Football

Oct 172015
 

League Two


 

Newport County    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Matt Tubbs grabbed the only goal as Pompey maintained their excellent away record with victory at bottom club Newport.

The winner arrived in first half stoppage-time after the visitors had dominated without creating many clear-cut chances.

The game’s other big talking point was a change of officials after referee James Adcock was forced off injured.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that won at Cambridge the previous week.

Adam Webster and Kal Naismith both made their first league starts of the season, with Matt Clarke dropping to the bench and Gareth Evans starting a three-match ban.

Also among the substitutes were recent loan signing Caolan Lavery, utility man Rommy Boco and fit-again goalkeeper Brian Murphy.

Pompey made a bright start and Gary Roberts sent a fine ball across the face of goal that none of his team-mates could make a connection with.

At the other end, Webster did well to turn behind Zak Ansah’s low cross and Aaron McCarey punched clear from the resulting corner.

But the Blues soon started to dominate possession and enjoy their usual patient passing game.

Kyle Bennett created a great chance on 17 minutes when he bamboozled his man down the left and sent a delivery into the box, but Roberts’ effort was blocked by Scot Bennett.

Roberts had another chance after Pompey advanced down the middle moments later, with his chipped effort flying wide.

The home support were growing frustrated by their side’s inability to keep hold of the ball, but Newport were not really being put under too much pressure.

And Lenell John-Lewis had the ball in the back of Pompey’s net on 31 minutes, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul on Christian Burgess in the build-up.

There was then a lengthy stoppage as Adcock limped to the sidelines and had to be replaced by fourth official Wayne Barratt.

That drew comical – and somewhat uncaring – chants of ‘You’re Not Fit To Referee’ from the amused spectators.

It led to four minutes of stoppage-time and Pompey managed to forge ahead in the second of them.

Bennett sent a fine threaded pass through to TUBBS, who clinically slotted the ball into the bottom corner to send the large travelling contingent wild with delight.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


The first action of the second half – once a qualified referee from the crowd had been sourced to take over fourth official duties – saw Scott Barrow booked for a late challenge on Tubbs.

It was a scrappy first few minutes, although both sides had the chance to score within a few seconds of each other on 53 minutes.

When Naismith won a free-kick on the edge of the box, Bennett quickly played it to Roberts, whose fierce drive was blocked.

Newport then broke quickly up the other end of the pitch and the moved ended with Mark Byrne firing inches past the post.

The hosts had another opportunity when Adam Barton conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Tommy O’Sullivan’s curling effort was comfortable for McCarey.

Cook decided the time was right for a change just before the hour mark and Naismith made way for debutant Rommy Boco.

Pompey were struggling to find any fluency, although Bennett did see a long-range drive sail narrowly wide.

Another substitution followed on 68 minutes as Danny Hollands replaced Barton in the centre of midfield.

And the Blues had a great chance to wrap the points up soon after following a great move down the left involving Bennett and Enda Stevens.

County keeper Joe Day managed to get a hand to the latter’s low cross and the ball was agonisingly out of reach for either Tubbs or Roberts to poke home.

Pompey’s final change came on 75 minutes and saw Lavery come on for his debut in place of goalscorer Tubbs.

And the closing stages passed by pretty much incident-free as the Blues secured another three-point haul on the road.

Newport (3-5-2): Day; Partridge, Bennett, Donacien; Barnum-Bobb, O’Sullivan, Byrne (c), Elito, Barrow (Rodman 65); John-Lewis (Collins 65), Ansah (Boden 59)
Booked: Barrow
Subs not used: Taylor, Holmes, Taylor, Klukowski

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Doyle (c), Barton (Hollands 68); Naismith (Boco 59), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Lavery 75)
Goals: Tubbs 45+2
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Murphy, Clarke, Atangana, Chaplin

Referee: James Adcock (Wayne Barratt 40)

Attendance: 3,298 (1,087 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 122015
 

Caolan Lavery

Loan : Sheffield Wednesday – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Sheffield Wednesday striker Caolan Lavery on a three-month loan deal.

The 22-year-old – who was born in Canada, but has represented Northern Ireland up to under-21 level – will wear the number 13 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.

Lavery said: “I had offers from other places a lot closer to Sheffield and in higher divisions, but I know Paul and Leam very well.

“Their ambition is fantastic, as is the way they like football to be played and when you look at the size of this club, I couldn’t really say no.

“I’d like to be part of the success that I’m sure Pompey will have this season and I’m looking forward to getting started.

“At the age I’m at now, I need to be playing games on a regular basis and scoring goals.”

Lavery has progressed through the ranks at Sheffield Wednesday and scored six goals in 39 appearances.

He has also spent time out on loan at Southend and Plymouth prior to a spell working under Paul Cook at Chesterfield last season.

Portsmouth FC

Oct 102015
 

League Two


 

Cambridge United    1

 


 

Portsmouth    3

 


Pompey continued their impressive away record by battling from behind to claim all three points in an eventful game at Cambridge.

Robbie Simpson controversially fired the hosts ahead early on and that led to frayed tempers which boiled over at the break.

United captain Mark Roberts were dismissed following a scuffle and the Blues made good use of their numerical advantage.

They did the damage with two goals in under two minutes, with Leon Legge inadvertently beating his own keeper before Matt Tubbs fired Pompey ahead.

And it was Tubbs who netted again just before the end to make sure that the visitors returned home with a maximum haul, although Gareth Evans soured the mood slightly when he was sent off late on.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that drew with Yeovil at Fratton Park the previous week.

The hosts named Sam Beasant – son of former Pompey stopper Dave – between the sticks in their starting line-up.

And Gary Roberts tried to catch him out straight from kick-off with a shot from inside his own half that the keeper was wise to.

Aaron McCarey then had come off his line at the other end to punch clear a dangerous Cambridge cross.

But the hosts did take the lead on four minutes – although the Blues were furious that the goal was allowed to stand.

A flag was raised when Simpson raced onto Luke Berry’s pass and slotted home, but – after speaking with his assistant – referee Sebastian Stockbridge ruled in favour of the hosts.

Pompey soon settled into their usual patient passing game and a number of precise crosses were causing United problems, with Ben Davies a particular threat.

But they were unable to make that pressure count by testing Beasant, who had no more than a couple of half-chances from distance to deal with.

The cheers from the travelling supporters were instead of the ironic variety whenever an offside decision went their way.

Roberts was doing his best to find a way through and also tried his luck with a 35-yard pile-driver that fizzed over the crossbar.

He created a promising opportunity by dispossessing Elliot Omozusi on 32 minutes, only for Evans to waste it by firing wildly across the face of goal.

But there were to be no more major moments of drama until after the half-time whistle was blown.

A scuffle then broke out between the two teams and assistant manager Leam Richardson came onto the pitch to usher his players away and down the tunnel.

In the melee, Cambridge skipper Roberts pushed McCarey to the ground and was sent off by Stockbridge, while Richardson was ordered to watch the rest of the game from the stands.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


It was the 10-man hosts who were first to threaten when the game restarted and McCarey was down quickly to smother Ryan Donaldson’s effort.

Pompey immediately had a chance down at the other end, but Kyle Bennett could not guide Enda Stevens’ cross on target.

Cambridge were sitting increasingly deeper as the Blues tried to find a way through and Bennett forced a decent stop from Beasant just past the hour mark.

Cook made his first switch on 66 minutes and it was certainly an unusual move, with Adam Webster replacing Matt Clarke and Burgess moving up front.

And, within the space of just a few seconds, Pompey had scored twice to turn the game completely on its head.

The first came when United defender LEGGE, under pressure from Tubbs, steered a decent Evans cross into his own net.

And the large away following were in dreamland moments later, as TUBBS showed his poacher’s instinct to convert Roberts’ pass from close range.

Burgess immediately dropped back into defence and a second substitution followed on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith replacing Bennett.

Pompey did not have too much to deal with at the other end as they looked to see out the rest of the game.

And they even managed to grab a third goal in fortunate fashion late on, with a clearance hitting Naismith and rebounding off the bar for TUBBS to head home.

The only sour note was a stoppage-time dismissal for Evans, who was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Omozusi.

Cambridge (4-4-2): Beasant; Omozusi, Legge, Roberts (c), Demetriou; Donaldson (Newton 73), Berry, Hughes, Dunk (Morrissey 83); Corr, Simpson (Taft 46)
Goals: Simpson 4
Sent off: Roberts
Booked: Corr, Newton
Subs not used: Taylor, Hughes, Gaffney, Akintunde

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Clarke (Webster 65), Stevens; Barton (Atangana 89), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Naismith 75); Tubbs
Goals: Legge 67 (og), Tubbs 68, 87
Sent off: Evans
Booked: Davies
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Hollands, Chaplin

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 6,607 (1,866 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 032015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Yeovil Town    0

 


Pompey were frustrated in their attempts to return to winning ways after being held to a goalless draw by Yeovil.

Neither side created much in an opening 45 minutes that was devoid of any excitement at both ends of the pitch.

The Blues looked dangerous after the interval, but were unable to breach an increasingly over-worked Glovers defence.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that suffered a first league defeat against Exeter on Tuesday night.

Skipper Michael Doyle returned to the midfield in place of Danny Hollands, while Conor Chaplin and Jayden Stockley dropped to the bench to make way for Gary Roberts and Matt Tubbs.

Yeovil named a couple of familiar faces in their starting line-up, with Ryan Bird and Wes Fogden both featuring.

The first half was a low-key affair played out in bright autumn sunshine, with neither keeper having much to do.

There were plenty of balls into the box and blocked half-chances, but little to excite another packed Fratton crowd.

Pompey were producing plenty of patient passing football, although they were unable to unlock the Glovers defence.

And it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Matt Clarke was dispossessed on 22 minutes, but his defensive partner Christian Burgess quickly slid in to deny Harry Cornick.

Then, from the resulting corner, Bird diverted the ball goalwards, only to be denied by Aaron McCarey.

The Blues’ best chance also came from a corner, with Doyle launching a fierce volley that flew narrowly past the post.

Pompey did start to look more threatening towards the end of the half, but a couple of dangerous Kyle Bennett crosses could not be converted.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Cook made a switch at the break, with Jayden Stockley on for Gareth Evans as the hosts switched to a 4-4-2 system.

But they were still lacking that incisive final ball to breach Yeovil’s back-line and test keeper Artur Krysiak.

The Fratton faithful were doing their best to inject some life into proceedings, with constant chants of ‘Blue Army’ ringing around the ground.

It almost had the desired effect just past the hour mark when Ben Davies delivered a fine cross that somehow managed to evade the waiting Stockley.

The right-back tried to find the same player again moments later, but this time the striker could not beat Krysiak with a header.

Pompey were suddenly looking threatening and Roberts was next to have a chance when he met Bennett’s cut-back and powered inches over the bar.

A second substitution followed on 70 minutes, with Danny Hollands coming on for Adam Barton in the middle of the park.

It was Bennett who tried to bring the game to life soon after, though, when he surged inside from the left and fired in a shot that was blocked.

The ball then sat up nicely for Tubbs, but a Yeovil player managed to get in the way and Hollands’ follow-up suffered the same fate.

Pompey had their opponents camped back in their own half, with a succession of corners causing plenty of problems.

One of them fell to Doyle 30 yards out and his fierce drive had to be smartly parried clear by Krysiak.

The Blues continued to pour forward in the closing stages, as their under-pressure visitors struggled keep hold of the ball.

But Yeovil held firm until the final whistle to frustrate Pompey and ensure a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Barton (Hollands 70), Doyle (c); Evans (Stockley 46), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Chaplin 89)
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Tollitt, Naismith

Yeovil (4-1-4-1): Krysiak; Roberts, Arthurworrey, Sokolik (Howells 66), Smith; Fogden; Cornick (Laird 79), Sheehan (Jeffers 90+2), Dolan, Dickson (c); Bird
Booked: Dolan
Subs not used: Weale, Lacey, Allen, Bassett

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 17,309 (612 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 292015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Exeter City    2

 


Possession counts for nothing as Blues slip

Pompey’s stay at the League Two summit was short-lived as they lost 2-1 at home to Exeter.

There was plenty of energy from a Blues side who dominated possession and created a host of chances.

But the Grecians left them stunned with a sucker-punch in each half, with first David Wheeler and then Arron Davies getting the goals.

And the visitors made sure they ended Pompey’s unbeaten run with some stoic defending to repel the attacking charge.

The only bright point for the hosts was a stoppage-time consolation for substitute Gary Roberts.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that went top of the table by beating Bristol Rovers at the weekend.

Pompey came roaring out of the blocks and Exeter struggled to deal with their quick counter-attacks in the early stages.

The hosts had three good chances to open the scoring in the space of a few seconds in the third minute.

Two of them fell to Gareth Evans, with the winger denied first by a Bobby Olejnik save and then a brave Jordan Moore-Taylor block.

Skipper Ben Davies sent the ball back into the box, where Jayden Stockley was waiting to head wide of the post.

Kyle Bennett was next to go close with a cleanly-struck free-kick from 25 yards that he bent narrowly off target.

The Grecians were finding it tough to stifle Pompey’s attacking verve, although their defenders well doing well to fling themselves in front of any balls into the box.

That happened on 18 minutes when Bennett broke brilliantly up the pitch and fed Stockley. His low cross was met by Chaplin, but again there was a red-and-white-shirted man to get in the way.

Then, from nowhere, the Blues suddenly found themselves behind, as Danny Hollands was caught in possession and Wheeler drove an accurate drive into the bottom corner.

The goal seemed to puncture Pompey’s spirit, although the lively Bennett was still tormenting the visitors with his trickery out wide.

And he had a shot saved by Olejnik just before the break after Hollands and Conor Chaplin had combined well to tee him up.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey were soon on the attack once the second half got underway and Bennett tested Olejnik’s handling with a long-range effort.

A stretching Evans was then millimetres from making a connection after Enda Stevens’ cross had been touched on by Stockley.

Cook decided to make his first switch on 55 minutes, with Chaplin making way for Matt Tubbs.

But it was Exeter who were next to threaten, with Stockley forced to hack clear after Aaron McCarey had kept out Christian Ribeiro’s close-range shot.

It was only a brief reprieve for the Blues, however, as despite offside appeals, Holmes delivered a dangerous ball into the box.

McCarey got a hand to it, but the ball sat up kindly for Davies to head past the Blues bodies stationed on the line.

Pompey now faced an uphill challenge, although they almost reduced the deficit on 65 minutes.

Stockley met a precision corner from Bennett, but Danny Butterfield was well-placed on the line to clear the danger.

Cook responded with his second switch, as Roberts replaced Evans to try to add a spark to the Blues’ attack.

And the Blues continued to apply plenty of pressure, only to see every foray forward or ball into the box repelled by a resolute Grecians back-line.

Stevens sent the ball across the face of goal on 85 minutes, but none of his team-mates were able to force it home.

Pompey certainly were not prepared to throw in the towel as they kept pumping the ball forward in the closing stages.

And a long-range effort from ROBERTS was deflected past Olejnik in stoppage-time to at least give the home support something to cheer.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies (c), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Barton, Hollands (Doyle 81); Evans (Roberts 66), Chaplin (Tubbs 55), Bennett; Stockley
Goals: Roberts 90+3
Booked: Burgess, Bennett
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Atangana, Naismith

Exeter (4-3-3): Olejnik; Ribeiro, Brown, Tillson, Moore-Taylor; Oyeleke (Hoskins 79), Noble (c) (Butterfield 46), Davies; Grant (McCready 72), Wheeler, Holmes
Goals: Wheeler 20, Davies 56
Subs not used: Pym, Nicholls, Nichols, Morrison

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 15,822 (313 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 262015
 

League Two

1 – 2


Pompey’s impressive start to the season continued as they took all three points away from Bristol Rovers.

Gareth Evans headed home midway through the first half as the Blues dominated the opening part of the game.

But the hosts improved after the interval and forced an Aaron McCarey own-goal during a period of pressure.

That kicked the visitors back into life, however, and Jayden Stockley – who was not even supposed to be starting – grabbed the winner.

Paul Cook made three enforced changes from the side that drew at Oxford the previous week.

Loan signing McCarey came straight into the team in place of injured keeper Paul Jones.

There were also spaces for Danny Hollands and Adam Barton in midfield, with Nigel Atangana (back) and Michael Doyle (suspended) both out.

But another switch had to be made once the sides had been named – with Adam McGurk picking up a knock in the warm-up and being replaced by Stockley.

After a slow start to proceedings, it was Pompey who soon started to control possession and trouble their opponents.

Their first decent opening arrived on 15 minutes when Evans charged into the box and shot with the outside of his boot, only to be denied by onrushing Rovers keeper Lee Nicholls.

Tom Lockyer then had to race across the box and clear the danger when Stockley quickly flicked Evans’ pass on to Conor Chaplin.

And it was Chaplin who should have broken the deadlock moments later, with the teenager somehow heading Kyle Bennett’s cross wide from just a couple of yards out.

The Blues continued to torment their hosts and their pressure finally paid off on 29 minutes.

It was the impressive pairing of Bennett and EVANS who combined to open the scoring, with the latter meeting the former’s cross and guiding a header into the corner.

Debutant McCarey had been a virtual bystander for much of the half, but was called into action twice before the interval.

First he had to adjust his feet quickly to stop Lee Brown’s deflected cross from sneaking in at the near post.

Then he made a smart stop to deny Jermaine Easter after Christian Burgess’ unfortunate slip had gifted an opening to the Rovers striker.

It was the visitors who had the final say, however, with a quick counter-attack, but Evans could only divert Chaplin’s pass straight at Nicholls.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey had been in almost total control before the break, but the hosts found themselves level early in the second half.

They enjoyed a spell of pressure before grabbing the equaliser – although there was a hint of fortune about the goal.

The Blues failed to deal with a cross and although Easter’s shot came back off the bar, the ball ricocheted off McCarey and into the net.

Pompey were struggling to find any sort of rhythm and they almost fell behind on 56 minutes when Easter’s long-range drive cannoned back off the post.

But the hosts then had two penalty appeals from skipper Ben Davies and Chaplin turned down, with referee Jeremy Simpson deciding the latter had dived and brandishing a yellow card.

Cook made his first substitution on 68 minutes, with Gary Roberts – who has been suffering with an ankle problem – replacing Chaplin.

But it was Bennett who immediately had a chance to restore the Blues’ advantage when he surged down the right and into the box, only to fire wide when a pass to Stockley was arguably the better option.

STOCKLEY soon had his chance to score, however, and took it when he poked home a fine Davies cross to end a patient passing move from Pompey.

Rovers tried to find another leveller, but the Blues were looking dangerous on the break, with Cook opting to bring on Kal Naismith and Matt Tubbs rather than shut up shop.

That attacking mentality almost paid off on 82 minutes when Roberts played a clever pass to Evans, but Nicholls kept out his fierce drive.

The hosts tried desperately to get the ball forward in search of a last-gasp point, but Pompey held firm to go top of the League Two table.

Bristol Rovers (3-5-2): Nicholls; J.Clarke (Gosling 46), Lockyer, Parkes; Leadbitter, Sinclair, Lines (c), O.Clarke (Bodin 46), Brown; Harrison, Easter (Taylor 72)
Goals: McCarey 48 (og)
Booked: Lines, Gosling, Lockyer
Subs not used: Mildenhall, McChrystal, Montano, Mansell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies (c), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Barton, Hollands; Evans, Chaplin (Roberts 68), Bennett (Naismith 74); Stockley (Tubbs 79)
Goals: Evans 29, Stockley 71
Booked: Stockley, Chaplin
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, May

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 8,555 (1,188 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 252015
 

Aaron McCarey

Loan : Wolves – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed goalkeeper Aaron McCarey from Wolves on a one-month emergency loan.

Paul Cook has brought in the 23-year-old after Paul Jones (knee) joined Brian Murphy (groin) on the Blues’ injury list.

Michael Poke has also had to cut short a spell on loan at Eastleigh after hurting his shoulder.

McCarey – a former Republic of Ireland under-21 international – is a graduate of Wolves’ academy, who has made seven senior appearances for the midlands club.

He has previously gained first team experience with stints out on loan at Walsall and York.


Portsmouth FC

Sep 192015
 

League Two

1 – 1


Adam McGurk’s stunning strike saw Pompey fight from behind to preserve their unbeaten league record at Oxford.

The forward fired home from long-range after the interval to cancel out Liam Sercombe’s first half opener.

But the Blues had to play out the closing stages with only 10 men after captain Michael Doyle was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that beat Barnet at Fratton Park the previous week.

With Gary Roberts and Brian Murphy both absent through injury, in came Gareth Evans wide on the right and Paul Jones between the sticks.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start, sending a few deliveries into the box for the hosts to deal with.

They were enjoying plenty of possession, but the final ball was lacking and Sam Slocombe remained untroubled in the Oxford goal.

And United started to grow into the game as the half progressed, finally having the first decent chance on 26 minutes.

Doyle was booked for a foul on Sercombe and Jones was quickly off his line to punch clear the resulting free-kick.

Pompey’s keeper was in action again moments later, this time preventing Danny Hylton from scoring with an angled close-range drive.

The visitors were soon forced into making a substitution, with Conor Chaplin limping off to be replaced by Matt Tubbs.

Hylton then saw his shot deflected behind and it was from the resulting corner that Oxford broke the deadlock.

Rose swung a dangerous cross into the box and Pompey were unable to properly deal with the delivery, leaving Sercombe in space to lash home the loose ball.

The Blues were still not creating much at the other end and a Ben Davies free-kick that curled wide was the closest they came to troubling Slocombe.

United were having more joy, however, and Roofe probably should have guided Callum O’Dowda’s cut-back on target.

Johnny Mullins then met a Rose free-kick on 43 minutes, but Jones palmed away his header and Pompey were able to hack clear.

And Jones came to the rescue again just before the interval, doing well to make himself large and deny Roofe.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Cook made a change at the break, with Adam Barton coming on for his first league appearance in place of the below-par Nigel Atangana.

Pompey soon had a chance to draw level when they broke quickly up the pitch and Slocombe did well to stop the onrushing Evans from meeting McGurk’s low cross.

Evans then hooked the ball into the box and McGurk sent a header looping narrowly over the crossbar.

But the Blues’ afternoon was perhaps best summed up on 58 minutes when Kyle Bennett did well to win a corner.

Evans placed the ball down to take what was clearly a well-rehearsed effort, only to roll it straight out of play.

But suddenly – and without looking particularly threatening – Pompey found themselves level.

There did not appear to be much on when McGURK received the ball 30 yards out, but he let fly with a fierce effort that beat Slocombe’s desperate dive and slammed into the net.

The goal seemed to give the visitors a massive lift, although Oxford arguably should have restored their advantage on 69 minutes.

Mullins met George Baldock’s cross with a firm header, but he could only direct the ball straight at Jones.

It was Pompey now looking the more assured side in possession, however, and they forged another good opening on 77 minutes.

A patient passing move ended with McGurk cutting the ball back for Bennett, who was unable to force his shot through a sea of bodies.

But, with the Blues firmly in control, they were reduced to 10 men after Doyle ended a brisk Oxford break by bringing down Sercombe.

Referee Iain Williamson immediately called Pompey’s skipper over and showed him his second yellow card of the afternoon, followed by a red.

However, the Blues saw out the final few minutes with relative ease to take a point back home to the south coast.

Oxford (4-4-2): Slocombe; Baldock, Mullins, Wright (c), Skarz; Rose (Ruffels 71), Sercombe, Lundstram, O’Dowda (MacDonald 40); Roofe (Hoban 82), Hylton
Goals: Sercombe 33
Booked: Hylton, Wright, Ruffels
Subs not used: Buchel, Dunkley, Roberts, Taylor

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana (Barton 46), Doyle (c); Bennett (Hollands 82), Chaplin (Tubbs 30), Evans; McGurk
Goals: McGurk 61
Sent off: Doyle (two yellow cards)
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Naismith, Stockley

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 9,093 (2,459 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 152015
 

Romuald Boco

Free Agent



Pompey have completed the signing of Romuald ‘Rommy’ Boco until the end of the season.

But the 30-year-old utility man – who is a Benin international – has gone straight out on loan to Havant & Waterlooville for a month.

He was most recently at Indian side Bharat, but has been training with the Blues for the past few weeks.

Boco has previously played under Blues boss Paul Cook at Sligo, Accrington and Chesterfield and he made 19 appearances for the latter last term.

Portsmouth FC

Sep 122015
 

League Two

3 – 1


Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk on target as Pompey fought from behind to beat Barnet.

They were slow to get going and some sloppy marking allowed Andy Yiadom to give the Londoners the lead.

But Chaplin and McGurk both displayed some clinical finishing either side of the break to turn the game on its head.

And the visitors’ misery was compounded when keeper Jamie Stephens was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Chaplin then grabbed his second of the afternoon just before the final whistle to complete an enjoyable afternoon for the Blues.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Accrington the previous week.

Chaplin and McGurk both came in for the first league starts of the season, with Gareth Evans dropping to the bench and Jayden Stockley absent after just becoming a parent.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the Barnet camp, with former Pompey midfielder Martin Allen naming both Bondz N’Gala and John Akinde in his side.

The Bees boss provided an animated performance on the sidelines and received a ticking off from referee Darren England after gesturing for a home player to be booked.

But there was not too much happening on the pitch in a half that was full of commitment, but lacking in quality.

Matt Clarke had the first decent chance on 20 minutes, but could not guide Gary Roberts’ corner on target.

Instead it was the visitors who broke the deadlock soon after, with Yiadom left alone to calmly slot home Mauro Vilhete’s cut-back.

Christian Burgess had a chance to equalise when he met a Kyle Bennett free-kick, but Stephens stopped his header on the line and Chaplin then blazed the loose ball over.

But the Blues were level on 37 minutes after Barnet failed to deal with a Roberts set-piece that was sent into the box.

CHAPLIN did well to pick the ball up and make space to shoot before rifling home a fine finish past a helpless Stephens.

Brian Murphy then had to come charging out of his goal just before the break, narrowing the angle for marauding right-back Gavin Hoyte and forcing him to fire wide.


Half Time

(1 – 1)


Cook made a switch at the break, with Adam Webster replacing Roberts as Pompey switched to a 3-5-2 formation.

And the hosts should have forged ahead on 52 minutes when McGurk sent Bennett through on goal, only for the summer signing to blaze high over the bar.

But McGURK was much more clinical when he raced onto Webster’s pass moments later and calmly finished past Stephens.

The visitors were not happy that the goal was allowed to stand, however, as Bennett – who did not touch the ball – was flagged offside.

The advantage might have been extended on 57 minutes, but Webster was unable to divert Ben Davies’ dangerous free-kick on target.

Barnet’s task was made a lot harder when they were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.

Stephens came racing off his line to try to beat Bennett to the ball, but only succeeded in clattering into the Pompey midfielder.

Having already been booked for time-wasting before the break, England had no choice but to show him his second yellow card, followed by a red.

Akinde was sacrificed so teenage keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle could come on, while Evans replaced Clarke for the hosts.

The academy stopper stopped his side from falling further behind on 82 minutes, though, tipping Chaplin’s header over the bar.

Substitute Matt Tubbs was then unable to find the target from an acute angle following a poor clearance from McKenzie-Lyle.

But it was CHAPLIN who added a gloss to the final score in stoppage-time, when a long Murphy ball was flicked on and he calmly slid the ball home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke (Evans 68), Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Roberts (Webster 46), Chaplin, Bennett; McGurk (Tubbs 80)
Goals: Chaplin 37, 90+6, McGurk 54
Booked: Chaplin, Stevens, Evans, Bennett, Davies
Subs not used: Jones, Tollitt, Hollands, Naismith

Barnet (4-4-1-1): Stephens; Hoyte, N’Gala, Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete (Muggleton 59), Yiadom, Togwell, Gambin (Gash 59); Weston (c); Akinde (McKenzie-Lyle 67)
Goals: Yiadom 25
Sent off: Stephens (two yellow cards)
Booked: Yiadom, Dembele
Subs not used: Nelson, Champion, Tomlinson, McLean

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 16,217 (413 away fans)

Portsmouth FC