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

Checkatrade Trophy – Final

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

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

Mar 232019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Shrewsbury Town 0 2 Portsmouth

Pompey’s run of good form continued as they won 2-0 at Shrewsbury to keep their automatic promotion hopes alive.

The visitors improved following a slow start and took the lead through Ben Close just before the break.

There were chances to add to the scoring at both ends of the pitch in the second half, but a defensive mix-up allowed Brett Pitman to seal the points for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Scunthorpe on home soil the previous week.

Viv Solomon-Otabor’s calf injury meant that Gareth Evans returned to the starting line-up, with Jamal Lowe switching to the left.

It was the struggling hosts that made the brighter start and a low delivery from Fejiri Okenabirhie was just of reach for a stretching Shaun Whalley.

Steve Arnold had to tear from his line at the other end to stop Lowe racing onto a superb diagonal pass from Tom Naylor.

Pompey were struggling to find any fluency, however, and a weak effort from Okenabirhie was comfortably dealt with by former Shrews stopper Craig MacGillivray.

The keeper had to do even better on 16 minutes, though, getting down quickly to push Whalley’s effort to safety.

Shrewsbury’s forward then had an effort that was heading for the net until Nathan Thompson’s deflection diverted the ball wide.

And it took a fine last-gasp challenge by Lee Brown inside the box to prevent Ollie Norburn getting a shot away.

Scott Golbourne’s free-kick was then flicked on for James Bolton, who sent a header looping onto the roof of the net.

But the Blues picked up as the half progressed and Arnold did well to deny Evans after the ball had been squared to him by Close.

It was Close who then sent a shot wide after playing a one-two with Omar Bogle, while Matt Clarke could not divert Brown’s corner on target at the near post.

Pompey did make their pressure count before the break, as Brown’s angled effort was parried away by Arnold and CLOSE drilled the ball home through a sea of bodies.


Half Time

Shrewsbury Town 0

Portsmouth 1


The hosts tried to hit back following the restart and Christian Burgess dived in to divert Greg Docherty’s effort behind.

There were a few sighs of relief when the same player then went down inside the box following a challenge by Thompson.

Referee Ollie Yates blew his whistle, but the challenge had taken place just outside the area and Okenabirhie’s free-kick was dealt with.

Jackett made a switch on 55 minutes, with Bogle – who had angered the home faithful with a challenge on Golbourne that earned him a booking – replaced by Oli Hawkins.

And the newcomer almost doubled the visitors’ lead after meeting Brown’s low delivery, only for the ball to hit Omar Beckles and loop against the crossbar.

Hawkins had another great opportunity on 71 minutes when he connected with a cross from Brown, but Arnold made a great save down to his left to deny the striker.

Shrewsbury soon had a chance of their own after Whalley’s mazy run had been crudely brought to a halt by Burgess on the edge of the box.

Norburn cleverly kept his effort low and sent it through the wall, but an unsighted MacGillivray was able to fumble the ball away.

And Pompey soon went up the other end to give themselves a cushion – although the Shrews gave them a helping hand.

Arnold’s clearance cannoned against team-mate Beckles and Hawkins picked up the loose ball, squaring it for PITMAN to slot home.

Shrewsbury were soon dealt a further blow when Arnold was forced to limp off, with Jonathan Mitchell replacing him between the sticks.

Six minutes of stoppage-time meant that the hosts’ hopes of an unlikely comeback were raised, but Pompey comfortably saw out the closing stages to move up to third spot in the League One table.

Shrewsbury (3-5-2): Arnold (Mitchell 84); Williams, Waterfall, Beckles; Bolton (Campbell 72), Norburn (c), Grant (Laurent 77), Docherty, Golbourne; Whalley, Okenabirhie
Booked: Grant
Subs not used: Sadler, Edwards, Holloway, Payne

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Evans (Walkes 89), Pitman (c), Lowe; Bogle (Hawkins 55)
Goals: Close 40, Pitman 79
Booked: Bogle, Naylor, Close, Burgess, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, May, Isgrove, Vaughan

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 8,028 (1,172 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 122019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Walsall 2 3 Portsmouth

Pompey recorded their first League One win on the road in 2019, despite a late comeback by Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.

Brett Pitman opened the scoring from the penalty spot and Omar Bogle made sure it was a commanding lead at the break.

The hosts were much better in the second half, but Viv Solomon-Otabor swept home his first Blues goal.

The Saddlers did not give up, however, and Jon Guthrie converted two corners – the second right at the death – to restore some pride.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten at Charlton at the weekend.

Skipper Pitman replaced Gareth Evans for his first start since the end of January, while Oli Hawkins made way for a fit-again Bogle up front.

And with Ronan Curtis suffering a freak injury on the morning of the game – getting his finger trapped in a door – Solomon-Otabor came in wide on the left.

Pompey made a bright start to the contest, although Bogle was unable to bend an early shot around Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts.

But they were temporarily down to 10 men when Matt Clarke reopened the wound in his head and started bleeding from the nose.

The medical team had to patch him up and with the defender requiring a change of outfit, he was stood without a shirt in cold conditions for a number of minutes.

It was during that time, however, that the visitors broke the deadlock, with Morgan Ferrier punished for a shove on Nathan Thompson inside the box.

Referee Trevor Kettle immediately whistled and PITMAN stepped up to send Roberts the wrong way from the spot.

Walsall were struggling to deal with the Blues’ attacks and just about forced the ball clear when Solomon-Otabor tried to convert a mis-hit effort from Jamal Lowe.

But the hosts soon had a chance to level when Ferrier raced on to a ball down the right and saw his shot saved by Craig MacGillivray.

And the keeper immediately provided the assist for Pompey’s second goal from a long punt up the pitch.

The ball reached BOGLE, whose shot appeared to be going over, only to dip on to the top of the post and bounce over the line.

Lowe thought he had added a third on 30 minutes after converting a quickly-taken Pitman free-kick, only for Kettle to decide Pompey had acted too soon.

Walsall failed to deal with the set-piece when it was played a second time and Tom Naylor’s strike was deflected behind.

Pitman then lifted a fine pass over the defence late in the half, although Lowe’s touch was slightly too heavy and Roberts was able to gather.


Half Time

Walsall 0

Portsmouth 2


The hosts had been second best throughout the first half, but had a chance to reduce their deficit seconds after the restart.

A long ball forward bounced awkwardly for Clarke and Josh Gordon was not quite able to send his header looping over MacGillivray.

Gordon’s teasing delivery from the left then had to be headed behind by Lee Brown, as Walsall started to provide much more of a threat.

They were pushing Pompey back for long periods, but the defence were holding firm to repel the red-shirted tide before MacGillivray could be tested.

Lowe won a corner to offer some respite, but Brown’s cross was headed wide by Bogle to let the Saddlers off the hook.

But the Blues did have a third goal on 68 minutes – and it meant that all three of the players Jackett brought into the team had scored.

Pitman was falling to the turf as he sent a pass through to Lowe, who unselfishly squared for SOLOMON-OTABOR to slot home and open his Pompey account.

Bogle was soon withdrawn by Jackett and had his name chanted by the travelling fans as he trudged off to be replaced by James Vaughan.

It looked like it was game over, but Walsall gave themselves some hope when Guthrie nodded in a corner from George Dobson.

Pompey appeared to be seeing the game out with relative ease, only for the Saddlers to grab another goal in stoppage-time.

Another corner was scrambled into the net by Guthrie, but there was not enough time for them to mount any more attacks and the Blues were able to celebrate a victory.

Walsall (4-1-4-1): Roberts; Devlin, Scarr, Guthrie, Leahy; Dobson (c); Ismail (Oteh 87), Kinsella, Edwards (Blackett-Taylor 70), Ferrier; Gordon
Goals: Guthrie 75, 90+4
Booked: Kinsella, Gordon, Ferrier
Subs not used: Dunn, Fitzwater, Norman, Laird, Osbourne

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Walkes 86), Solomon-Otabor; Bogle (Vaughan 74)
Goals: Pitman 13 (pen), Bogle 25, Solomon-Otabor 68
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Evans, Hawkins

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 4,097 (598 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 192019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Oxford United 2    1 Portsmouth

Pompey lost 2-1 at Oxford to ensure they suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.

Goals from Cameron Brannagan and James Henry meant the hosts enjoyed a comfortable lead at the interval.

The Blues were well below par, but Brett Pitman came on to spark hopes of a comeback with a fine finish.

Those 1,803 travelling fans were not given a result their backing deserved, however, as United held on for the points.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten by Blackpool on home soil the previous week.

One was enforced, with Andre Green being recalled from his loan spell by Aston Villa, while Dion Donohue and Pitman dropped to the bench.

A fit-again Lee Brown returned at left-back, Andy Cannon was handed his full debut and David Wheeler also got a rare league start.

It meant that Jamal Lowe led the line for Pompey and skipper Gareth Evans moved into a more advanced role.

Matt Clarke’s appearance in the side brought up 150 appearances for the defender, but new signing Bryn Morris had to be content with a spot among the substitutes.

The visitors started brightly and won an early corner that was dealt with, while a similar set-piece at the other end was nodded wide by Rob Dickie.

A deep free-kick from Brown then caused problems in the United defence, who were eventually able to scramble the ball to safety.

There were not an abundance of opportunities, with both sides showcasing attacking intent, but unable to produce any meaningful shots.

A couple of set-pieces were comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray, while Evans’ curler from the edge of the box was not too far off target.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the first half, although it might have been the Blues celebrating a goal.

Lowe could not quite charge the ball down following a slip from former Fratton keeper Simon Eastwood.

Instead his long clearance eventually made its way to Brannagan, who drilled a fine low shot right into the bottom corner.

Oxford might have doubled their lead soon after, as a corner led to a spot of pinball inside the Pompey box.

The visitors won a couple of their own soon after and Eastwood dropped the second, but grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

It became a niggly affair as the interval approached, but United were able to double their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Jamie Mackie was unable to get a shot away and instead played the ball across for an unmarked Henry to lash home.


Half Time

Oxford United 0

Portsmouth 0


There were no substitutions for the Blues at the break, although Wheeler and Lowe swapped positions.

And the former had a chance to reduce the deficit moments after the restart, meeting Evans’ free-kick and sending a header just off target.

But it was still Oxford looking more likely to add to the scoring and an effort from Mackie flew narrowly over.

Then, after a Lowe strike had been comfortably dealt with by Eastwood, the hosts had two more chances to put the result beyond doubt.

First, a cross from Jordan Graham was punched away by MacGillivray and Jamie Hanson’s follow-up was deflected off target by Clarke.

Gavin Whyte’s corner was then palmed clear by the Blues stopper and this time Brannagan’s attempt flew into the side netting.

With the visitors struggling to find any kind of fluency, Jackett made a double change just before the hour mark.

Wheeler and Evans were the men to make way, with Pitman and Louis Dennis coming on to replace them.

And it proved to be an inspired decision, as the duo combined to reduce Pompey’s deficit on 64 minutes.

Dennis provided the assist, crossing the ball for PITMAN to convert with an acrobatic overhead effort that left Eastwood helpless.

The Blues were struggling to build on that goal, however, and Cannon made way for Donohue in a final throw of the dice.

One patient move did lead to a chance on 81 minutes, although Lowe could not adjust his body enough to guide Brown’s delivery on target.

And despite producing plenty of effort in the closing stages, Oxford remained firm at the back to secure victory.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Hanson, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels; Mousinho (c), Brannagan; Whyte (Kashi 86), Henry, Graham (Browne 76); Mackie
Goals: Brannagan 25, Henry 45
Booked: Henry
Subs not used: Stevens, Long, Garbutt, Sykes, Carruthers

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Cannon (Donohue 76), Naylor; Wheeler (Pitman 59), Evans (c) (Dennis 59), Curtis; Lowe
Goals: Pitman 64
Booked: Lowe, Whatmough, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Morris

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 8,202 (1,803 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 292018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood Town 2    5 Portsmouth

Pompey finished 2018 on a high by thrashing Fleetwood 5-2 in a dramatic League One contest at Highbury.

Ben Thompson’s stunning strike gave them the lead, only for Paddy Madden and a Ched Evans penalty to see the hosts ahead at the break.

But Dean Marney’s red card for two bookable offences proved crucial – and the Blues took advantage.

Brett Pitman levelled with another spot-kick and a first goal of the season from Anton Walkes ensured they retook the lead.

It was left to Jamal Lowe to wrap things up with a brace that ensures Pompey will welcome in 2019 at the top of the table.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a first defeat on the road at Gillingham on Boxing Day.

Two of them were enforced, with Walkes and skipper Pitman replacing Nathan Thompson (hamstring) and Oli Hawkins (ankle) respectively.

The other switch came in the middle of the park, where former Fleetwood star Gareth Evans made way for Ben Close.

That meant a switch to a 4-3-3 system, with Lowe and Ronan Curtis flanking Pitman in the forward line.

The hosts had a great opportunity in the opening stages, but Evans’ header was held low down to his left by Craig MacGillivray.

Pompey soon started to settle and Close was unable to make a clean connection with his shot, allowing Alex Cairns to save.

But the Cod Army keeper made an even better stop soon after, keeping out a volleyed effort from Matt Clarke after the defender’s first attempt had been blocked.

The visitors then received a blow when Lee Brown went down injured and had to come off, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing him at left-back.

There was reason to celebrate for the travelling supporters on 26 minutes, however, as their side took the lead.

It was a fine finish from THOMPSON, whose fierce effort from outside the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

Close might have doubled the lead, but could not get enough power on his header from a Lowe cross to trouble Cairns.

Instead it was Fleetwood who were next to score on 39 minutes, when Madden raced in to meet Lewie Coyle’s cut-back and arrow a first time shot right into the bottom corner.

And it soon got even worse for the Blues as Madden fired past the post, but went down after colliding with Clarke and, following a lengthy pause, referee Matt Donohue pointed to the spot.

It was Evans who stepped up to take the penalty, sending MacGillivray the wrong way to turn the contest on its head.

Pompey might have levelled deep into stoppage-time, only for Ross Wallace to clear behind and prevent Lowe from converting Curtis’ delivery at the back post.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 2

Portsmouth 1


The Blues were quickly out of the traps following the interval, but when a corner was cleared, Haunstrup fired wildly off target.

Hopes were raised soon after, though, when Marney fouled Thompson and – having earlier been booked for a challenge on Curtis – saw red.

A cross from Haunstrup was then hacked to safety, as Walkes raced into the box to try to make contact.

Jackett soon made an attacking switch, with Evans brought on to provide more of a goal threat and Close withdrawn.

But it was two other players who provided the drama that saw the Blues score twice in as many minutes to take the lead.

Donohue pointed to the spot for the second time after Curtis was brought down by Ross Wallace and PITMAN confidently slammed home the spot-kick.

It soon got even better, though, as the Cod Army failed to deal with a Curtis cross and WALKES bent a shot into the top corner with his left foot.

The action did not stop there, however, and MacGillivray kept out Wes Burns’ free-kick, then quickly recovered to keep out James Wallace’s follow-up effort.

There was a period of calm after that, although Pompey were not content to sit back and Curtis continued to torment the home defence.

But they were lucky to still be ahead when, following a Fleetwood corner, both Madden and James Wallace struck the post.

Tom Naylor then hacked the ball clear from the line before Pompey went up the other end to wrap things up.

LOWE collected a pass from Curtis and held off two challenges, turning neatly to sneak a low shot inside the near post.

And it soon got even better for the Blues, as LOWE raced on to Thompson’s fine pass and lashed home their fifth goal of an eventful afternoon.

Andre Green came on for Curtis in the closing stages, but the visitors were unable to grant the wishes of the travelling fans, who chanted ‘we want six’.

Clarke came closest to adding another, but his header was well saved by Cairns. It mattered not, as Pompey had done more than enough to ensure they would end the year at the summit.

Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Morgan (c), Eastham, R.Wallace; Burns (Dempsey 63), Marney, Biggins (Bolger 79), Hunter (J.Wallace 54); Madden, Evans
Goals: Madden 39, Evans 43 (pen)
Sent off: Marney (two yellow cards)
Booked: Madden
Subs not used: Jones, Sheron, Holt, McAleny,

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown (Haunstrup 19); B.Thompson, Naylor, Close (Evans 53); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Green 90)
Goals: Thompson 26, Pitman 57 (pen), Walkes 58, Lowe 81, 84
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Wheeler, Mason

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance: 3,494 (853 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 042018
 

Match Report

Checkatrade Trophy

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    1 Arsenal U21

Pompey booked their spot in the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy with a dominant display against Arsenal under-21s.

Brett Pitman gave the Blues an early lead at Fratton Park, but their quest for a healthier advantage was denied three times by the woodwork.

The skipper and, on two occasions, man-of-the-match Adam May were both left frustrated before Bukayo Saka impressively brought the scores level.

But the hosts got the victory their impressive performance deserved thanks to a second goal in three days from Andre Green.

Kenny Jackett made 11 changes from the side that progressed in the FA Cup at Rochdale on Sunday.

He handed debuts to youngsters Matt Casey and Freddie Read, while May was back from a loan spell at Aldershot.

There was also a return for skipper Pitman up front, flanked by Green and Louis Dennis in the Pompey attack.

Arsenal handed a start to 33-year-old former French international Laurent Koscielny, who added plenty of experience to an otherwise youthful side.

One of his highly-rated team-mates was the first to threaten, although after spinning neatly in the box, Saka fired straight at Luke McGee.

The Blues soon took control and after collecting a pass from Casey, Anton Walkes saw his shot cleared from the line by Danny Ballard.

Brandon Haunstrup then had a fierce effort well saved by Deyan Iliev, but the hosts forged ahead from the resulting corner.

Dennis’ delivery was headed back by Walkes at the far post and PITMAN acrobatically flicked the ball home from close range.

It was a lively display from Dennis, who had a chance of his own by nodding Green’s cross wide on 15 minutes.

May came a lot closer to doubling the advantage, stealing possession from James Olayinka and hitting a 25-yard shot against the post.

And Dennis then tried his luck with a long-range effort that dipped narrowly over as Pompey continued to dominate.

Arsenal looked neat on the ball, but were not really troubling their hosts, who seemed the more likely to add to the scoring.

An angled attempt from Christian Burgess was blocked by Ballard, while Pitman sent a free-kick into the Gunners wall.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Arsenal U21 0


A corner from Dennis led to some pinball in the visitors box once the action restarted, with the ball eventually hacked to safety.

McGee was still not being overworked at the other end and an effort from Charlie Gilmour was well off target.

But May came close to scoring for the Blues, neatly controlling the ball 25 yards out and sending the ball crashing against the crossbar.

That came after Read left the pitch to warm applause, with a fit-again Joe Mason on to replace him and provide some more firepower.

The hosts appeared to be cruising, only for the Gunners to level against the run of play. It was a fine effort from Saka, though, who cut in from the left before firing into the top corner.

And the Londoners might have gone ahead soon after, with Burgess throwing himself in front of Tyreece John-Jules’ effort.

Pompey tried to restore their advantage, but were denied by the woodwork for an incredible third time on 76 minutes.

Pitman met a cross from the right by Walkes, only to see his header come back off the inside of the post and be cleared by the Arsenal defence.

The hosts were starting to move through the gears again and Dennis was sent through on goal by Mason. He lifted a shot over Iliev, but the ball flew agonisingly wide.

It was Green who was next to have a go just a few seconds later and this time the keeper saved with his feet.

And the on-loan Aston Villa winger finally made the pressure count by restoring Pompey’s lead on 83 minutes.

It was a lovely move, with Dennis playing a neat one-two with Pitman before arrowing the ball across the face of goal for GREEN to emphatically fire into the roof of the net.

And the Blues comfortably saw out the final few minutes to seal the win that ensures their place in Saturday’s third round draw.

Pompey (4-3-3): McGee; Walkes, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; May, Rose, Read (Mason 58); Green, Pitman (c), Dennis
Goals: Pitman 10, Green 83
Booked: Dennis, Walkes
Subs not used: L.Pitman, Mnoga, Johnston, Flint, Smith, Maloney

Arsenal U21 (3-4-3): Iliev; Ballard, Koscielny (Tormey 85), Medley; Osei-Tutu, Omole (Coyle 65), Gilmour (c), Bramall; Saka, John-Jules, Olayinka
Goals: Saka 66
Booked: Omole
Subs not used: Hein, Bola, Olowu, Thompson, Zelalem

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 3,109 (188 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 292018
 

Match Report

League One

Rochdale 1    3 Portsmouth

Pompey fought from behind to beat Rochdale and return to the top of the League One table.

The hosts took an early lead in some style when Aaron Wilbraham struck a sensational shot from long-range.

But the Blues were impressive in the opening 45 minutes and Jamal Lowe deservedly ensured the scores would be level at the break.

It was not quite so strong after the interval, but Brett Pitman showed typical striking instincts to turn the game around on his 50th appearance for the club.

And Matt Clarke added a fine third goal to wrap the points up for the visitors in the closing stages of an enjoyable Spotland contest.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Wycombe on home soil the previous week.

Pitman returned to skipper the team, while there was also a start for Jack Whatmough at the back, with Oli Hawkins and Christian Burgess dropping to the bench.

Pompey got off to the worst possible start by falling behind in the fourth minute – not that they could have done much to prevent it.

It was a phenomenal effort from Wilbraham, who hit a stunning strike on the half-volley from almost 30 yards that left Craig MacGillivray with no chance.

But it was the Blues largely on top for the remainder of the half and an ambitious over-head effort from Gareth Evans flew past the post.

Nathan Thompson almost grabbed an unlikely leveller after collecting a pass from Pitman and firing a rocket against the crossbar.

Ollie Rathbone then had another long-range attempt for the hosts, although this one thankfully flew wide.

But Pompey were level on 25 minutes, thanks to a well-worked goal involving all three of the forward line.

Pitman collected the ball from Ronan Curtis, swivelled and sent in a low centre for LOWE to slide into the net.

He might have had another after being picked out by Pitman, but a poor first touch allowed Joe Rafferty to clear the danger.

The trio linked up well again when the skipper flicked on Lowe’s cross and Curtis met it with a deft touch, but Josh Lillis got down to his right to save.

Pompey were looking to attack at every opportunity and there were some nervy moments for the Dale back-line.

But Lillis was not being over-worked and made relatively comfortable stops to deny both Curtis and Lowe.

The keeper then came tearing from his line in stoppage-time to stop Lowe reaching Pitman’s threaded pass after Curtis had nipped in to steal possession from a Rochdale throw.


Half Time

Rochdale 1

Portsmouth 1


It was the hosts that were first to threaten after the restart, but when MacGillivray parried Andy Cannon’s effort, Rathbone skied the loose ball over.

There was certainly some of the excitement from the first half missing, however, with both sides guilty of some misplaced passes.

Ian Henderson curled a shot wide for Rochdale, while a well-placed Ben Close headed clear Cannon’s dangerous cross.

Then – after Lowe had been booked for a foul – Rathbone came close to sneaking the free-kick inside MacGillivray’s near post.

There was not too much happening at the other end of the pitch, although an Evans set-piece was glanced wide by Tom Naylor.

But the Blues took the lead on 71 minutes when a low ball from Lee Brown was deftly turned home by PITMAN at the near post.

A substitution soon followed, with Ben Thompson coming on for Evans to shore up the Blues midfield.

But it was not the end of Pompey’s attacking intent and they were able to extend their advantage on 81 minutes.

Rochdale failed to properly deal with a corner and CLARKE showed he is not just a class act at the back.

The defender brought the ball under control, beat his man and angled home a fierce strike that arrowed into the net.

David Wheeler and Hawkins were both introduced from the bench late on, as the visitors comfortably saw out the final few moments.

Rochdale (4-2-3-1): Lillis; Rafferty, McNulty, Delaney, Hart (Cannon 45); Camps (Clough 77), Perkins; J.Williams (Andrew 50), Rathbone, Henderson (c); Wilbraham
Goals: Wilbraham 4
Subs not used: Norman, Morley, MJ Williams, Gillam

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Close, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (B.Thompson 76), Curtis (Wheeler 89); Pitman (c) (Hawkins 90+2)
Goals: Lowe 25, Pitman 71, Clarke 81
Booked: Lowe
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 3,796 (966 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC