Pompey completed their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against top-flight Dutch outfit FC Utrecht.
Both goals were worthy of a competitive encounter, however, with Sean Klaiber’s long-range strike cancelled out by an equally impressive effort from Anton Walkes.
Ronan Curtis produced a bright performance and was unsurprisingly named man-of-the-match by the sponsors.
Kenny Jackett dispensed with his usual 4-2-3-1 system and opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Brandon Haunstrup on the left wing.
There were also first home appearances for Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Curtis, with fellow summer signing Louis Dennis on the bench.
It was typical friendly fare in the opening stages, with little in the way of excitement at a blustery Fratton Park.
The visitors were forced into an early change when Jack Whatmough and Gyrano Kerk clattered into the advertising hoardings, with the latter replaced by Cyriel Dessers.
But neither goalkeeper was given much to do and so the quality of the opening goal caught everyone by surprise.
Dessers rolled the ball across to Klaiber and the right-back hit a stunning long-range shot that arrowed into the top corner.
Pompey improved as the half progressed and crosses from Haunstrup and Nathan Thompson were inches away from reaching their intended targets.
Curtis did meet a free-kick from Naylor and half of the Fratton End thought his header was in, when the ball in fact flew into the side netting.
Sander van de Streek then had a chance at the other end, but his angled drive was beaten away by MacGillivray.
Curtis was proving a lively presence up front for the hosts and almost capitalised on a defensive mix-up, only to see his eventual shot blocked.
It was the Blues on top as the interval approached and Brett Pitman had an effort blocked, while Curtis was flagged offside as he converted Jamal Lowe’s cross.
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international then did well to get a shot away, forcing David Jensen to tip the ball over.
But a leveller did arrived just before the break – and it was another goal that came right out of the top drawer.
A cross from Curtis was brought down by Pitman for WALKES, who fizzed home a fierce strike from 25 yards.
FC Utrecht 1
Pompey almost flipped the match on its head just after the restart, but Matt Clarke was unable to guide a Curtis corner on target.
Curtis was involved in every attack for the hosts, although he was unable to connect with a testing Haunstrup delivery at the far post.
The hosts were also working hard out of possession, constantly pressing their opponents to force mistakes and win the ball back.
But there was a moment of concern just past the hour mark, as Lowe limped off injured to be replaced by Gareth Evans.
Both sides then had chances to take the lead during a flurry of activity midway through the second half.
Utrecht were first up when van de Streek met Urby Emanuelson’s corner and sent a header flying narrowly over the bar.
Pompey broke straight down the other end, with Curtis’ low angled drive diverted wide by the fingertips of Jensen.
A deluge of substitutes broke up the flow of the game on 73 minutes, with the hosts making six changes.
There was still time for Utrecht to find the net from a corner, although referee Andy Davies saw an infringement and the game ended all square.
Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray (McGee 73); Thompson (Rose 73), Whatmough, Clarke (Burgess 73), Brown; Lowe (Evans 62), Walkes, Naylor (Close 73), Haunstrup; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 73), Curtis (Chaplin 73)
Goals: Walkes 44
Subs not used: May, Dennis
FC Utrecht (4-1-2-1-2): Jensen; Klaiber, Leeuwin, Janssen (c), van der Maarel (Guwara 83); Strieder (Troupee 61); van Overeem, Emanuelson; van de Streek (Boussaid 83); Gustafson (Joosten 83), Kerk (Dessers 9 (Gortler 73))
Goals: Klaiber 15
Subs not used: de Keijzer, Paes, Memengi
Referee: Andy Davies
Attendance: 4,299 (144 away fans)
Brett Pitman showed his poacher’s instincts, but Pompey had to settle for a pre-season stalemate against Brighton.
The match was played at the Premier League side’s Elite Football Performance Centre and both sides fielded a strong line-up.
There did not look a two division gap between the teams, with the Blues looking assured in possession and strong at the back.
And it looked like victory was on the cards when Pitman prodded home, only for Anthony Knockaert to head home an equaliser.
The game was split into three 25-minute periods, with Pompey changing the majority of their side two-thirds of the way through the contest.
They certainly did not look overawed against their top-flight opponents and created the better chances in the early stages.
Pitman did deal with a Seagulls corner at the near post, while a long-range effort from Knockaert flew over the bar.
But it was the Blues that almost broke the deadlock when Pitman stooped to reach Brandon Haunstrup’s corner and saw his header come back off the post.
Knockaert then threw himself in front of Lee Brown’s drive to deny the left-back following a neat spell of possession from the visitors.
There were also half-chances for Haunstrup and Pitman as Pompey finished the opening third on top.
End Of First Period
Brighton & Hove Albion 0
Pitman thought he should have won a penalty when the action restarted after trying to meet a Haunstrup corner.
The skipper could only turn the ball over as he went to ground under pressure from the Brighton back-line, but the referee was not interested in his appeals.
It might have been billed as a friendly, but that did not stifle either side’s competitive instincts, with plenty of healthy challenges being made.
One of them led to a Blues free-kick and although Pitman got plenty of pace on his effort, the striker’s radar was slightly off.
Craig MacGillivray was relatively untroubled at the other end and although he was briefly wrong-footed by Yves’ Bissouma’s deflected shot, the keeper recovered to comfortably gather.
End Of Second Period
Brighton & Hove Albion 0
The visitors made multiple changes for the final third, with only Pitman and Haunstrup remaining on the pitch.
And it was PITMAN who broke the deadlock seconds after the restart, bundling the ball over the line from close range after Adam May’s corner had been headed towards goal by Christian Burgess.
Substitute Seagulls stopper Hugo Keto then kept out Pitman’s curling effort to stop his side falling further behind.
But Brighton almost found an equaliser moments later, with Ezequiel Schelotto getting into the box and striking the base of the post.
Oliver Norwood then delivered a dangerous free-kick from wide on the right that Beram Kayal glanced narrowly wide.
But the equaliser did arrive on 67 minutes, with Tomer Hemed doing well to beat his man and swing in a cross that Knockaert in.
It was the Seagulls who looked more likely to grab a winner in the closing stages, although Pompey held firm at the back to ensure the spoils were shared.
Brighton (4-4-1-1): Ryan (Keto 51); Schelotto, Duffy, White, Bong (Gyokeres 51); Knockaert, Bissouma (Mandriou 51), Kyal, Suttner; Norwood; Hemed (Collar 51)
Goals: Knockaert 67
Subs not used: Moore, Davies
Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray (McGee 51); Thompson (Smith 51), Whatmough (Burgess 51), Clarke (Casey 51), Brown (Dennis 51); Lowe (Chaplin 51), Naylor (May 51), Walkes (Rose 51), Haunstrup; Pitman (c), Curtis (Hawkins 51)
Goals: Pitman 51
Subs not used: Flint, Lethbridge
Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe were on target as Pompey beat Swindon 2-0 in their latest pre-season fixture.
There were chances at both ends during an opening 45 minutes that occasionally burst into life amidst quiet spells.
But Hawkins headed home the opener following the restart and Lowe tucked in a second to secure victory for Kenny Jackett’s troops.
A healthy following made the journey up from the south coast and they were vocal in their support for former Fratton hero Matt Taylor, who was skippering the hosts.
Pompey were quickly out of the blocks and there were just 16 seconds on the clock when Ronan Curtis’ long-range effort dipped narrowly over the crossbar.
Chris Robertson soon made a key block after Lowe had latched on to a threaded pass from Conor Chaplin.
A corner then caused the Robins problems and when the ball fell to Lowe on the edge of the box, he dragged his shot wide.
But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Ellis Iandolo met Kyle Knoyle’s cross, only for Craig MacGillivray to get down to his left and make a fine save.
The intensity of the game slowed after that bright opening, although Pompey were still looking dangerous from corners.
Lee Brown sent some dangerous deliveries into the box, which both Hawkins and Matt Clarke failed to capitalise on.
Chaplin attempted a more ambitious effort midway through the first half, with an acrobatic over-head volley that flew past the post.
It was Swindon who finished the half on top, however, and Steven Alzate curled narrowly wide, while Iandolo was inches away from meeting a cross from the evergreen Taylor.
Swindon Town 0
Pompey made a change at the start of the second half, as Anton Walkes made way for Danny Rose in the centre of midfield.
It was their opponents who first to threaten following the restart, however, as Alzate’s drive was deflected wide.
Then, at the other end, Hawkins rose at the far post to meet a Curtis cross and the ball flew into the side netting.
And when Lowe was fouled on the right, Elijah Adebayo had to nod clear Brown’s free-kick before Clarke could pounce.
But the deadlock was finally broken just before the hour mark, as HAWKINS converted Lowe’s cross with a thumping header.
Swindon tried to get back on level terms, with Tom Naylor – wearing the captain’s armband – and Rose both making brave blocks.
Clarke then had to clear from the line when Dion Conroy juggled the ball and hooked it inventively towards the net.
Swindon were looking the more adventurous side by this point, but it was certainly not all one-way traffic and Hawkins glanced Chaplin’s centre narrowly wide.
The action soon switched back up the other end of the pitch and Adebayo’s hit a fierce strike that fizzed past the upright.
But victory was secured on 72 minutes after a low drive from Curtis was deflected into Chaplin’s path.
He sent the ball across the face of goal and LOWE was there to bundle home and double the Blues’ lead.
Swindon made a triple substitution late on, with former Pompey players James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga both entering the fray.
They were unable to help the hosts mount a comeback, however, as the closing stages passed by without much incident.
Swindon (4-1-4-1): Vigouroux; Knoyle, Robertson, Conroy (Romanski 66), Taylor (c); Smith (McCourt 81); McGlashan (Edwards 88), Alzate (Diagouraga 81), Iandolo (Dunne 81), Anderson; Adebayo
Subs not used: McCormick, Young, Twine, Pryce, Henry
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c), Walkes (Rose 46); Lowe, Chaplin, Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 58, Lowe 72
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup, May, Evans, Dennis, Smith, Pitman
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Transfer : Tottenham Hotspur – Portsmouth
Transfer : Portsmouth – Notts County
Pompey suffered their first pre-season defeat, despite Gareth Evans giving them the lead at Stevenage.
The winger steered home a neat finish midway through the first half, only for Ben Kennedy’s strike to ensure the scores were level at the break.
Susbtitute Andronicos Georgiou then added a brace to secure victory for the League Two outfit, despite a late consolation from Conor Chaplin.
Kenny Jackett had made extensive substitutions in the middle of the previous friendlies against Cork and the Hawks, but was more conservative with his changes at Broadhall Way.
Boro started brightly and almost took the lead when Joel Byrom’s free-kick was met by Kennedy, but Craig MacGillivray came to the rescue with a fine save.
Nathan Thompson then prevented Scott Cuthbert from converting the loose ball, while MacGillivray denied one of the hosts’ two first half trialists from the resulting corner.
But the Blues soon began to dominate and after Evans had sent one effort high and wide, Adam May’s 20-yard drive drew a decent stop from Paul Farman.
Then, following great work down the right from the lively Jamal Lowe, Brett Pitman had a shot blocked by Cuthbert.
Ronan Curtis was next to go close for the visitors, but he was unable to beat Farman after collecting a raking pass from Tom Naylor.
The deadlock was broken on 20 minutes, however, as Thompson slipped the ball through to EVANS, who neatly bent it into the net.
But Stevenage fought back and Kennedy was proving to be a constant menace with some probing runs forward.
He had already seen one attempt fizz agonisingly past the post before finding a leveller on 30 minutes.
The attacking midfielder was able to get away from Matt Clarke and then slam home a shot that left MacGillivray with no chance.
Pompey almost retook their lead, as Curtis ran along the edge of the box before curling in a shot that Farman did well to push away.
They kept plugging away as the interval approached, but neither Pitman or Lowe were able to make the most of promising openings.
Pompey emerged unchanged for the second half, while their opponents switched the entire 11 – with the introduction of five more trialists.
It was the visitors who were fastest out of the blocks, although a cleanly-struck Evans effort was comfortably kept out.
But Boro turned the contest on its head, as they took the lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances just before the hour mark.
Emmanuel Sonupe teed-up Georgiou and his shot took a wicked deflection off Naylor to wrong-foot MacGillivray and land in the net.
Jackett then made four substitutions, as Christian Burgess, Danny Rose, Chaplin and Oli Hawkins all entered the pitch.
The latter had a decent chance to draw Pompey level, but was unable to divert his header on target after meeting a pin-point cross from Lee Brown.
Stevenage, meanwhile, were attacking with pace and MacGillivray used his legs to keep out a Sonupe shot.
It was only a brief reprieve, however, as just seconds later, Sonupe’s delivery was emphatically finished by Georgiou at close range.
The game started to drift towards its conclusion after that, although Curtis was still proving a lively presence.
He did well to win back possession on the byline on 80 minutes, but could not force the ball home from an acute angle.
The summer signing also narrowly cleared the crossbar from long-range in the closing stages, as the Blues finished with a flourish.
But it was CHAPLIN who netted a consolation in the final seconds, controlling Curtis’ pass and slotting into the net.
Stevenage (4-1-2-1-2): Farman (Trialist 46); Vancooten (Fraser 46), Cuthbert (Trialist 46), Trialist (Wilkinson 46), Hunt (Trialist 46); Byrom (Trialist 46); Timlin (Sonupe 46), McKee (Trialist 46); Kennedy (Iontton 46); Trialist (Georgiou 46), Revell (c) (White 46)
Goals: Kennedy 30, Georgiou 57, 70
Subs not used: Martin, O’Donnell, Smith
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough (Burgess 62), Clarke, Brown; Naylor (Haunstrup 84), May (Rose 62); Evans (Chaplin 62), Lowe, Curtis; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 62)
Goals: Evans 20, Chaplin 89
Subs not used: McGee, Casey, Dennis, Smith
|PLOTTony Stark, who has inherited the defense contractor Stark Industries from his father Howard Stark, is in war-torn Afghanistan with his friend and military liaison, Lieutenant Colonel James Rhodes, to demonstrate the new "Jericho" missile. After the demonstration, the convoy is ambushed and Stark is critically wounded by a missile used by the attackers: one of his company's own. He is captured and imprisoned in a cave by a terrorist group called the Ten Rings. Yinsen, a fellow captive doctor, implants an electromagnet into Stark's chest to keep the shrapnel shards that wounded him from reaching his heart and killing him. Ten Rings leader Raza offers Stark freedom in exchange for building a Jericho missile for the group, but he and Yinsen know that Raza will not keep his word.
Stark and Yinsen secretly build a small, powerful electric generator called an arc reactor to power Stark's electromagnet and a prototype suit of powered armor to aid in their escape. Although they keep the suit hidden almost to completion, the Ten Rings discover their hostages' intentions and attack the workshop. Yinsen sacrifices himself to divert them while the suit fully charges. The armored Stark battles his way out of the cave to find the dying Yinsen, then burns the Ten Rings' weapons in anger and flies away, crashing in the desert and destroying the suit. After being rescued by Rhodes, Stark returns home and announces that his company will cease manufacturing weapons. Obadiah Stane, his father's old partner and the company's manager, advises Stark that this may ruin Stark Industries and his father's legacy. In his home workshop, Stark builds a sleeker, more powerful version of his improvised armor suit as well as a more powerful arc reactor for it and his chest. Personal assistant Pepper Potts places the original reactor inside a small glass showcase. Though Stane requests details, a suspicious Stark decides to keep his work to himself.
At a charity event held by Stark Industries, reporter Christine Everhart informs Stark that his company's weapons were recently delivered to the Ten Rings and are being used to attack Yinsen's home village, Gulmira. Stark dons his new armor and flies to Afghanistan, where he saves the villagers. While flying home, Stark is attacked by two fighter jets. He reveals his secret identity to Rhodes over the phone in an attempt to end the attack. Meanwhile, the Ten Rings gather the pieces of Stark's prototype suit and meet with Stane, who has been trafficking arms to criminals worldwide and has staged a coup to replace Stark as Stark Industries' CEO by hiring the Ten Rings to kill him. He subdues Raza and has the rest of the group killed. Stane has a massive new suit reverse engineered from the wreckage. Seeking to track his company's illegal shipments, Stark sends Potts to hack into its database. She discovers that Stane hired the Ten Rings to kill Stark, but the group reneged when they realized they had a direct route to Stark's weapons. Potts meets with Agent Phil Coulson of S.H.I.E.L.D., an intelligence agency, to inform him of Stane's activities.
Stane's scientists cannot duplicate Stark's miniaturized arc reactor, so Stane ambushes Stark at his home and takes the one from his chest. Stark manages to get to his original reactor to replace it. Potts and several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempt to arrest Stane, but he dons his suit and attacks them. Stark fights Stane but is outmatched without his new reactor to run his suit at full capacity. The fight carries Stark and Stane to the top of the Stark Industries building, and Stark instructs Potts to overload the large arc reactor powering the building. This unleashes a massive electrical surge that causes Stane and his armor to fall into the exploding reactor, killing him. The next day, at a press conference, Stark defies suggestions from S.H.I.E.L.D. and publicly admits to being "Iron Man."
In a post-credits scene, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nick Fury visits Stark at home, telling him that Iron Man is not "the only superhero in the world", and explaining that he wants to discuss the "Avenger Initiative".
|2008Personal Rating80Rotten Critics94Rotten Audience91IMDb Rating79Combined Rating84.8|
|PLOTTwo years after the Battle of New York, Steve Rogers works in Washington, D.C., for the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D. under Director Nick Fury, while adjusting to contemporary society. Rogers and Agent Natasha Romanoff are sent with S.H.I.E.L.D.'s counter-terrorism S.T.R.I.K.E. team, led by Agent Rumlow, to free hostages aboard a S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel from Georges Batroc and his mercenaries. Mid-mission, Rogers discovers Romanoff has another agenda: to extract data from the ship's computers for Fury. Rogers returns to the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters, to confront Fury and is briefed about Project Insight: three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, designed to preemptively eliminate threats. Unable to decrypt the data recovered by Romanoff, Fury becomes suspicious about Insight and asks senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official and Secretary of Internal Security Alexander Pierce to delay the project.
On his way to rendezvous with Maria Hill, Fury is ambushed by assailants led by a mysterious assassin called the Winter Soldier. Fury escapes to Rogers' apartment, and warns Rogers that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised. Fury is gunned down by the Winter Soldier, before handing Rogers a flash drive containing data from the ship. Fury is pronounced dead during surgery, and Hill recovers the body. The next day, Pierce summons Rogers to the Triskelion. When Rogers withholds Fury's information, Pierce brands him a fugitive. Hunted by S.T.R.I.K.E., Rogers meets with Romanoff. Using data in the flash drive, they discover a secret S.H.I.E.L.D. bunker in New Jersey, where they activate a supercomputer containing the preserved consciousness of Arnim Zola. Zola reveals that ever since S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded after World War II, Hydra has secretly operated within its ranks, sowing global chaos with the objective of making humanity surrender its freedom in exchange for security. The pair narrowly escape death when a S.H.I.E.L.D. missile destroys the bunker, and realize that Pierce is Hydra's leader within S.H.I.E.L.D.
Rogers and Romanoff enlist the help of former USAF pararescueman Sam Wilson, whom Rogers befriended, and acquire his powered "Falcon" wingpack. Deducing that S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jasper Sitwell is a Hydra mole, they force him to divulge that Zola developed a data-mining algorithm that can identify individuals becoming threats to Hydra. The Insight Helicarriers will sweep the globe, using satellite-guided guns to eliminate these individuals. Rogers, Romanoff, and Wilson are ambushed by the Winter Soldier, who kills Sitwell. During the fight, Rogers recognizes the Winter Soldier as Bucky Barnes, his childhood best friend who supposedly fell to his death on a mission, but was actually captured and experimented upon after WWII. Hill manages to extract the trio to a safehouse where Fury, who had faked his death, is waiting with plans to sabotage the Helicarriers by replacing their controller chips.
After the World Security Council members arrive for the Helicarriers' launch, Rogers broadcasts Hydra's plot to everyone at the Triskelion. Romanoff, disguised as one of the Council members, disarms Pierce. Fury arrives and forces Pierce to unlock S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database so that Romanoff can leak classified information, exposing Hydra to the public. Following a struggle, Fury kills Pierce. Meanwhile, Rogers and Wilson storm two Helicarriers and replace the controller chips, but the Winter Soldier destroys Wilson's suit and fights Rogers on the third. Rogers fends him off and replaces the final chip, allowing Hill to take control and have the vessels destroy each other. Rogers refuses to fight the Winter Soldier in an attempt to reach his friend, but as the ship collides with the Triskelion, Rogers is thrown out into the Potomac River. The Winter Soldier rescues the unconscious Rogers before disappearing into the woods. With S.H.I.E.L.D. in disarray, Romanoff appears before a Senate subcommittee, while Fury, under the cover of his apparent death, heads to Eastern Europe in pursuit of Hydra's remaining cells. Rogers and Wilson decide to find the Winter Soldier, while Rumlow, who was a double agent for Hydra, is hospitalized following the Triskelion's destruction.
In a mid-credits scene, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker, at a Hydra lab, proclaims that the "age of miracles" has begun as scientists examine an energy-filled scepter and two test subjects: one with superhuman speed, the other with telekinetic powers. In a post-credits scene, Barnes visits his own memorial at the Smithsonian Institution.
|2014Personal Rating80Rotten Critics90Rotten Audience92IMDb Rating77Combined Rating83.8|
Loan : Portsmouth – Torquay United