Sep 282019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Brett Pitman went from villain to hero, as Pompey battled to a hard-fought victory over Bolton at Fratton Park.

The striker missed a penalty in the second half, although put that behind him to head home the winning goal.

There was growing frustration from the home fans during a disjointed opening 45 minutes, but their side were much better after the break to seal the three points.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were beaten in the south coast derby earlier in the week.

It was an enforced switch, with the injured Oli Hawkins replaced in the centre of defence by Sean Raggett.

There was room on the bench for a fit-again Marcus Harness – following a thigh problem – and the previously suspended Ellis Harrison.

Pompey had an early chance when Brandon Haunstrup’s corner was nodded back by John Marquis for Pitman, whose header was claimed under the crossbar by Remi Matthews.

There was then an injury scare when Raggett and Tom Naylor collided, although the Blues skipper was able to continue following some on-field treatment.

Chances for the hosts were at a premium during the first half and there was growing frustration at their play in the final third.

It was Craig MacGillivray who was given more to do, although a weak Will Buckley effort was comfortably dealt with.

Marquis and Ronan Curtis combined well at the other end, with Ryan Williams not quite able to reach the latter’s pass before Matthews gathered.

Curtis then had a decent opportunity when Pitman dummied Marquis’ pass, but took too long to get a shot away, allowing the Wanderers defence to deal with the danger.

And the visitors soon started to pose more of a threat themselves, with MacGillivray doing well to parry clear Adam Chicksen’s drive.

Thibaud Verlinden then lifted in a cross that was just out of reach for Daryl Murphy in the centre of the Blues box.

They should have been ahead just before the break, with an unmarked Will Buckley unable to send Murphy’s delivery on target.

But there was still time for one more chance for the hosts, which came after Jack Hobbs had been booked following a scything challenge on Williams.

Pitman stepped up to take the free-kick from 25 yards out and his goal-bound effort was repelled by a one-handed Matthews save.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Bolton Wanderers 0


There was a long-awaited return for Harness at the start of the second half, with the winger taking Williams’ place on the right.

Pompey had a dangerous attack soon after the restart, when Marquis shrugged off several challenges to bundle his way through the Bolton back-line.

But Matthews came bravely off his line to halt his path to goal and had to receive treatment following a clash between the two.

There was still a lack of fluency on display, however, and it took a Bolton error to provide the hosts with an excellent chance to break the deadlock.

Marquis received a pass from Curtis and was tripped by Hobbs, with referee Darren Drysdale pointing straight to the spot.

Pitman stepped up, but the usually reliable penalty taker saw his fierce effort cannon back off the base of the post.

A second Blues substitution followed just past the hour mark, with Curtis making way for Gareth Evans.

Matthews then flapped at a Haunstrup corner, but got enough on the ball to get it clear, before Harness fizzed a low shot narrowly past the post.

And Pompey finally made that growing pressure count on 67 minutes, with a goal that had been coming.

James Bolton sent a cross into the box from deep on the right and PITMAN hung in the air before guiding home a perfectly-placed header.

With the visitors having to commit men forward to chase an equaliser, it ensured the game became a lot more open.

Some dangerous deliveries from either wing had to be dealt with, while Hobbs’ intervention prevented Pitman from having a clear shot on goal.

And Ben Close almost wrapped things up late on, making space for himself with a neat touch before drilling inches wide.

Thy then looked to keep possession in Bolton’s half as the seconds ticked down, although a display of five additional moments led to some audible groans.

Ali Crawford’s 30-yard free-kick was not too far off target, while Close fired a good chance over at the other end soon after.

But the Blues held on through the closing stages and the final whistle was met by a mixture of relief and jubilation.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Haunstrup; Williams (Harness 46), Naylor (c), Close, Curtis (Evans 62); Pitman, Marquis
Goals: Pitman 66
Booked: Curtis, Close
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, McCrorie, Cannon, Harrison

Bolton (4-1-4-1): Matthews; Emmanuel (L.Murphy 67), Hobbs, Zouma, Chicksen; Bridcutt (c); Buckley, Lowe, Crawford, Verlinden (Politic 60); D.Murphy
Booked: Hobbs, Lowe
Subs not used: Alexander, Boon, Senior, Graham, Weir

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 18,382 (824 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 172019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey salvaged a dramatic point against Burton, courtesy of Brett Pitman’s stoppage-time penalty.

Joe Sbarra and Kieran Wallace – the latter with the help of a huge deflection – struck for the visitors in the opening stages.

But the Brewers had to play much of the contest with just 10 men following two quick bookings for John-Joe O’Toole.

Ronan Curtis pulled a goal back before the interval and Pitman converted from the spot right at the death following a foul on Ellis Harrison.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Blackpool in the last third tier outing at the end of August.

Pitman and summer signing Ryan Williams were both handed their first league starts, with Andy Cannon dropping to the bench and Marcus Harness out injured.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Fratton forward Dennis Edwards, who passed away the previous week.

The hosts got off to a dreadful start and found themselves two goals down inside the opening six minutes.

Lucas Akins did well down the right and passed across the box to Wallace. His shot was blocked by Williams, but the ball fell for Sbarra to slot home.

And it soon got even worse for the Blues, with Wallace’s long-range effort taking a wicked deflection off Paul Downing’s knee to leave Craig MacGillivray wrong-footed.

Fratton Park was left stunned and the home side did not immediately look like getting back into the contest.

But there was a lifeline when O’Toole picked up two yellow cards in quick succession to leave Burton with just 10 men.

John Marquis felt it should have been a straight red after getting tugged to the turf by the defender, although referee Craig Hicks decided there was a covering defender.

Ross McCrorie then swung a cross into the box from the left and skipper Tom Naylor rose highest to head narrowly wide.

Marquis tried to wriggle his way through on goal moments later, but again O’Toole clumsily brought him down.

Hicks played the advantage and it almost paid dividends, with Pitman thundering a shot against the crossbar.

But the official then called O’Toole over to send him for an early bath, forcing Sbarra to be sacrificed for an extra defender.

The hosts tried to make their numerical advantage count and a stretching Curtis saw his header held under the crossbar by Albion keeper Kieran O’Hara.

Akins was still causing problems at the other end, though, and saw off both Naylor and MacGillivray from a long clearance, but there was nobody to meet his cut-back.

It had been a disjointed display from the Blues, but they found themselves back in the contest on 39 minutes.

Burgess’ cross caught a deflection and looped into the box, where Marquis’ header was saved by O’Hara.

But CURTIS was quickest to the loose ball and lashed it into the roof of the net to reduce Pompey’s deficit.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Burton Albion 2


There was a change of system and personnel at the start of the second half, with Gareth Evans replacing Williams and the Blues playing with three at the back.

And the newcomer almost provided an equaliser on 50 minutes, sending in a cross that was met by Curtis, forcing O’Hara to tip it over the bar.

Ben Close then had an effort blocked by Wallace after Burgess’ delivery had been turned back into the centre by Curtis.

The visitors were briefly down to nine men just past the hour mark when substitute Colin Daniel received a head injury, but the defender returned with a bandage on.

Pompey, meanwhile, were being undone by too many sloppy passes that were halting their momentum in the final third.

And when Evans did whip in a dangerous delivery, Curtis and Pitman got in each other’s way as they both tried to attack the ball.

It had been a difficult evening for McCrorie and the on-loan midfielder made way for Cannon on 70 minutes.

Pompey did start to pick up the pace, however, and when O’Hara palmed away Curtis’ shot, Brandon Haunstrup’s fierce follow-up was blocked.

And the keeper made an even better stop moments later to keep out a goal-bound Curtis header from Haunstrup’s cross.

That was the left-back’s final contribution to the cause, though, as he was withdrawn for Harrison in an attacking move.

Cannon thought he should have won a penalty after going down under Akins’ challenge and Hicks took a moment before deciding there had been no foul.

Some patient build-up play then ended with Close slipping a pass through to Marquis, who spun and fired narrowly wide.

There were four minutes of stoppage-time for the Brewers to survive and they almost held on for the win.

But when Pitman lifted the ball into the box, Harrison was bundled to the turf by Jake Buxton and Hicks pointed to the spot.

It was PITMAN who stepped up to take the penalty and kept his cool, slamming the ball into the roof of the net to rescue a point.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Burgess, Downing, Naylor (c), Haunstrup (Harrison 77); Close, McCrorie (Cannon 70); Williams (Evans 46), Pitman, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 39, Pitman 90+5 (pen)
Booked: Downing
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Walkes, Hawkins

Burton (4-2-3-1): O’Hara, Brayford (c), O’Toole, Nartey, Wallace; Edwards, Quinn; Sarkic (Boyce 77), Sbarra (Daniel 26), Broadhead (Buxton 83); Akins
Goals: Sbarra 3, Wallace 6
Sent off: O’Toole (two yellow cards)
Booked: Boyce
Subs not used: Bywater, Hutchinson, Anderson, Fraser

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 16,610 (116 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 032019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




Brett Pitman came off the bench to score his first goal of the season and ensure Pompey began their defence of the Leasing.com Trophy with a win against Crawley.

Both sides had chances, although it appeared as if the Fratton contest might be heading for a bonus-point penalty shoot-out.

But Pitman neatly converted a corner from the impressive Brandon Haunstrup to secure all three for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that drew with Blackpool in the league at the weekend.

Haunstrup, Paul Downing, Ben Close, John Marquis and skipper Tom Naylor all kept their place in the starting line-up.

Teenager Leon Maloney was given an opportunity to impress out wide, with Ellis Harrison also recalled to the forward line.

Summer signings James Bolton and Sean Raggett were in a defence protecting Alex Bass’ goal and Gareth Evans returned in midfield.

It was a rare outing of the 4-4-2 system for the hosts and although the first half was lacking in quality, there were opportunities at both ends.

Crawley were first to go close following a quick break and Bass had to get down well to push Mason Bloomfield’s effort around the post.

Their opponents were applying plenty of pressure and dominating possession, but failing to trouble keeper Michael Luyambula.

Paul Downing conceded a free-kick right on the edge of the box on 20 minutes, only for Jack Powell to shoot straight into the wall.

The Blues soon stormed up the other end of the pitch and following good work from Harrison and Marquis, a goal-bound Evans strike was blocked by Jamie Sendles-White.

Both sides were taking advantage of some sloppy passing to steal possession and counter, and Tarryn Allarakhia was forced to stop one attack by fouling Maloney and collecting a booking.

Harrison slipped a neat pass through to Evans on the half-hour mark, but the midfielder could not find the target from an acute angle.

There was then a break in play while Evans got treatment following a challenge with Sendles-White that resulted in a yellow card for the Red Devils defender.

Both sides came close to breaking the deadlock in a breathless conclusion to the opening period of the contest.

Evans whipped in a dangerous cross that was not at the ideal height for Maloney, but he managed to fire in a shot that was saved by Luyambula.

George Francomb then fizzed an effort narrowly over the bar from the edge of the box, before Ashley Nathaniel-George sent an attempt just past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Crawley Town 0


Evans – who had taken a knock on the head earlier in the game – did not emerge for the second half, with Pitman replacing him.

A couple of Haunstrup corners might have caused Crawley problems just after the restart, but his team-mates were unable to take advantage.

The visitors then had a chance to score when the ball was cut back for unmarked substitute Nathan Ferguson in the box, with Bolton making a timely block.

Bass soon had to tear from his line to beat Ashley Nadesan to the ball, with the Red Devils man needing treatment after the pair collided.

Naylor played a clever pass over the defence for the onside Harrison to collect just past the hour mark, although his cut-back for Marquis was intercepted.

Then, after a quickly-taken free-kick broke down, Bolton claimed possession, cut on to his left foot and curled narrowly wide.

It looked like the opening goal would arrive on 68 minutes after Haunstrup had delivered a superb cross, but Luyambula pulled off a fine save to keep out Harrison’s header from point-blank range.

Maloney then sent in a dangerous ball of his own that was nodded back by Marquis and hacked over the bar by Sendles-White.

And it was from the resulting corner that the hosts took the lead, with another excellent Haunstrup cross hooked home by PITMAN.

The left-back’s delivery had been a particular highlight and a low centre was then met by Pitman again, although this time Crawley were able to block.

Pompey then saw out the final stages in relatively comfortable fashion to get the group stage campaign off to a successful start.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Bolton, Downing, Raggett, Haunstrup; Maloney, Naylor (c), Close, Evans (Pitman 46); Harrison, Marquis
Goals: Pitman 70
Subs not used: McGee, Casey, Burgess, Hancott, Walkes, Flint

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Luyambula; Francomb, Sendles-White, Dallison (Tunnicliffe 46), Young (c); Payne; Nadesan, Powell (Ferguson 54), Allarakhia (Galach 80), Nathaniel-George; Bloomfield
Booked: Allarakhia, Sendles-White
Subs not used: Morris, Forrest, Doherty, Camara

Referee: James Linington

Attendance: 3,784 (96 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 302019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Brett Pitman and Oli Hawkins both bagged a brace, as Pompey wrapped up their pre-season schedule with a comfortable win at Woking.

The former converted an early penalty he had won himself and soon doubled the lead from a free-kick.

It was Hawkins’ first action of the summer and the striker added a goal in each half, while Manny Parry and Moussa Dierra both netted for the National League hosts.

There were plenty of first team players involved, with Hawkins and James Bolton both returning from injury.

The heavy rain had subsided by the time kick-off came around and Pompey took an almost immediate lead.

Moussa Dierra brought down PITMAN inside the box, with the skipper dusting himself off to coolly slot home.

It was a bright start from the Blues and Ben Close fired over following a neat and patient passing move.

Hawkins then raced onto a long pass from Haji Mnoga and was cleaned out by Cards keeper Sam Howes.

Referee Charles Breakspear might have reached for a red card in a competitive fixture, but instead stuck with awarding a free-kick.

But there was further punishment for Woking, with PITMAN drilling a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.

And the visitors found themselves three goals ahead with just 19 minutes on the clock after Andy Cannon had done well to win possession.

The ball was eventually played out to Bolton on the right and he drilled a low cross into the box, with HAWKINS sliding in to score.

Chances started to dry up following that early goal flurry, although Matt Casey did well to block Dave Tarpey’s effort.

But Woking reduced their deficit just before the break after a Josh Casey free-kick had caused chaos in the Blues box.

The ball was stabbed towards goal and Alex Bass made a smart save, with Parry following up to convert from close range.


Half Time

Woking 1

Portsmouth 3


Pitman had a cheeky attempt to secure a hat-trick straight from the kick-off, with his effort dipping over the bar.

Pompey’s skipper then thought he should have had another penalty after hitting the turf when trying to reach Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, although this time his appeals fell on deaf ears.

There were not an abundance of clear-cut openings, but Mnoga made a well-timed challenge to deny Jake Hyde from inside the box.

The game continued to drift along, with a number of substitutions for the hosts not doing anything to help the flow.

Pompey were looking comfortable in possession, though, and content to pass the ball around without providing much of a threat.

Hawkins did send a dangerous ball across the face of goal on 78 minutes, but neither Mnoga or Josh Flint could get on the end of it.

Cannon then teed-up Pitman for a blocked shot, with the midfielder collecting the loose ball and being frustrated in his attempts to find space for a shot.

The Blues soon managed to add a fourth goal of the evening, however, with HAWKINS sliding in at the back post to convert Pitman’s pass.

But it was Woking who had the final say, as Dierra glanced home Max Kretzschmar’s corner at the near post for a consolation.

Woking (3-4-1-2): Howes (Ross 46); Parry, Gerring (Trialist 65), Dierra; Cook (Collier 46), Donnellan (Trialist 65), Poku (Kretzschmar 46), Casey (c); Ferdinand; Tarpey (Trialist 65), Hyde (Hodges 79)
Goals: Parry 45, Dierra 89
Subs not used: Skinner, Morrison

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Bolton, Mnoga, Casey, Haunstrup; Brindley, Cannon, Close, Flint (Maloney 88); Pitman (c), Hawkins
Goals: Pitman 3 (pen), 14, Hawkins 19, 83
Subs not used: L.Pitman, Kavanagh, Hancott, Robb, Stanley

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 1,603 (393 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 162019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Goals from Eoin Teggart and Brett Pitman ensured Pompey maintained their winning start to pre-season with victory over Bognor.

Both of the visitors’ goals came in a first half they dominated, with a couple of neat finishes putting them on top at Nyewood Lane.

But they probably should have been further ahead at the break, as the Blues struck the crossbar on three separate occasions.

Former Fratton forward Dan Smith pulled one back following the restart, but the hosts could not find an equaliser.

There was a mixture of youth and experience in the Pompey line-up, with the likes of Pitman and Christian Burgess accompanied by a smattering of academy players.

It was Bognor who made the brighter start, although Burgess and centre-back partner Matt Casey protected Alex Bass’ goal.

And the visitors soon began to move through the gears, with Andy Cannon sending a fierce shot dipping against the underside of the crossbar.

The Rocks then had an opportunity of their own, with Stuart Green unable to turn home Jimmy Muitt’s cross and seeing his blushes spared by an offside flag.

Pompey took the lead from the resulting free-kick, as TEGGART cut inside from the right and curled a shot into the top corner.

And the advantage was soon doubled on 25 minutes, with Leon Maloney doing well to get into the box and find Pitman.

He managed to dig out a shot that again hit the underside of the bar and Teggart was unable to convert the loose ball.

Amazingly, the same piece of woodwork was struck for a third time before the interval, although the skipper this time hit the top of it with a dinked attempt.

But PITMAN did have a goal on 34 minutes, hitting a first-time finish into the bottom corner after being slipped in by Haji Mnoga.

The right-back might have got on the scoresheet himself before the break, but his effort was deflected into the arms of Rocks keeper Charlie Searle.


Half Time

Bornor Regis Town 0

Portsmouth 2


The average age of the visitors was brought down at the start of the second half, as Pitman and Bryn Morris made way for youngsters Harry Anderson and Ethan Robb.

And Bognor soon managed to pull a goal back, with Smith on hand to find the target after Bass had made a good save.

Muitt had a chance to level a few minutes later, although the forward dragged his shot wide of the post.

The Rocks were certainly enjoying more of the ball since the restart, although were too often let down by a poor final delivery.

Smith was sent through on goal on 73 minutes, but former team-mate Bass was quickly off his line to make the save.

It was bit quieter at the other end of the pitch, although a dangerous delivery from Brandon Haunstrup did lead to a corner.

Cannon was the player to send it into the mixer, with Burgess – now wearing the armband – nodding the ball narrowly past the post.

A few late substitutions disrupted the flow of the game, but Burgess still had to throw himself into the path of Liam Brady’s shot to prevent Bognor from grabbing a late leveller.

Bognor (4-3-3): Searle; Whyte (c), Crane, Wood (Bingham 82), A.Leigh (Breed 55); Read (Dunn 69), T.Leigh, Tuck (Scutt 69); Muitt (Brady 84), Smith, Green (Williamson 80)
Goals: Smith 48
Sub not used: Simmonds

Pompey XI (4-2-3-1): Bass; Mnoga, Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup; Storey (Kavanagh 68), Morris (Robb 46); Maloney, Cannon, Teggart; Pitman (c) (Anderson 46 (Stanley 80))
Goals: Teggart 21, Pitman 34
Subs not used: Durin, Dandy, Hancott

Referee: Dan Austin

Portsmouth FC

Jul 132019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Pompey secured a second pre-season friendly win in succession, but were made to work hard for their 2-1 victory at Westleigh Park.

Gareth Evans fired them ahead from the penalty spot just before half-time, only for former Blues triallist Roarie Deacon to draw the Hawks level.

It was Brett Pitman who came off the bench to grab a late winner, however, in front of a huge crowd of 3,500 sun-worshipping supporters.

There were three changes from the side that began the midweek rout of UCD in Dublin.

Ross McCrorie and James Bolton both missed out with knocks, while Jamal Lowe was also absent, as Ben Close, Anton Walkes and Evans all came in.

Anybody expecting another goal-fest was in for a disappointment, with chances at a premium during the opening stages on a warm afternoon.

A dangerous Walkes delivery was turned behind before it could reach Ronan Curtis at the back post, while an Evans free-kicvk cleared the crossbar.

The hosts were certainly not looking over-awed and an effort from Josh Taylor was deflected wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.

Pompey’s keeper also made a regulation save to deny Andy Drury, as the game continued to drift along without much excitment.

The visitors created a fine chance on 28 minutes, however, and Ross Worner made an excellent stop to keep out Louis Dennis’ header from point-blank range.

Ellis Harrison then beat the Hawks number one to the ball, but the angle was tight for the summer signing and his cut-back was dealt with.

The striker was involved again just before the break and when he was brought down in the box by Dean Beckwith, referee Matt Russell pointed to the spot.

It was the skipper who stepped up to take the spot-kick, with EVANS slamming his effort straight down the middle to open the scoring.

There was still time for another opening before the interval, with Worner again doing well to keep out a fierce strike from Curtis.


Half Time

Havant & Waterlooville 0

Portsmouth 1


The second half got off to a livelier start, with Worner immediately having to get down to keep out Lee Brown’s free-kick.

A volleyed effort from Jonah Ayunga was then brilliantly dealt with by MacGillivray, as the Hawks tried to find a leveller.

But the action soon switched ends once more and Curtis almost caught Worner out at his near post after neatly stepping inside.

It was the home fans who were celebrating on 56 minutes, though, when substitute Chris Paul teed-up Deacon for a neat finish into the bottom corner.

The usual curse of the pre-season friendly soon followed, with a wave of substitutions for both sides stemming the flow of the contest.

Another brief interruption was caused by a fan who ran on to the pitch to request a selfie with Christian Burgess, who obliged, and MacGillivray, who sternly ordered him off the pitch.

It was two of Pompey’s newcomers who combined for their winner on 80 minutes, with Brandon Haunstrup doing well down the left and providing the assist for PITMAN to slot home.

Hawks (4-1-2-1-2): Worner (Latham 58); Read (Tarbuck 58), Beckwith (Cook 60), Magri, Straker; Bailey (Paul 46); Taylor (Dennett 65), Fogden (c); Drury (Walton 46); Deacon (Ridge 83), Ayunga
Goals: Deacon 56

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes (Burgess 73), Downing, Raggett, Brown (Haunstrup 70); Naylor (Morris 70), Close; Evans (c) (Hancott 84), Dennis (Cannon 70), Curtis (Pitman 70); Harrison
Goals: Evans 44 (pen), Pitman 80
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Dandy, Bridgman, Teggart, Stanley

Referee: Matt Russell

Attendance: 3,500

Portsmouth FC

Jul 102019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Pompey kicked-off their pre-season schedule with an emphatic 11-0 victory at UCD.

Brett Pitman hit a hat-trick, while there were braces from Louis Dennis and Ronan Curtis, with Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans, Joe Hancott and Ben Close also scoring against the top-flight Irish club.

Following almost two weeks of training at bases in Portsmouth and Dublin, the Blues returned to match action with less than a month until the start of the new League One campaign.

Pompey – with summer recruits James Bolton, Paul Downing, Sean Raggett, Ross McCrorie and Ellis Harrison all starting – looked bright from the off and opened their account after just 10 minutes.

Dennis looked electric in the opening half and he crossed from the right, with CURTIS doing just enough to force his header home.

And the lead was soon doubled following more good work from Dennis, who delivered from the opposite flank, leaving LOWE with plenty of time to slot past Conor Kearns.

The visitors almost added a third just seconds later, but Lowe’s effort was saved and the ball ricocheted against the bar.

That would be Kearns’ final contribution, with the keeper taken off injured and replaced between the sticks by Tom Murphy.

The lead was increased midway through the half, however, as DENNIS latched on to Lee Brown’s quickly taken free-kick and bent a shot around the new stopper.

CURTIS then got his second of the evening on 39 minutes when Harrison’s cross evaded its intended target of Dennis.

Instead it fell for the Republic of Ireland international, who chested the ball down and emphatically found the net.

There was an almost instant fifth goal, as DENNIS rounded off an impressive first half display by receiving Harrison’s pass, spinning past the last defender and coolly finishing.


Half Time

UCD 0

Portsmouth 5


Jackett changed his entire team at the break, but that did not stop the goals from flowing in the second half.

EVANS became the fourth different scorer of the contest, with a blocked pass bouncing back to him and a powerful shot striking the underside of the crossbar before finding the net.

PITMAN then got his first on the hour mark, capitalising on some slack defending to take a touch and find the target from close range.

He might have earlier scored in more acrobatic fashion, but a scorpion-style attempt narrowly cleared the bar.

Murphy was being continually called into action, getting down low to save first from Anton Walkes and then deny Evans at the near post.

But an eighth goal did arrive, with PITMAN picking the defence’s pocket following an Evans cross to double his personal tally.

Teenage full-back HANCOTT – playing a more advanced role – was next to score, being quickest to react when Pitman was denied by Murphy.

The travelling Blues fans wanted 10 and skipper PITMAN duly obliged by completing a 20-minute treble.

Aaron McGrath took too much time over clearing the ball, allowing the striker to steal possession and bend it around Murphy.

The scoring was finally complete six minutes from the end, with UCD unable to clear under pressure and CLOSE emphatically finishing.

Pompey’s run of friendlies continues at Westleigh Park on Saturday when they take on neighbours Havant & Waterlooville (3pm kick-off).

UCD: Kearns; Tobin, Farrell, McEvoy, McClelland; Doyle (c), Keaney; O’Farrell, Kinsella-Bishop; Dignam; Mahdy
Subs: Murphy, Griffin, Mullen, Akinsete, Daly, Ring, Ryan, Boore, Keane, Smith, McGrath

Pompey: MacGillivray (Bass 46); Bolton (Walkes 46), Downing (Burgess 46), Raggett (Casey 46), Brown (Haunstrup 46); Naylor (c) (Morris 46), McCrorie (Close 46); Lowe (Evans 46), Dennis (Cannon 46), Curtis (Hancott 46); Harrison (Pitman 46)
Goals: Curtis 10, 39, Lowe 16, Dennis 24, 41, Evans 49, Pitman 60, 76, 80, Hancott 78, Close 84

Referee: David Dunne

Portsmouth FC

Apr 222019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2 1 Coventry City

Pompey scored a late winner for the second time over the Easter weekend to beat Coventry and maintain their automatic promotion hopes.

They were poor in an open first half at Fratton Park and Jordy Hiwula’s goal meant that the visitors went in ahead at the break.

It was a much improved display following the restart, however, and Tom Naylor headed the Blues back on level terms.

They did not quite leave it until stoppage-time on this occasion, but time was still running out when Brett Pitman fired home the winner.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that secured a dramatic triumph at Burton on Good Friday.

Former Pompey defenders Tom Davies and Dominic Hyam started for the visitors, although Conor Chaplin had to be content with a place on the bench.

The sun was shining and the atmosphere was rocking as the sides emerged from the tunnel ahead of kick-off.

An early sliding challenge from Pitman to dispossess Bright Enobakhare showed that the skipper meant business.

And the hosts almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Lee Burge made a hash of dealing with Lee Brown’s corner.

The keeper almost managed to punch the ball into his own net, only for a well-placed Davies to clear from the line.

Instead it was Coventry who broke the deadlock moments later, as Enobakhare found space to charge through the centre.

He played the ball through to Hiwula in the box, with the winger spinning and finding the net with a neat finish.

It was proving to be a fairly open contest, with both sides looking shaky in defence and capable of adding to the scoring.

Burge failed to deal with another corner and when Matt Clarke hooked it back into the mixer, Jamal Lowe’s fierce effort was blocked.

Coventry then broke straight up the other end of the pitch and looked like they would double their lead.

Craig MacGillivray came out of his area and was beaten to the ball by Luke Thomas, but Nathan Thompson got back on the line to make a vital block.

Davies then proved a hindrance to his former club once again, making a key challenge to deny Lowe when Pitman flicked on a long MacGillivray pass.

A couple of Jordan Shipley corners caused problems for the Blues, while Naylor headed a decent chance over after Pitman’s effort had been deflected behind.

Enobakhare then ran along the byline and tried to cut the ball back, but Christian Burgess was able to clear it behind.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Coventry City 1


Jackett made a double switch at the break, with Oli Hawkins and Gareth Evans making way for James Vaughan and Ronan Curtis.

The latter immediately won a corner that he took himself, but a dangerous delivery was headed clear.

He then took a free-kick after Lowe had been brought down by Dujon Sterling, with Burge doing well to punch the ball to safety.

There was a break in play following a clash of heads between Vaughan and Liam Kelly, although both were fine to continue.

And Pompey came close to levelling when the action restarted, as Brown collected Lowe’s cross and drilled a shot narrowly wide.

Burge took an over the resulting goal-kick, with referee Darren Drysdale eventually losing patience and brandishing a yellow card.

The hosts were controlling the play, but finding the Coventry defence in stubborn mood as they looked to protect their lead.

One patient attacking move ended with a cross from Lowe that was just too high for a stretching Vaughan.

But the Blues were level on 66 minutes, as Brown whipped in a corner from the right that was converted by NAYLOR’s bullet header.

Pompey looked to increase the pressure and Vaughan stole possession, only to see his pass for Pitman intercepted.

Curtis then sent a ball into the mixer that somehow managed to evade everyone on its path out of play.

But the visitors soon had a chance to score on the break, with Enobakhare slipping a pass through to the onrushing Thomas, who could only send his shot into the side netting.

And there was soon the unnerving sight of seeing Chaplin enter the pitch in opposition colours, as the former Fratton favourite was brought on.

It was Pompey who were next to go close, however, as Lowe collected a pass from Naylor and curled the ball narrowly past the post.

Shipley then lined up a dangerous looking free-kick at the other end, although Hyam could only head straight into MacGillivray’s arms.

But it was the Blues who forged on 83 minutes – and Fratton Park erupted as the ball hit the back of the net.

A corner from Brown was sent back into the danger zone by Curtis and when it landed for PITMAN, the skipper lashed home a fierce finish.

Coventry won a corner that was nervously scrambled clear and the display of six additional minutes caused the tension to grow.

But the hosts saw out the closing stages with relative ease to stretch their winning run in the league to seven matches.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Walkes 90+2), Evans (Curtis 46); Hawkins (Vaughan 46)
Goals: Naylor 66, Pitman 83
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Morris, Solomon-Otabor

Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Sterling, Davies (Willis 74), Hyam, Mason; Kelly (c), Shipley (Wakefield 85); Thomas (Chaplin 74), Enobakhare, Hiwula; Bakayoko
Goals: Hiwula 9
Booked: Burge
Subs not used: Addai, McCallum, Westbrooke, Ponticelli

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 18,884 (1,267 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Apr 132019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 4 1 Rochdale

Pompey breathed new life into the League One promotion race with a convincing 4-1 victory over struggling Rochdale.

And with rivals Sunderland losing to Coventry in a nine-goal thriller, it means the sides – along with Barnsley – bunched even tighter in the table.

Oli Hawkins headed the opener at a packed Fratton Park, with Brett Pitman adding a penalty just before the break.

Aaron Wilbraham raised hopes of a Dale comeback early in the second half, but Evans came off the bench to calm fears before Jamal Lowe wrapped up a sixth successive win.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Wycombe seven days earlier.

A fully-fit Ronan Curtis replaced Evans wide on the left, while Louis Dennis’ goal for the reserves earlier in the week saw him named among the substitutes.

The hosts started brightly in the spring sunshine and looked to get at their opponents right from the off.

Lowe was unable to force the ball home from a tight angle, while a cross from Curtis was just too high for Hawkins.

But as the sun went behind the clouds, Pompey also faded slightly and when Craig MacGillivray failed to hold a Callum Camps corner, Tom Naylor was forced to hack clear.

Matt Done then sent a dangerous delivery into the mixer, although a well-placed Ian Henderson headed it wide.

The Blues soon picked things up, however, and Hawkins should have done better than divert Lee Brown’s free-kick into the arms of a grateful Josh Lillis.

But HAWKINS did find the target midway through the first half, arriving at the near post to firmly head home Lowe’s cross.

Lowe might have doubled the advantage moments later, only for Lillis to come racing from his line to make the save.

Rochdale then had an opportunity of his own, when Wilbraham beat MacGillivray to a Christian Burgess pass, but could not beat the keeper.

It was the Blues looking the more likely to add to the scoring, though, and Hawkins nodded narrowly over after meeting Brown’s delivery.

He then saw another header saved by Lillis, while Ben Close had an attempt blocked as the hosts continued to apply pressure.

And it paid off just before the break when Nathan Thompson collected Lowe’s threaded pass and was crudely brought down in the box by Ethan Ebanks-Landell.

Referee Lee Swabey had no choice but to point to the spot and PITMAN calmly sent Lillis the wrong way to give Pompey a commanding interval lead.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Rochdale 0


The visitors looked brighter immediately following the restart, although Jim McNulty’s header was never going to prove much of a test for MacGillivray.

But Pompey were still looking dangerous going forward themselves and were causing plenty of problems for Dale to deal with.

One attack actually led to a goal for the opposition, however, with a quick break up the pitch ending with Done squaring for Wilbraham to slot into the net.

Pompey immediately looked to hit back and a long-range curling effort from Pitman was pushed behind by Lilllis.

The resulting corner almost provided a goal, with Burgess nodding it into the mixer and – in a sea of bodies – the ball eventually being hacked clear.

Jackett soon made a substitution, with Curtis – who had been quiet on the left – making way for Evans.

And it was EVANS who restored the two-goal lead just past the hour mark, nodding home from a few yards out after Lowe had lifted the ball into the centre.

Pompey were searching for a more convincing scoreline and a Brown cross was just out of reach for Lowe, while a rushed Hawkins effort was comfortable for Lillis.

They were starting to sit a bit too deep in the closing stages, though, and Jackett tried to add fresh impetus by replacing Hawkins with Omar Bogle.

But it was a Rochdale sub who had a chance to score moments later, although Bradden Inman slipped as he got his shot away and MacGillivray saved low to his left.

And Pompey immediately wrapped things up at the other end, as LOWE collected Matt Clarke’s long pass, held off one challenge and got past Lillis before firing the ball into the net.

Jackett’s final change saw Bryn Morris come on for Pitman, although it was fellow substitute Bogle whose effort had to be clawed away by Lillis.

Brown should have given the scoreline an added gloss late on, but glanced Lowe’s delivery wide with the goal gaping.

It mattered not, however, as Pompey had comfortably done enough to extend their winning run and move to within two points of second place.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Morris 82), Curtis (Evans 57); Hawkins (Bogle 76)
Goals: Hawkins 21, Pitman 45+1 (pen), Evans 62, Lowe 79
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Dennis

Rochdale (4-2-3-1): Lillis; McLaughlin, Ebanks-Landell, McNulty, Bunney (MJ Williams 67); Camps, Hamilton; Done (Inman 75), Henderson (c), Rathbone (Clough 80); Wilbraham
Goals: Wilbraham 54
Booked: Wilbraham, Ebanks-Landell, Bunney
Subs not used: Wade, Keohane, Dooley, Andrew

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 18,197 (188 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Apr 062019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Wycombe Wanderers 2 3 Portsmouth

There was no Wembley hangover for Pompey, as they kept themselves in the automatic promotion hunt with victory at Wycombe.

They dominated most of the contest, with Jamal Lowe’s early finish added to by a Brett Pitman goal just after the interval.

Marcus Bean controversially reduced the deficit for the Chairboys, only for a fine free-kick from Pitman to restore the Blues’ commanding advantage.

A super strike from Scott Kashket ensured a nervy end to proceedings, but the visitors held on to secure the points.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Sunderland to lift the Checkatrade Trophy the previous week.

Oli Hawkins – who had struck the winning penalty in the shoot-out – was rewarded with a start, with Gareth Evans also returning, as Omar Bogle and Ronan Curtis dropped to the bench.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Blues academy graduate Paris Cowan-Hall joining former Fratton loanees Ryan Allsop and Bean in the Wanderers team.

Pompey came racing out of the traps and won a series of early corners that kept the home defence on their toes.

The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession and territorial advantage, without being able to test Allsop between the sticks.

Pitman did well to race past Dominic Gape down the right and square for Lowe, who spun sharply and curled a shot over.

Another neat move saw Hawkins find Lowe with a cross-field pass and the winger laid the ball off for Pitman to fire just off target.

Allsop was then called into action for the first time, although was not overly troubled by a drilled effort from Lee Brown.

He could do nothing to stop Pompey from taking the lead on 18 minutes, however, as they finally made their pressure count.

A free-kick from Evans was not properly dealt with and when Matt Clarke lifted the ball back into the box, LOWE was there to drill it through a sea of bodies and into the net.

They did not sit back on their lead, though, and a shot from Ben Close was blocked after Tom Naylor had stolen possession.

Wycombe had offered little at the other end of the pitch, but had two great chances to level before the break.

The first opportunity came from a 25-yard free-kick after Alex Samuel had been fouled by Christian Burgess and Craig MacGillivray flung himself to the left to push behind Jason McCarthy’s attempt.

And the keeper made another fine save moments later, this time to keep out a fierce strike from Cowan-Hall.

But Pompey might have extended their advantage in stoppage-time, as Clarke teed-up Lowe for a curling shot that was well saved by Allsop.


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 1


A second goal did arrive just 27 seconds after the restart, however, as Evans played a dangerous ball down the middle.

Anthony Stewart looked like he would deal with it, but PITMAN nipped in to steal the ball and confidently slot it home.

Rather then dent Wycombe’s confidence, though, it seemed to spark them into life and the hosts suddenly enjoyed a spell of pressure.

And they made the most of it by reducing the deficit through Bean’s close-range finish, although referee John Busby had a lengthy discussion with his assistant before allowing the goal to stand.

The Blues were adamant that the midfielder had been in an offside position, although the official seemed to think the ball had come off a white-shirted player.

It had been a frantic start to the second period and Pompey had a chance to restore their two-goal advantage when Evans was brought down by Stewart just outside the box.

PITMAN stepped up to take the free-kick and curled a fine effort past Allsop’s desperate grasp to spark more scenes of joy in the packed away end.

Both teams were looking capable of adding to the scoring as the action continued to switch from one end to the other.

Pitman’s pass was cleared before it could reach Clarke at the near post, while substitute Adebayo Akinfenwa headed over.

But it took another fine save from MacGillivray to deny the Chairboys on 72 minutes, with the keeper getting down to push clear Samuel’s shot.

Pitman received a standing ovation as he made way off the pitch, with Anton Walkes coming on for the closing stages.

It was the hosts cheering soon after, though, as Kashket reduced their deficit with a screaming shot from just inside that area that flew into the top corner.

Curtis then replaced Evans, as Jackett looked for his side to get back on track, although the Chairboys came close to a leveller when Samuel’s header flashed past the post.

Wycombe were given renewed hope when the fourth official displayed six minutes of time to be added on.

The hosts continued to try to pump the ball into the Blues box, but the visitors held firm to close the gap on second-placed Barnsley.

Wycombe (4-1-4-1): Allsop; McCarthy, El-Abd (c), Stewart, Harriman; Gape; Cowan-Hall (Kashket 74), Bean (Akinfenwa 61), Bloomfield (Thompson 43), Freeman; Samuel
Goals: Bean 54, Kashket 82
Subs not used: Ma-Kalambay, Jombati, Jacobson, Owens

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Walkes 81), Evans (Curtis 84); Hawkins
Goals: Lowe 18, Pitman 46, 60
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Morris, Vaughan, Bogle

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 6,978 (1,810 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 312019
 

Portsmouth FC

Checkatrade Trophy Winners

2019

In the greater scheme of things it maybe a minor trophy but seeing you team at Wembley and lifting a trophy is never something to be taken lightly.

The added benefit of also taking away the one trophy Southampton had won that we hadn’t!

Transport was a nightmare, trains absolutely rammed full so Colin drove us to Horsham to try and get a train with some room on it which was a success.

Poor first half with Sunderland deserved leaders but what a turn around second half with the introduction of Gareth Evans and Oliver Hawkins. We thought we had won it with Jamal Lowe’s late extra time goal but as we have seen so many times we cannot defend or kill off the last few minutes of a game and so we faced the trauma of penalties and all five takers hit the spot.

Well done Portsmouth

Portsmouth FC

Mar 312019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Checkatrade Trophy – Final


Portsmouth 2
(5)
2
(4)
Sunderland

Pompey won the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties following a 2-2 draw with Sunderland at a packed Wembley Stadium.

They were poor in the first half and an Aiden McGeady free-kick meant the Black Cats deservedly led at the interval.

But the Blues were rejuvenated following the restart and Nathan Thompson levelled to ensure an additional 30 minutes.

Jamal Lowe then struck to seemingly secure the win, only for McGeady to scramble the ball home at the death.

That meant a dreaded shoot-out, but Pompey scored all of their spot-kicks, meaning that Craig MacGillivray’s save from Lee Cattermole allowed Oli Hawkins to fire home the winner.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Shrewsbury in the league the previous week.

Ronan Curtis was fit enough to start after recovering from severing his finger, meaning that Gareth Evans dropped to the bench.

The teams emerged to a vociferous atmosphere created by a packed crowd at the national stadium.

Pompey’s contingent were whipped up by rousing pre-match speeches from former Fratton heroes David Norris and Hermann Hreidarsson.

But it was the Black Cats who made the brighter start, with Thompson forced to clear George Honeyman’s teasing cross behind.

Lee Brown then made a great challenge right in the corner to stop Lewis Morgan’s charge, as the side from the north-east looked threatening.

Lowe tried his best to cause problems at the other end, although a ball into the box flew straight into Jon McLaughlin’s grasp.

Sunderland were looking more likely to open the scoring and Matt Clarke threw himself in the path of McGeady’s strike.

Pompey’s best opportunity came when Omar Bogle was felled on the right and Brown swung the ball into the mixer.

Christian Burgess rose at the back post, but could not get enough power on his header to trouble McLaughlin.

An effort from Morgan was deflected behind by Brown, while a key Clarke challenge halted Will Grigg’s charge.

There was a rare shot for Pompey on 22 minutes, although Curtis’ effort was always swerving wide of the post.

Then, after Tom Naylor had conceded a free-kick, the midfielder had to nod behind Grant Leadbitter’s delivery.

Sunderland came close to breaking the deadlock soon after when the ball was only cleared as far as Morgan outside the box.

The winger hit a fierce volley that flew through a sea of bodies, but MacGillivray got down well to push the ball clear.

It was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, and they were undone after Thompson had conceded a foul.

McGeady was brought down and picked himself up to curl the ball home, albeit with the help of a deflection off Clarke’s shoulder.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 1


Pompey tried to hit back after the break and when Bogle met a corner from Brown, his header was cleared from the line.

It would not have counted, though, as referee Dean Whitestone had spotted a foul on Luke O’Nien in the build-up.

The Blues were looking a lot brighter and trying to use Lowe as an outlet, but were still lacking a final ball.

Jackett tried to shake things up on 56 minutes, with Curtis being brought off and replaced by Evans on the left.

And it was a long pass from the newcomer that almost provided an equaliser just past the hour mark.

The ball was nodded down by Lowe and Pitman took one touch before hitting a neat half-volley that struck the base of the post.

Pompey were suddenly looking a real threat and when Sunderland failed to deal with another Evans delivery, Thompson was unable to find the target at the back post.

Lowe then had a great opportunity following good work from Pitman, but rolled his shot wastefully past the post.

Jackett made his second switch to the forward line on 69 minutes, as Bogle made way for Hawkins.

The striker was soon having his shirt tugged inside the area, although Whitestone did not think it was enough to warrant a penalty.

Evans then did well to hold off a challenge and burst forward, firing in a long-range strike that flashed past the post.

But Pompey did find themselves level on 82 minute – and the goal came from a very unlikely source.

THOMPSON had yet to score in 69 appearances, but certainly picked the right location to open his account, nodding home after Evans had collected the ball from Clarke and sent it into the box.

The Blues contingent of an EFL Trophy record crowd of 85,021 erupted as the players ran towards them in celebration.

It had been a dominant second half display, but Sunderland might have secured victory in stoppage-time when Denver Hume skipped through and sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal.

Full Time: Pompey 1 Sunderland 1

There were, unsurprisingly, a few tired legs on display at Wembley as the extra period of 30 minutes got started.

Pompey were still looking to get forward and Evans was tackled inside the box after playing a neat one-two with Brown.

Lowe then screwed a shot wide after Hawkins had laid the ball off, while an angled effort from Brown was comfortable for McLaughlin.

Following a brief break after the first set of 15 minutes, the Blues got straight back on the attack and Evans had a shot blocked after cutting in from the left.

Jackett was forced to make a change when Ben Close limped off and his replacement almost scored within seconds of coming on.

Anton Walkes received the ball on the edge of the box and his effort had to be clawed behind by McLaughlin.

But Pompey did go ahead on 114 minutes and it was a brilliant finish from LOWE, who collected a long Clarke pass and sent a glorious lob over McLaughlin and into the net.

The winger was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration, but it looked like being the decisive goal.

Sunderland had other ideas, however, and in the dying seconds McGeady scrambled home an equaliser, despite the best efforts of Clarke to clear from the line.

After Extra Time: Pompey 2 Sunderland 2

A penalty shoot-out is always a nervy occasion, but the Blues kept their nerve throughout, scoring all five of their spot-kicks.

Evans, Pitman, Brown and Lowe all tucked away their efforts, while Sunderland’s second from Cattermole was saved by MacGillivray.

It meant that Hawkins had the chance to win it for the Blues and he made no mistake, slotting the ball home to send the large travelling contingent home in joyous mood.

Pitman then led his side up the Wembley steps to collect the Checkatrade Trophy and send those fans wild with delight.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close (Walkes 113); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Evans 56); Bogle (Hawkins 69)
Goals: Thompson 82, Lowe 114
Booked: Curtis, Evans, Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, May, Vaughan

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Flanagan, Baldwin, James (Hume 88); Leadbitter (Wyke 95), Cattermole; Morgan (Gooch 73), Honeyman (c), McGeady; Grigg (Power 77)
Goals: McGeady 38, 119
Booked: Baldwin, McGeady
Subs not used: Ruiter, Dunne, McGeouch

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 85,021

Portsmouth FC