Sep 262020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey suffered a first league defeat at Fratton Park since April 2019 after losing 2-1 to Wigan.

They controlled possession and had periods of dominance, but did not do enough to test a nervous-looking Jamie Jones in the visitors’ goal.

And the Latics took advantage to claim all three points, courtesy of a slightly fortunate Lee Evans’ effort and a long-range Tom James free-kick.

Ellis Harrison came off the bench to reduce the deficit late on, but there was not enough time remaining for the Blues to find an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were held to a draw at Rochdale the previous week.

Michael Jacobs was handed a full debut against his former club, while Cam Pring came in at left-back.

Andy Cannon and Lee Brown both dropped to the bench, where they were joined by new arrival Rasmus Nicolaisen.

Former Pompey players Kal Naismith and Viv Solomon-Otabor started for the visitors, but Gary Roberts missed out with a hamstring injury.

The hosts came tearing out of the blocks and created plenty of opportunities in the opening 15 minutes.

An early effort from Jacobs was blocked, while crosses from him and the lively Marcus Harness caused problems for Jones.

A Ronan Curtis delivery from the right – perhaps assisted by the wind – then drifted towards the net and came back off the post.

The ball then ran loose for Harness, who sent it back into the centre, where John Marquis glanced narrowly wide.

Jacobs soon tried to pick out skipper Tom Naylor at the back post, forcing Naismith to head over his own crossbar.

Pring was providing a threat from set-pieces and a couple of corners were nervously dealt with by Jones.

And when Jacobs tried to find Curtis midway through the half, Tom James slid in to intercept and deny the Republic of Ireland international a simple finish.

But the Blues’ dominance began to wane after such a bright opening, allowing their opponents back into the contest.

It still came as somewhat of a surprise when Wigan broke the deadlock – in somewhat fortunate fashion – on 39 minutes.

Craig MacGillivray got down to try to deal with an Alex Perry effort that was blocked by Sean Raggett.

And with the keeper still down on the ground, he was unable to keep the follow-up from Evans finding the net.

It looked like an equaliser might arrive in stoppage-time when Jacobs’ free-kick was nodded back by Jack Whatmough, but Marquis was flagged offside.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Wigan Athletic 1


There was a controversial moment early in the second half when Marquis, racing through on goal, was taken down by Nathan Cameron on the edge of the box.

Pompey were demanding a red card for the defender, but referee Antony Coggins would only brandish a yellow.

It was Curtis who stepped up to take the free-kick, but his effort cannoned into the wall and was cleared to safety.

Wigan were next to threaten when Solomon-Otabor broke into the area on the left and rolled a cross-shot narrowly past the post.

The visitors wanted a penalty when Chris Merrie went down in the box, but Coggins immediately waved him back to his feet.

Jackett soon decided the time was right to make his first substitution, with Harness replaced by Harrison.

The Latics were waiting to take a free-kick while that substitution was taking place and that led to their second goal.

James was around 30 yards out and hit a rocket of a shot that flew between MacGillivray’s grasp and the net.

Pompey started to pick up again and they were awarded a free-kick inside the box when Jones picked up Perry’s back-pass.

The Wigan wall were stationed on the line and did their job to keep out Curtis’ fierce drive, while the resulting cross led to a Bryn Morris shot that was blocked.

A final throw of the dice from Jackett saw Jacobs and Morris replaced by Cannon and Ryan Williams on 71 minutes.

Harrison then started an encouraging move and almost finished it, but could not quite get on the end of Curtis’ cross.

The substitute striker was proving a menace and when he collected Williams’ cross and laid the ball off for Marquis, Cameron flung himself into the path of the resulting shot to divert it behind.

Pring took the corner and that found Sean Raggett, whose header clipped the post, as Wigan survived again.

It was Pompey’s most productive period of the game and Williams soon dragged a shot just past the post.

And HARRISON restored some hope on 89 minutes, lashing the ball home after the ball had ricocheted off Marquis and into his park.

But Wigan used up as much time as they could get away with to see out the closing stages and claim the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Pring; Naylor (c), Morris (Cannon 71); Harness (Harrison 58), Jacobs (Williams 71), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Harrison 89
Subs not used: Turnbull, Nicolaisen, Brown, Close

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Jones; James, Cameron, Fox, Pearce (Gardner 22); Perry, Merrie (Crankshaw 90+2); Naismith, Evans, Solomon-Otabor (Massey 80); Garner (c)
Goals: Evans 39, James 59
Booked: Garner, Cameron
Subs not used: Evans, Long, Obi, Jolley

Referee: Antony Coggins

Portsmouth FC

Sep 252020
 

Gareth Evans

Player Stats

Mutual Consent


Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that Gareth Evans has left the club by mutual consent.


The midfielder netted 38 goals in 218 appearances for the Blues after arriving on the south coast in the summer of 2015.

He was deployed at right-back for much of the memorable 2016/17 campaign, which saw the League Two title head to the south coast.

Evans scored from the spot in two matches that will live long in the memories of all Pompey supporters.

The first of those penalties came at Meadow Lane, where more than 4,000 fans saw a 3-1 victory over Notts County secure promotion.

And the second helped Paul Cook’s side thrash Cheltenham 6-1 on the final day, as a the Fratton faithful witnessed the Blues snatch the silverware from right under the noses of Plymouth and Doncaster.

Another memorable day came at Wembley in March 2019, with Evans coming off the bench and scoring in the penalty shoot-out to beat Sunderland and lift the EFL Trophy.

His final Pompey goal arrived in the Carabao Cup win at Stevenage last month, while he made his final appearance in the League One opener against Shrewsbury.

He has subsequently signed a two year deal at Bradford City.

Portsmouth FC

Sep 232020
 

Rasmus Nicolaisen

Player Stats

Loan : FC Midtjylland – Portsmouth


Pompey have signed defender Rasmus Nicolaisen on a season-long loan deal from FC Midtjylland.


The move for the 23-year-old former Denmark youth international is subject to international clearance.

Nicolaisen progressed through the FC Midtjylland academy and made his debut for their first team in 2017.

He was part of the squad that lifted the top-flight title in both 2017/18 and 2019/20, as well as the Danish Cup in between.

Nicolaisen has also appeared in the Europa League and has scored six goals in 51 appearances for FC Midtjylland.

‘The Wolves’ are currently managed by Brian Priske, who featured for Pompey in the Premier League during the 2005/06 campaign.

Portsmouth FC

Sep 212020
 

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild

Player Stats

Loan : Portsmouth – Bromley


Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has returned to Bromley on loan until January 3.


But Pompey have an option to recall the 22-year-old forward from the National League side after the initial 28 days of the deal.

He arrived at Fratton Park from the London outfit at the start of 2020, making his debut in an EFL Trophy victory at Walsall.

But Hackett-Fairchild has been left frustrated by a series of knocks and will now be looking for a regular run of games back at Bromley.

He scored eight goals in 25 appearances for them during the first half of last season and previously played for Charlton.

Portsmouth FC

Sep 202020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey drew 0-0 for the second League One fixture in succession, but will be wondering how they left Rochdale with only a point.

The first half was a lifeless affair, but the visitors were on top throughout the second period and had several opportunities to score.

They were unable to take any of them, however, and Matty Done missed a glorious chance to make them pay for that profligacy at the death.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup at Brighton earlier in the week.

Andy Cannon replaced Ryan Williams, with the midfielder making his first start of the campaign against his former club.

The other switches both came in the full-back roles, as Cam Pring and James Bolton made way for Lee Brown and Callum Johnson.

But summer signing Michael Jacobs had to be content with a place among the substitutes as he waited to make a Blues bow.

It was a fairly uneventful opening 45 minutes in the Greater Manchester sunshine, with neither keeper forced into meaningful action.

Marcus Harness was looking the most dangerous player for the visitors and sent in a number of dangerous crosses that could not be capitalised on.

Ollie Rathbone tried a rocket of a 25-yard shot at the other end that flew not too wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.

And when Stephen Humphrys did get into a decent position inside the Blues box, he fired wastefully over the bar.

Pompey’s best opportunity came on 27 minutes when Tom Naylor could not spot a free player and instead delivered a rasping strike that Gavin Bazunu had to turn around the post.

A run from Ronan Curtis then led to the ball ricocheting back into the winger’s path, although his eventual drive lacked another power to seriously trouble the keeper.

Humphrys – making his second Dale debut – limped off injured late in the half and his replacement might have made an instant impact.

Matty Done received a square pass from Alex Newby, but could only stab the ball straight at MacGillivray.


Half Time

Rochdale 0

Portsmouth 0


A deep cross from Brown created an opening soon after restart, but Harness’ angled header was claimed by Bazunu.

And they squandered a great chance to open the scoring moments later after the keeper played the ball straight to Harness.

He squared the ball for John Marquis, who slotted the ball wide of the post from inside the Rochdale box.

Pompey had looked a lot more positive since the break and a Curtis cross caused plenty of problems for the Dale defence.

Sean Raggett was then unable to guide Harness’ centre on target, with appeals for a push on the defender waved away by referee Michael Salisbury.

And the visitors went close again on the hour mark, as Harness flung himself at a Cannon pass, but could not quite make contact.

That was the last piece of meaningful action for Cannon, who was replaced by debutant Jacobs on 66 minutes.

Pompey then had the ball in the back of the net when Bazunu claimed Brown’s corner and was sent tumbling into the net, but Salisbury decided the keeper had been fouled.

Good work from Harness soon led to a cross that was partially cleared, with Tom Naylor snatching at his shot and seeing it fly wide.

The chances kept coming and two corners from Curtis saw a Raggett header deflected behind and Harness nod wide.

Ellis Harrison came on for Curtis, as the Blues continued to try to turn their second half dominance into a goal.

It was Marquis who had the next opportunity, though, and could not make a connection when he tried to deftly guide home Brown’s cross.

Bazunu then made two fine saves in quick succession, first keeping out another Marquis header from Johnson’s fine cross, then diving to his right to save from Raggett.

But the Blues were almost caught out by a sucker-punch when Harrison’s intended pass back to MacGillivray was intercepted by Done.

He was left with an empty net to slot into, but sliced his attempt horribly and when a second chance arrived, Jack Whatmough averted the danger.

And Whatmough almost starred at the other end in stoppage-time when he met Brown’s corner and saw his header cleared from the line.

Rochdale (4-3-1-2): Bazunu; McLaughlin, O’Connell (c) (McNulty 80), McShane, Keohane; Lund, Ryan, Morley; Rathbone; Humphrys (Done 38), Newby (Dooley 70)
Booked: McShane
Subs not used: Lynch, Brierley, Tavarez, Baah

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Morris; Harness, Cannon (Jacobs 66), Curtis (Harrison 79); Marquis
Booked: Brown, Naylor
Subs not used: Turnbull, Downing, Pring, Close, Williams

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Portsmouth FC