Football

Jul 062016
 

Match Report

Friendly


 

Sligo Rovers    3

 


 

Portsmouth    3

 


Draw for Blues in Irish testimonial

Conor Chaplin bagged a brace as Pompey drew 3-3 at Sligo in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer.

Gary Roberts also found the target in a testimonial match for long-serving Rovers favourite Gavin Peers.

That saw the visitors coast to a three-goal lead, only for the Irish outfit to hit back with three of their own after the break – including a spot-kick from man-of-the-moment Peers.

It was still an enjoyable return to The Showgrounds for Cook, though, who won three trophies when he managed the Irish club between 2007 and 2012.

There was certainly a testimonial feel to the first half, as the hosts fielded a side made up former team-mates of Peers.

One of them was Kieran Djilali – who had a short spell with the Blues in 2012 – while the brother of Westlife star Mark Feehily also featured.

Pompey, unsurprisingly, dominated before the break and they took the lead with just nine minutes on the clock.

Chaplin did well down the right and was able to pull the ball back for ROBERTS to tap home from just a yard out.

And he was able to return the favourite soon after, with CHAPLIN free to capitalise when the midfielder’s path to goal was blocked by keeper Ciaran Kelly.

Trialist stopper Michael Crowe was largely untroubled at the other end and Christian Burgess stopped him from having to make a save by blocking Djilali’s effort.

Djilali soon made a sheepish exit, however, as following a flurry of substitutions, referee Alan Kelly had failed to spot that Sligo had 12 men on the pitch.

Jack Whatmough did well to deny the Irish side on 38 minutes, charging across to halt a quick counter-attack.

Instead it was Pompey who added to the scoring soon after, with Roberts and CHAPLIN again combining, and the latter neatly lifting the ball home.

There were two chances to increase the lead further before the interval, but Roberts and Milan Lalkovic both narrowly failed to find the target.


Half Time

Sligo Rovers 0

Portsmouth 3


Peers remained on the pitch for the second half and was this time joined by 10 of his current team-mates.

Cook also rung the changes, with Roberts and Chaplin the only Blues players not to be given a rest.

Sligo almost pulled a goal back on the hour mark, but Kieran Sadlier’s drive was beaten away by replacement keeper Eric Grimes and the winger sent his follow-up effort into the side netting.

Raffaele Cretaro then wasted a great opportunity to get on the scoresheet, missing a free header at the far post.

But Sligo did have a goal on 70 minutes and – although it appeared rather soft – there were no complaints when a penalty was awarded for a challenge on Phil Roberts by Tom Davies.

That gave Peers the chance to score from the spot and he confidently slotted the ball into the bottom corner before being withdrawn to a standing ovation.

It was soon Pompey who were back on the attack and Chaplin saw an effort blocked at point-blank range following good work from Kyle Bennett and Carl Baker.

With a total of 52 players used, the game had understandably lost a bit of impetus as it coasted towards a conclusion.

But it sparked back into life towards the end as the impressive Sadlier scored twice in quick succession to draw the hosts level.

First he poked home from close range following good work down the right by Cretaro and then rifled home the equaliser seconds later.

But more important for Cook was the chance to see his squad get some minutes under the belt, while Peers was rightly lauded for his loyalty to Sligo.

Sligo first half (4-4-1-1): Kelly; Keane, Peers (c), Burns (Flannery 24), Foy (McCartney 24); Djilali (McTiernan 24), O’Grady (Judge 31), Ventre, Dillon (Mansaram 31); Ndo (Feehily 33); Elding (McNamara 24)

Sligo second half (4-4-2): Schlingermann; Adebayo-Rowling, Peers (c) (Trialist 70), Boylan, Keohane; Kearns, Roddan, Russell (Lines 79), Sadlier; Cretaro (Place 86), Roberts
Goals: Peers 69 (pen), Sadlier 85, 87

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Crowe (trialist) (Grimes (trialist) 46); Talbot (Sessegnon (trialist) 46), Whatmough (Davies 46), Burgess (Barton 46), Haunstrup (Stevens 46); May (Close 46), Doyle (c) (Rose 46); Tollitt (Baker 46), Roberts (Konsiembo (trialist) 62), Lalkovic (Bennett 46); Chaplin (Tollitt 79)
Goals: Roberts 9, Chaplin 17, 40

Referee: Alan Kelly

Attendance: 1,127


Portsmouth FC

Jul 042016
 

Curtis Main

Transfer : Doncaster Rovers – Portsmouth



Blues bring in Doncaster striker

Pompey have signed striker Curtis Main from Doncaster for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old has penned a two-year deal at Fratton Park, with the club having an option for a third year.

And he is hoping to help the Blues climb out of League Two in his first season on the south coast.

“I’m really happy and excited that it’s all been sorted and that I’m now a Pompey player,” said Main.

“I had my first training session with the lads on Saturday. I already knew a few of them and the rest have all been brilliant, so I’ve settled in effortlessly.

“I’ve come here to hopefully achieve promotion and I think that has to be the aim when you join a club like this.

“The fans know that we belong at a higher level and I think everyone agrees with that, so we’re all working in the same direction.

“I can’t wait to play in front of such large and passionate crowds at Fratton Park – that was a big draw for me signing here.”

Main started his career with Darlington, where he made his senior debut at the age of just 15.

He soon attracted the attention of Middlesbrough, spending three years with the Teesside club and making 48 Championship appearances.

Doncaster signed Main in the summer of 2014 and he scored 11 goals in 58 games for them, while also spending time on loan at Oldham last season.


Portsmouth FC

Jul 012016
 

Tom Davies

Free Agent



Blues bring in defender

Pompey have signed defender Tom Davies on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old was available on a free transfer after leaving Accrington at the end of last season.

He appeared in all three of Stanley’s games against the Blues last season and is looking forward to now having the Fratton faithful on his side.

“I’m buzzing and excited about pulling on that blue shirt,” said Davies. “I heard about the interest last week and as soon as Pompey’s name was mentioned, I told my agent that was where I wanted to go.

“The first couple of games were really tight last season, but the wall of noise when you come out of the tunnel at Fratton Park is incredible. I can’t wait to experience that every other week.

“Pompey played us off the park up at Accrington later on and it’s great to now be a part of that side.

“This place is amazing and the standards are very high, so it’s up to me to make sure that I reach them.”

Davies has already started pre-season training with the Blues and will be looking to get to know his team-mates better on next week’s trip to Ireland.

He said: “The lads have all been brilliant and very welcoming – they’ve told me what to expect.

“Ireland is a great opportunity to get some good work done. Pre-season isn’t always nice, but it’s certainly a necessity.

“We’ve got five weeks of hard work to make sure we can hit the ground running and reach our goals this season.”

Davies started his senior career in the non-league game with Team Northumbria and FC United of Manchester before moving to Fleetwood in 2014.

He arrived at Accrington last summer and scored once in 39 appearances during his single season with Stanley.


Portsmouth FC

Jun 282016
 

Milan Lalkovic

Transfer : Walsall – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Milan Lalkovic from Walsall after the clubs concluded a compensation agreement.

The 23-year-old Slovakian winger – who has represented his country up to under-21 level – has penned a two-year deal with the Blues.

He was part of the Saddlers side that narrowly missed out on automatic promotion to the Championship last season.

Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson said: “He fits into the structure of how we play extremely well and is a very dynamic player.

“He’s someone who we’ve watched for some time now and has got the ability to get fans out of their seats.”

Lalkovic came through the ranks at Chelsea and had several spells out on loan before joining Czech side Mlada Boleslav and then Barnsley.

He moved to the Bescot Stadium last summer and scored eight goals in 51 appearances during the 2015/16 campaign.


Portsmouth FC

Jun 232016
 

Michael Smith

Transfer : Swindon Town – Portsmouth



Blues bring in Swindon striker

Pompey have signed striker Michael Smith from Swindon on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old spent three months on loan at Fratton Park last season and scored four times in 16 appearances.

He netted winning goals against Carlisle and AFC Wimbledon and was also on target in clashes with Bristol Rovers and Plymouth.

Smith said: “I really enjoyed my time here last season and am over the moon to be a Pompey player again.”

The Darlington youth product – who also spent time on loan at Barnsley last term – joined Swindon from Charlton in 2014.

He scored 26 goals in 72 games during his time with the Robins, helping them reach the League One play-off final in May 2015.

Smith becomes Paul Cook’s fifth summer signing, following the captures of Matt Clarke, Danny Rose, Carl Baker and Drew Talbot


Portsmouth FC

Jun 222016
 

Drew Talbot

Free Agent



Another summer arrival at Fratton Park

Pompey have swooped to sign Drew Talbot on a two-year deal from July 1.

The versatile 29-year-old is a free agent after leaving Chesterfield, where he made 277 appearances.

He was part of the side – managed by current Blues boss Paul Cook – who secured the 2013/14 League Two title.

Although predominantly used as a full-back, Talbot has also previously performed in midfield and as a striker.

Pompey’s assistant manager Leam Richardson said: “I’ve worked with Drew before and he’s a fantastic signing for this club.

“He’s everything that our fans like about a player – he’s robust, works hard and is very fit. He’s a great lad and we expect big things from him.”

Talbot started his career at Sheffield Wednesday and helped them claim League One promotion in 2005 by scoring in the play-off final.

He then moved on to Luton before signing for Chesterfield in 2009, where he also won the Football League Trophy in 2012.


Portsmouth FC

Jun 142016
 

Carl Baker

Free Agent



Pompey have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Carl Baker on a two-year contract from July 1.

The 33-year-old joins fellow new additions Matt Clarke and Danny Rose as Paul Cook continues to shape his squad for the 2016/17 campaign.

Baker has spent the past two seasons at MK Dons, where he scored 15 goals in 72 appearances.

And he is delighted to make the move to Fratton Park, having come close to joining the Blues fairly recently.

“I very nearly signed for Pompey two years ago,” Baker recalled. “It’s lovely to finally arrive on the south coast.

“Since then I’ve kept a close eye on their results and another big factor in me coming here is that Paul Cook was my boss at Southport, where I started out.

“He’s an extremely passionate manager who is very knowledgeable and wants his teams to play football in a certain way.

“I know all about the expectations of the fans and far from fazing me, it’s a reason why I wanted to sign – along with the undoubted size of this club.

“I already know lads like Gary Roberts, Michael Doyle and Adam Barton and although I may have dropped down the league, after speaking to the manager I am in no doubt that Pompey are going places.”

Baker netted 10 goals in the 2014/15 season when MK Dons won automatic promotion to the Championship and was named Player of the Year.

The going was tougher last term and Karl Robinson’s side were relegated back to the third tier, but the midfielder still chipped in with five strikes.

After beginning his career in the non-league game with Southport, Baker moved on to feature for Morecambe and Stockport.

He then spent four-and-a-half years with Coventry, scoring 28 goals in 182 games and being named captain.


Portsmouth FC

Jun 062016
 

Matt Clarke

Transfer : Ipswich Town – Portsmouth

Adam Webster

Transfer : Portsmouth – Ipswich Town


    


Matt Clarke will join Pompey from Ipswich in a permanent deal on July 1, with Adam Webster moving in the opposite direction.

The 19-year-old centre-back has agreed a three-year deal with the Blues, who will also receive an undisclosed fee.

Clarke spent the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Fratton Park, scoring once in 33 appearances and is excited about returning.

“I’m over the moon,” he said. “It was a good season for me on a personal level, although we didn’t quite hit the heights we were aiming for.

“I’ve come on leaps and bounds – playing under-21 football just isn’t the same as turning out in front of massive crowds at Fratton Park.

“It was devastating for me to miss the play-off games with a niggly injury after working so hard throughout the campaign.

“But now I’m raring to get started again and am looking forward to what’s ahead at Pompey.

“This club might be in League Two, but everything’s set-up for us to be at a higher level and we want to make sure that happens.”

Webster scored five goals in 81 appearances after graduating from Pompey’s academy and represented England at under-19 level.


Portsmouth FC

Jun 032016
 

Danny Rose

Free Agent



Midfielder pens Blues deal

Pompey have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Danny Rose on a two-year contract.

The 28-year-old – who won the League Two title with Northampton last term – will officially become a Blues player on July 1.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said Rose. “It was a deal that moved along quite quickly and the opportunity to play for a club like Pompey was one that I couldn’t turn down.

“I’m really excited about working with Paul Cook and the rest of the lads, and hopefully having a successful campaign.

“I played the last game of the season here with Northampton and was taken aback by the atmosphere for a game that had nothing really riding on it.

“So the opportunity to perform in front of those passionate fans week in, week out is very exciting.

“It’s a special place to play football and when the call came, it was a challenge that I was eager to accept.

“Pre-season is not the most enjoyable time, but I’m excited to get going when we return after summer break.”

Pompey suffered play-off heartache at the end of the 2015/16 campaign and Rose hopes they can follow in his former side’s footsteps next season.

He said: “There’s no hiding the fact that this is the biggest club in this division and there will always be certain expectations.

“But I’m sure that the squad we’ve got here – and the players who are sure to arrive – are capable of challenging for promotion.

“Having come here off the back of winning League Two, I’ve got experience of what it takes and that could be useful.”

Rose joined Northampton back in February and scored once in 15 appearances as the Cobblers cruised to the title.

The former Manchester United trainee previously appeared for Newport, Fleetwood and Oxford, playing more than 100 times for the latter in three separate spells.


Portsmouth FC

May 182016
 

The Hawks have swooped to sign striker Jason Prior from Bognor as manager Lee Bradbury looks to rebuild his side.

It is a clear statement of intent as the Hawks aim to bounce back into National League South at the first attempt.

Relegation has hit the club hard and Bradbury, who needs to put together a competitive squad accepts that will require a different approach.

He intends to include more local talent.

Prior scored 40 goals in 57 appearances for the Rocks last season.

And Bradbury believes he fits the bill perfectly.

With the Hawks dropping into the Ryman League, Bradbury admits he is changing the focus of the team.

He said: ‘Signing Jason is a no-brainer for us as he was out of contract at Bognor.

‘He lives in Portsmouth and I am looking to build a team based on hungry local players.

‘The player is at the right age, at 27, and with lots of experience in the league we find ourselves in.

‘I have tried to get him before and he is an old-school type of centre forward.

‘He holds the ball up well, is an intelligent player and knows where the goal is.

‘As a proven goalscorer he could make all the difference to the Hawks and I am sure he will be a big success.

‘For the past two seasons we have suffered through the lack of a regular goalscorer up front.

‘Next season in the Ryman League we will need strong-willed players prepared to go the extra distance.’

Bradbury was also interested in signing Gosport Borough goalscorer Justin Bennett.

He admits, however, that the Hawks were unable to compete with what another club are offering him.

Last season’s young striker Shamir Mullings has left Westleigh Park after being released by the club.

Central-defender Ed Harris, who missed the whole of last season, has received the all-clear and has signed again for next season.

Bradbury has also agreed a deal with winger Ben Swallow to keep him at the club.


 

May 172016
 

After the disappointment of the play off defeat Paul Cook has started to trim the squad for next season.

Brian Murphy, Chad Field and Snorre Nilsen have been released following the expiration of their contracts.

Adam McGurk, Kal Naismith and Matt Tubbs have been transfer listed. Options taken up on Tollitt, May and Close. Talks continue with Hollands and Davies.

Good to see Tollitt kept, the only real surprise in Naismith who was just starting to show some promise.


Portsmouth FC