Jan 192016
 

Portsmouth 2 v 1 Ipswich Town

Pompey set up a fourth round clash with Premier League side Bournemouth in the Emirates FA Cup after beating Ipswich at Fratton Park.

They dominated their higher-ranked opponents from the start and Gary Roberts broke the deadlock from the penalty spot.

Marc McNulty doubled the advantage before the break and arguably should have finished the tie with a hat-trick.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles reduced the deficit with a fine second half strike, although Piotr Malarczyk’s red card dented the Tractor Boys’ hopes of finding an equaliser.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that drew 2-2 at Portman Road 10 days earlier.

Christian Burgess returned from an ankle injury to take his place in defence, meaning that Adam Barton switched to a more familiar midfield role.

There were also starts for skipper Michael Doyle and Gareth Evans, with Adam McGurk and Ben Close dropping to the bench.

Former Pompey forward Luke Varney once again led the line for Mick McCarthy’s Championship visitors.

The hosts soon took control of the tie and Kyle Bennett had an early opportunity, but could not force the ball home from a tight angle.

There was a rare opportunity at the other end on four minutes when Doyle’s header was intercepted by Brett Pitman, who sent a shot looping onto the roof of the net.

But the Blues were quickly back on the attack and Roberts hit a free-kick into the wall after Malarczyk had been booked for a foul on McNulty.

Josh Emmanuel then did well to get ahead of Evans and stop the winger from converting a dangerous cross from Ben Davies.

It was Evans who started a fine attacking move for Pompey on 30 minutes when he stole possession in the centre of the pitch.

He fed Barton, who in turn found McNulty, but Bartosz Bialkowski raced off his line to deny the striker.

The home support did not have to wait much longer to celebrate an opening goal, however.

Referee Andy Woolmer pointed to the spot when Malarczyk brought down Roberts in the box, although he opted not to show the Polish defender a second yellow card.

ROBERTS picked himself up to take the penalty and although Bialkowski got a hand to it, the keeper could not prevent the ball spinning into the net.

And the Fratton faithful were in dreamland a few minutes later, when the dominant Blues doubled their advantage.

Evans stood up a fine cross from wide on the right and McNULTY rose to head the ball home at the far post.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Ipswich 0

It was probably to be expected that the visitors would come out with renewed vigour after the interval.

But instead Pompey continued to play with confidence and they should have gone further ahead on 50 minutes.

Evans sent McNulty through on goal, but Bialkowski again came to Ipswich’s rescue with a fine save, while the loose ball was hooked over the line.

The Blues kept pushing forward and had another opportunity when Bennett was brought down by Josh Emmanuel just outside the box.

Roberts laid the ball off for the hovering Doyle, who hit a ferocious effort that fizzed narrowly past the post.

Pompey were also looking composed at the other end of the pitch and when Tommy Oar delivered a dangerous cross, Adam Webster calmly chested it down for Brian Murphy to collect.

But, out of nowhere, the Tractor Boys suddenly found themselves back in the tie on the hour mark.

It was a stunning 20-yard strike from on-loan Arsenal winger Maitland-Niles that flew into the top corner leaving Murphy with no chance.

Pompey immediately tried to restore their two-goal lead and Bennett was inches away from connecting with McNulty’s ball.

The chances were starting to fade as the half progressed, although Ipswich had an opening when Varney brought down a long goal-kick, only for Pitman to blaze over.

Their hopes of forcing extra-time received a blow on 77 minutes when Malarczyk brought down Roberts and was sent off for a second bookable offence.

And Pompey comfortably saw out the closing stages to book a fourth round date with the Cherries at the end of the month.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess (Close 85), Webster, Stevens; Barton, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts (Chaplin 82), Bennett; McNulty
Goals: Roberts 32 (pen), McNulty 37
Subs not used: Bass, May, Tollitt, Naismith, McGurk

Ipswich (4-4-2): Bialkowski; Emmanuel, Malarczyk, Digby, Kenlock; Maitland-Niles (Robinson 89), Hyam (c), Tabb (Coke 71), Oar; Varney (Toure 76), Pitman
Goals: Maitland-Niles 60
Sent off: Malarczyk (two yellow cards)
Subs not used: Gerken, Hammond, McDonnell, McLoughlin

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 15,179 (796 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 022016
 

Portsmouth 3 v 0 Crawley Town

Pompey got 2016 off to an excellent start with a convincing victory over Crawley at Fratton Park.

A couple of loanees ensured they had a two-goal advantage at the break, with Matt Clarke heading the opener before Marc McNulty doubled the advantage.

The Blues dominated for most of the afternoon and got a deserved third when Gary Roberts found the target following excellent work from fellow substitute Ben Tollitt.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew with Luton five days earlier.

Adam Webster returned from suspension to take his place in the centre of defence, with Adam Barton dropping to the bench.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of former Pompey keeper Pavel Srnicek, who sadly passed away before Christmas at the age of just 47.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with Darryl Flahavan and Sonny Bradley both starting for the Reds.

The hosts made a bright start and Caolan Lavery could not quite guide Ben Davies’ cross on target with a diving header.

Enda Stevens then delivered a dangerous low centre from the left that Bradley was forced to clear behind.

And the Blues broke the deadlock from the resulting corner, with CLARKE rising highest in the box to guide home Davies’ cross on 13 minutes.

McNulty tried to double the advantage moments later, but sent an angled effort whizzing past the post.

Pompey were totally on top and Kyle Bennett saw his strike blocked after meeting Lavery’s cut-back, while Danny Hollands blazed the loose ball over.

Clarke then met another corner from Davies, although this time his radar was off and the ball flew wide.

Lavery thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the first half after tangling with Lewis Young, but referee Dean Whitestone was not quite so convinced.

Stevens was providing a real threat down the left and twice saw low crosses somehow evade his team-mates.

But it proved to be third time lucky on 26 minutes when the left-back picked out McNULTY, who took a touch before sliding the ball past Flahavan.

Crawley were struggling to keep the Blues at bay and it took brave blocks from Young and Bradley to keep out goal-bound efforts from McNulty and Bennett respectively.

The visitors finally carved out an opening on 39 minutes, but after beating Clarke, Roarie Deacon hit his shot straight at Brian Murphy.

Bennett then made a vital challenge to dispossess Luke Rooney on the edge of the box, while Simon Walton hit a long-range free-kick safely into Murphy’s arms.

But most of the action was still happening at the other end of the pitch and Flahavan did well to keep out a strike from Bennett that took a heavy deflection off Jon Ashton.

Then, in stoppage-time, an unmarked Gareth Evans somehow failed to connect with Davies’ cross from just a few yards out.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Crawley 0

Pompey picked up where they left off at the start of the second half and Stevens drilled a low shot narrowly wide.

Bennett was next to go close, cutting inside and sending a fierce effort fizzing inches over from the edge of the box.

But the visitors came close to reducing the deficit just past the hour mark, when Davies conceded a free-kick that Gwion Edwards curled against the crossbar.

Crawley were then thankful to Young, who prevented them from falling further behind when he cleared Lavery’s bullet header off the line.

Cook made a double substitution on 67 minutes, with McNulty and Evans making way for Roberts and Tollitt.

Lavery then had a chance to extend the hosts’ advantage when he met a cross from Tollitt, only to send his header sneaking past the far post.

Pompey were not having much to deal with at the other end, although Matt Harrold should at least have found the target when he collected Young’s pass.

And the hosts wrapped up a comfortable victory on 83 minutes after their two substitutes combined to devastating effect.

Tollitt picked the ball up from a Crawley corner and surged almost the full length of the pitch before teeing-up ROBERTS for a cool finish.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans (Tollitt 67), McNulty (Roberts 67), Bennett; Lavery (Chaplin 85)
Goals: Clarke 13, McNulty 26, Roberts 83
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Atangana, McGurk

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Flahavan; Young, Yorwerth (Ashton 23), Bradley (c), Hancox; Walton; Deacon, Rooney (Tomlin 77), Smith (Emmanuel 46), Edwards; Harrold
Booked: Walton
Subs not used: Preston, Bawling, Jenkins, Fenelon

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 16,606 (567 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Sep 292015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Exeter City    2

 


Possession counts for nothing as Blues slip

Pompey’s stay at the League Two summit was short-lived as they lost 2-1 at home to Exeter.

There was plenty of energy from a Blues side who dominated possession and created a host of chances.

But the Grecians left them stunned with a sucker-punch in each half, with first David Wheeler and then Arron Davies getting the goals.

And the visitors made sure they ended Pompey’s unbeaten run with some stoic defending to repel the attacking charge.

The only bright point for the hosts was a stoppage-time consolation for substitute Gary Roberts.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that went top of the table by beating Bristol Rovers at the weekend.

Pompey came roaring out of the blocks and Exeter struggled to deal with their quick counter-attacks in the early stages.

The hosts had three good chances to open the scoring in the space of a few seconds in the third minute.

Two of them fell to Gareth Evans, with the winger denied first by a Bobby Olejnik save and then a brave Jordan Moore-Taylor block.

Skipper Ben Davies sent the ball back into the box, where Jayden Stockley was waiting to head wide of the post.

Kyle Bennett was next to go close with a cleanly-struck free-kick from 25 yards that he bent narrowly off target.

The Grecians were finding it tough to stifle Pompey’s attacking verve, although their defenders well doing well to fling themselves in front of any balls into the box.

That happened on 18 minutes when Bennett broke brilliantly up the pitch and fed Stockley. His low cross was met by Chaplin, but again there was a red-and-white-shirted man to get in the way.

Then, from nowhere, the Blues suddenly found themselves behind, as Danny Hollands was caught in possession and Wheeler drove an accurate drive into the bottom corner.

The goal seemed to puncture Pompey’s spirit, although the lively Bennett was still tormenting the visitors with his trickery out wide.

And he had a shot saved by Olejnik just before the break after Hollands and Conor Chaplin had combined well to tee him up.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


Pompey were soon on the attack once the second half got underway and Bennett tested Olejnik’s handling with a long-range effort.

A stretching Evans was then millimetres from making a connection after Enda Stevens’ cross had been touched on by Stockley.

Cook decided to make his first switch on 55 minutes, with Chaplin making way for Matt Tubbs.

But it was Exeter who were next to threaten, with Stockley forced to hack clear after Aaron McCarey had kept out Christian Ribeiro’s close-range shot.

It was only a brief reprieve for the Blues, however, as despite offside appeals, Holmes delivered a dangerous ball into the box.

McCarey got a hand to it, but the ball sat up kindly for Davies to head past the Blues bodies stationed on the line.

Pompey now faced an uphill challenge, although they almost reduced the deficit on 65 minutes.

Stockley met a precision corner from Bennett, but Danny Butterfield was well-placed on the line to clear the danger.

Cook responded with his second switch, as Roberts replaced Evans to try to add a spark to the Blues’ attack.

And the Blues continued to apply plenty of pressure, only to see every foray forward or ball into the box repelled by a resolute Grecians back-line.

Stevens sent the ball across the face of goal on 85 minutes, but none of his team-mates were able to force it home.

Pompey certainly were not prepared to throw in the towel as they kept pumping the ball forward in the closing stages.

And a long-range effort from ROBERTS was deflected past Olejnik in stoppage-time to at least give the home support something to cheer.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies (c), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Barton, Hollands (Doyle 81); Evans (Roberts 66), Chaplin (Tubbs 55), Bennett; Stockley
Goals: Roberts 90+3
Booked: Burgess, Bennett
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Atangana, Naismith

Exeter (4-3-3): Olejnik; Ribeiro, Brown, Tillson, Moore-Taylor; Oyeleke (Hoskins 79), Noble (c) (Butterfield 46), Davies; Grant (McCready 72), Wheeler, Holmes
Goals: Wheeler 20, Davies 56
Subs not used: Pym, Nicholls, Nichols, Morrison

Referee: Nicholas Kinseley

Attendance: 15,822 (313 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 222015
 

Portsmouth 3 v 3 Morecombe

Jayden Stockley scored deep into stoppage-time to complete a remarkable comeback and secure a point for Pompey against Morecambe

The visitors rocked their hosts with first half goals from Tom Barkhuizen, Alan Goodall and Andy Fleming.

But a couple of fine Gary Roberts strikes either side of the interval brought the Blues right back into the game.

Enda Stevens’ dismissal for two bookable offences failed to halt their attacking intent as Pompey poured forward at every opportunity.

And their perseverance was rewarded in the fifth minute of stoppage-time when Stockley dived to head home the equaliser.

Paul Cook named an unchanged side, as he elected to use the same starting 11 for a fourth successive league match.

That meant Ben Davies – who went off at Crawley during the week – had sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place at right-back.

Pompey looked to attack straight from kick-off and a neat move ended with Nigel Atangana firing over in the opening seconds.

Stevens then skipped into the box before Adam Dugdale came across to thwart him, before Matt Tubbs could not quite guide a corner on target.

The hosts were dominating possession yet again, but were caught with a counter-attacking sucker punch on 11 minutes.

Michael Doyle slipped and Davies’ clearance ricocheted into Barkhuizen’s path, with the wide-man smashing a shot past the helpless Brian Murphy.

The goal seemed to rock the Blues and a period of sluggish play ensued, with Cook’s men guilty of far too many misplaced passes.

However, Pompey started to move through the gears again and Roberts guided Stevens’ pass narrowly past the post.

But the Shrimps soon doubled their advantage after Christian Burgess had been booked for a foul on Aaron Wildig.

A diving Murphy was able to palm Jamie Devitt’s free-kick behind, but the Morecambe midfielder’s resulting corner was headed home by Goodall.

Wildig then tried to catch Murphy out with a neat chip that dipped onto the crossbar before the same played dragged a shot wide.

Shrimps keeper Barry Roche was booked for taking too long over a goal-kick on 36 minutes, although the visitors arguably did not need to waste time as they continued to open the Blues up on the break.

And they soon went three goals ahead when Fleming arrived at the far post to steer home Devitt’s cross.

Pompey looked all at sea, but there was a glimmer of hope late in the half when ROBERTS was brought down on the edge of the box and picked himself up to curl home an impressive free-kick.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Morecambe 3

Davies had a chance for the Blues soon after the restart, with a close-range volley that hit Dugdale in the face and flew safe.

There was then danger at the other end when Matt Clarke under-hit a pass, but the teenage centre-back recovered well to win the ball back.

And Pompey were soon back on the attack and Tubbs rose to glance Kyle Bennett’s cross inches wide, although it would not have counted as the linesman’s flag was raised.

The hosts were not having any trouble getting hold of the ball, but Roche was not being overly tested between the sticks.

They did reduce the deficit further thanks to another moments of magic from ROBERTS on 65 minutes, however.

The midfielder picked the ball up and deceived a couple of defenders with his footwork before curling a shot into the bottom corner.

Cook freshened up his front line with a substitution on 70 minutes, as Tubbs made way for aStockley.

But the Blues were soon reduced to 10 men when Stevens caught Aaron McGowan and was shown his second yellow card – and a subsequent red – by referee Roger East.

Adam Webster was brought on for Davies as Pompey switched to playing with three central defenders.

They were leaving plenty of men forward, safe in the knowledge that Morecambe were happy to sit back and soak up pressure.

Cook made his final change on 80 minutes as Adam McGurk replaced Gareth Evans and immediately received a chance to level when he rose to head Bennett’s cross narrowly wide.

Bennet then had an opportunity of his own, cutting inside and drilling in a shot that Roche did well to punch clear.

Morecambe were hanging on and Roche pushed Clarke’s header over before keeping out a Stockley drive.

And Webster missed a great opportunity after being left unchallenged in the box, only to head over.

The defender then saw his penalty claims for a handball waved away as Pompey continued to pour forward.

And just when it looked like time would run out on them, Webster delivered a perfect cross for STOCKLEY to convert with a diving header.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies (Webster 74), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans (McGurk 79), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Stockley 70)
Goals: Roberts 42, 65, Stockley 90+5
Sent off: Stevens (two yellow cards)
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Jones, Haunstrup, Hollands, Chaplin

Morecambe (4-2-3-1): Roche; Beeley (c), Dugdale, Parrish, Wilson; Fleming, Goodall (Kenyon 47); Devitt, Wildig, Barkhuizen (Molyneux 56); Miller (McGowan 68)
Goals: Barkhuizen 11, Goodall 25, Fleming 38
Booked: Fleming, Roche, Beeley, Wildig
Subs not used: Thompson, Bailey, Ryan, Mullin

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,052 (69 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 152015
 
League 2
Plymouth Argyle 1 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Pompey extended their winning run to three matches thanks to a couple of penalties in Plymouth.

They looked bright early on, but did not go ahead until the stroke of half-time when Enda Stevens was fouled and Matt Tubbs scored from the spot.

Gary Roberts was then brought down late on and stepped up to open his Blues account.

Gregg Wylde immediately reduced the deficit, but the visitors held on to leave the large army of travelling supporters feeling ecstatic.

Paul Cook reverted to the side that beat Dagenham in the league the previous Saturday.

That meant Brian Murphy, Christian Burgess, Stevens, Nigel Atangana, Michael Doyle, Roberts and Tubbs all returned after the midweek Capital One Cup triumph over Derby.

Pompey looked full of confidence following their back-to-back victories and came close to taking the lead in just the second minute.

Gareth Evans burst through the centre, only to be denied first by Plymouth keeper Luke McCormick and then skipper Curtis Nelson.

Kyle Bennett tried his luck from the edge of the box soon after, although McCormick was again equal to it, sticking up a hand to palm the ball over.

It was the Blues looking the more dominant side and Roberts met Evans’ cross with a volley that was deflected over.

The hosts did begin to apply some pressure towards the end of the half, however, and it took a fine save from Murphy to keep out Graham Carey’s fierce volley.

But the action was soon back up the other end and after Tubbs had swiped at thin air when well-placed inside the area, Atangana drilled a low effort straight at McCormick.

It looked the sides would be going in level at the break – however, there was still time for some late drama.

Referee Steve Martin pointed to the spot following a challenge by Hiram Boateng on Stevens and TUBBS stepped up to emphatically smash home the penalty.

Half Time: Plymouth 0 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

It was the Blues who were first to threaten after the interval when Evans cut inside from the right and fizzed a shot narrowly wide.

And Tubbs also had an opportunity to grab his second of the afternoon, breaking into the box and flashing an effort past the post.

But the visitors were not looking as fluent as they had been before the break and were guilty of losing possession too easily.

Cook decided to make his first switch on 69 minutes as goalscorer Tubbs made way for Jayden Stockley up top.

The striker made an immediate impact – but not in a good way, as Martin showed him a yellow card for a challenge on Nelson.

Plymouth’s captain made way after being cut above his eye and replacement Ryan Brunt almost levelled, but could only turn Carey’s corner wide.

Another Carey set-piece was swung into the Blues box on 76 minutes and it was agonisingly out of reach for several of his team-mates.

Bennett saw his shot clear the crossbar at the other end as Pompey attempted to stem Plymouth’s attacking tide.

And Stockley came close to increasing the visitors’ lead when he met Roberts’ corner and was only denied by a good low McCormick save.

Victory did seem secure on 86 minutes, however, when Roberts burst into the box and was clumsily tripped by Gary Sawyer.

Martin pointed to the spot for the second time and, with Tubbs off the pitch, ROBERTS stepped up to hammer the ball into the bottom corner.

A stunning volleyed finish from Wylde ensured a nervy finale, but the Blues held on to secure all three points.

Plymouth (4-2-3-1): McCormick; Mellor, Nelson (c) (Brunt 72), Hartley, Sawyer; McHugh, Boateng; Tanner, Carey, Wylde; Reid
Goals: Wylde 89
Booked: Boateng, Mellor, Sawyer
Subs not used: Bittner, Purrington, Cox, Simpson, Bentley, Harvey

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana (Hollands 71), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts (McGurk 90), Bennett; Tubbs (Stockley 69)
Goals: Tubbs 45+2 (pen), Roberts 86 (pen)
Booked: Davies, Stockley, Hollands
Subs not used: Jones, Webster, Haunstrup, Chaplin

Referee: Steve Martin

Attendance: 11,476 (1,719 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jun 172015
 

Gary Roberts

Transfer : Chesterfield – Portsmouth



Pompey have signed Gary Roberts from Chesterfield for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old midfielder has penned a three-year deal to link up with his former Spireites manager Paul Cook at Fratton Park

The Blues boss said: “I’m delighted that we’ve signed Gary and I view this as a no-risk transfer, which is always great.

“His record speaks for itself and I’m sure the fans will be looking forward to seeing him in action.”

The former Liverpool youth player started his professional career in Wales before signing for Accrington in 2005.

He was a team-mate of Cook and Pompey assistant manager Leam Richardson during his time at the Crown Ground.

Roberts moved on to play for Ipswich, Huddersfield and Swindon, arriving at Chesterfield in the summer of 2013 and helping them win promotion from the fourth tier.

He scored 20 goals in 89 appearances for the Derbyshire club, including the winner against Fleetwood in May 2014 that secured the League Two title.

Portsmouth FC