Transfer : Accrington Stanley – Portsmouth
Transfer : Accrington Stanley – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed Callum Johnson from fellow League One side Accrington for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old right-back – who has been handed the number two shirt – has penned a two-year deal, with the club holding an option for a further 12 months.
Johnson progressed through the academy at Middlesbrough and joined Accrington – initially on loan – in the summer of 2017.
The versatile defender can play anywhere across the back four and has also featured in the centre of midfield.
He made a total of 119 appearances during his time with Stanley, scoring his only goal in a 2018 victory over Forest Green.
When the in-form Ronan Curtis headed them in front towards the end of the first half it seemed as though the Blues would continue their climb up the League One standings.
But Ellis Harrison nodded into his own net just before the break, with a finish that would have been lauded at the other end of the pitch.
And Stanley ran away with it after the break, with Dion Charles giving them the lead – albeit in controversial circumstances – before Colby Bishop added a brace.
Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Peterborough on home soil the previous week.
The entire defence had to change, with Brandon Haunstrup (knee) and Lee Brown (Achilles) both injured, Christian Burgess suspended and Oli Hawkins recently becoming father to a baby boy.
That meant there were recalls for James Bolton and Anton Walkes in the full-back slots and Sean Raggett in the middle, while Tom Naylor also dropped into the back-line.
Ross McCrorie took the skipper’s midfield slot and Ryan Williams dropped to the bench to make way for Marcus Harness on the right.
Pompey started brightly and were camped out in their opponents’ half in the opening stages, but created only one decent opening.
Harrison’s cross from the left was just behind a stretching John Marquis, who could only send the ball over the bar and out of the ground.
Stanley then started to apply more pressure as the first half progressed and Jordan Clark was inches away from making a connection when he slid in at the far post.
Bishop was next to go close flashing a shot narrowly wide after Ben Close had initially made a fine challenge on Sam Finley.
It took a decent tackle from Ross Sykes to deny Marquis at the other end, with the striker almost being sent through by Harrison.
The hosts were still looking more dangerous, though, and when Clark met Seamus Conneely’s cross from deep on the left, Craig MacGillivray was forced to make a fine save to tip the ball over.
Pompey then started to pick up again, although Harrison and Marquis collided with Mark Hughes when all three players tried to get to Harness’ centre first.
Bolton was then unable to get enough on Curtis’ free-kick from the left and Josef Bursik made a simple stop.
But the Blues did go ahead on 35 minutes, as Harness whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and CURTIS stooped to meet it, sending the ball into the net off the inside of the post.
Jerome Opoku came close to hitting an immediate leveller, courtesy of an audacious long-range piledriver that cannoned back off the post.
And Accrington did equalise just before the break – although they received a big helping hand from the visitors.
Conneely sent a corner into the box and Harrison rose to meet it with a firm header that inadvertently sent the ball past MacGillivray and into his own net.
Accrington Stanley 1
The hosts had unsuccessfully appealed for two penalties before the break and were at it again when the action restarted.
This time it was Clark who felt he was unfairly upended by Walkes, but referee Martin Coy remained unimpressed.
Pompey then came close to retaking the lead when Harrison turned quickly outside the box and hit a fine strike that a diving Bursik did well to push clear.
Raggett soon did well at the other end to hold off Charles and stop the striker going one-on-one with MacGillivray.
But Charles did give Accrington the lead just past the hour mark, although the hosts were unhappy that the goal was allowed to stand.
Opoku held off Harness with a hand to the face, but it was not spotted by Coy and the left-back was able to square for his team-mate to slot home.
Jackett responded with a double change, as Harness and Marquis made way for Williams and Brett Pitman.
But Stanley almost extended their advantage just seconds later, as Bishop glanced a header against the post, with the loose ball hacked clear.
And Bishop did give them a cushion on 69 minutes, angling the ball into the net after MacGillivray had parried clear Finley’s initial effort.
Things soon got even worse for the visitors, as Bishop raced clear to slot home his second goal of the afternoon.
That came after Coy had played advantage following McCrorie’s challenge on Charles, but the referee went back to book the midfielder.
Accrington continued to look threatening as the minutes ticked down, while a neat Pitman flick was blocked before it could trouble Bursik.
That was as close as Pompey came to reducing their deficit, although the 733 travelling fans continued to cheer right up until the final whistle.
Accrington (4-4-2): Bursik; Johnson, Sykes, Hughes, Opoku; Clark, Finley (Diallo 90), Conneely (c), Pritchard; Bishop (Zanzala 90), Charles
Goals: Harrison 44 (og), Charles 62, Bishop 69, 77
Subs not used: Evtimov, Alese, Rodgers, Sherif, Carvalho
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Naylor (c), Raggett, Walkes; McCrorie, Close; Harness (Pitman 65), Marquis (Williams 65), Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Curtis 35
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Casey, Cannon, Evans
Referee: Martin Coy
Attendance: 2,429 (733 Pompey fans)
They fell behind to Sean McConville’s strike just after the break, but Ben Close’s ninth goal of the season drew them level.
Close also hit the woodwork as the Blues chased a winner, with the dropped points allowing Charlton to climb above them into third spot.
Kenny Jackett made five changes to the side that were narrowly beaten by Peterborough earlier in the week.
Gareth Evans returned to skipper the team, while there were also starts for Oli Hawkins, Viv Solomon-Otabor, Bryn Morris and Anton Walkes.
Brett Pitman, James Vaughan, Ronan Curtis and Nathan Thompson all dropped to the bench, with Jamal Lowe missing out completely.
With it being the final game of the regular campaign, there were plenty of awards given out prior to kick-off.
They all went to Matt Clarke, who collected the main The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season prize, as well as trophies from 12 supporter groups.
The fans then fell silent as the names of all those fans – and former players – who have passed away over the course of the campaign were read out.
When the action got underway, there was a rather pedestrian pace to proceedings and a flat atmosphere to accompany it.
Accrington almost livened things up with an early goal, as McConville met Janoi Donacien’s cross with a header that bounced back off the bar.
Solomon-Otabor had an effort blocked at the other end, with a long-range Close strike comfortably dealt with by Dimitar Evtimov between the Stanley sticks.
Pompey really should have been awarded a penalty on 18 minutes, with Donacien clearly tugging at Hawkins’ shirt, but referee Scott Duncan appeared not to notice.
It certainly did not feel like the end of the campaign, with an unseasonable chill in the air causing coats to be put back on.
There were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities on the pitch, although an angled drive from Paul Smyth was saved by Craig MacGillivray.
Pompey then had a great chance when Evans’ free-kick found Christian Burgess in the box, but the defender did not get enough on his header and the ball flew past the post.
Hawkins and Morris also sent efforts over the crossbar just before the break, as the hosts tried to find a breakthrough.
Accrington Stanley 0
Morris did not emerge following the interval, with Curtis brought on and Evans moving to a more central role.
There were just 44 seconds on the clock when Accrington opened the scoring, courtesy of McConville’s fine low strike from the edge of the box.
Pompey looked to hit back immediately and Curtis’ teasing delivery took a slight deflection to prevent Hawkins from tapping in from close range.
There was another opportunity for Burgess, with the defender heading wide after rising to meet a cross from Evans.
But it was CLOSE who levelled just before the hour mark, swapping passes with Hawkins and surging forward before beating Evtimov with a low finish at the keeper’s near post.
Hawkins was immediately brought off, with a fit-again Omar Bogle coming on to lead the Blues’ forward line.
Pompey were trying to find a winner and an acrobatic Bogle effort went past the post, while a clearance hit Pitman and flew off target just moments after the skipper had replaced Evans.
It was certainly a busy introduction for the striker, who scuffed wide after Bogle’s pass had gone just behind him.
But it was Close who almost gave the hosts the lead with a superb shot from outside the box that thundered against the angle of bar and post.
Pompey were pouring forward in search of a winner, while Accrington looked to exploit that on the break.
But despite a frantic conclusion to the action, neither keeper was really tested as the teams had to settle for a point each.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Evans (c) (Pitman 74), Morris (Curtis 46), Solomon-Otabor; Hawkins (Bogle 60)
Goals: Close 59
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, Haunstrup, Vaughan
Accrington (4-4-2): Evtimov; Donacien, Sykes, Hughes, Richards-Everton; Clark (Sousa 66), Barlaser, Conneely (c), McConville; Armstrong, Smyth
Goals: McConville 46
Subs not used: Warner, Rodgers, Ogle, Brown, Simmons, Zanzala
Referee: Scott Duncan
Attendance: 18,439 (241 away fans)
The visitors had several chances to score before the break, but would have been happy to go in level after Craig MacGillivray conceded and saved a Billy Kee penalty.
Oli Hawkins finally broke the deadlock in the second half, only for Michael Ihiekwe to level seconds later.
Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew with Burton earlier in the week.
Gareth Evans returned to skipper the team in place of the injured Dion Donohue, with Ben Close replacing the suspended Tom Naylor.
There were also a couple of alterations at the back, with Anton Walkes and Jack Whatmough dropping to the bench to make way for Nathan Thompson and Christian Burgess.
Pompey dominated the opening stages and created several decent opportunities as they tried to break the deadlock.
Jamal Lowe was a particular thorn in Stanley’s side, but could not beat keeper Connor Ripley after showcasing some tricky footwork in the box.
The resulting corner from Evans found its way to Ben Thompson and his acrobatic effort flew narrowly wide.
It was Evans who was next to try his luck and a fierce effort on the volley from outside the box was palmed wide by the busy Ripley.
There was not much happening at the other end, although a weak effort from Kee was comfortably held by MacGillivray.
But it was soon the Blues back on the attack and Ronan Curtis’ long-range strike flashed past the post.
It was pretty much one-way traffic and Lowe’s first-time shot from the edge of the box was again kept out by Ripley.
The keeper was certainly earning his wage and saved an angled drive from Curtis as the visitors continued to apply pressure.
And the Irish forward went even closer when he rose at the far post to meet Lowe’s cross, only to see his header cannon back off the post.
But Accrington came into the game more as the half progressed and should have broken the deadlock on 33 minutes.
MacGillivray failed to hold on to a corner and in his eagerness to recover the ball, brought down Kee inside the box.
Referee Stephen Martin did not need much convincing that a foul had been committed, immediately pointing to the spot.
But MacGillivray quickly redeemed himself, flinging himself to the right to palm Kee’s penalty to safety.
And the keeper came to the rescue again before the break, denying the same player from converting a corner at the far post.
Accrington Stanley 0
The second half started with Nathan Thompson earning a yellow card from Martin for a foul on Offrande Zanzala.
It was the right-back’s fifth League One booking of the season, meaning he will miss next Saturday’s trip to Bradford.
Pompey needed some time to find their feet following the restart, but almost took the lead just before the hour mark.
Lowe won a corner and when it was only partially cleared, a volleyed attempt from Curtis cannoned off the crossbar.
Pompey did forge ahead moments later, however, when Evans whipped a free-kick into the box and HAWKINS stuck out a boot to force the ball home.
But the lead was short-lived and Stanley levelled from a set-piece of their own, as Ihiekwe rose to convert Sean McConville’s delivery.
Those goals aside, however, the second half had not been as incident-packed as the first, with both sides lacking a quality final ball.
Brett Pitman replaced Hawkins for the final 10 minutes in an attempt to inject some fresh attacking impetus.
But neither side particularly looked like scoring in a drab conclusion to a contest that had promised so much more.
Stanley substitute Connor Hall did draw a save from MacGillivray in stoppage-time, but the hosts could not capitalise on the loose ball and the game finished all square.
Accrington (4-4-2): Ripley; Johnson, Ihiekwe, Hughes, Anderton; Mingoia, Barlaser, Finley, McConville (c); Zanzala (Hall 88), Kee
Goals: Ihiekwe 64
Subs not used: Maxted, Richards-Everton, Sykes, Conneely, Brown, Mangan
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Close, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 81)
Goals: Hawkins 62
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Wheeler, Mason
Referee: Stephen Martin
Attendance: 3,558 (1,163 Pompey fans)
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.
Accrington Stanley 0
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
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)
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.
Accrington Stanley 0
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
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
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Hunt
Referee: Mark Haywood
Attendance: 2,461 (806 Pompey fans)
|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.
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.
|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.
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.
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.
Accrington Stanley 0
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)
FA Cup 2
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.
Accrington Stanley 0
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)
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.
Accrington Stanley 0
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)
Transfer : Accrington Stanley – Portsmouth
|Portsmouth have signed winger Kal Naismith from League Two rivals Accrington for an undisclosed fee.
The 23-year-old former Rangers attacker has signed a three-year contract at Fratton Park.
Naismith was given a leave of absence by Stanley manager John Coleman in October after the death of his girlfriend.
He made 39 appearances for Accrington last season, scoring four goals.