Mar 072017
 
League 2
Crawley Town 0 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Blues move up to third

Pompey stormed into the top three with a comfortable victory at Crawley.

After a solid – if unspectacular – first half from the visitors, they took control following the interval.

Christian Burgess headed them into the lead almost immediately after Eoin Doyle had seen his penalty saved.

And Kyle Bennett made sure that the Blues would climb above Luton and Carlisle with a deflected second.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side beaten at home by Crewe at the weekend.

Danny Rose replaced the injured Amine Linganzi in midfield, while Gary Roberts dropped to the bench to make way for Carl Baker.

It was a fairly comfortable first half for the visitors, who controlled proceedings without creating too many clear-cut chances.

There was plenty of probing from Pompey who sent some dangerous balls into the box that Crawley had to deal with.

And they had the first shot on target on 22 minutes, although Danny Rose’s drilled shot forced no more than a regulation save from Glenn Morris.

A dangerous delivery from the left by the lively Bennett was then just out of reach for Baker at the far post.

David Forde was having a quiet evening at the other end of the pitch, although the Blues back-line did have to mop up a couple of Crawley breaks.

Rose then tested Morris once more on 32 minutes, but again the shot did not overly trouble Morris between the sticks.

The best chance arrived soon after, when Baker released Eoin Doyle and Morris had to spread himself to deny the on-loan striker.

Crawley enjoyed their best period just before the break, with Rhys Murphy bending a shot narrowly wide before Enzio Boldewijn’s stoppage-time header was held by Forde.

Half Time: Crawley 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The hosts were first to threaten after the restart, with James Collins electing to shoot from a tight angle and unable to keep the ball on target.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 54 minutes – although they certainly could have done it in an easier manner.

Enda Stevens did well to break into the box and draw a late tackle from Red Devils right-back Josh Lelan.

Referee Kevin Johnson pointed to the spot and Eoin Doyle stepped up to take it, but Pompey’s penalty woes continued as Morris guessed the right way to make the save.

The ball was hacked behind, but Kal Naismith swung the corner into the box and BURGESS headed home from close range.

Naismith fancied another, though, and after being unable to catch Morris out from long-range, he surged half the length of the pitch before seeing a shot blocked.

But he was forced back on 64 minutes, filling the left-back role when Stevens limped off injured to be replaced by Noel Hunt.

That did not mean Naismith had to stop providing an attacking threat, however, and one cross from the left was held up by Hunt before Eoin Doyle’s fierce drive was blocked.

Pompey were not content to sit on their slim advantage and their attacking impetus was rewarded on 71 minutes.

Hunt sent the ball through Lelan’s legs, with BENNETT picking it up and launching a shot that was deflected past Morris’ grasp.

Crawley responded with a double substitution and one of the newcomers almost reduced the deficit, with Forde doing well to deny Billy Clifford with his legs.

They had to be more adventurous and Collins rose to meet a corner from the left, with the ball flashing inches wide of the post.

But the fact that Red Devils keeper Morris was awarded the home side’s man-of-the-match award was telling.

And the 2,300 travelling fans were in celebratory mood as the Blues comfortably saw out the closing stages to secure a valuable victory.

Crawley (4-2-3-1): Morris; Lelan, Connolly, McNerney, Young; Smith (c), Payne (Henderson 72); Boldewijn (Bawling 76), Murphy, Cox (Clifford 72); Collins
Booked: Young
Subs not used: Mersin, Blackman, Djalo

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens (Hunt 64); Rose, M.Doyle (c); Baker, Naismith, Bennett (T.Davies 90); E.Doyle
Goals: Burgess 54, Bennett 71
Booked: Hunt, E.Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Aborah, Lowe, Roberts, Chaplin

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 5,350 (2,300 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 032016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 3 – 0 Crawley Town

 

Blues good run continues

Pompey eased to a third successive league win, courtesy of three first half goals against a hapless Crawley side at Fratton Park.

The damage was done inside the first 12 minutes, with Curtis Main breaking the deadlock before Gary Roberts continued his prolific scoring spell.

It was Main who added a third goal before the break, allowing the Blues to comfortably see out the second half and claim their three points.

Paul Cook made one enforced change from the side that won at Exeter in the last league outing.

Drew Talbot was suffering from a hamstring injury and with Adam Buxton and Calvin Davies also sidelined, Gareth Evans had to deputise at right-back.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for Pompey Ladies president Dave Coyle, who sadly passed away recently.

The hosts immediately launched into an energetic attacking display, looking to get forward at every opportunity and play with a high tempo.

Roberts tried to take advantage of some uncertain defending by chasing down a poor back-pass in the opening seconds, but Crawley keeper Yusuf Mersin just about beat him to the ball.

The Red Devils then had their best chance of the half, only for James Collins to hit his shot into the ground and watch it fly wide.

Most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch, however, and Michael Doyle was not quite able to dig the ball from out of his feet and test Mersin.

But the deadlock was broken on eight minutes, as MAIN opened his Fratton Park account.

Enda Stevens latched onto a pass down the left and then cut the ball back for the striker to lash into the roof of the net.

That certainly got the home fans off their seats and they were in dreamland moments later when the Blues doubled their advantage.

And it was no surprise who scored it either, with Danny Rose stealing possession from Alex Davey and ROBERTS picking up the loose ball to rifle home his fourth goal in three games.

Pompey refused to sit back and protect their lead, though, as they set about trying to find a third.

Mark Connolly was clever enough to spot Roberts’ cute pass through to Main and make a vital interception.

Roberts tried to pick out the striker again soon after, only this time Davey rose highest to clear the danger.

MAIN did add a third goal before the interval, however, being in the right place to convert from close range after Mersin could only parry away a deflected effort from Milan Lalkovic.

There was still time for Crawley to launch a rare attack, but, under pressure from Christian Burgess, Jason Banton could only fire wide.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Crawley 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

It was a more sedate pace at the start of the second half, although Carl Baker wasted a good opening by dragging his shot wide.

Main then had a chance to seal his hat-trick, but spun and fired wide after Roberts’ neat flick had released Evans down the right.

Cook made his first switch just past the hour mark, with Main receiving warm applause as he made way for Conor Chaplin.

Crawley had a chance at the other end when Tom Davies was booked for a foul on Banton, with Burgess sticking out a leg to clear Jimmy Smith’s free-kick.

There was a definite sense of the game winding down as the heavens opened and heavy rain began to fall.

That might have contributed to a spot of sloppy defending from the hosts, who survived through some last-gasp defending before Smith’s shot was saved by David Forde.

Roberts was then given a deserved rest and replaced by Kal Naismith for his first home appearance of the season.

The final switch saw Michael Smith come on for the lively Lalkovic and he almost netted in stoppage-time following a quick break, but hit his shot agonisingly past the post.

It mattered little, however, as Pompey had, in truth, wrapped the game up by half-time to seal yet another league triumph.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, T.Davies, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Naismith 72), Lalkovic (Smith 82); Main (Chaplin 65)
Goals: Main 9, 37, Roberts 12
Booked: Main, T.Davies
Subs not used: O’Brien, Clarke, Linganzi, Hunt

Crawley (4-2-3-1): Mersin; Young, Connolly, Davey, Blackman (Arthur 52); Smith (c), Yorwerth (Payne 52); Boldewijn, Banton, Yussuf (Bawling 68); Collins
Booked: Blackman
Subs not used: Beeney, McNerney, Clifford, Tajbakhsh

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 16,347 (435 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 022016
 

Portsmouth 3 v 0 Crawley Town

Pompey got 2016 off to an excellent start with a convincing victory over Crawley at Fratton Park.

A couple of loanees ensured they had a two-goal advantage at the break, with Matt Clarke heading the opener before Marc McNulty doubled the advantage.

The Blues dominated for most of the afternoon and got a deserved third when Gary Roberts found the target following excellent work from fellow substitute Ben Tollitt.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew with Luton five days earlier.

Adam Webster returned from suspension to take his place in the centre of defence, with Adam Barton dropping to the bench.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of former Pompey keeper Pavel Srnicek, who sadly passed away before Christmas at the age of just 47.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Darryl Flahavan and Sonny Bradley both starting for the Reds.

The hosts made a bright start and Caolan Lavery could not quite guide Ben Davies’ cross on target with a diving header.

Enda Stevens then delivered a dangerous low centre from the left that Bradley was forced to clear behind.

And the Blues broke the deadlock from the resulting corner, with CLARKE rising highest in the box to guide home Davies’ cross on 13 minutes.

McNulty tried to double the advantage moments later, but sent an angled effort whizzing past the post.

Pompey were totally on top and Kyle Bennett saw his strike blocked after meeting Lavery’s cut-back, while Danny Hollands blazed the loose ball over.

Clarke then met another corner from Davies, although this time his radar was off and the ball flew wide.

Lavery thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the first half after tangling with Lewis Young, but referee Dean Whitestone was not quite so convinced.

Stevens was providing a real threat down the left and twice saw low crosses somehow evade his team-mates.

But it proved to be third time lucky on 26 minutes when the left-back picked out McNULTY, who took a touch before sliding the ball past Flahavan.

Crawley were struggling to keep the Blues at bay and it took brave blocks from Young and Bradley to keep out goal-bound efforts from McNulty and Bennett respectively.

The visitors finally carved out an opening on 39 minutes, but after beating Clarke, Roarie Deacon hit his shot straight at Brian Murphy.

Bennett then made a vital challenge to dispossess Luke Rooney on the edge of the box, while Simon Walton hit a long-range free-kick safely into Murphy’s arms.

But most of the action was still happening at the other end of the pitch and Flahavan did well to keep out a strike from Bennett that took a heavy deflection off Jon Ashton.

Then, in stoppage-time, an unmarked Gareth Evans somehow failed to connect with Davies’ cross from just a few yards out.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Crawley 0

Pompey picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and Stevens drilled a low shot narrowly wide.

Bennett was next to go close, cutting inside and sending a fierce effort fizzing inches over from the edge of the box.

But the visitors came close to reducing the deficit just past the hour mark, when Davies conceded a free-kick that Gwion Edwards curled against the crossbar.

Crawley were then thankful to Young, who prevented them from falling further behind when he cleared Lavery’s bullet header off the line.

Cook made a double substitution on 67 minutes, with McNulty and Evans making way for Roberts and Tollitt.

Lavery then had a chance to extend the hosts’ advantage when he met a cross from Tollitt, only to send his header sneaking past the far post.

Pompey were not having much to deal with at the other end, although Matt Harrold should at least have found the target when he collected Young’s pass.

And the hosts wrapped up a comfortable victory on 83 minutes after their two substitutes combined to devastating effect.

Tollitt picked the ball up from a Crawley corner and surged almost the full length of the pitch before teeing-up ROBERTS for a cool finish.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans (Tollitt 67), McNulty (Roberts 67), Bennett; Lavery (Chaplin 85)
Goals: Clarke 13, McNulty 26, Roberts 83
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Atangana, McGurk

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Flahavan; Young, Yorwerth (Ashton 23), Bradley (c), Hancox; Walton; Deacon, Rooney (Tomlin 77), Smith (Emmanuel 46), Edwards; Harrold
Booked: Walton
Subs not used: Preston, Bawling, Jenkins, Fenelon

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 16,606 (567 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 182015
 

Crawley 0 v 0 Portsmouth

Pompey dominated for long periods at Crawley, but had to settle for a point in Sussex.

There were not an abundance of clear-cut chances at either end, although Matt Tubbs, Matt Clarke and Adam McGurk had the best opportunities for the Blues.

Paul Cook named the same side for the third league match in succession.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up with defender Sonny Bradley named Crawley skipper.

Pompey saw plenty of the ball in the early stages – and that was a trend that continued throughout the contest.

But while the visitors were looking composed on the ball, they were struggling to find the right final pass to trouble the Reds.

They did have an opening on nine minutes when a Nigel Atangana pass threaded the opposition defence.

Tubbs raced onto it, but Freddie Woodman came off his line to save and the keeper reacted quickly to gather the loose ball.

Kyle Bennett was next to go close midway through the half, beating his man, cutting into the box and curling a shot narrowly over the crossbar.

The home fans were starting to grow restless as their side kept gifting the ball right back to the Blues.

They did have one opportunity on 33 minutes, but Brian Murphy was able to get behind Luke Rooney’s fierce long-range effort.

The action soon switched to the other end of the pitch and Rooney tugged back the advancing Bennett, earning the game’s first booking from referee Fred Graham.

Joe McNerney then had to race across the box to stop Tubbs from pouncing on a superb incisive pass from Christian Burgess.

And Clarke saw his header cleared off the line by Lee Barnard as Pompey finished the half with a flourish.

Half Time: Crawley 0 Pompey 0

Pompey started the second half as they ended the first – on the attack.

The hosts had to deal with a corner in the opening seconds before Woodman did well to gather a dangerous low cross from Roberts.

Cook made an attacking switch on 52 minutes as right-back Ben Davies made way for forward McGurk.

The Blues were still seeing most of the ball, but Crawley came close to snatching a goal on 52 minutes when Gwion Edwards fired into the side netting.

It was still Pompey looking the more threatening, however, and McGurk almost snuck a shot into the bottom corner, only for Woodman to get down and push it clear.

Tubbs did have the ball in the back of the net on 68 minutes, but he was flagged offside after collecting Atangana’s pass.

With the game starting to fall a little flat, Cook made a double substitution as Bennett and Tubbs made way for Conor Chaplin and Jayden Stockley.

That seemed to spark them back into life, although Crawley came close to netting on the break.

The dangerous Lewis Young managed to break free down the right and into the box, but could not beat Murphy at the keeper’s near post.

Pompey continued to push forward in search of a late winner, but the hosts held firm to ensure a share of the spoils.

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Woodman; Donnelly, McNerney, Ashton, Bradley (c); Walton; Young, Rooney (Bawling 77), Smith, Edwards; Barnard (Harrold 64)
Booked: Rooney, Smith
Subs not used: Preston, van den Bogaert, Fenelon, Deacon

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies (McGurk 52), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Chaplin 81); Tubbs (Stockley 81)
Subs not used: Jones, Webster, Haunstrup, Hollands

Referee: Fred Graham

Attendance: 4,003 (1,706 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC