Jan 012019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    1 AFC Wimbledon

Pompey began 2019 with victory at Fratton Park, but were made to work hard for the points by a struggling AFC Wimbledon side.

It looked like a comfortable afternoon might be on the cards for the league leaders when Jamal Lowe gave them an early lead.

But the hosts missed some decent chances to extend their lead and a stunning strike from Kwesi Appiah brought the Dons level.

That seemed to spark the Blues back into life, though, and Ronan Curtis soon headed them back in front to secure the win.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that won convincingly at Fleetwood at the weekend.

Oli Hawkins recovered from an ankle problem to replace Brett Pitman up front, while Brandon Haunstrup came in for the injured Lee Brown at left-back.

The other switch saw Ben Close make way for Gareth Evans, who was rested for the final game of 2018 at Highbury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Hampshire cricket star Mike Barnard, who sadly passed away before Christmas.

It was a quiet start to the contest, both on and off the pitch – with some New Year revelries perhaps explaining the muted atmosphere in the opening stages.

But the noise levels soon grew, as the hosts took the lead with the first proper chance of the game on eight minutes.

Curtis collected a cross-field pass from Anton Walkes and fired in a low shot that was saved by Tom King.

But the keeper could not keep hold of the ball and LOWE was quick to capitalise, dinking a neat finish into the net.

Pompey were dominating possession, but there was not an abundance on clear-cut opportunities to excite a sell-out crowd.

Ben Thompson wasted a decent opening, swiping at thing air after Walkes’ ball into the box had been laid off by Evans.

A couple of other dangerous moments from the hosts were ended by an offside flag, as the Dons struggled to find a foothold in the game.

Lowe was proving a particular nuisance and after showing some nifty footwork inside the box, saw his low shot saved by King.

His clever chipped pass into the box then had to be nodded away by Terell Thomas before Thompson could capitalise.

The visitors finally threatened just before the break when former Pompey winger Andy Barcham burst clear, but a superb Jack Whatmough challenge inside the box halted his progress.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

AFC Wimbledon 0


It was still a fairly sedate affair once the action restarted and a wayward header from Mitch Pinnock was not going to trouble Craig MacGillivray.

Kwesi Appiah was then perhaps fortunate to avoid a booking following a late challenge on Matt Clarke, with the Blues defender quickly back up on his feet.

But the hosts should have doubled their lead on 54 minutes, as a fine Lowe pass sent Curtis through on goal, only for the Republic of Ireland international to drag his shot wide.

Curtis was soon back to his best, however, stealing possession and cutting the ball back for Evans, whose side-footed effort was kept out by King.

Wimbledon tried to make Pompey pay for those missed chances and suddenly enjoyed a spell of pressure.

But one strike from Anthony Hartigan flew high over the crossbar, while another was straight at MacGillivray.

It was the visitors on top, though, and Jackett made a double change on 69 minutes to try to negate their threat.

Evans and Hawkins were the men to make way, with Close and Pitman adding fresh legs to the midfield and forward line respectively.

But it was Lowe who had a chance to doubled the lead, only to head a Curtis cross wide from just a few yards out.

And the hosts were made to pay for their profligacy when Appiah unleashed a superb long-range strike that left MacGillivray helpless.

Thompson had a shot blocked as Pompey went back on the attack, while an effort from Curtis was comfortably dealt with by King.

But CURTIS did restore their lead moments later, rising above his man in the box to nod home a great cross from Thompson.

The Dons threw men forward in an attempt to equalise for a second time, but Pompey saw out the closing stages to start the year on a high.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; B.Thompson (Burgess 90+4), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 69), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 69)
Goals: Lowe 8, Curtis 80
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Wheeler, Green

AFC Wimbledon (4-1-4-1): King; Watson, Kalambayi, Thomas, Purrington (Garratt 83); Nightingale (c); Pinnock, Wordsworth, Hartigan (Egan 73), Barcham (Jervis 87); Appiah
Goals: Appiah 75
Booked: Wordsworth
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sibbick, Trotter, Wood

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 18,732 (634 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 292018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Fleetwood Town 2    5 Portsmouth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 2

Portsmouth 1


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Matt Donohue

Attendance: 3,494 (853 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 082018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 2    0 Southend United

Pompey stretched their winning run to an incredible eight games after comfortably seeing off Southend at a wet and windy Fratton Park.

Michael Turner gave them a helping hand with an early own-goal, while Jamal Lowe wrapped things up before the break with a header.

There were chances to extend the lead even further, but the Blues could still be pretty content with their afternoon’s work.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that progressed in the FA Cup at Rochdale the previous week.

Tom Naylor had recovered from a minor groin problem and replaced Ben Close in the centre of midfield.

Harry Bunn and Simon Cox both had half-chances for the visitors in the opening stages, but after that Pompey were in almost total control throughout the first half.

The conditions were certainly making life difficult, with strong winds swirling rain around the ground.

It did not seem to affect the Blues that much, though, and after playing a neat one-two with Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis saw his shot ricochet off Taylor Moore and into the arms of Mark Oxley.

They did break the deadlock on 11 minutes, although received a helping hand, with TURNER inadvertently turning Curtis’ delivery into his own net.

Matt Clarke perhaps should have doubled the lead after being found in space by Curtis, but nodded over the bar.

Hawkins also went close to scoring when he met Clarke’s lofted pass and guided a header inches past the post.

Instead it was LOWE who gave the hosts a cushion, leaping to connect with yet another Curtis cross and sending the ball into the net off the post.

There were cries for a penalty just before the break when Lowe’s pass struck Luke Hyam on the arm, but referee Lee Collins decided it was not enough to warrant pointing to the spot.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Southend United 0


Pompey continued to look comfortable following the restart, although there was, unsurprisingly, not so much urgency in their attacking play.

Curtis did find space to burst through the centre and his thunderous strike had to be beaten away by Oxley.

The Shrimpers enjoyed a spell of possession as the second half progressed, but the home defence were making sure that Craig MacGillivray was untested.

A second penalty request was then turned down just before the hour mark, with Nathan Thompson getting eased off the ball after collecting a threaded Naylor pass.

It was proving to be pretty tame fare as Pompey continued to just ease their way through the contest.

Even when MacGillivray failed to hold on to a corner, he did enough to get the ball clear enough for it to be hacked to safety.

Southend finally went close to scoring on 70 minutes, but Stephen McLaughlin’s effort was deflected past the post.

Close was brought on for the Blues and almost scored with his first touch, although was unable to divert Lowe’s centre on target.

And Ben Thompson then saw his free-kick parried clear by Oxley, with Clarke unable to convert the loose ball after taking a heavy first touch.

It was still the hosts on top as the seconds ticked down and the final whistle was met by a roar of approval from the stands.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe, B.Thompson (Pitman 89), Evans (c) (Close 73), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Turner 11 (og), Lowe 29
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Dennis, Green

Southend (4-2-3-1): Oxley; Moore, White, Turner (Hendrie 46), Bwomono; Mantom (c) (Yearwood 71), Hyam McLaughlin, Dieng, Bunn (Robinson 64); Cox
Booked: Hyam, Moore, White
Subs not used: Bishop, Hutchinson, Kightly, McCoulsky

Referee: Lee Collins

Attendance: 18,062 (726 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Nov 102018
 

Match Report

FA Cup 1st Round

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Maidenhead United 0    4 Portsmouth

Pompey eased their way into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with a 4-0 victory over Maidenhead.

But the National League strugglers made the Blues work hard for their opening goal at York Road, with Ben Thompson finally netting just before the break.

It was less of a struggle in the second half, though, with Oli Hawkins, Jamal Lowe and David Wheeler all finding the target.

Kenny Jackett made a single change from the side that won at Bradford in the league the previous week.

Nathan Thompson – back from a one-match ban – replaced Anton Walkes at right-back, with the visitors clearly taking the game seriously.

Gareth Evans skippered the side on his 150th appearance for the club, while former Pompey striker Ryan Bird was among the Maidenhead substitutes.

Both captain’s laid a wreath on the pitch before kick-off and the teams wore poppies on their shirts, while a minute’s silence was held to commemorate Remembrance weekend.

When the action got underway, it was Pompey who dominated possession without being able to carve open many clear-cut chances.

Carl Pentney was being well protected, although the keeper comfortably claimed a Hawkins effort before punching clear under pressure from the same player.

The first noteworthy incident came on 18 minutes, when the tricky Ronan Curtis got free down the right and crossed for Hawkins, whose header was deflected behind.

And they should really have forged ahead midway through the first half, with Tom Naylor the guilty party.

He failed to connect with an ambitious over-head attempt, but when Evans’ shot was parried into his path moments later, the midfielder turned the ball against the crossbar from a few yards out.

Maidenhead then came close to scoring again soon after, with Ayo Obileye’s strike crashing against the post.

Remy Clerima was also causing problems with a series of long throws, while Nathan Thompson was unable to beat Pentney from a tight angle at the other end.

Pompey won a succession of corners as the half progressed and the heavens opened, although were being frustrated in their attempts to test Pentney.

But the deadlock was finally broken just before the interval, as Curtis whipped in a low cross and Ben THOMPSON fired home to open his account for the club.


Half Time

Maidenhead United 0

Portsmouth 1


The second half was slow to really click into gear, although it was still the Blues seeing most of the ball.

And they doubled their lead on 55 minutes, with Evans crossing from the right and HAWKINS sending a header looping over Pentney and into the net.

That gave the visitors a cushion, but their lead was even more comfortable when a third went in on the hour mark.

Ben Thompson sent a free-kick into the box and Jack Whatmough nodded the ball down for LOWE, who turned and sent a neat finish into the bottom corner.

Jackett decided the time was right to make a double change, with Lowe and Evans withdrawn for Brett Pitman and Wheeler.

Pompey’s play was more patient with such a commanding advantage, but they were still looking to get forward.

And when they were unable to find a path through the Magpies defence, Ben Thompson hit a long-range shot that was saved by Pentney.

The keeper also kept out a header from Pitman after he had been spotted in the box by Lee Brown.

Pompey’s captain also fired a shot narrowly over the bar after Nathan Thompson won the ball back when a fine passing move came to an end.

The same duo combined again moments later and this time Pentney was forced into a decent save low to his left to keep out Pitman’s sweet first time strike.

But it was WHEELER who wrapped things up on 83 minutes, stooping to head home after Brown’s free-kick had been superbly saved.

There was still time for Pitman to steer narrowly wide following a mad scramble in the box, but the visitors could be happy with their afternoon’s work.

Maidenhead (4-1-4-1): Pentney; Clerima, Kilgour, Massey (c), Steer; Obileye; Odametey, Comley (Owusu 54), Clifton (Bird 67), Upward (Akintunde 46); Kelly
Subs not used: Hamann, Mulley, Alves, Worsfold

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson (Burgess 85), Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe (Pitman 63), Evans (c) (Wheeler 63), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: B.Thompson 43, Hawkins 55, Lowe 60, Wheeler 83
Subs not used: McGee, Haunstrup, Close, Dennis

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 3,205 (710 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 292018
 

Match Report

League One

Rochdale 1    3 Portsmouth

Pompey fought from behind to beat Rochdale and return to the top of the League One table.

The hosts took an early lead in some style when Aaron Wilbraham struck a sensational shot from long-range.

But the Blues were impressive in the opening 45 minutes and Jamal Lowe deservedly ensured the scores would be level at the break.

It was not quite so strong after the interval, but Brett Pitman showed typical striking instincts to turn the game around on his 50th appearance for the club.

And Matt Clarke added a fine third goal to wrap the points up for the visitors in the closing stages of an enjoyable Spotland contest.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Wycombe on home soil the previous week.

Pitman returned to skipper the team, while there was also a start for Jack Whatmough at the back, with Oli Hawkins and Christian Burgess dropping to the bench.

Pompey got off to the worst possible start by falling behind in the fourth minute – not that they could have done much to prevent it.

It was a phenomenal effort from Wilbraham, who hit a stunning strike on the half-volley from almost 30 yards that left Craig MacGillivray with no chance.

But it was the Blues largely on top for the remainder of the half and an ambitious over-head effort from Gareth Evans flew past the post.

Nathan Thompson almost grabbed an unlikely leveller after collecting a pass from Pitman and firing a rocket against the crossbar.

Ollie Rathbone then had another long-range attempt for the hosts, although this one thankfully flew wide.

But Pompey were level on 25 minutes, thanks to a well-worked goal involving all three of the forward line.

Pitman collected the ball from Ronan Curtis, swivelled and sent in a low centre for LOWE to slide into the net.

He might have had another after being picked out by Pitman, but a poor first touch allowed Joe Rafferty to clear the danger.

The trio linked up well again when the skipper flicked on Lowe’s cross and Curtis met it with a deft touch, but Josh Lillis got down to his right to save.

Pompey were looking to attack at every opportunity and there were some nervy moments for the Dale back-line.

But Lillis was not being over-worked and made relatively comfortable stops to deny both Curtis and Lowe.

The keeper then came tearing from his line in stoppage-time to stop Lowe reaching Pitman’s threaded pass after Curtis had nipped in to steal possession from a Rochdale throw.


Half Time

Rochdale 1

Portsmouth 1


It was the hosts that were first to threaten after the restart, but when MacGillivray parried Andy Cannon’s effort, Rathbone skied the loose ball over.

There was certainly some of the excitement from the first half missing, however, with both sides guilty of some misplaced passes.

Ian Henderson curled a shot wide for Rochdale, while a well-placed Ben Close headed clear Cannon’s dangerous cross.

Then – after Lowe had been booked for a foul – Rathbone came close to sneaking the free-kick inside MacGillivray’s near post.

There was not too much happening at the other end of the pitch, although an Evans set-piece was glanced wide by Tom Naylor.

But the Blues took the lead on 71 minutes when a low ball from Lee Brown was deftly turned home by PITMAN at the near post.

A substitution soon followed, with Ben Thompson coming on for Evans to shore up the Blues midfield.

But it was not the end of Pompey’s attacking intent and they were able to extend their advantage on 81 minutes.

Rochdale failed to properly deal with a corner and CLARKE showed he is not just a class act at the back.

The defender brought the ball under control, beat his man and angled home a fierce strike that arrowed into the net.

David Wheeler and Hawkins were both introduced from the bench late on, as the visitors comfortably saw out the final few moments.

Rochdale (4-2-3-1): Lillis; Rafferty, McNulty, Delaney, Hart (Cannon 45); Camps (Clough 77), Perkins; J.Williams (Andrew 50), Rathbone, Henderson (c); Wilbraham
Goals: Wilbraham 4
Subs not used: Norman, Morley, MJ Williams, Gillam

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Close, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (B.Thompson 76), Curtis (Wheeler 89); Pitman (c) (Hawkins 90+2)
Goals: Lowe 25, Pitman 71, Clarke 81
Booked: Lowe
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 3,796 (966 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 152018
 

Match Report

League One

Peterborough
United
1    2 Portsmouth

Pompey climbed to the top of the League One table after goals from Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe saw off Peterborough.

Both sides were unbeaten going into the contest, but it was the Blues who emerged with that record still intact.

The goals arrived in the second half, with Ronan Curtis continuing his fine start to the campaign by providing a couple of assists.

He teed-up Hawkins for his first goal of the season and then helped Lowe extend the advantage further.

Matt Godden reduced the deficit in stoppage-time, but the visitors held on to secure another three-point haul.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Shrewsbury on home soil the previous week.

Curtis returned from Republic of Ireland international duty to replace the injured Andre Green wide on the left.

The other switch came in the centre of midfield, where Ben Thompson dropped to the bench to make way for Ben Close.

Both sets of fans – including more than 2,500 from the south coast – contributed to a vibrant atmosphere as the game began at a breathless pace.

It was a hectic end-to-end affair, although neither goalkeeper was given much to do in the opening 45 minutes.

An early Christian Burgess header was blocked, while Rhys Bennett hooked over at the other end after Jason Cummings had flicked on Colin Daniel’s delivery.

Hawkins then did well to get on the end of a teasing Lee Brown cross and head narrowly over the bar.

The Peterborough coaching team had found reason to berate the fourth official and referee Roger East gave Steve Evans a ticking off.

But even they did not seem to think anything was amiss when Siriki Dembele went down in the box and half-hearted penalty appeals emerged from the stands.

Posh keeper Aaron Chapman was called into action for the first time midway through the first half and comfortably dealt with a long-range Evans effort.

There was a better opportunity at the other end moments later, with Cummings wastefully firing over when the ball fell kindly to him in the box.

Craig MacGillivray then got down at his near post to keep out a low angled drive from Jason Naismith.

Pompey finished the half brightly, but were lacking a decent final pass and with no time added on, the sides went in level at the break.


Half Time

Peterborough United 0

Portsmouth 0


While the first half had started frantically, there was a more measured approach from both sides when the action restarted.

Evans saw a shot blocked from the edge of the area, while MacGillivray commandingly claimed a Dembele free-kick.

That was for a foul on Cummings by Nathan Thompson, a challenge that earned the right-back the game’s first yellow card.

There was a nervy moment when MacGillivray failed to hold a cross from Naismith, but he gratefully gathered at the second attempt.

And it was the visiting army of fans that were celebrating when the Blues broke the deadlock just past the hour mark.

HAWKINS has been in excellent form so far this season and he opened his goalscoring account by meeting Curtis’ cross and guiding home a header.

Pompey then appealed for a penalty when Lowe’s strike hit Ivan Toney on the arm, although it would have been difficult for the Posh substitute to get out of the way.

It mattered not, though, as the visitors did double the advantage just seconds later, with Curtis providing another assist.

He headed Hawkins’ cross back into the mixer and a first-time finish from LOWE nestled comfortably in the net.

There were a smattering of bookings late on as tempers began to fray, but the Blues were looking solid at the back.

Curtis took a knock and limped off towards the end, while seven minutes of added time gave the hosts hope of a comeback.

That grew when Godden took advantage of some sloppy defending to pull one back, but Pompey saw out the closing stages to climb above Peterborough and into top spot.

Peterborough (4-1-2-1-2): Chapman; Naismith, Bennett, Tafazolli, Daniel; Woodyard (c); Ward (Maddison 72), Dembele; O’Hara (Walker 66); Cummings (Toney 59), Godden
Goals: Godden 90+4
Booked: Daniel, Walker
Subs not used: Tyler, Yorwerth, Cooper, Reed

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Close (B.Thompson 86), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Haunstrup 90); Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 62, Lowe 75
Booked: N.Thompson, Hawkins, Close, Burgess
Subs not used: McGee, Rose, Wheeler, Pitman, Mason

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 10,472 (2,513 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Sep 012018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 3    0 Plymouth Argyle

Pompey’s excellent start to the season continued, as they eased to a comfortable victory over struggling Plymouth at Fratton Park.

They dominated for much of the contest and Ronan Curtis’ finish saw them deservedly lead at the break.

Jamal Lowe and Curtis then struck in quick succession after the interval to wrap up another enjoyable afternoon on the sunny south coast.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same starting 11 for a fourth game in succession, with new loan signing Andre Green having to be content with a place on the bench.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, as Stuart O’Keefe was selected in the Argyle midfield.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause for former Pompey forward Ron Newman, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

When the action got underway, it was the hosts who quickly gained the upper hand and started to dominate the contest.

Lowe dragged one shot wide, while the winger’s cross then had to be cleared behind before Gareth Evans could strike.

It was an impressive performance from Evans and his fierce 30-yard volley was just about tipped over by Matt Macey.

The keeper then had a nervy moment when he fumbled Lee Brown’s cross and narrowly prevented the ball from going behind for a corner.

Still the Blues dominated and when Oli Hawkins laid the ball off for Lowe, Macey had to get down to his right to save.

Plymouth thought they should have had a penalty on 21 minutes when Freddie Ladapo burst through on goal and collided with Craig MacGillivray.

The ball flew harmlessly wide and the visitors cried foul, but referee Tom Nield disagreed and waved play on.

Pompey rubbed salt into the wound by grabbing a deserved goal just seconds later, as CURTIS continued his fine personal form.

Evans sent a pass over the top for Lowe and although there was a heavy touch, he managed to squeeze the ball across for his fellow forward to slot home.

The advantage might have been doubled soon after when Evans laid the ball off for Hawkins, only for Macey to make a fine save.

It was Pompey who had been almost totally on top, but their opponents started to enjoy more of the ball as the interval approached.

Their best opportunity was a fierce drive from Jamie Ness – earlier booked for a crude challenge on Lowe – that MacGillivray pushed over the bar.

The hosts then received a blow when Hawkins went down off the ball and had to limp off, with Brett Pitman on to replace him.

And Pompey received a scare as MacGillivray came for a corner and missed, but Gary Sawyer failed to capitalise and fired over.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Plymouth Argyle 0


Jackett made his other two changes at the break, as the injured duo of Anton Walkes and Jack Whatmough made way for Nathan Thompson and Christian Burgess.

Plymouth also introduced Graham Carey and Ruben Lameiras to try to find a route back into the contest.

But the Blues started brighter and Lowe’s centre had to be cut out by Ryan Edwards before Pitman could strike.

Tom Naylor then had two cracks when a corner fell to him on the edge of the box and the second fizzed narrowly over.

But there would always be some nerves while the lead was so slender and Carey sent the ball against the outside of the post.

It was still the hosts on top, though, and Macey did well to keep out a deflected Lowe effort, while Burgess sent a header looping over.

But the Blues could breathe a sigh of relief when the lead was doubled on 63 minutes, as LOWE arrived at the back post to nod home Curtis’ cross.

And the points were safely in the bag just a few minutes later, thanks to a fine solo goal from the impressive CURTIS.

He bundled Sawyer off the ball with ease and despite looking to have run too far, managed to angle home a fierce shot.

The action calmed after that hectic period, with Pompey comfortably seeing out the closing stages in third gear.

And they were not really troubled by the Pilgrims before the whistle blew and the Fratton faithful could celebrate yet another victory

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes (N.Thompson 46), Whatmough (Burgess 46), Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 41)
Goals: Curtis 22, 69, Lowe 63
Booked: N.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Close, Wheeler, Green

Plymouth (4-1-4-1): Macey; Riley, Edwards, Sawyer (c), Smith-Brown; Songo’o (Lameiras 46); O’Keefe (Fox 70), Sarcevic, Ness, C.Grant (Carey 46); Ladapo
Booked: Ness
Subs not used: Letheren, Wootton, J.Grant, Taylor

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 18,872 (1,226 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 182018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 4    1 Oxford United

Pompey continued their 100 per cent start to the league season with a convincing victory over Oxford at Fratton Park.

They dominated the contest, but it looked like a frustrating afternoon might be in store when Gareth Evans saw his penalty saved.

The Blues were more clinical after the interval, however, and Evans redeemed himself, while a Rob Dickie own-goal and Jamal Lowe effort gave the scoreline a more realistic gloss.

United staged a late rally and twice the struck the woodwork before Jack Whatmough found his own net.

But the visitors – who are without a league point – were unable to stage an unlikely comeback and Lowe wrapped things up impressively in stoppage-time.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup on home soil earlier in the week.

Ben Thompson was handed an immediate debut in the centre of midfield, having finalised a loan switch from Millwall the previous day.

There were also starts for Craig MacGillivray, Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins.

Luke McGee, Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close, David Wheeler and Brett Pitman were the men to make way, with all of them dropping to the bench.

Pompey had not been overly convincing in their opening day home victory over Luton, but they completely controlled the first half against Oxford.

The contest was slow to get going, but it was the hosts who dominated in terms of both possession and chances.

Tony McMahon had to clear Tom Naylor’s header behind, while Curtis was unable to keep his effort down from a Lowe centre.

Hawkins was proving a constant nuisance, but could not find the target after Whatmough’s long clearance picked him out.

It was a lively display from Thompson in the centre of the pitch and he certainly endeared himself to the Fratton faithful with a crunching – yet fair – challenge on Marcus Browne.

And the host should have broken the deadlock when Hawkins stole possession from Jamie Hanson, only to then be scythed down by the Oxford midfielder.

Referee Lee Swabey immediately pointed to the spot, but Evans’ tame effort was comfortably dealt with Jonathan Mitchell.

The ball stayed in play, though, and when it was worked to Thompson outside the box, his drilled effort fizzed just past the post.

Pompey were totally on top and had another great opportunity, as Hawkins flicked on Thompson’s pass, but Naylor swiped at thin air from just a few yards out.

Evans had another chance after collecting the ball from Lowe, but could not force his shot through a sea of yellow-shirted bodies.

United were racking up the bookings, with Hanson, Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste all cautioned.

But there was a Fratton first when their coach Shaun Derry – formerly of the Blues – argued with the fourth official and – under new FA rules – was also shown a yellow card.

There was one more chance for the hosts just before the break, but Hawkins was unable to connect with Thompson’s low cross at the near post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey had not made the most of their dominance in the first half, but roared into the lead just after the interval.

Hawkins was unable to turn in Lowe’s delivery, but instead managed to lay the ball off for EVANS to steer home.

Naylor then clashed with Brannagan and both players required treatment, with the Blues midfielder returning to the pitch sporting a bandaged head.

It was still pretty much one-way traffic and the lead was deservedly doubled on 56 minutes – albeit in fortuitous circumstances.

Lowe caused more problems on the right and tried to pick out Evans in the box, only for DICKIE to get there first and turn the ball into his own net.

Oxford made a triple substitution just past the hour mark in a desperate attempt to find a route back into the contest.

Instead they found themselves further behind, as Pompey continued to torment their under-siege opponents.

A corner from Evans was helped on by Clarke and turned towards goal by Hawkins, with LOWE sticking out a boot to flick the ball past Mitchell.

The visitors finally came to life in the closing stages and Brannagan forced a decent save from MacGillivray.

Oxford then hit the post twice in quick succession, with James Henry and Jon Obika both denied in a lively conclusion.

Their hopes were raised when Whatmough inadvertently sliced McMahon’s cross into his own net, but that was as good as it got.

Instead it was Pompey who had the final say, as LOWE surged forward and curled home an exquisite finish to complete the rout.

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Evans (c), B.Thompson; Lowe, Hawkins, Curtis (Wheeler 80)
Goals: Evans 48, Dickie 56 (og), Lowe 65, 90+2
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Close, Chaplin, Pitman

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Mitchell; McMahon, Dickie, Nelson (c), Garbutt (Ruffels 61); Hanson, Brannagan; Mackie, Baptiste (Henry 61), Browne; Smith (Obika 61)
Goals: Whatmough 89 (og)
Booked: Brannagan, Hanson, Baptiste
Subs not used: Shearer, Norman, Mousinho, Whyte

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 18,093 (1,312 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 042018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 1    0 Luton Town

Jamal Lowe celebrated his miraculous recovery from injury with a goal that ensured Pompey began the new season with victory over Luton.

He slotted home in the first half to cap an enjoyable afternoon at a Fratton Park that was bathed in south coast sunshine.

But the Blues had to withstand some heavy pressure at times, with the Hatters twice hitting the woodwork in their quest for an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett handed debuts to four of his summer signings, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Ronan Curtis all starting.

But the big surprise when the teams were announced was the inclusion of Lowe, who was expected to miss out after injuring his ankle against Utrecht the previous week.

There was also a start for Brandon Haunstrup on the left of midfield, as Jackett opted to stick with the 4-4-2 system he had preferred towards the end of pre-season.

The visitors received an early scare as skipper Alan Sheehan crashed into the advertising hoardings and ended up in the Milton End moat.

It was nervy few moments as the crowd waited for the centre-back to emerge, but thankfully he was unscathed.

Luton – who were promoted from League Two last term – started the brighter side and when Sheehan’s delivery was flicked on by Harry Cornick, the ball flashed dangerously across the face of goal.

A moment of controversy followed as Curtis rose for a challenge and there were suggestions of an elbow being used as he crashed to the turf.

The Fratton faithful certainly appealed for a red card, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Gavin Ward decided to take no action.

Pompey’s fans did have cause to cheer on 16 minutes, however, as their side managed to break the deadlock.

It was LOWE who grabbed the first goal of the season, slotting in from inside the box after Curtis had done well to get to the byline and cut the ball back.

Most of the game’s clearest chances were still falling Luton’s way, though, and Nathan Thompson had to intervene when Jorge Grant tried to pick out James Collins in the box.

They then had two excellent opportunities to draw level within the space of a few minutes – and on both occasions some visiting fans thought they had.

First up was Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, whose low effort from the edge of the box could not quite creep into the bottom corner.

Then, after Brown had been booked for a foul on James Justin, Sheehan’s free-kick cannoned back off the upright.

But the closing stages of the half passed by relatively incident free, although former Fratton loanee Dan Potts did receive a booking for a foul on Lowe.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Luton Town 0


Brett Pitman did not emerge from the tunnel for the start of the second half, with Oli Hawkins taking his place up front and Naylor claiming the captain’s armband.

But it was fellow striker Curtis who forced Marek Stech into action with a curling shot on 50 minutes, although the flag had been raised for offside.

The Blues were looking a threat on the counter-attack and when Curtis surged towards goal, Alan McCormack decided to take one for the team.

Luton’s midfielder deliberately clipped the heels of his opponent and there was no surprise when he received a yellow card.

But the Hatters were looking dangerous themselves and when the hosts lost possession, Collins smashed a shot against the woodwork.

MacGillivray then came to the rescue just past the hour mark, doing well to deny Cornick from close range.

Pompey made their second change in between those chances, with Anton Walkes making way for Ben Close in the centre of the pitch.

Thompson’s shot flew off target, as the hosts tried to ease the pressure and injured himself in the process.

It forced Jackett into his final change of the afternoon, with Christian Burgess taking up an unfamiliar right-back role.

Fellow defender Jack Whatmough was looking assured and halted one Hatters attack with a couple of key tackles in quick succession.

There was also persistence from Naylor to win the ball back after losing possession, while MacGillivray did well to cut out Mpanzu’s low centre.

Nerves started to creep in as the seconds ticked down and only rose when Whatmough conceded a free-kick just outside the box.

It was Sheehan who stepped up to curl a shot around the wall, but MacGillivray dived to his right to push the ball clear.

Former Blues players Jake Jervis and Sonny Bradley both came on and were thrown up front for the closing stages, but Luton were unable to find a late leveller.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Thompson (Burgess 71), Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Lowe, Naylor, Walkes (Close 60), Haunstrup; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 46), Curtis
Goals: Lowe 16
Booked: Brown, Curtis
Subs not used: McGee, Donohue, Evans, Chaplin

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Stech; Justin (Bradley 90+1), Pearson, Sheehan (c), Potts; McCormack (Jervis 87); Mpanzu, Grant; Lee; Cornick (Shinnie 78), Collins
Booked: Potts, McCormack, Justin, Sheehan
Subs not used: Shea, Rea, Stacey, Gambin

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 19,018 (2,392 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 212018
 

Match Report

Friendly


Swindon Town 0    2 Portsmouth

Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe were on target as Pompey beat Swindon 2-0 in their latest pre-season fixture.

There were chances at both ends during an opening 45 minutes that occasionally burst into life amidst quiet spells.

But Hawkins headed home the opener following the restart and Lowe tucked in a second to secure victory for Kenny Jackett’s troops.

A healthy following made the journey up from the south coast and they were vocal in their support for former Fratton hero Matt Taylor, who was skippering the hosts.

Pompey were quickly out of the blocks and there were just 16 seconds on the clock when Ronan Curtis’ long-range effort dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

Chris Robertson soon made a key block after Lowe had latched on to a threaded pass from Conor Chaplin.

A corner then caused the Robins problems and when the ball fell to Lowe on the edge of the box, he dragged his shot wide.

But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Ellis Iandolo met Kyle Knoyle’s cross, only for Craig MacGillivray to get down to his left and make a fine save.

The intensity of the game slowed after that bright opening, although Pompey were still looking dangerous from corners.

Lee Brown sent some dangerous deliveries into the box, which both Hawkins and Matt Clarke failed to capitalise on.

Chaplin attempted a more ambitious effort midway through the first half, with an acrobatic over-head volley that flew past the post.

It was Swindon who finished the half on top, however, and Steven Alzate curled narrowly wide, while Iandolo was inches away from meeting a cross from the evergreen Taylor.


Half Time

Swindon Town 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey made a change at the start of the second half, as Anton Walkes made way for Danny Rose in the centre of midfield.

It was their opponents who first to threaten following the restart, however, as Alzate’s drive was deflected wide.

Then, at the other end, Hawkins rose at the far post to meet a Curtis cross and the ball flew into the side netting.

And when Lowe was fouled on the right, Elijah Adebayo had to nod clear Brown’s free-kick before Clarke could pounce.

But the deadlock was finally broken just before the hour mark, as HAWKINS converted Lowe’s cross with a thumping header.

Swindon tried to get back on level terms, with Tom Naylor – wearing the captain’s armband – and Rose both making brave blocks.

Clarke then had to clear from the line when Dion Conroy juggled the ball and hooked it inventively towards the net.

Swindon were looking the more adventurous side by this point, but it was certainly not all one-way traffic and Hawkins glanced Chaplin’s centre narrowly wide.

The action soon switched back up the other end of the pitch and Adebayo’s hit a fierce strike that fizzed past the upright.

But victory was secured on 72 minutes after a low drive from Curtis was deflected into Chaplin’s path.

He sent the ball across the face of goal and LOWE was there to bundle home and double the Blues’ lead.

Swindon made a triple substitution late on, with former Pompey players James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga both entering the fray.

They were unable to help the hosts mount a comeback, however, as the closing stages passed by without much incident.

Swindon (4-1-4-1): Vigouroux; Knoyle, Robertson, Conroy (Romanski 66), Taylor (c); Smith (McCourt 81); McGlashan (Edwards 88), Alzate (Diagouraga 81), Iandolo (Dunne 81), Anderson; Adebayo
Subs not used: McCormick, Young, Twine, Pryce, Henry

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c), Walkes (Rose 46); Lowe, Chaplin, Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 58, Lowe 72
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup, May, Evans, Dennis, Smith, Pitman

Referee: Dean Whitestone


Portsmouth FC

Jul 022018
 

Match Report

Friendly


Cork City 1    4 Portsmouth

Pompey got their pre-season campaign off to a winning start with a 4-1 victory over Irish top-flight champions Cork at Turner’s Cross.

Christian Burgess and Jamal Lowe got the ball rolling with a goal each during a dominant opening 45 minutes for the English team.

Josh O’Hanlon reduced the deficit after the break, but Conor Chaplin showed he had lost none of his attacking instincts by adding a brace.

Kenny Jackett fielded a completely different team in each half and there was a first glimpse of all five of his summer signings.

Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Ronan Curtis all started, with Louis Dennis playing in the second period.

Pompey looked the far superior team in the first half, although the hosts – in the middle of their title defence – made plenty of changes.

Brett Pitman had an early sighter saved low down by City keeper Peter Cherrie, while Naylor headed a corner clear at the other end.

A couple more half-chances followed for each side, with Brown dragging wide for the visitors before O’Hanlon sent a shot dipping narrowly over.

The few hundred travelling fans were in fine voice and would have enjoyed seeing Danny Rose – back from a long injury layoff – go into a crunching challenge as if he had never been away.

Pompey soon began to dominate and Curtis saw a header blocked after meeting a Gareth Evans corner.

The deadlock was broken just seconds later, however, when another Evans set-piece was firmly headed home by BURGESS.

Curtis then got free down the left and cut the ball back for Pitman, who hit a rocket of a shot that cannoned back off the underside of the crossbar.

And the lead was doubled just seconds later, as the skipper lofted a ball over the Cork defence and LOWE ran on to it before prodding into the net.

Pitman was looking a real threat and volleyed wide from Brown’s delivery, then failed to find the target at the back post after being picked out by Lowe.

Pompey were pouring forward at every opportunity and Curtis was denied by Cherrie, while Lowe had an effort deflected wide just before the break.


Half Time

Cork City 0

Portsmouth 2


Whatmough wore the armband for the second half, leading a more youthful side that included academy duo Freddie Read and Joe Dandy, as well as first year pros Matt Casey and Dan Smith.

And the visitors saw their lead halved when John Kavanagh squared for O’Hanlon, who managed to force a shot under Luke McGee’s body.

But the two-goal advantage was restored soon after, as CHAPLIN stole possession and found Oli Hawkins, before receiving the ball back and lashing home.

It was certainly a more balanced contest since the interval and both sides looked capable of adding to the scoring.

A spell of pressure from the hosts led to a Blues breakaway and Smith seeing a shot deflected on to the roof of the net.

Read then had an attempt from long-range and the ball flew narrowly off target as the visitors looked to wrap things up.

And that is exactly what happened on 76 minutes, when CHAPLIN made space for himself 25 yards out and fired home a fine effort that left Cherrie rooted to the spot.

The closing stages passed by without too much incident, although it was certainly a positive workout for the Blues on their return to match action.

Cork (4-4-2): Cherrie (Harrington 82); Kane, McCarthy (Kennedy 46), Delaney (Murphy 61), Barry; Kavanagh (Dunleavy 68), Phillips, Buckley (c) (Byrne 68), Daly-Butz (O’Sullivan 82); Beattie (Campion 46), O’Hanlon (Hurley 68)
Goals: O’Hanlon 53

Pompey: (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray (McGee 46); Thompson (Dandy 46), Burgess (Casey 46), Clarke (Whatmough 46), Brown (Haunstrup 46); Naylor (May 46), Rose (Read 46); Evans (Smith 46), Lowe (Chaplin 46), Curtis (Dennis 46); Pitman (c) (Hawkins 46)
Goals: Burgess 22, Lowe 28, Chaplin 58, 76

Referee: Graham Kelly

Attendance: 965


Portsmouth FC

Apr 022018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Wigan Athletic    1

 


Pompey’s fine run of form continued with a convincing victory over title-chasing Wigan at Fratton Park.

It was the second home game in succession that the Blues impressed in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

Brett Pitman maintained his own prolific run with a penalty before the break, while Jamal Lowe doubled the advantage on a damp Easter Monday.

Will Grigg came off the bench to pull once back for the Latics late on, but Pompey held on to maintain their play-off hopes.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Walsall just a couple of days earlier.

With Dion Donohue’s partner about to give birth, he was replaced at left-back by Brandon Haunstrup.

It was a first return to Fratton Park for title-winning manager Paul Cook and his assistant Leam Richardson.

But Gary Roberts had to be content with a place on the bench against his former club, while Noel Hunt was in the press box on radio punditry duties.

It was the hosts who had the first chance when Gareth Evans delivered a low cross that Chey Dunkley just about got to before Pitman.

But the Latics – as expected – controlled possession and a few niggly challenges from Pompey ensured the contest became a scrappy affair.

Max Power saw a shot deflected narrowly past the post after possession had been stolen, as Wigan looked to make the pressure count.

It was certainly not one-way traffic, though, and when the atmosphere started to go up a few notches, the players responded.

Pitman managed to send a dangerous low cross into the box from the right and Lowe slid in at the near post, but could not quite make a connection.

Both sides earned a yellow card midway through the first half, with Callum Elder cautioned for a foul on Lowe and Nathan Thompson booked for upending Nick Powell.

Michael Jacobs thought he should have been awarded a penalty on 28 minutes after going down under pressure from Thompson, only to see his appeals waved away by Tim Robinson.

The referee – after being alerted by the fourth official – then had to go over to speak to Cook about his protestations, with the Latics boss given a stern ticking off.

Powell sent a free-kick into the wall, while James Vaughan dragged a shot wide following good work by Max Power.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 40 minutes after Dan Burn had clumsily brought down Ben Close in the box.

PITMAN stepped up to take the penalty, sending Christian Walton the wrong way as he buried the ball into the bottom left corner.

He almost had another before the break when Elder made a hash out of clearing, but Walton came to the defender’s rescue.

There was still time for Wigan to have a chance to level, though, and it took a fine diving header from Jack Whatmough to stop Powell meeting Nathan Byrne’s cross.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Wigan Athletic 0


It was a fairly quiet start to the second half, with Powell hitting another free-kick into the wall, while Kal Naismith’s long-range effort was comfortably dealt with at the other end.

But LOWE certainly got Fratton Park rocking again on 55 minutes when he doubled Pompey’s advantage.

The forward collected a low cross from Thompson, turned sharply and sent the ball past Walton’s grasp and into the bottom corner.

That was the cue for the heavens to open, although it failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd – even if some in the front row did make a dash for shelter.

Wigan had an opportunity when a free-kick was only partially cleared, but Sam Morsy hit the loose ball high into the Fratton End.

Cook made a double switch as he tried to find a route back into the game, with the dangerous Grigg joining Ryan Colclough on the pitch.

But it was Powell who almost reduced the deficit on 69 minutes, only for Luke McGee to brilliantly divert the ball against the crossbar.

There were a few nerves creeping in – on and off the pitch – and the game descended into a scrappy affair once more, with cheap fouls conceded by both sides.

McGee was still looking assured, though, and made a super stop to keep out Grigg’s cleanly-struck volley from a Jacobs centre.

Roberts was brought on as Cook made one last throw of the dice, with the midfielder given warm applause by the Fratton faithful.

Pompey were beginning to tire, but failed to let their efforts falter, with a host of brave challenges and strong headers.

It looked like they would comfortably see the game out, but the nerves returned when Grigg nodded home a Roberts cross.

The Blues saw out five minutes of stoppage-time, however, to secure a memorable victory and spoil Cook’s south coast return.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; Walkes; Lowe, Evans, Close, Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 40 (pen), Lowe 55
Booked: Thompson, Walkes, Naismith
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, O’Keefe, Ronan, Kennedy, Chaplin, Hawkins

Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder; Power, Morsy (c); Massey (Grigg 66), Powell, Jacobs (Roberts 81); Vaughan (Colclough 66)
Goals: Grigg 89
Booked: Elder, Walton
Subs not used: Jones, Bruce, Perkins, Walker

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 17,842 (461 away fans)


Portsmouth FC