Match Report

Sep 032016
 

League One

3 – 0


Blues good run continues

Pompey eased to a third successive league win, courtesy of three first half goals against a hapless Crawley side at Fratton Park.

The damage was done inside the first 12 minutes, with Curtis Main breaking the deadlock before Gary Roberts continued his prolific scoring spell.

It was Main who added a third goal before the break, allowing the Blues to comfortably see out the second half and claim their three points.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side that won at Exeter in the last league outing.

Drew Talbot was suffering from a hamstring injury and with Adam Buxton and Calvin Davies also sidelined, Gareth Evans had to deputise at right-back.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Pompey Ladies president Dave Coyle, who sadly passed away recently.

The hosts immediately launched into an energetic attacking display, looking to get forward at every opportunity and play with a high tempo.

Roberts tried to take advantage of some uncertain defending by chasing down a poor back-pass in the opening seconds, but Crawley keeper Yusuf Mersin just about beat him to the ball.

The Red Devils then had their best chance of the half, only for James Collins to hit his shot into the ground and watch it fly wide.

Most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch, however, and Michael Doyle was not quite able to dig the ball from out of his feet and test Mersin.

But the deadlock was broken on eight minutes, as MAIN opened his Fratton Park account.

Enda Stevens latched onto a pass down the left and then cut the ball back for the striker to lash into the roof of the net.

That certainly got the home fans off their seats and they were in dreamland moments later when the Blues doubled their advantage.

And it was no surprise who scored it either, with Danny Rose stealing possession from Alex Davey and ROBERTS picking up the loose ball to rifle home his fourth goal in three games.

Pompey refused to sit back and protect their lead, though, as they set about trying to find a third.

Mark Connolly was clever enough to spot Roberts’ cute pass through to Main and make a vital interception.

Roberts tried to pick out the striker again soon after, only this time Davey rose highest to clear the danger.

MAIN did add a third goal before the interval, however, being in the right place to convert from close range after Mersin could only parry away a deflected effort from Milan Lalkovic.

There was still time for Crawley to launch a rare attack, but, under pressure from Christian Burgess, Jason Banton could only fire wide.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Crawley 0


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was a more sedate pace at the start of the second half, although Carl Baker wasted a good opening by dragging his shot wide.

Main then had a chance to seal his hat-trick, but spun and fired wide after Roberts’ neat flick had released Evans down the right.

Cook made his first switch just past the hour mark, with Main receiving warm applause as he made way for Conor Chaplin.

Crawley had a chance at the other end when Tom Davies was booked for a foul on Banton, with Burgess sticking out a leg to clear Jimmy Smith’s free-kick.

There was a definite sense of the game winding down as the heavens opened and heavy rain began to fall.

That might have contributed to a spot of sloppy defending from the hosts, who survived through some last-gasp defending before Smith’s shot was saved by David Forde.

Roberts was then given a deserved rest and replaced by Kal Naismith for his first home appearance of the season.

The final switch saw Michael Smith come on for the lively Lalkovic and he almost netted in stoppage-time following a quick break, but hit his shot agonisingly past the post.

It mattered little, however, as Pompey had, in truth, wrapped the game up by half-time to seal yet another league triumph.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 72), Lalkovic (Smith 82); Main (Chaplin 65)
Goals: Main 9, 37, Roberts 12
Booked: Main, T.Davies
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Hunt

Crawley (4-2-3-1): Mersin; Young, Connolly, Davey, Blackman (Arthur 52); Smith (c), Yorwerth (Payne 52); Boldewijn, Banton, Yussuf (Bawling 68); Collins
Booked: Blackman
Subs not used: Beeney, McNerney, Clifford, Tajbakhsh

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 16,347 (435 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 302016
 
EFL Trophy
Yeovil Town 4 – 3 Portsmouth

 

EFL Trophy fails to excite

A new-look Pompey side suffered defeat in their first Checkatrade Trophy group stage match at a sparsely-populated Huish Park.

In a game that was full of attacking verve, but short on defensive solidity, it was Yeovil who emerged with all three points.

That is despite an impressive hat-trick from Michael Smith, who looked full of confidence leading the line for the Blues.

But a brace from Thomas Eaves, as well as goals from Bevis Mugabi and Izale McLeod, ensured the treble counted for little.

Paul Cook changed the entire side that started the league victory at Exeter at the weekend.

Liam O’Brien was handed his debut between the sticks, while there was a first appearance for Matt Clarke since he made a permanent Blues switch.

But the keeper was almost picking the ball out of his net before the first minute had passed, with McLeod bursting through on goal and firing against the post.

The former Pompey striker had another opportunity soon after and this time fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

It was the Blues who broke the deadlock after eight minutes, however, when the impressive Kal Naismith whipped in a pin-point cross from the left and SMITH rose to convert with a bullet header.

But the lead was short-lived, as Yeovil won a free-kick 35 yards out and Matthew Dolan’s shot was diverted in by Mugabi.

McLeod then had the ball in the back of O’Brien’s net again, although the linesman had long since raised his flag for offside.

It certainly counted just seconds later, though, when Eaves neatly controlled a ball over the top and calmly slotted home.

Pompey were still looking a real threat going forward, but both Gareth Evans and Smith failed to trouble Glovers keeper Jonathan Maddison with headers.

It was a different story at the back, however, as a defence containing three midfielders and someone making their first appearance of the season unsurprisingly struggled.

And McLeod made the most of that by netting against his old side on 27 minutes, playing a neat one-two with Otis Khan before lifting the ball over O’Brien.

Still the goals kept coming and this time it was Pompey who found the target thanks to a fine goal.

Naismith picked out SMITH in the box and the striker brought the ball under control before turning and firing into the bottom corner.

But no sooner had the Blues got themselves back into the game, they conceded a fourth, with Eaves allowed far too much time to burst forward and find the net.

Half Time: Yeovil 4 Pompey 2

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The start to the second half was not quite as explosive as the first, although Eaves fired over in his search for a hat-trick.

Evans then collected Ben Tollitt’s low cross at the other end, but was not given the time or space to get a decent shot away.

Eaves may have been denied his treble, but SMITH made sure of the matchball when he rose at the back post to head home a deep cross from Adam May.

Pompey immediately made their first substitution, with Tollitt making way and Conor Chaplin looking to join in the goal spree.

One quick break saw him cynically tugged back by Liam Shephard, earning the Yeovil defender a yellow card.

He then surged forward to join Evans in a counter-attack, only to be forced wide and then curl his eventual shot over.

It was Smith who almost drew the Blues level with his fourth of the evening on 72 minutes, but he could not quite get the ball from under his feet and fired narrowly over.

That was his last involvement, as he was withdrawn for Noel Hunt, receiving warm applause from the small pocket of travelling fans.

There was then a late moment of controversy when Amine Linganzi diverted a corner towards the goal.

Maddison was able to smother the ball, but Pompey were adamant it had crossed the line, only for their appeals to fall on deaf ears.

The visitors kept up their attacking intent as they went in search of a leveller, but Yeovil held on for the victory.

Yeovil (4-1-4-1): Maddison; Shephard, Mugabi, Smith (c), Butcher; Lawless; Khan (Copp 89), Whitfield (Lea 75), Dolan, Eaves; McLeod
Goals: Mugabi 13, Eaves 22, 39, McLeod 27
Booked: Shephard, Khan
Subs not used: Krysiak, Sowunmi, Bassett

Pompey (4-2-3-1): O’Brien; May, Barton, Clarke (T.Davies 61), Naismith; Close, Linganzi; Evans, Bennett (c), Tollitt (Chaplin 55); Smith (Hunt 73)
Goals: Smith 10, 37, 54
Booked: Barton, Close
Sub not used: Hall

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 1,534 (270 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 272016
 
League 2
Exeter City 0 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Roberts the penalty hero

Gary Roberts fired home a late penalty as Pompey won at Exeter to secure a second successive victory.

They had seen plenty of the ball without carving out too many clear-cut openings, but a third goal in two games from Roberts was enough to settle the contest.

Exeter poured forward in search of a leveller and the Blues were forced to hold on to claim a maximum haul in Devon.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that beat Colchester the previous week.

Milan Lalkovic replaced Kyle Bennett wide on the left, while Adam Barton dropped to the bench to make way for Tom Davies in the centre of defence.

The game started at a frantic pace, with both sides looking to get forward whenever possible.

There was a scary moment for the visitors when David Forde failed to hold Lloyd James’ free-kick, but referee Gavin Ward spotted a push on the keeper.

Pompey soon settled, though, and began to assert themselves on the Grecians, with a slip from 15-year-old defender Ethan Ampadu almost letting in Curtis Main.

Roberts then found space to burst forward, but he dragged his shot wide of the post to let Exeter off the hook.

Enda Stevens was sending in some decent crosses from the left and one was brilliantly held by keeper Bobby Olejnik, with Roberts waiting to pounce at the far post.

The Blues were beginning to dominate proceedings without really carving out anything clear-cut and when space opened up for Main, the striker drilled straight into Olejnik’s arms.

It was a similar story when Carl Baker cut inside from the right and then fired a shot into the side netting.

But one fine move almost resulted in an opener on 18 minutes, starting with Stevens nutmegging Jake Taylor down the left.

Lalkovic picked the ball up out wide and his low cross was met by Main, only for a sweeping effort to be blocked by Troy Brown.

There was another golden opportunity midway through the first half when Roberts delivered a superb free-kick, only for Christian Burgess to glance it wide.

Danny Rose was given the chance to break forward at regular intervals and his fierce long-range strike appeared to be heading for the net until Brown bravely got his face in the way.

Exeter had offered little at the other end of the pitch, but did carve open one good chance before the break.

Connor Riley-Lowe’s cross was helped on by Joel Grant, with Forde doing well to deny Liam McAlinden from close range.

It was Pompey who had the final say, however, as Rose shot narrowly over before Roberts – at full stretch – was unable to convert Stevens’ ball with a diving header.

Half Time: Exeter 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The second half was slow to get going, but it was the Blues who carved out the first decent opening on 56 minutes.

A quickly-taken free-kick found its way to Lalkovic on the left and his pin-point delivery was headed narrowly wide by Main.

Michael Doyle then fed the ball to Main on the edge of the box, only for an excellent Ampadu block to deny the striker.

Pompey made their first switch just past the hour mark and it was a popular one with the travelling support as Conor Chaplin replaced Baker.

The teenager made an immediate impact, as he latched onto Roberts’ pass, beat Ampadu and saw a curling shot deflected narrowly past the post.

It was Exeter who came close to celebrating a goal on 68 minutes, however, following a quick break up the pitch.

Ollie Watkins did well to pick out Grant inside the box and Burgess was forced to divert the ball behind for a corner.

The Blues then made their final two changes, with Main and Lalkovic making way for Noel Hunt and Kal Naismith.

The former almost improvised a goal just moments after entering the fray, using his body to turn Chaplin’s shot on target, but seeing the effort blocked.

And Naismith was then just about able to reach Roberts’ corner and send the ball back into the mix, but it was just out of reach for Chaplin to get a shot away.

But the pressure finally produced a goal on 85 minutes and it was Naismith who created it.

The substitute latched onto a long Burgess pass forward and charged into the box, only to be brought down by Pierce Sweeney.

Ward immediately pointed to the spot and ROBERTS stepped up to slam the ball straight down the middle, with James and Sweeney both booked for complaining about the decision.

But Sweeney almost made amends at the other end of the pitch, with a deflection taking the power out of his shot and allowing Forde to save.

The keeper then made another key stop to deny Watkins in stoppage-time, while Doyle kept out an effort from the same player with a brilliant block as Pompey held on to claim all three points.

Exeter (3-4-3): Olejnik; Sweeney, Brown, Ampadu (Oakley 76); Taylor, James (c), Tillson (Grant 21), Riley-Lowe; Watkins, McAlinden (Simpson 57), Harley
Booked: Harley, James, Sweeney, Riley-Lowe
Subs not used: Pym, Egan, Byrne, Jay

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Chaplin 64), Roberts, Lalkovic (Naismith 74); Main (Hunt 74)
Goals: Roberts 85 (pen)
Subs not used: O’Brien, Barton, Linganzi, Evans

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 4,512 (1,215 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 202016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Colchester United

 

Roberts brace secures victory

Pompey collected their first victory of the season thanks to a late Gary Roberts brace against Colchester.

The visitors did not offer much in attack, but looked like they might be leaving the south coast with a point after frustrating the Blues.

Roberts won and scored a penalty to relieve the tension, however, and then grabbed a second moments later to secure all three points.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that were beaten at Morecambe earlier in the week.

That came up front, where Michael Smith missed out completely and was replaced by Curtis Main.

The blustery conditions made things difficult for both sides early on, with several passes going astray.

But it was the Blues who settled the quickest and carved out the majority of the chances before the break.

The first of those arrived after six minutes when Roberts swung in a cross that Main flicked narrowly past the post.

Kyle Bennett then played a neat one-two with Roberts down the left, only to see his low delivery cleared by Doug Loft.

Pompey were dominating possession without really troubling United keeper Sam Walker and Carl Baker headed wide after being found in the box.

The hosts were winning plenty of corners, however, and one from Bennett caused a scramble in the box before eventually being hacked clear.

Despite being penned back in their own half, Colchester looked dangerous on the break, although David Forde was not exactly being overworked.

It was the Blues still doing most of the attacking, however, and they started to put more pressure on the opposition back-line as the break drew closer.

Their best chance came on 40 minutes and it was Roberts who once again started the move.

He cut the ball back for Main, but Walker made a fine save to keep out the striker’s shot and then used his feet to stop Danny Rose from converting the loose ball.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Colchester 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey started the second half on the front foot and, with Main waiting to pounce, Walker had to quickly recover after fumbling Baker’s shot.

The keeper looked more assured moments later, however, when he gathered a Roberts cross-shot at his near post.

But the chances began to dry up and Cook attempted to inject some fresh impetus into proceedings with a double switch.

The crowd had been calling for Conor Chaplin and he was brought on alongside Noel Hunt, with Bennett and Main making way.

Walker immediately came for – and missed – a Roberts corner, but got away with it as there was no-one at the far post to capitalise.

Forde might have been a virtual spectator, but he had not let his concentration slip and made a key save on 70 minutes to deny Craig Slater.

Chaplin did well soon after, beating his man and chipping the ball up to the far post, where it was just out of reach for a stretching Baker.

But the Blues did finally break the deadlock on 80 minutes, thanks to a penalty that was won and converted by ROBERTS.

He was clearly tripped inside the box by Drey Wright before stepping up and sliding the ball straight down the middle.

And the Fratton faithful were soon celebrating a second goal when ROBERTS raced onto a fine pass from Chaplin.

He just about beat the onrushing Walker to the ball, which looped up and landed in the net to double the Blues’ advantage.

Colchester tried to find a route back into the game, but Forde made a decent double save to deny Chris Porter and Doug Loft late on and preserve the clean sheet.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Burgess, Barton, Stevens; Rose (Linganzi 86), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Hunt 62); Main (Chaplin 62)
Goals: Roberts 80 (pen), 84
Booked: Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Evans, Lalkovic

Colchester (4-2-3-1): Walker; Brindley, Eastman, Prosser (c), Kinsella; Lapslie, Loft; Guthrie (Wright 59), Slater (Bonne 82), Dickenson; Johnstone (Porter 71)
Booked: Guthrie, Kinsella
Subs not used: Bransgrove, Wynter, Vincent-Young, Szmodics

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 15,967 (442 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 162016
 
League 2
Morecambe 2 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Pompey still await first win

Pompey made the long trip home from Morecambe disappointed after suffering a first league defeat of the season.

They were poor in the first half and the hosts took advantage with goals from Ryan Edwards and Tom Barkhuizen.

There was a marked improvement after the interval, but a string of fine saves from Barry Roche kept the Blues at bay.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that drew with Crewe at the weekend.

Enda Stevens recovered from the groin problem that kept him sidelined at Alexandra Stadium to replace Kal Naismith at left-back.

Adam Barton came in for the injured Jack Whatmough in the centre of defence, while Milan Lalkovic dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett.

Pompey made an encouraging start, with Stevens and Drew Talbot sending in a couple of dangerous deliveries that the hosts were able to clear.

But Morecambe soon settled and a free-kick from skipper Michael Rose had to be cleared by his namesake Danny.

Cole Stockton then cut along the edge of the Blues box and fired in a shot that hit Christian Burgess and looped over the bar.

Pompey were being allowed to see plenty of the ball and were not having any trouble getting into the opposition half, but were struggling to get through the defence and test Roche.

And the Shrimps were looking an increasing threat on the counter-attack before they broke the deadlock after just 10 minutes.

The visitors failed to deal with a ball in from the left and it fell kindly for Edwards to hit through a host of bodies and into the net.

It was becoming a familiar story at the other end of the pitch, with plenty of teasing crosses, but no end product.

Morecambe, meanwhile, were looking far more clinical and broke quickly upfield after Carl Baker had a penalty appeal turned down to double their advantage.

It was a fine finish from Barkhuizen that flew past the grasp of David Forde and into the top corner, but he was allowed far too much space to burst forward.

Roche was finally called into action on 25 minutes, just about beating Baker to the ball as the midfielder tried to latch onto Bennett’s incisive pass.

Michael Smith then rose highest in the box to meet another cross from Stevens, but could only glance his header wide.

They failed to build on that spell of pressure, however, and instead almost fell further behind.

Barkhuizen ran into the box from the right and lifted the ball over Forde, only to see the ball hit the side netting.

Half Time: Morecambe 2 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Baker was trying to be positive at the start of the second half and hit a couple of efforts that did not really trouble Roche.

He certainly made a clean connection on 52 minutes, though, hitting a fierce effort that Roche did well to turn behind.

Baker was single-handedly trying to bring the Blues back into the contest and his next attempt flashed narrowly past the post.

Pompey were looking a lot brighter since the restart and Barton twice found himself in the opposition area to have shots that were deflected wide.

Cook tried to keep the momentum flowing by making a double switch on 64 minutes, with Smith and Bennett making way for Curtis Main and Lalkovic.

But it was Roberts who soon had a chance to reduce the deficit with a firm low drive that Roche managed to get a hand to and palm clear.

And the Shrimps stopper made an even better save soon after, somehow keeping out a Main header from point-blank range.

Then, after Lalkovic was fouled 30 yards out, Baker stepped up to curl a free-kick over the wall, but also over the bar.

Pompey were totally dominant, with Morecambe unsurprisingly content to sit back and soak up pressure.

But they were indebted to Roche, who added to his tally of super stops by denying first Main and then Burgess.

The keeper was not done yet, flinging himself to his right on 82 minutes to keep out a free-kick from Roberts that was heading for the top corner.

Noel Hunt replaced Rose for the closing stages as Cook made one last attacking throw of the dice.

But that failed to spark an improbable late comeback as Pompey’s wait for a first win of the campaign continued.

Morecambe (4-2-3-1): Roche; Wakefield, Edwards, Whitmore, Conlan; Fleming, Rose (c); Barkhuizen (Kenyon 87), Dunn (Molyneux 60), Ellison; Stockton (Mullin 75)
Goals: Edwards 10, Barkhuizen 21
Booked: Stockton, Fleming, Molyneux
Subs not used: Nizic, McGowan, Turner

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Barton, Burgess, Stevens; Rose (Hunt 85), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 64); Smith (Main 64)
Booked: Doyle, Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, T.Davies, Linganzi

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 1,838 (546 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 132016
 
League 2
Crewe Alexandra 0 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Stalemate at Crewe

Pompey collected their second successive league draw with a goalless stalemate at Crewe.

Both sides had chances to turn one point into three on a nippy August afternoon at Alexandra Stadium.

Chris Dagnall missed the best of the chances for the hosts, while Curtis Main had several openings after coming off the bench.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side that drew with Carlisle in the last league outing.

That came at left-back where Kal Naismith deputised for Enda Stevens, who missed out with a groin problem.

The game was only a few seconds old when Carl Baker attempted a long-range effort that flew narrowly over.

Naismith then whipped in a dangerous cross that was just out of reach for Michael Smith running in at the far post.

The stand-in defender was looking an attacking threat and when his run was illegally halted, Baker curled in a free-kick that was comfortably dealt with by Alex keeper Ben Garratt.

Pompey had started brightly and a Naismith delivery had to be turned over his own bar by Jon Guthrie, while Milan Lalkovic saw a shot blocked after exchanging intelligent passes with Baker.

It was the visitors dominating possession, but some unsure moments at the back allowed Crewe chances to score before the break.

Dagnall was first to go close, only to see his header deflected wide after being picked out from a corner.

Then, after Lalkovic wasted a decent opportunity by firing a free-kick straight into the wall, Drew Talbot was caught out of position, but recovered well to deny Charlie Kirk.

Dagnall proved wasteful again on 26 minutes, opting to head the ball back to no-one rather than test David Forde when he was found unmarked in the box.

There were still openings at the other end and a cross-shot from Lalkovic looped over Garratt and narrowly cleared the crossbar.

But Crewe were gifted another chance late in the half when Christian Burgess collected a throw and hit the ball straight at Ryan Lowe.

The striker spotted Forde off his line and had an audacious effort from long-range, but the ball flashed wide.

Half Time: Crewe 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The second half began in a very open fashion, with both sides keen to get forward whenever they could.

Neither goalkeeper was being overworked, although Burgess did well to mop up the danger after Dagnall had been picked out by a fine Billy Bingham pass.

And Cook clearly wanted to see more from his attacking players as he made a double switch on 54 minutes, with Smith and Lalkovic making way for Main and Kyle Bennett.

The duo immediately looked lively, with the former doing good work to win a corner and the latter looking to test Crewe right-back Oliver Turton.

But it was Michael Doyle who came close to breaking the deadlock just past the hour mark. The skipper’s shot was deflected wide after Bingham had lost the ball to Gary Roberts.

Bennett then did well to cut inside from the left and put the ball into the box, but it would not sit up kindly for Roberts and the hosts were able to clear.

Alex substitute Alex Kiwomya was looking a real threat and, after breaking clear down the right, his cut-back somehow evaded everyone on its journey across the box.

Cook was then forced to make his third and final change when Jack Whatmough went down injured on 74 minutes.

It looked worrying when he lay on the ground clutching his leg, but the defender was able to hobble off and be replaced by Adam Barton.

The Blues soon had a chance to take the lead, but Main could not guide his header on target after a header had been flicked into his path.

It was Main who was involved again moments later when he could not quite make a clean connection with Talbot’s low cross.

And the striker should have done better on 81 minutes, but he failed to turn home Naismith’s low delivery at the near post.

Main did have the ball in the back of net soon after, but referee Dean Whitestone had already blown for a foul before his crisp finish.

Crewe were after a late winner themselves, though, and Talbot threw himself into the path of a Bingham drive.

The same player then drew a smart stop from Forde in the closing stages, while Main’s header failed to beat Garratt at the other end.

It was a frantic end to proceedings, but neither side was able to find a winner and the spoils were shared.

Crewe (4-4-2): Garratt; Turton, Davies, Guthrie, Bakayogo; Cooper (Kiwomya 59), Jones, Bingham, Kirk (Ainley 66); Lowe (c), Dagnall
Booked: Dagnall
Subs not used: Richards, Ray, Nugent, Saunders, Udoh

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Whatmough (Barton 74), Burgess, Naismith; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 54); Smith (Main 54)
Booked: Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Chaplin, Hunt

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 4,742 (1,257 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 092016
 
EFL Cup 1
Coventry City 3 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Extra time defeat for Blues

Pompey produced a brave performance, but were beaten after extra-time to exit the EFL Cup at Coventry.

They were certainly not over-awed against their League One opponents and took the lead courtesy of a Curtis Main penalty.

But the hosts were much better after the break and goals from Ryan Haynes and Vladimir Gadzhev looked to have secured safe passage into the second round.

Kal Naismith levelled late on with a free-kick to ensure another 30 minutes, however, before Andy Rose finally won it for Coventry.

Paul Cook changed the entire side that started Saturday’s draw with Carlisle in the league.

He handed debuts to summer signings Adam Buxton, Tom Davies, Amine Linganzi and Main, while there was also a first appearance for teenage keeper Alex Bass.

Adam Barton was handed the captain’s armband against his former club, while Naismith featured in an unfamiliar left-back role.

But there was no sign of nerves from the visitors against their higher-ranked hosts in a half that was low on clear-cut chances.

Bass was able to steady any nerves by holding onto a couple of ambitious Coventry efforts from long-range.

Ben Tollitt scuffed a shot wide at the other end, while a Kyle Bennett cross was headed clear after the midfielder had done well to beat his man down the right.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 19 minutes – and it was down to more good work from Bennett.

He tricked his way into the box and after being brought down by Marcus Tudgay, referee Andrew Madley pointed to the spot.

It was MAIN who stepped up to take the penalty and he confidently hammered it home, giving Reice Charles-Cook no chance.

But the keeper prevented the same player from having a chance to double the lead moments later, racing from his line to get to the ball first.

And it was Main who came close again on 22 minutes, forcing a decent stop from Charles-Cook after being teed-up by Bennett.

The hosts’ best chance of the first half arrived soon after, with Bass adjusting well to keep out Tudgay’s close-range header.

But Pompey were still proving to be an attacking threat themselves and Gareth Evans fizzed a shot narrowly over following good work from Tollitt and Adam May.

Half Time: Coventry 0 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Coventry looked sharper after the restart, but were still finding it difficult to breach the Blues back-line and test Bass.

Ben Stevenson decided it would be better to try his luck from long-range on 54 minutes and saw the ball fly wide.

Ruben Lameiras had a better chance moments later, firing over the bar following an almighty scramble in the box.

And the hosts finally made the pressure count by levelling the tie on the hour mark.

Davies could only head Lameiras’ cross as far as Haynes, who drilled a precise low shot past the grasp of Bass and into the bottom corner.

Pompey had looked ragged since the break, so Cook freshened things up by replacing Evans with Conor Chaplin on 64 minutes.

He immediately made an impact by getting free down the right, but his cut-back fell in between Bennett and Tollitt and the chance disappeared.

It was still Coventry looking more dangerous, however, and Lameiras skipped past Naismith, but could not beat Bass from an acute angle.

Kyel Reid then sent in a dangerous cross from the right that was inches too high for Jodi Jones, who was only able to head over.

And the hosts did go ahead on 82 minutes when Gadzhev collected Lameiras’ threaded pass and confidently tucked the ball home.

The lead did not last long, though, as NAISMITH was fouled by Stevenson just outside the box and picked himself up to curl a stunning free-kick into the top corner.

There might have even been a late winner before the full-time whistle when Chaplin and Noel Hunt exchanged passes, but the latter dragged his shot wide.

The duo combined again in stoppage-time and this time it was Chaplin who was off target with a looping header.

After 90 Minutes: Coventry 2 Pompey 2

Extra-time took a while to get going, but both sides had opportunities to score in the first period.

Bass made a couple of key saves, stopping Jones from sliding one in at the near post and also keeping out a drive from Lameiras.

Pompey’s best chance came when Tollitt released Hunt down the right and the striker squared for Bennett, who could not take it round Charles-Cook with just the keeper to beat.

But Coventry scored just moments into the second period, with Rose pouncing to tuck home the loose ball after Bass had pushed clear Haynes’ attempt.

They almost added another, only for Bass to produce a stunning stop to deny Lameiras from point-blank range.

And Pompey were unable to find a late moment of inspiration to take the tie to a penalty shoot-out.

Coventry (3-4-3): Charles-Cook; Willis (Finch 76), Ricketts (c), Harries; Rose, Gadzhev, Stevenson, Haynes; Thomas (Jones 46), Tudgay (Reid 68), Lameiras
Goals: Haynes 60, Gadzhev 82, Rose 106
Booked: Gadzhev, Stevenson, Lameiras
Subs not used: Burge, Page, Kelly-Evans, Thomas

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Buxton (Talbot 77), T.Davies, Barton (c), Naismith; May, Linganzi; Tollitt, Bennett, Evans (Chaplin 64); Main (Hunt 84)
Goals: Main 19 (pen), Naismith 85
Booked: Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Doyle, Baker

Referee: Andrew Madley

Attendance: 4,976 (722 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 062016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 1 – 1 Carlisle United

 

Baker hits debut equaliser

Pompey had to settle for a point on the opening day of the season after coming from behind to draw with 10-man Carlisle.

They created plenty and had their visitors pinned back for most of the match, but could not quite manage to find a winner.

United had taken an early lead through Reggie Lambe, only to be reduced to 10 men when Jamie Devitt collected a couple of bookings.

Carl Baker fired in an equaliser on his Blues bow, but a string of fine saves from Mark Gillespie frustrated the hosts.

Paul Cook handed full debuts to five players, with David Forde, Drew Talbot, Danny Rose, Milan Lalkovic and Baker all starting.

There was a raucous atmosphere to accompany the opening stages, as Pompey set about trying to attack their opponents.

And it was the hosts who were first to threaten when Baker broke quickly up field and teed-up Lalkovic, whose shot had to be beaten away by Gillespie.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Enda Stevens was forced to head clear a dangerous Danny Grainger cross.

But Pompey were looking the more likely to forge ahead and Gary Roberts curled narrowly wide after cutting inside.

Baker then had an effort blocked from the edge of the box, before Lalkovic’s free-kick somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play.

So Fratton was left stunned when Carlisle broke the deadlock on 14 minutes, as Lambe raced onto Shaun Miller’s pass and slotted past Forde.

That was the cue for the visitors to sit back and try to waste as much time as legally possible.

Referee Graham Salisbury was soon forced to issue the first booking of the afternoon after Devitt crudely brought down Talbot.

And it was Devitt who also received the second following a tug on Roberts on 28 minutes, reducing United to 10 men.

Pompey immediately sought to make their numerical advantage count and Macaulay Gillesphey did well to get in the way of Talbot’s well-struck volley.

Baker then forced a smart save from Gillespie following some encouraging build-up play from Roberts.

But the Blues did find themselves level just before the break, with BAKER firing a fierce drive under the keeper’s body after once again receiving a pass from Roberts.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Carlisle 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Roberts and Baker had combined effectively before the break and it was the same when the second half got underway.

The former did well to set-up his fellow midfielder in the area, but Baker took too long and his effort was blocked.

Michael Smith then turned a Lalkovic cross wide from close range, only to see his blushes spared by the linesman’s flag.

Roberts was soon back on the ball, though, and his cut-back was agonisingly out of reach for Baker in the box.

Pompey came close again just past the hour mark when Roberts was able to nick the ball away from the onrushing Gillespie and find Smith, who did not have time to get a shot away before a Carlisle defender came to the rescue.

Then, from the resulting corner, Jack Whatmough was left alone to glance a header narrowly past the post.

It was Baker’s turn to try his luck again on 64 minutes and after turning a defender inside-out, his shot was saved by the outstretched foot of Gillespie.

The midfielder was certainly not afraid to have a crack and one long-range effort was brilliantly tipped over the bar.

Cook made a double substitution on 68 minutes to add some attacking impetus, with Smith and Lalkovic making way for Conor Chaplin and Kyle Bennett.

The latter immediately combined well with Stevens down the left, leading to a chance for Rose that went wide.

But the midfielder went a lot closer moments later, sending a shot cannoning off the inside of the post after being given time to drive forward.

Gillespie then had to get quickly down low to his left to stop an effort from Bennett creeping inside the post.

Cook threw on an extra striker for the closing stages, with Rose making way to give Noel Hunt is first taste of competitive action in a Blues shirt.

But it was still Baker looking most likely to score and his shot was again kept out by the legs of Gillespie.

And skipper Michael Doyle then had two long-range attempts in the space of a few seconds that were both superbly palmed behind by the over-worked keeper.

Pompey continued to pour forward in search of a late winner, but Carlisle held on for a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Talbot, Whatmough, Burgess, Stevens; Rose (Hunt 83), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 68); Smith (Chaplin 68)
Goals: Baker 42
Subs not used: Bass, T.Davies, Barton, Main

Carlisle (4-2-3-1): Gillespie; T.Miller, Raynes, Gillesphey, Grainger (c); Kennedy, Jones; Lambe (Joyce 58), Devitt, Adams; S.Miller (Ellis 70)
Goals: Lambe 14
Sent off: Devitt (two yellow cards)
Booked: Gillespie
Subs not used: Crocombe, Penn, Brough, Wyke

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 17,570 (481 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jul 302016
 
Friendly
Bristol City 0 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Blues look bright in Ashton Gate stalemate

Pompey impressed in a goalless draw at Bristol City in their final dress rehearsal for the 2016/17 campaign.

They more than held their own against a City side who were skippered by Blues academy graduate Marlon Pack.

Paul Cook’s side created plenty of chances against higher-ranked opposition, but were not quite able to find a winner at the impressively-renovated Ashton Gate.

Pompey did not look over-awed against their Championship hosts and were passing the ball around confidently.

But despite enjoying plenty of possession in the opposition half, there were not too many clear-cut chances for either side before the break.

A stretching Aden Flint could not quite get enough on Joe Bryan’s free-kick to divert the ball on target.

Carl Baker had a couple of attempts at the other end of the pitch, only to clear the crossbar on each occasion.

Pompey’s best opening arrived on 14 minutes when Milan Lalkovic sent in a teasing cross that Christian Burgess could only glance wide of the post.

David Forde was not being overworked on his first appearance in a Blues shirt, but made a regulation save to deny Bryan from an acute angle.

He also looked confident when coming off his line to palm a Bobby Reid corner to safety amidst a sea of bodies.

It was generally positive stuff from Pompey, but that was a sour note on 34 minutes when Jack Whatmough went down injured.

The centre-back walked gingerly to the sidelines and had to be replaced in the Blues back-line by Tom Davies.

Half Time: Bristol City 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey continued to impress after the interval, with Michael Smith not quite able to chase down dithering Robins keeper Richard O’Donnell.

The lively Lalkovic then went close when his shot caught a deflection and fizzed narrowly past the post.

It was the visitors who looked the more threatening side, although they were not quite able to really test O’Donnell.

There was a scary moment at the other end just past the hour mark when Forde failed to hold a corner, but the visitors were able to scramble the ball behind.

And Bristol City suddenly came alive, creating three chances in the space of a breathless minute.

First Forde came tearing off his line to deny Jonathan Kodija after the forward had been sent through on goal.

Substitute Luke Freeman then saw a shot deflected inches wide before Forde made a super stop to keep out Hordur Magnusson’s close-range header.

It was soon Pompey’s turn to threaten and O’Donnell had to fly across his goal to tip Baker’s cleanly-struck effort over the bar.

Gary Roberts was next to try his luck, with his shot hitting Kodjia, looping up in the air and having to be cleared from the line by a well-placed Luke Ayling.

And Michael Doyle twice went close to grabbing a late winner, first seeing his low drive turned past the post by O’Donnell, who then just about kept out the skipper’s volley.

But the home keeper soon dropped the ball at the feet of Conor Chaplin, only to see his blushes spared by Magnusson, who made a key block to ensure a stalemate.

Bristol City (4-3-3): O’Donnell; Matthews (Ayling 60), Flint, Magnusson, Golbourne (Smith 83); Reid (Brownhill 60), Pack (c), Bryan; O’Dowda (Freeman 61), Kodjia (Agard 77), Tomlin (Wilbraham 77)
Subs not used: Lucic, Williams, De Girolamo

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde (Bass 85); Talbot (Oxlade-Chamberlain 87), Whatmough (T.Davies 34), Burgess, Stevens (Naismith 87); Rose (Close 83), Doyle (c); Baker (Tollitt 83), Roberts (Main 83), Lalkovic (Bennett 68); Smith (Chaplin 68)
Subs not used: May, Linganzi, Evans, Hunt

Referee: Kevin Friend

Attendance: 5,317 (721 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jul 272016
 
Friendly
Bognor Regis Town 1 – 4 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin, Main, Smith and May on target

Pompey eased to victory in their penultimate pre-season test against Isthmian League outfit Bognor at Nyewood Lane.

They created plenty of openings before the break, with Conor Chaplin and Curtis Main both finding the target.

Harvey Whyte reduced the deficit early in the second half, but Michael Smith then scored from the spot before Adam May wrapped things up.

Chaplin started particularly brightly and after one early shot was saved, Ben Close wastefully fired over the bar.

He was then sent through on goal, but Billy Granger was quickly off his line to make a crucial save.

The Rocks keeper was almost single-handedly keeping the Blues at bay and made another key stop to deny Ben Tollitt from long-range on 15 minutes.

Main was next to try to break the deadlock, but could not find the target after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had laid the ball into his path.

It was Chaplin with another go on 19 minutes and his deflected shot was heading for the net until Granger showed superb reflexes to divert it over the bar.

Tollitt’s set-piece delivery was also causing trouble, with Amine Linganzi and Tom Davies not quite able to take advantage.

Pompey finally got the goal their attacking dominance deserved on 23 minutes after CHAPLIN was brought down just outside the box.

The teenage forward stepped up to take the free-kick and expertly curled it over the wall and beyond Granger’s grasp.

Bognor then enjoyed their best spell of the game and should really have bagged an equaliser.

Paul Jones did well to deny Dylan Barnett from point-blank range and when the ball popped up nicely for James Fraser, he could only fire against the woodwork.

Pompey then made the hosts pay for their profligacy just before the break, as MAIN got above his marker to convert Chaplin’s teasing cross.

Half Time: Bognor 0 Pompey 2

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Jones was called into action early in the second half, flinging himself to the right to keep out Barnett’s effort.

But he was unable to keep hold of the ball from the resulting corner, giving Whyte the chance to poke home.

The chances were not arriving as frequently as they had before the break, although one good move involving May and Main ended with Close firing over.

Paul Cook gave his two scorers a breather just past the hour mark, as Main and Chaplin made way for Smith and trialist Dean O’Halloran.

And it was SMITH who restored the Blues’ two-goal lead on 67 minutes, sending substitute stopper Joe Taylor the wrong way from the penalty spot after Darren Budd had brought down Tollitt.

The game was meandering towards its conclusion, but MAY livened things up again with a fourth goal, driving a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.

A couple of academy starlets entered the fray late on and Tommy Scutt came close to adding his name to the scorers, meeting Theo Widdrington’s cross and volleying into the side netting.

And Oxlade-Chamberlain denied the Rocks a late consolation when he cleared Jimmy Wild’s drive from the line.

Bognor (4-3-3): Granger (Taylor 56); Crane, Field (Wollers 70), El-Abd (Sanders 56), Barnett; Whyte (Budd 56), Beck (c) (Robinson 81), Tuck (Consaro 70); Davies, Pearce (Penfold 81), Fraser (Wild 56)
Goals: Whyte 48

Pompey (4-diamond-2): Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Davies, Barton (c), Widdringron; May, Linganzi (Yates 69), Tollitt, Close (Scutt 75); Main (Smith 62), Chaplin (O’Halloran 62)
Goals: Chaplin 27, Main 43, Smith 67 (pen), May 74
Sub not used: Bass

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,200

Portsmouth FC