|Bognor Regis Town||1 – 4||Portsmouth|
Chaplin, Main, Smith and May on target
Pompey eased to victory in their penultimate pre-season test against Isthmian League outfit Bognor at Nyewood Lane.
They created plenty of openings before the break, with Conor Chaplin and Curtis Main both finding the target.
Harvey Whyte reduced the deficit early in the second half, but Michael Smith then scored from the spot before Adam May wrapped things up.
Chaplin started particularly brightly and after one early shot was saved, Ben Close wastefully fired over the bar.
He was then sent through on goal, but Billy Granger was quickly off his line to make a crucial save.
The Rocks keeper was almost single-handedly keeping the Blues at bay and made another key stop to deny Ben Tollitt from long-range on 15 minutes.
Main was next to try to break the deadlock, but could not find the target after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had laid the ball into his path.
It was Chaplin with another go on 19 minutes and his deflected shot was heading for the net until Granger showed superb reflexes to divert it over the bar.
Tollitt’s set-piece delivery was also causing trouble, with Amine Linganzi and Tom Davies not quite able to take advantage.
Pompey finally got the goal their attacking dominance deserved on 23 minutes after CHAPLIN was brought down just outside the box.
The teenage forward stepped up to take the free-kick and expertly curled it over the wall and beyond Granger’s grasp.
Bognor then enjoyed their best spell of the game and should really have bagged an equaliser.
Paul Jones did well to deny Dylan Barnett from point-blank range and when the ball popped up nicely for James Fraser, he could only fire against the woodwork.
Pompey then made the hosts pay for their profligacy just before the break, as MAIN got above his marker to convert Chaplin’s teasing cross.
Half Time: Bognor 0 Pompey 2
Jones was called into action early in the second half, flinging himself to the right to keep out Barnett’s effort.
But he was unable to keep hold of the ball from the resulting corner, giving Whyte the chance to poke home.
The chances were not arriving as frequently as they had before the break, although one good move involving May and Main ended with Close firing over.
Paul Cook gave his two scorers a breather just past the hour mark, as Main and Chaplin made way for Smith and trialist Dean O’Halloran.
And it was SMITH who restored the Blues’ two-goal lead on 67 minutes, sending substitute stopper Joe Taylor the wrong way from the penalty spot after Darren Budd had brought down Tollitt.
The game was meandering towards its conclusion, but MAY livened things up again with a fourth goal, driving a 25-yard shot into the bottom corner.
A couple of academy starlets entered the fray late on and Tommy Scutt came close to adding his name to the scorers, meeting Theo Widdrington’s cross and volleying into the side netting.
And Oxlade-Chamberlain denied the Rocks a late consolation when he cleared Jimmy Wild’s drive from the line.
Bognor (4-3-3): Granger (Taylor 56); Crane, Field (Wollers 70), El-Abd (Sanders 56), Barnett; Whyte (Budd 56), Beck (c) (Robinson 81), Tuck (Consaro 70); Davies, Pearce (Penfold 81), Fraser (Wild 56)
Goals: Whyte 48
Pompey (4-diamond-2): Jones; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Davies, Barton (c), Widdringron; May, Linganzi (Yates 69), Tollitt, Close (Scutt 75); Main (Smith 62), Chaplin (O’Halloran 62)
Goals: Chaplin 27, Main 43, Smith 67 (pen), May 74
Sub not used: Bass
Referee: Tim Robinson