On This Day
Pompey breathed new life into the League One promotion race with a convincing 4-1 victory over struggling Rochdale.
And with rivals Sunderland losing to Coventry in a nine-goal thriller, it means the sides – along with Barnsley – bunched even tighter in the table.
Oli Hawkins headed the opener at a packed Fratton Park, with Brett Pitman adding a penalty just before the break.
Aaron Wilbraham raised hopes of a Dale comeback early in the second half, but Evans came off the bench to calm fears before Jamal Lowe wrapped up a sixth successive win.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Wycombe seven days earlier.
A fully-fit Ronan Curtis replaced Evans wide on the left, while Louis Dennis’ goal for the reserves earlier in the week saw him named among the substitutes.
The hosts started brightly in the spring sunshine and looked to get at their opponents right from the off.
Lowe was unable to force the ball home from a tight angle, while a cross from Curtis was just too high for Hawkins.
But as the sun went behind the clouds, Pompey also faded slightly and when Craig MacGillivray failed to hold a Callum Camps corner, Tom Naylor was forced to hack clear.
Matt Done then sent a dangerous delivery into the mixer, although a well-placed Ian Henderson headed it wide.
The Blues soon picked things up, however, and Hawkins should have done better than divert Lee Brown’s free-kick into the arms of a grateful Josh Lillis.
But HAWKINS did find the target midway through the first half, arriving at the near post to firmly head home Lowe’s cross.
Lowe might have doubled the advantage moments later, only for Lillis to come racing from his line to make the save.
Rochdale then had an opportunity of his own, when Wilbraham beat MacGillivray to a Christian Burgess pass, but could not beat the keeper.
It was the Blues looking the more likely to add to the scoring, though, and Hawkins nodded narrowly over after meeting Brown’s delivery.
He then saw another header saved by Lillis, while Ben Close had an attempt blocked as the hosts continued to apply pressure.
And it paid off just before the break when Nathan Thompson collected Lowe’s threaded pass and was crudely brought down in the box by Ethan Ebanks-Landell.
Referee Lee Swabey had no choice but to point to the spot and PITMAN calmly sent Lillis the wrong way to give Pompey a commanding interval lead.
The visitors looked brighter immediately following the restart, although Jim McNulty’s header was never going to prove much of a test for MacGillivray.
But Pompey were still looking dangerous going forward themselves and were causing plenty of problems for Dale to deal with.
One attack actually led to a goal for the opposition, however, with a quick break up the pitch ending with Done squaring for Wilbraham to slot into the net.
Pompey immediately looked to hit back and a long-range curling effort from Pitman was pushed behind by Lilllis.
The resulting corner almost provided a goal, with Burgess nodding it into the mixer and – in a sea of bodies – the ball eventually being hacked clear.
Jackett soon made a substitution, with Curtis – who had been quiet on the left – making way for Evans.
And it was EVANS who restored the two-goal lead just past the hour mark, nodding home from a few yards out after Lowe had lifted the ball into the centre.
Pompey were searching for a more convincing scoreline and a Brown cross was just out of reach for Lowe, while a rushed Hawkins effort was comfortable for Lillis.
They were starting to sit a bit too deep in the closing stages, though, and Jackett tried to add fresh impetus by replacing Hawkins with Omar Bogle.
But it was a Rochdale sub who had a chance to score moments later, although Bradden Inman slipped as he got his shot away and MacGillivray saved low to his left.
And Pompey immediately wrapped things up at the other end, as LOWE collected Matt Clarke’s long pass, held off one challenge and got past Lillis before firing the ball into the net.
Jackett’s final change saw Bryn Morris come on for Pitman, although it was fellow substitute Bogle whose effort had to be clawed away by Lillis.
Brown should have given the scoreline an added gloss late on, but glanced Lowe’s delivery wide with the goal gaping.
It mattered not, however, as Pompey had comfortably done enough to extend their winning run and move to within two points of second place.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Morris 82), Curtis (Evans 57); Hawkins (Bogle 76)
Goals: Hawkins 21, Pitman 45+1 (pen), Evans 62, Lowe 79
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Dennis
Rochdale (4-2-3-1): Lillis; McLaughlin, Ebanks-Landell, McNulty, Bunney (MJ Williams 67); Camps, Hamilton; Done (Inman 75), Henderson (c), Rathbone (Clough 80); Wilbraham
Goals: Wilbraham 54
Booked: Wilbraham, Ebanks-Landell, Bunney
Subs not used: Wade, Keohane, Dooley, Andrew
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 18,197 (188 away fans)
Checkatrade Trophy Winners
In the greater scheme of things it maybe a minor trophy but seeing you team at Wembley and lifting a trophy is never something to be taken lightly.
The added benefit of also taking away the one trophy Southampton had won that we hadn’t!
Transport was a nightmare, trains absolutely rammed full so Colin drove us to Horsham to try and get a train with some room on it which was a success.
Poor first half with Sunderland deserved leaders but what a turn around second half with the introduction of Gareth Evans and Oliver Hawkins. We thought we had won it with Jamal Lowe’s late extra time goal but as we have seen so many times we cannot defend or kill off the last few minutes of a game and so we faced the trauma of penalties and all five takers hit the spot.
Well done Portsmouth
Checkatrade Trophy – Final
Pompey won the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties following a 2-2 draw with Sunderland at a packed Wembley Stadium.
They were poor in the first half and an Aiden McGeady free-kick meant the Black Cats deservedly led at the interval.
But the Blues were rejuvenated following the restart and Nathan Thompson levelled to ensure an additional 30 minutes.
Jamal Lowe then struck to seemingly secure the win, only for McGeady to scramble the ball home at the death.
That meant a dreaded shoot-out, but Pompey scored all of their spot-kicks, meaning that Craig MacGillivray’s save from Lee Cattermole allowed Oli Hawkins to fire home the winner.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Shrewsbury in the league the previous week.
Ronan Curtis was fit enough to start after recovering from severing his finger, meaning that Gareth Evans dropped to the bench.
The teams emerged to a vociferous atmosphere created by a packed crowd at the national stadium.
Pompey’s contingent were whipped up by rousing pre-match speeches from former Fratton heroes David Norris and Hermann Hreidarsson.
But it was the Black Cats who made the brighter start, with Thompson forced to clear George Honeyman’s teasing cross behind.
Lee Brown then made a great challenge right in the corner to stop Lewis Morgan’s charge, as the side from the north-east looked threatening.
Lowe tried his best to cause problems at the other end, although a ball into the box flew straight into Jon McLaughlin’s grasp.
Sunderland were looking more likely to open the scoring and Matt Clarke threw himself in the path of McGeady’s strike.
Pompey’s best opportunity came when Omar Bogle was felled on the right and Brown swung the ball into the mixer.
Christian Burgess rose at the back post, but could not get enough power on his header to trouble McLaughlin.
An effort from Morgan was deflected behind by Brown, while a key Clarke challenge halted Will Grigg’s charge.
There was a rare shot for Pompey on 22 minutes, although Curtis’ effort was always swerving wide of the post.
Then, after Tom Naylor had conceded a free-kick, the midfielder had to nod behind Grant Leadbitter’s delivery.
Sunderland came close to breaking the deadlock soon after when the ball was only cleared as far as Morgan outside the box.
The winger hit a fierce volley that flew through a sea of bodies, but MacGillivray got down well to push the ball clear.
It was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, and they were undone after Thompson had conceded a foul.
McGeady was brought down and picked himself up to curl the ball home, albeit with the help of a deflection off Clarke’s shoulder.
Pompey tried to hit back after the break and when Bogle met a corner from Brown, his header was cleared from the line.
It would not have counted, though, as referee Dean Whitestone had spotted a foul on Luke O’Nien in the build-up.
The Blues were looking a lot brighter and trying to use Lowe as an outlet, but were still lacking a final ball.
Jackett tried to shake things up on 56 minutes, with Curtis being brought off and replaced by Evans on the left.
And it was a long pass from the newcomer that almost provided an equaliser just past the hour mark.
The ball was nodded down by Lowe and Pitman took one touch before hitting a neat half-volley that struck the base of the post.
Pompey were suddenly looking a real threat and when Sunderland failed to deal with another Evans delivery, Thompson was unable to find the target at the back post.
Lowe then had a great opportunity following good work from Pitman, but rolled his shot wastefully past the post.
Jackett made his second switch to the forward line on 69 minutes, as Bogle made way for Hawkins.
The striker was soon having his shirt tugged inside the area, although Whitestone did not think it was enough to warrant a penalty.
Evans then did well to hold off a challenge and burst forward, firing in a long-range strike that flashed past the post.
But Pompey did find themselves level on 82 minute – and the goal came from a very unlikely source.
THOMPSON had yet to score in 69 appearances, but certainly picked the right location to open his account, nodding home after Evans had collected the ball from Clarke and sent it into the box.
The Blues contingent of an EFL Trophy record crowd of 85,021 erupted as the players ran towards them in celebration.
It had been a dominant second half display, but Sunderland might have secured victory in stoppage-time when Denver Hume skipped through and sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal.
Full Time: Pompey 1 Sunderland 1
There were, unsurprisingly, a few tired legs on display at Wembley as the extra period of 30 minutes got started.
Pompey were still looking to get forward and Evans was tackled inside the box after playing a neat one-two with Brown.
Lowe then screwed a shot wide after Hawkins had laid the ball off, while an angled effort from Brown was comfortable for McLaughlin.
Following a brief break after the first set of 15 minutes, the Blues got straight back on the attack and Evans had a shot blocked after cutting in from the left.
Jackett was forced to make a change when Ben Close limped off and his replacement almost scored within seconds of coming on.
Anton Walkes received the ball on the edge of the box and his effort had to be clawed behind by McLaughlin.
But Pompey did go ahead on 114 minutes and it was a brilliant finish from LOWE, who collected a long Clarke pass and sent a glorious lob over McLaughlin and into the net.
The winger was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration, but it looked like being the decisive goal.
Sunderland had other ideas, however, and in the dying seconds McGeady scrambled home an equaliser, despite the best efforts of Clarke to clear from the line.
After Extra Time: Pompey 2 Sunderland 2
A penalty shoot-out is always a nervy occasion, but the Blues kept their nerve throughout, scoring all five of their spot-kicks.
Evans, Pitman, Brown and Lowe all tucked away their efforts, while Sunderland’s second from Cattermole was saved by MacGillivray.
It meant that Hawkins had the chance to win it for the Blues and he made no mistake, slotting the ball home to send the large travelling contingent home in joyous mood.
Pitman then led his side up the Wembley steps to collect the Checkatrade Trophy and send those fans wild with delight.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close (Walkes 113); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Evans 56); Bogle (Hawkins 69)
Goals: Thompson 82, Lowe 114
Booked: Curtis, Evans, Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, May, Vaughan
Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Flanagan, Baldwin, James (Hume 88); Leadbitter (Wyke 95), Cattermole; Morgan (Gooch 73), Honeyman (c), McGeady; Grigg (Power 77)
Goals: McGeady 38, 119
Booked: Baldwin, McGeady
Subs not used: Ruiter, Dunne, McGeouch
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Pompey returned to winning ways in the league in some style, with a 5-1 rout of Bradford at Fratton Park.
Gareth Evans got the ball rolling from the penalty spot, while Tom Naylor ensured the interval lead was a comfortable one.
Hope Akpan did reduce the deficit for the struggling Bantams, only for Jamal Lowe to immediately restore the two-goal advantage.
Ben Close then ensured the scoreline received a gloss by adding a brace to cap a fine individual display.
The downside for the Blues were injuries suffered by Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis, Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson – the latter two following a clash of heads.
Throw in a delay while a drone flew over the ground and it was certainly an eventful afternoon on the south coast.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Bury to reach the Checkatrade Trophy final earlier in the week.
Lowe came in for Viv Solomon-Otabor out wide, with Christian Burgess making a quicker than expected return from an ankle injury.
There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Division Three title-winner Bobby Doyle, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.
The start of the first half was a disjointed affair, with neither goalkeeper being called into action during the early stages.
Hawkins did almost break the deadlock on six minutes, stooping to head against the post after Evans had lifted the ball into the mixer.
Close then swivelled neatly inside the box moments later, although failed to guide his shot on target.
Those opportunities aside, it was not exactly proving to be a flowing contest, but Pompey started to dominate as the game progressed.
They were handed an excellent chance to open the scoring midway through the half when Oliver Langford pointed to the spot.
Evans had sent a corner into the box and with Hawkins being hauled to the ground by Anthony O’Connor, the referee had no choice.
It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slammed his penalty into the top corner.
The traffic was mostly one-way from that point, with Hawkins proving to be a particular menace to the Bantams back-line.
He played a fine pass through to Curtis on 34 minutes, but the ball got stuck under the forward’s feet and Lowe’s effort was blocked.
And their pressure paid off late in the half when the advantage was doubled, courtesy of another Evans corner.
It was flapped at by Richard O’Donnell and the ball fell for Curtis, whose strike cannoned off the underside of the bar.
The forward thought it had crossed the line, but there was no signal from the officials and NAYLOR followed up to slot home.
Bradford City 0
Pompey continued to look bright once the action restarted and Clarke glanced an Evans corner past the post.
But there was a bizarre incident just past the hour mark, when the referee called both sets of players to the sidelines.
Everybody was looking up in the air and there was a drone hovering overhead, but it eventually flew off and the action was able to restart.
It was the Bantams who were next to go close, with Craig MacGillivray doing well to palm over Akpan’s drive.
But Akpan did score from the resulting corner, driving the ball into the net after Kelvin Mellor’s had headed the ball into his path
Pompey’s response was immediate and when Lee Brown whipped a dangerous cross into the box, LOWE got down to convert with his chest.
But Hawkins had picked up an injury and was withdrawn by James Vaughan – not that it stopped the hosts’ momentum.
They soon had a fourth goal, as Evans met a delivery from Curtis with a half-volley that was turned into the net by CLOSE.
There was more injury concern for the Blues following a sickening clash of heads between Clarke and Nathan Thompson.
Both medical teams were quickly on the case and the right-back was withdrawn for Anton Walkes, with Clarke carrying on after getting bandaged up.
Pompey continued to attack and almost increased their lead, only for O’Donnell to tip over Lowe’s fierce drive.
A bloodied Clarke was struggling, however, and Jackett made his final change by bringing him off for Dion Donohue.
The action continued at a breathless pace and the hosts did have a fifth goal on 87 minutes, with Curtis’ pass being cut out, but the ball breaking for CLOSE to fire into the bottom corner.
The various injuries and drone interruption meant there were 10 minutes of stoppage-time displayed by the fourth official.
And Pompey finished the contest with 10 men, as Curtis pulled up while chasing the ball and hobbled off the pitch.
But the final moments passed by incident-free, as the Blues brought an impressive week to a close by collecting all three points.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson (Walkes 77), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 84), Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Close, Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 69)
Goals: Evans 23 (pen), Naylor 41, Lowe 67, Close 70, 87
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor, Pitman
Bradford (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Caddis (c) (Mellor 46), O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Wood (Miller 62); Akpan, Butterfield; Ball, Payne (Clarke 72), O’Brien; Doyle
Goals: Akpan 65
Booked: Caddis, Knight-Percival
Subs not used: Wilson, Anderson, Maltby, Patrick
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 17,657 (493 away fans)
Pompey romped to a 3-0 victory at Bury to book their place at Wembley in the final of the Checkatrade Trophy.
The first half was a relatively even affair, but the Blues exploded into life after the interval to put their League Two hosts to the sword.
A brilliant Gareth Evans free-kick got the ball rolling, while Oli Hawkins and Ronan Curtis then struck to effectively wrap up the contest.
Pompey will now have to wait for a week before they learn whether their opponents at the national stadium next month will be Bristol Rovers or Sunderland.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Barnsley in the league at the weekend.
Two of them were enforced, as Hawkins and skipper Evans replaced the injured Omar Bogle and cup-tied Bryn Morris respectively.
Nathan Thompson had also fully recovered from a knee problem, so Anton Walkes made way at right-back.
Christian Burgess was presented with the Player of the Round award for his quarter-final display before kick-off and made his 150th appearance for the club.
It was an open start to proceedings, with crosses from Byron Moore and Lee Brown causing problems at either end.
The hosts had a great chance to break the deadlock after just five minutes, with Craig MacGillivray getting down to his left to keep out Nicky Maynard’s curler.
But the danger was not over and Brown was forced to hack the ball to safety before a white-shirted player could capitalise.
Pompey then created an opportunity of their own just seconds later, as Curtis spun on the edge of the box and forced Joe Murphy to make a save at his near post.
Hawkins also had an effort blocked by Will Aimson from Brown’s cut-back, with both sides continuing to play with an attacking mindset.
It was Bury’s turn to try their luck on 18 minutes, but former Fratton loanee Caolan Lavery bent his shot narrowly past the post.
The hosts started to see more of the ball as the first half progressed, although were unable to cause MacGillivray any more problems.
Half-chances were the best the Blues could muster at the other end and Curtis drilled wide after Thompson’s teasing delivery was headed away.
And when Viv Solomon-Otabor’s path to goal was blocked, Brown crossed for Hawkins to head narrowly over.
A deep free-kick from Evans caused alarm for the Shakers on 36 minutes, but Curtis could not make a clean connection in the box.
Then, just before the break, Hawkins slipped a pass through to Curtis down the right and his centre had to be headed away by Aimson before it could reach Solomon-Otabor.
Solomon-Otabor did not emerge for the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe replacing him and Curtis switching to the left.
Pompey looked bright once the action restarted, although a deep free-kick from Evans was dealt with by the Bury back-line.
And when the ball bounced up for Ben Close just inside the area, Aimson bravely dived in to block the midfielder’s volley.
The Blues were dominating possession and long-range attempts by Lowe and Burgess forced Murphy to make saves, albeit comfortable ones.
There was a scare at the other end when Burgess’ ball across goal was almost intercepted by Lavery, but MacGillivray got the ball clear.
Instead it was the visitors who made their pressure count with two goals in quick succession just past the hour mark.
Close was brought down by Callum McFadezen just outside the box and four players gathered around the ball.
But it was EVANS who eventually took the free-kick and bent home a fine effort that left Murphy rooted to the spot.
And the advantage was soon doubled, as Evans’ cross was nodded back across goal by Thompson for HAWKINS to slam into the roof of the net.
Bury soon had chances to reduce their deficit, as Maynard arrowed a shot agonisingly past the post, while Jay O’Shea hit a fierce effort straight at MacGillivray.
But Pompey were still looking to attack themselves and a long-range drive from Evans was parried away by Murphy, with a brilliant Aimson challenge stopping Curtis converting the loose ball.
CURTIS did have his goal on 77 minutes, however, with a fine finish that was lashed right into the side of the net.
And MacGillivray then ensured the visitors’ kept their three-goal lead, diving to his left to keep out a Lavery free-kick that appeared destined for the top corner.
But there was a blow for the Blues late on when Burgess limped off the pitch, with Walkes replacing him for the final few minutes.
Bury (3-5-2): Murphy; Aimson, Thompson, McFadzean (Omotayo 77); Adams (c) (Cooney 70), O’Shea, Rossiter, Mayor, Moore; Maynard (Telford 70), Lavery
Subs not used: Moloney, O’Connell, Stokes, Danns
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess (Walkes 88), Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Curtis, Evans (c), Solomon-Otabor (Lowe 46); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 61, Hawkins 64, Curtis 77
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Vaughan, Pitman
Referee: Ross Joyce
Attendance: 3,900 (452 Pompey fans)
A youthful Pompey side eased past Southend at Roots Hall to reach the last eight of the Checkatrade Trophy for the first time.
They went ahead through Louis Dennis almost immediately from kick-off and never looked like relinquishing that lead.
Gareth Evans then wrapped things up on the stroke of half-time before a turgid second period that did little to excite the small Essex crowd.
Kenny Jackett made 10 changes from the side that secured a dramatic FA Cup victory at Norwich at the weekend.
Evans – who wore the captain’s armband – was the only man to keep his place, although substitute goalscorer Andre Green also featured.
Dan Smith was handed a debut at right-back, with fellow teenagers Matt Casey and Bradley Lethbridge also given an opportunity to impress.
Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup and David Wheeler added first team experience to a young side, with Dennis, Adam May and Alex Bass making up the starting 11.
The hosts – by contrast – were fielding a much more experienced side and yet found themselves behind with just 93 seconds on the clock.
Wheeler played the ball to Smith on the right and his smart delivery into the box was nodded into the net by DENNIS to open his Blues account.
Pompey looked the more dominant outfit throughout the first half and a free-kick from Evans was unconvincingly punched behind by Ted Smith.
May screwed a shot wide of the post after being teed-up by Lethbridge, who then fired a fierce effort narrowly over the bar.
It looked like the lead would be doubled on 28 minutes when Wheeler raced on to Green’s threaded pass, but the winger slotted inches past the post.
Southend had done little to threaten the visitors’ goal, although a short free-kick routine almost saw them level.
The ball was played to former Fratton triallist Theo Robinson and his low delivery somehow evaded both Harry Bunn and Taylor Moore as they slid in at the far post.
Pompey immediately went up the other end to create an opening of their own, as Burgess met an Evans corner and saw his header cleared from the line by a well-placed Robinson.
But they did score again in stoppage-time when Dennis showed neat footwork to tee-up EVANS, who lashed the ball past a helpless Smith.
Southend Uited 0
Jackett made a change at the start of the second half, with academy midfielder Freddie Read replacing Green.
And Evans almost got the half off to the perfect start, curling a free-kick past Smith’s grasp and just wide of the upright.
Leon Maloney then became the second Blues player to make his debut, with the youth team forward coming on for Lethbridge.
It was still the visitors looking more likely to add to the scoring and May fired over when Casey sent Evans’ free-kick back into the centre.
The traffic was not totally heading in one direction, however, and Burgess had to block a Stephen McLaughlin shot following a spell of Shrimpers pressure.
But, in truth, neither side was doing much to raise the tempo as the minutes ticked down with very little in the way of noteworthy incidents.
Southend did win a series of corners towards the end of the contest, but it was proving to be a comfortable evening for Bass between sticks
A long-range volley from Read was not too far off target, but Pompey had already done comfortably enough to ensure their name would be in Thursday evening’s quarter-final draw.
Southend (4-2-3-1): Smith; Bwomono, White, Moore (Hutchinson 60), Hendrie; Hyam, Yearwood (c); Kightly (Dieng 46), Cox (McLaughlin 46), Bunn; Robinson
Subs not used: Bishop, Turner, Mantom, Klass
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Smith, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; Evans (c), May; Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Read 46); Lethbridge (Maloney 54)
Goals: Dennis 2, Evans 45+1
Subs not used: Durin, Mnoga, Clarke, Hancott, Lowe
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 1,649 (189 Pompey fans)
Pompey ensured it would be a very Merry Christmas by seeing off Sunderland in a pulsating encounter on the south coast.
There was plenty of energy, but little goalmouth action before the break – but that certainly changed after it.
Gareth Evans opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Glenn Loovens had been sent off for a foul on Oli Hawkins.
Ronan Curtis soon doubled the advantage, although Luke O’Nien reduced the deficit in front of the biggest crowd Fratton Park had seen for seven years.
Nerves were quickly calmed, however, as Ben Thompson added another for the Blues, who continued to attack right up until the final whistle.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had battled for a point up at Barnsley the previous week.
However, David Wheeler had sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place among the substitutes.
The atmosphere inside a packed Fratton Park was crackling before a ball had been kicked and continued to impress throughout the contest.
But while the action on the pitch was often played at a hectic pace, there were not many clear-cut chances to excite the sell-out crowd during the first half.
Ronan Curtis was a threat for the hosts and Jon McLaughlin came tearing from his line to deny the Republic of Ireland international a shot.
A shot for O’Nien then hit Nathan Thompson right in the face, with the right-back looking dazed, but able to continue.
Pompey put some dangerous balls into the mixer, but the Sunderland defence looked solid and headed everything clear.
Hawkins thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the half after having his shirt tugged by O’Nien, although referee Peter Bankes disagreed.
There were plenty of firm challenges going in, with Lee Brown and Lee Cattermole both receiving a talking to following one clash.
Hawkins was booked by Bankes for a foul on Loovens, with Curtis and O’Nien also getting a ticking off.
Duncan Watmore did well down the Pompey right on 36 minutes, only to see his cross deflected into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.
And the Black Cats had the best chance of the half just before the break, with Watmore squaring for Lynden Gooch, whose shot was saved by the legs of MacGillivray.
It had been entertaining fare before the break, but the action moved up a few gears immediately after the restart.
A brilliant ball from Curtis was latched on to by Hawkins, who charged into the box and was unceremoniously hauled down by Loovens.
Bankes immediately pointed to the spot and life soon got worse for the Sunderland defender, who was shown a red card.
It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty, with the skipper slamming the ball right into the top corner.
And it soon got even better for the league leaders after CURTIS collected a header from the hard-working Hawkins.
It looked like crossing for the well-placed Jamal Lowe was the better option, but instead he drove the ball into the net from a tight angle.
But the action was not going to let-up and Sunderland reduced their deficit when O’Nien turned home a cross from Max Power.
It was soon the Blues back on the attack and an effort from Evans was deflected narrowly past the post.
The respite was a brief one for the visitors, however, as they fell further behind from the resulting corner.
McLaughlin did well to keep out a firm Hawkins header, but Sunderland could not get the ball clear and Ben THOMPSON’s drive was deflected into the roof of the net.
The opportunities kept coming at both ends, with another attempt from the on-loan Millwall midfielder going wide, while Gooch blazed over for the Black Cats.
MacGillivray then took a heavy touch from Brown’s back-pass, but recovered well to deny Gooch.
Hawkins almost capped his impressive display with a goal on 73 minutes, sending his header from a Curtis cross inches past the post.
He received a standing ovation when being replaced by Brett Pitman soon after, with Evans having already been withdrawn for Ben Close.
And the two substitutes combined to put the ball in the net late on, only for Pitman to be flagged offside.
Pompey looked likely to add to the scoring in the closing stages and Close had a shot saved by McLaughlin.
But the crowd did not seem to mind settling for just the 3-1 win, as they exited the ground full of festive glee.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 72), Curtis (Green 87); Hawkins (Pitman 81)
Goals: Evans 48 (pen), Curtis 53, B.Thompson 63
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis, N.Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Wheeler
Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Loovens, Baldwin, James; Cattermole; Honeyman (c) (Maguire 58), Power; McGeady (Sinclair 78); Gooch, Watmore (Ozturk 49)
Goals: O’Nien 57
Sent off: Loovens
Subs not used: Ruiter, Oviedo, McGeouch, Maja
Referee: Peter Bankes
Attendance: 19,402 (2,637 away fans)
Pompey will definitely be top of the League One table at Christmas after securing a 1-1 draw against fellow promotion hopefuls Barnsley at Oakwell.
But they might have been celebrating an even greater haul, as Gareth Evans drilled them into the lead just before the break.
Amidst a freezing downpour, however, Cauley Woodrow levelled in the second half and the Blues were forced to hold on at the end.
A stalemate was probably not the biggest surprise, with the hosts boasting an unbeaten home league record and the visitors having not been beaten on the road.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were beaten by Charlton on home soil earlier in the week.
But with Luke McGee suffering from a hand injury, Alex Bass was recalled from a loan spell at Torquay to sit on the bench.
It was not exactly the right day for a neat, passing game of football, with freezing rain falling from the South Yorkshire sky throughout.
That did not seem to dampen the entertainment on offer, however, as the game was often played at a frantic pace.
It was the hosts who looked on top for much of the first half, although they were let down by some poor finishing.
Pompey actually had the first opening, but Ronan Curtis took a heavy touch from Jamal Lowe’s threaded pass, allowing Adam Davies to come from his line and claim.
Craig MacGillivray was the busier of the two keepers, however, and he had his palms stung by Woodrow.
Meanwhile, some vital tracking back from Evans and Lowe denied Cameron McGeehan and George Moncur respectively.
MacGillivray was called into action again midway through the first half, palming over a fierce drive from Woodrow.
The keeper also kept out an angled Moncur shot, while an effort from McGeehan was then diverted off target.
There was a brief interruption soon after, as one of the floodlights failed, but after consulting with both managers, referee Jon Moss decided it was fine to continue.
Pompey threatened on 33 minutes when Lee Brown whipped in a dangerous cross that Lowe volleyed wide.
Kieffer Moore fired wastefully wide at the other end, while some more good defending from Lowe stopped Brad Potts’ surge.
It was Barnsley on top as the interval approached, but the Blues were able to break the deadlock on 43 minutes.
Alex Mowatt tried to clear the ball, only to send it straight into the path of EVANS, who hit a crisp left-footed shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.
Both sides were struggling to keep hold of possession once the action restarted, no doubt hindered by the wet and windy conditions.
Long-range efforts from Jacob Brown and Potts went over the bar, as Barnsley went in search of a leveller.
The home crowd were growing frustrated and were appealing to Moss for some soft penalties, with each turned down by the official.
But their mood improved just after the hour mark, as Potts sent in a low cross that Woodrow neatly turned home at the near post.
Barnsley moved up a few gears after that, only for the Blues to then create an opening on the counter-attack.
Ben Thompson collected the ball in the centre and fed Oli Hawkins, whose low drive was kept out by the boot of Davies.
Curtis thought he should have been awarded a penalty after going down in the box, but Moss thought he fell too easily and brandished a yellow card.
The Republic of Ireland international was withdrawn moments later, with Anton Walkes coming on and Nathan Thompson joining Matt Clarke and Jack Whatmough in a back three.
It was still the Tykes looking more of a threat as the game entered its closing stages and Tom Naylor bravely threw himself in front of a thunderous Woodrow effort.
And they almost snatched a late winner, with Moore collecting a pass from Lloyd Isgrove, turning and sending a low shot inches past the post.
Barnsley (4-4-2): Davies (c); Cavare (Brown 46), Jackson, Pinnock, Pinillos; Potts (Thiam 80), Mowatt, McGeehan, Moncur (Isgrove 63); Moore, Woodrow
Goals: Woodrow 61
Booked: McGeehan, Woodrow
Subs not used: Greatorex, Lindsay, Bahre, Adeboyejo
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Walkes 75); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 43
Booked: Naylor, Curtis, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Close, Donohue, Green, Pitman
Referee: Jon Moss
Attendance: 12,441 (1,674 Pompey fans)
Pompey continued their fine form on the road with a 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe, despite a tense conclusion to the contest.
They appeared to be cruising to three points at Glanford Park, with goals from Tom Naylor and Gareth Evans giving them a comfortable interval lead.
But Evans missed a great chance to extend the advantage further after the break and Lee Novak immediately reduced The Iron’s deficit.
The hosts applied some under intense pressure in the closing stages, but the Blues held on to secure more away-day joy for the travelling support.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that comfortably progressed in the FA Cup at Maidenhead a fortnight ago.
It mean that the in-form Oli Hawkins continued to lead the line, having netted five goals in his previous six appearances.
Brett Pitman recovered from a slight knee problem to take his place on the bench, but there was no room for the fit-again Andre Green.
Pompey looked in control for much of the first half and dominated possession, with plenty of the action taking place in and around the opposition area.
There were not too many clear-cut chances at either end of the pitch, although some dangerous deliveries from Jamal Lowe were just out of reach for his team-mates.
Nathan Thompson made a timely block to deny Andy Dales at the other end, while Funso Ojo injured himself as he blazed wildly over and had to be replaced.
A corner from Evans was glanced agonisingly past the post by Matt Clarke and Hawkins then had appeals for a penalty turned down following an apparent push by Cameron Burgess.
Scunthorpe’s best opening came when George Thomas’ corner was nodded narrowly over the bar by Matthew Lund.
Evans almost caught out Jak Alnwick with a set-piece of his own that came close to dipping under the bar before the keeper turned it over.
But the next corner did lead to a goal on 34 minutes, as Jack Whatmough turned Ronan Curtis’ cross back into the centre, where NAYLOR was left in space to hook home.
Pompey were in control by this point and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead soon after.
Nathan Thompson fed EVANS and the skipper showed neat footwork in the box before lofting a fine shot past Alnwick.
The only sour note for the visitors before the break came when Hawkins was booked following an aerial challenge.
Scunthorpe United 0
The Blues picked up where they left off following the interval and Lee Brown’s free-kick was not too far over the bar after Hawkins had been fouled.
Scunthorpe started to enjoy more of the ball as the second half progressed, although it was still their opponents looking more dangerous.
And Evans should really have wrapped things up on 58 minutes, somehow firing wide from just a few yards out after being picked out by Naylor.
The Iron made Pompey pay for that miss just moments later, with Novak arrowing the ball into the net after Craig MacGillivray had pushed clear Thomas’ cross.
More goals were looking possible at both ends by this point and it was the visitors’ time to go close on 66 minutes.
Alnwick failed to hold a low cross from Lowe under pressure from Evans, but dived on the loose ball before Curtis could capitalise.
There were hearts in mouths at the opposite side of the pitch, with a mad scramble in the Blues box before Whatmough eventually hacked clear.
And another spell of sustained Iron pressure finished with Thomas curling a shot past MacGillivray’s grasp, but also the post.
Jackett was forced to make a change on 79 minutes, with Evans limping off to be replaced by Christian Burgess and a switch to three at the back.
It was proving to be a nervy finale and a free-kick from Thomas somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play, although referee Martin Coy spotted a slight Pompey touch.
But the Blues managed to see out five minutes of stoppage-time, much to the delight of the 913 fans who had travelled up from the south coast,
Scunthorpe (4-1-4-1): Alnwick; McArdle (c), Goode, Burgess, Borthwick-Jackson (Butroid 46); Horsfield (Humphrys 75); Lund, Ojo (Ugbo 13), Thomas, Dales; Novak
Goals: Novak 60
Booked: Goode, Lund, Novak, McArdle
Subs not used: Flatt, Ben El-Mhanni, Morris, Wootton
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe (Wheeler 84), Evans (c) (Burgess 79), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Naylor 34, Evans 40
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Haunstrup, Close, Pitman
Referee: Martin Coy
Attendance: 4,365 (913 Pompey fans)
Pompey fought from behind to beat Tottenham’s under-21 side and secure top spot in Southern Group A of the Checkatrade Trophy.
Phoenix Patterson had given the visitors the lead against the run of play in a first half that could best be described as flat.
But the Blues were much improved after the interval and Andre Green opened his account for the club to get them back on level terms.
There was only going to be one winner from that point, with substitutes Gareth Evans and Oli Hawkins completing the job before Harvey White grabbed a late consolation.
Kenny Jackett changed his entire starting 11 following Saturday’s comfortable FA Cup victory at Maidenhead.
Bradley Lethbridge was handed his debut up front, while fellow academy player Haji Mnoga – who appeared in the previous Checkatrade Trophy game at Crawley – had another chance to impress.
There were also starts for on-loan wingers Green – back from a knee injury – and David Wheeler, with Louis Dennis completing the forward line.
With it being Pompey’s nearest match to Armistice Day, the club commemorated the occasion before kick-off.
Wreaths were laid by both captains and a video of D-Day veteran John Jenkins MBE reading the Ode of Remembrance was played on the big screen.
The sides – with the hosts having poppies embroidered into their shirts – then lined-up for a minute’s silence, accompanied by the Last Post.
There was not much to excite a smaller than usual crowd in the first half, although the hosts were largely in control.
They did not do much to threaten Alfie Whiteman, however, with the keeper making a comfortable save to deny Green.
And Tottenham broke the deadlock against the run of play on 20 minutes, as Patterson latched on to a through ball and bore down on goal.
Luke McGee was quickly off his line to make the save, but the loose ball was collected by the winger, who slotted home.
Lethbridge was causing a nuisance, although after doing well to bundle his way into the box, he was eventually crowded out.
Dennis also had an effort blocked, while Ben Close fired narrowly over after winning the ball on the edge of the box.
There was little threat at the other end of the pitch and when Kazaiah Sterling broke clear, skipper Christian Burgess was quickly across to make a perfectly-timed sliding challenge.
The hosts perked up a bit towards the end of the half and Wheeler glanced a corner inches past the post, while an inventive Burgess header drew a save from Whiteman.
Tottenham U21 1
The action had dragged before the interval, but it soon livened up after it, with a series of chances arriving at both ends of the pitch.
Anton Walkes – playing against his former club – was first to try his luck, with a low effort that took a slight deflection to divert it just off target.
But an equaliser did arrive moments later, as a corner from Dennis was nodded on by Burgess and GREEN forced the ball home at the far post.
Tottenham came close to an instant reply, though, with McGee getting down well to tip Patterson’s shot around the post.
And a breathless period of play was completed by Close seeing his deflected effort held by Whiteman.
Pompey were seeing more of the ball, but it still took another superb challenge by Burgess inside the box to stop Sterling getting a shot away.
Jackett made all three of his substitutions on 65 minutes, with Green, Lethbridge and Mnoga replaced by Evans, Hawkins and Matt Clarke.
And EVANS’ first contribution was to fire the Blues into the lead, smashing a free-kick through the wall after Dennis had been fouled on the edge of the box.
The game slowed slightly after that, although it was still the hosts who were well on top as the action neared a conclusion.
They made sure of the victory on 81 minutes, with Wheeler getting free down the right and cutting the ball back for HAWKINS to prod home from close range.
White did pull one back with a fine free-kick after Danny Rose had committed a foul, although Tottenham were unable to find a leveller.
The visitors could, however, console themselves with the fact that Crawley’s defeat to Gillingham means they join the Blues in the knockout stages.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Mnoga (Clarke 65), Burgess (c), Walkes, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Evans 65); Lethbridge (Hawkins 65)
Goals: Green 50, Evans 69, Hawkins 81
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Brown, B.Thompson, Smith
Tottenham U21 (4-2-3-1): Whiteman; Lyons-Foster, Tanganga, Marsh (c), Brown; Bowden (Shashoua 89), White; Oakley-Boothe (Parrott 86), Duncan (Richards 75), Patterson; Sterling
Goals: Patterson 20, White 90
Subs not used: Glover, Markanday
Referee: James Linington
Attendance: 3,138 (125 away fans)
Gareth Evans netted against his former club as Pompey continued their imperious away form by beating Bradford.
It was the only goal of a ‘bottom v top’ encounter that provided plenty of scoring chances for both teams.
But the struggling Bantams were dealt a blow when Adam Chicksen was dismissed late on, while Hope Akpan missed a great chance to snatch a point at the death.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Accrington the previous week.
Jack Whatmough replaced Christian Burgess in the centre of defence, while Anton Walkes came in for the suspended Nathan Thompson on the right.
And Tom Naylor made an immediate return having served his own ban, with Ben Close dropping to the bench.
A minute’s silence was held before kick-off, remembering both those who have served their country and also the victims of the Leicester helicopter tragedy.
It was Bradford who were quickest out of the traps and Craig MacGillivray had his palms stung by Lewis O’Brien in the early stages.
A David Ball free-kick then led to some pinball in the visitors’ box after Ben Thompson had sliced his clearance.
Pompey soon settled into their stride, however, and began to dominate possession as the first half progressed.
They broke the deadlock with a neat move on 12 minutes, starting when Jamal Lowe shrugged off a challenge and surged forward.
He picked out Ronan Curtis and the winger cut the ball back for a grateful EVANS to lash into the net from six yards out.
Tom Naylor then nodded an Evans corner past the post, while Lee Brown fired ambitiously over from long-range as the Blues looked to strengthen their advantage.
The scores might have been level midway through the half, however, with Whatmough forced to make an excellent sliding challenge inside the box to deny George Miller.
There were opportunities at both ends of the pitch and Oli Hawkins sent a shot down and narrowly over when Evans’ free-kick had been nodded on by Naylor.
Bradford then came close to scoring with a set-piece of their own, with a Josh Wright delivery eventually gathered by MacGillivray.
The action soon switched and when Thompson’s fierce drive deflected off Wright, Richard O’Donnell had to get down low to his left to make the save.
MacGillivray then did well to keep out Miller’s fierce effort before claiming the ball after it had been sent back into the box.
Referee Geoff Eltringham waved away half-hearted appeals for a penalty following O’Brien’s tumble in the box.
And former Pompey loanee Eoin Doyle then rolled a shot comfortably into MacGillivray’s arms, when he really should have done more to test the keeper.
Bradford City 0
The visitors did not seem content to merely sit on their narrow lead once the action resumed after the interval.
Thompson’s intended cut-back for Evans was intercepted by Akpan, while Lowe could not quite get on the end of Curtis’ teasing cross.
Ryan McGowan received a booking for halting one of Matt Clarke’s famous surging runs up the pitch on 53 minutes.
And while the resulting free-kick came to nothing, a looping header from Curtis moments later had to be grabbed by a back-pedalling O’Donnell.
But Bradford missed a decent chance to get back on level terms on the hour mark, as skipper Anthony O’Connor headed O’Brien’s fine cross straight into the arms of MacGillivray.
The hosts were certainly not looking like a side struggling at the bottom and it took a fine tackle from Whatmough to halt another attack.
It grew more tense as the minutes ticked away and the Bantams sensed they could get something from the contest.
Pompey were still looking a real threat on the break, though, with Lowe and Curtis continuing to prove a menace.
Evans was withdrawn for Close on 76 minutes, as Jackett opted to add some fresh legs to his midfield.
Chances had started to dry up, although Chicksen flashed a dangerous delivery across the face of goal that somehow evaded everyone.
But the Bradford left-back soon had to troop off to the dressing room. Having been booked earlier for a foul on Lowe, he brought down the same player to earn a red card.
It looked like the Blues would just see things out, but their opponents almost grabbed a stoppage-time leveller.
Substitute Sherwin Seedorf – a distant relative of Dutch superstar Clarence – sent the ball through to Akpan, but he lifted his shot over the bar.
Bradford (4-4-2): O’Donnell; McGowan, O’Connor (c), Knight-Percival, Chicksen; Ball, Akpan, Wright (Payne 65), O’Brien; Miller (Seedorf 88), Doyle (Bruenker 80)
Sent off: Chicksen (two yellow cards)
Subs not used: Sykes-Kenworthy, Wood, Isherwood, Goldthorp
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 76), Curtis (Wheeler 87); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 12
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason, Pitman
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 16,393 (1,289 Pompey fans)