Nov 182017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Southen United    0

 


Brett Pitman increased his impressive tally of Pompey goals by heading the winner against Southend at a packed Fratton Park.

Both sides created decent openings in a stop-start first half and Nile Ranger blazed a controversial penalty high over the bar.

Pitman was not so profligate, however, and his effort ensured the Blues claimed a second successive League One victory.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that dramatically won at Blackpool the previous week.

That meant Oliver Hawkins continued to be used as a makeshift centre-back, with Matt Clarke playing on the left.

Nathan Thompson and former Shrimpers midfielder Stuart O’Keefe both had to be content with a place on the bench after returning from suspension.

With it being Pompey’s closest home match to Armistice Day, Normandy veteran John Jenkins MBE read the Ode of Remembrance before kick-off.

A bugler then played the Last Post before everyone inside Fratton Park observed a minute of silence.

The Blues came flying out of the traps and almost broke the deadlock inside the opening five minutes.

Clarke sent a superb cross into the box from wide on the left, but Pitman could not quite steer the ball on target from close range.

Anton Ferdinand then had to hack clear when a deep Ben Close free-kick was headed into the mixer by Christian Burgess.

The hosts were looking dangerous going forward and John White was forced to head behind at the far post when Jamal Lowe centred.

But Southend settled and enjoyed their own spell of pressure midway through the first half, with Luke McGee diving to keep out a snap-shot from former Pompey trialist Theo Robinson.

Kal Naismith then inadvertently diverted the resulting corner into Ranger’s path, although the striker could only fire wide.

It was a contest that offered flurries of excitement in the middle of long spells when the action lulled.

Kyle Bennett almost bagged a rare headed goal when he managed to rise highest in the box to meet Lowe’s delivery, only for Michael Turner to clear off the line.

Shrimpers keeper Mark Oxley was then forced to get down quickly in order to keep out a fierce drive from Close.

There were more half chances at both ends of the pitch before the game controversially exploded into life just before the break.

First Danny Rose and then Clarke bravely threw themselves into the path of shots to protect McGee’s goal.

But the linesman was waving his flag furiously on the sidelines and told referee Carl Boyeson that a hand had been used by Clarke.

The hosts were furious with the decision and Burgess led the protests – backed, of course, by the Fratton faithful.

But it mattered not, as the wasteful Ranger stepped up to take the penalty and blasted it high over the bar.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Bennett did not emerge from the tunnel at the start of the second half, with Matty Kennedy brought on to replace him.

And it was the newcomer who provided the assist as Pompey broke the deadlock on 54 minutes.

He used his right foot to deliver a pin-point cross from wide on the left and PITMAN rose to expertly guide the ball into the net.

Fratton Park was then united in a minute of applause just before the hour mark to honour Blues fan Gary Martin, who recently passed away at the age of 58.

Pitman’s 12th goal of the season had been the only real moment of action in an otherwise slow start to the second half.

But a quiet spell ended when Cox’s shot was blocked by a well-placed Hawkins, with Gareth Evans getting the ball to safety.

Pompey were still looking a threat at other end, although Kennedy’s shot was not powerful enough to trouble Oxley.

Lowe then played a poor pass behind Pitman after being picked out on the right by Naismith’s threaded pass.

Southend tried their best to find an equaliser as they brought more men forward in the closing stages, but the Blues comfortably held on for victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Close, Rose; Lowe (Thompson 87), Bennett (Kennedy 46), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 54
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, O’Keefe, Chaplin, Main

Southend (4-1-2-1-2): Oxley; White (McGlashan 82), Turner, Ferdinand (c), Timlin; Leonard; Wright, Kightly; Cox; Robinson (Fortune 77), Ranger (McLaughlin 64)
Booked: White
Subs not used: Bishop, Hendrie, Bwomono, Yearwood

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 18,431 (1,422 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Nov 112017
 

League One


 

Blackpool    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

(0 – 0)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Jon Moss

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


Portsmouth FC

Sep 302017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Oldham Athletic    2

 


Eoin Doyle netted twice on his Fratton return as Pompey endured a difficult afternoon on the south coast.

Both sides started the game with an attacking intent, but Oldham were in control from the moment they grabbed their early opener.

It was a game to forget for the Blues, who suffered another injury blow at the back when Nathan Thompson was stretchered off.

And it never really looked like they would salvage anything once Doyle doubled the Latics’ lead just after the interval.

Brett Pitman did pull one back late on to restore some hope, but the hosts were unable to find a dramatic leveller.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Bristol Rovers earlier in the week.

Christian Burgess missed out with a calf injury, so Drew Talbot came into the starting 11 and Thompson moved to the centre of defence.

Richie Wellens said in the lead-up to the contest that former Fratton loanee Doyle would miss the contest through injury.

But it appeared to be mind games from the interim Oldham manager, as the striker was named in the team.

And it was Doyle who almost broke the deadlock in a frantic opening to the game, with his 25-yard effort cannoning against the post.

Pitman then tried his luck from a similar distance and a fine strike was expertly tipped over by Latics keeper Johny Placide.

Pompey’s skipper soon met a low cross from Dion Donohue, but Kean Bryan was well placed to clear the danger.

Both sides were looking capable of scoring and Matt Clarke blocked Jack Byrne’s effort before Rob Hunt’s shot swerved wide.

At the other end, Matty Kennedy’s centre was just about taken off the foot of Oliver Hawkins, who was waiting to pounce at the far post.

But it was Oldham who forged ahead on 16 minutes, when Thompson blocked Craig Davies’ effort and Doyle gobbled up the loose ball.

It soon got even worse for the hosts, as their defensive injury curse continued following a collision between Talbot and Thompson.

The latter came off worse and had to be stretchered from the pitch, with Gareth Evans coming on and Talbot moving to the middle.

Both setbacks seemed to affect the Blues and they struggled to find any fluency at either end of the pitch for the remainder of the first half.

A snap-shot from Byrne had to be acrobatically tipped over by Luke McGee to stop the Latics from doubling their lead.

Pompey did carve open one more decent opportunity before the break, however, following a quick move up the pitch.

The visitors were initially able to deal with the attack, but Jamal Lowe picked up the loose ball and struck the post.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


There was a surprise at the start of the second half, as Hawkins moved to the centre of a makeshift defence, with Evans playing off Pitman.

But it was a slip by Clarke that let in Davies, although the striker’s effort did not cause McGee too many problems.

Oldham did not let their hosts off for a second time, though, and after Hawkins had done well to intercept the danger, Doyle dispossessed Talbot and neatly dinked home his second of the game.

He came close to adding a third on 56 minutes, only for McGee to quickly leave his line and smother Dan Gardner’s ball over the top.

Some more slack defending saw Davies left in acres of space at the far post, although the striker could not quite rise high enough to guide Gevrao Nepomuceno’s cross on target.

Talbot was brought off on the hour mark to be replaced by Kyle Bennett and the newcomer had an immediate chance to reduce the deficit, but could not turn Kennedy’s centre on target.

The third and final switch soon followed, with Ben Close making way for Danny Rose in the middle of the park.

But those changes failed to result in a change of fortunes, as Pompey continued to labour against their energetic visitors.

Pitman was clearly struggling with an injury, but with the Blues having already made all their substitutions, he had to continue

And PITMAN seemed to shake it off, continuing his remarkable scoring streak late on by slotting in from Lowe’s cut-back.

The display of eight minutes of additional time made the Fratton faithful believe that a point could be salvaged.

But despite their best efforts, Pompey were unable to find another goal, as Oldham held on for the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Bennett 60), Thompson (Evans 22), Clarke, Donohue; Close (Rose 68), O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy; Hawkins
Goals: Pitman 90
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Naismith, Main

Oldham (4-4-2): Placide; Dummigan, Clarke (c), Bryan, Hunt; Byrne (Menig 88), Fane, Gardner (Banks 79), Nepomuceno (Omrani 65); Doyle, Davies
Goals: Doyle 16, 47
Booked: Dummigan, Bryan, Byrne, Banks, Davies, Placide
Subs not used: Ruddy, Gerrard, Edmundson, Obadeyi

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 17,848 (466 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 262017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


Oliver Hawkins opened his goalscoring account as Pompey returned to winning ways against Bristol Rovers.

He headed home just before the interval of an absorbing contest that was often played at a breathless pace.

The Fratton faithful played their part by creating a vibrant atmosphere and Brett Pitman made sure they had plenty to celebrate by adding a second half brace.

Kenny Jackett kept faith with the side that were beaten at Scunthorpe at the weekend.

But there was no place for Conor Chaplin among the substitutes, with his hamstring injury handing Curtis Main a seat on the bench.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break in the opening stages and Christian Burgess got in the way of Ellis Harrison’s strike before Joe Partington’s fine cross somehow evaded Billy Bodin.

Matt Clarke then just about did enough to put off Tom Nichols after the forward had latched onto a ball over the top and advanced on goal.

But the Blues were providing a threat of their own and it took a key interception from skipper Tom Lockyer to prevent Hawkins turning in Jamal Lowe’s teasing delivery at the far post.

The winger sent in another dangerous centre moments later and this time it was Pitman who was unable to get on the end of it.

Limbs were then flying at the other end of the pitch on 21 minutes, with Burgess and Clarke flinging themselves in front of shots from Bodin and Ollie Clarke respectively.

Both sides had a man cautioned before the break, with Stuart O’Keefe penalised for a foul on Partington and Harrison shown a yellow card for tugging back Burgess.

It looked like the players would be heading in all square at the break, but the Blues broke the deadlock – in confusing fashion – on 42 minutes.

Dion Donohue’s first cross was blocked, but his second was perfect for HAWKINS to meet at the back post.

Chris Lines made a valiant attempt to hack the ball from the line, although only succeeded in sending it into the roof of the net.

But celebrations were cut short by a linesman’s flag, only to start back up again when referee John Busby conferred with his colleague and awarded the goal.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Donohue’s set-pieces were proving a dangerous weapon in the Blues’ armoury and one free-kick had to be punched clear.

O’Keefe then tried to convert the loose ball, only for a well-placed Harrison to boot it away and to safety.

Hawkins soon did well to steal the ball from Lockyer and draw a foul, which earned the defender his side’s second yellow card.

Pitman was way off target with the resulting free-kick, however, sending the ball high into the Fratton End.

But the Blues skipper showed some fine trickery to dribble the ball along the byline just past the hour mark, although there was nobody in the box to meet his cutback.

There was a scare at the other end when Bodin burst into the box, only for Nathan Thompson to make a fine challenge to dispossess him.

And O’Keefe then managed to get in the way of Liam Sercombe’s shot when the midfielder received the ball on the edge of the area.

But a quick Pompey break really should have resulted in the hosts extending their advantage on 75 minutes.

Thompson started the move by stealing possession and when O’Keefe delivered the ball to the far post, Hawkins could only guide it wide.

PITMAN did make sure of the victory soon after, though, meeting Matty Kennedy’s pin-point cross with a firm header that Sam Slocombe could not keep out.

Hawkins was afforded a standing ovation when he made his way off the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans for the final few minutes.

But PITMAN’s evening was not over and he shrugged off the challenge of Lockyer with ease before slamming home Pompey’s third goal to complete a successful night.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Bennett 87); Hawkins (Evans 82)
Goals: Hawkins 42, Pitman 77, 85
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Naismith, Main

Bristol Rovers (4-3-3): Slocombe; Partington, Lockyer (c), Sweeney (Brown 78), Bola; Sercombe, Lines, Clarke; Bodin, Harrison (Dunwald 78), Nichols (Telford 66)
Booked: Harrison, Lockyer
Subs not used: Smith, Broadbent, Menayese, Broom

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 17,716 (782 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 162017
 

League One

4 – 1


Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe each bagged a brace as Pompey outclassed Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

The skipper opened the scoring with a brave header, only for Devante Cole to impressively level early in the second half.

Lowe then took over, restoring the lead with a header before somehow finding the net from an acute angle.

And it was Pitman – sporting a bandaged nose from his earlier exploits – who curled home a fine fourth to wrap up the points.

A miserable afternoon for the visitors was wrapped up late on when Kyle Dempsey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Northampton earlier in the week.

It came in the centre of midfield, where Adam May dropped out of the squad to be replaced by Ben Close.

The visitors had an early chance when Cian Bolger came forward for a George Glendon corner and headed narrowly over.

But the Blues were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves moments later, with Pitman doing well to connect with Lowe’s pass and scooping the ball just past the post.

It was otherwise a slow start to proceedings, though, with little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the crowd.

Damien McCrory’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 21 minutes when the defender limped off to be replaced by Dion Donohue.

And the newcomer bent a shot just off target from 20 yards after Matty Kennedy had found him with a corner.

But Pompey did forge ahead just before the break when Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and PITMAN arrived at the far post to head home.

The price was a bloodied nose, which saw the Blues skipper disappear down the tunnel for treatment and re-emerge with a new numberless shirt.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


There was a fairly pedestrian start to the second half, but Cole brought the contest to life with a fantastic leveller on 52 minutes.

He was teed-up by Lewie Coyle and unleashed a superb half-volleyed strike that left Luke McGee helpless.

Pitman tried to hit back at the other end of the pitch, although his 25-yard drive was comfortable for Alex Cairns between the Cod Army sticks.

But the Blues did restore their advantage on 57 minutes after Kennedy’s effort had been deflected behind for a corner.

LOWE had spoken earlier in the week about never having scored with his head, but arrived at the far post to nod in Donohue’s corner.

Fleetwood were still a threat, though, and Cole’s shot squirted narrowly wide following a quick break up the pitch.

Dempsey then slid a pass through to Conor McAleny, who should at least have tested McGee with his effort.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes, thanks to a fine individual effort from LOWE.

He collected the ball from Conor Chaplin and burst into the box before finding the target with fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

And any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after, as PITMAN curled home an exquisite shot that stroked the inside of the post on its way into the net.

It soon went from bad to worse for Fleetwood, as Dempsey’s clumsy challenge on substitute Gareth Evans earned him a second yellow card – and subsequent red – from referee Dean Whitestone.

Pitman then made way for Oliver Hawkins and was afforded a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful as he trooped off.

And there were more cheers when the final whistle blew a few minutes later to confirm a thoroughly deserved Blues victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory (Donohue 21); O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 86), Kennedy; Chaplin (Evans 74)
Goals: Pitman 40, 78, Lowe 57, 70
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Naismith, Main

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Bolger (Cargill 59), Pond (c), Eastham; Coyle, O’Neill (McAleny 46), Glendon, Dempsey, Bell; Cole, Hiwula (Hunter 72)
Goals: Cole 52
Sent off: Dempsey (two yellow cards)
Booked: Bolger
Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Grant, Burns

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,192 (115 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 092017
 

League One

0 – 2


Goals from Brett Pitman and Conor Chaplin helped Pompey secure their first away victory of the season against AFC Wimbledon.

It was Pitman who broke the deadlock in the first half at Kingsmeadow after first winning and then converting a penalty.

Chaplin came off the bench immediately following the interval and took just five minutes to wrap the points up.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side narrowly beaten at home by Rotherham the previous week.

Damien McCrory was handed a debut at left-back, while there were first starts for both Matty Kennedy and Nathan Thompson.

Chaplin dropped to the bench, while there was no place in the matchday squad for Brandon Haunstrup or the injured Jack Whatmough.

There was also a change of system, with the wing-backs dropped in favour of a more familiar four-man defensive line.

AFC Wimbledon included a couple of familiar names in their line-up, giving starts to former Fratton stars Paul Robinson and Andy Barcham.

A large grey cloud made its way ominously across the sky as the first half progressed, although the action on the pitch was fairly sedate to start with.

There were a couple of half-chances, but certainly nothing of note as both keepers enjoyed a watching brief.

Barcham did enjoy a surging run through the Blues back-line, only to end the move with a wild effort that flew over the bar.

Matty Kennedy then did well to pick out Pitman in the box, but the visiting skipper had strayed narrowly offside.

It was midway through the first period when the first noteworthy opportunity finally arrived, as Dean Parrett curled a shot narrowly past the post.

Adam May was slightly more off target at the other end of the pitch, with his effort on the bounce clearing the stadium.

Pompey threatened more on 31 minutes following some great work by Jamal Lowe to beat his man down the right.

But Pitman slipped at the worst possible moment before recovering and seeing a shot deflected just off target.

The resulting corner was swung in by McCrory and led to an almighty scramble, with Matt Clarke eventually poking wide.

It was the visitors who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, after Pitman was pushed to the ground by Barry Fuller.

Referee Kevin Johnson immediately pointed to the spot and PITMAN dusted himself down to confidently send George Long the wrong way.

A stretching Oliver Hawkins was then only able to send the ball into the keeper’s arms following some good build-up from Kennedy and Lowe.

The home fans were left angry by a couple of challenges just before the break, feeling that Pitman should have been punished for a clash with Robinson that left the defender with a large gash on its head.

There was then a nasty collision between Hawkins and Callum Kennedy that resulted in both players sprawled on the turf.

Johnson decided to blow for half-time and Pompey’s striker was left bandaged and covered in blood, while the Wimbledon full-back had to be stretchered off.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


A large flash of lightning and clap of thunder meant that the start of the second half had to be delayed for a few minutes.

Hawkins, unsurprisingly, was not present when the sides did emerge, with Chaplin on to replace him up front.

And it was CHAPLIN who doubled the advantage just five minutes after the restart, showing typical predatory instincts to capitalise on Anthony Hartigan’s fluffed clearance and slot home.

Another substitute almost reduced the Dons’ deficit at the other end, though, with Luke McGee doing just enough to put off Lyle Taylor as he bore down on goal.

Wimbledon were trying to find a route back into the game and Christian Burgess headed George Francomb’s cross clear, while McCrory’s block kept out Taylor’s follow-up.

But the Blues almost extended their lead on 68 minutes, with a powerful free-kick from Pitman superbly kept out by Long.

The visitors were comfortably holding onto their advantage, although Harry Forrester bundled his way into space before McCrory cleared the danger.

Pompey had understandably tempered their ambitions, although an audacious 35-yard lob from May had to be tipped over by a back-pedalling Long.

The hosts’ day soon got even worse when Burgess attempted an over-head kick and inadvertently caught Robinson.

It was clearly accidental and Burgess was booked, but the defender had to go off and the Dons had already made all three of their substitutions.

But, in truth, a comeback always looked unlikely for Wimbledon, as Pompey comfortably saw out the closing stages to secure all three points.

AFC Wimbledon (4-3-3): Long; Fuller (c), Robinson, Nightingale, Kennedy (Hartigan 46); Parrett (Forrester 57), Francomb, Trotter; Appiah, McDonald, Barcham (Taylor 57)
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sibbick, Kalambayi, Kaja

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory; May, O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Bennett 67); Hawkins (Chaplin 46)
Goals: Pitman 38 (pen), Chaplin 50
Booked: O’Keefe, Kennedy, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Close, Donohue, Naismith

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 4,585 (786 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 192017
 

League One

1 – 1


Brett Pitman struck from the spot as Pompey fought from behind to secure a draw with Walsall at Fratton Park.

After a lethargic first half, Luke Leahy capitalised on some sloppy defending early in the second to score for the visitors.

But Pitman confidently netted a penalty following a foul on Nicke Kabamba and it was the Blues who ended the contest on top.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Oxford in the last league outing.

Milan Lalkovic had recovered from an ankle injury to feature against his former club, with Kyle Bennett dropping to the bench.

The 4-2-3-1 system remained, although this time it was skipper Pitman up front, with Kal Naismith just behind.

New signing Dion Donohue had to watch from the stands after completing his Fratton switch too late to feature.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s silence in memory of all those who lost their lives in the Barcelona tragedy.

Once the action got underway, referee Brett Huxtable soon had to reach for his pocket, showing Saddlers skipper Adam Chambers a yellow card following a late challenge on Adam May.

But it was the visitors who looked brighter in the opening stages and Leahy unleashed a fierce shot that flew narrowly past the post.

The wing-back then missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock on 15 minutes, heading wide from close range after good work down the right by James Wilson.

Christian Burgess came to the rescue moments later when a sloppy Jack Whatmough pass gifted possession to Amadou Bakayoko.

But it was Whatmough – celebrating his 21st birthday – who then started the move that led to Pompey’s best chance of the half on 31 minutes.

The defender’s superb cross-field ball picked out Gareth Evans on the right and his cross was met by the head of a diving Pitman, only for Shaun Donnellan to make a vital block.

Evans then sent a header over the bar from Danny Rose’s cross, as the hosts finally started to pick up the pace.

But there was a blow for the Blues on 36 minutes, as Drew Talbot became the latest victim of the defensive injury curse.

He went down clutching his hamstring and limped to the sidelines, with Bennett coming on to make his 100th appearance.

The remainder of the half did little to excite a large Fratton crowd, though, with the half-time whistle greeted by yawns rather than cheers.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It was pretty sleepy stuff before the break and Pompey clearly had not woken up for the start of the second half.

Wilson sent in a low cross from wide on the right and Leahy was left all alone to tap home at the far post.

The Blues were struggling to create much at the other end of the pitch, as Mark Gillespie continued to enjoy a comfortable afternoon between the sticks.

He was not tested by Bennett on the hour mark, with the substitute firing wide from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Naismith.

Jackett opted to make a double substitution on 65 minutes, as Naismith and Lalkovic made way for Curtis Main and Kabamba.

But Walsall almost doubled their lead soon after, with Luke McGee saving well from Amadou Bakayoko and then Burgess blocking a shot from the same player.

The Blues were presented with an excellent chance to level on 74 minutes, though, when Gillespie tripped Kabamba, who did not appear to be posing a threat.

Huxtable immediately pointed to the spot and PITMAN made no mistake, slamming home his third goal of the season.

That provided a spark for Pompey and they immediately started to display more energy going forward.

Pitman almost grabbed his second with a shot that dipped narrowly over the bar after Bennett had done well to steal possession.

It was the Blues looking more likely to grab a winner and Pitman in particular was looking a threat, not quite able to guide Adam May’s pass on target on 87 minutes.

But, despite five minutes being added on for stoppages, Pompey were not able to complete the turnaround by finding a winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Bennett 36), Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; Rose, May; Evans, Naismith (Kabamba 65), Lalkovic (Main 65); Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 74 (pen)
Booked: Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Close, Chaplin

Walsall (3-5-2): Gillespie; Wilson, Donnellan, Guthrie; Devlin, Morris (Cuvelier 69), Chambers (c), Edwards, Leahy; Oztumer, Bakayoko (Jackson 77)
Goals: Leahy 47
Booked: Chambers, Guthrie, Devlin, Bakayoko
Subs not used: L.Roberts, K.Roberts, Kouhyar, Kinsella, Candlin

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 17,198 (464 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 052017
 
League 1
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Rochdale

 

Brett Pitman scored a brace on his debut to ensure Pompey began life in League One with victory over Rochdale.

The striker bagged an impressive individual goal after Keith Keane had been dismissed for the visitors at Fratton Park.

But there was a nervous edge to the closing stages, with substitute Jamal Lowe also sent off for the Blues.

That changed to elation in stoppage-time, however, as Pitman headed home to complete a memorable afternoon for the skipper.

Kenny Jackett handed starts to three summer signings in his first competitive match as Pompey manager.

Luke McGee, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Pitman all featured, while there was also a surprise appearance for Drew Talbot at right-back.

There were a mixture of emotions before kick-off, with Michael Eisner and other members of the Tornante Company applauded onto the pitch.

It was a more sombre occasion after that, however, with a minute’s applause to remember former Blues players Fred Evans, Pat Neil and Jimmy White, who all passed away over the summer.

Supporters were also paying their respects to fan Alan Dobson, who sadly died during the recent friendly against Bournemouth.

Once the action got underway at a sunny Fratton Park, it was the visitors who looked the more threatening.

Andy Cannon blasted a shot over the crossbar, although there were not too many opportunities to test McGee.

And Rochdale’s threat was blunted somewhat when they were reduced to 10 men on 21 minutes.

Conor Chaplin collected a loose ball and charged towards goal, only to be crudely upended by Keane just outside the box.

Referee Lee Probert immediately brandished a red card and the centre-back was forced to trudge off to the dressing room.

Pompey were unable to make the free-kick count, though, as Carl Baker’s delivery evaded everyone and went behind.

Calvin Andrew then did well to nip in ahead of Christian Burgess and head behind Baker’s dangerous corner.

The hosts went close again from the resulting flag-kick, as Pitman found space to nod narrowly past the post.

But the Blues were dealt a blow of their own late in the first half, with Holmes-Dennis going down injured on the left.

He limped off to be replaced by Lowe, with Gareth Evans dropping to right-back and Talbot moving across to the left.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Rochdale 0

 

The first half had been rather slow to get going, but the second exploded into life after just 34 seconds.

It was a fine effort from PITMAN, who picked the ball up on the left and – through a mixture of skill and persistence – found space to slot it into the net.

There was soon an opening for the visitors at the other end of the pitch, although Ollie Rathbone dragged his effort wide.

Rochdale then won a free-kick 25 yards out, but Reece Brown could not quite force his shot through the defensive wall.

An error from Josh Lillis almost handed Pompey a second goal on 69 minutes, with the keeper tearing off his line to try to beat Chaplin to the ball.

But he only succeeded in chesting it into the path of Lowe, whose cheeky lob landed narrowly wide of the post.

Jackett made his second substitution moments later, with Chaplin making way for Kal Naismith in the Blues attack.

And Lowe made way on 81 minutes – although there was nobody to replace him after the substitute was shown a red card.

He stretched to win the ball, but caught Jamie Allen and Probert decided it was enough to warrant a sending off.

That ensured a more fraught end to proceedings than perhaps was necessary, but Pitman eased those nerves in stoppage-time.

Evans got free down the right and picked out the unmarked striker in the box, with PITMAN expertly guiding his header past Lillis and into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis (Lowe 39); Baker, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Chaplin (Naismith 71)
Goals: Pitman 46, 90+2
Sent off: Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, May, Main, Kabamba

Rochdale (4-4-2): Lillis; Brown, Keane, McNulty, Ntlhe; Cannon (Davies 75), Camps (Rafferty 59), Allen, Rathbone; Henderson (c), Andrew (Done 59)
Sent off: Keane
Subs not used: Collis, Canavan, Inman, Williams

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 18,009 (471 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 292017
 
Friendly
Crawley Town 1 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Pitman bags brace as Blues end pre-season with victory

Pompey go into the new campaign on a high after ending their pre-season programme with victory at Crawley.

But they had to come from behind, with Thomas Verheydt giving the hosts an early lead at a wet Broadfield Stadium.

Skipper Brett Pitman led the turnaround, levelling with a fine second half free-kick before snatching the winner.

It was the League Two side who were quickest from the blocks and Josh Lelan headed narrowly wide from Mark Randall’s corner.

And the hosts did break the deadlock from another flag-kick just seconds later, with Verheydt converting Randall’s delivery.

There was not too much else to excite the Sussex crowd in a drab first half played out in unseasonable conditions.

Kyle Bennett and Tareiq Holmes-Dennis were the two Blues players to impress going forward and a teasing low cross from the former had to be cleared behind by Josh Yorwerth.

A skewed clearance from Tom Davies at the other end led to Randall firing wide with Luke McGee off his line.

Bennett then had one shot comfortably saved by Glenn Morris, while another was blocked following some fancy footwork.

Crawley were creating the better openings, however, and Enzio Boldewijn flashed a shot narrowly over after cutting inside from the right.

Then, after Jordan Roberts had just about beaten McGee to the ball, Holmes-Dennis made a superb clearance from the line.

And, from the resulting corner, McGee was forced to claw away another Verheydt effort that was heading for the net.

Pompey started to look more threatening as the interval beckoned and with Pitman lurking at the far post, Mark Connolly had to intercept Holmes-Dennis’ low cross.

Bennett’s incisive pass then picked out Conor Chaplin in the box, but the striker could not get the ball untangled from his feet.

Half Time: Crawley 1 Pompey 0

 

Chaplin thought he should have been awarded a penalty early in the second half when his surge into the area was abruptly halted, but referee Carl Brook was not interested.

But the Blues were level on 55 minutes after Pitman had been crudely challenged by Connolly in a central position outside the box.

It was PITMAN who stepped up to take the free-kick and curl a fantastic effort right into the top corner of the net.

The striker was then involved in a clash with Yorwerth on the edge of the Crawley area, but perhaps with the fact it was a friendly in mind, Brook just gave the pair a stern telling off.

It was otherwise typical friendly fare on the pitch, with the game starting to lag as the second half progressed.

Kal Naismith angled a shot into the side netting for Pompey, while Boldewijn fired wide at the other end.

But the Blues found themselves ahead on 75 minutes, as PITMAN collected a neat pass from substitute Milan Lalkovic and coolly lifted the ball over Morris.

The lead should have been strengthened further, only for Naismith to slot wide when it seemed far easier to score.

And the Blues comfortably passed the ball around among themselves to see out the final few minutes and secure the win.

Crawley (5-4-1): Morris; Young, Lelan, Yorwerth, Connolly, Evina; Boldewijn, Bulman (c), Randall (Payne 68), Roberts (Lewis 80); Verheydt (Harrold 70)
Goals: Verheydt 3
Subs not used: Mersin, Arthur, Cox, Blackman, Djalo, Clifford, Tajbakash, Sanoh, Camara

Pompey (4-4-1-1): McGee; Evans, Davies, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis; Naismith, Baker, Rose, Bennett; Pitman (c); Chaplin (Lalkovic 62)
Goals: Pitman 55, 75
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Close, May, Lowe, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 1,603 (778 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 152017
 

Friendly

0 – 2


Pitman nets twice in pre-season victory

Brett Pitman bagged a brace in his first Pompey appearance to secure another pre-season victory for Kenny Jackett’s side at Bognor.

He netted at both ends of a contest that often drifted along, although fellow debutant Luke McGee made a fine stop in the second half.

The Rocks were certainly not over-awed against their higher-level opponents, but they rarely threatened to secure a share of the spoils.

The visitors made a bright start and Conor Chaplin hit a clean effort from 25 yards that flew narrowly past the post.

And the diminutive striker was involved in the goal that saw them break the deadlock with just five minutes on the clock.

He beat Rocks keeper Dan Lincoln to a poor Sami El-Abd back-pass and squared for PITMAN to slot home his first goal for the club.

The advantage was almost doubled moments later, but Lincoln got down to palm clear Carl Baker’s angled drive.

After that early flurry, however, the match soon settled into more traditional pre-season fare, with fans more interested in visiting the bar than watching what was unfolding on the pitch.

Bognor started to enjoy more possession as the half progressed and Ollie Pearce was let down by a poor touch after latching onto a ball over the top.

There was also a Baker corner at the other end that Christian Burgess was unable to divert on target.

But it was pretty slow going until Pompey finally started to show more attacking intent just before the break.

Adam May should have strengthened their lead, but fired a shot straight at Lincoln from inside the box.

Bognor’s keeper then made sure he was not beaten at his near post from Gareth Evans’ drilled effort.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


The second half got off to a sedate start, although Kyle Bennett flashed a long-range attempt narrowly wide.

There was not much else to excite a healthy Nyewood Lane crowd, though, with clear-cut openings at a premium.

Tom Davies headed a free-kick wide, while a shot from May was blocked by his former team-mate Chad Field.

And an effort from Danny Rose just past the hour mark took a deflection and looped just wide of the post.

It was certainly Pompey looking more likely to add to the scoring and a lunging Pitman could not quite connect with Bennett’s low delivery from the left.

Bognor were left perturbed on 70 minutes when they tried to bring subbed defender El-Abd back on, only to be denied by the officials.

They almost levelled soon after, though, when Davies’ slip let in Tommy Scutt, but McGee came to the rescue with a fine save.

That was then matched by Lincoln at the other end, with the stopper keeping out Pitman’s acrobatic close-range flick after Davies had headed the ball towards goal.

But PITMAN did wrap things up on 86 minutes, neatly controlling Baker’s dinked pass over the defence and slotting home his second of the afternoon.

Bognor (4-2-3-1): Lincoln; Whyte (Davies 46), Field (Block 71), El-Abd (c) (Heath 46), Bird; Tuck, Lee (Beck 46); Parsons (Muitt 46), Suraci (Scutt 63), Pearce (Dolcetti 82); Wild (Rowlatt 46)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Burgess, Davies, Holmes-Dennis; May, Rose; Baker, Pitman (c), Bennett; Chaplin
Goals: Pitman 5, 86
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Whatmough, Close, Lalkovic, Naismith, Main

Referee: Gary Parsons

Attendance: 1,800

Portsmouth FC