|PLOTIn 1989, scientist Hank Pym resigns from S.H.I.E.L.D. after discovering their attempt to replicate his Ant-Man shrinking technology. Believing the technology would be dangerous if replicated, Pym vows to hide it for as long as he lives.
In the present day, Pym's estranged daughter, Hope van Dyne, and former protégé, Darren Cross, have forced him out of his company, Pym Technologies. Cross is close to perfecting a shrinking suit of his own, the Yellowjacket, which horrifies Pym.
Upon his release from prison, well-meaning thief Scott Lang moves in with his old cellmate, Luis. Lang visits his daughter Cassie unannounced and is chastised by his former wife Maggie and her police-detective fiancé, Paxton, for not providing child support. Unable to hold down a job because of his criminal record, Lang agrees to join Luis' crew and commit a burglary. Lang breaks into a house and cracks its safe, but only finds what he believes to be an old motorcycle suit, which he takes home. After trying the suit on, Lang accidentally shrinks himself to the size of an insect. Terrified by the experience, he returns the suit to the house, but is arrested on the way out. Pym, the homeowner, visits Lang in jail and smuggles the suit into his cell to help him break out.
Pym, who manipulated Lang through an unknowing Luis into stealing the suit as a test, wants Lang to become the new Ant-Man to steal the Yellowjacket from Cross. Having been spying on Cross after discovering his intentions, Van Dyne and Pym train Lang to fight and to control ants. While Van Dyne harbors resentment towards Pym about her mother Janet's death, he reveals that Janet, known as the Wasp, disappeared into a subatomic quantum realm while disabling a Soviet nuclear missile. Pym warns Lang that he could suffer a similar fate if he overrides his suit's regulator. They send him to steal a device that will aid their heist from the Avengers' headquarters, where he briefly fights Sam Wilson.
Cross perfects the Yellowjacket and hosts an unveiling ceremony at Pym Technologies' headquarters. Lang, along with his crew and a swarm of flying ants, infiltrates the building during the event, sabotages the company's servers, and plants explosives. When he attempts to steal the Yellowjacket, he, along with Pym and Van Dyne, are captured by Cross, who intends to sell both the Yellowjacket and Ant-Man suits to Hydra. Lang breaks free and he and Van Dyne dispatch most of the Hydra agents, though one flees with a vial of Cross' particles and Pym is shot. Lang pursues Cross, while the explosives detonate, imploding the building as Pym and Van Dyne escape.
Cross dons the Yellowjacket and attacks Lang before Lang is arrested by Paxton. Cross takes Cassie hostage to lure Lang into another fight. Lang overrides the regulator and shrinks to subatomic size to penetrate Cross' suit and sabotage it to shrink uncontrollably, presumably killing Cross. Lang disappears into the quantum realm but manages to reverse the effects and returns to the macroscopic world. Out of gratitude for Lang's heroism, Paxton covers for Lang to keep him out of prison. Seeing that Lang survived and returned from the quantum realm, Pym wonders if his wife is alive as well. Later, Lang meets up with Luis, who tells him that Wilson is looking for him.
In a mid-credits scene, Pym shows Van Dyne a new Wasp prototype suit and offers it to her. In a post-credits scene, Wilson and Steve Rogers have Bucky Barnes in their custody. Unable to contact Tony Stark because of "the accords", Wilson mentions that he knows someone who can help.
|2015Personal Rating70Rotten Critics83Rotten Audience86IMDb Rating73Combined Rating78.0|
Pompey finished 2018 on a high by thrashing Fleetwood 5-2 in a dramatic League One contest at Highbury.
Ben Thompson’s stunning strike gave them the lead, only for Paddy Madden and a Ched Evans penalty to see the hosts ahead at the break.
But Dean Marney’s red card for two bookable offences proved crucial – and the Blues took advantage.
Brett Pitman levelled with another spot-kick and a first goal of the season from Anton Walkes ensured they retook the lead.
It was left to Jamal Lowe to wrap things up with a brace that ensures Pompey will welcome in 2019 at the top of the table.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a first defeat on the road at Gillingham on Boxing Day.
Two of them were enforced, with Walkes and skipper Pitman replacing Nathan Thompson (hamstring) and Oli Hawkins (ankle) respectively.
The other switch came in the middle of the park, where former Fleetwood star Gareth Evans made way for Ben Close.
That meant a switch to a 4-3-3 system, with Lowe and Ronan Curtis flanking Pitman in the forward line.
The hosts had a great opportunity in the opening stages, but Evans’ header was held low down to his left by Craig MacGillivray.
Pompey soon started to settle and Close was unable to make a clean connection with his shot, allowing Alex Cairns to save.
But the Cod Army keeper made an even better stop soon after, keeping out a volleyed effort from Matt Clarke after the defender’s first attempt had been blocked.
The visitors then received a blow when Lee Brown went down injured and had to come off, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing him at left-back.
There was reason to celebrate for the travelling supporters on 26 minutes, however, as their side took the lead.
It was a fine finish from THOMPSON, whose fierce effort from outside the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.
Close might have doubled the lead, but could not get enough power on his header from a Lowe cross to trouble Cairns.
Instead it was Fleetwood who were next to score on 39 minutes, when Madden raced in to meet Lewie Coyle’s cut-back and arrow a first time shot right into the bottom corner.
And it soon got even worse for the Blues as Madden fired past the post, but went down after colliding with Clarke and, following a lengthy pause, referee Matt Donohue pointed to the spot.
It was Evans who stepped up to take the penalty, sending MacGillivray the wrong way to turn the contest on its head.
Pompey might have levelled deep into stoppage-time, only for Ross Wallace to clear behind and prevent Lowe from converting Curtis’ delivery at the back post.
Fleetwood Town 2
The Blues were quickly out of the traps following the interval, but when a corner was cleared, Haunstrup fired wildly off target.
Hopes were raised soon after, though, when Marney fouled Thompson and – having earlier been booked for a challenge on Curtis – saw red.
A cross from Haunstrup was then hacked to safety, as Walkes raced into the box to try to make contact.
Jackett soon made an attacking switch, with Evans brought on to provide more of a goal threat and Close withdrawn.
But it was two other players who provided the drama that saw the Blues score twice in as many minutes to take the lead.
Donohue pointed to the spot for the second time after Curtis was brought down by Ross Wallace and PITMAN confidently slammed home the spot-kick.
It soon got even better, though, as the Cod Army failed to deal with a Curtis cross and WALKES bent a shot into the top corner with his left foot.
The action did not stop there, however, and MacGillivray kept out Wes Burns’ free-kick, then quickly recovered to keep out James Wallace’s follow-up effort.
There was a period of calm after that, although Pompey were not content to sit back and Curtis continued to torment the home defence.
But they were lucky to still be ahead when, following a Fleetwood corner, both Madden and James Wallace struck the post.
Tom Naylor then hacked the ball clear from the line before Pompey went up the other end to wrap things up.
LOWE collected a pass from Curtis and held off two challenges, turning neatly to sneak a low shot inside the near post.
And it soon got even better for the Blues, as LOWE raced on to Thompson’s fine pass and lashed home their fifth goal of an eventful afternoon.
Andre Green came on for Curtis in the closing stages, but the visitors were unable to grant the wishes of the travelling fans, who chanted ‘we want six’.
Clarke came closest to adding another, but his header was well saved by Cairns. It mattered not, as Pompey had done more than enough to ensure they would end the year at the summit.
Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Morgan (c), Eastham, R.Wallace; Burns (Dempsey 63), Marney, Biggins (Bolger 79), Hunter (J.Wallace 54); Madden, Evans
Goals: Madden 39, Evans 43 (pen)
Sent off: Marney (two yellow cards)
Subs not used: Jones, Sheron, Holt, McAleny,
Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown (Haunstrup 19); B.Thompson, Naylor, Close (Evans 53); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Green 90)
Goals: Thompson 26, Pitman 57 (pen), Walkes 58, Lowe 81, 84
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Wheeler, Mason
Referee: Matt Donohue
Attendance: 3,494 (853 Pompey fans)
There was a distinct lack of Christmas cheer at Priestfield, as Gillingham inflicted their second defeat of the season over Pompey.
The visitors were in control for long periods of the contest, but suffered a distinctly off day in front of goal.
And Josh Parker made the most of a rare chance for their opponents to net the first goal of the contest just before half-time.
The Blues had to play the closing stages a man down, with Nathan Thompson limping off after all three changes had been made.
And Gillingham then made sure of all three points in stoppage-time, as Callum Reilly fired home a penalty.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that beat promotion rivals Sunderland on home soil at the weekend.
And there did not appear to be any festive fatigue, as the visitors set about dominating the opening 45 minutes.
But for all their control of possession and neat passing build-up, Gills keeper Tomas Holy was not really tested.
A sliced effort from Ronan Curtis was blocked before it could trouble the stopper, who tipped away a Gareth Evans delivery before the Republic of Ireland international could capitalise.
Moments later, a teasing ball across the face of goal from Ben Thompson somehow managed to evade everyone.
Pompey did go close on eight minutes when a fierce goal-bound effort from Evans took a deflection to divert the ball off target.
Oli Hawkins – who was clearly having his shirt tugged by Alex Lacey – then sent an effort agonisingly wide of the post.
It was pretty much one-way traffic, but the Blues were just lacking that final killer ball to really hurt their hosts.
They won a total of seven corners before the break and a couple of them were headed off target by Hawkins.
And the striker met another Evans set-piece – after Holy had pushed Curtis’ effort wide – only for Barry Fuller to clear from the line.
But the Blues were then caught out by a sucker-punch just before the interval, as a cross from Elliott List was emphatically headed home by Parker.
Pompey immediately set about trying to find a leveller once the action restarted and the hosts eventually hacked clear following a scramble in their box.
A low right-sided delivery from Ben Thompson then somehow managed to evade both Jamal Lowe and Hawkins.
But Gillingham soon threatened at the other end, with Dean Parrett’s deep free-kick missing everyone and having to be pushed behind by Craig MacGillivray.
Holy should at least have been tested on 54 minutes when an unmarked Evans collected a pass from Lee Brown, only to fire over the bar.
Pompey’s skipper hit a cleaner effort from long-range soon after, although the ball was comfortably held by the keeper.
It was generally proving pretty profligate from the visitors and Hawkins could not send his header on target after getting above Gabriel Zakuani to meet a Curtis cross.
And the striker was withdrawn just before the hour mark, with Brett Pitman coming on to add some fresh legs to the forward line.
Jackett made his other two changes not long after, as Lowe and Curtis made way for Andre Green and David Wheeler.
It was Pitman who had the first chance to level, but was unable to make contact with Brown’s low cross at the near post.
And the Blues were dealt a blow when Nathan Thompson pulled up on 77 minutes and had to be helped off the pitch.
With all three substitutions having already been made, it meant the visitors would need to see out the rest of the game with just 10 men.
And their opponents almost took advantage when the ball fell for Billy Bingham inside the box, but he could not beat MacGillivray.
Pompey kept plugging away, but Pitman’s effort – taken on the turn after collecting Green’s pass – lacked enough power to trouble Holy.
And the hosts wrapped things up when Whatmough crudely ended List’s path to goal, with Reilly confidently slamming home the spot-kick.
Gillingham (4-1-4-1): Holy; Fuller, Lacey, Zakuani (c), Ogilvie; Byrne; List, Parrett (Bingham 69), Reilly, Hanlan (O’Neill 76); Parker (Mbo 90+2)
Goals: Parker 45, Reilly 90+1 (pen)
Booked: Byrne, Fuller
Subs not used: Hadler, Garmston, Rees, Charles-Cook
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe (Green 69), Evans (c), Curtis (Wheeler 69); Hawkins (Pitman 59)
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Close
Referee: Nicholas Kinseley
Attendance: 6,940 (1,637 Pompey fans)
Pompey ensured it would be a very Merry Christmas by seeing off Sunderland in a pulsating encounter on the south coast.
There was plenty of energy, but little goalmouth action before the break – but that certainly changed after it.
Gareth Evans opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Glenn Loovens had been sent off for a foul on Oli Hawkins.
Ronan Curtis soon doubled the advantage, although Luke O’Nien reduced the deficit in front of the biggest crowd Fratton Park had seen for seven years.
Nerves were quickly calmed, however, as Ben Thompson added another for the Blues, who continued to attack right up until the final whistle.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had battled for a point up at Barnsley the previous week.
However, David Wheeler had sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place among the substitutes.
The atmosphere inside a packed Fratton Park was crackling before a ball had been kicked and continued to impress throughout the contest.
But while the action on the pitch was often played at a hectic pace, there were not many clear-cut chances to excite the sell-out crowd during the first half.
Ronan Curtis was a threat for the hosts and Jon McLaughlin came tearing from his line to deny the Republic of Ireland international a shot.
A shot for O’Nien then hit Nathan Thompson right in the face, with the right-back looking dazed, but able to continue.
Pompey put some dangerous balls into the mixer, but the Sunderland defence looked solid and headed everything clear.
Hawkins thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the half after having his shirt tugged by O’Nien, although referee Peter Bankes disagreed.
There were plenty of firm challenges going in, with Lee Brown and Lee Cattermole both receiving a talking to following one clash.
Hawkins was booked by Bankes for a foul on Loovens, with Curtis and O’Nien also getting a ticking off.
Duncan Watmore did well down the Pompey right on 36 minutes, only to see his cross deflected into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.
And the Black Cats had the best chance of the half just before the break, with Watmore squaring for Lynden Gooch, whose shot was saved by the legs of MacGillivray.
It had been entertaining fare before the break, but the action moved up a few gears immediately after the restart.
A brilliant ball from Curtis was latched on to by Hawkins, who charged into the box and was unceremoniously hauled down by Loovens.
Bankes immediately pointed to the spot and life soon got worse for the Sunderland defender, who was shown a red card.
It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty, with the skipper slamming the ball right into the top corner.
And it soon got even better for the league leaders after CURTIS collected a header from the hard-working Hawkins.
It looked like crossing for the well-placed Jamal Lowe was the better option, but instead he drove the ball into the net from a tight angle.
But the action was not going to let-up and Sunderland reduced their deficit when O’Nien turned home a cross from Max Power.
It was soon the Blues back on the attack and an effort from Evans was deflected narrowly past the post.
The respite was a brief one for the visitors, however, as they fell further behind from the resulting corner.
McLaughlin did well to keep out a firm Hawkins header, but Sunderland could not get the ball clear and Ben THOMPSON’s drive was deflected into the roof of the net.
The opportunities kept coming at both ends, with another attempt from the on-loan Millwall midfielder going wide, while Gooch blazed over for the Black Cats.
MacGillivray then took a heavy touch from Brown’s back-pass, but recovered well to deny Gooch.
Hawkins almost capped his impressive display with a goal on 73 minutes, sending his header from a Curtis cross inches past the post.
He received a standing ovation when being replaced by Brett Pitman soon after, with Evans having already been withdrawn for Ben Close.
And the two substitutes combined to put the ball in the net late on, only for Pitman to be flagged offside.
Pompey looked likely to add to the scoring in the closing stages and Close had a shot saved by McLaughlin.
But the crowd did not seem to mind settling for just the 3-1 win, as they exited the ground full of festive glee.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 72), Curtis (Green 87); Hawkins (Pitman 81)
Goals: Evans 48 (pen), Curtis 53, B.Thompson 63
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis, N.Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Wheeler
Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Loovens, Baldwin, James; Cattermole; Honeyman (c) (Maguire 58), Power; McGeady (Sinclair 78); Gooch, Watmore (Ozturk 49)
Goals: O’Nien 57
Sent off: Loovens
Subs not used: Ruiter, Oviedo, McGeouch, Maja
Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 19,402 (2,637 away fans)
War Of The Worlds
16 December 2018
My 4th trip to see the “big” show (I don’t count the mini version in London) and it did not disappoint.
No weeak links this time like Marti Pellows terrible performance and apart from a small wardrobe malfunction with Carrie Hope Fletchers dress it appeared to go okay although the ghost levitation was missing but I read this had not worked on opening night so maybe it was dropped from the show.
Hopefully it will not be the last time I see the show.
Pompey will definitely be top of the League One table at Christmas after securing a 1-1 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Barnsley at Oakwell.
But they might have been celebrating an even greater haul, as Gareth Evans drilled them into the lead just before the break.
Amidst a freezing downpour, however, Cauley Woodrow levelled in the second half and the Blues were forced to hold on at the end.
A stalemate was probably not the biggest surprise, with the hosts boasting an unbeaten home league record and the visitors having not been beaten on the road.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were beaten by Charlton on home soil earlier in the week.
But with Luke McGee suffering from a hand injury, Alex Bass was recalled from a loan spell at Torquay to sit on the bench.
It was not exactly the right day for a neat, passing game of football, with freezing rain falling from the South Yorkshire sky throughout.
That did not seem to dampen the entertainment on offer, however, as the game was often played at a frantic pace.
It was the hosts who looked on top for much of the first half, although they were let down by some poor finishing.
Pompey actually had the first opening, but Ronan Curtis took a heavy touch from Jamal Lowe’s threaded pass, allowing Adam Davies to come from his line and claim.
Craig MacGillivray was the busier of the two keepers, however, and he had his palms stung by Woodrow.
Meanwhile, some vital tracking back from Evans and Lowe denied Cameron McGeehan and George Moncur respectively.
MacGillivray was called into action again midway through the first half, palming over a fierce drive from Woodrow.
The keeper also kept out an angled Moncur shot, while an effort from McGeehan was then diverted off target.
There was a brief interruption soon after, as one of the floodlights failed, but after consulting with both managers, referee Jon Moss decided it was fine to continue.
Pompey threatened on 33 minutes when Lee Brown whipped in a dangerous cross that Lowe volleyed wide.
Kieffer Moore fired wastefully wide at the other end, while some more good defending from Lowe stopped Brad Potts’ surge.
It was Barnsley on top as the interval approached, but the Blues were able to break the deadlock on 43 minutes.
Alex Mowatt tried to clear the ball, only to send it straight into the path of EVANS, who hit a crisp left-footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Both sides were struggling to keep hold of possession once the action restarted, no doubt hindered by the wet and windy conditions.
Long-range efforts from Jacob Brown and Potts went over the bar, as Barnsley went in search of a leveller.
The home crowd were growing frustrated and were appealing to Moss for some soft penalties, with each turned down by the official.
But their mood improved just after the hour mark, as Potts sent in a low cross that Woodrow neatly turned home at the near post.
Barnsley moved up a few gears after that, only for the Blues to then create an opening on the counter-attack.
Ben Thompson collected the ball in the centre and fed Oli Hawkins, whose low drive was kept out by the boot of Davies.
Curtis thought he should have been awarded a penalty after going down in the box, but Moss thought he fell too easily and brandished a yellow card.
The Republic of Ireland international was withdrawn moments later, with Anton Walkes coming on and Nathan Thompson joining Matt Clarke and Jack Whatmough in a back three.
It was still the Tykes looking more of a threat as the game entered its closing stages and Tom Naylor bravely threw himself in front of a thunderous Woodrow effort.
And they almost snatched a late winner, with Moore collecting a pass from Lloyd Isgrove, turning and sending a low shot inches past the post.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies (c); Cavare (Brown 46), Jackson, Pinnock, Pinillos; Potts (Thiam 80), Mowatt, McGeehan, Moncur (Isgrove 63); Moore, Woodrow
Goals: Woodrow 61
Booked: McGeehan, Woodrow
Subs not used: Greatorex, Lindsay, Bahre, Adeboyejo
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Walkes 75); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 43
Booked: Naylor, Curtis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Close, Donohue, Green, Pitman
Referee: Jon Moss
Attendance: 12,441 (1,674 Pompey fans)
Pompey’s fine run of form finally came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by Charlton under the Fratton floodlights.
The visitors impressed before the break, with goals from Karlan Grant and Nicky Ajose seeing them take a commanding lead into the interval.
It was much better from the Blues during a hectic second half and Andre Green came off the bench to reduce the deficit.
But it proved no more than a consolation and a controversial late red card for Ben Thompson capped a disappointing night for the hosts.
Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that had comfortably beaten Southend at the weekend.
But it was an opening 45 minutes to forget for the Blues, who failed to find any fluency and struggled against their more vibrant visitors.
There were half-chances at both ends in the opening stages, with Ben Reeves firing over and Ronan Curtis sending a shot into the side netting.
It was Charlton who had the first decent opening, though, with Craig MacGillivray getting down to parry clear Lyle Taylor’s effort.
The Londoners looked dangerous with every attack and took the lead when Grant slid in at the far post to convert Taylor’s low ball, despite Pompey protestations of offside.
An equaliser looked on the cards after Jamal Lowe threaded a pass through to Evans, only for the skipper’s cross to be agonisingly out of reach for a leaping Ben Thompson.
The Addicks were forced to make an early change, with scorer Grant limping off to be replaced by Ajose.
But it was the replacement who doubled the advantage on 43 minutes, although again the hosts felt it should not have counted.
They were adamant the ball had gone out of play on the right, but the linesman disagreed and George Lapslie crossed for Ajose to poke home.
Pompey finally started to threaten just before the break, although their half was probably summed up when Lowe and Curtis got in each other’s way while trying to shoot.
Curtis also took an unnecessary touch after being found in the box by Lowe, while Tom Naylor’s hooked effort was saved by Jed Steer.
Charlton Athletic 2
Pompey did look brighter at the start of the second half, but their radar was still off, as both Evans and Curtis failed to find the target from inside the area.
It was certainly not all one-way traffic, though, with Charlton still looking a threat on the counter-attack.
One of those saw Ben Thompson make a clean tackle in the box, but the ball fell for Lapslie and Nathan Thompson had to fling himself in the way of the shot.
Jackett made his first change soon after, with Brett Pitman replacing Oli Hawkins to add to some fresh legs to the attack.
The game was now being played at a frantic pace and the Blues were trying their best to get back into the contest.
They twice went close from corners, with Steer making a save from the first and then Lapslie – stationed on the line – somehow got in the way of a fierce Curtis strike.
It was Matt Clarke’s turn to go close from the second set-piece, although his effort was deflected behind.
A melee had broken out in-between, but tempers were soon calmed and yellow cards shown to Pitman and Naby Sarr.
There were cries for a penalty when first Lowe and then Curtis went down in the box, but referee John Brooks – getting plenty of stick from the stands – waved both appeals away.
Still the encounter continued to switch from one end to the next, with barely a moment to take breath.
It looked like Curtis had steered a low shot into the bottom corner, but Steer and his defence managed to keep it out.
The ball was just not falling kindly for the Blues and when an effort from Pitman struck former Fratton defender Jason Pearce in the face, the ball ricocheted the wrong side of the post.
Green came on for Lee Brown in an attacking move, as the hosts desperately searched for a goal that would give them a chance of avoiding defeat.
And the on-loan winger raised hopes of a comeback, with Evans crossing from the right and GREEN slotting the ball into the net.
There were six minutes of added time for the hosts to try to find another, but instead they finished the game with 10 men, as a challenge from Ben Thompson was punished by a red card.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown (Green 80); B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 56)
Goals: Green 88
Sent off: B.Thompson
Booked: Pitman, Lowe, N.Thompson, B.Thompson, Naylor
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Close, Dennis
Charlton (4-1-2-1-2): Steer; Dijksteel, Bauer, Pearce (c), Sarr; Bielik (Solly 80); Lapslie, Aribo; Reeves (Marshall 55); Grant (Ajose 35), Taylor
Goals: Grant 23, Ajose 43
Booked: Sarr, Steer
Subs not used: Phillips, Stevenson, Fosu, Hackett-Fairchild
Referee: John Brooks
Attendance: 17,891 (899 away fans)
Pompey stretched their winning run to an incredible eight games after comfortably seeing off Southend at a wet and windy Fratton Park.
Michael Turner gave them a helping hand with an early own-goal, while Jamal Lowe wrapped things up before the break with a header.
There were chances to extend the lead even further, but the Blues could still be pretty content with their afternoon’s work.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that progressed in the FA Cup at Rochdale the previous week.
Tom Naylor had recovered from a minor groin problem and replaced Ben Close in the centre of midfield.
Harry Bunn and Simon Cox both had half-chances for the visitors in the opening stages, but after that Pompey were in almost total control throughout the first half.
The conditions were certainly making life difficult, with strong winds swirling rain around the ground.
It did not seem to affect the Blues that much, though, and after playing a neat one-two with Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis saw his shot ricochet off Taylor Moore and into the arms of Mark Oxley.
They did break the deadlock on 11 minutes, although received a helping hand, with TURNER inadvertently turning Curtis’ delivery into his own net.
Matt Clarke perhaps should have doubled the lead after being found in space by Curtis, but nodded over the bar.
Hawkins also went close to scoring when he met Clarke’s lofted pass and guided a header inches past the post.
Instead it was LOWE who gave the hosts a cushion, leaping to connect with yet another Curtis cross and sending the ball into the net off the post.
There were cries for a penalty just before the break when Lowe’s pass struck Luke Hyam on the arm, but referee Lee Collins decided it was not enough to warrant pointing to the spot.
Southend United 0
Pompey continued to look comfortable following the restart, although there was, unsurprisingly, not so much urgency in their attacking play.
Curtis did find space to burst through the centre and his thunderous strike had to be beaten away by Oxley.
The Shrimpers enjoyed a spell of possession as the second half progressed, but the home defence were making sure that Craig MacGillivray was untested.
A second penalty request was then turned down just before the hour mark, with Nathan Thompson getting eased off the ball after collecting a threaded Naylor pass.
It was proving to be pretty tame fare as Pompey continued to just ease their way through the contest.
Even when MacGillivray failed to hold on to a corner, he did enough to get the ball clear enough for it to be hacked to safety.
Southend finally went close to scoring on 70 minutes, but Stephen McLaughlin’s effort was deflected past the post.
Close was brought on for the Blues and almost scored with his first touch, although was unable to divert Lowe’s centre on target.
And Ben Thompson then saw his free-kick parried clear by Oxley, with Clarke unable to convert the loose ball after taking a heavy first touch.
It was still the hosts on top as the seconds ticked down and the final whistle was met by a roar of approval from the stands.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe, B.Thompson (Pitman 89), Evans (c) (Close 73), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Turner 11 (og), Lowe 29
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Dennis, Green
Southend (4-2-3-1): Oxley; Moore, White, Turner (Hendrie 46), Bwomono; Mantom (c) (Yearwood 71), Hyam McLaughlin, Dieng, Bunn (Robinson 64); Cox
Booked: Hyam, Moore, White
Subs not used: Bishop, Hutchinson, Kightly, McCoulsky
Referee: Lee Collins
Attendance: 18,062 (726 away fans)