Nov 112017
 

League One


 

Blackpool    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey brought their three-match losing league run to an end in dramatic fashion at Blackpool.

A dull first half failed to foreshadow what was to come after the break, with five goals arriving in a topsy-turvy 45 minutes.

Twice the Blues took the lead, first through skipper Brett Pitman and then when Ben Close opened his account.

But twice the Seasiders fought back to level, with Viv Solomon-Otabor and an Oliver Hawkins own-goal giving them hope.

It was Pompey who snatched the victory late on, though, when Pitman grabbed his second of the afternoon to complete a breathless encounter.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at Luton the previous week.

Kal Naismith, Gareth Evans, Danny Rose and Kyle Bennett all returned to the side, with Stuart O’Keefe and Nathan Thompson suspended, Matty Kennedy dropping to the bench and Brandon Haunstrup missing out.

Hawkins was once again used as a makeshift centre-half, with Matt Clarke taking on an unfamiliar left-back role.

Both sides emerged from the tunnel with poppy wreaths and had the flower embroidered into their shirts.

A bugler then paid the Last Post, as everyone inside the stadium paid tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Pompey started with plenty of energy and looked to keep the ball moving, but were unable to breach an organised Seasiders defence.

In fact, there were not many clear-cut openings at either end of the pitch during a first half that often failed to get out of third gear.

The best chance for the hosts came when Jay Spearing’s free-kick found Solomon-Otabor in space, only for the winger to smash his shot over the crossbar.

He also had another attempt deflected behind, while a quick Blues break led to Jamal Lowe’s effort being charged down.

Former Fratton loanee Ryan Allsop was enjoying a quiet afternoon between the sticks, although he would have been relieved when Lowe’s cross hit Will Aimson and ricocheted narrowly past the post.

A couple of corners also caused the hosts a few problems, while Close was not too far off target with a dragged shot from 25 yards.

Luke McGee, meanwhile, twice had to come charging from his line to win a race for the ball, although the home support thought he had handled outside his box on the first occasion.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


There had been a distinct lack of excitement before the break, but the temperature rose – at least metaphorically – within seconds of the restart.

A Pompey corner caused havoc in the Seasiders box and Lowe’s shot was blocked, with Pitman unable to get to the loose ball before it was hacked to safety.

The busy Solomon-Otabor then burst down the left, cutting inside and along the edge of the box before hitting a low effort narrowly wide.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 52 minutes – much to the delight of the large travelling horde.

Close’s attempt took a deflection and although Allsop managed to adjust and parry the ball away, PITMAN was there to mop up.

A quick break from Bennett might have seen them double their advantage, only for Curtis Tilt to recover well and stop Pitman from getting a shot away.

The home support grew audibly frustrated as their side struggled to make any headway in their search for a leveller.

And their annoyance would have grown if Christian Burgess had been able to divert a Naismith corner on target.

But those who remained patient were rewarded on 73 minutes when Nathan Delfouneso combined well with substitute Dolly Menga down the right.

The latter – making his debut – sent in a dangerous low cross and Solomon-Otabor arrived at the far post to turn it home.

That might have deflated the visitors, but – backed by a vociferous following – they managed to retake the lead 10 minutes from time.

Pitman met Evans’ cross and Allsop did brilliantly to keep out his header, but when the ball was not properly cleared, CLOSE was there to fire in his first competitive goal for the club.

The action did not stop there, though, and Blackpool were soon level again, as a cross was sent into the visitors’ box and Hawkins inadvertently headed it into his own net.

But an in an incredible 12-minute spell then swung back in the Blues’ favour when they forged ahead for a third time.

Burgess rose to head a delivery back across the face of goal and PITMAN found space to nod past Allsop.

Blackpool tried their best to fight back once again, but the visitors saw out the closing stages to claim all three points.

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Turton, Aimson, Tilt, Daniel; Ryan (c), Spearing; Solomon-Otabor, Philliskirk (Menga 70), Cooke (Gnanduillet 87); Delfouneso
Goals: Solomon-Otabor 73, Hawkins 83 (og)
Subs not used: Williams, Mellor, Taylor, D’Almeida, Longstaff

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe, Bennett (Donohue 87), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 52, 86, Close 80
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, May, Kennedy, Chaplin, Main

Referee: Jon Moss

Attendance: 5,032 (1,711 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 012017
 

Friendly

0 – 3


Lalkovic, Davies and Close on target in Jackett’s first game

Pompey got pre-season off to a winning start thanks to three second half strikes against Salisbury.

They dominated the opening 45 minutes at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium without managing to find a breakthrough.

But substitutes Milan Lalkovic, Tom Davies and Ben Close all found the net after the break to get Kenny Jackett’s reign as Blues boss off to a decent opening.

Salisbury manager – and former Pompey player and boss – Steve Claridge came out of retirement to lead the line for the hosts at the age of 51.

However, it was the Blues who, unsurprisingly, looked the more dangerous side and Burgess headed narrowly wide from Gary Roberts’ corner in the opening stages.

The hosts then had to scramble clear when the same duo combined well again just a few moments later.

Adam May wasted a decent opportunity by volleying wildly past the post after Kal Naismith had laid the ball off for him.

But it was Kyle Bennett looking the biggest threat for the Blues, with an array of tricks and flicks to open up the Salisbury defence.

The League One side were just missing a finishing touch – understandable considering they had only returned to training a couple of days earlier.

There was not much for former Salisbury loanee Alex Bass to deal with at the other end, although the keeper kept out a looping header from Lewis Benson on 20 minutes.

Most of the action was taking place at the other end, however, and Naismith tested the handling of Whites stopper Charlie Searle with a clean strike.

But the Blues were unable to find an opener under the warm Wiltshire sunshine and the sides went in level at the break.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey started the second half with a completely new side and soon set about trying to open the scoring.

Curtis Main drew a regulation save from Searle, while Theo Widdrington fired over from 30 yards when a pass looked the better option.

But the Blues were ahead on 57 minutes when Curtis Main fed LALKOVIC, who drew the keeper from his line and neatly slotted into the net.

Nicke Kabamba almost doubled the advantage just before the hour mark, with a fierce effort from the right that looped narrowly over the bar.

But a second goal did arrive from the resulting corner, as DAVIES rose highest to convert Carl Baker’s delivery.

And the result was put beyond on doubt on 75 minutes when CLOSE hit a ferocious effort that cannoned in off the underside of the bar.

Pompey kept pushing forward in the closing stages, but the game drifted towards its conclusion without anyone able to add to the scoring.

Salisbury (4-1-4-1): Searle; Colson, Smith, Hart, Mundy; Whelan; Benson (c), Green, Roberts, Young; Claridge
Subs: Ball, Herbert, Flint, Russell, Larbi, Corbridge, Burden, Mathews, McGregor

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass (Collins 46); Evans (c) (Talbot 46), Burgess (Davies 46), Clarke (Whatmough 46), Haunstrup (Bedford 46); May (Widdrington 46), Rose (Close 46); Roberts (Baker 46), Bennett (Main 46), Lowe (Lalkovic 46); Naismith (Kabamba 46)
Goals: Lalkovic 53, Davies 63, Close 75
Subs not used: D.Smith, Oxlade-Chamberlain

Attendance: 1,766

Portsmouth FC

Jan 312017
 
OUT



Ben Close

(20)
Eastleigh


Midfielder joins National League side

Ben Close has joined Eastleigh on loan for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old midfielder has made four appearances for Pompey this term, most recently skippering the side to an EFL Trophy victory over Bristol Rovers.

He also featured against Yeovil and Reading in the same competition, as well as in the FA Cup defeat to Wycombe.

Eastleigh – managed by ex-Blues midfielder Martin Allen – are currently sitting 13th in the National League table ahead of their next game at Guiseley

Portsmouth FC
May 172016
 

After the disappointment of the play off defeat Paul Cook has started to trim the squad for next season.

Brian Murphy, Chad Field and Snorre Nilsen have been released following the expiration of their contracts.

Adam McGurk, Kal Naismith and Matt Tubbs have been transfer listed. Options taken up on Tollitt, May and Close. Talks continue with Hollands and Davies.

Good to see Tollitt kept, the only real surprise in Naismith who was just starting to show some promise.

Portsmouth FC