Feb 202021
 


LOST (H) League 1
Portsmouth 0
Blackpool 1


Pompey were caught by a late sucker punch, as Blackpool claimed all three points in a dull contest at Fratton Park.

The hosts controlled possession, but aside from a Rasmus Nicolaisen effort that was cleared from the line, rarely threatened to score.

It was equally uneventful at the other end of the pitch, but Jerry Yates found the target in the closing stages to ensure the Blues’ promotion bid stuttered again.

There were two changes from the side that were beaten on the road against Bristol Rovers earlier in the week.

Marcus Harness and Nicolaisen both came into the starting line-up, with George Byers dropping to the bench and James Bolton missing out with a knock.

Much like the reverse fixture earlier in the season, the first half was extremely short on clear-cut opportunities.

But there was almost an early opener for the visitors after Craig MacGillivray got down to parry clear Ellis Simms’ angled drive.

The ball ran did not run safe, though, and with Yates about to tuck it away, Charlie Daniels slid in to make a crucial block.

Nicolaisen then tried to reach a corner from the left-back at the other end of the pitch, but was only able to nod wide.

The visitors were unhappy with some of the decisions from the referee, with Luke Garbutt particularly aggrieved to be shown a yellow card following a late challenge on Ronan Curtis.

Pompey were growing into the contest and were left wondering how they failed to take the lead on 29 minutes.

Curtis swung a free-kick into the box from wide on the right and Harness’ first time effort was blocked by Garbutt.

But he was able to collect the loose ball and tee-up Nicolaisen, whose goal-bound effort was cleared from the line by James Husband.

It was the Blues looking the more likely to break the deadlock as the interval approached, although the final pass was lacking.

Sean Raggett was not quite able to make a clean contact with an ambitious over-head effort, while a dangerous Ryan Williams delivery would not land for a team-mate.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackpool 0


The game failed to explode into life after the restart, with Pompey seeing plenty of the ball, but unable to break through the Blackpool back-line.

Neither side were providing much of an attacking threat, with the underworked keepers probably glad that it was a fairly mild February afternoon.

The first change arrived just past the hour mark, with Byers on for Harness to provide the hosts with some fresh impetus.

Curtis sent a decent cross into the box soon after, but it was Husband who got there first to head clear.

But for all of the possession the Blues were having, they were not able to find a path through to Maxwell’s goal.

A double switch arrived in an attempt to change that on 77 minutes, with John Marquis and Williams replaced by Ellis Harrison and Jordy Hiwula.

Blackpool had not caused any problems, but launched a quick break moments later and MacGillivray dived to his right to parry clear Elliot Embleton’s curler.

The danger was not over, however, and the keeper recovered swiftly to also repel the follow-up attempt from Garbutt.

But he could not stop Yates from breaking the deadlock on 82 minutes, with the striker running half the length of the pitch, side-stepping a challenge and drilling a shot into the bottom corner.

Blackpool tried to use up as much time as possible as the seconds ticked down and Pompey were unable to find an equaliser.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Daniels; Curtis, Naylor (c), Cannon, Harness (Byers 61); Williams (Hiwula 77); Marquis (Harrison 77)
Booked: Cannon, Curtis
Subs not used: Ward, Whatmough, Brown, White

Blackpool (4-4-2): Maxwell (c); Gabriel, Ballard, Husband, Garbutt; Ward (Virtue 85), Stewart, Dougall, Kaikai (Embleton 75); Simms (Mitchell 46), Yates
Goals: Yates 82
Booked: Garbutt, Simms, Gabriel
Subs not used: Sims, Turton, Thorniley, Lubala

Referee: Sam Allison

Portsmouth FC Season 20/21

Dec 012020
 

League 1




Pompey’s unbeaten away record in the league finally came to an end as they were narrowly beaten in a lifeless clash with Blackpool.

It was a contest befitting the soulless atmosphere inside a mostly empty Bloomfield Road, with hardly any chances at either end of the pitch.

But it was the Tangerines able to celebrate all three points, courtesy of a second half strike from Keshi Anderson.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that drew with Oxford in the last league outing seven days earlier.

Ellis Harrison dropped to the bench to make way for Ryan Williams, who was positioned out on the right, with Marcus Harness joining John Marquis up front.

There was not much to trouble either keeper in an opening 45 minutes that was extremely short on anything that could truthfully be called exciting.

Blackpool dominated possession and territory in the early stages, but were unable to penetrate the Blues back-line.

A Sullay Kaikai effort was bravely blocked by Sean Raggett, while Tom Naylor slid in to prevent Anderson capitalising on the loose ball.

Craig MacGillivray then comfortably dealt with a James Husband header after Kaikai’s corner had been flicked on for the defender.

Pompey began passing the ball around nicely as they settled into the contest, without making any inroads in the final third.

The first decent chance came at the opposite end on 24 minutes, with MacGillivray turning CJ Hamilton’s angled drive into the side netting.

As the half continued, the visitors began posing a few more problems, although could not quite find that final killer ball.

Harness did brilliantly to control Andy Cannon’s pass, only to see his attempted threaded ball for Marquis intercepted.

Their best opportunity arrived when Ethan Robson failed to clear inside his own box and Marquis dug out a shot that rolled narrowly past the post.

MacGillivray made a simple save to deny Jerry Yates as the seconds ticked away, then came quickly off his line to beat Hamilton to the ball.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 0


Any hopes that there would be an improvement in the drama levels straight after the restart were quickly extinguished.

Instead, the game continued in niggly fashion, with plenty of appeals from both sides for free-kicks – most of which were ignored by referee Joshua Smith.

Jackett tried to inject some fresh energy into his side with a double substitution just past the hour mark.

Ben Close and Harrison were the men chosen to lift the visitors, with Cannon and Ronan Curtis making way.

Williams got himself into the path of Hamilton’s shot on 64 minutes, while Daniel Ballard was then booked for fouling Marquis as the Blues tried to launch a quick break.

But Blackpool then broke the deadlock moments later, with Yates wisely leaving Hamilton’s low centre for Anderson to drive into the net.

Cam Pring soon came on for Williams and took up residence just in front of Lee Brown on the left-hand side.

The Blues were trying to find a way back and Marquis hit two efforts off target, the second coming after Naylor had found him with a fine lofted pass.

Pompey were huffing and puffing in search of an equaliser, but Chris Maxwell was still a virtual spectator between the sticks.

Blackpool were at least forcing MacGillivray to get his gloves dirty and the keeper got down low to his right to push clear Kaikai’s shot.

The game was threatening to end with a whimper, but Marquis finally forced Maxwell into action in stoppage-time.

And after the keeper pushed away his shot, the resulting corner saw a spot of pinball in the box before the hosts were finally able to clear the danger.

Blackpool (4-4-2): Maxwell (c); Turton, Ekpiteta, Ballard, Husband; Hamilton, Robson, Dougall, Kaikai; Yates (Madine 82), Anderson (Woodburn 76)
Goals: Anderson 64
Booked: Ballard, Madine, Kaikai
Subs not used: Sims, Gabriel, Gretarsson, Mitchell, Kemp

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Williams (Pring 66), Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 61), Curtis (Harrison 61); Marquis, Harness
Booked: Marquis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Nicolaisen, Hiwula

Referee: Joshua Smith

Portsmouth FC

Aug 312019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey had to settle for a share of the spoils at Blackpool, despite Marcus Harness netting his third goal for the club.

The visitors improved as the first half progressed and deservedly went ahead through the winger’s neat finish.

But the Seasiders were much better following the interval and Armand Gnaduillet’s header ensured they claimed a point.

There were chances for both sides to grab a winner after that, with Gnanduillet and John Marquis going close for their respective clubs.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at QPR in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

It was a straight swap, as Andy Cannon replaced Gareth Evans in midfield, with Tom Naylor taking the captain’s armband.

The latter remained stationed in the centre of defence, as Christian Burgess continued in a right-back role.

It was a blustery day in the north-west and the windy conditions were clearly making life difficult for both sides.

But Blackpool started brightly and delivered plenty of early crosses that had to be dealt with by the Blues back-line.

Paul Downing conceded a foul in a dangerous position and took responsibility by heading behind the resulting free-kick.

The visitors soon started to move through the gears and Ronan Curtis had a shot blocked before sending in a ball that was just out of reach for the diving Marquis.

Some neat Harness footwork and sheer persistence from Andy Cannon then provided a chance for the latter, who prodded wide.

Blackpool threatened at the other end, with Sullay Kaikai sliding in and not quite able to meet James Husband’s pass.

But it was Pompey who broke the deadlock on 17 minutes after Marquis had done well to catch Curtis Tilt in possession.

Ryan Edwards made a good recovery challenge on the striker, only for the ball to land for HARNESS to flight home with his left foot.

The visitors looked well on top and Marquis soon had a shot deflected narrowly wide after racing through.

A cross from Ross McCrorie was then just behind Harness, who could not get enough power on his header to trouble Jak Alnwick in the Blackpool goal.

Both sides picked up a booking each, with McCrorie penalised for a foul on Kaikai, while Edwards was punished for a cynical tug on Marquis.

There was a scare for Pompey when the former collided with Tilt and fell into the advertising hoardings, but the Scottish midfielder was able to continue.

It was Harness who was replaced just before the break, however, with the winger appearing to limp off, despite not collecting any obvious injury.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 1


Both sides took time to get back up to full speed following the restart, with a few loose passes halting any attacking fluidity.

Burgess had to make a key challenge inside the box on 54 minutes to prevent Gnanduillet from getting a shot away.

There were half chances at each end for Kaikai and Marquis, but neither keeper was being given much to do.

Blackpool found themselves level just before the hour mark, however, as Liam Feeney’s fine cross was converted by a firm Gnanduillet header.

And the striker almost scored a second moments later after meeting Husband’s centre, but Naylor and Craig MacGillivray combined to divert the ball behind.

Pompey were under pressure and Jackett made his second switch on 65 minutes, with earlier substitute Evans replaced by Ellis Harrison.

The hosts were causing plenty of problems and after one corner had been turned behind, a second was headed just past the post by the dangerous Gnanduillet.

It was then the Blues’ turn to go close to taking the lead on 70 minutes following good work down the left by Curtis.

He cut inside and found Cannon and after the midfielder’s blocked attempt fell for Marquis, his shot was kept out by a fine Alnwick save.

Pompey’s final change came in the centre of midfield on 76 minutes, with Anton Walkes on for McCrorie.

So it was a worrying sight to see Curtis hobbling along after picking up a knock, although the winger was fine to continue following some treatment on the pitch.

He soon collected a threaded pass from Naylor and advanced towards goal, flashing in a dangerous cross-shot that flashed past the post.

Both sides were looking capable of scoring the goal that would turn one point into three, but ultimately had to settle for a draw.

Blackpool (4-3-1-2): Alnwick; Turton, Edwards, Tilt, Husband; Feeney, Spearing (c) (Guy 81), Thompson; Kaikai (Virtue 85); Gnanduillet, Nuttall
Goals: Gnanduillet 58
Booked: Edwards, Spearing
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Bushiri, Heneghan, Shaw, Hardie

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Burgess, Downing, Naylor (c), Haunstrup; McCrorie (Walkes 76), Close; Harness (Evans 40 (Harrison 65)), Cannon, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Harness 17
Booked: McCrorie, Haunstrup
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Maloney, Pitman

Referee: Chris Sarginson

Attendance: 10,605 (1,816 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 122019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey suffered their first defeat of 2019 as they lost by a single goal to Blackpool in a largely turgid encounter at Fratton Park.

The action intensified following a soporific opening 45 minutes, but it was the visitors who struck through Chris Long.

And they held on for the closing stages as the Blues threw men forward in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to find a leveller.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that secured a dramatic FA Cup victory against Norwich the previous week.

Andre Green – who came off the bench to net a stoppage-time winner at Carrow Road – was rewarded with a return to the starting line-up.

He replaced Ben Thompson following the midfielder’s recall by Millwall, meaning Gareth Evans dropped further back.

The first half was a drab affair that was greeted with more yawns than cheers from another packed Fratton crowd.

A Jay Spearing free-kick caused a few problems, but when the ball made its way to Callum Guy, he fired well wide.

Ben Heneghan then did well to turn the ball behind and stop Brett Pitman from capitalising on Jack Whatmough’s long pass.

A corner from Evans was nervously punched clear by Christoffer Mafoumbi on 20 minutes, but the Blackpool back-line were able to clear.

It was the visitors who looked more likely to break the deadlock during a bright 10-minute spell towards the end of the half.

Armand Gnaduillet had two chances in quick succession, but swiped at thin air from a Liam Feeney delivery and then headed a cross from Donervon Daniels straight into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

And a second decent ball into the box from Daniels was turned over by Nathan Delfouneso at the near post.

Pompey finally started to threaten just before the break and a fine Pitman cross was just out of reach for Ronan Curtis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackpool 0


Jamal Lowe had a shot deflected behind as the Blues began the second half with a lot more energy and attacking intent.

Blackpool then survived a couple of corners, while Nick Anderton would have been relieved to see Pitman’s cross evade a blue-shirted player after making a mess of his clearance.

There was an injury-enforced substitution on 55 minutes – but it was not any of the players who had to come off.

Referee Kevin Johnson limped forlornly to the sidelines to swap roles with fourth official Graham Kane.

Pompey continued to look more of a threat going forward, but their moves kept breaking down in the final third.

A good example was when Lowe cut the ball back for Green on the edge of the box, only for the loanee to take an air kick.

That proved to be his last contribution of note, with January signing Andy Cannon coming on for his debut on 64 minutes.

And the new arrival was soon involved in a lovely move involving Matt Clarke, Lowe and Curtis, with the latter seeing his effort blocked.

But it was Blackpool who took the lead on 75 minutes when Gnanduillet flicked the ball on for substitute Long to fire home.

Jackett immediately made his second change, with David Wheeler joining the forward line and Evans making way.

The hosts started to apply more pressure and Marc Bola bravely blocked Lowe’s drive, while Clarke’s cut-back somehow evaded his team-mates queuing up in the box.

Anton Walkes then swung in a fine left-footed cross, but Pitman’s glancing header was held by Christoffer Mafoumbi.

And the goalkeeper made a better save on 88 minutes to keep out Clarke’s hooked effort from a Lowe centre.

Pompey continued to throw everything at the Seasiders as the seconds ticked down, but they held on to take the three points back to the north-west.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Evans (Wheeler 75), Naylor; Lowe, Green (Cannon 64), Curtis; Pitman (c)
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, May, Dennis

Blackpool (4-1-4-1): Mafoumbi; Daniels, Heneghan, Anderton, Bola; Spearing (c); Delfouneso (Long 68), Thompson, Guy (Pritchard 82), Feeney (Nottingham 88); Gnanduillet
Goals: Long 75
Subs not used: Boney, Bunney, O’Sullivan, Kirby

Referee: Kevin Johnson (Graham Kane 55)

Attendance: 18,403 (247 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 112018
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Ronan Curtis bagged a brace as Pompey continued their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory against Blackpool.

The summer signing netted in each half, as the visitors appeared to be cruising towards three points at a grey Bloomfield Road.

Mark Cullen’s late effort meant the ending was perhaps nervier than it might have been and the same player also had a goal disallowed, as the Blues held on for what was a deserved win.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Luton on home soil on the opening day.

With Brett Pitman on the bench, Gareth Evans skippered the side and lined up alongside Ben Close in a 4-1-4-1 system.

Oli Hawkins was handed the striking role, as Brandon Haunstrup and the injured Nathan Thompson made way.

The stands were sparsely populated in all but the away end, as the Seasiders support staged protests against their club’s owners outside the ground.

But those who had made their way through the turnstiles almost witnessed a goal in the opening seconds, with Joe Dodoo striking the post from a narrow angle.

The danger was not over for the visitors, however, as Nathan Delfouneso’s follow-up effort had to be blocked by Matt Clarke.

A promising spell of possession soon led to a chance at the other end and an Evans cross was headed narrowly wide by Hawkins.

But the deadlock was broken on nine minutes and it was a moment to remember for CURTIS as he opened his Blues account.

The Blackpool defence failed to deal with Hawkins’ header, allowing the summer signing to pick the ball up and force it home, with Mark Howard’s hand not forceful enough to divert it wide.

Pompey were in control and looking more likely to add to the scoring as the half progressed, although there were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities.

Curtis and Hawkins both glanced wide from dangerous deliveries into the box, while a tightly-marked Jamal Lowe was unable to get a shot away following good work from Close.

The Blues started to look more dangerous as the interval approached, though, and Howard was forced into action to deny Curtis.

Evans then whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left that a stretching Hawkins was inches away from connecting with.

It had been a quiet start for Craig MacGillivray and he was not overly troubled by Chris Taylor’s attempt from a tight angle.

Curtis went much closer on 38 minutes, surging through the centre of the pitch and unleashing a strike from outside the box that crashed against the post.

There were a couple of half-chances for the hosts before the whistle, although nothing to overly trouble MacGillivray.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 1


Blackpool had been poor before the break, but did look more assured following the restart, albeit without creating much.

The town’s air show was causing more of a nuisance, with hair-raising stunts overhead meaning it was often difficult to focus on what was happening on the pitch.

There was a booking for Evans for clattering into Taylor, while the midfielder then saw his free-kick nodded wide by Curtis.

The hosts did have a decent opening just before the hour mark, although Delfouneso could not convert Marc Bola’s low cross as he slid in.

Instead Pompey went straight back up the other end to double their advantage after a long ball had been headed on by Hawkins.

It was CURTIS who picked the ball up, advancing on goal and neatly slotting it through the legs of Howard.

There was more good news when Danny Rose replaced Close on 66 minutes, with the midfielder making his first competitive appearance since suffering a leg break at the end of December.

MacGillivray had a couple of comfortable saves to make as Blackpool tried to find a way back, while Joe Bunney drilled narrowly wide.

But the Blues did not look under too much threat and David Wheeler was introduced for his debut, with Lowe the player to make way.

Blackpool did have a goal on 81 minutes, though, and it came just seconds after Evans had volleyed narrowly over.

The ball was pumped up the pitch and went straight into the path of substitute Cullen, who lifted it home under pressure from Clarke.

Taylor and John O’Sullivan both had chances as the seconds ticked down, while Cullen did find the net again – only for his celebrations to be cut short by the linesman’s flag.

It was a heart-stopping moment for those travelling fans in the North Stand, but the final whistle came moments later to spark jubilant scenes.

Blackpool (4-3-3): Howard; Turton, Heneghan, O’Connor, Bola (Gnanduillett 72); Taylor, Spearing (c), Pritchard (O’Sullivan 60); Delfouneso, Dodoo (Cullen 60), Bunney
Goals: Cullen 81
Booked: O’Connor
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Thompson, Sinclair-Smith

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe (Wheeler 79), Evans (c), Close (Rose 66), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Curtis 9, 59
Booked: Evans, Naylor
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Pitman

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 4,154 (1,638 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 242018
 


League 1
Fratton Park

Portsmouth 0
Blackpool 2


Pompey conceded a goal in each half as they slipped to defeat against Blackpool in a dire contest at Fratton Park.

The visitors were not exactly sparkling, not that there would be much concern from them as they headed back north with three points in the bag.

Sloppy defending cost the Blues once more, with Kyle Vassell and Clark Robertson taking advantage to find the net.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that secured victory at Fleetwood earlier in the week.

That meant Matt Clarke continued to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence, while a fit-again Kal Naismith had to be content with a place on the bench.

The first half was an instantly forgettable affair, with both sides guilty of a lack of quality and a poor range of passing.

It was not without chances, though, and Vassell dragged a shot past the post after Conor Chaplin had lost possession in the centre.

Jamal Lowe whipped in a decent cross at the other end of the pitch, but a diving Oli Hawkins could not quite make a connection.

He did get on the end of another Lowe delivery on 15 minutes, although this time the ball was diverted over.

The striker was left punching the turf after going down injured soon after, but was thankfully able to run it off.

Blackpool then had a chance from a Jay Spearing corner that centre-back Robertson glanced past the post.

Lowe had earlier been booked for kicking the ball away, although Vassell somehow escaped the same punishment for a blatant off-the-ball trip on Christian Burgess.

Hawkins should at least have tested Seasiders keeper Joe Lumley on 31 minutes, only to hook wide when Dion Donohue’s deep free-kick was headed down by Clarke.

Vasell was more clinical just before the interval, however, calmly slotting the ball home after stealing possession from Burgess.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Blackpool 1


Anyone expecting an increase in entertainment following the interval was in for a disappointment, as the action continued to meander along.

That was no concern for Blackpool, though, who were more than happy to protect their slender lead.

A promising move involving Lowe and Anton Walkes eventually broke down just inside the visitors’ box, while Clarke slid on to deny Jimmy Ryan at the other end.

Jackett made his first switch just before the hour mark, with Kennedy withdrawn for the fresh legs of Connor Ronan.

With things not improving a second change soon followed, as Naismith was brought on for Hawkins, who still appeared to be affected by his earlier knock.

But it soon got worse for the Blues, with Ronan’s clearance only finding Jay Spearing, whose cross from the right was nodded home from close range by an unmarked Robertson.

A late fightback was not really looking on the cards and it might have got worse, with Curtis Tilt only able to head Ryan’s centre straight into Luke McGee’s arms.

Plenty of fans took an opportunity to beat the traffic, with a steady stream heading for the exits as the minutes ticked away.

But they did not miss much, as the only cheers were of the ironic variety when Pompey finally had a late shot on target.

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Donohue; Lowe, May, Close, Kennedy (Ronan 56); Chaplin, Hawkins (Naismith 61)
Booked: Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Deslandes, Smith

Blackpool (4-2-3-1): Lumley; Turton, Tilt, Robertson, Daniel (Taylor 90+2); Spearing, Ryan (c); Mellor, Delfouneso, Solomon-Otabor (Philliskirk 68); Vassell (Gnanduillet 83)
Goals: Vassell 41, Robertson 63
Booked: Ryan
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Aimson, D’Almeida, Agyei

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 17,895 (264 away fans)

Portsmouth FC Season 17/18

Nov 112017
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 142017
 


League 2
Fratton Park

Portsmouth 2
Blackpool 0


Evans and Doyle fire Blues to victory.

Goals from Gareth Evans and Eoin Doyle ensured Pompey beat Blackpool to record a second successive victory.

They totally dominated the first half and probably deserved to lead by more than Evans’ clinical finish.

It was a tighter affair after the break, however, and there were a few nervy moments before the hard-working Doyle opened his account deep into stoppage-time to secure another three-point haul.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that had beaten Accrington at the same venue less than four days earlier.

And he was rewarded with a bright start for the Blues, who looked to attack their mid-table opponents from the off.

They almost broke the deadlock after just five minutes, only for Gary Roberts to turn Eoin Doyle’s cut-back against the crossbar.

And Roberts then combined well with Kyle Bennett, but the former’s pass was cut-out before it could reach Pompey’s lone striker.

Eoin Doyle did connect with a cross – again from Roberts – moments later and sent a header flying just past the post.

The hosts’ attacking quartet were linking up extremely well, while the impressive Amine Linganzi saw a shot saved by Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe.

There was not too much happening at the other end, although David Forde was at his commanding best to claim a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

The keeper then had to get down low to his right to push a drive from Kyle Vassell behind for a corner.

But it was the Blues who looked the more threatening side throughout the first half and they deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes.

Enda Stevens’ delivery from the left was missed by Linganzi, but fell for EVANS to lash into the roof of the net.

The advantage was almost doubled a few moments later, with Roberts not quite able to guide a cross on target with his head.

And Eoin Doyle was then inches away from connecting with a superb low cross from Evans that dissected the visitors’ defence.

It was the Irishman who might have added another goal just before the break, but he fired over after Roberts had brilliantly cushioned a long ball forward.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Blackpool 0


Pompey continued to push forward following the interval and Slocombe was just able to beat Eoin Doyle to Matt Clarke’s long pass.

The visitors did start to have more of an impact as the second half progressed and one corner led to a scramble in the Blues box before Evans eventually hacked clear.

Chances were certainly harder to find since the restart, though, and one acrobatic effort from Christian Burgess flew high over the bar.

Cook made his first change on 68 minutes and it was like for like, as Jamal Lowe made way for Carl Baker.

Blackpool then carved out an excellent opening when Jordan Flores’ low cross found Brad Potts at the far post.

It looked like the midfielder would draw the visitors level, but Stevens launched himself at the ball to make a brilliant block.

Evans had received treatment for a shoulder injury earlier in the half and had to be withdrawn on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith taking his place at right-back.

Pompey then had a chance to strengthen their lead following a quick break, but Baker was dispossessed before he could shoot.

Jack Whatmough came on for Bennett in the Blues’ final change late on, although for the second game in a row the fourth official initially displayed the wrong number.

And Blackpool then went close to levelling from a corner, but Tom Aldred’s bullet header flew narrowly wide.

The atmosphere understandably grew tenser as the seconds ticked down and Blackpool delivered more crosses into the box.

But with the Seasiders committing men forward, the hosts took advantage to make sure of all three points.

Eoin DOYLE did well to hold off a couple of challenges and find Baker, before collecting the return pass and slotting home his first goal for the club.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans (Naismith 75), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 68), Roberts, Bennett (Whatmough 83); E.Doyle
Goals: Evans 27, E.Doyle 90+5
Booked: Burgess, Roberts, Bennett
Subs not used: O’Brien, Rose, Chaplin, Hunt

Blackpool (3-5-2): Slocombe; Aimson, Aldred (c), Robertson; Mellor, Potts (Osayi-Samuel 81), Payne (Matt 81), Flores, Daniel; Delfouneso, Vassell (Odelusi 81)
Booked: Mellor
Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Gnanduillet, Cullen

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 15,132 (216 away fans)

Portsmouth FC Season 16/17

Sep 272016
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 2




More away day Blues

Pompey’s poor away form continued as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Blackpool.

Just three days after their Fratton Park rout of Barnet, it was back down to earth with a bump.

They recovered from falling behind to Kelvin Mellor’s header, thanks to an impressive Conor Chaplin leveller.

But some sloppy second half defending allowed Brad Potts and Kyle Vassell to secure all three points for the Tangerines.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat the Bees so emphatically at the weekend.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start in a game that was played out amidst an eerily-quiet atmosphere at a sparsely-populated Bloomfield Road.

Enda Stevens delivered a dangerous low cross that Dean Lyness did well to gather in the opening stages.

Gary Roberts then just failed to meet a Carl Baker delivery, while Michael Doyle’s drive was deflected safely into the arms of the Tangerines keeper.

There were also long-range attempts from Kal Naismith and Baker that both narrowly failed to find their intended target.

So it came as a surprise when Blackpool forged ahead against the run of play on 18 minutes.

David Forde charged from his line to meet Jack Payne’s free-kick, but Mellor got there first to head into the unguarded net.

The goal seemed to shake the Blues, who suddenly became sloppy in possession and looked increasingly susceptible on the counter-attack.

One good move saw them win a corner, only for Blackpool to break straight up the other end of the pitch and almost double their advantage, with Vassell’s effort clipping the outside of the post.

The powerful presence of Armand Gnanduillet was also causing problems and Doyle was forced to intervene when the striker got past both Christian Burgess and Tom Davies.

But then, for the second time in the first half, it was the team on the back foot that found the net.

And it was a goal worth the long journey up from the south coast, with CHAPLIN scoring in spectacular fashion on 34 minutes.

Naismith failed to connect with Roberts’ cross, but Danny Rose did and when his shot was blocked, the ball spun up invitingly for Pompey’s teenage striker to convert with an acrobatic over-head effort.

Blackpool did have a chance to restore their lead before the interval, only for Forde to get down to his left and keep out Potts’ drive.


Half Time

Blackpool 1

Portsmouth 1


Chaplin tried another ambitious attempt seconds after the restart, only this time the ball went out for a Blackpool throw.

It was closer when the visitors won a corner moments later, but Roberts’ delivery was just out of reach for Davies at the far post.

Instead they found themselves behind on 49 minutes, thanks to some more sloppy defending from the Blues.

Blackpool stole possession on the left and although Forde palmed out Vassell’s cross, the ball landed at the feet of Potts for a tap-in.

Pompey tried to find an instant response and Roberts flung himself at a Stevens cross, but could not quite squeeze his header past Lyness.

They went close again on 64 minutes when Baker was fouled 25 yards out and Naismith’s curling free-kick was deflected narrowly wide.

But the Blues then gifted their opponents another goal moments later after Doyle passed the back to Davies.

The centre-back was caught in possession by Vassell, who burst forward before slotting the ball past Forde.

And the same player almost added a fourth goal within seconds, but this time headed over the crossbar.

Cook immediately made his first substitution, with Baker making way for Kyle Bennett in Pompey’s attack.

And Michael Smith then replaced Stevens, as Pompey tried to force something by throwing on another striker.

There were half-chances for both as the seconds ticked down, with the former flashing a shot wide and the second forcing a save from Lyness.

But there was still time for late drama at the other end when Vassell skipped past Doyle and burst through on goal.

Forde charged from his line and appeared to take both ball and man, with the linesman flagging for a penalty, only to be overruled by referee David Webb.

The Blues breathed a sigh of relief, but there was no cause for any smiles as the issue of their contrasting home and away fortunes continued.

Blackpool (4-4-1-1): Lyness; Mellor, Aldred, Robertson (Aimson 46), Taylor (c); Potts (Cain 90+3), Payne, McAlister, Philliskirk; Vassell; Gnanduillet (Matt 76)
Goals: Mellor 18, Potts 49, Vassell 65
Booked: Gnanduillet
Subs not used: Boney, Yeates, Osayi-Samuel, Cullen

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens (Smith 78); Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Bennett 67), Roberts, Naismith; Chaplin (Main 84)
Goals: Chaplin 34
Booked: Bennett, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Lalkovic

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 3,055 (737 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC