Football

Jul 172015
 

Bognor 1 – 1 Portsmouth

Matt Tubbs was on target in sunny Sussex as Pompey continued their pre-season programme with a 1-1 draw at Bognor.

The striker completed a flowing attacking move to give the visitors an early advantage against their non-league opponents at Nyewood Lane.

But they were dealt a double blow as Gary Roberts went off injured at half-time before Alfie Rutherford secured a share of the spoils.

Pompey lined up in Cook’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and immediately set about trying to pass their way through the Rocks defence.

They were enjoying plenty of possession and Roberts saw a shot deflected inches past the post in the opening stages.

Teenage Blues keeper Alex Bass had been loaned to the hosts and his first piece of action was to claim a Christian Burgess header from the resulting corner.

But the Blues broke the deadlock thanks to a fine flowing move on eight minutes.

Michael Doyle’s incisive pass sent Enda Stevens clear down the right and he squared the ball for TUBBS to roll home.

The striker almost doubled the advantage moments later when he met Gareth Evans’ knock-down at the far post, only to be denied by a last-gasp Craig Robson challenge.

There were further half-chances from both Evans and Tubbs as the visitors continued to dominate as the half progressed.

But Bognor then, out of the blue, created a couple of excellent opportunities, with skipper Jason Prior’s acrobatic bicycle kick narrowly missing the target.

Stuart Green was next to go close, courtesy of a fiercely-struck volley from the edge of the box that crashed against the crossbar.

Half-Time: Bognor 0 Pompey 1

Cook made just one change at the start of the second half, with Roberts – who picked up an injury just before the break – making way for Adam McGurk.

Pompey did not look as fluid as they had before the interval, with the chances drying up at both ends.

But Bognor found themselves level on 57 minutes when Rutherford stole the ball from Paul Robinson and coolly stroked the ball past Paul Jones.

The Blues immediately went on the attack, with both Evans and Doyle narrowly failing to find the target.

McGurk had a better opening on 65 minutes, but could only fire straight at Rocks keeper Lyall Beazley after cutting inside from the right.

Goalscorer Tubbs was then withdrawn, with triallist Theo Robinson replacing him in the Pompey attack.

However, it was Doyle who came close to restoring their advantage on 75 minutes with a bending effort that beat Beazley’s dive, but also the post.

The Blues continued to push forward in search of a late winner, but the Rocks were resilient and held on for a draw.

Bognor (4-4-2): Bass (Beazley 46); Crane, Robson, El-Abd, Wollers (Horncastle 70); Parsons (Pearce 56), Green, Thomson (Sanders 52), Tuck (Beck 56); Prior (c) (Rowlatt 76), Dodd (Rutherford 46)
Goals: Rutherford 57

Pompey: Jones; Davies, P.Robinson (c) (Nilsen 86), Burgess (Field 86), Stevens; Atangana, Doyle; Roberts (McGurk 46), Bennett, Evans (Hassan 87); Tubbs (T.Robinson 66)
Goals: Tubbs 8
Subs not used: Poke, Haunstrup, Close

Referee: Ashley Slaughter

Portsmouth FC
Jul 152015
 

Ben Tollitt

Free Agent



Pompey have signed midfielder Ben Tollitt on a one-year deal, with the option of an extension.

The 20-year-old spent most of last season at non-league Skelmersdale United.

He has recently been on trial with the Blues and came off the bench for the final few minutes of last Saturday’s friendly at Havant & Waterlooville.

Tollitt said: “I’m made up. It’s my first professional contract and I can’t wait to get started.

“I knew that I wasn’t going to get a lot of time at Havant, so the plan was to use whatever time I got to show a bit of what I could do.

“It was the biggest crowd I have ever played in front of and the support was absolutely amazing.

“I can’t wait for the opportunity to step out in front of 17,000 people at Fratton Park.

“I want to be part of something with Pompey, to help them move up and go places. The club really shouldn’t be in this league.”

Portsmouth FC

Jul 112015
 

Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 1 Portsmouth

Doyle on target at Westleigh Park

Michael Doyle netted on his debut as Pompey drew 1-1 with Havant & Waterlooville in their opening friendly at a sunny Westleigh Park.

The visitors had to fight from behind after Adrian Clifton had emphatically headed home before the break.

The Blues looked more dangerous in the second half and Doyle’s finish ensured a share of the spoils.

Boss Paul Cook used 22 players to give most of his first-team squad a work-out against the National League South opposition.

New signings Adam Barton (groin) and Adam McGurk (thigh) were left out as a precaution, while triallists Connor Randall, Gareth Evans, Ben Davies and Theo Robinson were all given a chance to impress.

It was the Blues who were first to threaten with Evans whipping in a cross that Hawks keeper Ryan Young did well to claim.

Randall then found Tubbs in the box, with the striker’s deft flicked header flying inches past the post.

And Christian Burgess was almost an unlikely goal hero, waltzing past a couple of challenges before scuffing a shot straight at Young.

But it was hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the half when Clifton converted Ben Swallow’s free-kick with a bullet header that left Michael Poke helpless.

Pompey were trying to build patiently from the back and enjoyed plenty of possession, but they were not really troubling the Hawks defence.

Jayden Stockley and Tubbs did combine well on 35 minutes, only for the latter to scuff his shot wide.

The striker did do better just before the interval, but his snap-shot was beaten away to safety by Young.

Half Time: Hawks 1 Pompey 0

Cook made 10 changes at the break, with Burgess the only player to remerge after the interval.

And – after surviving an early scare when Matt Paterson fired narrowly wide – the new-boys soon began to take control.

It took a brilliant save from Young to deny Gary Roberts, with the keeper managing to divert his shot over the crossbar.

But DOYLE did level the scores on 48 minutes, driving home from the edge of the box after Kyle Bennett had diverted a corner into his path.

The midfielder almost grabbed another moments later, just failing to find the target following a neat pass from Conor Chaplin.

It was Bennett who was next to go close on 59 minutes, but his header was expertly tipped onto the bar by Young.

The Hawks were struggling to remain on level terms, although they were almost gifted a goal when Adam Webster hit a free-kick back to Paul Jones and the ball bobbled just wide.

But Roberts then almost netted at the right end and Roberts really should have found the target following a mazy run from Theo Robinson.

The action started to wind down after such a frenetic opening, although it was still the visitors looking most likely to add to the scoring.

But they were unable to find another goal as the game petered towards its conclusion.

Hawks: Young (c); Strugnell (Medway 77), Molyneaux (Saunders 46), Harris (Dutton 46), Cummings (Blanchett 46); Swallow (Mullings 46), Donnelly (Kimber 77), Stock (Ridge 86), Ciardini (Gale 46); Clifton (Paterson 46), Morgan (Hayter 46)
Goals: Clifton 21

Pompey: Poke (Jones 46); Randall (Davies 46), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 46), Burgess (Nilsen 77), Haunstrup (Stevens 46), Evans (Chaplin 46 (Tollett 86)), Atangana (Doyle 46), Hollands (Close 46), Naismith (Bennett 46); Stockley (Roberts 46), Tubbs (T.Robinson 46 (Hassan 86))
Goals: Doyle 48

Portsmouth FC
Jul 072015
 

Jayden Stockley

Loan : AFC Bournemouth – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Jayden Stockley on loan from Bournemouth until January.

The 21-year-old striker had stints with fellow League Two sides Cambridge and Luton last term.

And he is looking forward to the opportunity to make his mark on the Fratton faithful.

Stockley said: “I’ve already got a lot of experience and hopefully I can contribute something to this good side.

“The size of the club and the style of play preferred by the manager both attracted me to the club.

“There’s a lot of talent around the place and I think we can all be optimistic about the season ahead.

“I’ve played at this level before and it’s a tough league to get out of, but there’s enough quality and character in this team to give it a good go.

“Pompey away was always a fixture you looked forward to and wanted to play in – now I’m happy to have the fantastic fans on my side.

“I’ve played here before when I was on loan at Torquay and we won. It’s a magnificent place to play football.”

Blues fans will get their first sighting of the striker on Saturday when Pompey make the short trip to Westleigh Park for their opening friendly against Havant & Waterlooville.

Stockley said: “It’s always good to blow away the cobwebs after the summer break, get a ball at your feet and express yourself.

“That first league game on August 8 is not far away now and I think that’s something we’re all looking forward to.

“Hopefully the hard work we put in during pre-season will stand us in good stead for the campaign ahead.”

Stockley is a product of Bournemouth’s academy and has made 22 senior appearances for the Cherries.

As well as his time at Luton and Cambridge, he has had spells on loan at Accrington, Woking, Leyton Orient and Torquay.

Portsmouth FC

Jul 062015
 

Pompey have completed the signing of midfielder Michael Doyle.

The 33-year-old has penned a one-year deal at Fratton Park after leaving Sheffield United at the end of last season.

And he is thriving on the fact that the bookies have made the Blues favourites for League Two promotion.

Doyle said: “I’m happy that it’s all done. Now I want to crack on and try to help this club move back up through the divisions again.

“This is a massive club and if you achieve something here then you’ll always be remembered.

“There’s a lot of pressure when you’re at a big side and I’m sure it will be no different here, but that’s something I enjoy.

“People will make us favourites to win promotion, so we need to make sure we can live up to those expectations.

“The club are making the right statements off the pitch and now it’s up to us to do a job on it.”

Doyle is already eagerly anticipating the opportunity to perform at a packed Fratton Park.

He said: “I’m looking forward to playing in front of large and passionate crowds. It certainly whets the appetite.”

Doyle – who has one Republic of Ireland cap – came through the ranks at Celtic, but moved south of the border to join Coventry in 2003.

He made almost 300 appearances for the Sky Blues and had a spell on loan at Leeds before signing for Sheffield United in January 2011.

Doyle netted 10 goals in 231 games for the Blades and was part of the side that reached the League One play-offs and Capital One Cup semi-finals last term.

Portsmouth FC
Jul 012015
 

Andy Barcham has left Pompey by mutual consent – and signed for AFC Wimbledon.

The winger had 12 months remaining on the deal he signed in 2013, yet it was agreed he could leave Fratton Park to pursue his career.

Barcham suffered an injury-ravaged time with the Blues after arriving under Guy Whittingham from Scunthorpe.

In total he made 53 appearances and scored five times, yet has not played since picking up an injury against Cheltenham in March.

As revealed by The News on Monday, he has now completed a switch to League Two rivals Wimbledon after inking a two-year deal at Kingsmeadow.

Portsmouth FC
Jun 252015
 

Christian Burgess

Transfer : Peterborough United – Portsmouth



Peterborough defender signs for Pompey

Pompey have signed Christian Burgess from League One side Peterborough for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old defender has penned a three-year deal at Fratton Park.

And he insists that dropping into the fourth tier does not feel like a step backwards.

Burgess said: “This is a massive club and the set-up down here is great. I got a call from the gaffer, had a look round and everything was first class.

“It doesn’t feel like a League Two club – there are more fans here than at most League One sides.

“Hopefully we can move up the leagues and we want to meet the expectations that there are of us.

“I’m excited to be here and am looking forward to what is hopefully an exciting season ahead.”

Pompey’s first friendly at Havant & Waterlooville is just over a fortnight away, but Burgess is already thinking about the League Two opener against Dagenham & Redbridge on August 8.

He said: “I’ve had my first training session with the club and now I want to get back into the pre-season routine.

“We’ve got a few friendly games coming up, but we’re already looking towards those first couple of competitive matches.”

Burgess played non-league football before being signed by Middlesbrough while he was studying for a degree in history.

He made one senior appearance for the Teessiders and spent a season on loan at Hartlepool.

The centre-back then moved to Peterborough last summer and scored four goals in 32 appearances.

Portsmouth FC

Jun 242015
 

Adam Barton

Free Agent



Pompey have signed midfielder Adam Barton on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old was available after leaving Coventry at the end of last season.

Barton made 30 appearances for the League One side during the 2014/15 campaign.

And new boss Paul Cook was able to persuade him to make Fratton Park his next port of call.

Barton said: “This is a massive club and the manager was also a big factor in why I wanted to come here.

“He’s won this league before and the way I like to play is the same way that he likes to play, so that’s another positive.

“I like to get the ball down and play it forward – I’m always disappointed if I give it away.

“The fans were another big reason why I wanted to join the club. Coming to a place like this gives you such a boost.”

Barton has no doubts about what Pompey should be looking to achieve during the 2015/16 campaign.

He said: “Promotion has to be the aim and we’ll class the season as a failure if we don’t achieve that.”

Barton started his career at Preston before moving to Coventry in the summer of 2012, where he played a total of 73 games in three years.

He has made one senior appearance for Northern Ireland and also featured for the Republic of Ireland under-21 side.

Portsmouth FC

Jun 242015
 

Adam McGurk

Free Agent



Striker completes Fratton switch

I’ve played against Pompey a few times and I’ve always been struck by how fantastic the fans have been”
Adam McGurk

Pompey have signed striker Adam McGurk on a two-year deal.

The 26-year-old was available following the expiration of his Burton Albion contract.

He scored seven goals in 41 appearances last term – including one against Pompey – to help the Brewers lift the League Two title.

And McGurk revealed that it was not a difficult decision to move to Fratton Park.

He said: “What attracted me was the size of the club and the large crowds that come to watch the games.

“I’ve played against Pompey a few times and I’ve always been struck by how fantastic the fans have been, despite a difficult few years.

“They stick with their side, even when they’re not winning. That’s always impressed me and my team-mates.

“I’ve also played against Paul Cook’s Chesterfield sides before. I liked the way they approach the game and also how much they wanted to play for him.

“When I sat down to talk to him, I could see how much passion he has and wanted to be a part of that.

“I’m excited for the new season. It’s been a stressful few days getting the deal done, but now I’m looking forward to getting down to work and bonding with my new team-mates.”

McGurk has echoed his new manager and fellow summer signings by targeting promotion.

He said: “I think that everyone expected Pompey to do better over the past few years.

“This club belongs in a higher division and now we have to make sure that happens, so we need to gel as quickly as possible.

“I’ll offer hard work and creativity to the side. Hopefully I can score more goals than last season, although the important thing is that I’m able to contribute to a winning team.”

McGurk – who has represented Northern Ireland at under-21 level – played youth team football for Aston Villa before moving on to Hednesford and Tranmere.

He signed for Burton in the summer of 2013 and netted 19 goals in 83 games during his two years at the Pirelli Stadium.

Portsmouth FC

Jun 172015
 

Gary Roberts

Transfer : Chesterfield – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Gary Roberts from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old midfielder has penned a three-year deal to link up with his former Spireites manager Paul Cook at Fratton Park

The Blues boss said: “I’m delighted that we’ve signed Gary and I view this as a no-risk transfer, which is always great.

“His record speaks for itself and I’m sure the fans will be looking forward to seeing him in action.”

The former Liverpool youth player started his professional career in Wales before signing for Accrington in 2005.

He was a team-mate of Cook and Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson during his time at the Crown Ground.

Roberts moved on to play for Ipswich, Huddersfield and Swindon, arriving at Chesterfield in the summer of 2013 and helping them win promotion from the fourth tier.

He scored 20 goals in 89 appearances for the Derbyshire club, including the winner against Fleetwood in May 2014 that secured the League Two title.

Portsmouth FC