Football

Aug 082015
 
League 2
Portsmouth 3 – 0 Dagenham & Redbridge

 

The Paul Cook era at Pompey began in spectacular fashion as three second half goals secured a comfortable victory over Dagenham.

A packed crowd saw the Blues dominate the first half without managing to open the scoring.

But that all changed after the interval when Gareth Evans headed home the opener to get the Fratton party started.

And Kyle Bennett then took over with a couple of fine strikes to ensure the home fans left the ground in buoyant mood.

Cook handed debuts to nine players, with Nigel Atanagana and Matt Tubbs the only starters to have ended last season at Fratton Park.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, however, with former Pompey loanees Josh Passley and Nyron Nosworthy in the Dagenham side.

Before kick-off both sets of supporters heartily took part in a minute’s applause in memory of PST chairman Ken Malley, who sadly passed away earlier in the summer.

When the game got underway in glorious sunshine it was the hosts who immediately looked the more threatening.

A lovely chipped pass from Gary Roberts had to be cleared behind by Matt Richards, while Christian Burgess headed wide from the resulting corner.

Nosworthy then did well to intercept Tubbs’ centre following a quick break up the pitch by Bennett.

Another incisive pass from Bennett was just out of reach for Tubbs on 11 minutes, while Roberts saw his effort deflected behind moments later.

Pompey were doing all the pressing and Bennett was next to go close after being fed by skipper Michael Doyle, but saw his shot curl narrowly over.

And it took a superb save from Mark Cousins to keep the scores level on 19 minutes, with the Daggers keeper flinging out a hand to stop Tubbs’ fierce drive flying into the bottom corner.

The game started to quieten down after that frantic opening and there was a bizarre moment midway through the half when referee Carl Boyeson allowed the players a break for drinks.

Pompey started to move through the gears again afterwards and a Roberts free-kick was headed clear before Nosworthy was forced to turn a dangerous low Bennett cross behind for a corner.

The visitors finally had an opening on 36 minutes when the ball bounced around the Blues box before being hacked to safety by Atangana.

But the action was soon back up the other end of the pitch and Evans dragged a shot inches past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Dagenham & Redbridge 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Both sides had long-range sighters at the start of the second half, with first Bennett and then Jodi Jones narrowly missing the target.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 51 minutes when Bennett’s corner found EVANS at the far post and he headed back into the opposite corner.

Dagenham came close to hitting back immediately, with Ashley Hemmings’ drive deflected into the side netting by Ben Davies.

At the other end, Burgess was proving an aerial threat from set-pieces and twice he headed behind after meeting corners from Bennett and Roberts.

But it was BENNETT who doubled the advantage on 62 minutes, collecting Enda Stevens’ throw, cutting inside from the left and smashing an emphatic finish off the underside of the bar.

Pompey were forced into a change on 68 minutes when the impressive Atangana limped off and was replaced by Danny Hollands.

Tubbs almost added a third goal seconds later when he met Roberts’ cross with a looping header that was clawed away by Cousins.

Instead it was BENNETT who strengthened the lead on 74 minutes with another stunning strike from 25 yards after collecting the ball from Roberts.

That was the winger’s last involvement, however, as he soon made way for Jayden Stockley in the Blues attack, receiving a standing ovation as he left the pitch.

Pompey kept pushing forward in search of more goals, with Roberts and Burgess both coming close in the final few minutes.

But the Blues – and their supporters – seemed more than satisfied with their three-goal haul when the final whistle blew.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana (Hollands 68), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Stockley 76); Tubbs (Chaplin 84)
Goals: Evans 51, Bennett 62, 74
Subs not used: Jones, Webster, Haunstrup, McGurk

Dag & Red (4-4-2): Cousins; Passley, Partridge, Nosworthy, Widdowson; Jones, Boucaud (c), Richards, Hemmings; McClure (Ferdinand 46), Cureton
Subs not used: O’Brien, Connors, Hamalainen, Chambers, Doidge

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 16,948 (279 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 082015
 

Brian Murphy

Free Agent



Pompey have signed goalkeeper Brian Murphy on a deal until January.

The 32-year-old – who will wear the number 24 shirt – has been training with the Blues for the past few weeks and played in the friendly victory over Woking.

He said: “I’ve enjoyed getting sharp here and now I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get the deal over the line.

“Motivation certainly won’t be difficult here – there are not any other teams in this league that will get 17,000 for home games.

“Everyone knows where Pompey were a short while ago and where we are now, so it’s up to the players to rise to the challenge.”

The Irish stopper came through the ranks at Manchester City and moved on to play for Swansea, Bohemians, Ipswich and QPR.

Portsmouth FC

Aug 062015
 

Pompey have signed Ben Davies on a one-year deal.

The 34-year-old – who has been handed the number two shirt – can play in defence or midfield.

He has spent pre-season with the Blues and featured in the friendlies against Havant & Waterlooville, Bognor, Coventry, Woking and Gillingham.

Davies said: “I spoke to a few clubs closer to home, but as soon as I knew Pompey were interested it was an easy decision to make.

“We’ve all been pretty relaxed about the deal being done, but I’m delighted it’s happened in time for the first game.

“I’ve been here for a good few weeks, so I know all about the lads, their style of play and what a big club this is.

“I like to play all over the place – at Derby I was a left-winger, right-winger and right-back, and at Sheffield United last year I played most of it at right-back. If a position comes up and is available I’ll do a good job anywhere.”

Davies came through the ranks at Walsall and later went on to play for Kidderminster, Chester, Shrewsbury, Notts County and Derby.

He moved to Sheffield United – initially on loan – in February 2014 and scored seven goals in 39 appearances during his time with the Blades.

Portsmouth FC
Aug 032015
 

Matt Clarke

Loan : Ipswich Town – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Matt Clarke on loan from Championship side Ipswich until January.

The 18-year-old centre-back has already featured three times for the Blues in pre-season and scored in the 2-0 triumph at Woking.

He will wear the number 20 shirt during his time on the south coast.

Clarke said: “I’m delighted to be here. I’ve already played a few games, so it’s great to have all the paperwork signed.

“I’ve enjoyed the matches that I’ve been involved in so far and have done alright, so now I want to improve from there.

“I spent a lot of time on the bench last season and just got a few minutes here and there, so I wanted to go out and hopefully get some more regular football.”

Clarke is a graduate of Ipswich’s academy and has made five senior appearances for the Tractor Boys.

He made his senior debut at Crawley in a Capital One Cup clash last August.

Portsmouth FC

Aug 012015
 

Gillingham 0 – 0 Portsmouth

Friendly finishes in stalemate

Pompey played out a goalless draw with League One side Gillingham in their final friendly before the 2015/16 campaign.

Chances were scarce throughout the Priestfield Stadium clash, although Ben Davies did strike the crossbar before the break.

Gareth Evans was handed a start wide on the right after completing his Pompey switch earlier in the week.

There were also appearances for triallists Davies and Matt Clarke in the visitors’ back-line.

Neither side created much in the opening stages, although Gillingham were forced to make an early change when Aaron Morris limped off after just four minutes.

His namesake – keeper Glenn Morris – then waited for a ball to roll into his area before claiming it and only just got there before the rampaging Evans.

There were a few half-chances, with Bradley Dack curling narrowly wide for the hosts, while Pompey’s Gary Roberts saw his free-kick punched clear by Morris.

But it took until 27 minutes for the first real moment of magic after Davies had been felled by Bradley Garmston just outside the box.

The right-back stepped up to take the free-kick himself and sent a thunderbolt smashing against the crossbar.

That failed to spark a period of goalmouth action, however, and Jake Hessenthaler’s 20-yard drive that flew over the top was as close as the Gills came to beating Paul Jones before the break.

Half Time: Gillingham 0 Pompey 0

There might not have been too much excitement in the first half, but both sides came close to scoring just after the interval.

First Roberts saw his low drilled effort kept out by a brave block from Gills centre-back Adedeji Oshilaja.

The hosts then broke straight up the other end of the pitch and Emmanuel Osadebe’s angled drive drew a smart stop from Jones.

A break in play followed after Matt Tubbs suffered a cut elbow and, despite there not being too much blood visible, the striker was forced to change both shirt and shorts on the sidelines.

When the action resumed Oshilaja came close to breaking the deadlock, but could only head over from a corner.

Paul Cook made a couple of changes just past the hour mark, as Tubbs and Kyle Bennett made way for Jayden Stockley and Conor Chaplin.

A deluge of substitutions then followed from both sides as the game began to peter towards a stalemate.

Pompey did have a chance on the break when referee Fred Graham waved play on following a foul by Osadebe on Evans.

Roberts took control of the ball, burst down the right and sent it into the box, but Stockley was unable to guide it on target and the game finished all square.

Gillingham (4-1-4-1): G.Morris (Nelson 46); Jackson, Egan (Ehmer 46), Oshilaja, Garmston; A.Morris (Hessenthaler 4); Donnelly (Williamson 68), Dack (McGlashan 76), Osadebe, Dickenson (Wright 46); Norris
Booked: Osadebe
Sub not used: Davies

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Bass 81); Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup (Webster 68); Atangana (Close 73), Doyle (c) (Hollands 73); Evans, Roberts (Tollitt 81), Bennett (Chaplin 62); Tubbs (Stockley 62)
Booked: Doyle

Referee: Fred Graham

Portsmouth FC
Jul 312015
 

Paul Robinson has made a shock Pompey exit.

The 33-year-old central defender joined the club on loan from Millwall at the start of last season and joined the club on a permanent basis in January.

He enjoyed a fine season at the heart of the defence, despite Pompey’s inconsistency, but then missed the final two months with the fractured cheekbone he suffered in the win over Luton Town in March.

After making a full recovery, it appeared that he was set to be named club captain by boss Paul Cook for the forthcoming campaign.

But he has now been deemed surplus to requirements and has left the club by mutual consent.

There will no shortage of takers for his services with several clubs in League One and League Two having expressed an interest in him previously. And his departure will be a big surprise to many Blues fans who thought he would be a pivotal figure this season.

Robinson joined AFC Wimbledon on trial

Portsmouth FC
Jul 282015
 

Pompey have signed Gareth Evans on a one-year deal.

The 27-year-old winger has been training with the Blues throughout pre-season and netted in the friendly victories against Coventry and Woking.

But he is thrilled to have secured a contract at Fratton Park and is targeting a successful 2015/16 campaign.

Evans said: “The manager wanted me to come in so he could have a look at me and I was happy to do that.

“There were a few other offers from the league above and I turned them down to come and train with Pompey.

“So I’m delighted to have put pen to paper and now I’ve got to knuckle down and concentrate on playing well.

“It’s worked out well because I already know everyone and I’m just looking forward to the start of the season.

“The aim is promotion – it’s as simple as that. It’s an honour to be at this club, but I’ve come here for success and I’m confident we are capable of that.”

Pompey start the season with a home clash against Dagenham & Redbridge on August 8 and Evans cannot wait to perform in front of the Fratton faithful.

He said: “I’ve played here before with Fleetwood, but I was on the other side then. To have all those fans on my side is very exciting.”

Evans started his career at Crewe and later turned out for Macclesfield, Bradford and Rotherham.

He moved to Fleetwood in January 2013 and scored 12 goals in 106 appearances, helping them win promotion into League One.

Portsmouth FC
Jul 242015
 

Woking 0 – 2 Portsmouth

Pompey secured a third successive pre-season victory with a 2-0 triumph at Woking.

Both goals arrived in the first half – and both were scored by triallists.

Gareth Evans opened the scoring with a well-taken strike, while Matt Clarke headed home a second minutes later.

There was a new face in the visitors’ side, with triallist Brian Murphy featuring between the sticks following Michael Poke’s loan switch to Eastleigh.

Gary Roberts was handed a start after recovering from a knee injury and had a couple of early chances.

First he curled a free-kick narrowly past the post after Evans had been felled and then scuffed another shot wide.

Conor Chaplin went even closer to breaking the deadlock on 11 minutes when he smashed the ball against the underside of the crossbar.

The conditions were not ideal, with heavy rain causing both sets of players to slide on the wet surface.

But it was Pompey who dealt with them better and the visitors forged ahead on 28 minutes.

Kal Naismith found EVANS with an incisive pass and the winger smashed an unstoppable shot past the grasp of Cards keeper Nick Hamann and into the net.

He almost added another moments later, only for Hamann to get down and save, with the ball hacked behind.

But the Blues did double their advantage from the resulting corner, as CLARKE rose to head home an Evans corner.

Pompey continued to dominate as the half drew to a conclusion, but Chaplin blazed wildly over to deny them a third.

Half Time: Woking 0 Pompey 2

Cook made one change at the interval, with Ben Davies replacing fellow triallist Frank van der Struijk at right-back.

The hosts had offered little going forward before the break, but substitute John Goddard threatened after the restart.

Twice he caught the ball sweetly and sent it goalwards and twice he was denied by the well-placed Murphy.

And Murphy made an even better stop to deny the midfielder on 55 minutes, getting down low to his left to palm clear an angled effort.

But the Blues then almost strengthened their advantage, with Evans charging in at the far post to meet Roberts’ pass and seeing his fierce drive just about kept out by substitute stopper Jake Cole.

It was still Woking who were creating more opportunities, although Murphy was not overly troubled by Giuseppe Sole’s strike on 79 minutes.

Pompey finished the game on the front foot, however, with Evans and Enda Stevens both failing to find the target following bright attacking moves.

But they were unable to add to the lead and Woking almost grabbed a late consolation as Scott Rendell’s effort was deflected onto the post.

Woking (3-4-1-2): Hamann (Cole 46); Yakubu, Ricketts (c) (Beckles 75), Saah; Caprice (Kouassi 59), Jones, Poku (Murtagh 46), Arthur; Smith (Goddard 46); Rendell, Banya (Sole 59)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; van der Struijk (Davies 46), Burgess (Webster 82), Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Naismith (Close 73); Chaplin (Haunstrup 82)
Goals: Evans 28, Clarke 32
Subs not used: Jones, Robinson, Hollands

Referee: Charlie Breakspear

Attendance: 1,562

Portsmouth FC
Jul 222015
 

Johnny Ertl has left Pompey by mutual consent.

The Austrian arrived at Fratton Park in the summer of 2012 after leaving Sheffield United and made a total of 88 appearances for the Blues.

He has been used as both a defender and midfielder, and served the club as team and club captain.

Ertl also undertook a Master’s in Business Administration during his time on the south coast, where he used Pompey as a case study when writing about the importance of sustainability in football.

And although the 32-year-old will no longer be running out of the tunnel on a matchday, he is not turning his back on the Blues.

“I want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone,” said Ertl. “I have enjoyed every single minute of my time at Pompey.

“It’s been challenging at times and there have been plenty of ups and downs. When I first came here, players were leaving on a regular basis and we struggled to find places to train.

“So the fact that the club is now on a sound financial footing and with a training ground to call their own is an incredible achievement.

“It’s been great to be a part of Pompey’s rebirth as the largest community club in the country and see it owned by the people who care about it the most.

“To have played for and captained this historic club is an honour and it means so much to me. This place will always remain close to my heart.

“My wife Selma has even worked at the club and I’m not sure there are too many players who can say that!

“I will always be a Pompey supporter and I’m also part of the PST.

“I want to remain in football and I’m staying in the local area, so will be happy to offer my experience to the club if they ever need my help.

“This is the best club I’ve ever played for and I’ve been lucky enough to meet the nicest people.

“I want to thank the Fratton faithful for their incredible backing and I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from everyone during my time here.

“I have also enjoyed working with all the staff at the club – those based at the training ground and everyone in the Fratton Park offices.

“These people all work incredibly hard for the club, without always getting the recognition they deserve.

“I want to wish the new manager well and I’m sure he can lead Pompey to a successful season.

“He’s brought in lots of good players, everyone seems to have bought into his ideas and there’s a fantastic spirit in the camp.

“This is a one-club city and Pompey are an integral part of the community. Everyone is pulling in the same direction and I’m proud to have played a part in that.”

Portsmouth FC
Jul 212015
 

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Coventry

Pompey’s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear with a 2-1 victory over League One Coventry at Westleigh Park.

Conor Chaplin grabbed an early opener to take his goal tally to three in the space of just four days.

And triallist Gareth Evans added a second just before the break, while George Thomas pulled one back for City after it.

Evans was not the only player trying to win a contract at Fratton Park, with new faces Frank van der Struijk and Matt Clarke also on show.

The ‘home’ side did not take long to find their feet, with CHAPLIN opening the scoring after just four minutes.

The teenager was on hand to drill home after a far-post header from skipper Paul Robinson had been well saved by Lee Burge.

There was not an abundance of chances throughout the rest of the half, although it was Pompey who looked the most threatening.

Coventry’s best opportunity came on 12 minutes when a 20-yard volley from Thomas was plucked from the air by a diving Paul Jones.

At the other end, Burge comfortably dealt with a deflected Theo Robinson drive, while Chaplin curled a shot over the bar.

The Blues were dominating possession, but it looked like they would have just a one-goal advantage at the break.

However, on the stroke of half-time, Chaplin’s precise pass was seized upon by EVANS, who calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Coventry 0

Coventry might not have troubled Pompey before the break, but they came charging out of the blocks after the restart.

First Jones had to be alert to beat away a shot from Thomas and then Paul Robinson made a sliding challenge to deny James Maddison.

And City reduced the deficit on 53 minutes, courtesy of a superb effort from Thomas, who expertly brought down Reda Johnson’s pass before chipping the onrushing Jones.

Pompey immediately tried to hit back and an Evans free-kick from out wide crept through a host of bodies before being nervously dealt with by Burge.

They had recovered from a shaky start and were suddenly looking the more dangerous side again.

It took a brave challenge from Jordan Willis to prevent Kal Naismith from converting an Evans pass at the far post.

The impressive Evans than had an opportunity of his own, with a fierce drive that was well saved by Burge.

A deluge of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game, with Paul Cook utilising the opportunity to look at the rest of his squad.

Poke was one of them and he denied City an equaliser by tipping Aaron Martin’s bullet header onto the crossbar.

And Pompey saw out the remaining few minutes to secure their second friendly victory in succession.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Poke 76); van der Struijk (Davies 69), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 58), Clarke (Burgess 74), Stevens (Haunstrup 74); Atangana (Doyle 69), Hollands (Close 68); Evans (Nilsen 82), Chaplin (Bennett 68), Naismith (Field 89); T.Robinson (Stockley 64)
Goals: Chaplin 4, Evans 45
Sub not used: Tubbs

Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Willis (Devon Kelly-Evans 74), Ricketts (Finch 80), Johnson (Martin 56), Dion Kelly-Evans; Vincelot (Lawton 68), Fleck (c) (Harries 80); Maddison (Swanson 56), Tudgay (Lameiras 46), O’Brien (Stevenson 68); Thomas
Goals: Thomas 53
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Sambou, Shipley

Portsmouth FC