Feb 112017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Accrington Stanley

 

Clarke and Naismith secure victory

Matt Clarke and Kal Naismith were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways by beating Accrington at Fratton Park.

The centre-back headed home in just the second minute to ensure the Blues got their promotion challenge back on track.

But the hosts probably should have wrapped things up earlier, with some missed chances ensuring the finale was more stressful than it ought to have been.

Substitute Kal Naismith finally settled those nerves in stoppage-time following a quick break up the pitch.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Wycombe the previous week, meaning the Eoin Doyle made his Fratton bow.

The hosts came charging out of the blocks and Marek Rodak made a fantastic save to deny Gary Roberts after the midfielder had been slipped through by Enda Stevens.

But the Blues did break the deadlock from the resulting corner, with Roberts collecting the ball back from Eoin Doyle and whipping in a cross that CLARKE headed home to open his account for the season.

Accrington had an interesting way of trying to find an equaliser with a shot straight from the restart, but the ambitious effort flew well wide.

It was Pompey doing most of the attacking, however, and Kyle Bennett fired narrowly past the post after being afforded space to run through the centre.

The hosts were winning plenty of corners, as Stanley struggled to get the ball to safety and threaten at the other end of the pitch.

And Clarke had another chance to find the net on 20 minutes, but this time headed over from a Roberts free-kick.

The lively Jamal Lowe was next to try his luck following some neat footwork inside the area, but his deflected strike was grabbed by Rodak at the second attempt.

Stanley then finally carved open a decent opportunity of their own, only for Sean McConville to waste it by curling wide when well-placed to trouble David Forde.

It was Pompey who finished the half on a high, however, and Clarke improvised with a scooped shot that was not far off target.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Accrington 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The Blues did not sit back at the start of the second half and Gareth Evans’ excellent cross was flicked on by a defender, with the ball hitting Bennett and drifting wide.

And the winger then tricked his way past a couple of challenges, but his shot could not find a way through a sea of red shirts.

Rodak slipped as he tried to make a clearance on 54 minutes, with Amine Linganzi’s threaded pass for Roberts intercepted.

Stanley were trying their best to make inroads at the other end, but Sean Clare was off target, while Clarke blocked Billy Kee’s effort.

It was still the Blues looking most likely to add to the scoring, however, with Clarke somehow failing to convert another Roberts corner from close range.

Cook made a double switch on 66 minutes, with Bennett and Roberts withdrawn for Carl Baker and Naismith.

Accrington then came close to levelling moments later when Janoi Donacien’s header led to a scramble on the goal-line before the ball was eventually hacked to safety by Evans.

There were certainly a few more nerves as the clock ticked down and Pompey clung onto their slender advantage.

Evans made a couple of key clearances as Stanley, unsurprisingly, started to show more of an attacking threat.

The tiring Lowe was replaced by Noel Hunt for the closing stages, receiving a warm reception as he made his way off the pitch.

And Clarke had yet another chance to wrap things up late on, only to see his header saved by Rodak’s feet after meeting Baker’s corner.

But NAISMITH did secure the three points following a quick stoppage-time counter-attack, with Hunt releasing the winger, who surged up the pitch and coolly slotted home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Hunt 85), Roberts (Naismith 66), Bennett (Baker 66); E.Doyle
Goals: Clarke 2, Naismith 90+2
Booked: E.Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Rose, Chaplin

Accrington (4-1-2-1-2): Rodak; Rodgers (McCartan 60), Beckles, Hughes, Donacien; Conneely (c); Clare (Clark 60), McConville; Husin (Boco 86); Kee, Edwards
Booked: Conneely, Donacien
Subs not used: Chapman, Sykes, Davies, Shaw

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 15,955 (48 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 172016
 
League 2
Accrington Stanley 1 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Run comes to an end

A moment of magic from Paddy Lacey secured Accrington all three points in an otherwise turgid encounter with Pompey.

The midfielder’s stunning second half strike was one of the few occasions when either side looked like scoring at a sunny Crown Ground.

There was a late surge for the visitors as they tried to secure a share of the spoils, but they were unable to find an equaliser.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that beat Wycombe at Fratton Park the previous week.

Michael Smith came in for the injured Curtis Main up front, while Milan Lalkovic dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett on the left.

Pompey had a chance to break the deadlock with just three minutes on the clock when Carl Baker whipped in a dangerous cross from the right.

The ball found Gary Roberts standing unmarked at the far post, but the midfielder rolled his shot wide of the post.

Anyone who thought that would signal the start of an incident-packed half was to be left disappointed, however.

In fact, neither goalkeeper had to make a save of note, with both sides struggling to make an impact in the final third.

David Forde confidently dealt with a couple of Accrington crosses, while a Billy Kee free-kick failed to find its way through the wall.

The Blues did place the ball into some dangerous positions from out wide, but there was nobody in the box to make the most of them.

Meanwhile, the Stanley coaching staff were starting to grow frustrated by a couple of bewildering free-kick decisions that went the way of the visitors.

Pompey did wake everyone up with a decent opportunity on 33 minutes, but Michael Doyle – diving forward inside the box – could not quite guide Baker’s cross on target.

And the Blues then almost gifted Accrington the opener from a Sean McConville free-kick just before the break.

It was Christian Burgess who rose to meet it and inadvertently sent the ball against his own post before it was hurriedly scrambled clear.

Half Time: Accrington 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The match continued in the same turgid vein after the restart and a free-kick from Roberts failed to beat the first man.

But a rare moment of quality saw the hosts break the deadlock on 52 minutes, with Lacey hitting a stunning long-range strike that left Forde with no chance.

That certainly provided Accrington with a shot of confidence and Kee ran at the Blues back-line before hitting a tame shot straight at the keeper.

Pompey tried to mount a response and Aaron Chapman dealt with a couple of crosses, while Doyle hit a fierce drive over the crossbar.

Cook decided the time was right to make a change just past the hour mark, with Conor Chaplin replacing Danny Rose to provide a foil for Smith up front.

And another substitution soon followed, as Baker made way to give Kal Naismith a chance to impress against his former club

The third and final switch then came on 70 minutes, with Roberts coming off and Lalkovic the man charged with providing some attacking impetus.

He was soon involved in the action, but could not quite keep the ball in play after Enda Stevens’ cross had been flicked on by Smith.

Naismith then showcased a fine bit of skill to beat his man on the right, although his cross was slightly too high for Smith, who could only head over.

And Bennett turned his defender inside out on 82 minutes, sending in a fine delivery that a tightly-marked Naismith was unable to convert.

Pompey were applying some late pressure and a fizzing low Stevens cross was agonisingly out of reach for a number of black-shirted team-mates.

It was too little, too late, however, as the Blues’ impressive winning run ended with a whimper.

Accrington (4-2-3-1): Chapman; Vyner, Beckles, Pearson, Donacien; Lacey (Hewitt 80), Conneely (c); O’Sullivan (Boco 62), Clark, McConville; Kee
Goals: Lacey 52
Booked: McConville
Subs not used: Parish, Jones, Hughes, Eagles, Gornell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose (Chaplin 63), Doyle (c); Baker (Naismith 67), Roberts (Lalkovic 70), Bennett; Smith
Booked: T.Davies
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Hunt

Referee: Mark Haywood

Attendance: 2,461 (806 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 042016
 
IN
Adam Buxton

(24)
Accrington Stanley


Defender arrives from Accrington

Pompey have signed versatile full-back Adam Buxton on an initial one-year deal.

The 24-year-old – who turned down the offer of a new contract at Accrington – has been handed the number 21 shirt.

He said: “I’m happy to have signed for such a massive club – it feels like we’re only going to go in one direction.

“Hopefully I can help the lads get out of this division and back to where everyone wants to be.

“The fan-base here speaks for itself – it’s the best in the league and only Sheffield United from the one above are on a par with Pompey.

“I’ve played here at Fratton Park and seen first-hand that the supporters really get behind their team.”

Buxton came through the ranks at Wigan and had a spell on loan with Accrington before joining them permanently in the summer of 2014.

He scored two goals in 62 appearances during his time with Stanley and featured twice against the Blues last season.

Portsmouth FC
Jul 012016
 
IN
Tom Davies

(24)
Accrington Stanley


Blues bring in defender

Pompey have signed defender Tom Davies on a two-year deal.

The 24-year-old was available on a free transfer after leaving Accrington at the end of last season.

He appeared in all three of Stanley’s games against the Blues last season and is looking forward to now having the Fratton faithful on his side.

“I’m buzzing and excited about pulling on that blue shirt,” said Davies. “I heard about the interest last week and as soon as Pompey’s name was mentioned, I told my agent that was where I wanted to go.

“The first couple of games were really tight last season, but the wall of noise when you come out of the tunnel at Fratton Park is incredible. I can’t wait to experience that every other week.

“Pompey played us off the park up at Accrington later on and it’s great to now be a part of that side.

“This place is amazing and the standards are very high, so it’s up to me to make sure that I reach them.”

Davies has already started pre-season training with the Blues and will be looking to get to know his team-mates better on next week’s trip to Ireland.

He said: “The lads have all been brilliant and very welcoming – they’ve told me what to expect.

“Ireland is a great opportunity to get some good work done. Pre-season isn’t always nice, but it’s certainly a necessity.

“We’ve got five weeks of hard work to make sure we can hit the ground running and reach our goals this season.”

Davies started his senior career in the non-league game with Team Northumbria and FC United of Manchester before moving to Fleetwood in 2014.

He arrived at Accrington last summer and scored once in 39 appearances during his single season with Stanley.

Portsmouth FC
Mar 082016
 
League 2
Accrington Stanley 1 – 3 Portsmouth

Pompey roared back into the automatic promotion race with a convincing victory at high-flying Accrington.

It was a scintillating first half performance – and one particular moment of brilliance – that did the damage.

Kyle Bennett ensured that the Blues made the most of their early dominance by firing them ahead and Matty Pearson’s unfortunate own-goal added to the travelling supporters’ glee.

But they were even happier when a stunning strike from Michael Doyle secured the three points before the interval.

Shay McCartan did grab a late consolation for the hosts, but that failed to dampen the mood of those making the long trip home to the south coast.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that won at Stevenage at the weekend.

It was a straight swap up front, with Michael Smith coming in to lead the line and Marc McNulty dropping to the bench.

Pompey totally dominated the first half, with Gary Roberts pulling the strings for the visitors in midfield.

He even tried a cheeky attempt from just inside the opposition half after just four minutes, although the shot did not overly trouble Jason Mooney in the Stanley goal.

Roberts went closer moments later, though, meeting Ben Davies’ cross with a near-post header that flew into the keeper’s arms.

And he was involved when the Blues did deservedly break the deadlock midway through the first half.

Roberts linked up well down the left with Gareth Evans and when the latter’s low cross was only partially cleared, BENNETT drilled home a low shot off the inside of the post.

Accrington were not causing too many problems at the other end, although Ryan Fulton did make a regulation save to deny Billy Kee.

The visitors were soon back on the attack, however, and Doyle rattled the crossbar with a fierce shot after shaking off a clumsy challenge from Matt Crooks.

Pompey deserved to forge further ahead, but the second goal on 36 minutes did arrive in fortunate fashion.

Danny Hollands picked out Davies with a fine cross-field pass and the right-back’s low delivery was inadvertently turned into his own net by PEARSON.

Piero Mingoia prevented things from getting even worse for the hosts when he just about got to Smith’s cross before Bennett could reach it.

But there was nothing that anybody could do to keep out Pompey’s third goal just before the break.

It was a goal of the season contender from DOYLE, who lashed in an unstoppable 25-yard volley after a free-kick was not properly dealt with.

The Blues skipper was mobbed by his team-mates, while even the beleaguered home support applauded a moment of magic.

Half Time: Accrington 0 Pompey 3

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Accrington replaced skipper Seamus Conneely with Scott Brown in an attempt to get back into the game.

It was still the visitors causing more problems, though, and Pearson had to turn a dangerous Bennett cross behind before it could reach the lurking Smith.

But the Stanley centre-back then almost grabbed his second own-goal of the evening while trying to deal with Davies’ cross, with Mooney just about managing to divert the ball over.

The hosts were looking more of a threat since the restart and there were half-chances for both McCartan and Kee.

Pompey were also proving dangerous going forward, however, and Smith turned Enda Stevens’ low cross narrowly wide on the hour mark.

Cook made his first switch on 73 minutes, with the hard-working Smith making way for McNulty up front.

He then replaced one former Accrington player with another, as Kal Naismith came on for the impressive Roberts.

And Naismith immediately looked to add to the Blues’ lead when he burst forward down the right, but was unable to bend his shot past Mooney.

Pompey looked to be coasting to the final whistle, but Stanley did reduce the deficit when McCartan spun inside the area and slammed the ball home.

That raised a few nerves, but Doyle almost calmed them when Mooney’s clearance landed at his feet and the midfielder’s effort from the halfway line was only just scrambled away by the keeper.

But the Blues had already done enough to secure all three points and leapfrog their opponents into fourth spot.

Accrington (4-2-3-1): Mooney; Wakefield, Davies, Pearson, Halliday; Crooks, Conneely (c) (Brown 46); Mingoia (Boco 67), McCartan, McConville (Shaw 67); Kee
Goals: McCartan 83
Subs not used: Hughes, Procter, Carver, Steenson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts (Naismith 78), Bennett (Freeman 83); Smith (McNulty 73)
Goals: Bennett 22, Pearson 36 (og), Doyle 43
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, Chaplin

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 1,841 (584 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Dec 052015
 
FA Cup – Rnd 2
Portsmouth 1 – 0 Accrington Stanley

Pompey saw off the challenge of Accrington to reach the third round of the FA Cup for the first time since they were relegated from the Championship in 2012.

Adam McGurk scored the only goal of the game midway through the first half to ensure the Blues would take their place in Monday evening’s draw.

The hosts were the more creative side throughout the contest and the impressive Marc McNulty also struck the woodwork.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that picked up a point at Wycombe in the league the previous week.

One was enforced with Gareth Evans replacing the ineligible Caolan Lavery, while Christian Burgess made way for Matt Clarke.

The tie was slow to get into gear, with the strong winds swirling around Fratton Park making life difficult for both sides.

Pompey were first to fashion an opening on seven minutes when Ben Davies delivered a free-kick that was diverted narrowly over by McNulty.

Michael Doyle then sent a shot flying inches past the post after Enda Stevens’ cut the ball back to him on the edge of the box.

But, in truth, it was not a cup clash that was providing much entertainment value for those who braved the cold.

There was plenty of warmth generated when the Blues broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, however.

Davies released McNulty down the right and although Kyle Bennett missed the striker’s low cross, McGURK arrived at the far post to slam the ball home.

Pompey suddenly looked a real threat every time they ventured forward to take on the Stanley defence.

McNulty almost doubled the advantage after racing onto Bennett’s pass, only to see his shot roll agonisingly wide of the post.

The on-loan Sheffield United striker went even closer on 33 minutes when he headed Davies’ free-kick against the crossbar.

Accrington then enjoyed a spell of pressure in the Pompey half, with Billy Kee sending a couple of efforts wide.

But their best chance arrived on 43 minutes, when Tom Davies met Sean McConville’s free-kick and the ball landed on the roof of the net.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Accrington 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey immediately set about trying to extend their lead when the game restarted and they forged a decent opening on 49 minutes.

The lively McNulty was eventually stopped after skipping past three challenges and Danny Hollands sent the loose ball flying just past the post.

But that did not herald a period of sparkling excitement as the game soon settled into a scrappy encounter.

Jason Mooney did make a regulation save low to his left to keep out Bennett’s 25-yard effort on 62 minutes.

But the Accrington keeper then almost handed the hosts a goal when his poor clearance found McNulty.

He in turn played the ball to McGurk, who was denied his second of the afternoon by Mooney’s trailing leg.

The second half – just like the first did – had now burst into life and Mooney was called into action again to keep out McNulty’s effort.

There was not too much happening at the other end of the pitch, although Brian Murphy was equal to Joe Wright’s volley on 70 minutes.

But Pompey were soon back on the attack and a long-range Bennett attempt almost caught out Mooney.

Cook made a switch on 75 minutes, with McGurk leaving to a standing ovation and Jayden Stockley coming on for his first appearance in more than two months.

There was then a stoppage when referee Kevin Johnson hurt his knee and had to be treated by Blues physio Sean Duggan – although the official did not receive much sympathy from the Fratton faithful.

He was able to carry on for a few more minutes before eventually being replaced by linesman Brett Huxtable.

That meant there were seven minute of stoppage-time displayed and Accrington sensed the opportunity to earn a replay.

But the Blues nervously saw out the closing stages – with Murphy saving Terry Gornell’s close-range header – to secure their progress and join the Premier League big boys in the third round draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McGurk (Stockley 75), Bennett (Burgess 90+5); McNulty (Chaplin 90+3)
Goals: McGurk 21
Booked: Webster, McNulty, Davies
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Barton, Boco

Accrington (4-2-3-1): Mooney; Halliday, Davies, Wright, Pearson; Barry (Buxton 67), Crooks (c); Mingoia (McCartan 76), Windass (Gornell 83), McConville; Kee
Booked: Halliday, Wright, Kee
Subs not used: Etheridge, Wakefield, Procter, Conneely

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Brett Huxtable 89)

Attendance: 9,258 (158 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 052015
 
League 2
Portsmouth 0 – 0 Accrington Stanley

Pompey’s unbeaten start to the League Two campaign continued, but they had to settle for a point against Accrington.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, it was the Blues that created the better openings.

Gary Roberts and Matt Tubbs went closest to finding a winner, but both were denied by Stanley keeper Jason Mooney.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that beat Luton in Pompey’s last league outing, meaning Jayden Stockley was preferred to Tubbs up front.

But there was no repeat of the electric start at Kenilworth Road, with chances few and far between in a laboured opening.

The hosts had a couple of dangerous crosses dealt with, while Brian Murphy was not overly troubled by Piero Mingoia’s glancing header at the other end.

Michael Doyle livened things up with an audacious effort from inside his own half on nine minutes, however.

The Blues skipper spotted Mooney off his line after the keeper had charged out to clear a long ball, but his shot flew narrowly wide.

There was a flurry of bookings midway through the half, two of which came following a scuffle in the middle of the pitch.

Referee Brendan Malone took the names of both Ben Davies and Sean McConville, although Pompey’s right-back could feel a little hard done by after being pinned down by his Accrington counterpart.

It was Stockley who had the game’s first decent opening on 33 minutes, volleying Kyle Bennett’s corner inches over the top.

Gareth Evans then went down in the box under pressure from Seamus Conneely, but Malone waved away his penalty appeals.

And Roberts came close to breaking the deadlock seconds before the break, beating his man before stinging Mooney’s fingertips with a fierce drive.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Accrington 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was a surprise at the start of the second half, with Murphy failing to reappear and Paul Jones replacing him between the sticks.

And he was called into action on 55 minutes, getting down to his right to push clear a snap-shot from McConville.

Pompey, meanwhile, were exhibiting plenty of neat build-up play, only to be let down by the final ball.

Cook made a double switch to try to improve their attacking fortunes on 66 minutes, with Stockley and Bennett making way for Tubbs and Conor Chaplin.

The latter soon did well to win a corner, which ended with Matt Pearson bravely blocking Doyle’s drive.

The hosts were still struggling to break down a resolute Accrington back-line, however, and the visitors went close to scoring themselves on the break, with a long-range effort from Josh Windass that flew narrowly over.

Chaplin got the crowd on his feet after shaking off his marker and surging towards goal on 80 minutes, but the teenager was unable to bend his shot past a defender.

Tubbs then met Davies’ cross with an acrobatic scissor kick that was flying into the net before Mooney stuck out a hand to palm the ball clear.

And Accrington formed a wall of red shirts in the closing stages to keep Pompey at bay and secure a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy (Jones 46); Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Chaplin 66); Stockley (Tubbs 66)
Booked: Burgess, Davies
Subs not used: Webster, Haunstrup, Hollands, McGurk

Accrington (4-4-1-1): Mooney; Pearson, Davies, Winnard, Buxton; Mingoia, Crooks (Procter 87), Conneely, McConville; Windass; Gornell (c) (Kee 74)
Booked: Winnard, Pearson, McConville, Buxton, Davies
Subs not used: Etheridge, Wakefield, Barry, Phillips, Bruna

Referee: Brendan Malone

Attendance: 15,745 (91 away fans)

Portsmouth FC