Football

Aug 082017
 
League Cup
Cardiff City 2 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Greg Halford both scored against their former club as Pompey fell at the first hurdle in the Carabao Cup.

But they took the lead against their Championship hosts when Sean Morrison sent the ball into his own.

Mendez-Laing levelled early in the second half before Halford struck late in extra-time to send the Welsh side through.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Rochdale in the league at the weekend.

One of those was enforced, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing the injured Tareiq Holmes-Dennis at left-back.

The others saw Kal Naismith come in for Conor Chaplin up front, while Carl Baker made way for Adam May in midfield.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the hosts’ line-up, with former Pompey players Brian Murphy and Halford both starting.

It was a cagey start to proceedings, although a few deliveries from Cardiff’s right forced the Blues back-line into action.

One from Danny Ward was headed clear by Jack Whatmough, while another by Matthew Kennedy had to be dealt with by Christian Burgess.

Kyle Bennett saw a shot from outside the box fly narrowly past the post, while Luke McGee was confidently off his line to claim another Kennedy delivery.

But it was otherwise a pretty cagey opening to proceedings on a damp and chilly evening in South Wales.

Stuart O’Keefe sent a header straight into McGee’s arms on 31 minutes before a Cardiff player finally did find the back of the net moments later.

But MORRISON will not have celebrated breaking the deadlock, as he inadvertently turned Naismith’s low cross past his own keeper.

And Murphy was then booked just before the break for pushing down Gareth Evans after the winger had beaten him to the ball.

Half Time: Cardiff 0 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The hosts, unsurprisingly, came out all guns blazing after the interval and McGee did well to tip Bruno Ecuele Manga’s header onto the crossbar.

But it was only a brief respite for the Blues, as former Fratton loanee Mendez-Laing – who had only just come off the bench – steered home after Lee Tomlin’s ball had been deflected into his path.

It was certainly not all one-way traffic, however, and Murphy got down to his right to stop Bennett from squeezing a shot inside the post.

Jackett made a change to his forward line on 65 minutes, as Naismith made way for Nicke Kabamba – much to the delight of the 851 travelling fans, who were quick to serenade the striker.

But it was Cardiff who were next to go close following Tomlin’s quick break and a deflected drive from Mendez-Laing was well held by McGee.

And the keeper was then quickly off his line to deny Kennedy after some clever trickery from Mendez-Laing had sent the winger through on goal.

It was the hosts who looked more threatening as the seconds ticked down, with Kennedy heading wide before Danny Rose chucked himself in the path Loic Damour’s strike.

The Blues were not done yet, though, and Murphy had to palm Evans’ drilled shot behind for a corner on 84 minutes.

But neither side was able to find a late winner and referee Stephen Martin’s whistle signalled an additional 30 minutes.

After 90 Minutes: Cardiff 1 Pompey 1

Mendez-Laing continued to look dangerous in extra-time, but sent two efforts wide after good work to find space.

And Drew Talbot then took the sting out of Junior Hoillet’s drive to allow McGee a relatively comfortable save.

Blues fans saw a ‘first’ on 102 minutes, when Cardiff brought on Joe Ralls to take advantage of a new rule that allows a fourth substitution to be made in extra-time

The visitors had to soak up plenty of pressure as the Championship side tried to forge ahead before the interval.

But it was Pompey who had a chance immediately after it, with Carl Baker sending a low ball across the face of goal that none of his team-mates could quite connect with.

Cardiff were dominating possession, however, and finally made their dominance count with a winning goal on 113 minutes.

It was Halford who slotted the ball home following a Hoillet corner, but the defender’s celebrations were muted against his former club.

Chaplin immediately came on to try to find a leveller and take the tie to penalties, but Pompey could not find a way through.

Cardiff (4-4-2): Murphy; Halford, Morrison (c), Ecuele Manga, Richards; Pilkington (Mendez-Laing 46), O’Keefe, Damour (Ralls 102), Kennedy (Hoillet 87); Ward, Tomin (Meite 97)
Goals: Mendez-Laing 48, Halford 113
Booked: Murphy
Subs not used: Etheridge, Peltier, Coxe

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup (Close 106); Rose, May; Evans, Pitman (c) (Chaplin 114), Bennett (Baker 98); Naismith (Kabamba 65)
Goals: Morrison 32 (og)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Main

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 6,592 (851 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 082017
 

Gary Roberts

Released



Portsmouth Football Club can announce that Gary Roberts has left the club by mutual consent.

The 33-year-old midfielder netted 20 goals in 80 appearances during his two seasons on the south coast.

He scored 10 times last term as the Blues secured the League Two title, including crucial strikes against Colchester, Exeter and Plymouth.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: “I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Gary – both on a personal level and on behalf of everyone at the club.

“I hope that he will forever be remembered for what he achieved at Pompey, especially last season when we went on that fantastic run to win the title.

“His contribution over the past two years has been invaluable – he has been a fantastic player for this club. We all wish him every success for the future.”

Gary Roberts subsequently signed for Wigan Athletic

Portsmouth FC

Aug 052017
 
League 1
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Rochdale

 

Brett Pitman scored a brace on his debut to ensure Pompey began life in League One with victory over Rochdale.

The striker bagged an impressive individual goal after Keith Keane had been dismissed for the visitors at Fratton Park.

But there was a nervous edge to the closing stages, with substitute Jamal Lowe also sent off for the Blues.

That changed to elation in stoppage-time, however, as Pitman headed home to complete a memorable afternoon for the skipper.

Kenny Jackett handed starts to three summer signings in his first competitive match as Pompey manager.

Luke McGee, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Pitman all featured, while there was also a surprise appearance for Drew Talbot at right-back.

There were a mixture of emotions before kick-off, with Michael Eisner and other members of the Tornante Company applauded onto the pitch.

It was a more sombre occasion after that, however, with a minute’s applause to remember former Blues players Fred Evans, Pat Neil and Jimmy White, who all passed away over the summer.

Supporters were also paying their respects to fan Alan Dobson, who sadly died during the recent friendly against Bournemouth.

Once the action got underway at a sunny Fratton Park, it was the visitors who looked the more threatening.

Andy Cannon blasted a shot over the crossbar, although there were not too many opportunities to test McGee.

And Rochdale’s threat was blunted somewhat when they were reduced to 10 men on 21 minutes.

Conor Chaplin collected a loose ball and charged towards goal, only to be crudely upended by Keane just outside the box.

Referee Lee Probert immediately brandished a red card and the centre-back was forced to trudge off to the dressing room.

Pompey were unable to make the free-kick count, though, as Carl Baker’s delivery evaded everyone and went behind.

Calvin Andrew then did well to nip in ahead of Christian Burgess and head behind Baker’s dangerous corner.

The hosts went close again from the resulting flag-kick, as Pitman found space to nod narrowly past the post.

But the Blues were dealt a blow of their own late in the first half, with Holmes-Dennis going down injured on the left.

He limped off to be replaced by Lowe, with Gareth Evans dropping to right-back and Talbot moving across to the left.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Rochdale 0

 

The first half had been rather slow to get going, but the second exploded into life after just 34 seconds.

It was a fine effort from PITMAN, who picked the ball up on the left and – through a mixture of skill and persistence – found space to slot it into the net.

There was soon an opening for the visitors at the other end of the pitch, although Ollie Rathbone dragged his effort wide.

Rochdale then won a free-kick 25 yards out, but Reece Brown could not quite force his shot through the defensive wall.

An error from Josh Lillis almost handed Pompey a second goal on 69 minutes, with the keeper tearing off his line to try to beat Chaplin to the ball.

But he only succeeded in chesting it into the path of Lowe, whose cheeky lob landed narrowly wide of the post.

Jackett made his second substitution moments later, with Chaplin making way for Kal Naismith in the Blues attack.

And Lowe made way on 81 minutes – although there was nobody to replace him after the substitute was shown a red card.

He stretched to win the ball, but caught Jamie Allen and Probert decided it was enough to warrant a sending off.

That ensured a more fraught end to proceedings than perhaps was necessary, but Pitman eased those nerves in stoppage-time.

Evans got free down the right and picked out the unmarked striker in the box, with PITMAN expertly guiding his header past Lillis and into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis (Lowe 39); Baker, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Chaplin (Naismith 71)
Goals: Pitman 46, 90+2
Sent off: Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, May, Main, Kabamba

Rochdale (4-4-2): Lillis; Brown, Keane, McNulty, Ntlhe; Cannon (Davies 75), Camps (Rafferty 59), Allen, Rathbone; Henderson (c), Andrew (Done 59)
Sent off: Keane
Subs not used: Collis, Canavan, Inman, Williams

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 18,009 (471 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 032017
 

Today Portsmouth FC was finally taken over by the Tornante Investment Group headed by the Eisner family.

Here is the Clubs statement..

Portsmouth Football Club are pleased to announce that Michael D. Eisner’s Tornante Company have completed their purchase of the club.

Tornante had been engaged in due diligence since May when more than 80 per cent of Pompey’s equity holding approved the terms of the sale.

Michael Eisner and his three sons, Breck, Eric and Anders, will make up the board along with Andy Redman, president of Tornante, and Mark Catlin, Pompey CEO.

Michael’s family will join the management of the club at Fratton Park in attending their first match as owners on the opening day of the EFL League One season on August 5, when Pompey welcome Rochdale.

“My family and I are thrilled to take on this incredible responsibility as stewards of a football club with such a rich heritage,” Eisner said. “We have come to know the Pompey community in recent months and we are extremely impressed by their passion, dedication and love for their club.”

In addition to announcing the closing of the acquisition of Pompey, Eisner announced that Catlin, who has served as CEO for the past four years and was named CEO of the year by FC Business, has entered into a long-term contract to continue to serve as Pompey’s CEO. Eisner pointed out that “the arrangement continues Mark’s leadership and ensures the stability of the club for the long term.”

“We have been on a remarkable journey and one that everyone associated with this amazing club should rightly be proud of,” said Catlin. “It has been an honour and privilege for me personally to represent Pompey and our incredible fans during this time.

“Now we embark on an exciting new chapter in the club’s history and one that, under the stewardship of Michael Eisner, his family, Andy Redman and the Tornante group, I am totally confident will continue to build on the strong foundations that have been built over the past four seasons.”

The Eisner family also thanked the Pompey Supporters’ Trust, the Presidents and all Pompey fans for their unprecedented efforts to save and stabilise the club over the past four years.

“The football club wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the against-the-odds commitment of Pompey supporters who came together and saved this club. This is, and will always be, your team,” said Eric Eisner on behalf of himself and his brothers, Breck and Anders.

With Catlin at the helm and manager Kenny Jackett preparing for the season, the club are poised to build on the momentum of their recent League Two title success and promotion to League One. Redman added: “We have many challenges ahead of us, but we have a terrific leader in Mark, and we’re going to work with him and Kenny to position the team for success in the coming seasons.”

Iain McInnes, who served as Pompey chairman, added: “Harnessing the indomitable Pompey passion with his Tornante team, aided by a few current stalwarts, Michael has every opportunity to take your club back to previous and sustainable heights. Jane and I wish Michael, (his) Jane and their family every ounce of good fortune and chance of success in this great venture. PUP.”

Pompey Supporters’ Trust chairman Ashley Brown said: “The supporters fought hard to save Pompey. They’ve given the club incredible support under fan ownership, ensuring its successful promotion from League Two as champions. Our passionate supporters now willingly pass the custodianship of Pompey to Michael Eisner, his family and Tornante. It is clear that Michael and his family have caught the Pompey bug and we hope to see them regularly at Fratton Park, sharing many more successes on the pitch as part of the Pompey family.”

Brown added: “The four PST board members who have represented the Trust on the PFC board feel incredibly honoured and proud to have held that position at a club they love. The many other fans who were involved in ensuring Pompey’s survival should feel equally proud of the part they played, and we join together to welcome Michael and his family to our city, our club and look forward to exciting times ahead.”

Portsmouth FC

Jul 292017
 
Friendly
Crawley Town 1 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Pitman bags brace as Blues end pre-season with victory

Pompey go into the new campaign on a high after ending their pre-season programme with victory at Crawley.

But they had to come from behind, with Thomas Verheydt giving the hosts an early lead at a wet Broadfield Stadium.

Skipper Brett Pitman led the turnaround, levelling with a fine second half free-kick before snatching the winner.

It was the League Two side who were quickest from the blocks and Josh Lelan headed narrowly wide from Mark Randall’s corner.

And the hosts did break the deadlock from another flag-kick just seconds later, with Verheydt converting Randall’s delivery.

There was not too much else to excite the Sussex crowd in a drab first half played out in unseasonable conditions.

Kyle Bennett and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis were the two Blues players to impress going forward and a teasing low cross from the former had to be cleared behind by Josh Yorwerth.

A skewed clearance from Tom Davies at the other end led to Randall firing wide with Luke McGee off his line.

Bennett then had one shot comfortably saved by Glenn Morris, while another was blocked following some fancy footwork.

Crawley were creating the better openings, however, and Enzio Boldewijn flashed a shot narrowly over after cutting inside from the right.

Then, after Jordan Roberts had just about beaten McGee to the ball, Holmes-Dennis made a superb clearance from the line.

And, from the resulting corner, McGee was forced to claw away another Verheydt effort that was heading for the net.

Pompey started to look more threatening as the interval beckoned and with Pitman lurking at the far post, Mark Connolly had to intercept Holmes-Dennis’ low cross.

Bennett’s incisive pass then picked out Conor Chaplin in the box, but the striker could not get the ball untangled from his feet.

Half Time: Crawley 1 Pompey 0

 

Chaplin thought he should have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when his surge into the area was abruptly halted, but referee Carl Brook was not interested.

But the Blues were level on 55 minutes after Pitman had been crudely challenged by Connolly in a central position outside the box.

It was PITMAN who stepped up to take the free-kick and curl a fantastic effort right into the top corner of the net.

The striker was then involved in a clash with Yorwerth on the edge of the Crawley area, but perhaps with the fact it was a friendly in mind, Brook just gave the pair a stern telling off.

It was otherwise typical friendly fare on the pitch, with the game starting to lag as the second half progressed.

Kal Naismith angled a shot into the side netting for Pompey, while Boldewijn fired wide at the other end.

But the Blues found themselves ahead on 75 minutes, as PITMAN collected a neat pass from substitute Milan Lalkovic and coolly lifted the ball over Morris.

The lead should have been strengthened further, only for Naismith to slot wide when it seemed far easier to score.

And the Blues comfortably passed the ball around among themselves to see out the final few minutes and secure the win.

Crawley (5-4-1): Morris; Young, Lelan, Yorwerth, Connolly, Evina; Boldewijn, Bulman (c), Randall (Payne 68), Roberts (Lewis 80); Verheydt (Harrold 70)
Goals: Verheydt 3
Subs not used: Mersin, Arthur, Cox, Blackman, Djalo, Clifford, Tajbakash, Sanoh, Camara

Pompey (4-4-1-1): McGee; Evans, Davies, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis; Naismith, Baker, Rose, Bennett; Pitman (c); Chaplin (Lalkovic 62)
Goals: Pitman 55, 75
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Close, May, Lowe, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 1,603 (778 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 222017
 
Friendly
Portsmouth 1 – 2 AFC Bournemouth

 

Chaplin on target in friendly defeat

Conor Chaplin was on target as Pompey were narrowly beaten by top-flight Bournemouth at Fratton Park.

The striker levelled in the second half after Lys Mousset had earlier fired the visitors into the lead.

But Benik Afobe almost immediately netted for the Cherries and, despite a spirited display, the Blues could not find another goal.

Pre-season conjures up images of baking hot days with plenty of drinks breaks.

But coats and umbrellas were needed at Fratton Park, as the rain fell steadily throughout the only home friendly of the summer.

Recent Bournemouth signings Asmir Begovic and Jermain Defoe returned to their former club, while ex-Cherry Brett Pitman skippered the hosts.

It was the Premier League side that made the brighter start, with Luke McGee doing well to keep out Tyrone Mings’ deflected drive.

Mousset then met Ryan Fraser’s cross with a firm header that had to be cleared by a well-placed Pitman.

And Bournemouth broke the deadlock on nine minutes, as Afobe got down the right and cut the ball back for Mousset to fire home.

But the Blues grew into the game as the first half progressed and a left-footed attempt by Kyle Bennett from outside of the box narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Pitman then had a shot inadvertently blocked by Chaplin before heading Kal Naismith’s cross just over the bar.

The Cherries still threatened, though, and when McGee could not get a strong enough hand to Afobe’s angled drive, Carl Baker had to hack the ball from the line.

But Pompey were not looking over-awed and both Baker and Naismith were not too far away with efforts from distance.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Bournemouth 1

 

There was almost a leveller early in the second half, but Begovic showed his class by keeping out Pitman’s drive.

Pompey did grab an equaliser on 52 minutes, however, as Pitman cushioned a header into the path of CHAPLIN, who coolly slotted home.

But they were not on level terms for long, with Afobe’s neat back-heel almost immediately restoring Bournemouth’s lead.

The visitors then made a host of substitutions just before the hour mark and Defoe was among those introduced.

There were soon cries for a penalty when Bennett’s cross appeared to strike the arm of Cherries skipper Simon Francis, but referee Andy Davies was not interested.

The raft of changes ultimately took the sting out of the game and it started to meander towards a conclusion.

But Chaplin got everyone off their seats late on by drilling a left-footed shot against the base of the post.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ cross then had to be cleared behind, while the impressive Christian Burgess headed over from the resulting corner.

Pompey were ultimately unable to find a second leveller, but it was certainly a performance to take comfort from against Premier League opposition.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): McGee; Evans, Davies, Burgess, Holmes-Dennis; Bennett, Baker, Rose, Naismith (Lalkovic 69); Pitman; Chaplin
Goals: Chaplin 52
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Whatmough, Haunstrup, May, Close, Lowe, Main, Kabamba

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Begovic (Federici 59); Francis (c), S.Cook (Worthington 46), Cargill (Ake 59), Mings (Daniels 46); Surman (L.Cook 59), Arter (Gosling 59); Fraser (Ibe 59), Mousset (King 59), Gradel (Pugh 59); Afobe (Defoe 59)
Goals: Mousset 9, Afobe 54
Subs not used: Mahoney, Simpson, Whitfield

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 7,182 (988 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 152017
 

Friendly

0 – 2


Pitman nets twice in pre-season victory

Brett Pitman bagged a brace in his first Pompey appearance to secure another pre-season victory for Kenny Jackett’s side at Bognor.

He netted at both ends of a contest that often drifted along, although fellow debutant Luke McGee made a fine stop in the second half.

The Rocks were certainly not over-awed against their higher-level opponents, but they rarely threatened to secure a share of the spoils.

The visitors made a bright start and Conor Chaplin hit a clean effort from 25 yards that flew narrowly past the post.

And the diminutive striker was involved in the goal that saw them break the deadlock with just five minutes on the clock.

He beat Rocks keeper Dan Lincoln to a poor Sami El-Abd back-pass and squared for PITMAN to slot home his first goal for the club.

The advantage was almost doubled moments later, but Lincoln got down to palm clear Carl Baker’s angled drive.

After that early flurry, however, the match soon settled into more traditional pre-season fare, with fans more interested in visiting the bar than watching what was unfolding on the pitch.

Bognor started to enjoy more possession as the half progressed and Ollie Pearce was let down by a poor touch after latching onto a ball over the top.

There was also a Baker corner at the other end that Christian Burgess was unable to divert on target.

But it was pretty slow going until Pompey finally started to show more attacking intent just before the break.

Adam May should have strengthened their lead, but fired a shot straight at Lincoln from inside the box.

Bognor’s keeper then made sure he was not beaten at his near post from Gareth Evans’ drilled effort.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


The second half got off to a sedate start, although Kyle Bennett flashed a long-range attempt narrowly wide.

There was not much else to excite a healthy Nyewood Lane crowd, though, with clear-cut openings at a premium.

Tom Davies headed a free-kick wide, while a shot from May was blocked by his former team-mate Chad Field.

And an effort from Danny Rose just past the hour mark took a deflection and looped just wide of the post.

It was certainly Pompey looking more likely to add to the scoring and a lunging Pitman could not quite connect with Bennett’s low delivery from the left.

Bognor were left perturbed on 70 minutes when they tried to bring subbed defender El-Abd back on, only to be denied by the officials.

They almost levelled soon after, though, when Davies’ slip let in Tommy Scutt, but McGee came to the rescue with a fine save.

That was then matched by Lincoln at the other end, with the stopper keeping out Pitman’s acrobatic close-range flick after Davies had headed the ball towards goal.

But PITMAN did wrap things up on 86 minutes, neatly controlling Baker’s dinked pass over the defence and slotting home his second of the afternoon.

Bognor (4-2-3-1): Lincoln; Whyte (Davies 46), Field (Block 71), El-Abd (c) (Heath 46), Bird; Tuck, Lee (Beck 46); Parsons (Muitt 46), Suraci (Scutt 63), Pearce (Dolcetti 82); Wild (Rowlatt 46)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Burgess, Davies, Holmes-Dennis; May, Rose; Baker, Pitman (c), Bennett; Chaplin
Goals: Pitman 5, 86
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Whatmough, Close, Lalkovic, Naismith, Main

Referee: Gary Parsons

Attendance: 1,800

Portsmouth FC

Jul 142017
 

Brett Pitman

Transfer : Ipswich Town – Portsmouth



Striker pens three-year deal

Pompey have signed striker Brett Pitman from Ipswich for an undisclosed fee.

The 29-year-old former Bournemouth and Bristol City star has penned a three-year deal at Fratton Park.

Pitman turned professional with the Cherries and netted a 16-minute hat-trick against Peterborough at the start of the 2010/11 campaign.

He then spent two-and-a-half years at Bristol City before returning to Dean Court and helping the Dorest outfit reach the Premier League for the first time in their history.

Jersey-born Pitman scored more than 100 goals during his two spells with Bournemouth and joined Ipswich in the summer of 2015.

Portsmouth FC

Jul 122017
 

Luke McGee

Transfer : Tottenham Hotspur – Portsmouth



Keeper pens three-year deal with Blues

Pompey have signed goalkeeper Luke McGee from Tottenham for an undisclosed fee.

The 21-year-old has penned a three-year deal at Fratton Park, having spent the majority of last season on loan at fellow League One side Peterborough.

Assistant manager Joe Gallen said: “We’re very pleased to secure the signing of Luke. He’s come through Tottenham’s academy system and they’ve produced a lot of good players.

“He went on loan to Peterborough last season and picked up the Players’ Player of the Season award.

“And he’s also someone that Kenny knows about from his time at Tottenham. He was really impressed with him.

“It’s great that we’ve been able to bring in a goalkeeper who’s good enough now and is going to improve in the future.”

McGee made 45 appearances for Peterborough last season and appeared for Tottenham in front of 70,000 fans in a friendly against AC Milan in 2015.

Portsmouth FC

Jul 082017
 

Friendly

0 – 6


Chaplin bags treble in Westleigh Park rout

Conor Chaplin hit a hat-trick as Pompey continued their prolific pre-season form with a 6-0 thrashing of Havant & Waterlooville.

The rout began with a Lee Molyneaux own-goal, while the striker then ran riot with a treble before the interval.

He also teed-up Kal Naismith to add to the advantage early in the second half, while Curits Main wrapped things up from the penalty spot.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis made his first appearance in a Pompey shirt following his loan signing from Huddersfield earlier in the week.

The hosts named former Fratton midfielder Wes Fogden in their starting line-up, but Matt Tubbs missed out with an injury.

It was a hot and sunny afternoon at Westleigh Park, but that did not stop the first half from being played at a hectic pace.

And it was the visitors who unsurprisingly looked the more threatening side throughout the opening 45 minutes.

They had already gone close on a couple of occasions when Kyle Bennett fired against the crossbar following some fine build-up play between Chaplin and Holmes-Dennis.

The woodwork came to the Hawks’ rescue again soon after, with Bennett this time having a shot deflected against the post.

There was a blow for Kenny Jackett’s side in between those chances, however, as Matt Clarke limped off the pitch injured.

But the breakthrough did finally arrive – albeit in somewhat farcical fashion – on 26 minutes.

Naismith’s corner caused havoc in the box and the ball eventually ricocheted off the unfortunate Molyneaux and into the net.

That was the signal for the floodgates to open and Pompey doubled their advantage just a few moments later.

Holmes-Dennis swung a delightful cross into the area from wide on the left and CHAPLIN was left with a simple finish at the far post.

The Hawks then had their best chance of the half with a quick counter-attack, but Alex Bass surged from his line to brilliantly deny Alfie Rutherford.

Pompey were not quite so profligate and CHAPLIN bagged his second of the afternoon on 39 minutes, collecting a ball down the line and cutting inside before smashing home a shot.

And CHAPLIN completed his hat-trick in stoppage-time with a first time finish into the bottom corner after being teed-up by Naismith.


Half Time

(0 – 4)


Pompey did not sit on their lead at the start of the second half and Chaplin was once again involved in their fifth goal.

The diminutive striker sent a dangerous low ball into the box from wide on the left, leaving NAISMITH with a simple tap-in.

A flurry of substitutes soon disrupted the flow, however, with Chaplin among those taking a well-earned rest.

But it was one of the players who came on that managed to add a sixth goal for the Blues on 76 minutes.

MAIN barged his way into the box and drew a foul from Alfie Whittingham, then picked himself up to slam home from the spot.

The visitors continued to threaten and Nicke Kabamba was inches away from connecting with Drew Talbot’s cross.

Milan Lalkovic then embarked on a mazy run through the Hawks defence before being denied by a fine save from substitute keeper Alan Walker-Harris.

But Lee Bradbury’s Hawks managed to see the remaining moments out to limit the damage in front of a healthy Westleigh Park crowd.

Hawks (3-5-2): Young (Walker-Harris 72); Woodford, Molyneaux (Wakley 64), Harris; Tarbuck, Lewis (c) (Whittingham 64), Carter (Stock 64 (Yokota 79)), Fogden (Ridge 64), Williams; Prior (Odubade 46), Rutherford (Hayter 46)
Sub not used: Robinson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Evans (c) (Talbot 72), Burgess (Whatmough 72), Clarke (Davies 16), Holmes-Dennis (Haunstrup 46); May (Roberts 76), Rose (Close 57); Baker (Lowe 57), Naismith (Kabamba 72), Bennett (Main 72); Chaplin (Lalkovic 57)
Goals: Molyneaux 26 (og), Chaplin 30, 39, 45+1, Naismith 47, Main 74 (pen)
Sub not used: Collins

Referee: Alex Blake

Attendance: 2,700

Portsmouth FC