May 062017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 6 – 1 Cheltenham Town

 

We are CHAMPIONS!

Pompey thrashed Cheltenham 6-1 to secure the League Two title on a memorable afternoon on the south coast.

They became only the fifth team to win all four divisions after both Plymouth and Doncaster failed to secure three points.

Daniel O’Shaughnessy’s own-goal opened the scoring at Fratton Park, but the lead was a slender one at the break.

It all changed in the second half, however, as Kyle Bennett, Jamal Lowe and Gareth Evans found the target – the latter from the penalty spot – while Kal Naismith bagged a brace.

Fans then flooded onto the pitch at full-time to begin a party that will likely last for quite a while.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that won at Mansfield the previous week, meaning that it was Conor Chaplin who again led the line.

But it was a Robins player who inadvertently gave the hosts a welcome lead with just 13 minutes on the clock.

Enda Stevens – who collected The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season award before kick-off – delivered a low cross that O’Shaughnessy deflected into his own net.

Chaplin had a chance to double the advantage soon after, but his fierce drive was kept out by Scott Brown.

Cheltenham were not creating too much at the other end, although David Forde got down to his left to keep out Harry Pell’s effort.

The Blues were looking more threatening, meanwhile, and when a free-kick was played to Carl Baker, his curling shot was deflected inches past the post by the knee of Danny Wright.

The visitors grew stronger as the first half progressed and Forde made a comfortable save to deny Billy Waters.

Then, after the keeper did well to keep out Dan Holman’s strike, Danny Rowe curled the ball narrowly wide.

Bennett had a shot saved by Brown, while a stretching Chaplin could not quite reach Naismith’s centre.

But Cheltenham almost grabbed a leveller just before the interval, Dan Holman finding Rowe and the midfielder firing in a shot that was deflected narrowly over.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Cheltenham 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was also a great chance for the visitors moments after the restart, but Danny Wright could only head Kyle Storer’s cross wide from close range.

Holman then had a shot that was racing towards the net before Forde dived to his right to push the ball clear.

But the Blues almost had a second when Danny Rose unleashed a fierce volley that cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar.

Cook made a double switch just past the hour mark, with Baker and Chaplin making way for Lowe and Gary Roberts.

And Pompey soon doubled their advantage, as BENNETT fired in a shot that took a wicked deflection to leave Brown stranded.

That was the cue for the floodgates to open and, following a quick counter, Bennett slipped the ball through for NAISMITH to calmly slip home.

It was substitute LOWE who was next to get in on the act on 72 minutes when he found the bottom corner from a tight angle.

And when Roberts was tripped in the box by Liam Davis, referee Christopher Sarginson pointed to the spot, with EVANS stepping up to slam home the resulting penalty.

The fans were celebrating in the stands with news coming through that both Doncaster and Plymouth were being held.

Pompey had certainly done their job, although Cheltenham pulled a goal back through substitute James Dayton.

That failed to stop the hosts’ attacking charge, however, and Bennett’s strike was superbly saved by Brown.

NAISMITH did grab a sixth goal on 85 minutes, with Michael Doyle sending a ball over the top and Pompey’s top scorer calmly slotting into the net.

All the attention now was to what was happening at Grimsby and Hartlepool, with plenty of fingernails being chewed.

Fans ran onto the pitch in celebration at the final whistle, with news filtering through that Plymouth could only draw.

And when Doncaster’s match at Hartlepool finished in defeat, it was confirmed that Pompey were League Two champions.

We’re on our way.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Aborah 71), M.Doyle; Baker (Lowe 61), Naismith, Bennett; Chaplin (Roberts 61)
Goals: O’Shaughnessy 13 (og), Bennett 62, Naismith 66, 85, Lowe 72, Evans 75 (pen)
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Linganzi , Lowe, Roberts, Kabamba

Cheltenham (4-4-2): Brown; Cranston (Barthram 66), O’Shaughnessy, Boyle, Davies; Pell (Dayton 54), Storer (c), Rowe, Waters; Wright, Holman (Munns 71)
Goals: Dayton 78
Booked: Storer
Subs not used: Kitscha, Winchester, Downes, Wootton

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 17,956 (545 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Nov 192016
 

 

First away game of the season to Cheltenham, what a journey!

Points frozen at Drayton a whole 5 mins into our almost 5 hour journey forcing us to Fratton!

So our journey now considered of…

Outbound

Havant – Fratton – Bristol Temple Meads – Gloucester – Cheltenham (last part by bus)

Homebound

Cheltenham – Swindon – Trowbridge – Southampton – Havant

Not doing that by rail again

Standing room only on two journeys, on one journey it was a train of only one coach and we got stuck with a bunch of very drunk Pompey fans who only knew one song. On the trip to Bristol about 95% of the train was reserved, luckily it got so crowded they didn’t let anyone else on after a while so we were not moved from our seats.

As for the game, well typical Portsmouth. Lots of passing and few attempts on goal. Followed by a defensive mishap to concede.

Still, I can add another ground to the list

Nov 192016
 

League Two


 

Cheltenham Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Smith grabs late leveller

Michael Smith came off the bench to hit his first league goal of the season and earn Pompey a point at Cheltenham.

It looked like the Blues would be made to pay for missed opportunities when Daniel O’Shaughnessy fired the hosts ahead midway through the second half.

But Smith capitalised on a goalkeeping error late on to salvage a deserved point and give the large travelling support something to smile about on the journey home.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Mansfield at home the previous week.

And they had a chance to open the scoring in the early seconds after Carl Baker swapped passes with Gary Roberts and advanced forward, only to see his shot blocked.

But the hosts immediately broke up the other end and thought they should have won a penalty when Danny Wright hit the turf.

The striker was surrounded by three blue-shirted players, but referee John Brooks decided there had been no infringement.

It was end-to-end stuff in the early stages of the game, with both sides showing plenty of attacking intent.

The chances did dry up to an extent after such a lively opening, although there were still opportunities for the deadlock to be broken.

Kyle Bennett was released into the box on 14 minutes, but it was always going to be tough for him to beat Robins keeper Russell Griffiths from a tight angle.

Meanwhile, a promising move for the hosts ended with Dan Holman blazing over, while the same player later bent a free-kick into the arms of David Forde.

Rose soon hit a cleanly-struck effort on target at the other end, but his shot flew straight at a grateful Griffiths.

Harry Pell wasted a good opportunity for Cheltenham on 32 minutes, dragging wide from the edge of the box after Christian Burgess’ clearance landed at his feet.

But it was the Blues who ended the first half on the ascendency and Griffiths superbly kept out Baker’s diving header after the midfielder had met Gareth Evans’ pin-point delivery.

Roberts then saw a shot bending off target and an onrushing Evans could not quite get there in time to turn the ball back on the right path.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey had two great chances to forge ahead straight after the restart, but Griffiths denied them on both occasions.

First the keeper stayed on his feet to save Roberts’ shot after the midfielder had stayed onside to collect Baker’s threaded pass.

Then he prevented Conor Chaplin from heading home Evans’ cross from just a couple of yards out at the far post.

And when Griffiths was unable to frustrate the Blues, the woodwork came to his rescue, with Bennett’s strike coming back off the post.

But the keeper was soon called back into action, quickly smothering the ball before Bennett could reach Roberts’ pass.

Cheltenham had a decent opening of their own just before the hour mark when the visitors failed to deal with a ball sent into their box, but Wright volleyed over from close range.

And it was the Robins who took the lead on 65 minutes after Burgess had been booked for a late challenge on Holman near the halfway line.

James Rowe’s free-kick ricocheted around the Pompey box before eventually landing at the feet of O’Shaughnessy to fire home.

They should have doubled their advantage soon after, but an unmarked Rob Dickie fired wide when the ball found him unmarked in the box.

Cook made an attacking switch to try to inspire a change of fortunes on 75 minutes, with Bennett making way for Smith.

A double substitution then followed moments later, as Noel Hunt and Kal Naismith replaced Chaplin and Roberts.

And Pompey almost immediately found themselves level when the otherwise impressive Griffiths failed to hold Baker’s cross and SMITH reacted quickly to tuck away the loose ball.

Both sides tried their best to find a winner, but with all their previous meetings ending in a draw, it perhaps came as no surprise to see the game end all square.

Cheltenham (3-4-1-2): Griffiths; Dickie, Downes (c), Parslow; Barthram (Suliman 90+1), Pell, Rowe, O’Shaughnessy (Cranston 90+1); Waters; Holman, Wright
Goals: O’Shaughnessy 65
Booked: Pell, Downes
Subs not used: Kitscha, Munns, Whitehead, Morgan-Smith, Arthur

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 81), Bennett (Smith 75); Chaplin (Hunt 81)
Goals: Smith 82
Booked: Chaplin, Burgess, Baker
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough, Lalkovic

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 4,702 (1,537 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC