Oct 172017
 

League One


 

Doncaster Rovers    2

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


A disastrous start cost Pompey as they made the long trip home from Doncaster on the back of a 2-1 defeat.

They conceded twice inside the opening five minutes, with Liam Mandeville opening the scoring before Christian Burgess inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

A comical own-goal from Mathieu Baudry sparked hopes of a comeback, but they were dashed when Dion Donohue – figuratively and literally – saw red.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that convincingly beat MK Dons on home soil at the weekend.

Gareth Evans returned to the starting line-up in a wide attacking role on the right and was also handed the captain’s armband.

Jamal Lowe dropped to the bench, having travelled up later than the rest of the squad following the birth of his baby daughter.

Pompey were looking to build on successive league victories, but got off to a terrible start and found themselves two down before some fans had even taken their seat.

They had looked bright immediately following kick-off and a couple of attacks were thwarted by the Rovers back-line.

But the hosts were more clinical and broke the deadlock when Rodney Kongolo collected Tommy Rowe’s pass and squared for Mandeville to prod home.

And Doncaster doubled their advantage a few seconds later, as Burgess inadvertently sliced Harry Toffolo’s corner into his own net.

It almost got even worse for the Blues, but Andy Butler could not guide his header on target after meeting another Toffolo set-piece.

Pompey almost reduced their deficit midway through the first half, with Joe Wright forced to clear from the line when Burgess guided Matty Kennedy’s free-kick towards goal.

That was about it for clear-cut opportunities before the interval, with much of the battle taking place in the centre of the pitch.

Ben Close did see a volley charged down when Kennedy’s cross was headed into his path by Nathan Thompson.

Donohue then lifted a free-kick into the box with the seconds ticking down, but Kennedy was unable to force his shot through a sea of bodies.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Jackett, unsurprisingly, decided to make a couple of changes at the start of the second half, as the visitors looked for a route back into the game.

They were both attacking substitutes, with Evans and Kyle Bennett making for new father Lowe and – making his 100th appearance – Conor Chaplin.

And Chaplin almost made an immediate impression when Oliver Hawkins was fouled right on the edge of the box.

The diminutive striker stepped up take the free-kick and managed to bend it over the wall and against the crossbar.

But the Blues were handed a lifeline in bizarre fashion on 54 minutes – and it is a moment that Ian Lawlor will be keen to forget.

Doncaster’s keeper allowed Baudry’s back-pass to slip under his foot and was unable to hack the ball clear before it crossed the line.

That gave the visitors a visible lift, while their opponents started to display some nerves now their lead was so narrow.

A couple of dangerous Kennedy corners had to be headed clear, while a cross from the winger was then flicked narrowly wide by Chaplin.

But just when the 620 travelling fans started to dream of a comeback, Pompey were suddenly faced with an even steeper mountain to climb.

A frustrated Donohue kicked out at Niall Mason in an off-the-ball incident and although referee Martin Coy missed it, his assistant advised that the left-back should be dismissed.

The visitors kept trying to push forward in search of a leveller, but were obviously now finding it more difficult.

When they did get the ball into dangerous areas, Doncaster had plenty of players back to halt their charge.

There was clearly a bit of needle between the teams and something Mandeville said as he was substituted left Burgess enraged.

But Pompey were almost celebrating deep into stoppage-time when Lowe met Kennedy’s cross, only for his deft header to be superbly kept out by Lawlor.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Lawlor; Blair (Mason 46), Wright, Butler (c), Baudry (Beestin 72); Houghton, Whiteman; Kongolo, Rowe, Toffolo; Mandeville (Garratt 88)
Goals: Mandeville 3, Burgess 5 (og)
Booked: Rowe
Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Ben Khemis, Fletcher

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Evans (c) (Lowe 46), Bennett (Chaplin 46), Kennedy; Hawkins
Goals: Baudry 54 (og)
Sent off: Donohue
Booked: Burgess, O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rose, Naismith

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 7,211 (620 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 052017
 
League 2
Doncaster Rovers 3 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Blues lose at league leaders

Pompey missed out on the chance to close in on the automatic promotion places with a 3-1 defeat at Doncaster.

Former Fratton loanee John Marquis gave the hosts an early lead, only for Kal Naismith to level late in the first half.

But the Blues failed to build on that after the break, with Tommy Rowe rocketing Rovers back ahead before Marquis wrapped things up.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that beat Luton at Fratton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

That meant an attacking midfield trio of Carl Baker, Naismith and Kyle Bennett were deployed behind lone frontman Michael Smith.

Pompey started poorly against the league leaders and looked particularly susceptible on the counter-attack.

And it came as no surprise when Doncaster broke the deadlock after just five minutes, with James Coppinger’s delivery flicked on by Matty Blair for Marquis to head home.

Rovers immediately set about trying to build on their lead and David Forde denied Conor Grant before another dangerous Coppinger cross had to be hooked clear by Michael Doyle.

But the Blues almost levelled with their first decent chance soon after, as keeper Marko Marosi only just managed to keep out Matt Clarke’s header from a Baker corner.

The visitors grew stronger as the half progressed, but Doncaster still looked threatening on the break and one ended with Niall Mason firing into the side netting.

Marquis was then inches away from extending their advantage, meeting Craig Alcock’s cross, but seeing his header hit the woodwork.

A couple of Naismith corners caused problems at the other end of the pitch, while Marosi did well to gobble up Enda Stevens’ low cross before Smith could pounce.

Pompey were starting to pile on some pressure, however, and they deservedly found themselves back on level terms just before the break.

Former Rovers winger Bennett – who was roundly booed by the home support throughout – intercepted the ball and threaded a neat pass to NAISMITH, who coolly slid the ball past Marosi.

Half Time: Doncaster 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Both sides had looked capable of adding more goals before the interval, but the second half took longer to provide any inspiration.

An Evans shot from long-range that forced Marosi down to his left was as close as either side came in the opening stages.

But Doncaster suddenly brought the game back to life by restoring their advantage on 58 minutes.

It was a fine effort from Rowe, who collected a pass from Coppinger and beat Evans before rifling a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Cook soon responded by making his first substitution, with Milan Lalkovic given an opportunity to impress in place of Baker.

And Bennett then made way for Gary Roberts, as Pompey tried to add fresh attacking impetus into their side.

But it was Rovers who looked the more dangerous going forward and they extended their lead on 71 minutes.

It was Marquis who found the target once again after a cross from Rowe was deflected kindly into his path.

Cook made one final throw of the dice soon after, with Naismith making way so Conor Chaplin could partner Smith up front.

It was Lalkovic who almost reduced the deficit, however, meeting Evans’ excellent cross with a close-range header that Marosi dived across goal to keep out.

But the keeper almost cost his side moments later when he failed to hold a cross under pressure from Smith.

The loose ball fell to Chaplin, who did not have long to react, and his effort was hacked clear by a well-placed Alcock.

An injury to Marosi – which saw the keeper stretchered off – meant there were seven minutes of injury-time.

But that failed to provide the inspiration for an unlikely comeback as Doncaster saw out the final moments to increase their title hopes.

Doncaster (4-3-2-1): Marosi (Etheridge 86); Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason; Blair (Williams 55), Houghton, Grant; Coppinger (c) (Middleton 67), Rowe; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 5, 71, Rowe 58
Booked: Alcock
Subs not used: Wright, Keegan, Beestin, May

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Lalkovic 62), Naismith (Chaplin 75), Bennett (Roberts 67); Smith
Goals: Naismith 41
Booked: Burgess, Evans, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Linganzi, Hunt

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 5,568 (669 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Oct 012016
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Doncaster Rovers    2

 


Blues slip to first home defeat

Pompey suffered their first home defeat of the season despite a spirited fightback against Doncaster.

The visitors took advantage of their slow start to cruise into a two-goal lead, courtesy of strikes from John Marquis and Andy Williams.

But Carl Baker reduced the arrears before the interval and the Blues poured forward after it in search of a leveller.

They hit the woodwork and had another effort cleared from the line, but were unable to make another breakthrough.

Paul Cook made one change from the side beaten at Blackpool earlier in the week.

That came at the back, where Tom Davies dropped to the bench to make way for Matt Clarke.

Pompey looked to make a fast start, but Gary Roberts strayed narrowly offside when Conor Chaplin tried to send him through on goal.

Instead they fall behind on seven minutes after David Forde came tearing out of his area to mop up a long ball over the top.

It was former Blues loanee Marquis who got their first, however, taking the ball past the keeper and then slotting it into an empty net.

They might have doubled their advantage soon after, but Williams mis-cued his effort and Forde made a comfortable save.

Baker then went close at the other end, drawing a stop from Marko Marosi, despite being surrounded by three defenders the moment he was teed-up by Enda Stevens

And Chaplin wasted a decent opportunity by scuffing his shot after Kal Naismith had expertly brought the ball down on the edge of the box.

Pompey were looking sloppy, however, and guilty of gifting Doncaster possession on far too many occasions.

They fell further behind on 34 minutes, with Williams afforded to space to collect a deep free-kick, swivel and find the net.

The hosts finally clicked into gear towards the end of the first half and thought they should have won a penalty.

Gareth Evans went down in the box under pressure from Tommy Rowe, but referee Darren Deadman decided he had dived and brandished a yellow card, much to the chagrin of Pompey’s right-back.

Baker almost reduced the deficit on 38 minutes with a fierce 30-yard strike that was superbly tipped over by Marosi.

A low Roberts cross was then almost turned into his own net by Cedric Evina and the left-back must have breathed a sigh of relief when he saw the ball instead go behind for a corner.

But Pompey finally made a breakthrough just before the interval, although they did receive a slice of good fortune.

Evans’ cross appeared to be going behind, but Jordan Houghton inexplicably kept it in play, laying the ball on a plate for BAKER to emphatically fire into the roof of the net.


Half Time

(1 – 2)


Chaplin started an attack when he stole the ball from Matty Blair and launched a quick counter-attack after the restart.

He then fed Roberts’ down the left, but the midfielder’s return pass to the far post was headed to safety.

It was then Doncaster’s turn to threaten, with Michael Doyle intercepting Marquis’ cross before the striker bent another effort narrowly wide.

Cook made a double switch on 54 minutes, with Naismith and Danny Rose making way for Milan Lalkovic and Amine Linganzi.

Rovers were still in the ascendency, though, and Doyle made a crucial block after Williams had skipped past a couple of challenges.

But Chaplin had an excellent opportunity to equalise just past the hour mark. He was picked out unmarked in the box by Roberts, but had to adjust his body and was unable to divert the ball on target.

Christian Burgess then headed wide from close range following another excellent delivery from Roberts.

Cook made his final throw of the dice on 71 minutes, with Curtis Main given a chance to impress against his former side in place of Chaplin.

It was Baker who almost levelled moments late, though, when he diverted Lalkovic’s shot against the crossbar.

And Main was then unable to beat Marosi from point-blank range after Evans’ cross had been turned back into the centre by Roberts.

Rovers soon had a chance at the other end when Clarke mis-hit the ball, but Forde came to the rescue with a smart save.

But it was largely one-way traffic and Pompey thought they had found an equaliser on 81 minutes.

Roberts met Baker’s cross with a firm header, only for it to be hacked clear by Andy Butler, despite blue-shirted appeals that the ball had crossed the line.

The display of six additional minutes provided some hope for the Fratton faithful, but the Blues were unable to salvage a point.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Linganzi 54), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Naismith (Lalkovic 54); Chaplin (Main 71)
Goals: Baker 42
Booked: Evans
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Bennett, Smith

Doncaster (4-1-2-1-2): Marosi; Richardson (Calder 29 (Mason 69)), Wright, Butler, Evina; Houghton; Blair, Rowe; Coppinger (c) (Middleton 76); Marquis, Williams
Goals: Marquis 7, Williams 34
Booked: Butler, Evina, Marquis
Subs not used: Etheridge, Baudry, Mandeville, Beestin

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 16,950 (449 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 042016
 
IN
Curtis Main

(24)
Doncaster Rovers


Blues bring in Doncaster striker

Pompey have signed striker Curtis Main from Doncaster for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old has penned a two-year deal at Fratton Park, with the club having an option for a third year.

And he is hoping to help the Blues climb out of League Two in his first season on the south coast.

“I’m really happy and excited that it’s all been sorted and that I’m now a Pompey player,” said Main.

“I had my first training session with the lads on Saturday. I already knew a few of them and the rest have all been brilliant, so I’ve settled in effortlessly.

“I’ve come here to hopefully achieve promotion and I think that has to be the aim when you join a club like this.

“The fans know that we belong at a higher level and I think everyone agrees with that, so we’re all working in the same direction.

“I can’t wait to play in front of such large and passionate crowds at Fratton Park – that was a big draw for me signing here.”

Main started his career with Darlington, where he made his senior debut at the age of just 15.

He soon attracted the attention of Middlesbrough, spending three years with the Teesside club and making 48 Championship appearances.

Doncaster signed Main in the summer of 2014 and he scored 11 goals in 58 games for them, while also spending time on loan at Oldham last season.

Portsmouth FC