Jul 222017
 
Friendly
Portsmouth 1 – 2 AFC Bournemouth

 

Chaplin on target in friendly defeat

Conor Chaplin was on target as Pompey were narrowly beaten by top-flight Bournemouth at Fratton Park.

The striker levelled in the second half after Lys Mousset had earlier fired the visitors into the lead.

But Benik Afobe almost immediately netted for the Cherries and, despite a spirited display, the Blues could not find another goal.

Pre-season conjures up images of baking hot days with plenty of drinks breaks.

But coats and umbrellas were needed at Fratton Park, as the rain fell steadily throughout the only home friendly of the summer.

Recent Bournemouth signings Asmir Begovic and Jermain Defoe returned to their former club, while ex-Cherry Brett Pitman skippered the hosts.

It was the Premier League side that made the brighter start, with Luke McGee doing well to keep out Tyrone Mings’ deflected drive.

Mousset then met Ryan Fraser’s cross with a firm header that had to be cleared by a well-placed Pitman.

And Bournemouth broke the deadlock on nine minutes, as Afobe got down the right and cut the ball back for Mousset to fire home.

But the Blues grew into the game as the first half progressed and a left-footed attempt by Kyle Bennett from outside of the box narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Pitman then had a shot inadvertently blocked by Chaplin before heading Kal Naismith’s cross just over the bar.

The Cherries still threatened, though, and when McGee could not get a strong enough hand to Afobe’s angled drive, Carl Baker had to hack the ball from the line.

But Pompey were not looking over-awed and both Baker and Naismith were not too far away with efforts from distance.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Bournemouth 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was almost a leveller early in the second half, but Begovic showed his class by keeping out Pitman’s drive.

Pompey did grab an equaliser on 52 minutes, however, as Pitman cushioned a header into the path of CHAPLIN, who coolly slotted home.

But they were not on level terms for long, with Afobe’s neat back-heel almost immediately restoring Bournemouth’s lead.

The visitors then made a host of substitutions just before the hour mark and Defoe was among those introduced.

There were soon cries for a penalty when Bennett’s cross appeared to strike the arm of Cherries skipper Simon Francis, but referee Andy Davies was not interested.

The raft of changes ultimately took the sting out of the game and it started to meander towards a conclusion.

But Chaplin got everyone off their seats late on by drilling a left-footed shot against the base of the post.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ cross then had to be cleared behind, while the impressive Christian Burgess headed over from the resulting corner.

Pompey were ultimately unable to find a second leveller, but it was certainly a performance to take comfort from against Premier League opposition.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): McGee; Evans, Davies, Burgess, Holmes-Dennis; Bennett, Baker, Rose, Naismith (Lalkovic 69); Pitman; Chaplin
Goals: Chaplin 52
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Whatmough, Haunstrup, May, Close, Lowe, Main, Kabamba

Bournemouth (4-2-3-1): Begovic (Federici 59); Francis (c), S.Cook (Worthington 46), Cargill (Ake 59), Mings (Daniels 46); Surman (L.Cook 59), Arter (Gosling 59); Fraser (Ibe 59), Mousset (King 59), Gradel (Pugh 59); Afobe (Defoe 59)
Goals: Mousset 9, Afobe 54
Subs not used: Mahoney, Simpson, Whitfield

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 7,182 (988 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jul 082017
 
Friendly
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 6 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin bags treble in Westleigh Park rout

Conor Chaplin hit a hat-trick as Pompey continued their prolific pre-season form with a 6-0 thrashing of Havant & Waterlooville.

The rout began with a Lee Molyneaux own-goal, while the striker then ran riot with a treble before the interval.

He also teed-up Kal Naismith to add to the advantage early in the second half, while Curits Main wrapped things up from the penalty spot.

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis made his first appearance in a Pompey shirt following his loan signing from Huddersfield earlier in the week.

The hosts named former Fratton midfielder Wes Fogden in their starting line-up, but Matt Tubbs missed out with an injury.

It was a hot and sunny afternoon at Westleigh Park, but that did not stop the first half from being played at a hectic pace.

And it was the visitors who unsurprisingly looked the more threatening side throughout the opening 45 minutes.

They had already gone close on a couple of occasions when Kyle Bennett fired against the crossbar following some fine build-up play between Chaplin and Holmes-Dennis.

The woodwork came to the Hawks’ rescue again soon after, with Bennett this time having a shot deflected against the post.

There was a blow for Kenny Jackett’s side in between those chances, however, as Matt Clarke limped off the pitch injured.

But the breakthrough did finally arrive – albeit in somewhat farcical fashion – on 26 minutes.

Naismith’s corner caused havoc in the box and the ball eventually ricocheted off the unfortunate Molyneaux and into the net.

That was the signal for the floodgates to open and Pompey doubled their advantage just a few moments later.

Holmes-Dennis swung a delightful cross into the area from wide on the left and CHAPLIN was left with a simple finish at the far post.

The Hawks then had their best chance of the half with a quick counter-attack, but Alex Bass surged from his line to brilliantly deny Alfie Rutherford.

Pompey were not quite so profligate and CHAPLIN bagged his second of the afternoon on 39 minutes, collecting a ball down the line and cutting inside before smashing home a shot.

And CHAPLIN completed his hat-trick in stoppage-time with a first time finish into the bottom corner after being teed-up by Naismith.

Half Time: Hawks 0 Pompey 4

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey did not sit on their lead at the start of the second half and Chaplin was once again involved in their fifth goal.

The diminutive striker sent a dangerous low ball into the box from wide on the left, leaving NAISMITH with a simple tap-in.

A flurry of substitutes soon disrupted the flow, however, with Chaplin among those taking a well-earned rest.

But it was one of the players who came on that managed to add a sixth goal for the Blues on 76 minutes.

MAIN barged his way into the box and drew a foul from Alfie Whittingham, then picked himself up to slam home from the spot.

The visitors continued to threaten and Nicke Kabamba was inches away from connecting with Drew Talbot’s cross.

Milan Lalkovic then embarked on a mazy run through the Hawks defence before being denied by a fine save from substitute keeper Alan Walker-Harris.

But Lee Bradbury’s Hawks managed to see the remaining moments out to limit the damage in front of a healthy Westleigh Park crowd.

Hawks (3-5-2): Young (Walker-Harris 72); Woodford, Molyneaux (Wakley 64), Harris; Tarbuck, Lewis (c) (Whittingham 64), Carter (Stock 64 (Yokota 79)), Fogden (Ridge 64), Williams; Prior (Odubade 46), Rutherford (Hayter 46)
Sub not used: Robinson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Evans (c) (Talbot 72), Burgess (Whatmough 72), Clarke (Davies 16), Holmes-Dennis (Haunstrup 46); May (Roberts 76), Rose (Close 57); Baker (Lowe 57), Naismith (Kabamba 72), Bennett (Main 72); Chaplin (Lalkovic 57)
Goals: Molyneaux 26 (og), Chaplin 30, 39, 45+1, Naismith 47, Main 74 (pen)
Sub not used: Collins

Referee: Alex Blake

Attendance: 2,700

Portsmouth FC
Feb 182017
 
League 2
Barnet 1 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin grabs late equaliser

Conor Chaplin hit a fine late leveller to rescue a point for Pompey in a scrappy contest at The Hive.

A largely turgid encounter looked to be heading for a goalless scoreline, with few chances to excite those in the stands.

But Mauro Vilhete converted a late free-kick to give the home supporters cause to cheer and deflate the large travelling army.

Substitute Chaplin perked them up in the dying moments, however, with a peach of a shot that left Bees keeper Josh Vickers with no chance.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Blackpool earlier in the week – naming an unchanged starting 11 for a fourth successive game.

The first half was a distinctly forgettable affair, with neither outfit being able to find their rhythm in a scrappy encounter.

Barnet won a free-kick 30 yards out, but Ruben Bover’s delivery swung out of play in a moment that summed up the action on offer.

The visitors finally carved out a decent opening on 20 minutes when Kyle Bennett released Gary Roberts down the right and the latter’s cross was glanced narrowly wide by Eoin Doyle.

Then, at the other end, David Forde made a fine reaction save to stop Curtis Weston from volleying home Vilhete’s centre.

And it was the Bees who finished the half looking the stronger side, with the Blues guilty of some sloppy play on the ball.

Former Pompey loannee John Akinde did brilliantly to chest the ball down on 38 minutes and send a shot dipping inches over the crossbar.

Charlie Clough then got on the end of a corner and his header was deflected just past the post by a relieved Michael Doyle.

Half Time: Barnet 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Cook made a double switch at the start of the second half, as Bennett and Jamal Lowe were replaced by Chaplin and Danny Rose.

That saw Pompey match their opponents’ 4-4-2 system, with Roberts at the tip of a diamond midfield.

The visiting fans – who made up more than 50 per cent of the total crowd – were making a racket in the stands.

But there was little action of note happening on the pitch, as the second half continued in the same vein as the first.

Chaplin got crowded out after collecting Amine Linganzi’s pass and charging into the box, as chances eluded both sides.

The hosts did go close on 66 minutes after Akinde won a soft free-kick just outside the area and Bover curled it onto the roof of the net.

And the Blues began to show more urgency as the minutes ticked down, with Chaplin having a shot blocked.

They were starting to look the more dangerous side, although it took a fine Christian Burgess challenge to finally halt the rampaging Akinde.

Carl Baker came on for the tiring Roberts for the final 10 minutes as Cook made his last throw of the dice.

But it was Barnet who forged ahead 10 minutes from time when Justin Amaluzor was fouled just outside the box and Vilhete stepped up to curl the free-kick over the wall.

It looked like the hosts were going to hang on for all three points – although CHAPLIN had other ideas.

The substitute had not had much joy since entering the pitch, but found the net with a rocket of a shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner.

He celebrated with the fans first and then those on the bench, and it proved enough to secure a share of the spoils.

Barnet (4-4-2): Vickers; Clough, Nelson (c), Santos, Johnson; Vilhete, Bover (Sweeney 69), Champion, Weston; Akinola (Amaluzor 75), Akinde
Goals: Vilhete 82
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Dembele, Taylor, Tutonda, Coulson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Rose 46), Roberts (Baker 80), Bennett (Chaplin 46); E.Doyle
Goals: Chaplin 89
Booked: Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Naismith, Hunt

Referee: Mark Brown

Attendance: 4,571 (2,430 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 142017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 1 Leyton Orient

 

Chaplin double secures win

Conor Chaplin bagged a brace as Pompey got their promotion challenge back on track by beating Leyton Orient.

It was a display of almost total dominance by the Blues and the margin of victory probably should have been greater.

Chaplin saw a penalty saved, but quickly put that out of his mind to open the scoring, only for Gavin Massey to grab an impressive leveller.

There was to be no shock outcome, however, as Chaplin grabbed his second of the afternoon – and seventh of the season – early in the second half.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that were beaten at table-topping Doncaster nine days earlier.

That saw Chaplin replace Kyle Bennett, as the hosts switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with former Blues Alex Cisak, Nigel Atangana and Paul McCallum all selected.

Both sets of fans held a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Orient defender Paul Went, as well as ex-England boss Graham Taylor.

On the pitch it was a totally dominant first half display from the hosts, who set about attacking their struggling opponents straight from kick-off.

Chaplin could not quite get a touch to Kal Naismith’s clever free-kick after nipping in between a couple of defenders.

Tom Parkes then made a mess of trying to clear Carl Baker’s cross and Cisak had to intervene to stop the ball dipping under the crossbar.

Naismith soon played a neat one-two with Michael Smith and burst into the box, only to then fire over the top.

The hosts had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 22 minutes when Sammy Moore tripped Enda Stevens just inside the box.

Referee Brett Hutxtable pointed to the spot, but Cisak guessed the right way to palm Chaplin’s shot wide – the fifth penalty that Pompey have missed this season.

It was only a brief respite for the beleaguered visitors, however, as CHAPLIN made amends just seconds later by arriving at the far post to turn home Baker’s low cross.

The Blues immediately set about trying to add to their lead and Baker sent an effort curling narrowly past the post.

And Smith was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet when he met Naismith’s corner, only to see his header cleared from the line by Parkes.

David Forde might as well have been sat in the Fratton End such was Pompey’s dominance in the early stages.

But his first involvement was to pick the ball out of the net, as Orient levelled with their maiden chance on 38 minutes.

Not that the keeper could have done much to stop a stunning strike from Massey that flew into the top corner.

And the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch, with Stevens’ cut-back going behind three of his waiting team-mates in the box.

There was still time for one more chance in stoppage-time, with Teddy Mezague making a brilliant block to deny Baker before Naismith drove the loose ball wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Leyton Orient 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was a surprise switch at the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe introduced in place of Gareth Evans – who had picked up an injury before the break – to make his Blues debut.

That saw Baker drop to right-back, but it did not stop his attacking intent as he soon provided the assist for a second Pompey goal.

It was a fine cross in from the right and CHAPLIN showed his usual poaching instincts to arrive and head the hosts back into the lead.

There might have been another soon after when Cisak fumbled Stevens’ low cross, but the keeper grabbed the loose ball before Smith could pounce.

Orient were unsurprisingly showing more ambition than prior to the interval, but it was still the Blues controlling possession as the half progressed.

Naismith, in particular, was looking full of confidence, showcasing some silky skills to jink his way past challenges.

But there was almost a disaster for Pompey on 66 minutes when Christian Burgess did not spot Forde coming to collect the ball and headed narrowly past his own post.

It was soon back to normal, though, and only a slight deflection prevented Smith from turning in Naismith’s free-kick.

Amine Linganzi replaced the Scottish winger on 76 minutes, as Cook looked to inject more steel into the midfield.

But that did not mean the Blues were looking to sit on their lead and a sliding Smith was agonisingly close to reaching Chaplin’s centre.

Stevens then surged into the box from wide on the left and sent a powerful effort fizzing past the post.

Chaplin received a standing ovation as he left the pitch to be replaced by Bennett for the closing stages.

And it was a deserved reception for the diminutive striker, as Pompey saw out the final few minutes to secure a valuable victory.

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans (Lowe 46), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker, Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith (Linganzi 76); Smith, Chaplin (Bennett 87)
Goals: Chaplin 23
Booked: Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Roberts, Hunt

Leyton Orient (5-1-2-1-1): Cisak; Judd, Hunt (c), Mezague, Parkes, Semedo (Palmer 89); Moore (Bowery 69); Atangana, Collins; Massey; McCallum
Goals: Massey 38
Booked: Atangana
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Kennedy, Nnomo, Koroma

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 16,564 (607 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
Oct 222016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 1 – 2 Notts County

 

Dominance counts for nothing

Pompey were caught by a couple of sucker punches as they fell to defeat against Nott County at Fratton Park.

They dominated for most of the contest, but were caught out at the back and fell behind to Adam Campbell’s neat finish.

Conor Chaplin levelled within a few minutes and it looked like the Blues would go on to secure all three points.

But some more sloppy play allowed Campbell to strike again and despite Aaron Collins’ red card, the Magpies held on for the victory.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that picked up a point at table-topping Plymouth the previous week.

That meant a fit-again Matt Clarke had to be content with a place on the bench, as Tom Davies continued alongside Christian Burgess in defence.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Carl Dickinson and Richard Duffy both starting for the visitors.

And it was the Magpies who were first to threaten, with Robert Milsom not able to guide his header past David Forde.

But Pompey dominated the opening stages, enjoying plenty of possession and showing attacking inset from the outset.

They should have broken the deadlock on six minutes, with Chaplin somehow stabbing Enda Stevens’ cross wide from just a few yards out.

Kyle Bennett also dragged a long-range effort past the post, but with County keeping so many men behind the ball, the hosts were struggling to test keeper Adam Collin.

They were almost caught on the break when Jonathan Forte laid the ball off for Milsom, whose effort grazed the top of the bar.

Chaplin then missed another golden opportunity when he raced onto a long clearance and bore down on goal.

He tried to slide it past Collin, but the keeper saved and Chaplin slipped as he tried to gather the loose ball.

Pompey were able to steal back possession, however, and Collin did well again to stop Carl Baker’s effort going in at the near post.

But despite the home side’s dominance, it was Notts County who opened the scoring on 21 minutes.

The Blues defence were far too slow to stop Campbell collecting Duffy’s pass, turning and firing a sharp shot past Forde.

They were not behind for long, though, and after missing two great chances, CHAPLIN ensured it was third time lucky.

Bennett and Gary Roberts combined well down the left and the latter fired in a low cross that the striker slammed home.

Rather than step up a gear following all that action, however, the game then hit a lull as the interval approached.

Benett and Campbell both hit long-range efforts high over the bar, while Baker struck a fierce drive straight at Collin as the first half petered out.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Notts County 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was an injury scare soon after the restart when Gareth Evans hurt himself while conceding a free-kick.

He received treatment on the sidelines before returning to the action, but spent the next few minutes hobbling around the pitch.

Pompey then created a decent chance when Chaplin crossed into the box, but Bennett is not famed for his heading abilities and diverted the ball wide.

Cook soon made his first switch, with Stevens appearing to pick up a hamstring injury and being replaced at left-back by Kal Naismith.

The Blues kept plugging away, but the chances were not coming along as frequently as they had before the break.

In an attempt to liven things up in attack, Chaplin was withdrawn and Curtis Main was tasked with finding a winner.

But, within seconds, the hosts instead found themselves behind, with Campbell racing through to slot past Forde.

The keeper – like the rest of his team-mates – was incensed, believing that Davies had been fouled in the build-up and his protests resulted in a yellow card.

Pompey’s final substitution soon followed, with Bennett making way for Milan Lalkovic wide on the left.

But it was Roberts who threatened next, stealing the ball form Louis Laing, only to see his low cross cut out.

And the Blues were soon handed a numerical advantage when Collins dived in late on Forde and was shown a straight red card.

They immediately set about trying to find an equaliser and Collin kept out Main’s header from a pin-point Baker delivery.

Burgess was thrown up the field as an extra striker, with the hosts keen to push forward at every opportunity.

The Fratton faithful were buoyed by a display of six additional minutes from the fourth official and Baker twice went close to finding a leveller.

First, his shot was superbly saved by Collin from point-blank range and then, from the resulting corner, he narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Roberts also fizzed a shot inches past the post, as Notts County held firm to leave with all three points.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens (Naismith 59); Linganzi, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 74); Chaplin (Main 70)
Goals: Chaplin 27
Booked: Forde, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Rose, Smith

Notts County (4-1-4-1): Collin; Tootle, Laing, Hollis, Dickinson (c); Duffy; Campbell (Smith 90), Richards, Milsom, Forte (Rodman 90); Collins
Goals: Campbell 21, 71
Sent off: Collins
Booked: Laing
Subs not used: Loach, Hewitt, Edwards, O’Connor, Burke

Referee: Nigel Miller

Attendance: 17,269 (364 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 272016
 
League 2
Blackpool 3 – 1 Portsmouth

 

More away day Blues

Pompey’s poor away form continued as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Blackpool.

Just three days after their Fratton Park rout of Barnet, it was back down to earth with a bump.

They recovered from falling behind to Kelvin Mellor’s header, thanks to an impressive Conor Chaplin leveller.

But some sloppy second half defending allowed Brad Potts and Kyle Vassell to secure all three points for the Tangerines.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat the Bees so emphatically at the weekend.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start in a game that was played out amidst an eerily-quiet atmosphere at a sparsely-populated Bloomfield Road.

Enda Stevens delivered a dangerous low cross that Dean Lyness did well to gather in the opening stages.

Gary Roberts then just failed to meet a Carl Baker delivery, while Michael Doyle’s drive was deflected safely into the arms of the Tangerines keeper.

There were also long-range attempts from Kal Naismith and Baker that both narrowly failed to find their intended target.

So it came as a surprise when Blackpool forged ahead against the run of play on 18 minutes.

David Forde charged from his line to meet Jack Payne’s free-kick, but Mellor got there first to head into the unguarded net.

The goal seemed to shake the Blues, who suddenly became sloppy in possession and looked increasingly susceptible on the counter-attack.

One good move saw them win a corner, only for Blackpool to break straight up the other end of the pitch and almost double their advantage, with Vassell’s effort clipping the outside of the post.

The powerful presence of Armand Gnanduillet was also causing problems and Doyle was forced to intervene when the striker got past both Christian Burgess and Tom Davies.

But then, for the second time in the first half, it was the team on the back foot that found the net.

And it was a goal worth the long journey up from the south coast, with CHAPLIN scoring in spectacular fashion on 34 minutes.

Naismith failed to connect with Roberts’ cross, but Danny Rose did and when his shot was blocked, the ball spun up invitingly for Pompey’s teenage striker to convert with an acrobatic over-head effort.

Blackpool did have a chance to restore their lead before the interval, only for Forde to get down to his left and keep out Potts’ drive.

Half Time: Blackpool 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Chaplin tried another ambitious attempt seconds after the restart, only this time the ball went out for a Blackpool throw.

It was closer when the visitors won a corner moments later, but Roberts’ delivery was just out of reach for Davies at the far post.

Instead they found themselves behind on 49 minutes, thanks to some more sloppy defending from the Blues.

Blackpool stole possession on the left and although Forde palmed out Vassell’s cross, the ball landed at the feet of Potts for a tap-in.

Pompey tried to find an instant response and Roberts flung himself at a Stevens cross, but could not quite squeeze his header past Lyness.

They went close again on 64 minutes when Baker was fouled 25 yards out and Naismith’s curling free-kick was deflected narrowly wide.

But the Blues then gifted their opponents another goal moments later after Doyle passed the back to Davies.

The centre-back was caught in possession by Vassell, who burst forward before slotting the ball past Forde.

And the same player almost added a fourth goal within seconds, but this time headed over the crossbar.

Cook immediately made his first substitution, with Baker making way for Kyle Bennett in Pompey’s attack.

And Michael Smith then replaced Stevens, as Pompey tried to force something by throwing on another striker.

There were half-chances for both as the seconds ticked down, with the former flashing a shot wide and the second forcing a save from Lyness.

But there was still time for late drama at the other end when Vassell skipped past Doyle and burst through on goal.

Forde charged from his line and appeared to take both ball and man, with the linesman flagging for a penalty, only to be overruled by referee David Webb.

The Blues breathed a sigh of relief, but there was no cause for any smiles as the issue of their contrasting home and away fortunes continued.

Blackpool (4-4-1-1): Lyness; Mellor, Aldred, Robertson (Aimson 46), Taylor (c); Potts (Cain 90+3), Payne, McAlister, Philliskirk; Vassell; Gnanduillet (Matt 76)
Goals: Mellor 18, Potts 49, Vassell 65
Booked: Gnanduillet
Subs not used: Boney, Yeates, Osayi-Samuel, Cullen

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens (Smith 78); Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Bennett 67), Roberts, Naismith; Chaplin (Main 84)
Goals: Chaplin 34
Booked: Bennett, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Lalkovic

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 3,055 (737 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 242016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 5 – 1 Barnet

 

Five goal Blues fight back

Pompey returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as they crushed Barnet at Fratton Park.

But they had to fight from behind after John Akinde fired the visitors ahead from the penalty spot.

Gary Roberts teed-up Conor Chaplin to draw them level before the break and then got on the scoresheet himself early in the second half.

The Blues were rampant by this point and goals from Carl Baker, Milan Lalkovic and Danny Rose secured a comfortable victory.

Roberts should have added another in the midst of all that, only to see his penalty saved after Bira Dembele had been sent off for a foul on Chaplin.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that were beaten at Accrington the previous week.

There were starts for Chaplin up front and Kal Naismith out wide, with Michael Smith and Kyle Bennett both dropping to the bench.

Pompey started brightly and Chaplin had a shot blocked by Curtis Weston before Enda Stevens’ cross had to be turned behind.

The duo were both involved in the next opening on 12 minutes, with a low Stevens delivery just out of reach for the Blues’ striker sliding in at the near post.

Gareth Evans then got free down the right, but his cross landed behind Baker, who could only hook over the crossbar.

Barnet were causing problems themselves, however, and David Forde charged from his area to beat Akinde to the ball.

Weston then got past Christian Burgess and into the Blues box, but the defender recovered well to avert the danger.

Tom Davies almost opened his Pompey account at the other end, as Baker’s cross hit him in the chest and landed safely in the arms of Bees keeper Josh Vickers.

But the centre-back conceded a penalty soon after, with referee Darren England deciding he had used his hand to clear Ryan Watson’s corner.

Akinde stepped up to take the spot-kick and although the former Blues striker’s shot was poor, it crept under Forde’s dive and into the net.

The same player might have doubled their advantage on 32 minutes, only to head Watson’s corner over from close range.

Instead it was the home fans celebrating as their side drew level, with Roberts acting as the magician and CHAPLIN the assassin.

The former did well to steal possession and then played a sumptuous pass through to the latter, who coolly slid the ball home.

Pompey had another chance before the break, but when Baker’s effort was blocked, an audacious over-head strike from Chaplin flew wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Barnet 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Barnet came flying out of the traps after the restart and it took a great challenge from Burgess to halt Jamal Campbell-Ryce’s surging run.

But the Blues should then have forged ahead, with Roberts somehow failing to connect with Stevens’ teasing low cross.

ROBERTS certainly made amends moments later, however, turning Michael Nelson and leaving him on the floor before hammering home.

And it soon got even better for the hosts, as BAKER collected the ball on the right, cut inside and curled an exquisite left-foot shot past Vickers’ grasp and into the net.

Pompey should have extended their lead further on 65 minutes when England awarded them a penalty.

Chaplin charged into the box and went down under Dembele’s challenge, with the official signalling that he had been tugged to the floor.

It got worse for the beleaguered Bees, as a red card was harshly produced and the defender had to trudge back to the dressing room.

Roberts stepped up to try to continue his prolific scoring spell, but Vickers flung himself to the left to beat the ball clear.

Cook made a double switch on 73 minutes, with Naismith and Chaplin receiving standing ovations as they were replaced by Lalkovic and Curtis Main.

And it was LALKOVIC who soon put the icing on the cake, receiving the ball on the edge of the box and neatly bending it right into the bottom corner.

Pompey refused to sit back and kept pouring forward in search of more goals to heap further misery on Barnet.

And the fifth did arrive in stoppage-time, as a neat passing move cut open the Bees defence before ROSE slotted home to cap a memorable afternoon on the south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Bennett 80), Roberts, Naismith (Lalkovic 73); Chaplin (Main 73)
Goals: Chaplin 34, Roberts 50, Baker 56, Lalkovic 78, Rose 90+2
Booked: Chaplin, Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Smith

Barnet (4-3-3): Vickers; Vilhete, Nelson (c), Dembele, Johnson; Watson (Batt 55), Weston, Taylor; Campbell-Ryce (N’Gala 64), Akinde, Akpa Akpro (Gambin 55)
Goals: Akinde 27 (pen)
Sent off: Dembele
Booked: Watson, Batt
Subs not used: Stephens, Sesay, Kyei, Nicholls

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 16,280 (275 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 102016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 4 – 2 Wycombe Wanderers

 

Blues move up to second

Pompey fought from behind against Wycombe to stretch their winning streak to four league matches.

Paul Hayes’ opener was not in the script, but Christian Burgess’ leveller lifted everyone and Gary Roberts then converted a penalty.

An equaliser from Hayes dampened the mood, but a superb Conor Chaplin strike restored the Blues’ lead before the break and Carl Baker made sure of the points after it.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Crawley so convincingly the previous week.

It was the hosts who threatened first at a damp and gloomy Fratton Park, with showers frequently interrupting proceedings.

Gary Roberts slipped a quick free-kick through to Milan Lalkovic, but his cut-back was well claimed by Jamal Blackman with Curtis Main waiting to pounce.

The Wycombe keeper was pretty conspicuous with his bleached blonde hair and decked out in a garish pink and luminous green kit.

But it was his opposite number who was next called into action and David Forde denied Aaron Pierre after a Sam Wood cross had caused chaos in the Blues box.

And the visitors were ahead on 10 minutes, with Hayes left in too much space to convert Garry Thompson’s volleyed delivery.

That appeared to spark Pompey into life, although they were growing frustrated at the Chairboys’ attempts to slow things down.

There were cries from the crowd and bench that the visitors were spending too long over set-pieces and referee Tim Robinson was forced to calm an irate Cook down.

And the Blues soon started doing their talking on the pitch, with Main’s header deflected over by Pierre after Baker had picked the striker out.

Unfortunately, Main injured himself during the challenge and was forced to disappear down the tunnel to be patched up.

But he failed to reappear, and Chaplin was brought on to replace him – but not before Wood had almost doubled Wanderers’ lead with an effort that bounced off the crossbar and into the arms of a grateful Forde.

The Blues were starting to take control of proceedings and the newcomer saw his curling effort blocked.

Lalkovic was then unable to dig the ball out from under his feet following a good Enda Stevens’ ball into the box.

But the hosts were level on 34 minutes as Baker picked up a Lalkovic corner and although his shot was saved by Blackman, BURGESS was on hand to bundle the ball over the line.

Chaplin and Baker then both saw strikes blocked as Pompey tried to turn up the pressure and forge ahead.

And that is exactly what they did late in the half after Gareth Evans met Baker’s cross and saw his header blocked by the arm of Sido Jombati.

Robinson pointed straight to the spot and ROBERTS stepped up to emphatically continue his prolific streak with a rocket into the roof of the net.

But, amazingly, there was still time for both sides to add a further goal each in a breathless end to the first half.

First, there was no Blues defender picking up Hayes, who was able to volley a fine curling finish past Forde.

It looked like the sides would go in level at the break, only for a moment of genius from CHAPLIN to lift the Fratton faithful.

The striker ran onto Roberts’ pass, lifted the ball over Anthony Stewart and then, with Blackman off his line, calmly sent a header looping over the keeper and into the net.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Wycombe 2

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Lalkovic did not return following the interval, with Kal Naismith instead taking up the attacking role wide on the left.

Wycombe had a chance to level soon after the restart, but Stewart was unable to guide Wood’s cross on target.

There was immediately an even better chance at the other end, with Roberts somehow failing to turn home Chaplin’s cross from just a few yards out.

But the Blues did increase their advantage on 53 minutes, as Stevens sent the ball to the far post, where BAKER was waiting to squeeze in a volley at Blackman’s near post.

That did not stop Pompey from trying to add to the lead, however, and Naismith bent a shot narrowly over

Blackman then made a mess of dealing with a couple of routine Chaplin efforts, only to escape any punishment.

Wycombe threw on a couple of strikers in Dayle Southwell and Adebayo Akinfenwa to try to find a way back into the game.

It was still Pompey looking more likely to add to the scoring, though, and Stevens was not quite able to beat Blackman from an acute angle following a flowing passing move.

Ultimately, there were to be no more goals, but that mattered not as the Blues saw the rest of the game out to move up to second in the table.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Hunt 88), Lalkovic (Naismith 46); Main (Chaplin 25)
Goals: Burgess 34, Roberts 43 (pen), Chaplin 45+3, Baker 53
Booked: Roberts, Baker, T.Davies
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Smith

Wycombe (4-1-4-1): Blackman; Jombati (Akinfenwa 80), Stewart, Pierre, Harriman; Rowe (McGinn 86); Thompson, Bloomfield, Gape, Wood; Hayes (c) (Southwell 80)
Goals: Hayes 10, 45
Booked: Pierre, Jombati, Thompson, Gape, Rowe, Blackman, Stewart
Subs not used: Richardson, De Havilland, Kashket, Freeman

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 16,262 (489 away fans)

Portsmouth FC