Apr 222017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 1 Cambridge United

 

Baker and Naismith on target

Pompey ensured their promotion party did not fall flat with a 2-1 victory over Cambridge at Fratton Park.

Carl Baker fired them ahead before the break and Kal Naismith’s fine free-kick doubled the advantage in the second half.

An equally impressive strike from Luke Berry reduced the deficit, but the Blues saw out the closing stages to secure all three points.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that won at Notts County to secure promotion on Easter Monday.

There were maiden starts for Nicke Kabamba and Stanley Aborah, with Gary Roberts and Amine Linganzi making way.

Matt Clarke also returned from injury to replace Christian Burgess at the heart of Pompey’s back-line.

There was a carnival atmosphere inside Fratton Park as the sides emerged from the tunnel to the tune of the Herman’s Hermits hit ‘I’m Into Something Good’.

And it was the hosts who looked more threatening in the early stages, with Naismith’s effort blocked before Baker drilled a low shot just past the post.

Enda Stevens then tried his luck after cutting inside from out wide, although his rising drive cleared the crossbar.

And Cambridge skipper Leon Legge managed to head clear a cross from the left-back before it could reach the waiting Kabamba.

Gareth Evans was next to have a pop and hit the ball cleanly enough from 25 yards, only for it to fly straight into the arms of Will Norris.

But the United keeper was beaten on 20 minutes, as Stevens got free down the left and cut the ball back for BAKER to side-foot home from inside the box.

That was the signal for the play-off chasing visitors to start showing some more ambition and try to chase an equaliser.

Medy Elito whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left, with David Forde was at his commanding best to punch clear.

But Cambridge almost drew level when the keeper failed to claim a cross on 35 minutes, as Michael Doyle initially cleared before Uche Ikpeazu’s effort was turned off the line by Jack Whatmough.

The danger was not over yet, however, and Liam O’Neil should have found the target after being picked out from the resulting corner.

And Forde did brilliantly to somehow claim a dangerous delivery by Piero Mingoia with just one hand in a crowded area.

But it was the Blues who almost snatched a goal to extend their advantage just moments before the break.

Naismith and Stevens combined well down the left and the latter’s centre was hooked back across goal by Baker, although just too high for Kabamba to divert on target at the far post.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Cambridge 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was another great chance for the hosts following the restart as Norris spilled Kyle Bennett’s shot, only for Kabamba to slip before he could reach the loose ball.

It was only a brief respite for Cambridge, however, and Shaun Derry’s side did fall further behind on 51 minutes.

Aborah was brought down 25 yards from goal and top scorer NAISMITH stepped up to curl home a beauty of a free-kick.

The visitors needed some inspiration and quickly made all three of their substitutions, including introductions for former Blues players James Dunne and Adam McGurk.

And Cook made a couple of switches of his own, with Kabamba and Baker making way for Conor Chaplin and Monday’s goal hero Jamal Lowe.

That seemed to take the sting out of the game, although it was still Pompey playing with more attacking intent.

A dangerous low Stevens cross was turned into his own keeper’s arms by Legge, while a couple of fine passing moves were just lacking a final killer ball.

But Cambridge found a route back into the game on 80 minutes when Aborah conceded a free-kick that Berry superbly fired past Forde’s desperate grasp.

The same played had another sighter following a foul by Doyle soon after, although this time he smashed his shot straight into the wall.

A third free-kick from Berry in stoppage-time was then heading for the net, until Forde managed to push it to safety.

And United were unable to find an equaliser, meaning that Pompey still have slim hopes of catching leaders Doncaster.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Whatmough, Clarke, Stevens; Aborah, M.Doyle (c); Baker (Lowe 67), Naismith, Bennett (Roberts 72); Kabamba (Chaplin 63)
Goals: Baker 20, Naismith 51
Booked: Baker, Whatmough, Forde
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, T.Davies, Rose

Cambridge (4-1-4-1): Norris; Halliday, Legge (c), Taylor, Carroll; O’Neil (Dunk 57); Mingoia, Newton (Dunne 61), Berry, Elito; Ikpeazu (McGurk 63)
Goals: Berry 80
Booked: O’Neil
Subs not used: Gregory, Wharton, Maris, Lewis

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 18,165 (622 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Oct 292016
 
League 2
Cambridge United 0 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin heads winner for 10-man Blues

Conor Chaplin headed home his fifth goal of the season to ensure Pompey kept up their impressive record over Cambridge.

He converted Christian Burgess’ cross midway through the first half of a game that otherwise failed to excite.

But the Blues had to play the final 30 minutes with only 10 men following a lunge from Amine Linganzi.

Paul Cook made one change from the side beaten by Notts County at Fratton Park the previous week.

That came in the centre of defence, where Tom Davies dropped to the bench to make way for Matt Clarke.

There were plenty of Pompey connections in the hosts’ set-up, with James Dunne and Adam McGurk both starting for Shaun Derry’s side.

It was not a contest to excite those in attendance at Abbey Stadium – including 1,850 who travelled up from the south coast – in the opening stages.

A couple of Blues breaks petered out before the defence could be properly troubled, while David Forde comfortably dealt with McGurk’s header.

The same player then tried an acrobatic over-head effort from 25 yards that sailed over the bar as the first half continued to plod along.

It was the same story at the other end of the pitch, where Gary Roberts laid a free-kick off to Michael Doyle, only for the skipper to take a total air-shot from the edge of the box.

But then, from nothing, Burgess broke clear down the right and Pompey found themselves in the lead on 24 minutes.

The defender launched the ball into the box from just inside the opposition half and CHAPLIN – the smallest player on the pitch – sent a header looping into the net.

Burgess then breathed a sigh of relief seconds later when Uche Ikpeazu went down under his challenge.

Referee Ross Joyce was unimpressed by the home side’s appeals, however, with Dunne’s protests earning him a yellow card.

Pompey were now enjoying a spell of pressure and Will Norris did well to parry away Kyle Bennett’s fierce effort, while a low Enda Stevens cross had to be hacked behind.

This was a few minutes of excitement in an otherwise dull half of football, however, as the interval arrived without any more noteworthy moments.

Half Time: Cambridge 0 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was a chance for the Blues at the start of the second half when Doyle played a clever pass over the top.

Chaplin latched onto it and did well to beat his man and burst into the box, but then bent a shot wide of the post.

Both sets of supporters applauded in the 53rd minute in memory of Pompey fan Gary Martin, who would have turned 53 today.

On the pitch, the visitors were almost caught out when they failed to clear the danger and the ball fell for Ben Williamson.

The striker was left with only Forde to beat, only to drag his shot wide and let Pompey off the hook.

But the Blues were dealt a huge blow when they were reduced to 10 men just past the hour mark.

Linganzi lunged into a challenge on Conor Newton in the centre circle and although there did not appear to be too much contact, his studs were showing and Joyce brandished a red card.

Cook immediately looked to shore up his side with a double substitution, as Bennett and Chaplin made way for Danny Rose and Noel Hunt.

Cambridge set about trying to make their numerical advantage count and when Piero Mingoia’s cross was headed clear by Burgess, Dunne saw his follow-up deflected narrowly wide.

But with Burgess and Clarke expertly marshalling things at the back, Forde was enjoying a largely untroubled afternoon.

And the Blues saw out the final few moments to secure a return to winning ways on one of their favourite hunting grounds.

Cambridge (4-4-2): Norris; Halliday (Pigott 83), Legge (c), Roberts, Taylor; Mingoia, Dunne, Clark (Newton 58), Dunk; McGurk (Williamson 33), Ikpeazu
Booked: Dunne, Halliday, Ikpeazu
Subs not used: Gregory, Long, Coulsen, Gosling

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (T.Davies 90+3), Bennett (Rose 62); Chaplin (Hunt 63)
Goals: Chaplin 24
Sent off: Linganzi
Booked: Chaplin, Doyle, Hunt, Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Lalkovic, Smith

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 6,397 (1,850 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jul 222016
 

Adam McGurk

Released



Striker departs Pompey

Pompey and Adam McGurk have agreed a deal for the striker to leave Fratton Park.

The 27-year-old Northern Irishman has now signed for fellow League Two side Cambridge.

He joined the Blues last summer after two years with Burton, where he was a fourth tier title winner.

McGurk scored six goals in 36 appearances for Pompey, including a brace against Macclesfield in the first round of the FA Cup.

Portsmouth FC

Feb 272016
 

Portsmouth 2 v 1 Cambridge United

Marc McNulty and Adam Webster were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways against Cambridge.

It was not the most free-flowing of performances, but it was still the hosts who created most of the game’s best chances.

And – after the past two games yielded a solitary point – there was a sense of relief when McNulty opened the scoring just before the break.

United failed to cause Ryan Fulton many problems and it was left for Webster to secure all three points midway through the second half.

That was despite a few late nerves when Cambridge skipper Luke Berry pulled one back in the closing stages.

Paul Cook made four changes from the side that were beaten at Barnet during the week.

Conor Chaplin was handed his first start in more than four months, while Christian Burgess returned after serving a one-match ban.

Kal Naismith and a fit-again Danny Hollands featured in midfield, with Matt Clarke and Ben Close, as well as the injured duo of Adam McGurk and Michael Smith, making way.

The hosts made a bright start and Chaplin fired wide from a tight angle after both Kyle Bennett and Naismith had their paths to goal blocked.

Leon Legge then did well to cut the ball out after McNulty stole possession and tried to thread a pass through to Chaplin.

But the contest quickly descended into a scrappy affair, with a number of niggly challenges drawing a shrill whistle from referee Oliver Langford.

Jimmy Spencer was finally shown a yellow card after one foul too many, while Ben Davies quickly followed him into the book.

Cambridge then had their best chance of the half, with Ben Williamson’s low cross going just behind the onrushing Berry.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 41 minutes and, unsurprisingly, it came from a free-kick after McNulty had been upended.

Michael Doyle slipped the ball through to McNULTY, who brought it under control before rocketing a shot into the roof of the net.

Spencer was then slightly fortunate to remain on the pitch following a foul on Enda Stevens, with United boss Shaun Derry preparing a substitution before eventually deciding to wait until the break.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Cambridge 0

As expected, Spencer did not return for the start of the second half , with the striker wisely making way for Ryan Donaldson.

But it was the Blues who were first to threaten after the restart, with Bennett dragging a shot narrowly wide.

The half took a while to spark into life, however, with neither side looking particularly creative going forward.

But Pompey began to pick up as time went on and Chaplin was not quite able to pick out McNulty with a low cross.

Hollands’ drive was then kept out by Cambridge keeper Will Norris following a neat cut-back by Stevens.

And the hosts did double their advantage just past the hour mark to relieve any tension around the ground

It was Webster who started and finished the move, bringing the ball out of defence before finding Bennett.

The winger was unfortunate not to score himself with a fierce strike that Norris expertly tipped onto the crossbar.

But WEBSTER was following up to hook the ball home and send the Fratton faithful wild with delight.

Cook was forced into his first change on 73 minutes, with Naismith picking up a knock and being replaced by Gareth Evans.

Cambridge did reduce the deficit late on when a free-kick was headed back by Mark Roberts for Berry to score.

But the Blues saw out five minutes of stoppage-time to secure the win and move back into the League Two play-off places.

Pompey (4-4-2): Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Naismith (Evans 73), Hollands, Doyle (c), Bennett (Tollitt 90+2); Chaplin (Clarke 87), McNulty
Goals: McNulty 41, Webster 62
Booked: Davies, McNulty, Chaplin
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Haunstrup, Barton

Cambridge (4-1-4-1): Norris; Furlong, Legge (Roberts 85), Coulson, Haynes; O’Neill (Simpson 56); Williamson, Berry (c), Ledson, Dunk; Spencer (Donaldson 46)
Goals: Berry 90
Booked: Spencer, Berry, Legge
Subs not used: Beasant, Omozusi, Keane

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 15,425 (587 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 142016
 

James Dunne has left Pompey by mutual consent.

The 26-year-old midfielder – who has spent the past two months on loan at Dagenham – has now signed for Cambridge.

He joined the Blues in the summer of 2014 and scored one goal in 39 appearances during his time at Fratton Park.

But his only game this season was as a late substitute in the Capital One Cup defeat to Reading.

Portsmouth FC
Oct 102015
 

Cambridge United 1 v 3 Portsmouth

Pompey continued their impressive away record by battling from behind to claim all three points in an eventful game at Cambridge.

Robbie Simpson controversially fired the hosts ahead early on and that led to frayed tempers which boiled over at the break.

United captain Mark Roberts were dismissed following a scuffle and the Blues made good use of their numerical advantage.

They did the damage with two goals in under two minutes, with Leon Legge inadvertently beating his own keeper before Matt Tubbs fired Pompey ahead.

And it was Tubbs who netted again just before the end to make sure that the visitors returned home with a maximum haul, although Gareth Evans soured the mood slightly when he was sent off late on.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that drew with Yeovil at Fratton Park the previous week.

The hosts named Sam Beasant – son of former Pompey stopper Dave – between the sticks in their starting line-up.

And Gary Roberts tried to catch him out straight from kick-off with a shot from inside his own half that the keeper was wise to.

Aaron McCarey then had come off his line at the other end to punch clear a dangerous Cambridge cross.

But the hosts did take the lead on four minutes – although the Blues were furious that the goal was allowed to stand.

A flag was raised when Simpson raced onto Luke Berry’s pass and slotted home, but – after speaking with his assistant – referee Sebastian Stockbridge ruled in favour of the hosts.

Pompey soon settled into their usual patient passing game and a number of precise crosses were causing United problems, with Ben Davies a particular threat.

But they were unable to make that pressure count by testing Beasant, who had no more than a couple of half-chances from distance to deal with.

The cheers from the travelling supporters were instead of the ironic variety whenever an offside decision went their way.

Roberts was doing his best to find a way through and also tried his luck with a 35-yard pile-driver that fizzed over the crossbar.

He created a promising opportunity by dispossessing Elliot Omozusi on 32 minutes, only for Evans to waste it by firing wildly across the face of goal.

But there were to be no more major moments of drama until after the half-time whistle was blown.

A scuffle then broke out between the two teams and assistant manager Leam Richardson came onto the pitch to usher his players away and down the tunnel.

In the melee, Cambridge skipper Roberts pushed McCarey to the ground and was sent off by Stockbridge, while Richardson was ordered to watch the rest of the game from the stands.

Half Time: Cambridge 1 Pompey 0

It was the 10-man hosts who were first to threaten when the game restarted and McCarey was down quickly to smother Ryan Donaldson’s effort.

Pompey immediately had a chance down at the other end, but Kyle Bennett could not guide Enda Stevens’ cross on target.

Cambridge were sitting increasingly deeper as the Blues tried to find a way through and Bennett forced a decent stop from Beasant just past the hour mark.

Cook made his first switch on 66 minutes and it was certainly an unusual move, with Adam Webster replacing Matt Clarke and Burgess moving up front.

And, within the space of just a few seconds, Pompey had scored twice to turn the game completely on its head.

The first came when United defender LEGGE, under pressure from Tubbs, steered a decent Evans cross into his own net.

And the large away following were in dreamland moments later, as TUBBS showed his poacher’s instinct to convert Roberts’ pass from close range.

Burgess immediately dropped back into defence and a second substitution followed on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith replacing Bennett.

Pompey did not have too much to deal with at the other end as they looked to see out the rest of the game.

And they even managed to grab a third goal in fortunate fashion late on, with a clearance hitting Naismith and rebounding off the bar for TUBBS to head home.

The only sour note was a stoppage-time dismissal for Evans, who was shown a straight red card for a late challenge on Omozusi.

Cambridge (4-4-2): Beasant; Omozusi, Legge, Roberts (c), Demetriou; Donaldson (Newton 73), Berry, Hughes, Dunk (Morrissey 83); Corr, Simpson (Taft 46)
Goals: Simpson 4
Sent off: Roberts
Booked: Corr, Newton
Subs not used: Taylor, Hughes, Gaffney, Akintunde

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Clarke (Webster 65), Stevens; Barton (Atangana 89), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Naismith 75); Tubbs
Goals: Legge 67 (og), Tubbs 68, 87
Sent off: Evans
Booked: Davies
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Hollands, Chaplin

Referee: Sebastian Stockbridge

Attendance: 6,607 (1,866 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC