was on target, although it was straight at Marek Rodak and the Millers keeper made a comfortable save.

Pompey did look bright following a quick break up the pitch on 13 minutes, as Deslandes collected the ball from Ben Close on the overlap, only for his cross to be just too high for Naismith.

And a Donohue free-kick that was flighted into the box somehow evaded both Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke as the defensive duo dashed in at the far post.

Both sides then had decent chances to break the deadlock in the space of a few minutes – with the Blues first to threaten.

Lowe chipped a pass up to Brett Pitman and the skipper tried to deftly flick the ball home, but he did not get enough on his header and it flew safely into Rodak’s arms.

David Ball soon had a dig for Rotherham at the other end, with his curling effort taking a slight deflection and sailing narrowly over the bar.

There were certainly not too many clear-cut attempts, though, with the home fans growing frustrated by some wasteful finishing.

Donohue had one last effort before the break and although his drive took a deflection off Vaulks, it was not enough to deceive Rodak.


Half Time

Rotherham United 0

Portsmouth 0


The first half had drifted towards a conclusion, but Rotherham came charging from the blocks at the start of the second.

First, Luke McGee had to leap on the ball when Ryan Williams’ delivery was turned back into the centre by Richie Towell.

A series of corners then caused chaos in the Blues box, with the Millers going closest to scoring from the first of them.

Richard Wood’s header was blocked in a crowded box and Nathan Thompson then charged down Vaulks’ follow-up effort.

Another flag-kick was soon sent back into the danger zone, though, and this time an unmarked Wood skewed wide.

But Pompey then had an opportunity of their own, with a commanding Rodak punch preventing Naismith from converting Lowe’s cross.

Jackett made a double switch on 66 minutes, with Pitman and Deslandes withdrawn for Hawkins and Ronan.

Smith soon worked his way into the Blues box, but Burgess was there to make a block and deny his former team-mate.

Corners were certainly proving a problem for Pompey and when one was met by Smith, the ball pinged around the area before eventually being hacked to safety.

Another soon followed and it was Thompson to the rescue once more, with the defender throwing himself in front of Semi Ajayi’s effort.

Rotherham applied more pressure as the seconds ticked down, but the visitors were holding firm at the back.

They might have even snatched victory late on when the ball fell to Lowe on the edge of the box, but his effort flew over.

Instead it was the Millers celebrating a late goal, as Smith crossed from the right and Mattock rose to head home at the far post.

Rotherham (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood (c), Mattock; Forde (Taylor 83), Vaulks; Towell, Yates (Smith 65), Williams (Newell 65); Ball
Goals: Mattock 90+1
Booked: Emmanuel
Subs not used: Price, Ihiekwe, Cummings, Clarke-Harris

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Deslandes (Ronan 66); Close, Donohue; Lowe, Naismith, Kennedy; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 66)
Subs not used: Bass, Widdrington, May, Bennett, Chaplin

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 9,129 (1,471 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 132018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Scunthorpe United    1

 


Jamal Lowe celebrated his new contract with a goal, but Pompey had to settle for a 1-1 draw with play-off rivals Scunthorpe at Fratton Park.

Both sides looked bright before the break, although it was the hosts who led thanks to some inventive play from Lowe.

The Iron were more dominant in the second half, however, and Kevin van Veen grabbed a deserved leveller.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that exited the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

Top scorer Brett Pitman returned to lead the line, partnered by a fit-again Kal Naismith, who was making his first start for seven weeks.

There was also a system switch, with Oli Hawkins joining Matt Clarke and Christian Burgess in a three-man back-line.

That meant Nathan Thompson advanced into the centre of midfield, where he was joined by Ben Close and recent loan signing Connor Ronan.

Pompey took time to get used to the change in formation and looked a bit shaky at the back in the early stages.

Their opponents almost took advantage, with Luke McGee doing well to deny Tom Hopper and Lowe taking care of the loose ball.

But the hosts were lively at the other end and Ronan was especially bright as he attempted to thread passes through to the front two.

It was LOWE who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, though, stealing the ball off the foot of Josh Morris and finding the net from a tight angle with a shot that went in off the post.

The Iron were now shaky at the back and it took some desperate blocks to deny both Pitman and Naismith.

And the lead was almost doubled following a fine passing move involving more than half the side, with Pitman drilling a low effort narrowly past the post.

Scunthorpe were providing an attacking threat of their own, although McGee watched Funso Ojo’s attempt sail safely wide.

Their best opportunity to level came when Murray Wallace let fly from outside the box, but McGee was equal to the shot and punched the ball over the bar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Scunthorpe United 0


And the Iron also had a great chance just after the restart when Hopper cut the ball back for van Veen in the box.

The striker found himself in far too much space, only for Clarke to make a great recovery challenge to deny the visitors.

But there was nothing that Pompey could do to prevent Scunthorpe from drawing level on 53 minutes.

Hopper got free down the left and picked out van Veen in the box, with the Dutchman swivelling and firing home an unstoppable shot.

And it almost got even worse for the Blues, with McGee having to make a fine reaction save from point-blank range to deny Morris.

Pompey tried to make an impression at the other end and Charlie Goode’s slip let in Naismith, only for the defender to recover and make a key block.

Jackett made a double change to try to steady the ship, with Ronan and Dion Donohue making way for Matty Kennedy and Adam May.

That resulted in a change of system to 4-1-4-1, with Naismith and Kennedy out wide and Pitman playing as a lone striker.

And Naismith had a chance to score when Scunthorpe failed to deal with a corner, but saw his angled drive gathered by Rory Watson at the second attempt.

That proved to be the end of the chances, as the final few moments passed by with little goalmouth incident to provide any late drama.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): McGee; Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Lowe, Close, Thompson, Donohue (May 71); Ronan (Kennedy 71); Pitman (c), Naismith
Goals: Lowe 15
Booked: Clarke, Hawkins
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, Deslandes, Bennett, Chaplin

Scunthorpe (3-4-1-2): Watson; Goode, Burgess, Wallace (c); Holmes, Bishop, Ojo, Morris; Adelakun; van Veen, Hopper (Novak 84)
Goals: van Veen 53
Booked: Bishop, Adelakun
Subs not used: Kelsey, McArdle, Townsend, Sutton, McGeehan, Toney

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,741 (386 away fans)


Portsmouth FC