Jan 012020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey were denied a winning start to the new decade after Gillingham grabbed a late equaliser at Priestfield.

Gareth Evans had given the Blues a deserved lead after being restored to the side for the New Year’s Day encounter.

But their hosts improved after the interval and Alex Jakubiak came off the bench to earn them a share of the spoils.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were beaten at MK Dons in the final fixture of 2019.

Alex Bass was handed a rare start between the sticks, while Evans also returned, as Craig MacGillivray and Andy Cannon dropped to the bench.

In a scrappy opening to the contest, it was the hosts – who had won their past seven Priestfield fixtures – who were first to threaten.

An acrobatic overhead effort from skipper Max Ehmer was bravely blocked by his counterpart Tom Naylor.

Then, after a long throw had found its way across to Oliver Lee in the box – a cleanly-struck effort was well saved by Bass.

But the Blues soon began to look more threatening and, certainly in terms of chances created, dominated the rest of the half.

A free-kick from Evans was nodded straight up in the air by Christian Burgess and unconvincingly punched away by Jack Bonham.

That led to a scramble in the box and when the ball eventually landed for Evans, the keeper made amends with a smart stop.

It was an impressive opening for the recalled Evans, who had another opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes.

He nipped in to get on the end of James Bolton’s low cross following a neat one-two with Marcus Harness, but Ehmer blocked his shot and Barry Fuller hacked the loose ball to safety.

It was Harness who was next to try his luck after an intended pass for Ellis Harrison rebounded back into his path, with Bonham getting down to save the resulting attempt.

Gillingham were doing little to test Bass and Connor Ogilvie nodded Lee’s corner wide at the near post.

But it was Pompey who forged ahead on 36 minutes and it was no surprise that the lively EVANS got the all-important goal.

He raced into the middle of the area to meet a low delivery from Harness and lash the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts came close to levelling late in the half after former Fratton loanee Stuart O’Keefe charged into the box and hit a fierce strike against the crossbar.

Pompey then had the ball in the net again in stoppage-time, as Bonham and Curtis both rose to meet Naylor’s up and under.

The keeper dropped the ball against his opponent and saw it roll into the net, but referee Alan Young awarded a free-kick against the Irish winger.


Half Time

Gillingham 0

Portsmouth 1


Gillingham looked much brighter once the action restarted and Naylor did well to head Tom O’Connor’s corner to safety.

Barry Fuller then sent a dangerous deep cross into the box and Ehmer’s angled shot was well saved by Bass.

The keeper also kept out Mikael Mandron’s attempt from long-range, although that was a more comfortable stop for the academy graduate.

Pompey looked dangerous on the break, though, and when Bonham flapped at an Anton Walkes cross, Naylor sent the loose ball narrowly past the post.

It was all getting rather frantic, with the action quickly switching from one end of the pitch to the other.

Brandon Hanlan was allowed to run at the Blues back-line on 67 minutes, although his drilled effort was easily gathered by Bass.

A corner from Evans then gave the visitors a chance to double the lead, with Ellis Harrison’s improvised flick going just wide.

But it took a fine save from Bass to keep them ahead soon after, with the keeper getting his fingertips to Fuller’s vicious curling attempt from outside the box.

And the Gills were level with 10 minutes remaining, as Alfie Jones forced a pass through to Jakubiak, with the substitute slotting past Bass.

Jackett soon made a double switch, with Evans and Harrison replaced by Oli Hawkins and John Marquis.

The display of six additional minutes gave both sets of fans hope that their side could find a last-gasp winner.

But aside from a 25-yard Ben Close effort that flew over the top, neither side came close to scoring again.

Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham; Fuller, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Ogilvie; Jones; O’Keefe (Marshall 70), O’Connor; Lee; Mandron (Jakubiak 70), Hanlan
Goals: Jakubiak 80
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Pringle, Charles-Cook, Ndjoli

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Naylor (c), Close; Harness, Evans (Hawkins 83), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 83)
Goals: Evans 36
Booked: Evans, Naylor, Raggett
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Mnoga, Downing, Cannon, Pitman

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 5,724 (1,180 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Nov 022019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




It was a case of déjà vu for Pompey, as they dropped points in a game they dominated for the third Saturday in succession.

They created plenty of chances against an in-form Oxford outfit at a windy Fratton Park and were on top for most of the contest.

A confident penalty from Gareth Evans, awarded for a foul on Ben Close, looked to have secured all three points.

But United applied late pressure and salvaged a draw when Matty Taylor nodded home in the final minute of normal time.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were unlucky not secure all three points at Bristol Rovers the previous week.

The earlier rain had died down ahead of kick-off, but a strong wind was still swirling around the stadium.

It made life difficult for the veterans, Gurkhas and standard bearers, who paraded onto the pitch for the annual Remembrance commemorations, which included a bugler playing the Last Post.

And the players also had to deal with the tricky conditions, with the ball blowing out of play as Ryan Williams shaped to cross.

The Australian winger also bent a shot wide, while an Evans effort was deflected past the post as the hosts dominated the opening stages.

They almost broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, but brave blocks denied both Williams and John Marquis in quick succession.

Ross McCrorie’s delivery then took a deflection off Alex Gorrin, forcing former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood into action to prevent an own-goal.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Christian Burgess had to deal with Josh Ruffels’ cut-back before a Tariqe Fosu corner was cleared by Sean Raggett at the back post.

But it was still the Blues looking more likely to score and Ruffels made a key block after Ronan Curtis had spun and fired in a shot.

Evans then managed to get a cross into the centre at the second attempt, but Marquis could only nod into Eastwood’s arms.

The visitors were forced to make a change before the break, as Ruffels limped off after McCrorie had been booked for a firm challenge on the left-back.

His team-mate Jamie Mackie had already received treatment for a cut head, angrily accusing Raggett of foul play.

Oxford then came close to scoring in stoppage-time – and it would have been a second unfortunate own-goal in the space of a week for Craig MacGillivray.

Mackie’s low drilled effort was cleared from the line by Raggett, but the ball ricocheted off the keeper’s back and trickled just past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey continued to look bright following the restart and McCrorie’s centre was behind both Marquis and Curtis in the centre.

The latter then looked to have taken Williams’ pass too wide, but still managed to hit a ferocious strike that cannoned against the crossbar.

But the hosts were presented with an excellent chance to finally take the lead just before the hour mark.

It was a lovely flowing move and when Marquis slipped a pass through to Close, the midfielder was clearly tripped by Elliott Moore.

Referee Ben Toner pointed straight to the spot and EVANS leathered home the penalty to leave Eastwood with no chance.

The lead might have been doubled moments later, as the Blues marauded quickly up the pitch through Williams and Marquis.

But the latter’s pass for Evans was not quite right and the midfielder’s shot was parried behind by Eastwood.

Still the chances kept coming and after Eastwood did well to parry Williams’ drilled effort, John Mousinho cleared behind before Curtis could convert the loose ball.

Oxford had a dangerous set-piece of their own on 73 minutes, but MacGillivray was able to parry clear Anthony Forde’s free-kick from the edge of the box.

They then won a corner that led to an almighty scramble in the Blues box and there were plenty of hearts in mouths before the ball was eventually got to safety.

A MacGillivray goal-kick might have led to an assist at the other end, but Williams could only lift his shot over the bar.

Oxford had been second best for most of the afternoon, only to exert plenty of pressure in the closing stages, winning a number of corners.

McCrorie – who was carrying a yellow card – was replaced at right-back by James Bolton for the final five minutes.

A free-kick from Forde then narrowly cleared the crossbar after the United substitute had tried to move the referee’s foam forward a few yards.

But Oxford did level on 90 minutes, as James Henry crossed towards the far post, where Taylor was waiting to guide home a header.

Ellis Harrison was immediately brought on for Evans to add another attacking option in stoppage-time.

Curtis crossed to the back post, but nobody could make a connection, while another delivery from the same player was nodded over by Williams.

But they were unable to find a winning goal, leaving most inside a sold out Fratton Park feeling deflated.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie (Bolton 85), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans (Harrison 90+1), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Evans 58 (pen)
Booked: McCrorie, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness

Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Ruffels (Moore 42); Gorrin; Sykes, Henry; Fosu (Forde 70); Taylor, Mackie (Baptiste 70)
Goals: Taylor 90
Booked: Mackie
Subs not used: Stevens, Agyei, Lofthouse, Lopes

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 18,528 (1,747 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 262019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey conceded a stoppage-time own-goal, as Bristol Rovers fought from behind to snatch a draw at a rain-soaked Memorial Stadium.

A Gareth Evans penalty set them on the way in the early stages and there were plenty of chances to add to the lead.

Ronan Curtis eventually headed home to calm some nerves, only for Alex Rodman’s strike to ensure a nervy finale.

And, with just seconds remaining, a corner struck Ross McCrorie, the bar and Craig MacGillivray before crossing the line to leave the Blues heartbroken.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that had beaten Lincoln on home soil earlier in the week.

It came on the left of the forward line, where Marcus Harness dropped to the bench to make way for Curtis.

Former Rovers hero Lee Brown kept his spot in defence, but Ellis Harrison had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There were only seconds on the clock when Sean Raggett received a booking for a late challenge on Victor Adeboyejo.

But it was otherwise an encouraging opening for the visitors, who looked a constant threat on the break.

Ryan Williams teed-up Ben Close for an early effort that was blocked by Ed Upson and the deadlock was broken soon after.

Evans’ cross was met by the head of Curtis and the ball flicked off Raggett’s shoulder and came back off the post.

But John Marquis had received a shove from Luke Leahy that was spotted by referee Darren Handley.

He pointed straight to the spot and EVANS made no mistake, slamming home a penalty that left Anssi Jaakkola with no chance.

The keeper managed to prevent Williams from doubling Pompey’s lead soon after, while a teasing delivery from McCrorie was agonisingly over the heads of both Marquis and Curtis.

MacGillivray had to palm away a corner at the other end, but the counter-attack that followed led to three great chances in quick succession.

Curtis sent Marquis racing clear, only for Abu Ogogo to fling himself bravely into the path of the striker’s shot.

But the hosts could not get rid of the ball and crosses from Evans and Brown were met by Burgess and Raggett respectively, with Jaakkola making decent saves on each occasion.

Rovers had seen more of the ball, but not done much with it and their first decent chance arrived on 26 minutes.

Upson did well to keep possession in the middle of the park and drive forward, before drilling a low effort inches the past.

Pompey were still looking the more threatening side and when a Curtis cross missed Marquis, the ball appeared to be dipping under the bar, forcing Jaakkola into action.

They received a second booking before the break, although McCrorie was furious to be penalised for simulation after appearing to be tripped by Alfie Kilgour.

There was a corner for the visitors to deal with in stoppage-time and Marquis was back to block Ollie Clarke’s attempt.


Half Time

Bristol Rovers 0

Portsmouth 1


The home side – and their supporters – cried for a penalty straight after the restart when Leahy’s shot hit McCrorie in the box.

But the Blues loanee was far too close to get out the way and replays showed that it hit him on the head.

There was then a nervy moment when MacGillivray could not keep hold of Adeboyejo’s cross, although the keeper immediately leapt on the loose ball.

Pompey were still trying to do damage on the break, with one promising move breaking down when Marquis strayed offside from Curtis’ pass.

The hosts were certainly providing more of a threat since the break, though, and a diving Ogogo could not quite get on the end of Rodman’s centre.

An Evans free-kick caused problems at the opposite end of the pitch, although Rovers were eventually able to scramble the ball behind.

The visitors calmed things down with a spell of possession and might have gone further ahead, only for skipper Tony Craig to bravely get in the way of Close’s fierce volley.

And they did create some breathing space on 70 minutes, when a Marquis delivery was firmly headed home by CURTIS from close range.

Pompey’s counter-attacking credentials were still impressive and a low Williams cross had to be cut out to deny Marquis a simple tap-in.

But they were dealt a blow soon after, with Rodman reducing the hosts’ deficit after a free-kick had not been properly dealt with.

That meant there were plenty of nerves among the large collection of away fans for the closing stages of the contest.

Rovers brought former Fratton winger Kyle Bennett on to try add more potency to their attack, but it looked like Pompey would comfortably see the game out.

Right at the death, however, Liam Sercombe whipped in a corner and the ball struck McCrorie, ricocheting off the bar and the back of MacGillivray’s head before nestling in the net.

Bristol Rovers (3-5-2): Jaakkola; Davies, Craig (c) (Little 80), Kilgour; Rodman, Clarke (Sercombe 71), Upson (Bennett 89), Ogogo, Leahy; Adeboyejo, Smith
Goals: Rodman 78, MacGillivray 90+3 (og)
Booked: Upson, Ogogo
Subs not used: van Stappershoef, Kelly, Menayese, Nichols

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans, Curtis; Marquis (Harrison 90+1)
Goals: Evans 9 (pen), Curtis 70
Booked: Raggett, McCrorie, Curtis, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 8,648 (1,404 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 052019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Ellis Harrison headed home in stoppage-time to dramatically earn Pompey a first away league win of the season.

A goal on the break from Gareth Evans in the second half had earlier given the visitors the lead at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Doncaster twice struck the woodwork and looked to have salvaged a point when Reece James bundled in a leveller.

They were chasing a winner, but instead finished with nothing, as Harrison deftly guided the ball into the net at the death.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that had beaten Bolton on home soil earlier in the week.

Lee Brown came straight back into the starting line-up after recovering from an Achilles injury, while there were also returns for Evans and Marcus Harness out wide.

Brandon Haunstrup and Ryan Williams both dropped to the bench, but there was no place in the matchday squad for Ronan Curtis because of a tight hamstring.

Pompey kept with the same 4-4-2 system that had helped them secure all three points against Wanderers, with Brett Pitman utilised alongside former Rovers striker John Marquis.

Neither side created much in the opening stages on a grey afternoon in south Yorkshire, although that did not stop the travelling faithful for being in fine voice.

Shots at either end for first Ben Whiteman and then Marquis lacked enough power to trouble the respective goalkeepers.

But it was Doncaster who found their feet quickest and Alfie May’s shot from nothing cannoned against the crossbar.

Craig MacGillivray then head to come tearing from his line to stop Jon Taylor after the winger had burst in from the left.

Rovers were looking particularly threatening on the break and Harness hacked clear after one dangerous counter-attack.

The visitors collected a couple of bookings, with Tom Naylor punished for a late challenge on May and Harness seeing yellow after catching Whiteman with a flailing arm.

Doncaster had their best chance of the half in between, when Kieran Sadlier was left unchallenged to charge in and meet James Coppinger’s delivery, only to send the ball wide from a few yards out.

There were a couple of opportunities at the other end, though, and Evans’ cross was just too high for Pitman in the box.

The striker tried to return the favour after beating his man on the right, but Seny Dieng came off his line to just about get there first.


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 0

Portsmouth 0


There was a change at the start of the second half, with Marquis not emerging from the tunnel and fellow summer signing Harrison replacing him.

But it was the hosts who were first to have an opening following the restart, with MacGillivray getting down to his left to keep out Whiteman’s fierce drive.

James Bolton was then fouled by Kieran Sadlier in the race for the loose ball and required treatment, but was fine to continue.

MacGillivray was soon called into action again, although not overly troubled by Coppinger’s long-range attempt.

And the stopper had to adjust his feet to make an ultimately comfortable save when Sadlier’s effort deflected off Sean Raggett.

But it was the noisy 1,351 travelling fans who were celebrating the opening goal, which came against the run of play on the hour mark.

A clearance was collected by Ben Close in the middle of the pitch and he slid a pass across for the charging EVANS.

The midfielder was able to race through on goal and neatly slot home past Dieng before wheeling away to celebrate.

A stunned Rovers tried to hit back, but a corner was dealt with by Harrison and Whiteman’s 25-yard shot received a deflection to divert it off target.

And another Blues counter-attack almost led to the lead being strengthened, as Close’s curler from the edge of the box had to be expertly palmed over by Dieng.

The visitors were having to work hard at the other end, though, and the imperious Christian Burgess did well to block Taylor’s strike, with the ball looping wide of the post.

Doncaster went even closer to levelling soon after, courtesy of a thunderous shot from Whiteman that rattled the crossbar.

Pompey were looking solid at the back, but the hosts finally made their pressure count on 82 minutes.

An angled cross-shot from May was parried away by MacGillivray and James reacted quickest to force home the loose ball.

Williams had been waiting to come on in the build-up to that goal and immediately replaced the tiring Harness.

Rovers were looking to grab a winner and Whiteman’s effort from the edge of the box just about cleared the crossbar.

But it was the Blues who instead secured all three points when, in stoppage-time, HARRISON met Bolton’s cross and sent a fine header looping over Dieng and into the net.

There were still some nervy moments to contend with, however, and a collective sigh of relief greeted the final whistle.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Dieng; Halliday, Anderson, Daniels, James; Sheaf, Whiteman (c); May (Wright 90+4), Coppinger, Taylor; Sadlier
Goals: James 82
Subs not used: Lawlor, Amos, Greaves, Gomes, Longbottom, Kiwomya

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Harness (Williams 82), Close, Naylor (c), Evans; Marquis (Harrison 46), Pitman
Goals: Evans 60, Harrison 90+1
Booked: Naylor, Harness
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Downing, Haunstrup, McCrorie

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 8,962 (1,351 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 202019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey threw away two points at Fratton Park after nine-man Coventry staged an incredible fightback.

They looked to be cruising to victory, having recovered from the setback of falling behind to Jordy Hiwula’s early strike.

Ronan Curtis headed the hosts back on level terms and John Marquis turned the game on its head just before the break.

The win appeared to be wrapped up when Gareth Evans raced through to score and their opponents saw Fankaty Dabo dismissed.

Matt Godden then netted a penalty as the drama continued, only for Gervane Kastaneer to also be sent off.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Michael Rose grabbed a late equaliser for the Sky Blues to leave the Fratton faithful stunned.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Sunderland on Saturday.

Evans returned to skipper the side, with Ross McCrorie starting at right-back, having impressed from the bench on Wearside.

Sean Raggett also came in for his full Pompey debut, as Andy Cannon, Christian Burgess and Anton Walkes made way.

The first half was played at breakneck speed and Coventry keeper Marko Marosi was forced to parry clear Marcus Harness’ delivery, with Liam Kelly on hand to clear the loose ball.

But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in just the third minute after breaking quickly from a Blues corner.

Godden was sent clear down the left and he slipped a pass across for the unmarked Hiwula to lash a shot into the roof of the net.

The hosts were not behind for long, however, and when the impressive Harness intercepted a clearance, it led to the equaliser.

He received the ball back and whipped in a superb cross towards the back post, where CURTIS arrived to powerfully head home.

And Pompey felt they should have had the chance to go ahead just moments later when Marquis went down in the box.

It appeared as though he had been tripped by Rose and the striker was furious when referee Kevin Johnson awarded a corner.

McCrorie then went close with a swerving strike from the edge of the box that a diving Marosi did well to push clear.

Coventry were looking dangerous themselves, though, and Hiwula fired into the side netting after collecting Brandon Mason’s threaded pass.

The hosts were forced to make a change on 31 minutes when Lee Brown went down injured and had to be replaced by Brandon Haunstrup.

And their opponents soon had a couple of players booked, with Dabo and Kyle McFadzean having their names taken for fouls on Harness and Marquis respectively.

It seemed as though the players would be heading in all square for the interval, but a fine move ensured Pompey would be ahead.

Tom Naylor played a superb long pass up the pitch for Curtis, whose backheel was collected by the overlapping Haunstrup.

He fired in a low cross and a stretching MARQUIS was able to poke the ball into the net for his first goal since his Fratton return.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Coventry City 1


Paul Downing somehow managed to head wide an Evans free-kick once the action restarted, although his blushes were spared by the linesman’s flag.

His centre-back partner did nor fare much better when Evans cut a corner back for him, with Raggett ballooning a shot over the bar.

Coventry certainly looked capable of scoring themselves and it took a fine save by Craig MacGillivray to deny Godden when Downing’s clearance ricocheted into his path.

McCrorie then made a perfectly-timed challenge inside the box to halt the progress of the marauding Hiwula.

Both defences were looking susceptible to conceding more goals and it was a mistake from the hosts that led to Pompey’s third goal.

McFadzean was caught dithering on the ball by EVANS, who burst clear and calmly slotted into the net.

The hosts were then furious when play was stopped for Dabo’s handball, despite Curtis racing clear and finding the net.

But the Coventry right-back had already been booked and received his marching orders from Johnson.

Marosi then came close to gifting Harness a goal, fumbling his fierce shot and quickly recovering to prevent the ball from spinning over the line.

MacGillivray looked more assured at the other end, adjusting his position to push over a swerving Liam Kelly strike.

But the Sky Blues did have a lifeline on 75 minutes, as Godden stroked home from the spot after Ben Close had been penalised for upending Kelly.

Their hopes of a comeback almost immediately received a setback, however, when Kastaneer – who had only been on the pitch for 11 minutes – was dismissed.

He lunged in on Downing having already received a yellow card and despite his pleading, was shown a red card by Johnson.

But it looked as though they had equalised on 82 minutes when Rose turned the ball home at the back post, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

Burgess replaced Evans, as Pompey tried to shore up their backline for the closing stages of the contest.

Coventry had other ideas, though, and the nine men remarkably levelled when Rose poked home from a long throw.

Brett Pitman was thrown on for the closing stages, although it was Close and Curtis who had half-chances to rescue the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie, Raggett (Pitman 90), Downing, Brown (Haunstrup 32); Naylor, Close; Harness, Evans (c) (Burgess 85), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 10, Marquis 43, Evans 56
Booked: Naylor, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Cannon, Harrison

Coventry (4-3-3): Marosi; Dabo, McFadzean, Rose, Mason; Shipley, Kelly (c), Westbrooke (McCallum 64); Jobello (Kastaneer 67), Godden, Hiwula (Bakayoko 80)
Goals: Hiwula 3, Godden 75 (pen), Rose 86
Sent off: Dabo (two yellow cards), Kastaneer (two yellow cards)
Booked: McFadzean
Subs not used: Wilson, Hyam, Eccles, Bapaga

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 18,748 (950 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 272019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Goals from Gareth Evans and Tom Naylor saw Pompey win at Crawley in their penultimate pre-season fixture.

They created plenty of chances against their League Two hosts, with Paul Downing hitting the woodwork and another Naylor effort being cleared from the line.

A fierce strike from Mason Bloomfield reduced the Reds’ deficit late on, but they could not find a leveller.

Anton Walkes was called into action early on, heading clear after George Francomb tried to convert a corner.

But it was the Blues who dominated for the majority of the first half and created the best chances to score.

The first arrived on 10 minutes when Downing met Evans’ free-kick and saw his header clip the top of the crossbar.

And the visitors did break the deadlock midway through the half, courtesy of a fine move that started with Naylor.

The midfielder slipped a precise pass through to Marcus Harness and his cross was met by a diving header from EVANS, with the ball striking the woodwork on its way into the net.

There was not much going on at the other end of the pitch, although a header from Ollie Palmer was comfortably claimed by Craig MacGillivray.

Ross McCrorie was looking dangerous for Pompey and a surging run ended with the Scottish loanee’s effort being deflected wide.

They went much closer on 31 minutes after Glenn Morris made a mess of trying to punch clear Ronan Curtis’ header.

Downing collected the ball and although he was unable to get a shot away, Naylor was and the ball had to be cleared from the line by a well-placed Tom Dallison.

There were a couple more half-chances for Curtis before the break, as the Blues continued to probe away.


Half Time

Crawley Town 0

Portsmouth 1


Harness linked up well to Ellis Harrison and McCrorie soon after the restart and the latter’s effort was deflected behind.

And the lead was doubled on 51 minutes, although Morris will probably think he could have done better.

Lee Brown cut the ball back for NAYLOR, whose effort beat the keeper far too easily before nestling in the net.

Crawley brought on Nathan Ferguson and the newcomer had an immediate impact, forcing MacGillivray down to deal with his angled drive.

The action was soon back down the other end and when Harrison collected Walkes’ threaded pass, David Sesay had to slide in and stop the striker’s shot finding the bottom corner.

But former Hawks striker Palmer really should have reduced the hosts’ deficit just past the hour mark.

He was picked out by Filipe Morais’ left-wing cross, but managed to nod the ball wide from just a couple of yards out.

The same Crawley duo combined again just past the hour mark and this time MacGillivray showed fine reflexes to deny Palmer.

Chances were now coming thick and fast, but Curtis could not keep his shot down after being slipped through by Harness.

It was proving to be an open end to the contest, with the action quickly switching from one end to the next as both sides went in search of goals.

A looping Downing header caused chaos in the Crawley box and the ball eventually crossed the line, although referee Tim Robinson had spotted a foul.

It seemed as though Pompey would see things out comfortably, but the hosts found themselves back in the game courtesy of a thunderous strike from substitute Bloomfield.

A flurry of substitutes slowed things down for the Blues, though, and the final few moments passed by without incident.

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Morris; Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Dallison, Doherty; Bulman (c) (Ferguson 53); Morais, Francomb, Camara (Bloomfield 69), Nathaniel-George (Grego-Cox 61); Palmer (Galach 82)
Goals: Bloomfield 80
Subs not used: Luyamula, Payne, Allarakhia

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Burgess, Brown (Haunstrup 86); McCrorie (Close 88), Naylor; Harness, Evans (c), Curtis (Cannon 86); Harrison (Pitman 86)
Goals: Evans 20, Naylor 61
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Dennis, Lowe, Hawkins

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,777 (688 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 132019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Pompey secured a second pre-season friendly win in succession, but were made to work hard for their 2-1 victory at Westleigh Park.

Gareth Evans fired them ahead from the penalty spot just before half-time, only for former Blues triallist Roarie Deacon to draw the Hawks level.

It was Brett Pitman who came off the bench to grab a late winner, however, in front of a huge crowd of 3,500 sun-worshipping supporters.

There were three changes from the side that began the midweek rout of UCD in Dublin.

Ross McCrorie and James Bolton both missed out with knocks, while Jamal Lowe was also absent, as Ben Close, Anton Walkes and Evans all came in.

Anybody expecting another goal-fest was in for a disappointment, with chances at a premium during the opening stages on a warm afternoon.

A dangerous Walkes delivery was turned behind before it could reach Ronan Curtis at the back post, while an Evans free-kicvk cleared the crossbar.

The hosts were certainly not looking over-awed and an effort from Josh Taylor was deflected wide of Craig MacGillivray’s post.

Pompey’s keeper also made a regulation save to deny Andy Drury, as the game continued to drift along without much excitment.

The visitors created a fine chance on 28 minutes, however, and Ross Worner made an excellent stop to keep out Louis Dennis’ header from point-blank range.

Ellis Harrison then beat the Hawks number one to the ball, but the angle was tight for the summer signing and his cut-back was dealt with.

The striker was involved again just before the break and when he was brought down in the box by Dean Beckwith, referee Matt Russell pointed to the spot.

It was the skipper who stepped up to take the spot-kick, with EVANS slamming his effort straight down the middle to open the scoring.

There was still time for another opening before the interval, with Worner again doing well to keep out a fierce strike from Curtis.


Half Time

Havant & Waterlooville 0

Portsmouth 1


The second half got off to a livelier start, with Worner immediately having to get down to keep out Lee Brown’s free-kick.

A volleyed effort from Jonah Ayunga was then brilliantly dealt with by MacGillivray, as the Hawks tried to find a leveller.

But the action soon switched ends once more and Curtis almost caught Worner out at his near post after neatly stepping inside.

It was the home fans who were celebrating on 56 minutes, though, when substitute Chris Paul teed-up Deacon for a neat finish into the bottom corner.

The usual curse of the pre-season friendly soon followed, with a wave of substitutions for both sides stemming the flow of the contest.

Another brief interruption was caused by a fan who ran on to the pitch to request a selfie with Christian Burgess, who obliged, and MacGillivray, who sternly ordered him off the pitch.

It was two of Pompey’s newcomers who combined for their winner on 80 minutes, with Brandon Haunstrup doing well down the left and providing the assist for PITMAN to slot home.

Hawks (4-1-2-1-2): Worner (Latham 58); Read (Tarbuck 58), Beckwith (Cook 60), Magri, Straker; Bailey (Paul 46); Taylor (Dennett 65), Fogden (c); Drury (Walton 46); Deacon (Ridge 83), Ayunga
Goals: Deacon 56

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes (Burgess 73), Downing, Raggett, Brown (Haunstrup 70); Naylor (Morris 70), Close; Evans (c) (Hancott 84), Dennis (Cannon 70), Curtis (Pitman 70); Harrison
Goals: Evans 44 (pen), Pitman 80
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Dandy, Bridgman, Teggart, Stanley

Referee: Matt Russell

Attendance: 3,500

Portsmouth FC

Jul 102019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Friendly




Pompey kicked-off their pre-season schedule with an emphatic 11-0 victory at UCD.

Brett Pitman hit a hat-trick, while there were braces from Louis Dennis and Ronan Curtis, with Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans, Joe Hancott and Ben Close also scoring against the top-flight Irish club.

Following almost two weeks of training at bases in Portsmouth and Dublin, the Blues returned to match action with less than a month until the start of the new League One campaign.

Pompey – with summer recruits James Bolton, Paul Downing, Sean Raggett, Ross McCrorie and Ellis Harrison all starting – looked bright from the off and opened their account after just 10 minutes.

Dennis looked electric in the opening half and he crossed from the right, with CURTIS doing just enough to force his header home.

And the lead was soon doubled following more good work from Dennis, who delivered from the opposite flank, leaving LOWE with plenty of time to slot past Conor Kearns.

The visitors almost added a third just seconds later, but Lowe’s effort was saved and the ball ricocheted against the bar.

That would be Kearns’ final contribution, with the keeper taken off injured and replaced between the sticks by Tom Murphy.

The lead was increased midway through the half, however, as DENNIS latched on to Lee Brown’s quickly taken free-kick and bent a shot around the new stopper.

CURTIS then got his second of the evening on 39 minutes when Harrison’s cross evaded its intended target of Dennis.

Instead it fell for the Republic of Ireland international, who chested the ball down and emphatically found the net.

There was an almost instant fifth goal, as DENNIS rounded off an impressive first half display by receiving Harrison’s pass, spinning past the last defender and coolly finishing.


Half Time

UCD 0

Portsmouth 5


Jackett changed his entire team at the break, but that did not stop the goals from flowing in the second half.

EVANS became the fourth different scorer of the contest, with a blocked pass bouncing back to him and a powerful shot striking the underside of the crossbar before finding the net.

PITMAN then got his first on the hour mark, capitalising on some slack defending to take a touch and find the target from close range.

He might have earlier scored in more acrobatic fashion, but a scorpion-style attempt narrowly cleared the bar.

Murphy was being continually called into action, getting down low to save first from Anton Walkes and then deny Evans at the near post.

But an eighth goal did arrive, with PITMAN picking the defence’s pocket following an Evans cross to double his personal tally.

Teenage full-back HANCOTT – playing a more advanced role – was next to score, being quickest to react when Pitman was denied by Murphy.

The travelling Blues fans wanted 10 and skipper PITMAN duly obliged by completing a 20-minute treble.

Aaron McGrath took too much time over clearing the ball, allowing the striker to steal possession and bend it around Murphy.

The scoring was finally complete six minutes from the end, with UCD unable to clear under pressure and CLOSE emphatically finishing.

Pompey’s run of friendlies continues at Westleigh Park on Saturday when they take on neighbours Havant & Waterlooville (3pm kick-off).

UCD: Kearns; Tobin, Farrell, McEvoy, McClelland; Doyle (c), Keaney; O’Farrell, Kinsella-Bishop; Dignam; Mahdy
Subs: Murphy, Griffin, Mullen, Akinsete, Daly, Ring, Ryan, Boore, Keane, Smith, McGrath

Pompey: MacGillivray (Bass 46); Bolton (Walkes 46), Downing (Burgess 46), Raggett (Casey 46), Brown (Haunstrup 46); Naylor (c) (Morris 46), McCrorie (Close 46); Lowe (Evans 46), Dennis (Cannon 46), Curtis (Hancott 46); Harrison (Pitman 46)
Goals: Curtis 10, 39, Lowe 16, Dennis 24, 41, Evans 49, Pitman 60, 76, 80, Hancott 78, Close 84

Referee: David Dunne

Portsmouth FC

Apr 132019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Rochdale 0


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)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 312019
 

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

Portsmouth FC

Mar 312019
 

Match Report

Highlights

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.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 1


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

Attendance: 85,021

Portsmouth FC

Mar 022019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

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)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 262019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Checkatrade Trophy




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.


Half Time

Bury 0

Portsmouth 0


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
Booked: Evans
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Vaughan, Pitman

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 3,900 (452 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC