Dec 292018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood Town 2    5 Portsmouth

Pompey finished 2018 on a high by thrashing Fleetwood 5-2 in a dramatic League One contest at Highbury.

Ben Thompson’s stunning strike gave them the lead, only for Paddy Madden and a Ched Evans penalty to see the hosts ahead at the break.

But Dean Marney’s red card for two bookable offences proved crucial – and the Blues took advantage.

Brett Pitman levelled with another spot-kick and a first goal of the season from Anton Walkes ensured they retook the lead.

It was left to Jamal Lowe to wrap things up with a brace that ensures Pompey will welcome in 2019 at the top of the table.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a first defeat on the road at Gillingham on Boxing Day.

Two of them were enforced, with Walkes and skipper Pitman replacing Nathan Thompson (hamstring) and Oli Hawkins (ankle) respectively.

The other switch came in the middle of the park, where former Fleetwood star Gareth Evans made way for Ben Close.

That meant a switch to a 4-3-3 system, with Lowe and Ronan Curtis flanking Pitman in the forward line.

The hosts had a great opportunity in the opening stages, but Evans’ header was held low down to his left by Craig MacGillivray.

Pompey soon started to settle and Close was unable to make a clean connection with his shot, allowing Alex Cairns to save.

But the Cod Army keeper made an even better stop soon after, keeping out a volleyed effort from Matt Clarke after the defender’s first attempt had been blocked.

The visitors then received a blow when Lee Brown went down injured and had to come off, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing him at left-back.

There was reason to celebrate for the travelling supporters on 26 minutes, however, as their side took the lead.

It was a fine finish from THOMPSON, whose fierce effort from outside the box struck the underside of the crossbar and bounced down over the line.

Close might have doubled the lead, but could not get enough power on his header from a Lowe cross to trouble Cairns.

Instead it was Fleetwood who were next to score on 39 minutes, when Madden raced in to meet Lewie Coyle’s cut-back and arrow a first time shot right into the bottom corner.

And it soon got even worse for the Blues as Madden fired past the post, but went down after colliding with Clarke and, following a lengthy pause, referee Matt Donohue pointed to the spot.

It was Evans who stepped up to take the penalty, sending MacGillivray the wrong way to turn the contest on its head.

Pompey might have levelled deep into stoppage-time, only for Ross Wallace to clear behind and prevent Lowe from converting Curtis’ delivery at the back post.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 2

Portsmouth 1


The Blues were quickly out of the traps following the interval, but when a corner was cleared, Haunstrup fired wildly off target.

Hopes were raised soon after, though, when Marney fouled Thompson and – having earlier been booked for a challenge on Curtis – saw red.

A cross from Haunstrup was then hacked to safety, as Walkes raced into the box to try to make contact.

Jackett soon made an attacking switch, with Evans brought on to provide more of a goal threat and Close withdrawn.

But it was two other players who provided the drama that saw the Blues score twice in as many minutes to take the lead.

Donohue pointed to the spot for the second time after Curtis was brought down by Ross Wallace and PITMAN confidently slammed home the spot-kick.

It soon got even better, though, as the Cod Army failed to deal with a Curtis cross and WALKES bent a shot into the top corner with his left foot.

The action did not stop there, however, and MacGillivray kept out Wes Burns’ free-kick, then quickly recovered to keep out James Wallace’s follow-up effort.

There was a period of calm after that, although Pompey were not content to sit back and Curtis continued to torment the home defence.

But they were lucky to still be ahead when, following a Fleetwood corner, both Madden and James Wallace struck the post.

Tom Naylor then hacked the ball clear from the line before Pompey went up the other end to wrap things up.

LOWE collected a pass from Curtis and held off two challenges, turning neatly to sneak a low shot inside the near post.

And it soon got even better for the Blues, as LOWE raced on to Thompson’s fine pass and lashed home their fifth goal of an eventful afternoon.

Andre Green came on for Curtis in the closing stages, but the visitors were unable to grant the wishes of the travelling fans, who chanted ‘we want six’.

Clarke came closest to adding another, but his header was well saved by Cairns. It mattered not, as Pompey had done more than enough to ensure they would end the year at the summit.

Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Morgan (c), Eastham, R.Wallace; Burns (Dempsey 63), Marney, Biggins (Bolger 79), Hunter (J.Wallace 54); Madden, Evans
Goals: Madden 39, Evans 43 (pen)
Sent off: Marney (two yellow cards)
Booked: Madden
Subs not used: Jones, Sheron, Holt, McAleny,

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown (Haunstrup 19); B.Thompson, Naylor, Close (Evans 53); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Green 90)
Goals: Thompson 26, Pitman 57 (pen), Walkes 58, Lowe 81, 84
Booked: Clarke
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Wheeler, Mason

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance: 3,494 (853 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 202018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 1    0 Fleetwood Town

Oli Hawkins celebrated a half-century of appearances by netting the only goal to seal victory for Pompey against Fleetwood.

Neither side looked like scoring in an opening 45 minutes at Fratton Park that was totally devoid of any excitement.

But it was the Blues who dominated after the break and Hawkins headed home to ensure the hosts remained top of the League One standings.

And the Cod Army’s hopes of finding a leveller were dashed when Nathan Sheron was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at AFC Wimbledon the previous week.

Ronan Curtis came straight back into the team after returning from Republic of Ireland international duty.

Gareth Evans dropped to the bench, as Pompey switched to a 4-4-2 system, with Tom Naylor handed the captain’s armband.

The first half was a soporific affair, with neither keeper called into action to make even the most regulation of saves.

It was Naylor who probably had the best chance on six minutes when Ben Thompson’s free-kick was nodded down by Hawkins, but the midfielder hooked over the bar.

An Ashley Eastham clearance then ricocheted off Curtis, only to land safely for Craig Morgan to hack clear.

And when Dion Donohue’s deep free-kick was only partially dealt with, Ben Thompson hit a fierce effort narrowly over.

Hawkins was proving an aerial nuisance, but after doing well to win the ball, he sliced his shot wide of the post.

Fleetwood were not helping the pace of the game by taking an age over every set-piece and referee Lee Swabey lost patience with Lewie Coyle’s long-winded throw, brandishing a yellow card.

The fourth official was also being kept busy on the touchline, with visiting manager Joey Barton keen to argue every decision.

That was about as exciting as it got, however, and Hawkins blazed wide after doing well to steal possession from Morgan.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Fleetwood Town 0


There was a tactical switch at the start of the second half, with Pompey moving back to their usual 4-2-3-1 system.

It saw Ben Thompson move into the attacking hole behind Hawkins, as Donohue dropped into a deeper midfield role.

And it almost immediately paid dividends, with HAWKINS – in the 50th minute and on his 50th Blues appearance – breaking the deadlock.

The striker ran in to head home from close range after Donohue’s corner had been nodded towards goal by Naylor.

He might have had a second soon after, as Alex Cairns’ clearance ricocheted off his back and narrowly past the post.

Hawkins was also not too far off target after running in at the far post to meet a cross from Lee Brown.

A round of applause broke out on 58 minutes to pay tribute to Craig Bryden – aka the ‘Pompey Pirate’ – who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

The action on the pitch was certainly more vibrant than before the break, although it was still fairly quiet for both keepers.

Fleetwood’s quest for an equaliser saw Naylor head clear a free-kick, while Paddy Madden could not divert Ash Hunter’s cross on target.

There was a chance at the other end, with Curtis not quite able to thread a pass through to Hawkins, who was waiting in acres of space inside the box.

Pompey were dominating, but unable to put the game to bed and Curtis curled wide after a Donohue corner led to some pinball in the box.

And Fleetwood’s task was made a lot harder when Sheron – earlier booked for a foul on Curtis – tugged back the same player and received his marching orders on 84 minutes.

The Blues forward took the free-kick, but Matt Clarke could not adjust his body enough to divert a header on target.

Six minutes of stoppage-time gave the visitors hope of finding a leveller, but Pompey held on to ensure a return to Fratton form.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Lowe, Naylor (c), B.Thompson, Donohue; Curtis (Evans 90+2), Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 50
Booked: Naylor
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Close, Pitman, Mason

Fleetwood (4-1-4-1): Cairns; Sheron, Eastham, Morgan (c), Coyle (Bolger 90+1); Taylor; Burns, Holt (Evans 67), Wallace (Dempsey 79), Hunter; Madden
Sent off: Sheron (two yellow cards)
Booked: Coyle, Wallace
Subs not used: Jones, Rydel, Marney, Biggins

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 18,046 (76 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 202018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood Town 1    2 Portsmouth

Jamal Lowe and Oli Hawkins were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways with a 2-1 victory over Fleetwood.

They edged a fairly uneventful first half at Highbury Stadium and forged ahead through Lowe’s smart finish.

Hawkins’ close-range effort looked to have wrapped up a comfortable night for the Blues, although a stunning strike from Conor McAleny ensured a nervy finale.

Kenny Jackett made three enforced changes from the side beaten at Southend on Saturday.

Matty Kennedy, Hawkins and Adam May were all recalled, with the injured duo of Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman making way, along with the suspended Nathan Thompson.

Matt Clarke was handed the captain’s armband in Pitman’s absence, while there was a welcome return to the bench for a fit-again Jack Whatmough.

The first half was not one to get the pulses racing, with clear-cut chances at a premium at both ends of the pitch.

There was a shot from Conor Chaplin that took a deflection and looped safely into the arms of Alex Cairns.

Fleetwood then went close at the other end when, following good build-up play from Joe Maguire and Bobby Grant, a drive from Kyle Dempsey flew just past the post.

It was Pompey looking more dangerous, though, and Cairns had to get down to his right to keep out an effort from the impressive May.

And they broke the deadlock on 24 minutes after Ben Close’s strike from the edge of the box had been blocked.

LOWE was on to the loose ball in a flash and showed great composure to curl it past Cairns’ grasp and into the net.

Kennedy then bent a free-kick over the wall after Chaplin had been fouled, but Cairns was equal to this attempt.

The goal had given the Blues a spike in confidence and Dion Donohue’s dangerous low delivery had to be intercepted by Cian Bolger before Chaplin could convert it.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 0

Portsmouth 1


The visitors made a bright start to the second half and Bolger cut out Donohue’s cross with Hawkins ready to pounce.

Then, from the resulting corner, the ball almost flew into the net off a Fleetwood player before it was scrambled clear.

But the Cod Army soon had a chance up the other end, as Ashley Hunter’s daisy-cutter flew inches past the post.

It was the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and Chaplin had a couple of efforts blocked, while a third chance flashed wide.

Hawkins then did well to juggle the ball and get a shot away that narrowly cleared the crossbar in front of the noisy travelling support.

Fleetwood substitute Wes Burns was off target from an acute angle on 65 minutes, while Close also saw an effort fly wide.

It looked like the visitors’ lead was to be doubled soon after when May hit a sweet curling effort from 30 yards.

The ball flew towards goal and clipped the inside of the post, but instead of nestling in the net it bounced back out.

But Pompey did have a second goal on 75 minutes, when Chaplin fed a pass through to Lowe down the right.

The winger’s low cross could only be parried away by Cairns and HAWKINS was there to convert the loose ball from close range.

Fleetwood almost pulled one back immediately, as Hunter rose in the box to meet Burns’ cross and glance a header narrowly wide.

Jackett decided the time was right to bring on some fresh legs, with Chaplin withdrawn for Connor Ronan.

And the Cod Army then saw their spirits raised, courtesy of a thunderous shot from McAleny that flew past Luke McGee and into the top corner.

Hawkins soon had a fierce effort of his own, although the Blues player was not quite able to beat Cairns.

Fleetwood poured forward in search of a late leveller, but the visitors held on to secure a welcome three-point haul.

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Eastham, Pond (c), Bolger; Coyle (Burns 61), Dempsey, Biggins (McAleny 69), Grant, Maguire; Hunter (Sowerby 82), Madden
Goals: McAleny 81
Booked: Hunter, McAleny
Subs not used: Neal, Oliver, Jones, Schwabl

Pompey (4-4-2): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Donohue; Lowe, May, Close, Kennedy; Chaplin (Ronan 78), Hawkins
Goals: Lowe 24, Hawkins 75
Subs not used: Bass, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Deslandes, Widdrington, Smith

Referee: David Webb

Attendance: 2,561 (470 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 162017
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe each bagged a brace as Pompey outclassed Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

The skipper opened the scoring with a brave header, only for Devante Cole to impressively level early in the second half.

Lowe then took over, restoring the lead with a header before somehow finding the net from an acute angle.

And it was Pitman – sporting a bandaged nose from his earlier exploits – who curled home a fine fourth to wrap up the points.

A miserable afternoon for the visitors was wrapped up late on when Kyle Dempsey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Northampton earlier in the week.

It came in the centre of midfield, where Adam May dropped out of the squad to be replaced by Ben Close.

The visitors had an early chance when Cian Bolger came forward for a George Glendon corner and headed narrowly over.

But the Blues were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves moments later, with Pitman doing well to connect with Lowe’s pass and scooping the ball just past the post.

It was otherwise a slow start to proceedings, though, with little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the crowd.

Damien McCrory’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 21 minutes when the defender limped off to be replaced by Dion Donohue.

And the newcomer bent a shot just off target from 20 yards after Matty Kennedy had found him with a corner.

But Pompey did forge ahead just before the break when Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and PITMAN arrived at the far post to head home.

The price was a bloodied nose, which saw the Blues skipper disappear down the tunnel for treatment and re-emerge with a new numberless shirt.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Fleetwood Town 0


There was a fairly pedestrian start to the second half, but Cole brought the contest to life with a fantastic leveller on 52 minutes.

He was teed-up by Lewie Coyle and unleashed a superb half-volleyed strike that left Luke McGee helpless.

Pitman tried to hit back at the other end of the pitch, although his 25-yard drive was comfortable for Alex Cairns between the Cod Army sticks.

But the Blues did restore their advantage on 57 minutes after Kennedy’s effort had been deflected behind for a corner.

LOWE had spoken earlier in the week about never having scored with his head, but arrived at the far post to nod in Donohue’s corner.

Fleetwood were still a threat, though, and Cole’s shot squirted narrowly wide following a quick break up the pitch.

Dempsey then slid a pass through to Conor McAleny, who should at least have tested McGee with his effort.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes, thanks to a fine individual effort from LOWE.

He collected the ball from Conor Chaplin and burst into the box before finding the target with fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

And any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after, as PITMAN curled home an exquisite shot that stroked the inside of the post on its way into the net.

It soon went from bad to worse for Fleetwood, as Dempsey’s clumsy challenge on substitute Gareth Evans earned him a second yellow card – and subsequent red – from referee Dean Whitestone.

Pitman then made way for Oliver Hawkins and was afforded a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful as he trooped off.

And there were more cheers when the final whistle blew a few minutes later to confirm a thoroughly deserved Blues victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory (Donohue 21); O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 86), Kennedy; Chaplin (Evans 74)
Goals: Pitman 40, 78, Lowe 57, 70
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Naismith, Main

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Bolger (Cargill 59), Pond (c), Eastham; Coyle, O’Neill (McAleny 46), Glendon, Dempsey, Bell; Cole, Hiwula (Hunter 72)
Goals: Cole 52
Sent off: Dempsey (two yellow cards)
Booked: Bolger
Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Grant, Burns

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,192 (115 away fans)

Portsmouth FC