Loan : Wolverhampton Wanderers – Portsmouth
Loan : Wolverhampton Wanderers – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed Joe Mason on loan from Wolves.
The striker has joined the Blues until January 2 and will wear the number 14 shirt during his time on the south coast.
But the 27-year-old has not arrived in time to feature in Saturday’s League One contest with Plymouth.
Mason began his career at Plymouth and then spent almost five years with Cardiff before signing for Wolves in January 2016.
The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international had spells on loan at Burton and MLS outfit Colorado Rapids last season.
Transfer : Portsmouth – Coventry City
|Conor Chaplin has completed a move to League One side Coventry.
The 21-year-old striker has initially joined them on loan until January, when the move will become permanent for an undisclosed fee.
Chaplin is a graduate of the Blues academy, who made his senior debut in a home defeat to Accrington back in December 2014.
A first goal arrived at Morecambe a few months later, while he played a key role in Pompey’s memorable League Two title success in 2016/17.
Loan : Aston Villa – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed winger Andre Green on loan from Aston Villa.
The deal sees the 20-year-old England youth international join the Blues for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.
Green is a graduate of Villa’s academy and made his senior debut in a Premier League clash with Tottenham back in March 2016.
He has gone on to make 31 appearances, opening his goalscoring account in last season’s 4-2 home victory over Norwich.
Green – who has featured five times in the current campaign – has represented the Three Lions up to under-20 level.
|PLOTTwo years after the battle of Sokovia, Thor is imprisoned by the fire demon Surtur, who reveals that Thor's father Odin is no longer on Asgard. He explains that the realm will soon be destroyed during the prophesied Ragnarök, once Surtur unites his crown with the Eternal Flame that burns in Odin's vault. Thor frees himself, defeats Surtur and takes his crown, believing he has prevented Ragnarök.
Thor returns to Asgard to find Heimdall gone and his estranged brother Loki posing as Odin. After exposing Loki, Thor forces him to help find their father, and with directions from Stephen Strange at the Sanctum Sanctorum in New York City, they locate Odin in Norway. Odin explains that he is dying, Ragnarök is imminent despite Thor's efforts to prevent it, and his passing will free his firstborn child, Hela, from a prison she was sealed in long ago. Hela was the leader of Asgard's armies, conquering the Nine Realms with Odin, but Odin imprisoned her and wrote her out of history after fearing that she had become too ambitious and powerful. Odin dies as Thor and Loki look on, and Hela appears, destroying Thor's hammer Mjolnir. She pursues the two as they attempt to flee through the Bifröst Bridge, forcing them out into space. Arriving in Asgard, she defeats its army and kills the Warriors Three. She then resurrects the ancient dead who once fought with her, including her giant wolf Fenris, and appoints the Asgardian Skurge as her executioner. Hela plans to use the Bifröst to expand Asgard's empire, but Heimdall sneaks in, takes the sword that controls the Bridge and begins hiding other Asgardians.
Thor crash-lands on Sakaar, a garbage planet surrounded by wormholes. A slave trader designated Scrapper 142 subdues him with an obedience disk and sells him as a gladiator to Sakaar's ruler, the Grandmaster, with whom Loki has already ingratiated himself. Thor recognizes 142 as one of the Valkyrior, a legendary force of female warriors who were killed fighting Hela eons ago. Thor is forced to compete in the Grandmaster's Contest of Champions, facing his old friend Hulk. Summoning lightning, Thor gets the upper hand, but the Grandmaster sabotages the fight to ensure Hulk's victory. Still enslaved after the fight, Thor attempts to convince Hulk and 142 to help him save Asgard, but neither is willing. He soon manages to escape the palace and finds the Quinjet that brought Hulk to Sakaar. Hulk follows Thor to the Quinjet, where a recording of Natasha Romanoff causes him to transform back into Bruce Banner for the first time since Sokovia.
The Grandmaster orders 142 and Loki to find Thor and Hulk, but the pair come to blows and Loki forces her to relive the deaths of her fellow Valkyrior at the hands of Hela. Deciding to help Thor, she takes Loki captive. Unwilling to be left behind, Loki provides the group with the means to steal one of the Grandmaster's ships. They then liberate the other gladiators who, incited by two aliens named Korg and Miek, stage a revolution. Loki again attempts to betray his brother, but Thor anticipates this and leaves him behind, where Korg, Miek, and the gladiators soon find him. Thor, Banner, and 142 escape through a wormhole to Asgard, where Hela's forces are attacking Heimdall and the remaining Asgardians in pursuit of the sword that controls the Bifröst. Banner transforms into Hulk again, defeating Fenris, while Thor and 142 fight Hela and her warriors. Loki and the gladiators arrive to rescue the citizens, and a repentant Skurge sacrifices himself to enable their escape. Thor, facing Hela, loses his right eye and then has a vision of Odin that helps him realize only Ragnarök can stop her. He sends Loki to retrieve Surtur's crown and place it in the Eternal Flame. Surtur is reborn and destroys Asgard, killing Hela and himself, as the refugees flee.
Aboard the Grandmaster's spaceship, Thor, now king, reconciles with Loki and decides to take his people to Earth. In a mid-credits scene, they are intercepted by a large spacecraft. In a post-credits scene, the overthrown Grandmaster is confronted by his former subjects.
|2017Personal Rating80Rotten Tomatoes Avg90MetaCritic Avg76IMDb Rating79Combined Rating81.0|
The visitors were well below-par before the break and survived some nervy moments, but were much improved in the second half.
Gareth Evans was twice denied by excellent Marko Marosi stops, but the keeper was sent off for a handball in the closing stages, meaning Rovers finished with an outfield player between the sticks.
Kenny Jackett named the same side for a third successive game, following victories over Oxford and Bristol Rovers.
But if the visitors were in a confident mood then it was not particularly evident during the opening 45 minutes.
There were plenty of nervy moments in the Blues back-line, with the ball spending much of the time in and around their area.
An early chance from Alfie May was comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray and the chances kept coming for Doncaster.
They had a great opportunity to open the scoring moments later, with unmarked skipper Andy Butler heading Herbie Kane’s corner wide from just a few yards out.
Then, after Anton Walkes had been penalised for a foul on Matty Blair, the free-kick was curled narrowly over by Ben Whiteman.
It was a sloppy start from Pompey and when they failed to clear the danger on 12 minutes, MacGillivray was called into action again to deny May.
The hosts then thought they should have won a penalty, although replays showed Walkes was nowhere near May when he flung himself to the ground.
Not much was happening at the other end of the pitch, with Ronan Curtis and Ben Thompson both sending efforts well off target.
Meanwhile, a cross from Jamal Lowe had to be turned behind by Niall Mason before Evans could connect at the far post.
There was then almost a second own-goal in a week for Jack Whatmough, not that he knew much about it.
Kane’s shot struck the defender and wrong-footed MacGillivray, who managed to recover in time to stop the ball crossing the line.
Rovers continued to dominate as the interval neared and Mallik Wilks’ inventive overhead effort was kept out by MacGillivray, while Whiteman then blazed over.
Doncaster Rovers 0
Jackett made a double change at the break, with Thompson and Oli Hawkins withdrawn for Ben Close and Brett Pitman.
And they looked more assured once the action restarted, seeing much more of the ball without being able to test keeper Marosi.
Doncaster still posed a threat, however, and Lee Brown made a timely clearance to stop former Blues loanee John Marquis getting a shot away.
It was Pompey who almost broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, however, when Evans met a low Curtis cross and saw his shot kept out by Marosi at point-blank range.
The ball came loose and Evans picked it back up again, but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.
By now the action was switching from one end of the pitch to the other and MacGillivray got down to his right to save Blair’s strike.
Another excellent chance for the visitors followed and once more it was Evans who could count himself unlucky.
He lined up a shot after Pitman’s initial effort had been parried into his path, although Marosi again made a fine save to deny him.
But the ball fell straight back to Evans and although his second attempt beat the keeper, Whiteman was on hand to clear from the line.
The chances started to dry up as the game neared its conclusion, although both sides were still trying to attack.
Suddenly the drama picked up again, however, as Doncaster were reduced to 10 men on 83 minutes.
Marosi came tearing out of his box to beat Curtis to the ball and handled it, earning a red card from referee Andy Haines.
The hosts had made their final substitution moments earlier, meaning midfielder Whiteman had to don the keeper’s jersey.
But he was well protected by his defence in the closing stages, with a simple save from Curtis the closest Pompey came to snatching victory.
Doncaster (4-3-3): Marosi; Mason, Wright, Butler (c), Andrew; Kane, Whiteman, Blair (Rowe 73); Wilks (Coppinger 73), Marquis, May (Kiwomya 82)
Sent off: Marosi
Booked: Whiteman, Kane
Subs not used: Lawlor, T.Anderson, J.Anderson, Beestin
Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson (Close 46), Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 46), Curtis
Booked: B.Thompson, Close, Whatmough
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Wheeler
Referee: Andy Haines
Attendance: 7,618 (1,121 Pompey fans)
Gareth Evans netted for the second game in succession to give them an interval lead at the Memorial Stadium.
But Chris Lines then levelled from the penalty spot and was sent off in the space of three second half minutes.
It looked like the spoils would be shared, only for Curtis to scramble a shot home late on and secure another three-point haul for the Blues.
Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Oxford in such impressive fashion at the weekend.
There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Kyle Bennett starting against his former club.
The game began in a cagey fashion, as both sides were limited to long-range efforts that failed to find the target.
Tom Naylor, Ben Thompson and Evans had their radars off for the visitors, while it was Ed Upson and Bennett for Rovers.
But Liam Sercombe really should have done better when Bennett’s cross found him unmarked in the box and he screwed over the bar.
Matt Clarke then did well to hook the ball to safety and prevent Stefan Payne from getting a shot away.
Those opportunities came during a spell of pressure for the hosts, but instead it was the Blues that broke the deadlock on 32 minutes.
A long ball up the pitch was flicked on first by Oli Hawkins and then Curtis, with EVANS collecting it and lashing home a rocket of a shot.
Rovers came close to levelling before the break, with MacGillivray getting down to his right to push clear a low Sercombe drive.
Anton Walkes was also called into action to block efforts from Ollie Clarke and Upson, ensuring Pompey went in ahead at the break.
Bristol Rovers 0
It was Pompey who threatened first following the interval, but when Jamal Lowe’s cross was headed clear, Naylor was unable to keep his shot down.
There was then a break in play while Clarke received treatment for a cut above his eye and the Blues defender returned to the pitch with a bandaged head.
Rovers then had a great chance to equalise when MacGillivray palmed clear a curler from Tom Nichols, but Sercombe could only send the loose ball into the side netting.
Rovers were on top and after having penalty appeals turned down when Sercombe’s shot hit Thompson, an effort from Nichols had to be blocked by Clarke.
Pompey saw that nervy period out, however, and began to look more of a threat at the other end of the pitch.
Evans came close to his second goal of the evening after a surging run across the edge of the box, but drilled narrowly wide with his left foot.
But then came a couple of moments of controversy, as Rovers sub Lines scored from the spot before being sent off.
It was his corner that referee Graham Salisbury decided Curtis had deliberately handled, with the midfielder just about squeezing his penalty past MacGillivray’s outstretched arm and into the bottom corner.
Brett Pitman was immediately introduced from the bench and was caught by the studs of Lines, whose reckless challenge earned him a red card.
It was a hectic ending, with goals looking likely to go in at either end of the pitch, perhaps thanks to some tiring limbs.
But it was the Blues celebrating on 87 minutes, when CURTIS capitalised on Pitman’s flick from a Thompson pass and just about managed to force a shot over the line.
The visitors were then indebted to MacGillivray, who made a stunning save to deny Bennett, while Pitman cleared off the line from the resulting corner.
Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Smith; Leadbitter, Lockyer (c), Craig, J.Clarke; Bennett, Upson (Lines 69), O.Clarke, Sercombe; Payne (Jakubiak 69), Nichols (Rodman 79)
Goals: Lines 76 (pen)
Sent off: Lines
Subs not used: Andre Jr, Broadbent, Mensah Jr, Reilly
Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 77), Curtis (Haunstrup 90)
Goals: Evans 32, Curtis 87
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Close, Wheeler, Chaplin
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 9,073 (1,137 Pompey fans)
|PLOTJoe, Willie, and Albert are senior citizens and lifelong friends living in New York. During an unpleasant appointment at the bank, Joe is one of the victims to witness a robbery in progress carried out by three individuals wearing black masks. During the robbery, he notices the leader bearing a Mongol warrior tattoo on his neck as the only lead that could help the police identify the culprit. However, the leader sympathizes with Joe when he finds out about his current financial situation brought up by the bank. The robbers subsequently escape with over $1.6 million.
When the company they worked for is bought out, their pensions become a casualty of the restructuring. Joe is hit particularly hard and finds out that he, his daughter, Rachel, and granddaughter, Brooklyn, will be homeless in less than thirty days. Willie finds out he's gravely ill from kidney failure and needs a transplant and is even more frustrated because his financial situation forces him into a long-distance relationship with his daughter and granddaughter. Desperate, the three friends decide to rob the bank that is going to restructure their pension funds and take back what is rightfully theirs.
Inspired by his experience of the robbery, Joe originates the idea; at first Albert and Willie are appalled, but eventually agree when they later learn that their bank intends to steal their pensions. Trying to shoplift some items from a grocery store, where Al's love interest, Annie, works, results in a comic disaster, so the trio turn to Joe's former son-in-law, Murphy, and a professional criminal and pet store owner named Jesús to teach them the ropes. They plan an alibi using their lodge's carnival as a cover.
Joe, Willie, and Albert disguise themselves as "The Rat Pack" (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr.) and use guns with blanks so that no one gets hurt. The robbery almost goes awry when Willie collapses briefly and a child witness partially pulls off his mask to allow him to breathe better; she sees the wrist watch he wears with a picture of his granddaughter on it as he engages in a friendly conversation so as not to let her feel intimidated; however, the three manage to get away with over $2.3 million. They are soon arrested on suspicion by FBI Agent Hamer after the manager from the grocery store recognizes Al's walk from the video surveillance cameras, but they all stick to their alibis.
Hamer puts them along with other senior suspects into a police lineup, using the child witness who partially took off Willie's mask. She refuses to identify Willie, leaving Hamer with no case. Willie suffers total kidney failure and is near death until Al agrees to donate a kidney. While part of the money is used to help the three friends with their financial situations, the rest is given to their families, friends, co-workers, and fellow members at the lodge. Joe finally gets his granddaughter a puppy he promised her if she got A's in every subject at school; courtesy of Jesús, who is later revealed to be the leader of the robbers from the robbery Joe witnessed and has laundered the money that they stole. The tattoo on his neck is also revealed to be a fake made of henna, intended to throw the FBI and the police off the scent. The movie ends at Al and Annie's wedding as the three friends celebrate their good fortune.
|2017Personal Rating60Rotten Tomatoes Avg52MetaCritic Avg56IMDb Rating66Combined Rating58.7|
They dominated the contest, but it looked like a frustrating afternoon might be in store when Gareth Evans saw his penalty saved.
The Blues were more clinical after the interval, however, and Evans redeemed himself, while a Rob Dickie own-goal and Jamal Lowe effort gave the scoreline a more realistic gloss.
United staged a late rally and twice the struck the woodwork before Jack Whatmough found his own net.
But the visitors – who are without a league point – were unable to stage an unlikely comeback and Lowe wrapped things up impressively in stoppage-time.
Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup on home soil earlier in the week.
Ben Thompson was handed an immediate debut in the centre of midfield, having finalised a loan switch from Millwall the previous day.
There were also starts for Craig MacGillivray, Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins.
Luke McGee, Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close, David Wheeler and Brett Pitman were the men to make way, with all of them dropping to the bench.
Pompey had not been overly convincing in their opening day home victory over Luton, but they completely controlled the first half against Oxford.
The contest was slow to get going, but it was the hosts who dominated in terms of both possession and chances.
Tony McMahon had to clear Tom Naylor’s header behind, while Curtis was unable to keep his effort down from a Lowe centre.
Hawkins was proving a constant nuisance, but could not find the target after Whatmough’s long clearance picked him out.
It was a lively display from Thompson in the centre of the pitch and he certainly endeared himself to the Fratton faithful with a crunching – yet fair – challenge on Marcus Browne.
And the host should have broken the deadlock when Hawkins stole possession from Jamie Hanson, only to then be scythed down by the Oxford midfielder.
Referee Lee Swabey immediately pointed to the spot, but Evans’ tame effort was comfortably dealt with Jonathan Mitchell.
The ball stayed in play, though, and when it was worked to Thompson outside the box, his drilled effort fizzed just past the post.
Pompey were totally on top and had another great opportunity, as Hawkins flicked on Thompson’s pass, but Naylor swiped at thin air from just a few yards out.
Evans had another chance after collecting the ball from Lowe, but could not force his shot through a sea of yellow-shirted bodies.
United were racking up the bookings, with Hanson, Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste all cautioned.
But there was a Fratton first when their coach Shaun Derry – formerly of the Blues – argued with the fourth official and – under new FA rules – was also shown a yellow card.
There was one more chance for the hosts just before the break, but Hawkins was unable to connect with Thompson’s low cross at the near post.
Oxford United 0
Pompey had not made the most of their dominance in the first half, but roared into the lead just after the interval.
Hawkins was unable to turn in Lowe’s delivery, but instead managed to lay the ball off for EVANS to steer home.
Naylor then clashed with Brannagan and both players required treatment, with the Blues midfielder returning to the pitch sporting a bandaged head.
It was still pretty much one-way traffic and the lead was deservedly doubled on 56 minutes – albeit in fortuitous circumstances.
Lowe caused more problems on the right and tried to pick out Evans in the box, only for DICKIE to get there first and turn the ball into his own net.
Oxford made a triple substitution just past the hour mark in a desperate attempt to find a route back into the contest.
Instead they found themselves further behind, as Pompey continued to torment their under-siege opponents.
A corner from Evans was helped on by Clarke and turned towards goal by Hawkins, with LOWE sticking out a boot to flick the ball past Mitchell.
The visitors finally came to life in the closing stages and Brannagan forced a decent save from MacGillivray.
Oxford then hit the post twice in quick succession, with James Henry and Jon Obika both denied in a lively conclusion.
Their hopes were raised when Whatmough inadvertently sliced McMahon’s cross into his own net, but that was as good as it got.
Instead it was Pompey who had the final say, as LOWE surged forward and curled home an exquisite finish to complete the rout.
Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Evans (c), B.Thompson; Lowe, Hawkins, Curtis (Wheeler 80)
Goals: Evans 48, Dickie 56 (og), Lowe 65, 90+2
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Close, Chaplin, Pitman
Oxford (4-2-3-1): Mitchell; McMahon, Dickie, Nelson (c), Garbutt (Ruffels 61); Hanson, Brannagan; Mackie, Baptiste (Henry 61), Browne; Smith (Obika 61)
Goals: Whatmough 89 (og)
Booked: Brannagan, Hanson, Baptiste
Subs not used: Shearer, Norman, Mousinho, Whyte
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 18,093 (1,312 away fans)
Loan : Millwall – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed midfielder Ben Thompson on loan from Millwall.
The deal sees the 22-year-old – who has been given the number 32 shirt – move to Fratton Park for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.
Thompson is a graduate of Millwall’s academy and has made 93 senior appearances for the Championship outfit.
He played the full 90 minutes for the Londoners in their Carabao Cup victory over Gillingham earlier in the week.
Following his first full campaign at the club, Thompson collected both the Young Player of the Season and Goal of the Season awards.
Carabao Cup 1
It looked like they would progress when Christian Burgess nodded in following a first half that was short on entertainment.
But Joe Pigott headed in the equaliser and, with just a few minutes remaining, Walkes found his own net.
Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that won at Blackpool in the league at the weekend.
Brett Pitman returned to skipper the team, while there was a first Pompey start for on-loan winger David Wheeler.
Luke McGee, Burgess and Brandon Haunstrup were also called upon, with Craig MacGillivray, Jack Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins all dropping to the bench.
The first half was a forgettable affair, with little to entertain the fans packed into the Fratton End and South Stand.
It was the visitors who had the first chance when Mitchell Pinnock crossed from the left, but Scott Wagstaff’s header was off target.
The same player then screwed another effort well wide after Walkes had failed to properly deal with Pinnock’s free-kick.
And it was a hat-trick of chances missed when Wagstaff beat Haunstrup to a header and sent the ball looping towards goal, only for the left-back to recover and hook it clear.
But it was the Blues who almost broke the lead on 23 minutes when Wheeler met Pitman’s centre and sent his header wide.
Neither McGee or opposite number Tom King had been called into action and that did not change when Pinnock’s drive flashed past the post.
Jamal Lowe was not too far off target following a surging run through the centre, but there was still little to whet the appetite.
AFC Wimbledon 0
Pompey had struggled to create anything meaningful before the break, but they soon took the lead after it.
Pitman did well to bring the ball under control inside the box, only for his shot to be deflected behind.
And the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as a delivery from Evans was emphatically headed home by BURGESS at the back post.
AFC Wimbledon thought they should have won a penalty when McGee and Pinnock collided soon after, but referee Ollie Yates was not interested.
They then came close to a leveller, as Anthony Wordsworth unleashed a rocket form 25 yards that fizzed over the bar.
Jackett made a double change on 67 minutes, with Pitman and Evans withdrawn for Conor Chaplin and Hawkins.
It had been a quiet evening for both keepers, but McGee was certainly not caught napping by a fierce Wordsworth drive that was well saved.
He could do nothing about the Dons’ equaliser on 76 minutes, though, as Pigott found space to meet Wagstaff’s cross and head home from just a few yards out.
That unsurprisingly gave the visitors a boost and they set about trying to find a winner, with Curtis brought on for Pompey to try to offer more at the other end.
But it was Wimbledon looking more threatening and when a corner was not properly dealt with, McGee had to get down and push Wagstaff’s shot around the post.
The Blues then almost retook the lead in a frenetic end to the game, but Hawkins was denied as he tried to convert Lowe’s centre.
Instead it was the visitors who grabbed a late winner – although they had their opponents to thank for the goal.
Tom Soares’ cross found Walkes at the back post and the defender tried to clear it, but only succeeded in planting the ball in the back of his own net.
Pompey threw bodies forward to try to force a penalty shoot-out, but they were unable to find a second goal.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Naylor, Close; Wheeler (Curtis 80), Evans (Hawkins 67) Lowe; Pitman (c) (Chaplin 67)
Goals: Burgess 49
Booked: Close, Naylor
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, May
AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): King; Watson (Sibbick 77), Oshilaja (c), McDonald, Garratt; Wagstaff, Wordsworth, Soares, Pinnock (Appiah 66); Hanson, Pigott (Hartigan 90)
Goals: Pigott 76, Walkes 88 (og)
Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Purrington, Ashley
Referee: Ollie Yates
Attendance: 6,588 (438 away fans)
The summer signing netted in each half, as the visitors appeared to be cruising towards three points at a grey Bloomfield Road.
Mark Cullen’s late effort meant the ending was perhaps nervier than it might have been and the same player also had a goal disallowed, as the Blues held on for what was a deserved win.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Luton on home soil on the opening day.
With Brett Pitman on the bench, Gareth Evans skippered the side and lined up alongside Ben Close in a 4-1-4-1 system.
Oli Hawkins was handed the striking role, as Brandon Haunstrup and the injured Nathan Thompson made way.
The stands were sparsely populated in all but the away end, as the Seasiders support staged protests against their club’s owners outside the ground.
But those who had made their way through the turnstiles almost witnessed a goal in the opening seconds, with Joe Dodoo striking the post from a narrow angle.
The danger was not over for the visitors, however, as Nathan Delfouneso’s follow-up effort had to be blocked by Matt Clarke.
A promising spell of possession soon led to a chance at the other end and an Evans cross was headed narrowly wide by Hawkins.
But the deadlock was broken on nine minutes and it was a moment to remember for CURTIS as he opened his Blues account.
The Blackpool defence failed to deal with Hawkins’ header, allowing the summer signing to pick the ball up and force it home, with Mark Howard’s hand not forceful enough to divert it wide.
Pompey were in control and looking more likely to add to the scoring as the half progressed, although there were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities.
Curtis and Hawkins both glanced wide from dangerous deliveries into the box, while a tightly-marked Jamal Lowe was unable to get a shot away following good work from Close.
The Blues started to look more dangerous as the interval approached, though, and Howard was forced into action to deny Curtis.
Evans then whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left that a stretching Hawkins was inches away from connecting with.
It had been a quiet start for Craig MacGillivray and he was not overly troubled by Chris Taylor’s attempt from a tight angle.
Curtis went much closer on 38 minutes, surging through the centre of the pitch and unleashing a strike from outside the box that crashed against the post.
There were a couple of half-chances for the hosts before the whistle, although nothing to overly trouble MacGillivray.
Blackpool had been poor before the break, but did look more assured following the restart, albeit without creating much.
The town’s air show was causing more of a nuisance, with hair-raising stunts overhead meaning it was often difficult to focus on what was happening on the pitch.
There was a booking for Evans for clattering into Taylor, while the midfielder then saw his free-kick nodded wide by Curtis.
The hosts did have a decent opening just before the hour mark, although Delfouneso could not convert Marc Bola’s low cross as he slid in.
Instead Pompey went straight back up the other end to double their advantage after a long ball had been headed on by Hawkins.
It was CURTIS who picked the ball up, advancing on goal and neatly slotting it through the legs of Howard.
There was more good news when Danny Rose replaced Close on 66 minutes, with the midfielder making his first competitive appearance since suffering a leg break at the end of December.
MacGillivray had a couple of comfortable saves to make as Blackpool tried to find a way back, while Joe Bunney drilled narrowly wide.
But the Blues did not look under too much threat and David Wheeler was introduced for his debut, with Lowe the player to make way.
Blackpool did have a goal on 81 minutes, though, and it came just seconds after Evans had volleyed narrowly over.
The ball was pumped up the pitch and went straight into the path of substitute Cullen, who lifted it home under pressure from Clarke.
Taylor and John O’Sullivan both had chances as the seconds ticked down, while Cullen did find the net again – only for his celebrations to be cut short by the linesman’s flag.
It was a heart-stopping moment for those travelling fans in the North Stand, but the final whistle came moments later to spark jubilant scenes.
Blackpool (4-3-3): Howard; Turton, Heneghan, O’Connor, Bola (Gnanduillett 72); Taylor, Spearing (c), Pritchard (O’Sullivan 60); Delfouneso, Dodoo (Cullen 60), Bunney
Goals: Cullen 81
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Thompson, Sinclair-Smith
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe (Wheeler 79), Evans (c), Close (Rose 66), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Curtis 9, 59
Booked: Evans, Naylor
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Pitman
Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 4,154 (1,638 Pompey fans)
|PLOTFollowing the disappearance of her father, Lord Richard Croft, Lara Croft makes a living as a bike courier. When she is arrested after a bike accident involving a police car, Richard's business partner Ana Miller posts her bail. Lara has never claimed her inheritance for many years as she believes her father to still be alive, but Miller warns Lara that if she does not claim it, her father's country estate, Croft Manor, will be sold off. Lara reluctantly accepts and gains access to a secret chamber in her father's tomb. There she finds a pre-recorded video message from Richard detailing his research into Himiko, the mythical Queen of Yamatai who was said to command the power over life and death. Richard warns Lara to destroy all of his research, but she ignores his warnings so that she can investigate further.
Lara travels to Hong Kong where she hires Lu Ren, captain of the ship Endurance, to sail into the Devil's Sea and the island of Yamatai. The ship capsizes in a violent storm and Lara is washed ashore where she is knocked unconscious. She awakens only to encounter Mathias Vogel, the leader of an expedition to locate Himiko's tomb. The expedition has been funded by a shadowy organization called Trinity, which seeks to harness and weaponize Himiko's power. Vogel takes Lara prisoner, claiming that he killed her father and revealing that he intends to use Richard's research to continue his expedition. He adds Lara and Lu Ren to his slave force; eventually, the two of them try to escape, and Lara is the only one successful.
After surviving rapids and narrowly avoiding going over a waterfall with the wreck of a wartime airplane, Lara is forced to kill a Trinity guard after nightfall. She follows a mysterious figure through the jungle, and discovers that the figure is her father, who stayed on the island to prevent Trinity from finding Himiko's tomb. After Lara convinces him that she is real and not a figment of his imagination, Richard treats her injuries. Despite his protests, Lara sets off the next morning to steal Vogel's satellite phone. Lara makes contact with Lu Ren, and he, along with the other slaves, stage a distraction that allows Lara to infiltrate the Trinity camp and take the phone. In the ensuing chaos, Lu Ren commandeers an assault rifle, provides cover for the escapees and guns down several Trinity soldiers, while Richard makes his way to Himiko's tomb and is captured by Vogel, who persuades Lara to open the tomb, something she has prepared for since she was a child. At that point, the entrance to the tomb self-destructs and falls away, thus enabling the party to enter that which has not been seen for at least two thousand years.
The party navigates a series of booby traps and locates Himiko's sarcophagus. When a Trinity soldier attempts to remove her corpse, he is infected by a highly infectious pathogen that reduces those infected to an aggressive zombie-like state. Lara realizes that Himiko was an asymptomatic carrier of the virus, who chose to entomb herself so that she could not infect others. Vogel concludes that he cannot remove Himiko's body and instead settles for detaching a finger, which he seals in a pouch. In the confusion, Lara and Richard overpower the remaining soldiers, although Vogel escapes and Richard becomes infected. Knowing there is no cure, Richard proposes destroying Himiko's tomb to prevent the disease from spreading across the world. Lara pursues Vogel as Richard sets off a bomb, killing himself and sealing the tomb. Lara confronts and kills Vogel by infecting him with the finger. She escapes the tomb as it collapses, regrouping with Lu Ren and the slaves; they commandeer a Trinity helicopter to escape Yamatai.
Lara returns to London, where she formally accepts her inheritance and inadvertently discovers that Trinity's front company, Patna, is actually a subsidiary of Croft Holdings. She proceeds to investigate Trinity further and begins to suspect that Ana is one of their agents who manipulated her into accepting her inheritance; this was to have Lara sign over control of Croft Holdings' business operations to her when Richard stopped cooperating with Trinity. Having witnessed Trinity's ruthlessness firsthand, she prepares for her next adventure.
In a mid-credits scene, Lara returns to Alan's pawn shop to buy back her pendant and decides to take two identical pistols.
|2018Personal Rating60Rotten Tomatoes Avg53MetaCritic Avg56IMDb Rating63Combined Rating58.3|
Loan : Queens Park Rangers – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed David Wheeler on a season-long loan deal from QPR.
The 27-year-old winger will wear the number 22 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.
Wheeler joined QPR from Exeter 12 months ago and has scored one goal in nine appearances for the Championship outfit.
He signed for Exeter in the summer of 2013 following a successful trial and played a total of 171 times, finding the target on 39 occasions.
Wheeler’s final season with the Grecians included a run of eight goals in seven successive games, while he also hit the net at Wembley in a play-off final defea
He twice grabbed winning goals against Pompey at Fratton Park, settling encounters in September 2015 and January 2017.
He slotted home in the first half to cap an enjoyable afternoon at a Fratton Park that was bathed in south coast sunshine.
But the Blues had to withstand some heavy pressure at times, with the Hatters twice hitting the woodwork in their quest for an equaliser.
Kenny Jackett handed debuts to four of his summer signings, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Ronan Curtis all starting.
But the big surprise when the teams were announced was the inclusion of Lowe, who was expected to miss out after injuring his ankle against Utrecht the previous week.
There was also a start for Brandon Haunstrup on the left of midfield, as Jackett opted to stick with the 4-4-2 system he had preferred towards the end of pre-season.
The visitors received an early scare as skipper Alan Sheehan crashed into the advertising hoardings and ended up in the Milton End moat.
It was nervy few moments as the crowd waited for the centre-back to emerge, but thankfully he was unscathed.
Luton – who were promoted from League Two last term – started the brighter side and when Sheehan’s delivery was flicked on by Harry Cornick, the ball flashed dangerously across the face of goal.
A moment of controversy followed as Curtis rose for a challenge and there were suggestions of an elbow being used as he crashed to the turf.
The Fratton faithful certainly appealed for a red card, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Gavin Ward decided to take no action.
Pompey’s fans did have cause to cheer on 16 minutes, however, as their side managed to break the deadlock.
It was LOWE who grabbed the first goal of the season, slotting in from inside the box after Curtis had done well to get to the byline and cut the ball back.
Most of the game’s clearest chances were still falling Luton’s way, though, and Nathan Thompson had to intervene when Jorge Grant tried to pick out James Collins in the box.
They then had two excellent opportunities to draw level within the space of a few minutes – and on both occasions some visiting fans thought they had.
First up was Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, whose low effort from the edge of the box could not quite creep into the bottom corner.
Then, after Brown had been booked for a foul on James Justin, Sheehan’s free-kick cannoned back off the upright.
But the closing stages of the half passed by relatively incident free, although former Fratton loanee Dan Potts did receive a booking for a foul on Lowe.
Luton Town 0
Brett Pitman did not emerge from the tunnel for the start of the second half, with Oli Hawkins taking his place up front and Naylor claiming the captain’s armband.
But it was fellow striker Curtis who forced Marek Stech into action with a curling shot on 50 minutes, although the flag had been raised for offside.
The Blues were looking a threat on the counter-attack and when Curtis surged towards goal, Alan McCormack decided to take one for the team.
Luton’s midfielder deliberately clipped the heels of his opponent and there was no surprise when he received a yellow card.
But the Hatters were looking dangerous themselves and when the hosts lost possession, Collins smashed a shot against the woodwork.
MacGillivray then came to the rescue just past the hour mark, doing well to deny Cornick from close range.
Pompey made their second change in between those chances, with Anton Walkes making way for Ben Close in the centre of the pitch.
Thompson’s shot flew off target, as the hosts tried to ease the pressure and injured himself in the process.
It forced Jackett into his final change of the afternoon, with Christian Burgess taking up an unfamiliar right-back role.
Fellow defender Jack Whatmough was looking assured and halted one Hatters attack with a couple of key tackles in quick succession.
There was also persistence from Naylor to win the ball back after losing possession, while MacGillivray did well to cut out Mpanzu’s low centre.
Nerves started to creep in as the seconds ticked down and only rose when Whatmough conceded a free-kick just outside the box.
It was Sheehan who stepped up to curl a shot around the wall, but MacGillivray dived to his right to push the ball clear.
Former Blues players Jake Jervis and Sonny Bradley both came on and were thrown up front for the closing stages, but Luton were unable to find a late leveller.
Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Thompson (Burgess 71), Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Lowe, Naylor, Walkes (Close 60), Haunstrup; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 46), Curtis
Goals: Lowe 16
Booked: Brown, Curtis
Subs not used: McGee, Donohue, Evans, Chaplin
Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Stech; Justin (Bradley 90+1), Pearson, Sheehan (c), Potts; McCormack (Jervis 87); Mpanzu, Grant; Lee; Cornick (Shinnie 78), Collins
Booked: Potts, McCormack, Justin, Sheehan
Subs not used: Shea, Rea, Stacey, Gambin
Referee: Gavin Ward
Attendance: 19,018 (2,392 away fans)