|Christopher Franke195367||Judi Bowker195466||Zach Braff197545||Myleene Klass197842|
|Eliza Coupe198139||Peyton List199822|
A largely insipid encounter came to life in the closing stages, as the Blues struck twice in stoppage-time to spark scenes of joy inside Fratton Park.
The Grecians took the lead through skipper Jake Taylor, only for Marcus Harness to equalise with four minutes remaining.
There was still plenty more action to come, though, and it was the League Two visitors who seemingly grabbed a winner through an unfortunate Christian Burgess own-goal.
But a lovely strike from Cameron McGeehan brought Pompey level once more and, with a penalty shoot-out looming, John Marquis nodded the winner.
Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Shrewsbury in the league a few days earlier.
Ross McCrorie was handed a first start of the calendar year, with Ben Close also returning, as James Bolton and Gareth Evans made way.
In scenes reminiscent of Storm Dennis at the weekend, the ground was lashed by wind and rain ahead of kick-off.
But that had passed by the time the action started and the hosts made a bright start, looking to attack their opponents from the off.
Ronan Curtis sent in a low centre that was just out of reach for Ellis Harrison and Joel Randall did well to react before McGeehan could pounce.
Harrison – surrounded by two players – then did brilliantly to bring down a long pass and feed Curtis, who could not keep his angled strike down.
But the Blues striker was forced off midway through the first half, having already received treatment on the pitch.
He valiantly tried to carry on playing, but eventually hobbled off and was replaced up front by Marquis.
The action soon died down and there was not much to excite a healthy crowd at either end of the pitch.
Exeter’s best opportunity came when Jayden Richardson collected a lofted pass and twisted his way into a shooting position, but Close came to the rescue with a key challenge.
The Blues picked up as the interval approached and Curtis nipped in to steal possession, but could not quite cut the ball back for the waiting Marquis.
Exeter City 0
The hosts were slow to get going once the action restarted, with the Grecians appearing to settle quicker.
But they did not have much to show for their endeavour, apart from a booking for Alex Fisher following a lunge at Burgess.
And Pompey then started to move through the gears, with a couple of Steve Seddon corners not fully dealt with.
The left-back then sent in a fine cross from the left that Marquis thought he had forced just over the line, although the officials disagreed.
McGeehan soon saw a downwards header only partially cleared and skipper Tom Naylor fired the loose ball wide.
Jackett made his second change of the night soon after, with Close withdrawn and replaced by Oli Hawkins.
Exeter were relying on nefarious methods to keep their opponents at bay and Gary Warren was shown a yellow card for cynically preventing Marquis from breaking clear.
But the visitors might have broken the deadlock on 63 minutes, only for Naylor to throw himself in the path of Lee Martin’s shot.
Tom Parkes then wasted a decent opportunity from the resulting corner by hooking the ball high over the bar.
Pompey were pushing forward in search of an opener, with Hawkins looking a particular threat, but were just lacking that final bit of quality in the final third.
The breakthrough almost came on 71 minutes, only for Lewis Ward to make a sensational stop to stop Hawkins from converting Harness’ low centre.
A goal appeared to be getting closer and Harness then fired inches wide after being teed-up by McGeehan.
But it was Exeter who went ahead with 11 minutes remaining after Sean Raggett had diverted a shot narrowly past his own post.
Alex Bass was unable to get to the resulting corner and the ball fell for Taylor to lash into the net from 12 yards.
The stunned Blues tried to hit back and Curtis immediately dragged a shot off target from the edge of the area.
And they did have a leveller moments later, after Marquis had initially appeared to see a pass go beyond him.
But the striker got hold of it and squared for Curtis, with his shot cleared from the line by Parkes and HARNESS following up to slam home the rebound.
It seemed like the hosts were the more likely side to score again and avoid a penalty shoot-out, but there was still time for plenty more twists.
Exeter thought they had a winner when Randall’s low delivery was inadvertently sliced into his own net by Burgess.
But the Blues kept fighting as the contest entered stoppage-time and McGEEHAN lifted a fine shot over Ward and into the net.
And with five additional minutes already up, Naylor found acres of space to surge forward and pick out Curtis.
The winger expertly brought the ball down and sent in a superb cross from the left that was nodded in by MARQUIS.
There was not time for any more drama and the whistle soon blew, leaving fans to start singing about Wembley.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Seddon; Naylor (c), Close (Hawkins 54); Harness, McGeehan, Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 24)
Goals: Harness 86, McGeehan 90+2, Marquis 90+6
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Bolton, Whatmough, Brown, Williams
Exeter (3-4-1-2): Ward; Dyer, Warren, Parkes; Richardson, Taylor (c), Kite, Randall; Martin (Williams 72); Law (Collins 80), Fisher (Seymour 68)
Goals: Taylor 79, Burgess 89 (og)
Booked: Fisher, Warren
Subs not used: Thompson, Moxey, Holmes, Jay
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 14,735 (366 away fans)
John Marquis opened the scoring in the first half and the hosts looked comfortabe going in for the interval.
But their League Two opponents were the better side following the restart and Abo Eisa’s fine finish drew them level.
Cameron McGeehan quickly hit back with his first Blues goal, though, to ensure hopes of becoming the first club to successfully defend the silverware were maintained.
Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that collected three points in the league at Bolton at the weekend.
Jack Whatmough was the most notable inclusion after almost 12 months out with a serious knee injury.
Gareth Evans returned to skipper the team, while Craig MacGillivray, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close and Ryan Williams also started.
The men to keep their place in the line-up were James Bolton, Sean Raggett, Marcus Harness, McGeehan and Marquis.
There was almost a nightmare start for Whatmough, as Eisa’s shot took a wicked deflection off the defender, but thankfully flew straight into MacGillivray’s arms.
Most of the action was taking place at the other end, though, and Evans saw his fierce drive beaten away by Iron keeper Rory Watson.
Raggett was unable to get on the end of a Haunstrup corner, while Harness saw his attempt blocked after Marquis sent the ball across the box.
But it was MARQUIS who broke the deadlock on 13 minutes, despite not being able to take Williams’ pass first time.
The striker instead bought the ball under control, spun sharply and neatly slotted home his ninth goal of the season.
It looked like Marquis was trying to add two points for a conversion moments later, as he blazed another effort high over the bar.
McGeehan did come close to doubling the lead later in the half, being afforded space to drift into the box and hitting a low drive inches past the post.
Evans then lifted a glorious pass over the top for Marquis to race on to and angle in a precise shot that was impressively kept out by Watson.
But it was Scunthorpe who almost added to the scoring just before the break, with MacGillivray diving acrobatically to his left to deny James Perch.
The resulting corner also caused trouble and Williams was grateful to see his clearance ricochet off an opposition player and out for a goal-kick.
Scunthorpe United 0
Pompey were forced to make a change soon after the restart when Bolton went down injured and had to come off.
The right-back did not seem in too much pain as he made his way from the pitch, with Christian Burgess on to replace him.
Scunthorpe then caused problems with a couple of corners that were unconvincingly dealt with by the hosts.
The League Two side were on top without really testing MacGillivray, although a thunderous 30-yard strike from Eisa fizzed narrowly off target.
And it was Eisa who levelled in impressive fashion just past the hour mark, with the winger cutting inside from the left and bending home a fine effort.
The Blues looked in trouble, but it took just four minutes for them to restore the lead with a quick breakaway goal.
A stumbling Harness kept his composure to slip a pass across to McGEEHAN, who was left in space to open his account for the club with a neat finish into the bottom corner.
The advantage was almost increased when Harness’ cut-back found Marquis moments later, but Watson saved well and then leapt on the loose ball.
Scunthorpe brought on Kevin van Veen – voted star man for the last round of the competition – and he sent a dangerous ball across the box that somehow evaded everyone.
The Fratton faithful sung about returning to Wembley, while the visitors tried their best to force another equaliser.
But Pompey held on for the win to take their place in Saturday night’s draw and continue their defence of the trophy.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton (Burgess 49), Whatmough, Raggett, Haunstrup; Close, McGeehan; Harness (Naylor 88), Evans (c), Williams; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 13, McGeehan 66
Subs not used: Bass, Seddon, Cannon, Hackett-Fairchild, Hawkins
Scunthorpe (4-2-3-1): Watson; Sutton (Miller 89), McGahey, Bedeau, Brown; Perch (c), Lund; Gilliead, McAtee (Beestin 79), Eisa; Novak (van Veen 78)
Goals: Eisa 62
Subs not used: Collins, Butler, Rowe, Hornshaw
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Attendance: 5,382 (85 away fans)
Loan : Barnsley – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed midfielder Cameron McGeehan on loan from Barnsley for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.
The 24-year-old was part of the Tykes squad that secured promotion to the Championship last season.
McGeehan progressed through the ranks at Norwich and signed for Luton in 2015 following some successful loan spells with the Hatters.
He made more than 100 appearances in his various stints at Kenilworth Road – scoring 31 goals – and then moved on to Barnsley.
The former Northern Ireland youth international was a regular member of the side that finished as League One runners-up last term.