Dec 192015
 
League 2
Northampton Town 1 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Pompey ensured it would be a very Merry Christmas by coming from behind to win at league leaders Northampton.

Conor Chaplin came off the bench to get the crucial late goal and give the 900-plus visiting fans the perfect present.

That came after Gareth Evans had headed home to cancel out Ryan Cresswell’s opener before the break.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that convincingly beat Hartlepool the previous week.

Christian Burgess injured his ankle ligaments in that game, so Matt Clarke replaced him at the heart of defence.

It was the side at the summit who made the brighter start and Clarke did well to clear Joel Byrom’s dangerous ball into the box.

But the visitors soon settled and came close to breaking the deadlock on 10 minutes, with Caolan Lavery’s low cross just out of reach for the onrushing Evans.

And Evans had another decent opportunity moments later, only to swipe at thin air after Marc McNulty had done brilliantly to tee him up.

The Blues received a let-off at the other end when Adam Webster’s poor touch sent Marc Richards through on goal, but Brian Murphy came to the defender’s rescue with a vital block.

It was only a brief reprieve, however, as from the resulting corner, Byrom’s cross was firmly headed home at the far post by Cresswell.

That left Pompey shell-shocked for a while, but they soon settled back into their patient passing play.

Lavery headed wide from a Ben Davies cross before McNulty’s low cross had to be cut out by Cresswell.

Then after Adam Smith came racing from his box to beat Lavery to the ball, McNulty was unable to catch the Cobblers keeper out from almost halfway.

But the Blues were level on 32 minutes – and it was the impressive McNulty who created it.

The forward did brilliantly to shake off a couple of challenges and stand up a fine cross that EVANS expertly headed into the top corner.

Northampton came close to extending their advantage soon after when a corner led to an almighty scramble in the box.

Cresswell inadvertently did Pompey’s job for them by clearing a shot off the line and Clarke eventually got the ball to safety.

But it was the visitors who finished the half on the ascendency and Smith did well to parry clear Lavery’s angled drive following good work from Kyle Bennett.

Then, in stoppage-time, Smith was again called into action to stop McNulty from converting Davies’ cross.

Half Time: Northampton 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey tried to continue where they had left off at the start of the second half and were looking to use the strong gusts to their advantage.

There were a couple of half-chances, although Lavery was offside when he tried to collect Bennett’s through ball

Zander Diamond then recovered quickly after his slip had threatened to send the lively McNulty away.

Bennett had two efforts blocked from the edge of the box in quick succession as the Blues continued to push for another goal.

They had another opening just past the hour mark when, with McNulty in an offside position, Lavery chased down his own pass and was only just beaten to the ball by Smith.

The keeper then made sure he got his body behind Evans’ fierce 30-yard drive following a surging run from the Pompey winger.

Northampton need to make a change to halt the one-way traffic and introduced former Blues midfielder Ricky Holmes.

It was the Blues who came close to forging ahead on 70 minutes, though, when after a poor Davies corner was partially cleared, Danny Hollands’ effort was deflected inches past the post.

Smith was still having to be alert between the sticks for the hosts and he was again quickly off his line to deny McNulty following good work from Michael Doyle and Lavery.

Evans was next to go close, but could only fire wide when Bennett’s cross came in at an awkward height.

It was Bennett who made way when Cook decided to make his first change and introduce Ben Tollitt on 76 minutes.

Despite struggling to make much of an attacking impact in the second half, the hosts then almost retook the lead.

Brendan Moloney’s effort was deflected behind and from the resulting corner, Diamond headed over from just a couple of yards out.

The tireless McNulty was then withdrawn for the final 10 minutes, with Adam McGurk given a chance to impress.

It was Northampton who were now looking dangerous, however, and the imposing Cresswell headed a corner against the crossbar.

Cook’s final throw of the dice saw Chaplin come on for Lavery – and it proved to be a masterstroke.

Fellow substitute Tollitt was the creator, bursting down the right and angling in a shot that was too hot for Smith to handle.

The ball fell kindly for CHAPLIN, who had the simple task of sliding in from a couple of yards out, sending the travelling fans wild with delight.

It was not quite game over, though, and Dominic Calvert-Lewin almost got an immediate equaliser with a header that left the crossbar shaking.

But the Blues saw out the final few minutes to leave themselves on the brink of the automatic promotion places.

Northampton (4-2-3-1): Smith; Moloney, Diamond (Hoskins 89), Cresswell, Buchanan; O’Toole, Byrom; D’Ath, Potter (Holmes 65), Adams (Calvert-Lewin 57); Richards (c)
Goals: Cresswell 17
Booked: O’Toole, D’Ath, Cresswell
Subs not used: Clarke, Lelan, McDonald, Taylor

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McNulty (McGurk 80), Bennett (Tollitt 76); Lavery (Chaplin 85)
Goals: Evans 32, Chaplin 86
Booked: McNulty, McGurk
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Barton, Close

Referee: Fred Graham

Attendance: 5,859 (938 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Nov 242015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    6

 


 

York City    0

 


Pompey scored six second half goals as the Fratton dam finally burst on a magical night on the south coast.

York held firm for the first 45 minutes, but Jonathan Greening’s red card just before the break was a huge blow.

And the Blues made the most of their extra man, with Ben Davies getting the ball rolling just after the restart.

Marc McNulty then endeared himself to the home fans with a hat-trick to put the result beyond doubt.

But the hosts were not done there and substitutes Conor Chaplin and Ben Tollitt added a further gloss to the already impressive scoreline.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew with Carlisle at the weekend.

McNulty was rewarded for his goal at Brunton Park with a place in the starting line-up, as Adam McGurk dropped to the bench.

Pompey showed plenty of attacking purpose straight from kick-off and Gareth Evans’ low cross was just behind the onrushing Caolan Lavery.

The visitors had an opportunity to break the deadlock on eight minutes, but Vadaine Oliver could not make a clean connection with Greening’s quickly-taken free-kick.

It was the Blues causing more trouble, however, and Kyle Bennett had a shot blocked before Christian Burgess saw his header deflected wide.

Lavery then showed great skill to control Bennett’s flick and lift the ball over a defender, but at full-stretch he could only poke wide.

Davies was, as ever, providing plenty of dangerous crosses and one of them was glanced narrowly past the post by McNulty on 14 minutes.

Pompey kept pouring forward and Michael Doyle sent a volley over the crossbar after Minstermen keeper Scott Flinders had failed to hold a corner.

McNulty then had cries for a penalty turned down by referee Iain Williamson after he went down under Eddie Nolan’s challenge.

Flinders was soon called into action once more, keeping out Evans’ angled drive after the winger had latched onto Lavery’s threaded pass.

When York did manage to get forward, the hosts were quick to catch them on the break and one such move ended with Lavery firing wide.

The Blues kept knocking on the door and Bennett was next to go close with a long-range snap-shot that was agonisingly off target.

But the big talking point came right at the end of the half when the visitors were reduced to 10 men.

Greening clattered into Doyle extremely late and appeared to catch Pompey’s skipper with his elbow.

The challenge angered the home side and Williamson quickly put his hand in his pocket to pull out a red card.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey were soon back on the attack once the second half started and it took a fantastic save to stop them taking the lead within a minute.

Lavery met Davies’ cross from the right and his header appeared destined for the net until Flinders stuck out a hand to somehow tip the ball over.

But the Fratton faithful did not have to wait long to see their side open the scoring, as a cross from DAVIES somehow evaded everyone on its way into the net.

Doyle’s shot was then well held low down by Flinders as the Blues tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.

And they did extend the lead on 52 minutes when Doyle sent Evans’ low cross back into the box and McNULTY calmly diverted it home.

The rampant Blues soon added a third goal, as McNULTY doubled his tally for the evening by converting Bennett’s cut-back.

Pompey kept pouring forward in search of even more goals and Flinders just about managed to prevent Evans from getting in on the act on 63 minutes.

There was not too long to wait for the fourth to arrive, however, and it was McNULTY who got it, latching onto Doyle’s pass and coolly sliding home to complete his hat-trick.

He immediately left the pitch to a standing ovation, with Davies also departing, as Chaplin and Rommy Boco were invited to the party.

Chaplin immediately looked a threat and sent a free-kick dipping narrowly over before weaving his way into space and seeing a shot blocked by George Swan.

But it was fellow substitute TOLLITT who grabbed the fifth on 80 minutes, surging into the box to convert a fine low cross from Enda Stevens.

CHAPLIN did get in on the act moments later, though, following up to score after Flinders had failed to hold Evans’ effort.

“We want seven,” was the cry from the stands and although the Blues could not oblige, the home fans still left the ground with huge smiles on their faces.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies (Boco 73), Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans, McNulty (Chaplin 73), Bennett (Tollitt 76); Lavery
Goals: Davies 49, McNulty 52, 60, 71, Tollitt 80, Chaplin 84
Booked: Bennett
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, McGurk

York (4-2-3-1): Flinders; Nolan, Swan, Boyle, Ilesanmi; Greening, Berrett (c); Sinclair (Godfrey 56), Morris, Straker; Oliver (Hyde 75)
Sent off: Greening
Booked: Swan
Subs not used: Ingham, Hare, Tutonda, Turner

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 13,616 (141 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 202015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Stevenage    1

 


Pompey’s home frustrations continued as a late Brett Williams goal denied them victory against Stevenage.

Conor Chaplin came off the bench to fire the hosts in front and seemingly back to the top of the League Two table.

But, just seconds after leaving the bench, Williams levelled to burst the Blues bubble and send everyone home deflated.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that won at Newport on Saturday.

Rommy Boco came in for his first Pompey start wide on the right, with Kal Naismith dropping to the bench.

The visitors started brightly, with Aaron McCarey and Christian Burgess forced to deal with some dangerous crosses.

But the Blues had chances of their own in a very open first half and Jesse Joronen got down quickly to keep out Gary Roberts’ drive following a quick counter-attack.

The keeper was called into action again moments later and only just got his hand to a long-range Boco effort that was headed for the bottom corner.

It was Stevenage who were next to threaten on 17 minutes, as Tom Pett flashed a dangerous ball across the face of goal before Arnand Gnanduillet headed wide at the far post.

Pompey began to dominate as the half progressed, however, with a series of pin-point crosses from Ben Davies causing Boro plenty of problems.

One of those was met by the livewire Boco, whose stooping header lacked enough power to really trouble Joronen.

The right-back also had a penalty appeal turned down when, after shaping to pass, he went down under Jerome Okimo’s challenge.

It was Roberts who should have broken the deadlock on 32 minutes, firing into the side netting after Matt Tubbs had taken advantage of Mark Hughes’ slip.

And the midfielder then whipped in a cross that was headed back into the danger zone by Boco, with Hughes only just getting there before Tubbs could pounce.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Boro came flying out of the traps at the start of the second half and they should have forged ahead on 48 minutes.

A fine passing move cut open the Blues back-line, but with just McCarey to beat, Dipo Akinyemi fired wide.

And it was Pompey wondering why they had not scored moments later, following a fine surging run from Enda Stevens.

The left-back picked out Roberts, whose low pass across the face of goal should have been turned home by Tubbs at the far post.

The hosts were, by now, looking the much more dangerous side and they created another decent opening just before the hour mark.

And the chance owed a lot to the perseverance of Davies, who managed to lay the ball off for Michael Doyle, with the skipper’s pile-driver well saved by Joronen.

Cook then made his first substitution, with Caolan Lavery coming on for his home debut in place of Tubbs.

The loan signing did brilliantly to control McCarey’s long clearance on 66 minutes and feed Bennett, whose fierce drive was saved by Joronen.

He then had another attempt after bursting down the centre, but slipped as he shot and the ball rolled tamely into the keeper’s hands.

A second change followed on 71 minutes, with the tiring Boco making way for Chaplin’s fresh legs.

And it was the teenager who finally found a route through to goal on 77 minutes following a spell of intense Pompey pressure.

Adam Webster was the creator, bursting forward and sending a pass down the channel which Jamie McCombe missed, allowing CHAPLIN to beat Joronen at his near post.

Stevenage sent men forward in search of an equaliser and Tom Pett fired narrowly over the crossbar.

But it was the Blues who looked likely to score in the closing stages, with Chaplin sending a curling effort just past the post.

However, the hosts were left with their heads in their hands deep into stoppage-time when substitute Williams met Charlie Lee’s long throw and his header looped over McCarey and into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Barton (Atangana 79), Doyle (c); Boco (Chaplin 71), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Lavery 61)
Goals: Chaplin 77
Subs not used: Murphy, Clarke, Hollands, Naismith

Stevenage (4-1-4-1): Joronen; Franks, McCombe, Hughes (c), Okimo; Tonge; Kennedy (Lee 72), Parrett (Williams 90+1), Pett, Akinyemi (Conlon 57); Gnanduillet
Goals: Williams 90+3
Booked: Tonge
Subs not used: Day, Wells, Jebb, Loza

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 14,900 (133 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 122015
 

League Two

3 – 1


Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk on target as Pompey fought from behind to beat Barnet.

They were slow to get going and some sloppy marking allowed Andy Yiadom to give the Londoners the lead.

But Chaplin and McGurk both displayed some clinical finishing either side of the break to turn the game on its head.

And the visitors’ misery was compounded when keeper Jamie Stephens was dismissed for two bookable offences.

Chaplin then grabbed his second of the afternoon just before the final whistle to complete an enjoyable afternoon for the Blues.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Accrington the previous week.

Chaplin and McGurk both came in for the first league starts of the season, with Gareth Evans dropping to the bench and Jayden Stockley absent after just becoming a parent.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the Barnet camp, with former Pompey midfielder Martin Allen naming both Bondz N’Gala and John Akinde in his side.

The Bees boss provided an animated performance on the sidelines and received a ticking off from referee Darren England after gesturing for a home player to be booked.

But there was not too much happening on the pitch in a half that was full of commitment, but lacking in quality.

Matt Clarke had the first decent chance on 20 minutes, but could not guide Gary Roberts’ corner on target.

Instead it was the visitors who broke the deadlock soon after, with Yiadom left alone to calmly slot home Mauro Vilhete’s cut-back.

Christian Burgess had a chance to equalise when he met a Kyle Bennett free-kick, but Stephens stopped his header on the line and Chaplin then blazed the loose ball over.

But the Blues were level on 37 minutes after Barnet failed to deal with a Roberts set-piece that was sent into the box.

CHAPLIN did well to pick the ball up and make space to shoot before rifling home a fine finish past a helpless Stephens.

Brian Murphy then had to come charging out of his goal just before the break, narrowing the angle for marauding right-back Gavin Hoyte and forcing him to fire wide.


Half Time

(1 – 1)


Cook made a switch at the break, with Adam Webster replacing Roberts as Pompey switched to a 3-5-2 formation.

And the hosts should have forged ahead on 52 minutes when McGurk sent Bennett through on goal, only for the summer signing to blaze high over the bar.

But McGURK was much more clinical when he raced onto Webster’s pass moments later and calmly finished past Stephens.

The visitors were not happy that the goal was allowed to stand, however, as Bennett – who did not touch the ball – was flagged offside.

The advantage might have been extended on 57 minutes, but Webster was unable to divert Ben Davies’ dangerous free-kick on target.

Barnet’s task was made a lot harder when they were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half.

Stephens came racing off his line to try to beat Bennett to the ball, but only succeeded in clattering into the Pompey midfielder.

Having already been booked for time-wasting before the break, England had no choice but to show him his second yellow card, followed by a red.

Akinde was sacrificed so teenage keeper Kai McKenzie-Lyle could come on, while Evans replaced Clarke for the hosts.

The academy stopper stopped his side from falling further behind on 82 minutes, though, tipping Chaplin’s header over the bar.

Substitute Matt Tubbs was then unable to find the target from an acute angle following a poor clearance from McKenzie-Lyle.

But it was CHAPLIN who added a gloss to the final score in stoppage-time, when a long Murphy ball was flicked on and he calmly slid the ball home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke (Evans 68), Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Roberts (Webster 46), Chaplin, Bennett; McGurk (Tubbs 80)
Goals: Chaplin 37, 90+6, McGurk 54
Booked: Chaplin, Stevens, Evans, Bennett, Davies
Subs not used: Jones, Tollitt, Hollands, Naismith

Barnet (4-4-1-1): Stephens; Hoyte, N’Gala, Dembele, Johnson; Vilhete (Muggleton 59), Yiadom, Togwell, Gambin (Gash 59); Weston (c); Akinde (McKenzie-Lyle 67)
Goals: Yiadom 25
Sent off: Stephens (two yellow cards)
Booked: Yiadom, Dembele
Subs not used: Nelson, Champion, Tomlinson, McLean

Referee: Darren England

Attendance: 16,217 (413 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 252015
 

Portsmouth 1 v 2 Reading

Conor Chaplin’s fine finish could not keep Pompey in the Capital One Cup, as Reading fought from behind to claim a narrow second round victory.

The teenager capped an impressive first half team performance by giving the hosts a deserved interval lead.

But the Championship side were much improved after the break and Nick Blackman drew them level before substitute Garath McCleary grabbed a late winner.

Paul Cook made eight changes from the side that drew with Morecambe in the league at the weekend.

Matt Clarke, Kyle Bennett and Gareth Evans – now being deployed at right-back – were the only survivors.

Saturday’s last-gasp goal hero Jayden Stockley came in up top, while Paul Jones took his place between the sticks.

There were also starts for Brandon Haunstrup and Adam Webster at the back and Ben Close, Danny Hollands, Adam McGurk and Chaplin in midfield.

It was an open start to proceedings, with both sides looking to get forward without creating any clear-cut chances.

Simon Cox sent a couple of shots off target for the visitors – wearing their distinctive African violet away kit – while Ali Al-Habsi did well to claim a McGurk cross before it could reach Stockley at the far post.

Jones did well to stop the Royals opening the scoring midway through the half when he denied Blackman from point-blank range.

Stockley then should have put Pompey ahead on 27 minutes after Bennett had collected a neat chipped pass from Hollands.

The winger showed great skill on the left and sent in a perfect cross for Stockley, who somehow managed to fire wide from just a few yards out.

Reading then broke quickly up the other end of the pitch and Jones was quickly off his line to deny Hal Robson-Kanu.

The visitors went close again on 37 minutes when Jones palmed away Chris Gunter’s cross and Cox hooked the loose ball over.

Instead it was Pompey who forged ahead moments later – thanks to a fine finish from CHAPLIN.

Al-Habsi beat the teenager to Hollands’ long pass, but made a complete mess of his attempted clearance.

Chaplin was forced out wide, but kept his composure to find the net with a fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Reading 0

Pompey were not content to sit back on their lead once the second half got back underway.

The hosts made some promising incursions into their opponents’ area, while Al-Habsi did well to beat Webster to a dangerous Bennett cross.

Reading did threaten with a neat passing move just past the hour mark, but it ended with Danny Williams firing harmlessly over.

And the visitors were level on 64 minutes when Blackman cut inside from the right and slotted a neat finish into the bottom corner.

It was the Royals who were now looking the more threatening side and Clarke made a good block to deny Robson-Kanu.

Cook switched things up on 79 minutes, bringing on James Dunne for his first appearance of the season in place of McGurk, with Chaplin making way for Ben Tollitt soon after.

But it was a Reading substitute who made an impact by firing the visitors ahead, as McCleary was left alone to convert at the far post following some good build-up between Robson-Kanu and Stephen Quinn.

Matt Tubbs replaced Bennett for the final few minutes, but the Blues were unable to find a leveller and it was Reading who took their place in the third round draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Evans, Webster, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Hollands (c); McGurk (Dunne 79), Chaplin (Tollitt 83), Bennett (Tubbs 89); Stockley
Goals: Chaplin 40
Subs not used: Murphy, Burgess, Atangana, Roberts

Reading (4-1-4-1): Al-Habsi; Gunter, Hector (c), Ferdinand, Obita; Norwood; Blackman (McShane 89), Williams (Tshibola 90+2), Quinn, Robson-Kanu; Cox (McCleary 69)
Goals: Blackman 64, McCleary 84
Booked: Robson-Kanu, Norwood, Williams
Subs not used: Moore, Stacey, Fernandez, Sa

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 18,190 (2,082 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 122015
 

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Derby County

Pompey pulled off a Capital One Cup giant-killing as they dumped Derby out at the first round.

After a positive first half had yielded no goals, Adam McGurk took advantage of some unsure goalkeeping to open the scoring.

Jason Shackell headed the second tier side level before substitute Conor Chaplin sent Fratton wild with a cool finish.

Paul Cook rung the changes, with seven players making way from the side that comfortably beat Dagenham in the league at the weekend.

In came McGurk, Jayden Stockley and Brandon Haunstrup for their full debuts, while there were also starts for Paul Jones, Adam Webster, Ben Close and Danny Hollands.

Only Ben Davies, who wore the captain’s armband, Matt Clarke, Gareth Evans and Kyle Bennett retained their places in the line-up.

Pompey were certainly not over-awed against their Championship opponents and immediately looked to get at Derby.

Haunstrup was finding plenty of joy down the left and saw one cross blocked before another just failed to find Stockley.

A ball then fell invitingly to McGurk inside the box, but he dragged his angled drive wide of the post.

Bennett also failed to find the target and was then involved in a neat passing move with Close and Stockley that ended with Alex Pearce heading clear.

It was the Blues looking more threatening without really testing Rams keeper Lee Grant and Bennett saw another couple of long-range efforts fly narrowly wide.

Derby created their first opening in between, with Craig Forsyth finding Andreas Weimann and the Austrian seeing his shot deflected behind by Webster.

Grant was called in to action on 32 minutes and did well to turn behind Haunstrup’s angled strike.

Despite Pompey’s dominance, it was the visitors who had two good opportunities to open the scoring late in the half.

First they got opened up at the back and a well-placed Clarke had to clear Johnny Russell’s low cross from the line.

Jeff Hendrick then did well to burst through the centre and advance on goal, but sent his shot inches past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Derby 0

It was Derby who were first to threaten after the restart and Weimann had an effort deflected into the side netting.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 49 minutes, with McGURK netting on his debut.

The goal owed a lot to the work of Stockley, who broke down the right and sent in a teasing cross for his team-mate.

McGurk met it well, but Grant should have done better, with the County stopper only able to help it into the net.

That’s was McGurk’s last meaningful contribution and he soon made way for Enda Stevens.

But that failed to blunt Pompey’s attacking verve and they almost doubled their lead on 56 minutes.

Bennett delivered the ball into the box and first Stockley and then Davies saw efforts well saved by Grant.

Chaplin then came on for Haunstrup as Cook decided to shuffle his pack once more.

However, Derby grabbed an equaliser on 74 minutes when Shackell found space at the far post to head home Russell’s corner.

But they were not level for long and Fratton erupted when Stevens sent in a low cross that CHAPLIN expertly guided past Grant’s grasp and into the net.

The breathless play continued and the visitors felt aggrieved when they were denied a spot-kick moments later.

Hollands appeared to foul Russell inside the box, but referee Paul Tierney felt otherwise and the victim’s free-kick went over.

Derby poured forward in search of an equaliser in the closing stages, but the Blues held firm to book their place in Thursday’s second round draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Davies (c), Webster, Clarke, Haunstrup (Chaplin 71); Close, Hollands; Evans, Bennett (Tollitt 74), McGurk (Stevens 55); Stockley
Goals: McGurk 49, Chaplin 76
Subs not used: Murphy, Burgess, Atangana, Tubbs

Derby (4-2-3-1): Grant; Ssewankambo (Thorne 70), Pearce, Shackell, Forsyth; Hendrick, Baird (c); Russell, Dawkins (Ince 60), Weimann; Bent (Martin 60)
Goals: Shackell 74
Booked: Thorne
Subs not used: Carson, Keogh, Warnock, Hanson

Referee: Paul Tierney

Attendance: 11,573 (1,134 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jul 212015
 

Portsmouth 2 – 1 Coventry

Pompey’s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear with a 2-1 victory over League One Coventry at Westleigh Park.

Conor Chaplin grabbed an early opener to take his goal tally to three in the space of just four days.

And triallist Gareth Evans added a second just before the break, while George Thomas pulled one back for City after it.

Evans was not the only player trying to win a contract at Fratton Park, with new faces Frank van der Struijk and Matt Clarke also on show.

The ‘home’ side did not take long to find their feet, with CHAPLIN opening the scoring after just four minutes.

The teenager was on hand to drill home after a far-post header from skipper Paul Robinson had been well saved by Lee Burge.

There was not an abundance of chances throughout the rest of the half, although it was Pompey who looked the most threatening.

Coventry’s best opportunity came on 12 minutes when a 20-yard volley from Thomas was plucked from the air by a diving Paul Jones.

At the other end, Burge comfortably dealt with a deflected Theo Robinson drive, while Chaplin curled a shot over the bar.

The Blues were dominating possession, but it looked like they would have just a one-goal advantage at the break.

However, on the stroke of half-time, Chaplin’s precise pass was seized upon by EVANS, who calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Coventry 0

Coventry might not have troubled Pompey before the break, but they came charging out of the blocks after the restart.

First Jones had to be alert to beat away a shot from Thomas and then Paul Robinson made a sliding challenge to deny James Maddison.

And City reduced the deficit on 53 minutes, courtesy of a superb effort from Thomas, who expertly brought down Reda Johnson’s pass before chipping the onrushing Jones.

Pompey immediately tried to hit back and an Evans free-kick from out wide crept through a host of bodies before being nervously dealt with by Burge.

They had recovered from a shaky start and were suddenly looking the more dangerous side again.

It took a brave challenge from Jordan Willis to prevent Kal Naismith from converting an Evans pass at the far post.

The impressive Evans than had an opportunity of his own, with a fierce drive that was well saved by Burge.

A deluge of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game, with Paul Cook utilising the opportunity to look at the rest of his squad.

Poke was one of them and he denied City an equaliser by tipping Aaron Martin’s bullet header onto the crossbar.

And Pompey saw out the remaining few minutes to secure their second friendly victory in succession.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Poke 76); van der Struijk (Davies 69), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 58), Clarke (Burgess 74), Stevens (Haunstrup 74); Atangana (Doyle 69), Hollands (Close 68); Evans (Nilsen 82), Chaplin (Bennett 68), Naismith (Field 89); T.Robinson (Stockley 64)
Goals: Chaplin 4, Evans 45
Sub not used: Tubbs

Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Willis (Devon Kelly-Evans 74), Ricketts (Finch 80), Johnson (Martin 56), Dion Kelly-Evans; Vincelot (Lawton 68), Fleck (c) (Harries 80); Maddison (Swanson 56), Tudgay (Lameiras 46), O’Brien (Stevenson 68); Thomas
Goals: Thomas 53
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Sambou, Shipley

Portsmouth FC
Jul 182015
 

Gosport 2 – 3 Portsmouth

Conor Chaplin struck at the death to secure a first pre-season victory of the summer for Pompey at Gosport.

The teenage forward had already opened the scoring early on and the win seemed assured when triallist Theo Robinson added another after the interval.

But Justin Bennett and Jamie White scored in quick succession to pull the National League South side level.

There was still left for the Blues to snatch a winner, however, and it was the impressive Chaplin who got it.

There were not an abundance of chances in the opening stages as the game took a while to get into gear.

But CHAPLIN broke the deadlock with the first clear-cut opening on 13 minutes, guiding the ball home following good work from Kal Naismith down the right.

Naismith had an opportunity to add his own name to the scoresheet moments later, but Nathan Ashmore got down low to his right to deny the winger.

Robinson was next to go close on 36 minutes, with his goal-bound effort from the edge of the area blocked by a well-placed Sam Pearce.

Jayden Stockley then had the ball taken off his feet as he prepared to shoot following a scramble in the Borough box.

Gosport had not created much, but they did forge a couple of openings late in the first half.

First Tom Dunford’s drive was deflected over the bar and then Ben Harding scuffed a shot narrowly wide.

Half Time: Gosport 0 Pompey 1

Pompey were unchanged at the start of the second half, while the hosts switched both of their centre-backs.

It was still the visitors looking more threatening, however, and Stockley tested Ashmore’s handling with a curling effort from 25 yards.

But the hosts nearly carved out an equaliser on 52 minutes when Bennett turned sharply in the box and flashed a shot inches over the bar.

The Blues were not troubling their opponents too much, although Ashmore made a regulation save to keep out Stockley’s header.

But they doubled their lead on 66 minutes when ROBINSON collected a pass from Brandon Haunstrup and slid the ball home from an acute angle.

Pompey were easing their way towards a first pre-season triumph, only for Gosport to then score twice in the space of just two minutes.

First Bennett latched onto Steve Ramsey’s pass and took advantage of some hesitant defending to poke the ball home.

And White then drew the hosts level when he charged into the box and drilled a shot into the bottom corner.

Stockley flung himself at a Chaplin cross to try to restore Pompey’s lead on 83 minutes, but could not quite make contact.

But CHAPLIN did secure victory just before the end when he collected Stockley’s centre and slotted past Ashmore.

Gosport (4-diamond-2): Ashmore; Cuthebertson (Poate 65), Walker (Woodford 46), Pearce (c) (Brice 46), Williams (Woodward 65); Ryan (Ramsey 60), Harding, Dunford, Robinson (Scott 60); Wort (White 54), Bennett (Stephens 82)
Goals: Bennett 73, White 75

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Poke; Nilsen, Field, Webster, Haunstrup; Close, Hollands (c); Robinson, Chaplin, Naismith (McGurk 65); Stockley
Goals: Chaplin 13, 89, Robinson 66
Subs not used: Jones, Stevens, Atangana

Referee: Dan Cooke

Attendance: 2,020

Portsmouth FC