Match Report

Feb 142017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Blackpool    0

 


Evans and Doyle fire Blues to victory

Goals from Gareth Evans and Eoin Doyle ensured Pompey beat Blackpool to record a second successive victory.

They totally dominated the first half and probably deserved to lead by more than Evans’ clinical finish.

It was a tighter affair after the break, however, and there were a few nervy moments before the hard-working Doyle opened his account deep into stoppage-time to secure another three-point haul.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that had beaten Accrington at the same venue less than four days earlier.

And he was rewarded with a bright start for the Blues, who looked to attack their mid-table opponents from the off.

They almost broke the deadlock after just five minutes, only for Gary Roberts to turn Eoin Doyle’s cut-back against the crossbar.

And Roberts then combined well with Kyle Bennett, but the former’s pass was cut-out before it could reach Pompey’s lone striker.

Eoin Doyle did connect with a cross – again from Roberts – moments later and sent a header flying just past the post.

The hosts’ attacking quartet were linking up extremely well, while the impressive Amine Linganzi saw a shot saved by Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe.

There was not too much happening at the other end, although David Forde was at his commanding best to claim a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

The keeper then had to get down low to his right to push a drive from Kyle Vassell behind for a corner.

But it was the Blues who looked the more threatening side throughout the first half and they deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes.

Enda Stevens’ delivery from the left was missed by Linganzi, but fell for EVANS to lash into the roof of the net.

The advantage was almost doubled a few moments later, with Roberts not quite able to guide a cross on target with his head.

And Eoin Doyle was then inches away from connecting with a superb low cross from Evans that dissected the visitors’ defence.

It was the Irishman who might have added another goal just before the break, but he fired over after Roberts had brilliantly cushioned a long ball forward.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Blackpool 0


Pompey continued to push forward following the interval and Slocombe was just able to beat Eoin Doyle to Matt Clarke’s long pass.

The visitors did start to have more of an impact as the second half progressed and one corner led to a scramble in the Blues box before Evans eventually hacked clear.

Chances were certainly harder to find since the restart, though, and one acrobatic effort from Christian Burgess flew high over the bar.

Cook made his first change on 68 minutes and it was like for like, as Jamal Lowe made way for Carl Baker.

Blackpool then carved out an excellent opening when Jordan Flores’ low cross found Brad Potts at the far post.

It looked like the midfielder would draw the visitors level, but Stevens launched himself at the ball to make a brilliant block.

Evans had received treatment for a shoulder injury earlier in the half and had to be withdrawn on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith taking his place at right-back.

Pompey then had a chance to strengthen their lead following a quick break, but Baker was dispossessed before he could shoot.

Jack Whatmough came on for Bennett in the Blues’ final change late on, although for the second game in a row the fourth official initially displayed the wrong number.

And Blackpool then went close to levelling from a corner, but Tom Aldred’s bullet header flew narrowly wide.

The atmosphere understandably grew tenser as the seconds ticked down and Blackpool delivered more crosses into the box.

But with the Seasiders committing men forward, the hosts took advantage to make sure of all three points.

Eoin DOYLE did well to hold off a couple of challenges and find Baker, before collecting the return pass and slotting home his first goal for the club.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans (Naismith 75), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 68), Roberts, Bennett (Whatmough 83); E.Doyle
Goals: Evans 27, E.Doyle 90+5
Booked: Burgess, Roberts, Bennett
Subs not used: O’Brien, Rose, Chaplin, Hunt

Blackpool (3-5-2): Slocombe; Aimson, Aldred (c), Robertson; Mellor, Potts (Osayi-Samuel 81), Payne (Matt 81), Flores, Daniel; Delfouneso, Vassell (Odelusi 81)
Booked: Mellor
Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Gnanduillet, Cullen

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 15,132 (216 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 112017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Accrington Stanley    0

 


Clarke and Naismith secure victory

Matt Clarke and Kal Naismith were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways by beating Accrington at Fratton Park.

The centre-back headed home in just the second minute to ensure the Blues got their promotion challenge back on track.

But the hosts probably should have wrapped things up earlier, with some missed chances ensuring the finale was more stressful than it ought to have been.

Substitute Kal Naismith finally settled those nerves in stoppage-time following a quick break up the pitch.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Wycombe the previous week, meaning the Eoin Doyle made his Fratton bow.

The hosts came charging out of the blocks and Marek Rodak made a fantastic save to deny Gary Roberts after the midfielder had been slipped through by Enda Stevens.

But the Blues did break the deadlock from the resulting corner, with Roberts collecting the ball back from Eoin Doyle and whipping in a cross that CLARKE headed home to open his account for the season.

Accrington had an interesting way of trying to find an equaliser with a shot straight from the restart, but the ambitious effort flew well wide.

It was Pompey doing most of the attacking, however, and Kyle Bennett fired narrowly past the post after being afforded space to run through the centre.

The hosts were winning plenty of corners, as Stanley struggled to get the ball to safety and threaten at the other end of the pitch.

And Clarke had another chance to find the net on 20 minutes, but this time headed over from a Roberts free-kick.

The lively Jamal Lowe was next to try his luck following some neat footwork inside the area, but his deflected strike was grabbed by Rodak at the second attempt.

Stanley then finally carved open a decent opportunity of their own, only for Sean McConville to waste it by curling wide when well-placed to trouble David Forde.

It was Pompey who finished the half on a high, however, and Clarke improvised with a scooped shot that was not far off target.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Accrington Stanley 0


The Blues did not sit back at the start of the second half and Gareth Evans’ excellent cross was flicked on by a defender, with the ball hitting Bennett and drifting wide.

And the winger then tricked his way past a couple of challenges, but his shot could not find a way through a sea of red shirts.

Rodak slipped as he tried to make a clearance on 54 minutes, with Amine Linganzi’s threaded pass for Roberts intercepted.

Stanley were trying their best to make inroads at the other end, but Sean Clare was off target, while Clarke blocked Billy Kee’s effort.

It was still the Blues looking most likely to add to the scoring, however, with Clarke somehow failing to convert another Roberts corner from close range.

Cook made a double switch on 66 minutes, with Bennett and Roberts withdrawn for Carl Baker and Naismith.

Accrington then came close to levelling moments later when Janoi Donacien’s header led to a scramble on the goal-line before the ball was eventually hacked to safety by Evans.

There were certainly a few more nerves as the clock ticked down and Pompey clung onto their slender advantage.

Evans made a couple of key clearances as Stanley, unsurprisingly, started to show more of an attacking threat.

The tiring Lowe was replaced by Noel Hunt for the closing stages, receiving a warm reception as he made his way off the pitch.

And Clarke had yet another chance to wrap things up late on, only to see his header saved by Rodak’s feet after meeting Baker’s corner.

But NAISMITH did secure the three points following a quick stoppage-time counter-attack, with Hunt releasing the winger, who surged up the pitch and coolly slotted home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Hunt 85), Roberts (Naismith 66), Bennett (Baker 66); E.Doyle
Goals: Clarke 2, Naismith 90+2
Booked: E.Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Rose, Chaplin

Accrington (4-1-2-1-2): Rodak; Rodgers (McCartan 60), Beckles, Hughes, Donacien; Conneely (c); Clare (Clark 60), McConville; Husin (Boco 86); Kee, Edwards
Booked: Conneely, Donacien
Subs not used: Chapman, Sykes, Davies, Shaw

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 15,955 (48 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Feb 042017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Wycombe Wanderers    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


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

Deflected goal seals Blues defeat

Pompey received a second successive slice of misfortune as they lost out to a fluke goal at Wycombe.

After being frustrated by a ricochet against Exeter last week, it was a wicked deflection that saw Scott Kashket claim all three points for the Chairboys.

Both sides created chances in a lively encounter at Adams Park, but it was the hosts who were able to boost their promotion credentials.

Paul Cook made five changes from the side beaten at home by the Grecians the previous week.

Eoin Doyle came straight into the starting 11 following his deadline day loan arrival from Preston.

Behind him was a new attacking trio of Kyle Bennett, Gary Roberts and – making his full debut – Jamal Lowe.

There was also a space for Amine Linganzi in midfield, while Conor Chaplin, Carl Baker, Kal Naismith and Danny Rose all dropped to the bench.

Pompey came roaring out of the blocks and Roberts slipped the ball through to Lowe, who could only drag the ball wide in the opening seconds.

But it was the hosts who then started to dominate, with the giant frame of Adebayo Akinfenwa unsurprisingly causing a few problems.

For all their balls into the box, however, there was little to trouble David Forde between the Blues’ sticks.

Christian Burgess did particularly well to beat Kaskhket to Akifenwa’s flick and powerfully head clear.

The centre-back then tried his luck at the other end of the pitch and met two Roberts corners, but sent one straight at Jamal Blackman and the other wide of the post.

Pompey started to look the more threatening side as the first half progressed and Eoin Doyle was unable to beat the Chairboys keeper after taking a fine touch to beat Anthony Stewart.

They had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 33 minutes when Bennett sent Enda Stevens through on goal, but Blackman came racing from his line to deny the left-back.

But the Blues survived a nervy moment just before the break when Matt Clarke and Stevens combined to bring down Kashket on the edge of the box.

It was the Irishman blamed by referee Graham Salisbury and shown a yellow card, but Sido Jombati’s free-kick was poor and comfortably claimed by Forde.


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey enjoyed some joy at the start of the second half, with Eoin Doyle showing neat footwork down the left.

But the large band of travelling supporters saw their side fall behind in unfortunate fashion just moments later.

Forde dived to his left to keep out a routine shot from Kashket, but the ball took a massive deflection to leave the keeper stranded.

And the keeper then had to scramble back quickly to stop Burgess heading into his own net just a few seconds later.

Bennett tried to catch Blackman out at his near post when the Blues won a free-kick on 52 minutes, but the ball flew narrowly past the post.

The winger then whipped in a cross following a spell of patient build-up play, although there was nobody to meet it at the back stick.

Pompey were dominating possession by this point, with Wycombe doing most of their attacking work on the break.

Bennett played a neat one-two with Roberts on 67 minutes, but his low cross did not quite sit up right for Eoin Doyle in the box.

Cook made a double switch soon after in the hunt for an equaliser, with Lowe and Bennett withdrawn for Baker and Naismith.

And it was Baker who came close to immediately grabbing a goal, taking advantage of a mix-up at the back and hooking narrowly over.

Blackman then did well to stop Eoin Doyle netting from a tight angle, while Baker drilled an effort just past the post.

Chaplin was thrown on for the closing stages as Pompey poured forward and a display of eight additional minutes sparked hopes of a point.

Stevens, Baker and Chaplin all went close as the seconds ticked down, but the Blues were unable to salvage anything.

Wycombe (4-3-3): Blackman; Jombati, Stewart, Pierre (De Havilland 60), Jacobson; O’Nien, Gape, Wood; Kashket (Thompson 89), Akinfenwa, Hayes (c) (Saunders 46)
Goals: Kashket 48
Booked: Wood, Stewart, Saunders, Kashket
Subs not used: Richardson, Bean, Weston, Jakubiak

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 72), Roberts (Chaplin 86), Bennett (Naismith 72); E.Doyle
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Rose, Hunt

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 6,028 (1,800 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 282017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Exeter City    1

 


Wheeler goal downs Blues

Pompey were unable to halt Exeter’s resurgence as they fell to defeat against their in-form visitors.

The goal that proved the difference between the sides from David Wheeler owed a lot of good fortune, with a ricochet aiding the Devon outfit.

But the Blues struggled to create many chances of note in their ultimately futile search for a leveller.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Leyton Orient on the south coast a fortnight earlier.

That meant Conor Chaplin continued to lead the line alongside Michael Smith in a 4-4-2 formation.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of title-winning forward Lindy Delapenha, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

There was little to excite another large Fratton crowd once the action got underway, with clear-cut chances at a premium throughout the first half.

The hosts dominated possession, although a well-marshalled defence meant they were not able to test Christy Pym in the Grecians goal.

Chaplin showed some neat invention to try to convert Carl Baker’s cross with a back-flick, but the ball flew wide.

David Forde flung himself to the left to deny Reuben Reid at the other end, then grabbed the loose ball at the second attempt.

Ollie Watkins was looking the most threatening player for the visitors and the sought-after striker drilled a low effort narrowly past the post on 16 minutes.

And Christian Burgess was enjoying a personal tussle with Reid, with the defender making a couple of key challenges inside the box to frustrate his opponent.

There was one more opportunity for Baker to break the deadlock before the break, but his effort was fumbled behind by Pym as a drab opening 45 minutes came to a close.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Exeter City 0


Pompey were first to threaten at the start of the second half, but a poor attempt from Kal Naismith flew over the bar.

The visitors went closer moments later and Enda Stevens had to turn Ryan Harley’s cross behind before Watkins could pounce.

And the Grecians did forge ahead on 57 minutes – although they were aided by a huge slice of fortune.

Reid burst down the centre and when he was dispossessed, the ball ricocheted off Danny Rose and straight into the path of Wheeler, who lashed it into the net.

Cook immediately responded with a double substitution, bringing on Jamal Lowe and Gary Roberts in place of Smith and Baker.

And Lowe tried to add a spark to the hosts’ performance with some tricky footwork, while his cross was headed wide by Matt Clarke.

It was Gareth Evans who forced Pym into action on 72 minutes, however, with a fierce left-footed effort that the keeper did well to smother.

But Exeter then came close to doubling their advantage when Troy Brown met a corner and glanced a header inches wide.

Pompey pushed forward in search of an equaliser and some fans thought a penalty had been awarded when Stevens went down under Jack Stacey’s challenge, although referee Dean Whitestone was instead pointing for a goal-kick.

There were also a host of late corners, which saw Forde come up to provide a different threat, but despite five minutes of added time and the Grecians starting to sit back, the hosts were unable to provide some late drama.

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Roberts 59), Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith; Chaplin, Smith (Lowe 59)
Booked: Clarke, Forde
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Linganzi, Bennett, Hunt

Exeter (4-4-2): Pym; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor (c), Woodman; Wheeler, Taylor, James, Harley; Reid (McAlinden 81), Watkins
Goals: Wheeler 57
Booked: Reid
Subs not used: Olejnik, Sweeney, Tillson, Croll, Oakley, Simpson

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,195 (1,010 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 142017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Leyton Orient    1

 


Chaplin double secures win

Conor Chaplin bagged a brace as Pompey got their promotion challenge back on track by beating Leyton Orient.

It was a display of almost total dominance by the Blues and the margin of victory probably should have been greater.

Chaplin saw a penalty saved, but quickly put that out of his mind to open the scoring, only for Gavin Massey to grab an impressive leveller.

There was to be no shock outcome, however, as Chaplin grabbed his second of the afternoon – and seventh of the season – early in the second half.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that were beaten at table-topping Doncaster nine days earlier.

That saw Chaplin replace Kyle Bennett, as the hosts switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with former Blues Alex Cisak, Nigel Atangana and Paul McCallum all selected.

Both sets of fans held a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Orient defender Paul Went, as well as ex-England boss Graham Taylor.

On the pitch it was a totally dominant first half display from the hosts, who set about attacking their struggling opponents straight from kick-off.

Chaplin could not quite get a touch to Kal Naismith’s clever free-kick after nipping in between a couple of defenders.

Tom Parkes then made a mess of trying to clear Carl Baker’s cross and Cisak had to intervene to stop the ball dipping under the crossbar.

Naismith soon played a neat one-two with Michael Smith and burst into the box, only to then fire over the top.

The hosts had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 22 minutes when Sammy Moore tripped Enda Stevens just inside the box.

Referee Brett Hutxtable pointed to the spot, but Cisak guessed the right way to palm Chaplin’s shot wide – the fifth penalty that Pompey have missed this season.

It was only a brief respite for the beleaguered visitors, however, as CHAPLIN made amends just seconds later by arriving at the far post to turn home Baker’s low cross.

The Blues immediately set about trying to add to their lead and Baker sent an effort curling narrowly past the post.

And Smith was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet when he met Naismith’s corner, only to see his header cleared from the line by Parkes.

David Forde might as well have been sat in the Fratton End such was Pompey’s dominance in the early stages.

But his first involvement was to pick the ball out of the net, as Orient levelled with their maiden chance on 38 minutes.

Not that the keeper could have done much to stop a stunning strike from Massey that flew into the top corner.

And the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch, with Stevens’ cut-back going behind three of his waiting team-mates in the box.

There was still time for one more chance in stoppage-time, with Teddy Mezague making a brilliant block to deny Baker before Naismith drove the loose ball wide.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Leyton Orient 1


There was a surprise switch at the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe introduced in place of Gareth Evans – who had picked up an injury before the break – to make his Blues debut.

That saw Baker drop to right-back, but it did not stop his attacking intent as he soon provided the assist for a second Pompey goal.

It was a fine cross in from the right and CHAPLIN showed his usual poaching instincts to arrive and head the hosts back into the lead.

There might have been another soon after when Cisak fumbled Stevens’ low cross, but the keeper grabbed the loose ball before Smith could pounce.

Orient were unsurprisingly showing more ambition than prior to the interval, but it was still the Blues controlling possession as the half progressed.

Naismith, in particular, was looking full of confidence, showcasing some silky skills to jink his way past challenges.

But there was almost a disaster for Pompey on 66 minutes when Christian Burgess did not spot Forde coming to collect the ball and headed narrowly past his own post.

It was soon back to normal, though, and only a slight deflection prevented Smith from turning in Naismith’s free-kick.

Amine Linganzi replaced the Scottish winger on 76 minutes, as Cook looked to inject more steel into the midfield.

But that did not mean the Blues were looking to sit on their lead and a sliding Smith was agonisingly close to reaching Chaplin’s centre.

Stevens then surged into the box from wide on the left and sent a powerful effort fizzing past the post.

Chaplin received a standing ovation as he left the pitch to be replaced by Bennett for the closing stages.

And it was a deserved reception for the diminutive striker, as Pompey saw out the final few minutes to secure a valuable victory.

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans (Lowe 46), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker, Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith (Linganzi 76); Smith, Chaplin (Bennett 87)
Goals: Chaplin 23
Booked: Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Roberts, Hunt

Leyton Orient (5-1-2-1-1): Cisak; Judd, Hunt (c), Mezague, Parkes, Semedo (Palmer 89); Moore (Bowery 69); Atangana, Collins; Massey; McCallum
Goals: Massey 38
Booked: Atangana
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Kennedy, Nnomo, Koroma

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 16,564 (607 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 052017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Doncaster Rovers    3

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Blues lose at league leaders

Pompey missed out on the chance to close in on the automatic promotion places with a 3-1 defeat at Doncaster.

Former Fratton loanee John Marquis gave the hosts an early lead, only for Kal Naismith to level late in the first half.

But the Blues failed to build on that after the break, with Tommy Rowe rocketing Rovers back ahead before Marquis wrapped things up.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that beat Luton at Fratton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

That meant an attacking midfield trio of Carl Baker, Naismith and Kyle Bennett were deployed behind lone frontman Michael Smith.

Pompey started poorly against the league leaders and looked particularly susceptible on the counter-attack.

And it came as no surprise when Doncaster broke the deadlock after just five minutes, with James Coppinger’s delivery flicked on by Matty Blair for Marquis to head home.

Rovers immediately set about trying to build on their lead and David Forde denied Conor Grant before another dangerous Coppinger cross had to be hooked clear by Michael Doyle.

But the Blues almost levelled with their first decent chance soon after, as keeper Marko Marosi only just managed to keep out Matt Clarke’s header from a Baker corner.

The visitors grew stronger as the half progressed, but Doncaster still looked threatening on the break and one ended with Niall Mason firing into the side netting.

Marquis was then inches away from extending their advantage, meeting Craig Alcock’s cross, but seeing his header hit the woodwork.

A couple of Naismith corners caused problems at the other end of the pitch, while Marosi did well to gobble up Enda Stevens’ low cross before Smith could pounce.

Pompey were starting to pile on some pressure, however, and they deservedly found themselves back on level terms just before the break.

Former Rovers winger Bennett – who was roundly booed by the home support throughout – intercepted the ball and threaded a neat pass to NAISMITH, who coolly slid the ball past Marosi.


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 1

Portsmouth 1


Both sides had looked capable of adding more goals before the interval, but the second half took longer to provide any inspiration.

An Evans shot from long-range that forced Marosi down to his left was as close as either side came in the opening stages.

But Doncaster suddenly brought the game back to life by restoring their advantage on 58 minutes.

It was a fine effort from Rowe, who collected a pass from Coppinger and beat Evans before rifling a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Cook soon responded by making his first substitution, with Milan Lalkovic given an opportunity to impress in place of Baker.

And Bennett then made way for Gary Roberts, as Pompey tried to add fresh attacking impetus into their side.

But it was Rovers who looked the more dangerous going forward and they extended their lead on 71 minutes.

It was Marquis who found the target once again after a cross from Rowe was deflected kindly into his path.

Cook made one final throw of the dice soon after, with Naismith making way so Conor Chaplin could partner Smith up front.

It was Lalkovic who almost reduced the deficit, however, meeting Evans’ excellent cross with a close-range header that Marosi dived across goal to keep out.

But the keeper almost cost his side moments later when he failed to hold a cross under pressure from Smith.

The loose ball fell to Chaplin, who did not have long to react, and his effort was hacked clear by a well-placed Alcock.

An injury to Marosi – which saw the keeper stretchered off – meant there were seven minutes of injury-time.

But that failed to provide the inspiration for an unlikely comeback as Doncaster saw out the final moments to increase their title hopes.

Doncaster (4-3-2-1): Marosi (Etheridge 86); Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason; Blair (Williams 55), Houghton, Grant; Coppinger (c) (Middleton 67), Rowe; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 5, 71, Rowe 58
Booked: Alcock
Subs not used: Wright, Keegan, Beestin, May

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Lalkovic 62), Naismith (Chaplin 75), Bennett (Roberts 67); Smith
Goals: Naismith 41
Booked: Burgess, Evans, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Linganzi, Hunt

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 5,568 (669 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 022017
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Luton Town    0

 


Burgess header secures victory

Pompey got 2017 off to a great start by beating Luton to close the gap on the automatic promotion places.

Christian Burgess grabbed the only goal of the game by heading home from a first half free-kick.

The hosts dominated before the break, but there were a few nervy moments after it and Gary Roberts missed a penalty before the victory could finally be celebrated.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew at a foggy Yeovil in the final game of last year.

Noel Hunt dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett, as the Blues switched back to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 system.

The visitors’ line-up suggested they would play with more ambition than most sides who visit Fratton Park.

But it was the Blues who made the brighter start, without really testing Christian Walton in the Hatters goal.

There was then a lengthy break in play when Cameron McGeehan went down injured following a challenge with Michael Doyle and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

The game took a while to gather pace once it restarted, but Pompey soon started to impose themselves.

Gareth Evans sent a snap-shot narrowly over the bar from 30 yards, while an unmarked Carl Baker then completely mis-hit his effort from inside the box.

Bennett was next to go close when he collected a pass from Enda Stevens and sent a low drive inches past the post.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 31 minutes after Bennett had been fouled by Stephen O’Donnell wide on the left.

Baker stepped up to send a sumptuous delivery into the box, where BURGESS rose highest to send a thumping header into the net.

He then made an important intervention at the other end of the pitch to dispossess Danny Hylton inside the area.

But most of the action was still taking place in and around the Luton box, with Scott Cuthbert forced to make a vital challenge when Evans collected Baker’s incisive pass.

And Burgess almost doubled the advantage just before the break, only to divert Kal Naismith’s corner wide.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Luton Town 0


Pompey started the second half as they had finished the first – and an unmarked Evans should really have done better than guiding Baker’s free-kick straight at Walton.

Naismith then delivered a dangerous cross that was just behind the onrushing Michael Smith, as the Blues looked to make their pressure count.

But Luton almost levelled when Burgess was caught in possession seconds later. Hylton stole the ball and neatly chipped David Forde, but it bounced back off the crossbar.

The visitors were certainly looking more of a threat since the interval and Forde made a comfortable stop to deny Jonathan Smith before a free-kick was nervously dealt with by Stevens.

And it was Smith who should have at least tested Forde when Hylton ran along the byline and teed-up him up, only for the midfielder to fire wide from a few yards out.

Cook made his first substitution on 68 minutes, with a refreshed Roberts coming on for Bennett.

It was a nervy period for Pompey and Forde had to palm the ball clear when James Justin took advantage of Evans’ slip to fire in a shot.

The visitors were being hampered by an injury to Hylton, however. Boss Nathan Jones had already made all his changes, so the striker was forced to carry on, cutting a forlorn figure as he hobbled around the pitch.

Pompey tried to make the most of that and one attack looked particularly promising on 75 minutes.

They broke quickly up the pitch, but Smith picked the ball up when he probably should have left it for Naismith and when his path was blocked, Baker fired high over the bar.

There was certainly a feeling of tension around Fratton Park as the clock ticked down towards a much-needed home triumph.

Roberts then missed a chance to let everyone breathe out when he fired over from the spot after Noel Hunt had been tripped in the box by Olly Lee in stoppage-time.

But the Blues saw out the final few moments to ensure there was plenty of New Year cheer on the south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Linganzi 84), Doyle (c); Baker (Hunt 80), Naismith, Bennett (Roberts 68); Smith
Goals: Burgess 31
Booked: Forde, Hunt
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Lalkovic, Chaplin

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Walton; O’Donnell, Cuthbert (c), Mullins, Justin; Rea; Gilliead (Lee 54), Smith; McGeehan (Mpanzu 20); Cook (Vassell 54), Hylton
Booked: McGeehan, Smith, Vassell, Mpanzu
Subs not used: King, Senior, Marriott, McQuoid

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 17,402 (1,547 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 302016
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Yeovil Town    0

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Blues end the year with a draw

Pompey ended 2016 by picking up a point in extremely testing conditions at Huish Park.

With fog enveloping the ground for the entire contest, it was difficult to make out what was happening at times.

But referee Christopher Sarginson decided to let the game go ahead – even if the mass of travelling supporters could not see their side’s attacks in the first half.

Both sides did their best to find a path through to goal, but neither was able to finish the year on a high.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that fought from behind to win at Newport on Boxing Day.

But the boss switched to a 4-3-3 system, with Kal Naismith and Michael Smith deployed in attacking roles either side of Noel Hunt.

The thick fog engulfing Huish Park began to lift as the kick-off neared, only to return with a vengeance once the players emerged from the tunnel.

It was a particular pea-souper in the end housing the visiting fans, who surely struggled to see what was happening once the ball passed the halfway line.

There were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Pompey who looked more of a threat.

Naismith was first to test Artur Krysiak in the Glovers goal with a fierce angled effort that had to be beaten behind.

The Scotsman also sent in a couple of inviting deliveries that first Matt Clarke and then Smith failed to divert on target from close-range.

A corner from Naismith then caused an almighty scramble in the Yeovil box on 28 minutes, but the hosts were eventually able to hack the ball clear.

Otis Khan was the player causing the most problems for the Glovers, but a couple of weak efforts from him failed to overly trouble David Forde.

The best chance of the half arrived on 37 minutes when Krysiak stuck out a hand to brilliantly deny Naismith, although a raised flag from the linesman diluted that piece of drama.


Half Time

Yeovil Town 0

Portsmouth 0


Yeovil caused a moment of panic in the Blues box within seconds of the restart, only for Matt Clarke to charge across the box and make a vital challenge on Khan.

A period of Pompey pressure at the other end of the pitch soon led to a shot from Danny Rose that was blocked.

Then, seconds later, Hunt burst into the box and hit a fierce volleyed effort that Krysiak did well to get behind.

It was the Blues who were dominating possession and Carl Baker had a chance on the hour mark, dragging a shot narrowly wide.

Cook made his first switch on 67 minutes, with Kyle Bennett adding an injection of energy into Pompey’s attacking trio in place of Hunt.

And it took a great sliding interception from Nathan Smith to deny namesake Michael from opening the scoring by converting a low Enda Stevens delivery moments later.

It was a similar outcome on 77 minutes, but this time Krysiak dived on the left-back’s cross before the striker could pounce.

Smith did beat the keeper to another Stevens cross soon after, only for Ryan Dickson to get back and clear the ball to safety.

But Yeovil roared into life in the final few moments and had a couple of chances to grab a late winner.

The first one saw a low cross ricochet off both Clarke and Christian Burgess before Forde was able to jump on the loose ball.

And Khan then surged through on goal and had just the keeper to beat, but his fierce drive cannoned back off the corner of post and bar.

Pompey were still looking to get forward in the closing stages, although they had ultimately to settle for a point in a contest that will be best remembered for what those present could not see.

Yeovil (4-3-3): Krysiak; Shephard (Mugabi 21), Lacey, Smith, Dickson (c); Dawson, Whitfield (Butcher 82), Lawless; Khan, Eaves, Campbell (Zoko 71)
Booked: Dickson
Subs not used: Maddison, Ezewelle, Sowunmi, Bassett

Pompey (4-3-3): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Chaplin 81), Doyle (c) (Linganzi 90), Rose; Smith, Hunt (Bennett 67), Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Whatmough, Lalkovic

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 6,306 (2,084 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 262016
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Newport County    2

 


 

Portsmouth    3

 


Blues win dramatic Boxing Day clash

Pompey ensured there was plenty of festive cheer in a Christmas cracker of a contest at Newport.

It looked like the Blues would be as miserable as Scrooge before a visit from the spirits as the hosts roared into a two-goal advantage.

Danny Rose then provided a spark of hope, only for it to be snuffed out again when Kal Naismith missed from the spot.

But Enda Stevens drew the Blues level with his first goal for the club before Naismith grabbed a late winner.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Hartlepool before Christmas.

Naismith and Noel Hunt were brought in for Kyle Bennett and Gary Roberts, as Pompey switched to a 4-4-2 system.

A more direct approach was adopted to cope with the poor surface and physicality of the opposition.

But it was the Welsh hosts who settled quickest and David Forde had to deal with a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

The Blues created most of the half’s clear-cut chances, however, and Michael Smith should have found the target from close range following good work from Naismith and Stevens.

Joe Day then had to come tearing from his box to beat Hunt to an under-hit back-pass and sweep the ball to safety.

But the County keeper lost the same race moments later, with the striker not quite able to guide his looping header on target.

Instead it was Newport who broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Josh Sheehan curled a fine free-kick over the wall and past Forde’s desperate dive.

There was almost an immediate equaliser, but after Day failed to hold Naismith’s long-range effort, Rose’s follow-up was hacked from the line by Jennison Myrie-Williams.

Scot Bennett then attempted to clear a low cross from Stevens and only just avoided sending the ball into his own net.

And it was Christian Burgess who was next to go close on 38 minutes when a Naismith free-kick was not properly cleared.

The centre-back did well to turn amidst a host of amber-shirted bodies, but his shot fizzed narrowly past the post.

Stevens then almost opened his Blues account just before the break with a deflected strike that Bennett just about stopped from sneaking inside the post.


Half Time

Newport County 1

Portsmouth 0


There was another opportunity for Smith early in the second half when Michael Doyle sent a ball into the box from deep, but the striker was unable to make a clean connection.

Newport were proving more clinical, though, and Rhys Healey doubled their advantage from close range after Forde could only parry a curling effort from Sheehan.

But the Blues soon hit back to reduce the deficit, with Gareth Evans getting free down the right and cutting the ball back for ROSE to slot home.

It was the visitors, unsurprisingly, looking the more threatening side by this point and Day was fortunate to parry Evans’ shot to safety, with Smith and Hunt both waiting to pounce.

But they were given an excellent opportunity to level just past the hour mark when Jazzi Barnum-Bobb pushed Naismith in the box and referee Charles Breakspear pointed to the spot.

It was Naismith who stepped up to take the penalty, only to blast the ball over the bar and turn the party in the away end sour.

The Scottish winger tried to make amends with an ambitious effort from long-range, but there was not quite enough dip on his shot.

Cook threw on an extra striker on 74 minutes as Pompey chased an equaliser, with Carl Baker making way for Conor Chaplin.

It was Naismith who was next to threaten, though, surging half the length of the pitch before drawing a save from Day.

But there was an unlikely provider of Pompey’s equaliser on 80 minutes, as STEVENS latched onto Rose’s pass and lashed home a neat finish.

And Evans was fuming that they did not have the chance to score again soon after, with Breakspear deciding that the right-back had not been pushed in the box.

The winning goal did arrive late on – even if there was a bit of confusion about who scored it.

NAISMITH whipped in a free-kick from wide on the right and it was unclear whether anyone else got a touch as the ball flew into the net.

Not that it mattered to the horde of travelling fans, who celebrated wildly – as did the players and those on the bench.

Newport (3-5-1-1): Day; Meite (Green 90), Jones, Bennett (c); Barnum-Bobb, Tozer (Randall 90), Owen-Evans (Jackson 85), Rigg, Myrie-Williams; Sheehan; Healey
Goals: Sheehan 25, Healey 51
Booked: Healey, Tozer, Barnum-Bobb
Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, O’Hanlon, Butler

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Chaplin 74), Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith; Hunt (Linganzi 89), Smith
Goals: Rose 56, Stevens 80, Naismith 87
Booked: Burgess, Hunt
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Whatmough, Lalkovic, Bennett

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 3,714 (729 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 172016
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Hartlepool United    0

 


Carson to the rescue for visitors

Pompey had to settle for a draw in the final Fratton fixture of 2016 after failing to breach a stubborn Hartlepool defence.

They created all the chances of note, but when the visitors’ back-line was found wanting, goalkeeper Trevor Carson came to the rescue with some superb saves.

There was little going on at the other end of the pitch as Pools showed a lack of attacking ambition, although they were ultimately able to make the long trip home with a point in the bag.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that won at Grimsby the previous week – meaning that Pompey were unchanged for a fourth successive fixture.

But there was a flat opening to proceedings, with very few clear-cut chances to liven up the Fratton faithful.

Gary Roberts did cut inside from the right and drag a shot narrowly past the post, although that was as exciting as it got in the early stages.

The hosts started to inject more urgency into proceedings as the half progressed and former Blues loanee Carson had to get down quickly to keep out Michael Smith’s glancing header.

Then, after Danny Rose had done well to steal possession, Kyle Bennett played a neat one-two with Smith and fired inches wide.

And a teasing left-sided cross from Carl Baker somehow evaded everyone as it flew past the post on 24 minutes.

There was nothing much for David Forde to deal with at the other end of the pitch, as Pompey continued to dominate without making a breakthrough.

Smith used his strength to climb above Scott Harrison and meet Bennett’s cross, but was unable to guide the ball on target.

And Harrison then made a vital clearance from the line to deny Smith a simple close-range finish on 37 minutes.

There was one more chance before the interval, with Carson superbly tipping over a fierce Gareth Evans drive, although the officials somehow missed the keeper’s intervention and awarded a goal-kick.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was still the Blues looking more likely to break the deadlock once play resumed and Baker surged into the box before sending a dipping shot wide.

The midfielder’s cross following a short corner was then heading straight for Matt Clarke at the far post until Carson made a timely intervention.

Pompey continued to knock at the door and an effort from Baker was deflected wide following a neat passing move.

But with Hartlepool holding firm, Cook made a double substitution on 68 minutes, as Roberts and Bennett made way for Conor Chaplin and Kal Naismith.

The former almost immediately missed an opportunity to open the scoring when he failed to make a connection with Enda Stevens’ fine low delivery.

But it was Smith who almost provided a goal moments later when he met Naismith’s cross, only for Carson to make a superb stop.

Chaplin thought he should have had a penalty on 80 minutes after being bundled over by Harrison, but referee Graham Horwood adjudged it a fair challenge.

A short corner routine then led to a ferocious Naismith shot that smashed Billy Paynter straight in the face and knocked him to the turf.

Pompey were trying their best to find a breakthrough, but Michael Doyle’s half-volley was brilliantly kept out by Carson.

The hosts kept pouring forward in search of a late winner and eight minutes of stoppage-time gave them hope.

But Carson ensured there was a sense of frustration rather than Christmas cheer by making another great save, this time keeping out Chaplin’s header from point-blank range.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Hunt 90+4), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Chaplin 68), Bennett (Naismith 68); Smith
Booked: Baker, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Linganzi, Lalkovic

Hartlepool (4-1-4-1): Carson; Donnelly, Bates, Harrison, Carroll; Featherstone; Hawkins, Oates (Deverdics 73), Laurent, Alessandra (Nsiala 90+5); Paynter (c) (Amond 90+6)
Booked: Donnelly, Bates, Featherstone
Subs not used: Bartlett, Pollock, Woods, Walker

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 17,081 (132 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 102016
 

League Two


 

Grimsby Town    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Naismith grabs later winner

Kal Naismith came off the bench to score a fine free-kick and secure a deserved victory for Pompey at Grimsby.

The visitors dominated for long periods of the Blundell Park contest, only to be frustrated by the stubborn Mariners.

But, with time running out, Naismith curled a fine shot over the wall and into the net to delight the large travelling army of supporters.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that were beaten at home by Stevenage a fortnight earlier.

That meant the in-form Michael Smith continued to lead the line, with Conor Chaplin having to be content with a place on the bench.

Ben Davies was denied the opportunity to feature against his former club, with the former Fratton full-back sidelined by a calf problem.

A minute’s silence was held before kick-off in memory of Grimsby legend Paul Futcher – who recently passed away – and the victims of the Chapecoense air disaster.

When the game got started it was the visitors who soon started to dominate, but there were not an abundance of clear-cut chances at either end of the pitch.

Kyle Bennett was looking lively and after he stole possession, it took a vital Josh Gowling interception to stop his pass finding Smith.

The winger then had a chance of his own, firing in a curling effort that James McKeown had to tip over the bar.

Carl Baker whipped the resulting corner into the box from wide on the right, but Matt Clarke was unable to send his header on target.

It was Danny Rose who was next to try his luck on nine minutes, with a 25-yard effort that bent narrowly wide.

There was not much to report at the opposite end, although Omar Bogle did curl a shot over after Grimsby had been awarded a soft free-kick.

It was soon the Blues back on the attack and Baker had a couple of sighters, one of which flew straight into McKeown’s arms, while the second was blazed over.

Enda Stevens then delivered a dangerous low cross into the box that had to be hacked to safety by the hosts.

And Gary Roberts also had a couple of effort just before the break, but the first was blocked and the follow-up trickled wide.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was Pompey who were first to threaten following the interval and McKeown did well to keep out Smith’s powerful low drive after Christian Burgess had threaded a pass to the striker.

Stevens then delivered another teasing low cross from the left that flashed invitingly across the face of goal.

But Grimsby almost broke the deadlock with their first decent chance on 54 minutes, with Ashley Chambers’ cushioned volley clawed to safety by David Forde.

Pompey were soon back on the attack, however, and Baker embarked on a fine run into the box, only to see his effort saved by McKeown.

Zak Mills was perhaps fortunate to remain on the pitch when he brought down a rampaging Bennett right on the edge of the box.

But referee Andy Haines decided that a yellow card was appropriate punishment and Bennett curled the resulting free-kick wide.

Cook made a double substitution on 76 minutes, with Conor Chaplin and Naismith brought on for Gary Roberts and Bennett.

There was a nervy moment for McKeown soon after when he dropped Rose’s cross, but Gowling came to his keeper’s rescue by scrambling the ball clear.

But Grimsby were looking more adventurous than before the break and Clarke had deal with the danger following a spot of pinball in the visitors’ box.

Just as a goalless draw was looking the likely outcome, however, Pompey snatched a late winner.

Baker was brought down by Kayden Jackson 25 yards out and NAISMITH stepped up to curl an exquisite free-kick past McKeown’s grasp and into the net.

But there was an immediate scare at the other end when Forde failed to hold Scott Vernon’s ferocious shot, only to react quickly and smother the loose ball.

The Blues stayed strong at the back, however, and saw out five minutes of stoppage-time to secure a valuable victory.

Grimsby (4-2-3-1): McKeown; Mills, Gowling, Collins, Andrew; Comley (Vernon 72), Summerfield; Chambers (Bolarinwa 58), Berrett, Jackson; Bogle
Booked: Gowling, Mills, Berrett
Subs not used: Henderson, Pearson, Boyce, Disley, Venney

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 76), Bennett (Chaplin 76); Smith (Hunt 89)
Goals: Naismith 86
Booked: Stevens, Evans
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Linganzi, Lalkovic

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 6,560 (1,110 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 262016
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Stevenage    2

 


Blues suffer home defeat

Pompey were brought back down to earth with a bump after losing 2-1 at home to Stevenage.

The visitors seemed content to leave Fratton Park with a point as they soaked up pressure from the Blues.

But Steven Schumacher and Matt Godden both struck in quick succession after the break to leave the home fans stunned.

Michael Smith’s third goal in as many games restored some hope, but Pompey were unable to find a leveller.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that won at Luton earlier in the week.

That meant Conor Chaplin had to be content with a place on the bench after returning from suspension, with Smith keeping his place up front.

Pompey made a bright start and a fine cross from Kyle Bennett was just out of reach for Smith running in at the far post.

Bennett went even closer on eight minutes with an effort from the edge of the box that cannoned back off the post.

It was not a half full of clear-cut chances, however, with a solid Boro back-line making it difficult for the Blues to find a way through.

The hosts also had to deal with some rather physical defending and Smith in particular found his shirt being tugged whenever he tried to get on the end of a pass.

But the striker did find some space down the left on 24 minutes, cutting inside and seeing a shot blocked, with Gareth Evans’ follow-up then deflected over.

There was not too much for David Forde to deal with at the other end and when Godden volleyed narrowly wide of the post, the linesman had already raised his flag for offside.

It was still Pompey looking the more likely to break the deadlock, but when Gary Roberts met Carl Baker’s cross he could not get enough power behind his header to test Stevenage keeper Jamie Jones.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


There was a surprise at the start of the second half, with Jack Whatmough and Amine Linganzi replacing Christian Burgess and Michael Doyle in a double switch.

It was the Blues who were first to threaten after a ragged opening when Bennett cut in from the left and stung Jones’ fingertips with a fierce shot.

But there was none of the passing fluency that was evident before the break, with the hosts guilty of some sloppy play.

Stevenage were still lacking in ambition, but a foul from Matt Clarke led to Schumacher curling a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Cook made his last throw of the dice on 68 minutes, trying to inject a fresh attacking impetus by replacing Bennett with Chaplin.

The striker soon had a chance to break the deadlock, but fired over from close range following good work from Smith and Roberts.

But instead it was the visitors who scored against the run of play on 71 minutes, when Pompey failed to clear their lines and Schumacher slotted home.

That proved to be the midfielder’s final kick of the game as he was replaced by Charlie Lee before the game resumed.

It soon got even worse for the Blues, however, as Stevenage regained possession from a miscued Forde clearance and Godden slid the ball through the keeper’s legs.

But some hope was restored 10 minutes from the end when a cross from Evans missed Chaplin, but was lashed home by SMITH at the far post.

Pompey poured forward in search of an equaliser and Roberts hit a low effort narrowly wide on 89 minutes.

But Boro got plenty of men behind the ball to frustrate the Blues and when Whatmough headed against the post in stoppage-time it proved to be the last chance to salvage a point.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess (Whatmough 46), Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c) (Linganzi 46); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Chaplin 68); Smith
Goals: Smith 80
Booked: Clarke, Evans
Subs not used: O’Brien, Naismith, Lalkovic, Hunt

Stevenage (4-4-2): Jones; Henry (c), Wilkinson (Wells 46), Franks, Ntlhe; Cowans, Schumacher (Lee 72), King, Gorman (McKirdy 60); Godden, Kennedy
Goals: Schumacher 71, Godden 75
Booked: Gorman, Wilkinson, King
Subs not used: Day, McAnuff, Tonge, Pett

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 15,987 (277 away fans)


Portsmouth FC