Feb 182017
 
League 2
Barnet 1 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin grabs late equaliser

Conor Chaplin hit a fine late leveller to rescue a point for Pompey in a scrappy contest at The Hive.

A largely turgid encounter looked to be heading for a goalless scoreline, with few chances to excite those in the stands.

But Mauro Vilhete converted a late free-kick to give the home supporters cause to cheer and deflate the large travelling army.

Substitute Chaplin perked them up in the dying moments, however, with a peach of a shot that left Bees keeper Josh Vickers with no chance.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Blackpool earlier in the week – naming an unchanged starting 11 for a fourth successive game.

The first half was a distinctly forgettable affair, with neither outfit being able to find their rhythm in a scrappy encounter.

Barnet won a free-kick 30 yards out, but Ruben Bover’s delivery swung out of play in a moment that summed up the action on offer.

The visitors finally carved out a decent opening on 20 minutes when Kyle Bennett released Gary Roberts down the right and the latter’s cross was glanced narrowly wide by Eoin Doyle.

Then, at the other end, David Forde made a fine reaction save to stop Curtis Weston from volleying home Vilhete’s centre.

And it was the Bees who finished the half looking the stronger side, with the Blues guilty of some sloppy play on the ball.

Former Pompey loannee John Akinde did brilliantly to chest the ball down on 38 minutes and send a shot dipping inches over the crossbar.

Charlie Clough then got on the end of a corner and his header was deflected just past the post by a relieved Michael Doyle.

Half Time: Barnet 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Cook made a double switch at the start of the second half, as Bennett and Jamal Lowe were replaced by Chaplin and Danny Rose.

That saw Pompey match their opponents’ 4-4-2 system, with Roberts at the tip of a diamond midfield.

The visiting fans – who made up more than 50 per cent of the total crowd – were making a racket in the stands.

But there was little action of note happening on the pitch, as the second half continued in the same vein as the first.

Chaplin got crowded out after collecting Amine Linganzi’s pass and charging into the box, as chances eluded both sides.

The hosts did go close on 66 minutes after Akinde won a soft free-kick just outside the area and Bover curled it onto the roof of the net.

And the Blues began to show more urgency as the minutes ticked down, with Chaplin having a shot blocked.

They were starting to look the more dangerous side, although it took a fine Christian Burgess challenge to finally halt the rampaging Akinde.

Carl Baker came on for the tiring Roberts for the final 10 minutes as Cook made his last throw of the dice.

But it was Barnet who forged ahead 10 minutes from time when Justin Amaluzor was fouled just outside the box and Vilhete stepped up to curl the free-kick over the wall.

It looked like the hosts were going to hang on for all three points – although CHAPLIN had other ideas.

The substitute had not had much joy since entering the pitch, but found the net with a rocket of a shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner.

He celebrated with the fans first and then those on the bench, and it proved enough to secure a share of the spoils.

Barnet (4-4-2): Vickers; Clough, Nelson (c), Santos, Johnson; Vilhete, Bover (Sweeney 69), Champion, Weston; Akinola (Amaluzor 75), Akinde
Goals: Vilhete 82
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Dembele, Taylor, Tutonda, Coulson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Rose 46), Roberts (Baker 80), Bennett (Chaplin 46); E.Doyle
Goals: Chaplin 89
Booked: Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Naismith, Hunt

Referee: Mark Brown

Attendance: 4,571 (2,430 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 242016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 5 – 1 Barnet

 

Five goal Blues fight back

Pompey returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as they crushed Barnet at Fratton Park.

But they had to fight from behind after John Akinde fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Gary Roberts teed-up Conor Chaplin to draw them level before the break and then got on the scoresheet himself early in the second half.

The Blues were rampant by this point and goals from Carl Baker, Milan Lalkovic and Danny Rose secured a comfortable victory.

Roberts should have added another in the midst of all that, only to see his penalty saved after Bira Dembele had been sent off for a foul on Chaplin.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that were beaten at Accrington the previous week.

There were starts for Chaplin up front and Kal Naismith out wide, with Michael Smith and Kyle Bennett both dropping to the bench.

Pompey started brightly and Chaplin had a shot blocked by Curtis Weston before Enda Stevens’ cross had to be turned behind.

The duo were both involved in the next opening on 12 minutes, with a low Stevens delivery just out of reach for the Blues’ striker sliding in at the near post.

Gareth Evans then got free down the right, but his cross landed behind Baker, who could only hook over the crossbar.

Barnet were causing problems themselves, however, and David Forde charged from his area to beat Akinde to the ball.

Weston then got past Christian Burgess and into the Blues box, but the defender recovered well to avert the danger.

Tom Davies almost opened his Pompey account at the other end, as Baker’s cross hit him in the chest and landed safely in the arms of Bees keeper Josh Vickers.

But the centre-back conceded a penalty soon after, with referee Darren England deciding he had used his hand to clear Ryan Watson’s corner.

Akinde stepped up to take the spot-kick and although the former Blues striker’s shot was poor, it crept under Forde’s dive and into the net.

The same player might have doubled their advantage on 32 minutes, only to head Watson’s corner over from close range.

Instead it was the home fans celebrating as their side drew level, with Roberts acting as the magician and CHAPLIN the assassin.

The former did well to steal possession and then played a sumptuous pass through to the latter, who coolly slid the ball home.

Pompey had another chance before the break, but when Baker’s effort was blocked, an audacious over-head strike from Chaplin flew wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Barnet 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Barnet came flying out of the traps after the restart and it took a great challenge from Burgess to halt Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s surging run.

But the Blues should then have forged ahead, with Roberts somehow failing to connect with Stevens’ teasing low cross.

ROBERTS certainly made amends moments later, however, turning Michael Nelson and leaving him on the floor before hammering home.

And it soon got even better for the hosts, as BAKER collected the ball on the right, cut inside and curled an exquisite left-foot shot past Vickers’ grasp and into the net.

Pompey should have extended their lead further on 65 minutes when England awarded them a penalty.

Chaplin charged into the box and went down under Dembele’s challenge, with the official signalling that he had been tugged to the floor.

It got worse for the beleaguered Bees, as a red card was harshly produced and the defender had to trudge back to the dressing room.

Roberts stepped up to try to continue his prolific scoring spell, but Vickers flung himself to the left to beat the ball clear.

Cook made a double switch on 73 minutes, with Naismith and Chaplin receiving standing ovations as they were replaced by Lalkovic and Curtis Main.

And it was LALKOVIC who soon put the icing on the cake, receiving the ball on the edge of the box and neatly bending it right into the bottom corner.

Pompey refused to sit back and kept pouring forward in search of more goals to heap further misery on Barnet.

And the fifth did arrive in stoppage-time, as a neat passing move cut open the Bees defence before ROSE slotted home to cap a memorable afternoon on the south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Bennett 80), Roberts, Naismith (Lalkovic 73); Chaplin (Main 73)
Goals: Chaplin 34, Roberts 50, Baker 56, Lalkovic 78, Rose 90+2
Booked: Chaplin, Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Smith

Barnet (4-3-3): Vickers; Vilhete, Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson; Watson (Batt 55), Weston, Taylor; Campbell-Ryce (N’Gala 64), Akinde, Akpa Akpro (Gambin 55)
Goals: Akinde 27 (pen)
Sent off: Dembele
Booked: Watson, Batt
Subs not used: Stephens, Sesay, Kyei, Nicholls

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 16,280 (275 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Feb 232016
 

Barnet 1 v 0 Portsmouth

Pompey’s promotion hopes took another blow as they slipped to defeat at Barnet.

It was former Blues striker John Akinde who grabbed the only goal of the game from the penalty spot late in the first half.

The visitors improved after the interval and Adam McGurk went closest in their ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find an equaliser.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that drew with Yeovil at the weekend.

Marc McNulty came in up front, with Michael Smith dropping to the bench, while there were also starts for Matt Clarke and McGurk in place of the suspended Christian Burgess and injured Gareth Evans.

Pompey struggled to deal with Barnet’s physical style in the first half and lacked any real fluidity going forward.

There were no real scoring chances in the opening stages and the only noteworthy moment was an early substitution.

Gary Roberts hurt his hamstring in a challenge after just eight minutes and had to be replaced by Kal Naismith.

The first opportunity fell to the hosts, with Ryan Fulton just about preventing a Sam Muggleton corner from creeping in at the near post.

Akinde then raced onto a long ball forward, but – under pressure from Adam Webster – could only hit a tame effort straight at Fulton.

But excitement was thin on the ground in a largely attritional and niggly encounter that failed to spark.

Both sides realised that shots from long-range might be the best way to break the deadlock and swerving efforts from Naismith and Mark Randall were just about dealt with by the respective keepers.

Instead, the opening goal came from the penalty mark and arrived after Ben Davies’ gained too many yards from a throw to see possession overturned.

The ball was launched into the Blues box, where Webster was adjudged to have tripped Akinde.

Referee Philip Gibbs pointed straight to the spot and it was Akinde stepped up to coolly slot the ball into the bottom corner.

That seemed to jolt Pompey into life and Bondz N’Gala made a vital block to deny McNulty before Jamie Stephens gathered McGurk’s long-range strike at the second attempt.

Half Time: Barnet 1 Pompey 0

The visitors made a sloppy start to the second half, but Mathew Stevens was unable to capitalise on some poor defending.

They almost drew level moments later, however, with McGurk rising above his marker to meet Davies’ cross and draw a fingertip save from Stephens.

A deep free-kick from Naismith then somehow evaded everyone as it curled frustratingly out of play.

Cook made his second switch on the hour mark – and it was an attacking one as Ben Close made way for Smith.

But it was Naismith who should have levelled moments later, firing over the bar after being picked out by McNulty’s cut-back.

Clarke was next to go close on 66 minutes when he met Naismith’s free-kick from the left and saw his header saved by Stephens.

Pompey were looking much more of a threat now and it took a last-gasp clearance by Michael Nelson to get Davies’ low cross to safety.

Cook made his final throw of the dice on 78 minutes, bringing on Conor Chaplin in place of McNulty.

He was soon into the action after being bundled over by Tom Champion, only to see his free-kick punched clear by Stephens.

The Blues kept pushing forward in the closing stages, but their large travelling support – who made up more than half of the total attendance – were not to be rewarded.

Barnet (4-2-3-1): Stephens; Pearson, N’Gala, Nelson, Muggleton; Randall (Vilhete 62), Champion; Yiadom (c), Stevens (Togwell 52), Weston; Akinde (Sesay 84)
Goals: Akinde 41 (pen)
Booked: Champion, Randall, Yiadom, Muggleton
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Shomotun, Gambin, Hackett

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Close (Smith 60), Doyle (c); McGurk, Roberts (Naismith 8), Bennett; McNulty (Chaplin 78)
Booked: Webster
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Barton, Hollands

Referee: Philip Gibbs

Attendance: 2,557 (1,330 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 122015
 

Portsmouth 3 v 1 Barnet

Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk were on target as Pompey fought from behind to beat Barnet.

They were slow to get going and some sloppy marking allowed Andy Yiadom to give the Londoners the lead.

But Chaplin and McGurk both displayed some clinical finishing either side of the break to turn the game on its head.

And the visitors’ misery was compounded when keeper Jamie Stephens was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Chaplin then grabbed his second of the afternoon just before the final whistle to complete an enjoyable afternoon for the Blues.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Accrington the previous week.

Chaplin and McGurk both came in for the first league starts of the season, with Gareth Evans dropping to the bench and Jayden Stockley absent after just becoming a parent.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the Barnet camp, with former Pompey midfielder Martin Allen naming both Bondz N’Gala and John Akinde in his side.

The Bees boss provided an animated performance on the sidelines and received a ticking off from referee Darren England after gesturing for a home player to be booked.

But there was not too much happening on the pitch in a half that was full of commitment, but lacking in quality.

Matt Clarke had the first decent chance on 20 minutes, but could not guide Gary Roberts’ corner on target.

Instead it was the visitors who broke the deadlock soon after, with Yiadom left alone to calmly slot home Mauro Vilhete’s cut-back.

Christian Burgess had a chance to equalise when he met a Kyle Bennett free-kick, but Stephens stopped his header on the line and Chaplin then blazed the loose ball over.

But the Blues were level on 37 minutes after Barnet failed to deal with a Roberts set-piece that was sent into the box.

CHAPLIN did well to pick the ball up and make space to shoot before rifling home a fine finish past a helpless Stephens.

Brian Murphy then had to come charging out of his goal just before the break, narrowing the angle for marauding right-back Gavin Hoyte and forcing him to fire wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Barnet 1

Cook made a switch at the break, with Adam Webster replacing Roberts as Pompey switched to a 3-5-2 formation.

And the hosts should have forged ahead on 52 minutes when McGurk sent Bennett through on goal, only for the summer signing to blaze high over the bar.

But McGURK was much more clinical when he raced onto Webster’s pass moments later and calmly finished past Stephens.

The visitors were not happy that the goal was allowed to stand, however, as Bennett – who did not touch the ball – was flagged offside.

The advantage might have been extended on 57 minutes, but Webster was unable to divert Ben Davies’ dangerous free-kick on target.

Barnet’s task was made a lot harder when they were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.

Stephens came racing off his line to try to beat Bennett to the ball, but only succeeded in clattering into the Pompey midfielder.

Having already been booked for time-wasting before the break, England had no choice but to show him his second yellow card, followed by a red.

Akinde was sacrificed so teenage keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle could come on, while Evans replaced Clarke for the hosts.

The academy stopper stopped his side from falling further behind on 82 minutes, though, tipping Chaplin’s header over the bar.

Substitute Matt Tubbs was then unable to find the target from an acute angle following a poor clearance from McKenzie-Lyle.

But it was CHAPLIN who added a gloss to the final score in stoppage-time, when a long Murphy ball was flicked on and he calmly slid the ball home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke (Evans 68), Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Roberts (Webster 46), Chaplin, Bennett; McGurk (Tubbs 80)
Goals: Chaplin 37, 90+6, McGurk 54
Booked: Chaplin, Stevens, Evans, Bennett, Davies
Subs not used: Jones, Tollitt, Hollands, Naismith

Barnet (4-4-1-1): Stephens; Hoyte, N’Gala, Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete (Muggleton 59), Yiadom, Togwell, Gambin (Gash 59); Weston (c); Akinde (McKenzie-Lyle 67)
Goals: Yiadom 25
Sent off: Stephens (two yellow cards)
Booked: Yiadom, Dembele
Subs not used: Nelson, Champion, Tomlinson, McLean

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 16,217 (413 away fans)

Portsmouth FC