Apr 052022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Bolton Wanderers 1
Portsmouth 1


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN DRAWN LOST DRAWN WON WON WON DRAWN WON WON

Pompey had to settle for a point on their long-awaited return to action after letting a lead slip at Bolton.

They went ahead through Aiden O’Brien early in the second half, only for Kieran Sadlier to level from the penalty spot and ensure the spoils would be shared.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that drew with Wycombe on home soil 17 days earlier.

Michael Jacobs, Joe Morrell and O’Brien all returned to the starting line-up, with Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Tunnicliffe and Tyler Walker dropping to the bench.

Also among the substitutes was Shaun Williams, who had recovered from the back injury he suffered at the end of January.

The first half was full of bright attacking play from both sides, with plenty of dangerous forays forward at each end of the pitch.

And yet a combination of solid defending and a poor final pass meant that there was little in the way of clear-cut openings.

One neat passage from Pompey saw the ball ping around the box and yet it would not quite fall kindly on a number of occasions.

It was certainly an open contest, although when Marcus Harness met a Jacobs free-kick, he could only guide his header into the arms of James Trafford.

A key interception then prevented the ball from reaching the feet of Harness inside the area following good work from Jacobs and George Hirst.

But it was Bolton who had the best chance to forge ahead before the interval, with Dapo Afolayan looking certain to slot his shot into the bottom corner.

Gavin Bazunu got down to his left to make a superb save, however, and Dion Charles could only blast the loose ball across the face of goal.

The only other incident of note before the whistle blew was a crude Kyle Dempsey challenge on Harness that earned the midfielder a yellow card.


Half Time

Bolton Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey had not forced Trafford into action before the break, but the keeper was soon picking the ball out of his net after the restart.

It came after Will Aimson – who had only just entered the pitch – was booked for bringing down Hirst outside the box.

The free-kick from Harness slammed into the wall, but the ball was recycled and the same player cut it back for O’BRIEN to slot home.

Wanderers felt that the scorer was offside in the build-up, although he had actually received possession from a white-shirted player.

The visitors might have strengthened their lead moments later and Trafford was relieved to see the ball land safe when he palmed a Sean Raggett header right back into the danger zone.

It was suddenly a frantic affair and after Jon Dadi Bodvarsson’s penalty appeals were rightly waved away, the Blues broke and Hirst drew a save from Trafford.

But the action quickly switched to the other end of the pitch and Bazunu had to beat away a shot from Charles.

Pompey were next to threaten when an O’Brien shot was blocked and George Johnston bravely flung himself into the path of Jacobs’ follow-up.

The hosts had a chance to level on 76 minutes, however, when Elias Kachunga made the most of a challenge from Hayden Carter and referee Marc Edwards pointed to the spot.

Bazunu went the right way – getting down to his left – but the penalty from Sadlier was perfectly placed and nestled in the net.

A double switch was made to provide some fresh energy for the closing stages, with Louis Thompson and Jacobs replaced by Williams and Ronan Curtis.

And loanee Walker also entered the fray in the search for a late Pompey winner, replacing Hirst up front.

There were half-chances for both sides during six minutes of stoppage-time, but neither was able to turn one point into three.

Bolton (3-4-1-2): Trafford; Jones, Santos (c) (Aimson 46), Johns; Sadlier, Morley, Dempsey (Williams 70), Johnston; Afolayan (Kachunga 65); Bodvarsson, Charles
Goals: Sadlier 76 (pen)
Booked: Dempsey, Aimson
Subs not used: Baptiste, Thomason, Amaechi, Bakayoko

Pompey (4-2-2-2): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie; Thompson (Williams 82), Morrell; Harness, Jacobs (Curtis 82); O’Brien, Hirst (Walker 85)
Goals: O’Brien 50
Subs not used: Webber, Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Hume

Referee: Marc Edwards

Attendance: 13,809 (700 Pompey fans)

Feb 262022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Fleetwood Town 3


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN WON WON WON LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST

Pompey produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they fought from three goals down to secure a point against Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

They were punished for a poor first half, with goals from Anthony Pilkington, Harrison Biggins and Paddy Lane giving the visitors a commanding lead.

But Ronan Curtis converted a penalty just before the interval and the Blues looked a different side following a talking to from Danny Cowley.

They peppered the opposition goal with crosses and shots, with Marcus Harness scrambling home before Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Cowley made four changes from the side that dramatically won on the road at Shrewsbury earlier in the week.

Joe Morrell made an immediate return after completing his three-match ban, while there were also starts for Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett and Harness.

Louis Thompson, O’Brien, George Hirst and Mahlon Romeo were the men to make way, with the quartet dropping to the bench.

There was also a switch of system, with Hayden Carter moving to a right-back role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The early signs were positive, with Walker hitting an early shot wide before Curtis’ knock-back flew just behind the striker.

But what followed was a pretty chastening experience for the home faithful, who allowed the visitors to score three times from their four shots on target in the first half.

Former Pompey striker Ellis Harrison provided the first, getting down the right and driving into the box before cutting the ball back for Pilkington to slam home.

A second goal soon followed for the Cod Army, with nobody picking up Biggins to meet Carl Johnston’s pass across the box and fire into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and Denver Hume drilled a shot wide following a spell of patient passing play.

But the visitors were getting plenty of men behind the ball to protect their lead and it was proving difficult to find a way through.

And instead Pompey went further behind late in the half, as Lane cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed screamer that Gavin Bazunu was unable to keep out.

There was, however, time for a lifeline to arrive just before the break, when Morrell’s pass was handled by Callum Camps.

Referee Alan Young immediately pointed to the spot and CURTIS stepped up to smash the penalty straight down the middle.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Fleetwood Town 3


Curtis was certainly trying to drag Pompey back into the contest and his delivery led to the ball pinging around the Fleetwood box before eventually being cleared behind.

He then did well to get on the end of a deep Morrell pass into the box, with his header landing on the roof of the net.

But the Republic of Ireland international saw penalty appeals turned away when he went down in the box soon after and was instead harshly booked for simulation.

Hackett soon had a great chance to score for the hosts, but got his shot all wrong after being teed-up by Carter.

It looked like a second goal had arrived just before the hour mark, when Curtis sent a superb ball into the area from the left.

But Walker’s header struck Zak Jules on the back and was prevented from crossing the line by Alex Cairns, who then kept out the striker’s follow-up effort.

And the Fratton faithful screamed for a penalty when the ball bounced up and struck Danny Andrew on the arm, but Young deemed it to be accidental.

Walker then thought he had netted his first Pompey goal after turning home a low Curtis cross, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

O’Brien was brought on for Hume and went close with his first touch, but Cairns was able to keep out his header from a Ryan Tunnicliffe centre.

Cowley made an attacking switch on 78 minutes, taking off Carter and bringing on an extra striker in Hirst.

And the Blues did have a second goal when Cairns made a mess of dealing with a Curtis corner and the ball struck HARNESS before crossing the line.

There was a worrying moment soon after when Sean Raggett disappeared over the advertising boards and into the area of the North Lower currently being redeveloped.

Thankfully he emerged unhurt, with one wag commenting that the concreate had probably come off worse.

Fleetwood’s constant time wasting throughout the second half meant eight minutes were added on by the officials.

And Hirst almost levelled in the first of them, beating his man inside the box before drilling a low shot inches past the post.

Raggett then spun sharply and hit a shot that was gathered by Cairns, as the visitors continued to hold onto their lead by their fingernails.

But Fratton Park erupted soon after when a Curtis pass was helped on by both Walker and Hirst, and O’BRIEN raced clear before coolly slotting past Cairns.

Pompey sensed they could score again, but there was not quite enough time remaining and the spoils were ultimately shared.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter (Hirst 78), Raggett, Robertson (c), Hume (O’Brien 69); Tunnicliffe, Morrell; Harness, Hackett, Curtis; Walker
Goals: Curtis 45 (pen), Harness 80, O’Brien 90+5
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Webber, Ogilvie, Romeo, Thompson, Mingi

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Nsiala, Clarke, Jules; Johnston, Camps, Lane (Baggley 90), Biggins, Andrew (c); Pilkington (Butterworth 23), Harrison (Garner 86)
Goals: Pilkington 7, Biggins 15, Lane 41
Booked: Lane, Cairns, Harrison
Subs not used: O’Hara, Morris, Boyle, Hayes

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 15,224 (106 away fans)

Feb 222022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Shrewsbury Town 1
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

WON WON WON LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST WON

Louis Thompson hit a superb late winner as Pompey fought from behind to secure all three points at 10-man Shrewsbury.

They had to recover from Luke Leahy’s early headed opener, with Aiden O’Brien staying alert to divert home an equaliser.

Josh Vela’s late tackle then saw the hosts reduced to 10 men before the interval, but they seemed to be hanging on for a point.

That was until Thompson proved the unlikely goal hero to warm the hearts of the noisy travelling fans on a bitterly cold night in Shropshire.

Danny Cowley made four changes from the side that thrashed Doncaster on home soil in the previous outing.

O’Brien was handed a full debut, while Ryan Tunnicliffe made his first start since hurting his hamstring at the end of October.

Denver Hume and Mahlon Romeo returned to the wing-back roles, as Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett, Marcus Harness and the injured Michael Jacobs made way.

There was a cagey opening in freezing – but thankfully dry – conditions and Sean Raggett nodded an early Ronan Curtis free-kick wide at the back post.

The first big opportunity arrived with 10 minutes on the clock, as the visitors were almost gifted an opener.

Elliott Bennett played a crazy ball across his own box and Curtis nipped in to flash a low shot narrowly past the post.

Shrewsbury hit back, though, and it took a brave headed clearance from Raggett to stop Matthew Pennington’s fierce effort from finding the net.

That was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, as their opponents went ahead from the resulting corner.

Bennett swung the ball into the box from the left and Leahy was left in far too much space to nod the ball home.

Pompey took a while to recover from that setback and the Shrews applied some pressure, without being able to carve out any further clear chances.

And they found themselves level on 29 minutes after Curtis lifted a dangerous pass into the mixer, where Marko Maroši, under pressure from Raggett, could only punch straight to Hume.

He fired in a shot that was flicked towards the net by O’BRIEN, with the ball just about crossing the line, despite the best attempts of Maroši to hook it clear.

Shrewsbury’s mood worsened soon after, as Vela’s reckless challenge on Curtis earned an immediate red card from referee Sebastian Stockbridge.

Pompey tried to make the most of their numerical advantage and threw plenty of players forward in search of the lead.

It almost arrived when George Hirst got on the end of a Curtis cross in stoppage-time, but Maroši made a fine save to deny the striker.


Half Time

Shrewsbury Town 1

Portsmouth 1


Cowley made an attacking switch at the break, with Harness replacing Hayden Carter, as the visitors switched to a back four.

But the Shrews had three corners in quick succession shortly after the restart, with Pompey just about managing to keep them at bay.

At the other end, Romeo swung in a dangerous delivery that was just out of reach for Hirst at the back post.

A cross from Hume was then only partially dealt with and O’Brien’s volleyed effort had to be gathered low down by Maroši.

Pompey’s second change arrived on 65 minutes, as goalscorer O’Brien made way for Walker to add fresh legs to the forward line.

They still had to remain alert at the other end and a fine free-kick from Leahy was glanced narrowly over by Pennington.

It was the Blues quickly back on the attack, though, and Walker’s deft flick from a Tunnicliffe delivery was kept out by Maroši.

Their final throw of the dice saw Hackett replace Romeo wide on the right for the contest’s final 10 minutes.

And he had a hand in the goal that put Pompey ahead, laying the ball off on the edge of the box after not being able to find space to shoot.

The grateful recipient was THOMPSON, who hit a superb strike just underneath the crossbar to open his account for the club.

Shrewsbury picked themselves up and threw everything at the Blues for the final few minutes, but there was to be no late drama.

Shrewsbury (3-5-2): Maroši; Ebanks-Landell (c), Pennington, Flanagan; Bennett (Janneh 87), Vela, Davis (Fornah 22), Leahy, Nurse; Bloxham (Bowman 75), Udoh
Goals: Leahy 14
Sent off: Vela
Subs not used: Burgoyne, Bondswell, Pierre, Daniels

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Carter (Harness 46), Raggett, Robertson (c); Romeo (Hackett 80), Tunnicliffe, Thompson, Hume; Curtis; Hirst, O’Brien (Walker 65)
Goals: O’Brien 29, Thompson 84
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Webber, Ogilvie, Jewitt-White, Mingi

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 5,862 (724 Pompey fans)

Feb 122022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 4
Doncaster Rovers 0


FORM GUIDE

WON WON LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST WON DRAWN

Pompey produced a ruthless second half display to blow away bottom-of-the-table Doncaster at Fratton Park.

The opening 45 minutes were distinctly forgettable, but it was a completely different story after the interval.

A firm header from Reeco Hackett opened the scoring and the lead was soon doubled by George Hirst.

Aiden O’Brien then came off the bench for his home debut and instantly found the net to leave Rovers deflated.

But there was still time for the superb Sean Raggett to head home deep into stoppage-time to double his tally for the week.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that saw off Burton, also on home soil, earlier in the week.

Marcus Harness returned in an unfamiliar wing-back role on the right, while Hackett occupied the opposite flag.

Skipper Clark Robertson came into the back three, as Connor Ogilvie, Mahlon Romeo and Denver Hume all dropped to the bench.

The contest took a while to liven up and half-chances were the order of the day for much of the first period.

Michael Jacobs was crowded out as he tried to get a shot away, while Josh Martin’s free-kick at the other end somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play.

The visitors were first to seriously threaten, courtesy of a Reo Griffiths effort that was gathered by Gavin Bazunu at the second attempt.

Louis Thompson then released Harness on the right and his low centre flew agonisngly behind three of his team-mates in the box.

But Rovers almost broke the deadlock on 26 minutes and it took an excellent Raggett clearance to deny them.

Matt Smith combined well with Tommy Rowe to tee-up Joe Dodoo, whose close-range shot was heading for the net until the Pompey defender managed to get it clear.

Jonathan Mitchell then made a couple of regulation saves to deny first Hirst and soon after the in-form Jacobs.

There was a moment of controversy just before the break when Ronan Curtis went down in the box under pressure from a couple of defenders, but referee Tom Reeves ignored his appeals.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Doncaster Rovers 0


Hackett swung in a great delivery shortly after the restart, with Joseph Olowu doing just enough to put off Hirst and stop the striker making a connection.

Raggett was then called upon to make another brave block inside the area, this time from Martin’s shot.

But it was the Blues who finally broke the deadlock on 56 minutes, when Harness swung in an excellent cross from the right.

Hirst was unable to get on the end of it, but HACKETT got above Kyle Knoyle at the back post to find the net with a bullet header.

And things got even better for the hosts just past the hour mark after Ben Jackson nodded the ball straight into the path of HIRST.

The striker superbly brought the ball under control and raced clear before squeezing a shot past Mitchell.

Cowley freshened things up with a substitution soon after, as Tyler Walker made way for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

With the pressure eased, Pompey started to play some neat passing football and a Jacobs curler was held by Mitchell following Tunnicliffe’s exquisite flick.

The hosts were looking to wrap things up and Mitchell just about managed to prevent Harness from finding the net from an acute angle.

January arrival O’Brien was handed a run out for the final 10 minutes, as Jacobs made way to warm applause.

And O’BRIEN marked his Fratton bow by putting the result beyond doubt just a few seconds later, beating Knoyle to bundle Curtis’ low centre over the line.

Cowley’s final switch saw the livewire Thompson make way for Ogilvie, but still the Blues looked to attack.

It took the fingertips to Mitchell to stop them scoring again, as he turned behind a long-range Curtis free-kick.

Doncaster looked like all their energy had been sapped clear and the Blues controlled the closing stages.

And they put the cherry on the cake right at the death, as a fine free-kick into the box by Hackett was firmly nodded home by RAGGETT.

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c); Harness, Thompson (Ogilvie 83), Jacobs (O’Brien 80), Hackett; Curtis, Harness, Walker (Tunnicliffe 67)
Goals: Hackett 56, Hirst 63, O’Brien 81, Raggett 90+5
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Webber, Romeo, Jewitt-White, Hume

Doncaster (4-1-4-1): Mitchell; Knoyle, Younger, Olowu, Jackson (Agard 70); Gardner; Griffiths, Smith, Rowe (c), Martin (Barlow 78); Dodoo (Odubeko 60)
Subs not used: Jones, Williams, Seaman, Clayton

Referee: Tom Reeves

Attendance: 14,767 (295 away fans)

Jan 312022
 

Portsmouth FC Transfers Career Stats


Aiden O’Brien

(Transfer : Sunderland – Portsmouth)

Pompey have signed 28-year-old forward Aiden O’Brien from Sunderland.

The Republic of Ireland international has put pen to paper on a deal until the end of the season.

He came off the bench for the Black Cats in their narrow victory over Pompey at the Stadium of Light earlier this month.

O’Brien signed for Sunderland in the summer of 2020 and netted 12 goals in 66 appearances during his time on Wearside.

He joined them from Millwall, where he progressed through the ranks and featured on 226 occasions.

O’Brien appeared alongside Mahlon Romeo, Shaun Williams and Ryan Tunnicliffe for the Lions and helped secure promotion to the Championship via the play-offs in 2017.

He has been capped five times by his country at senior level, scoring in a 2018 friendly draw in Poland.