Football

Nov 192016
 

League Two


 

Cheltenham Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Smith grabs late leveller

Michael Smith came off the bench to hit his first league goal of the season and earn Pompey a point at Cheltenham.

It looked like the Blues would be made to pay for missed opportunities when Daniel O’Shaughnessy fired the hosts ahead midway through the second half.

But Smith capitalised on a goalkeeping error late on to salvage a deserved point and give the large travelling support something to smile about on the journey home.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Mansfield at home the previous week.

And they had a chance to open the scoring in the early seconds after Carl Baker swapped passes with Gary Roberts and advanced forward, only to see his shot blocked.

But the hosts immediately broke up the other end and thought they should have won a penalty when Danny Wright hit the turf.

The striker was surrounded by three blue-shirted players, but referee John Brooks decided there had been no infringement.

It was end-to-end stuff in the early stages of the game, with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent.

The chances did dry up to an extent after such a lively opening, although there were still opportunities for the deadlock to be broken.

Kyle Bennett was released into the box on 14 minutes, but it was always going to be tough for him to beat Robins keeper Russell Griffiths from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, a promising move for the hosts ended with Dan Holman blazing over, while the same player later bent a free-kick into the arms of David Forde.

Rose soon hit a cleanly-struck effort on target at the other end, but his shot flew straight at a grateful Griffiths.

Harry Pell wasted a good opportunity for Cheltenham on 32 minutes, dragging wide from the edge of the box after Christian Burgess’ clearance landed at his feet.

But it was the Blues who ended the first half on the ascendency and Griffiths superbly kept out Baker’s diving header after the midfielder had met Gareth Evans’ pin-point delivery.

Roberts then saw a shot bending off target and an onrushing Evans could not quite get there in time to turn the ball back on the right path.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey had two great chances to forge ahead straight after the restart, but Griffiths denied them on both occasions.

First the keeper stayed on his feet to save Roberts’ shot after the midfielder had stayed onside to collect Baker’s threaded pass.

Then he prevented Conor Chaplin from heading home Evans’ cross from just a couple of yards out at the far post.

And when Griffiths was unable to frustrate the Blues, the woodwork came to his rescue, with Bennett’s strike coming back off the post.

But the keeper was soon called back into action, quickly smothering the ball before Bennett could reach Roberts’ pass.

Cheltenham had a decent opening of their own just before the hour mark when the visitors failed to deal with a ball sent into their box, but Wright volleyed over from close range.

And it was the Robins who took the lead on 65 minutes after Burgess had been booked for a late challenge on Holman near the halfway line.

James Rowe’s free-kick ricocheted around the Pompey box before eventually landing at the feet of O’Shaughnessy to fire home.

They should have doubled their advantage soon after, but an unmarked Rob Dickie fired wide when the ball found him unmarked in the box.

Cook made an attacking switch to try to inspire a change of fortunes on 75 minutes, with Bennett making way for Smith.

A double substitution then followed moments later, as Noel Hunt and Kal Naismith replaced Chaplin and Roberts.

And Pompey almost immediately found themselves level when the otherwise impressive Griffiths failed to hold Baker’s cross and SMITH reacted quickly to tuck away the loose ball.

Both sides tried their best to find a winner, but with all their previous meetings ending in a draw, it perhaps came as no surprise to see the game end all square.

Cheltenham (3-4-1-2): Griffiths; Dickie, Downes (c), Parslow; Barthram (Suliman 90+1), Pell, Rowe, O’Shaughnessy (Cranston 90+1); Waters; Holman, Wright
Goals: O’Shaughnessy 65
Booked: Pell, Downes
Subs not used: Kitscha, Munns, Whitehead, Morgan-Smith, Arthur

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 81), Bennett (Smith 75); Chaplin (Hunt 81)
Goals: Smith 82
Booked: Chaplin, Burgess, Baker
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough, Lalkovic

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 4,702 (1,537 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 122016
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    4

 


 

Mansfield Town    0

 


Stags tamed in Fratton rout

Pompey roared back to winning ways at Fratton Park in the league with a comfortable victory over nine-man Mansfield.

Gary Roberts opened the scoring for the hosts, but despite dominating, they struggled to extend their advantage.

Mansfield put up a strong fight, even after Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti had both been dismissed in the second half.

But Noel Hunt came off the bench to make sure of the three points before Carl Baker added a gloss to the scoreline with a late brace.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly made a host of changes from the side that beat Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

Kyle Bennett was the only survivor, with Michael Doyle, Roberts and Conor Chaplin among those recalled to the line-up.

Before kick-off, Pompey paid tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, with D-Day veteran John Jenkins MBE reading the Ode to Remembrance and the Last Post being played.

It was the hosts who made the brighter start in the wet conditions, with their high pressing forcing Mansfield to make errors.

Chaplin had an early chance after he met Roberts’ cross, but was unable to divert his header on target.

But there was an even better opportunity when a corner was only cleared as far as Bennett, whose first touch into the box fooled Matt Green.

His clumsy challenge saw the Blues winger dumped onto the turf and referee Roger East pointed straight to the spot.

ROBERTS stepped up to take the penalty and slammed a powerful effort right down the middle to give Pompey the lead.

It was not all one-way traffic, however, and a misunderstanding between David Forde and Christian Burgess led to Green firing into the side netting.

James Baxendale then did well to get on the end of an Ashley Hemmings cross and send a header crashing against the post.

Pompey thought they should have had a second spot-kick on 33 minutes when Roberts stole possession and saw his cross hit Jamie McGuire’s hand, but East was not interested.

And the hosts soon came close to doubling their advantage, with Baker beating his man and firing in a rocket that cannoned back off the woodwork.

But they received a let-off just before the break when Bennett was harshly penalised for a challenge outside the box.

Chris Clements stepped up to take the free-kick and the Fratton faithful breathed a sigh of relief as he curled the ball over.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Pompey continued their search for more goals once the second half got underway, with Scott Shearer just about managing to tip over Bennett’s dipping shot from distance.

The same player then exchanged neat passes with Roberts, whose low ball into the box was agonisingly out of reach for Gareth Evans.

And Mansfield were reduced to illegal methods of halting the hosts’ surge, with Howkins booked for cynically hauling down Chaplin on the edge of the box.

It was Chaplin who should have doubled the advantage after being slipped through by Doyle’s clever pass, only to then drag his shot wide.

The Stags’ challenge was soon made harder when Howkins – who had only received his yellow card four minutes earlier – needlessly slid in on Bennett and was promptly dismissed.

Pompey immediately set about trying to make their numerical advantage count and when Shearer failed to hold Baker’s effort, he had to dive on the loose ball before the lively Danny Rose could pounce.

Roberts then did well to dig the ball out from his feet inside the area, only to prod wide from just a few yards out.

And there was more woe for the beleaguered visitors on 74 minutes when substitute Iacovitti dived into a challenge on Doyle and was immediately shown his marching orders.

Cook looked to turn the screw by bringing on some fresh attacking players, with Hunt and Kal Naismith replacing Roberts and Bennett.

The two combined to secure the three points on 84 minutes when a period of patient passing play was ended by Naismith squaring for HUNT to convert from close range.

And BAKER ensured it was an even more enjoyable afternoon when he tricked his way into the box and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

But there was still time for BAKER to add another deep into stoppage-time, with a fine left-footed finish from long-range that flew into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Hunt 77), Bennett (Naismith 79); Chaplin (Smith 86)
Goals: Roberts 11 (pen), Hunt 84, Baker 88, 90+5
Booked: Baker, Chaplin
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Close, Lalkovic

Mansfield (4-1-2-1-2): Shearer; Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning (D.Rose 69); McGuire; Clements (c), Gobern; Baxendale (Iacovitti 59); Hemmings, Green (Henderson 55)
Sent off: Howkins (two yellow cards), Iacovitti
Subs not used: Jensen, M.Rose, Hamilton, Hoban

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,393 (326 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 082016
 

EFL Trophy


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


Naismith scores late cup winner

Pompey’s hopes of progressing in the Checkatrade Trophy remain alive thanks to a late winner against Bristol Rovers.

Kal Naismith’s long-range strike settled the group stage encounter after Michael Smith had seen his early penalty saved.

The Blues must now hope that Reading under-21s beat Yeovil on Wednesday night to bring the fight for second place down to either goal difference or goals scored.

But the game attracted a crowd of just 1,200 – the lowest attendance at Fratton Park for a competitive post-war fixture.

Paul Cook rung the changes from the side that exited the FA Cup against Wycombe at the weekend.

Adam Buxton, Milan Lalkovic and Ben Close were the only players to keep their place, with the latter handed the captain’s armband.

Those coming into the line-up included a fit-again Drew Talbot and Amine Linganzi, whose suspension does not include games in this competition.

Rovers technically stuck to the rules by only making six changes, although they did replace keeper Kelle Roos with Will Puddy after just 142 seconds.

And the first meaningful piece of action for the new man between the sticks was to give away a penalty.

Smith took advantage of a heavy touch to steal possession and Puddy brought him down, with referee James Adcock pointing straight to the spot.

It was Smith who stepped up to take the penalty and it was certainly not the worst attempt, but the keeper guessed the right way and saved low to his right.

The visitors soon had a chance to make Pompey pay for their profligacy, but Luke James’ shot was deflected wide.

Rory Gaffney then missed an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock after being picked out by Daniel Leadbitter.

He was in space and just a couple of yards out, but headed the ball into the turf and watched as it bounced narrowly over the crossbar.

And James went close for Rovers with an opportunistic long-range strike that bounced back off the woodwork.

But the match settled down after all that early action, with neither keeper given too much to do for the rest of the half.

Liam O’Brien made a regulation stop to deny Jermaine Easter, while Naismith curled a free-kick wide in stoppage-time.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


The second half began at the same pedestrian pace, but the Blues should have forged ahead on 55 minutes.

Naismith’s free-kick found Linganzi in the box, but the midfielder – like Gaffney before the break – directed his header into the ground and it bounced over.

And Naismith sent in another decent delivery moments later following a foul on Buxton, only for the ball to fly just out of reach for Jack Whatmough.

There was a chance at the other end when Adcock waved play on following a foul on James by Tom Davies.

Leadbitter went charging through on goal, but before he could get a shot away, Whatmough made a superb tackle inside the box to clear the danger.

The game soon turned back into a somewhat turgid encounter, however, and Cook made a double switch on 73 minutes to try to liven things up.

Buxton and Close were the two to make way, with Danny Rose and Gareth Evans coming on to replace them.

The third and final substitution arrived soon after, with Kyle Bennett swapped for Noel Hunt, as Smith was given a partner up front.

And he might have grabbed an immediate goal, only to get tangled up with Rose as the duo both tried to get on the end of Smith’s low cross.

Once again it was a Naismith free-kick that saw Pompey go close on 87 minutes, as Puddy went too far to the right and almost got caught out.

But NAISMITH did grab the winner just seconds later, courtesy of an ambitious 35-yard drive with enough swerve to deceive the keeper.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): O’Brien; Talbot, Whatmough, T.Davies, Buxton (Rose 73); Linganzi, Close (c) (Evans 73); Naismith, Lalkovic, Bennett (Hunt 77); Smith
Goals: Naismith 88
Booked: Bennett, T.Davies
Subs not used: Hall, Hyam, Clarke, Chaplin

Bristol Rovers (4-1-2-1-2): Roos (Puddy 3); Leadbitter, McChrystal (c), Hartley, Roberts; Boateng; Mansell, Colkett; Easter (Clarke 78); James, Gaffney (Harrison 80)
Booked: Mansell, McChrystal
Subs not used: Lockyer, Montano, Lines, Moore

Referee: James Adcock

Attendance: 1,200 (65 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 052016
 

FA Cup 1


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Wycombe Wanderers    2

 


Early cup exit for Blues

Pompey crashed out of the Emirates FA Cup at the first hurdle with a home defeat to fellow League Two outfit Wycombe.

They were poor before the break and deservedly trailed to Paris Cowan-Hall’s close-range finish.

There was a marked improvement after it, though, and Gareth Evans drew the hosts level following the restart.

The tie appeared to be heading for a replay, only for Adebayo Akinfenwa to strike late on and book Wanderers a place in Monday’s second round draw.

Paul Cook made five changes from the side that won at Cambridge in the league the previous week.

Noel Hunt was handed a first start in attack, while Adam Buxton, Ben Close, Danny Rose and Milan Lalkovic all returned.

Conor Chaplin, Carl Baker and Kyle Bennett dropped to the bench and Pompey were missing the suspended duo of Michael Doyle and Amine Linganzi.

The hosts started brightly on a crisp afternoon on the south coast and won a number of corners that caused the Chairboys problems.

But Wycombe soon started to take control and almost forged ahead when Matt Bloomfield drilled in a low shot that cannoned back off the post.

They went close again moments later, with David Forde just about getting a leg to Cowan-Hall’s effort and diverting the ball wide.

And Wanderers were unable to make it third time lucky when Dominic Gape struck a long-range shot past the post.

But it seemed like only a matter of time before the visitors breached the Blues’ goal and the opener did arrive on 27 minutes.

There was a slight touch of fortune about it, however, with Forde punching clear Michael Harriman’s free-kick, only for the ball to ricochet off the back of Christian Burgess.

Former Pompey youth player Cowan-Hall was in the right place to follow up and head home from just a few yards out.

That failed to spark an upturn in the attacking fortunes of the Blues, though, with Wycombe still looking the more threatening.

There were half-chances for Cowan-Hall and Luke O’Nien, but their best chance of doubling the lead came in stoppage-time.

A corner found Akinfenwa at the far post, only for the imposing striker to head wide from close range.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey had failed to trouble Jamal Blackman before the break, but the keeper was picking the ball out of his net just a couple of minutes after the restart.

Enda Stevens whipped in a teasing cross from the left and EVANS found space in the box to deftly tuck home.

They might have scored another moments later, but Blackman tore from his line to beat Gary Roberts to Close’s threaded pass.

Cook made a double switch just past the hour mark, with Lalkovic and Buxton withdrawn for Bennett and Baker.

But it was Wycombe who almost retook the lead 65 minutes, with Akinfenwa seeing one shot blocked and then the second saved by Forde.

Baker went close himself moments later, however, with a fierce 30-yard strike that was brilliantly palmed over by Blackman.

Cook then made a final throw of the dice on 75 minutes, with the in-form Chaplin replacing Hunt up front.

But the Blues were indebted to Forde for keeping them on a level pegging with two key saves soon after.

The first saw him just about get something to a shot from Myles Weston that took a wicked deflection to divert it off course.

Then, for the second, he dived backwards to palm over Akinfenwa’s cleanly-struck dipper from outside the box.

Both sides appeared keen to avoid a replay, showing plenty of attacking intent as the seconds ticked down.

But it was the hardy band of travelling supporters celebrating late on when Akinfenwa converted Garry Thompson’s cross.

There was hope of another leveller when the fourth official displayed an additional six minutes to be played.

The Chairboys held on to their slender lead, however, to ensure that cup magic was in short supply for Pompey.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Buxton (Baker 64), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Close, Rose; Evans, Roberts (c), Lalkovic (Bennett 64); Hunt (Chaplin 75)
Goals: Evans 47
Booked: Close
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Naismith, Smith

Wycombe (4-3-3): Blackman; Harriman, Stewart, Pierre, Jacobson; O’Nien, Gape, Bloomfield; Hayes (c) (Thompson 77), Akinfenwa (Bean 89), Cowan-Hall (Weston 72)
Goals: Cowan-Hall 27, Akinfenwa 84
Booked: O’Nien
Subs not used: Brown, Jombati, De Havilland, Kashket

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 8,130 (510 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 292016
 

League Two


 

Cambridge United    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Chaplin heads winner for 10-man Blues

Conor Chaplin headed home his fifth goal of the season to ensure Pompey kept up their impressive record over Cambridge.

He converted Christian Burgess’ cross midway through the first half of a game that otherwise failed to excite.

But the Blues had to play the final 30 minutes with only 10 men following a lunge from Amine Linganzi.

Paul Cook made one change from the side beaten by Notts County at Fratton Park the previous week.

That came in the centre of defence, where Tom Davies dropped to the bench to make way for Matt Clarke.

There were plenty of Pompey connections in the hosts’ set-up, with James Dunne and Adam McGurk both starting for Shaun Derry’s side.

It was not a contest to excite those in attendance at Abbey Stadium – including 1,850 who travelled up from the south coast – in the opening stages.

A couple of Blues breaks petered out before the defence could be properly troubled, while David Forde comfortably dealt with McGurk’s header.

The same player then tried an acrobatic over-head effort from 25 yards that sailed over the bar as the first half continued to plod along.

It was the same story at the other end of the pitch, where Gary Roberts laid a free-kick off to Michael Doyle, only for the skipper to take a total air-shot from the edge of the box.

But then, from nothing, Burgess broke clear down the right and Pompey found themselves in the lead on 24 minutes.

The defender launched the ball into the box from just inside the opposition half and CHAPLIN – the smallest player on the pitch – sent a header looping into the net.

Burgess then breathed a sigh of relief seconds later when Uche Ikpeazu went down under his challenge.

Referee Ross Joyce was unimpressed by the home side’s appeals, however, with Dunne’s protests earning him a yellow card.

Pompey were now enjoying a spell of pressure and Will Norris did well to parry away Kyle Bennett’s fierce effort, while a low Enda Stevens cross had to be hacked behind.

This was a few minutes of excitement in an otherwise dull half of football, however, as the interval arrived without any more noteworthy moments.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


There was a chance for the Blues at the start of the second half when Doyle played a clever pass over the top.

Chaplin latched onto it and did well to beat his man and burst into the box, but then bent a shot wide of the post.

Both sets of supporters applauded in the 53rd minute in memory of Pompey fan Gary Martin, who would have turned 53 today.

On the pitch, the visitors were almost caught out when they failed to clear the danger and the ball fell for Ben Williamson.

The striker was left with only Forde to beat, only to drag his shot wide and let Pompey off the hook.

But the Blues were dealt a huge blow when they were reduced to 10 men just past the hour mark.

Linganzi lunged into a challenge on Conor Newton in the centre circle and although there did not appear to be too much contact, his studs were showing and Joyce brandished a red card.

Cook immediately looked to shore up his side with a double substitution, as Bennett and Chaplin made way for Danny Rose and Noel Hunt.

Cambridge set about trying to make their numerical advantage count and when Piero Mingoia’s cross was headed clear by Burgess, Dunne saw his follow-up deflected narrowly wide.

But with Burgess and Clarke expertly marshalling things at the back, Forde was enjoying a largely untroubled afternoon.

And the Blues saw out the final few moments to secure a return to winning ways on one of their favourite hunting grounds.

Cambridge (4-4-2): Norris; Halliday (Pigott 83), Legge (c), Roberts, Taylor; Mingoia, Dunne, Clark (Newton 58), Dunk; McGurk (Williamson 33), Ikpeazu
Booked: Dunne, Halliday, Ikpeazu
Subs not used: Gregory, Long, Coulsen, Gosling

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (T.Davies 90+3), Bennett (Rose 62); Chaplin (Hunt 63)
Goals: Chaplin 24
Sent off: Linganzi
Booked: Chaplin, Doyle, Hunt, Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Lalkovic, Smith

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 6,397 (1,850 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 292016
 

Jamal Lowe

Transfer : Hampton & Richmond – Portsmouth



Deal agreed for forward

Pompey have reached an agreement with Hampton & Richmond to sign forward Jamal Lowe in January.

The 22-year-old will arrive for an undisclosed fee on an 18-month contract, with the club holding an option for a further year.

Lowe came through the ranks at Barnet and later turned out for St Albans and Hemel Hempstead before joining the Londoners in November 2015.

He netted 15 goals in 28 appearances for Borough last season, helping them claim the Ryman Premier Division title.

Lowe has already struck 18 times this term, helping Hampton & Richmond climb up to third spot in the National League South standings.


Portsmouth FC

Oct 222016
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Notts County    2

 


Dominance counts for nothing

Pompey were caught by a couple of sucker punches as they fell to defeat against Nott County at Fratton Park.

They dominated for most of the contest, but were caught out at the back and fell behind to Adam Campbell’s neat finish.

Conor Chaplin levelled within a few minutes and it looked like the Blues would go on to secure all three points.

But some more sloppy play allowed Campbell to strike again and despite Aaron Collins’ red card, the Magpies held on for the victory.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that picked up a point at table-topping Plymouth the previous week.

That meant a fit-again Matt Clarke had to be content with a place on the bench, as Tom Davies continued alongside Christian Burgess in defence.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Carl Dickinson and Richard Duffy both starting for the visitors.

And it was the Magpies who were first to threaten, with Robert Milsom not able to guide his header past David Forde.

But Pompey dominated the opening stages, enjoying plenty of possession and showing attacking inset from the outset.

They should have broken the deadlock on six minutes, with Chaplin somehow stabbing Enda Stevens’ cross wide from just a few yards out.

Kyle Bennett also dragged a long-range effort past the post, but with County keeping so many men behind the ball, the hosts were struggling to test keeper Adam Collin.

They were almost caught on the break when Jonathan Forte laid the ball off for Milsom, whose effort grazed the top of the bar.

Chaplin then missed another golden opportunity when he raced onto a long clearance and bore down on goal.

He tried to slide it past Collin, but the keeper saved and Chaplin slipped as he tried to gather the loose ball.

Pompey were able to steal back possession, however, and Collin did well again to stop Carl Baker’s effort going in at the near post.

But despite the home side’s dominance, it was Notts County who opened the scoring on 21 minutes.

The Blues defence were far too slow to stop Campbell collecting Duffy’s pass, turning and firing a sharp shot past Forde.

They were not behind for long, though, and after missing two great chances, CHAPLIN ensured it was third time lucky.

Bennett and Gary Roberts combined well down the left and the latter fired in a low cross that the striker slammed home.

Rather than step up a gear following all that action, however, the game then hit a lull as the interval approached.

Benett and Campbell both hit long-range efforts high over the bar, while Baker struck a fierce drive straight at Collin as the first half petered out.


Half Time

(1 – 1)


There was an injury scare soon after the restart when Gareth Evans hurt himself while conceding a free-kick.

He received treatment on the sidelines before returning to the action, but spent the next few minutes hobbling around the pitch.

Pompey then created a decent chance when Chaplin crossed into the box, but Bennett is not famed for his heading abilities and diverted the ball wide.

Cook soon made his first switch, with Stevens appearing to pick up a hamstring injury and being replaced at left-back by Kal Naismith.

The Blues kept plugging away, but the chances were not coming along as frequently as they had before the break.

In an attempt to liven things up in attack, Chaplin was withdrawn and Curtis Main was tasked with finding a winner.

But, within seconds, the hosts instead found themselves behind, with Campbell racing through to slot past Forde.

The keeper – like the rest of his team-mates – was incensed, believing that Davies had been fouled in the build-up and his protests resulted in a yellow card.

Pompey’s final substitution soon followed, with Bennett making way for Milan Lalkovic wide on the left.

But it was Roberts who threatened next, stealing the ball form Louis Laing, only to see his low cross cut out.

And the Blues were soon handed a numerical advantage when Collins dived in late on Forde and was shown a straight red card.

They immediately set about trying to find an equaliser and Collin kept out Main’s header from a pin-point Baker delivery.

Burgess was thrown up the field as an extra striker, with the hosts keen to push forward at every opportunity.

The Fratton faithful were buoyed by a display of six additional minutes from the fourth official and Baker twice went close to finding a leveller.

First, his shot was superbly saved by Collin from point-blank range and then, from the resulting corner, he narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Roberts also fizzed a shot inches past the post, as Notts County held firm to leave with all three points.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens (Naismith 59); Linganzi, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 74); Chaplin (Main 70)
Goals: Chaplin 27
Booked: Forde, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Rose, Smith

Notts County (4-1-4-1): Collin; Tootle, Laing, Hollis, Dickinson (c); Duffy; Campbell (Smith 90), Richards, Milsom, Forte (Rodman 90); Collins
Goals: Campbell 21, 71
Sent off: Collins
Booked: Laing
Subs not used: Loach, Hewitt, Edwards, O’Connor, Burke

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 17,269 (364 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 152016
 

League Two


 

Plymouth    2

 


 

Portsmouth    2

 


Bennett and Rose strikes not enough for victory

A couple of impressive Pompey goals were not enough to secure back-to-back away victories, as Plymouth hit a late leveller at Home Park.

The game did not need to be hyped up by any manufactured ‘derby’ label, with both sides contributing to an engrossing contest.

Yann Songo’o gave the hosts a lead, only for Kyle Bennett to haul the visitors level with a fierce strike before the interval.

Danny Rose then came off the bench to net a stunning late strike that only just crossed the line, but there was still time for fellow substitute Connor Smith to ensure a share of the spoils.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side that won at Leyton Orient the previous week.

That came at the back, where Matt Clarke’s dead leg saw Tom Davies handed a recall alongside Christian Burgess.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Sonny Bradley and Jake Jervis both starting against their former club.

After a cagey opening, Pompey started to find their feet and look dangerous whenever they broke into the Plymouth half.

A neat passing move between Bennett, Gary Roberts and Carl Baker ended with the latter forcing a save from Luke McCormick at the keeper’s near post.

Conor Chaplin then did well to weave his way into the box and when McCormick failed to claim the ball, Songo’o had to dive on top of it.

But for all their attacking swagger, the Blues were looking extremely frail when defending set-pieces.

A David Fox corner found its way to the feet of Jimmy Spencer at the far post, with Gareth Evans well-placed to make a block.

But the hosts did forge ahead on 20 minutes when Songo’o rose highest to plant Graham Carey’s deep free-kick past David Forde’s grasp and into the net.

Then, when another Carey effort was deflected behind, it took a goal-line clearance from Baker to deny Jordan Slew.

Chaplin thought he had won Pompey a chance to equalise moments later after tumbling over Gary Miller’s trailing leg.

Referee Darren Handley had other ideas, however, instead issuing the striker a yellow card for diving.

There seemed to be another good shout for a spot-kick when Chaplin was shoved by Nauris Bulvitis as he tried to reach Enda Stevens’ cross, but this time there were no appeals.

But Pompey were finally rewarded for their attacking intent with an equaliser five minutes before the break.

Chaplin was the provider, skinning Bulvitis to break into the box and laying the ball off for the impressive BENNETT to fire home.

There was still time for a scare at the other end, though, with Stevens forced to clear Carey’s cross behind following a mix-up between Evans and Davies.


Half Time

(1 – 1)


Bennett continued to look lively after the restart, narrowly failing to find Baker in the box and then not quite able to get the vital touch when the favour was returned.

But Miller then received the ball in acres of space at the other end, only to see his shot deflected safely into Forde’s arms.

Pompey were looking the more dangerous side, however, and Chaplin dragged his effort inches wide of the post after again breezing past Bulvitis.

More neat passing led to a corner just before the hour mark and after exchanging short passes with Michael Doyle, Roberts’ cross was headed straight at McCormick by Bennett.

It was Roberts who was next to try his luck with a fierce long-range effort that was well saved down to the keeper’s left.

But Plymouth were inches away from retaking the lead on 67 minutes, when Carey struck a superb effort that cannoned back off the crossbar.

The visitors soon made their first substitution, with Rose replacing Amine Linganzi in the centre of midfield.

And the other two soon followed, as Chaplin and Bennett made way for Curtis Main and Milan Lalkovic.

Both of the latter two had the chance to score from the save move on 79 minutes, but Main couldn’t get a clean strike on Evans’ cross.

Lalkovic then completely missed the loose ball and Miller breathed a sigh of relief when his clearance flew inches past his own post.

A Blues goal did arrive on 87 minutes – although it looked like the chance had gone when McCormick made a stunning save to deny Main from close range.

The ball came out to ROSE and he hit a superb 30-yard volley that bounced down off the underside of the crossbar.

Pompey’s players desperately appealed that the ball had crossed the line and the linesman flagged in agreement.

But that was not enough to secure all three points, as just a couple of minutes later, the ball was cut back for Smith to calmly slot home.

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): McCormick (c); Miller, Bulvitis, Bradley, Purrington; Songo’o, Fox; Jervis (Smith 60), Carey, Slew (Donaldson 81); Spencer (Tanner 84)
Goals: Songo’o 20, Smith 89
Booked: Songo’o, Purrington, Slew
Subs not used: Dorel, Bentley, Ijaha, Goodwillie

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Linganzi (Rose 69), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 74); Chaplin (Main 72)
Goals: Bennett 40, Rose 87
Booked: Chaplin, Evans
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Naismith, Smith

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 13,508 (1,592 Pompey fans)


Oct 082016
 

League Two


 

Leyton Orient    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Blues return to winning ways

Christian Burgess found the target as Pompey returned to winning ways at Leyton Orient.

The Blues recovered from successive league defeats to claim all three points in an absorbing contest in the capital.

They had to wait until after the interval to grab the game’s only goal, though, with Burgess heading home from a corner.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that were beaten by Doncaster the previous week.

Amine Linganzi was handed a first league start in the centre of midfield, while Kyle Bennett came in wide on the left.

Former Pompey loanees Alex Cisak and Paul McCallum both featured for the hosts, but Nigel Atangana had not fully recovered from a groin problem.

The first half was a goalless – but entertaining – affair, with both sides creating chances and the officials at the source of some controversial moments.

It was a quick start from the hosts, who had a corner hacked clear before David Forde denied McCallum with his legs.

Conor Chaplin then thought he had broken the deadlock with a neat sweeping finish from Enda Stevens’ cross, only for the linesman’s flag to cut his celebrations short.

Orient were soon forced into an early change after Liam Kelly had to be stretchered off, although it took almost four minutes for Sandro Semedo to get ready to replace him.

The first of three penalty appeals was made by the Blues on eight minutes, but referee Christopher Sarginson did not believe Gareth Evans’ cross had been turned behind by a hand.

An unmarked Linganzi should have broken the deadlock seconds later, heading Gary Roberts’ corner wide from a few yards out.

Then it was the Londoners’ turn to cry ‘penalty’ when Callum Kennedy’s free-kick appeared to be handled by Burgess.

Pompey’s defender then bundled over Yvan Erichot for good measure, but Sarginson again shook his head.

The visitors were causing problems with their constant pressing and when Chaplin forced a mistake from Cisak, the keeper recovered well to deny his opponent.

Bennett was proving a nuisance with his probing runs and one ended with a shot that was inadvertently diverted behind by Chaplin.

And it was Bennett who had the third penalty shout on 29 minutes. He neatly side-stepped Gavin Massey and looked to be tripped, but Sarginson disagreed once more and, adding insult to injury, also booked the winger.

He narrowly failed to find the target with a shot from the edge of the box soon after, while Chaplin’s fierce volley also went inches wide before the break.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


There was a great Blues opening just after the restart when Stevens delivered a delightful low cross into the box.

It looked like the ball would land perfectly for Chaplin to convert, only for the striker to slip at the worst possible moment.

But the visitors were then caught in possession at the back, with Forde just about leaping high enough to stop Alan Dunne from chipping him.

It was a defender who finally opened the scoring for Pompey on 57 minutes, however.

Roberts did well to win a corner on the left side and when Carl Baker whipped the ball into the box, BURGESS rose highest to head home.

Cook made a double switch soon after, with Linganzi and Chaplin making way for Danny Rose and Curtis Main.

There was still work to be done at the other end, though, and a dangerous Kennedy free-kick had to be scrambled to safety.

But Leyton Orient were leaving gaps at the back for Pompey to exploit, although the visitors were just lacking a final killer ball in their attempts to double the lead.

Roberts had an effort deflected wide following some good link-up play with Bennett, while a couple of fine Baker crosses could not quite be converted.

The hosts were looking increasingly ragged at the back, with the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring.

And they were almost gifted a second goal on 81 minutes when Nicky Hunt headed Baker’s cross against his own post.

But Orient were certainly not out of the contest and a corner led to two shots in quick succession, both of which were blocked.

That was as close as the Londoners came to snatching a share of the spoils, however, as Pompey’s travelling army were able to celebrate a win on the road.

Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Cisak; Hunt, Erichot, Parkes, Kennedy; Janse, Kelly (c) (Semedo 9), Massey, Nnomo (Palmer 82); McCallum (Dunne 46), Simpson
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Benedicic, Bowery

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi (Rose 67), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 82); Chaplin (Main 67)
Goals: Burgess 57
Booked: Bennett, Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Lalkovic, Smith

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 6,078 (1,328 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 042016
 

EFL Trophy


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Reading U23    2

 


Blues lose penalty shoot out

Curtis Main bagged a brace as Pompey fought from two goals down to draw with Reading U23s in the Checkatrade Trophy.

But it was the visitors who claimed a bonus point by winning a marathon penalty shoot-out, despite the heroics of goalkeeper Liam O’Brien.

Andrija Novakovich’s early finish and a Joseph Mendes penalty looked to have secured victory for the visitors.

But Main struck twice – the second of which was a fine first time finish – to haul the Blues level at a sparsely-populated Fratton Park.

The match attracted a crowd of just 1,355 – comfortably Pompey’s lowest post-war attendance for a competitive home fixture.

Paul Cook rung the changes for their second group stage fixture, with Matt Clarke the only player to keep his place from Saturday’s league defeat to Doncaster.

But they got off to a poor start, with the visitors breaking the deadlock after just six minutes.

Mendes showed blistering pace to latch onto Liam Kelly’s pass and coolly laid the ball back for Novakovich to slot home.

Most of the first half action then took place at the other end of the pitch, although the Blues never really tested keeper Anssi Jaakkola.

Thomas McIntyre did well to nip in and intercept a threaded pass from skipper Kyle Bennet before it could reach Michael Smith.

The two Blues players combined well again moments later, but after swapping neat passes the striker scuffed his shot wide.

Bennett then teed-up Adam Buxton down the right and the full-back’s cross had to be diverted behind by Danzell Gravenberch with Main waiting to pounce.

Pompey’s best chance of the half fell to Milan Lalkovic on 23 minutes, with his goal-bound effort just about scrambled to safety.

The Royals did threaten at the other end moments later, but O’Brien was able to gather Dominic Samuel’s fierce low drive at the other end.

And Ben Close hit a similarly powerful shot of his own, only for the ball to narrowly clear the crossbar.

But the Blues were dealt a blow just before the break when Buxton went down following a 50/50 challenge and had to be replaced by Gareth Evans.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey had a chance to level moments after the restart, but Jaakkola was wise to Evans’ neat flick after Bennett had sent a corner towards the near post.

Instead, they found themselves further behind when referee Oli Langford spotted an Amine Linganzi handball in the box.

Mendes stepped up to take the spot-kick and smashed the ball high into the net, giving O’Brien – who guessed the right way – no chance.

It did not take long for the hosts to reduce their deficit, however, as MAIN slid in to squeeze Evans’ cross past Jaakkola.

And it was MAIN who drew the Blues level just past the hour mark, converting Bennett’s pass with a fine first time finish into the bottom corner.

The striker was denied the chance to complete his hat-trick, though, as he was soon withdrawn for Kal Naismith.

Reading still had chances of their own as the game entered its closing stages and O’Brien got down well to save Novakovich’s deflected effort.

It was Pompey looking the more threatening, however, and Smith was inches away from meeting Naismith’s teasing cross.

Jaakkola then failed to hold substitute Adam May’s thumping strike and was relieved to see the ball land safe.

And it took a vital last-gasp challenge from Gravenberch to prevent Smith from being sent clear by Bennett’s incisive pass.

But the Royals wasted a glorious opportunity to snatch a stoppage-time winner when an unmarked Tyler Frost fired straight at O’Brien from just a few yards out.

That meant a penalty shoot-out would be held to see which team walked away with an additional point.

Smith, Naismith and Evans all scored, but Jaakkola denied both Bennett and Lalkovic and it looked like that was that.

O’Brien made a couple of stops of his own to take it to sudden death, however – and made another fine save to keep out Tennai Watson’s effort.

But May and Jack Whatmough both failed to beat Jaakkola, allowing Frost the chance to secure Reading an additional point.

Pompey (4-4-2): O’Brien; Buxton (Evans 44), Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; Bennett (c), Linganzi, Close (May 73), Lalkovic; Smith, Main (Naismith 69)
Goals: Main 57, 63
Subs not used: Hall, T.Davies, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Reading U23 (4-4-2): Jaakkola (c); Watson, Gravenberch, McIntyre (Griffin 18), Blackett; Rinomhota, Frost, Kelly, Samuel; Novakovic (Richards 78), Mendes
Goals: Novakovic 6, Mendes 52 (pen)
Booked: Rinomhota
Subs not used: Moore, Vancooten, East, Bennett, Cardwell

Referee: Oli Langford

Attendance: 1,355 (133 away fans)


Portsmouth FC