Feb 202018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Fleetwood Town    1

 


 

Portsmouth    2

 


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

League One


Portsmouth 4    1 Fleetwood Town

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