Mar 022019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 5   1 Bradford City

Pompey returned to winning ways in the league in some style, with a 5-1 rout of Bradford at Fratton Park.

Gareth Evans got the ball rolling from the penalty spot, while Tom Naylor ensured the interval lead was a comfortable one.

Hope Akpan did reduce the deficit for the struggling Bantams, only for Jamal Lowe to immediately restore the two-goal advantage.

Ben Close then ensured the scoreline received a gloss by adding a brace to cap a fine individual display.

The downside for the Blues were injuries suffered by Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis, Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson – the latter two following a clash of heads.

Throw in a delay while a drone flew over the ground and it was certainly an eventful afternoon on the south coast.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Bury to reach the Checkatrade Trophy final earlier in the week.

Lowe came in for Viv Solomon-Otabor out wide, with Christian Burgess making a quicker than expected return from an ankle injury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Division Three title-winner Bobby Doyle, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

The start of the first half was a disjointed affair, with neither goalkeeper being called into action during the early stages.

Hawkins did almost break the deadlock on six minutes, stooping to head against the post after Evans had lifted the ball into the mixer.

Close then swivelled neatly inside the box moments later, although failed to guide his shot on target.

Those opportunities aside, it was not exactly proving to be a flowing contest, but Pompey started to dominate as the game progressed.

They were handed an excellent chance to open the scoring midway through the half when Oliver Langford pointed to the spot.

Evans had sent a corner into the box and with Hawkins being hauled to the ground by Anthony O’Connor, the referee had no choice.

It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slammed his penalty into the top corner.

The traffic was mostly one-way from that point, with Hawkins proving to be a particular menace to the Bantams back-line.

He played a fine pass through to Curtis on 34 minutes, but the ball got stuck under the forward’s feet and Lowe’s effort was blocked.

And their pressure paid off late in the half when the advantage was doubled, courtesy of another Evans corner.

It was flapped at by Richard O’Donnell and the ball fell for Curtis, whose strike cannoned off the underside of the bar.

The forward thought it had crossed the line, but there was no signal from the officials and NAYLOR followed up to slot home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Bradford City 0


Pompey continued to look bright once the action restarted and Clarke glanced an Evans corner past the post.

But there was a bizarre incident just past the hour mark, when the referee called both sets of players to the sidelines.

Everybody was looking up in the air and there was a drone hovering overhead, but it eventually flew off and the action was able to restart.

It was the Bantams who were next to go close, with Craig MacGillivray doing well to palm over Akpan’s drive.

But Akpan did score from the resulting corner, driving the ball into the net after Kelvin Mellor’s had headed the ball into his path

Pompey’s response was immediate and when Lee Brown whipped a dangerous cross into the box, LOWE got down to convert with his chest.

But Hawkins had picked up an injury and was withdrawn by James Vaughan – not that it stopped the hosts’ momentum.

They soon had a fourth goal, as Evans met a delivery from Curtis with a half-volley that was turned into the net by CLOSE.

There was more injury concern for the Blues following a sickening clash of heads between Clarke and Nathan Thompson.

Both medical teams were quickly on the case and the right-back was withdrawn for Anton Walkes, with Clarke carrying on after getting bandaged up.

Pompey continued to attack and almost increased their lead, only for O’Donnell to tip over Lowe’s fierce drive.

A bloodied Clarke was struggling, however, and Jackett made his final change by bringing him off for Dion Donohue.

The action continued at a breathless pace and the hosts did have a fifth goal on 87 minutes, with Curtis’ pass being cut out, but the ball breaking for CLOSE to fire into the bottom corner.

The various injuries and drone interruption meant there were 10 minutes of stoppage-time displayed by the fourth official.

And Pompey finished the contest with 10 men, as Curtis pulled up while chasing the ball and hobbled off the pitch.

But the final moments passed by incident-free, as the Blues brought an impressive week to a close by collecting all three points.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson (Walkes 77), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 84), Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Close, Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 69)
Goals: Evans 23 (pen), Naylor 41, Lowe 67, Close 70, 87
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor, Pitman

Bradford (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Caddis (c) (Mellor 46), O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Wood (Miller 62); Akpan, Butterfield; Ball, Payne (Clarke 72), O’Brien; Doyle
Goals: Akpan 65
Booked: Caddis, Knight-Percival
Subs not used: Wilson, Anderson, Maltby, Patrick

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 17,657 (493 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 162019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Southend United 3    3 Portsmouth

Pompey moved back up to third in the League One table with a 3-3 draw against Southend.

But the visitors were in no mood to celebrate after throwing away a three-goal advantage at Roots Hall.

Bryn Morris, Ben Close – on his 100th appearance for the club – and Oli Hawkins all found the target as the Blues cruised into a commanding advantage.

Simon Cox reduced the deficit before the break, however, then added a penalty before completing his treble late on.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Plymouth the previous weekend.

Viv Solomon-Otabor was handed his debut wide on the left, while Hawkins and Anton Walkes both returned to the starting line-up.

That meant a switch to a 4-4-2 system with Hawkins partnering Omar Bogle, as Matt Clarke claimed the captain’s armband.

Gareth Evans and Ronan Curtis both dropped the bench, while Nathan Thompson missed out with a knock.

There was a minute’s applause ahead of kick-off in memory of World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who passed away earlier in the week.

It was the hosts who had the first effort, but Craig MacGillivray got down to his right to keep out Stephen McLaughlin’s low drive.

Christian Burgess then cleared the danger before Michael Turner could capitalise after Cox’s initial effort had been blocked.

But the Blues soon took control and broke the deadlock on eight minutes, as MORRIS opened his account for the club.

Bogle and Jamal Lowe combined well down the right and when the latter’s cross was pushed out by Nathan Bishop, the midfielder hammered the loose ball into the roof of the net.

They came close to doubling the lead from a corner soon after, with Clarke’s shot blocked and Burgess’ follow-up nervously dealt with by Bishop.

The visitors were well on top, although MacGillivray spilled an effort from Sam Mantom and dived on the loose ball before Michael Kightly could pounce.

And Pompey immediately went up the other end to strengthen their advantage, although the Shrimpers could have dealt with it.

Solomon-Otabor combined well with Lowe, but first Sam Hart and then Mantom made a hash of their clearances and CLOSE sent a neat volley into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

It looked like they had gone even further ahead when Bogle managed to force the ball over the line, although it was controversially ruled out for offside.

But they did have a third goal on 31 minutes when, at the end of a neat passing move, Morris struck the post.

This time it was Taylor Moore’s chance to decline the opportunity to clear the ball and a grateful HAWKINS slotted home.

Southend looked out of the contest, but gave themselves a lifeline when Cox rose in the box to convert Hart’s delivery.

They almost grabbed another before the break when a corner fell for Turner, who curled his shot just past the post.


Half Time

Southend United 1

Portsmouth 3


The visitors began the second period brightly and a snap-shot from Bogle was saved by Bishop, while a heavy first touch from Lowe allowed the Southend keeper to claim the ball.

But Burgess then made a key challenge inside the box to stop Kightly collecting MacLaughlin’s pass following a quick break.

Pompey immediately created an opening of their own, but Bishop kept out Bogle’s effort and then beat the striker to the loose ball.

It was not as action-packed since the restart, however, and the chances started to dry up as the half progressed.

McLaughlin did try his luck from outside the box, but the ball struck Clarke to divert it wide of the post.

A couple of corners for the hosts also caused problems, although MacGillivray was on hand to deal with them on each occasion.

Solomon-Otabor had faded slightly following a lively start to the contest and was replaced by Curtis on 71 minutes.

And Jackett soon made a second substitution, with Bogle the man to make way as Evans provided fresh legs to the forward line.

The game seemed to be drifting towards a conclusion, but Southend were not done yet and set up a tense finale by pulling another goal back.

Morris caught Kightly in the box and referee Dean Whitestone pointed to the spot, with Cox stepping up to send MacGillivray the wrong way.

Pompey were not just sitting back, though, and Close had a low effort blocked following some patient build-up play.

But Southend completed a remarkable comeback on 88 minutes, as Cox raced onto Timothee Dieng’s fine pass and neatly tucked away his hat-trick goal.

James Vaughan was brought on as the Blues tried to hit back, but they were unable to find another goal before the final whistle blew.

Southend (4-4-2): Bishop; Bwomono, Turner, Moore, Hart; McLaughlin, Mantom (c) (Hutchinson 73), Dieng, Kightly (Wabo 82); Cox, Humphrys (Klass 25)
Goals: Cox 36, 78 (pen), 87
Booked: Klass, Moore
Subs not used: Smith, Kiernan, Lennon, Kelman

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Brown; Lowe (Vaughan 88), Morris, Close, Solomon-Otabor (Curtis 71); Hawkins, Bogle (Evans 75)
Goals: Morris 8, Close 20, Hawkins 31
Booked: Walkes, Vaughan
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, Haunstrup, May

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 7,300 (1,239 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 092019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Plymouth Argyle 1    1 Portsmouth

A first league goal of the season for Ben Close was not enough to secure a return to winning ways, as Pompey drew 1-1 with Plymouth.

The first half at Home Park was a turgid non-event, but the game really exploded into life after the break.

Close’s effort was reward for the fine support from the travelling Blue Army, but Graham Carey’s impressive free-kick ensured the spoils would be shared.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at QPR earlier in the week.

Omar Bogle returned to lead the line, while there were also recalls for Nathan Thompson, Bryn Morris, Ronan Curtis and skipper Gareth Evans.

Oli Hawkins, Anton Walkes and Adam May all dropped to the bench, Louis Dennis missed out completely and Tom Naylor started a two-match ban for collecting 10 yellow cards.

The sold-out away contingent made plenty of noise in the build-up to kick-off and that did not change once the action started.

But they did not have much to get excited about in an opening 45 minutes that was full of endeavour, if short on quality in the final third.

A corner from Evans led to Bogle having a couple of shots blocked in quick succession, although referee Ben Toner spotted an infringement and blew for a foul.

The swirling wind would have been causing problems, especially with Home Park currently boasting only three sides.

And that was perhaps a reason why the contest failed to spark into life, although deliveries into the box from Evans and Close both had to be dealt with.

Both goalkeepers might as well have stayed in the dressing room, as their gloves remained unsoiled as the interval approached.

Half-chances were about as good as it got, with Curtis scuffing a shot wide after Thompson’s effort had been deflected into his path.

Not much was happening at the other end, with Ruben Lameiras’ dangerous low delivery turned behind, while Freddie Ladapo hit a long-range effort high over the bar.

Argyle keeper Kyle Letheren was finally called into action just before the break, but was not overly troubled by Matt Clarke’s tame header.


Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey were first to threaten following the restart when Bogle rose at the far post to meet Lee Brown’s cross with a firm header that was gathered by Letheren.

But the hosts then had a decent opening of their own, as Antoni Sarcevic dug the ball out for Ladapo, whose effort was deflected narrowly over the bar.

It was certainly proving to be a more action-packed contest and when Curtis picked the ball up on the left, he drove inside and hit a fierce drive that Letheren did well to tip over.

And the Blues were ahead from the resulting corner, with Evans’ delivery only cleared as far as CLOSE, who drilled the ball home from the edge of the box.

The midfielder then sent a fine pass over the top for Bogle to race on to, with Ryan Edwards doing well to prevent the striker getting a shot away.

That was Bogle’s last contribution to the game, as Jackett replaced him with Oli Hawkins on 67 minutes.

Argyle boss Derek Adams then began ranting on the touchline when he felt Evans’ free-kick should have warranted a second yellow card, instead earning a booking for himself.

But his mood changed when Thompson was adjusged to have fouled Yann Songo’o 25 yards from goal and Carey stepped up to curl home a fine free-kick.

They might have had another after Morris failed to clear, but Lameiras’ curler was deflected past the post.

Pompey were being pegged back, but had a chance to capitalise when Evans kept the ball in play on the right.

His fine deep pass found Hawkins, who nodded the ball down to Curtis, but the Republic of Ireland international fired high over the bar.

A curler from Evans was plucked from the air by Letheren, while Argyle also applied late pressure before the referee’s whistle brought a competitive clash to a close.

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): Letheren; Smith-Brown, Edwards, Canavan, Sawyer (c); Songo’o, Fox; Lameiras, Sarevic, Carey; Ladapo (Taylor 80)
Goals: Carey 70
Subs not used: Macey, Riley, Jones, Wootton, Threlkeld, Jephcott

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Morris, Close; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Bogle (Hawkins 67)
Goals: Close 56
Booked: Evans, Thompson, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, May, Solomon-Otabor, Vaughan

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 12,052 (1,180 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 042018
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy


Portsmouth 4    0 Gillingham

Pompey eased to victory over Gillingham in their opening Checkatrade Trophy group match at Fratton Park.

A largely uneventful first half came to life right at the end, with Matt Clarke and Ben Close finding the net in quick succession.

Brett Pitman then hammered home a penalty after the interval to erase any hopes of a Gills comeback.

And a comfortable evening was wrapped up right at the end when David Wheeler opened his Blues account.

Kenny Jackett made 10 changes from the side that comfortably saw off Plymouth in the league at the weekend.

Clarke was the only player to keep his spot, with loan sign Andre Green handed his debut in an attacking role.

Pitman reclaimed the captain’s armband up front, while fellow striker Joe Mason had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

The crowd were packed into the South Stand, but there was not too much to keep them entertained for the majority of the first half.

Pitman thundered a 30-yard free-kick against the crossbar after Wheeler had been fouled by Aaron Simpson.

But that was not typical of a listless opening period that only exploded into life just before the interval.

Neither keeper had much to deal with, although Luke McGee made a regulation save to deny Navid Nasseri.

Pompey finally moved through the gears on 41 minutes when Adam May slipped a fine pass down the line for Wheeler.

His low centre was intended for Pitman, who would have been left with a simple finish had Alex Lacey not cut the ball out.

But the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as CLARKE was left untroubled to convert May’s delivery.

And the celebrations from the home supporters had barely died down before the Blues doubled their advantage.

Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and although CLOSE’s first time effort lacked power, it was neatly placed into the bottom corner.

It might have been even better in stoppage-time, but a long-range effort from May flashed past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Gillinghamn 0


There were only a few minutes on the clock when the hosts had a great chance to extend their lead further.

Wheeler whipped in a teasing cross from the right that would normally have been gobbled up by Pitman, but he fired uncharacteristically wide from a few yards out.

Pompey’s skipper made up for that, however, by opening his account for the season from the penalty spot on 55 minutes.

Alan Young pointed to the spot when Green went down under Aaron Simpson’s challenge, with PITMAN on hand to slam home from 12 yards.

Gills keeper Tom Hadler then came tearing from his line to stop Wheeler reaching Green’s threaded pass.

Mason was introduced for his Blues bow just past the hour mark, with May the man to make way for the on-loan Wolves striker.

The tempo of the contest unsurprisingly dropped with the lead so commanding and the chances started to dry up again.

Wheeler came close to adding a fourth goal after bundling his way into the box, but Hadler came to the rescue with a decent stop.

And that is exactly what he did at the death, with WHEELER on hand to net from close range after Mason’s blocked shot had fallen into his path.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Wheeler, May (Mason 62), Green; Pitman (c)
Goals: Clarke 41, Close 43, Pitman 55 (pen), Wheeler 90
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Brown, Naylor, B.Thompson, Evans, Lowe

Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Hadler; O’Neill (c), Lacey (Scarlett 80), Ogilvie, Simpson (Nash 65); Oldaker; Rees (Chapman 62), Stevenson; Nasseri; Wilkinson, List
Booked: Nasseri
Subs not used: Holy, O’Mara, Woods, Mbo

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 2,011 (69 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 262017
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    1 AFC Wimbledon

The big day might have passed, but there was still plenty of Christmas cheer on show as Pompey beat AFC Wimbledon.

Ben Close livened up a dull first half with a fine strike on a wet and windy Boxing Day afternoon on the south coast.

Lyle Taylor hit back with a penalty just after the break, only for Brett Pitman to net a spot-kick of his own to secure the points for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were beaten at Shrewsbury before Christmas.

It came in attack, where Matty Kennedy dropped to the bench to make way for Conor Chaplin just behind lone striker Pitman.

Both sides had perhaps indulged themselves a tad too much the previous day, with the first half limping along.

Pompey enjoyed the majority of possession and territory, but George Long was largely untroubled in the Dons goal.

It was actually the visitors who were first to threaten, with Cody McDonald – perhaps put off by Luke McGee’s presence – poking the ball wide of the post.

Close sent a couple of dangerous deliveries into the box, only for the Londoners’ back-line to deal with them both.

A snap-shot from the returning Chaplin was well-struck on 19 minutes, but the ball flew straight at Long.

The lively Gareth Evans also had an effort that flew narrowly wide, as the contest struggled to move out of second gear.

Pompey fans were finally given reason to sit up and take notice when Chaplin’s shot took a deflection and hit Jamal Lowe.

He was unable to adjust his feet quickly enough, however, with the ball ricocheting off the winger and being saved by Long.

A couple of Wimbledon corners caused hearts to flutter at the other end, but it was the hosts who finally forged ahead just before the break.

Lowe slide in to win back possession and feed CLOSE, whose 25-yard effort skimmed off the wet surface and into the bottom corner.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

AFC Wimbledon 0


The mood was buoyant inside Fratton Park at the break, but it soon soured when the visitors levelled just after the restart.

There was plenty of controversy about the goal, however, with AFC Wimbledon awarded a penalty after the ball bounced up and struck Christian Burgess on the arm.

Referee Craig Hicks decided it was deliberate and Taylor smashed the resulting penalty into the roof of the net.

There was growing frustration from fans and players alike, as a few more decisions started to go against them.

Jackett made a double switch just past the hour mark to try to inject some fresh impetus into his side.

Chaplin and Lowe were the men to make way, with Oliver Hawkins and Kennedy coming on to replace them.

Hicks looked to have ensured he was off next season’s Christmas card list for anyone living in Portsmouth, but the official was soon back in the home side’s good books.

He spotted Barry Fuller’s shove on Pitman inside the box and, much to the delight of the Fratton faithful, pointed to the spot.

It was PITMAN who stepped up to take the penalty and confidently sent Long the wrong way with a thunderous finish.

Wimbledon almost hit back, as an angled drive from former Blues winger Andy Barcham flashed across the face of goal.

But Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to ensure a return to winning ways in League One.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Evans, Chaplin (Hawkins 64), Lowe (Kennedy 64); Pitman (c)
Goals: Close 45, Pitman 72 (pen)
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, May, Bennett, Main

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): Long; Fuller (c), Oshilaja, Charles, Meades; Trotter, Soares (Kaja 78), Abdou, Barcham; Taylor, McDonald
Goals: Taylor 50 (pen)
Booked: Soares, Barcham, Fuller, Trotter
Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Kennedy, Hartigan, Egan, Francomb

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 18,644 (728 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 112017
 

Match Report

League One


Blackpool 2    3 Portsmouth

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

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 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)

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS


Portsmouth FC

Jul 012017
 

Match Report

Friendly


 

Salisbury    0

 


 

Portsmouth    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

Salisbury 0

Portsmouth 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
 

Ben Close

Loan : Portsmouth – Eastleigh


Ben Close


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 Ben Close

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