Transfer : Portsmouth – Leyton Orient
Transfer : Portsmouth – Leyton Orient
|Louis Dennis has joined League Two side Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old forward made eight appearances for Pompey after signing from Bromley last summer.
Most of his appearances came in the EFL Trophy, with his only Blues goal arriving in a last 16 tie at Southend.
Dennis’ impressive performance in that game saw him collect the competition’s Player of the Round award.
He also featured in a league loss at Oxford and both of the FA Cup ties against Queens Park Rangers.
Leyton Orient secured the National League title last season to return to the EFL following a two-year absence.
Everyone at Pompey would like to thank Louis for his contribution to the club and we wish him well for the future.
Conor Chaplin bagged a brace as Pompey got their promotion challenge back on track by beating Leyton Orient.
It was a display of almost total dominance by the Blues and the margin of victory probably should have been greater.
Chaplin saw a penalty saved, but quickly put that out of his mind to open the scoring, only for Gavin Massey to grab an impressive leveller.
There was to be no shock outcome, however, as Chaplin grabbed his second of the afternoon – and seventh of the season – early in the second half.
Paul Cook made one change from the side that were beaten at table-topping Doncaster nine days earlier.
That saw Chaplin replace Kyle Bennett, as the hosts switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with former Blues Alex Cisak, Nigel Atangana and Paul McCallum all selected.
Both sets of fans held a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Orient defender Paul Went, as well as ex-England boss Graham Taylor.
On the pitch it was a totally dominant first half display from the hosts, who set about attacking their struggling opponents straight from kick-off.
Chaplin could not quite get a touch to Kal Naismith’s clever free-kick after nipping in between a couple of defenders.
Tom Parkes then made a mess of trying to clear Carl Baker’s cross and Cisak had to intervene to stop the ball dipping under the crossbar.
Naismith soon played a neat one-two with Michael Smith and burst into the box, only to then fire over the top.
The hosts had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 22 minutes when Sammy Moore tripped Enda Stevens just inside the box.
Referee Brett Hutxtable pointed to the spot, but Cisak guessed the right way to palm Chaplin’s shot wide – the fifth penalty that Pompey have missed this season.
It was only a brief respite for the beleaguered visitors, however, as CHAPLIN made amends just seconds later by arriving at the far post to turn home Baker’s low cross.
The Blues immediately set about trying to add to their lead and Baker sent an effort curling narrowly past the post.
And Smith was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet when he met Naismith’s corner, only to see his header cleared from the line by Parkes.
David Forde might as well have been sat in the Fratton End such was Pompey’s dominance in the early stages.
But his first involvement was to pick the ball out of the net, as Orient levelled with their maiden chance on 38 minutes.
Not that the keeper could have done much to stop a stunning strike from Massey that flew into the top corner.
And the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch, with Stevens’ cut-back going behind three of his waiting team-mates in the box.
There was still time for one more chance in stoppage-time, with Teddy Mezague making a brilliant block to deny Baker before Naismith drove the loose ball wide.
Leyton Orient 1
There was a surprise switch at the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe introduced in place of Gareth Evans – who had picked up an injury before the break – to make his Blues debut.
That saw Baker drop to right-back, but it did not stop his attacking intent as he soon provided the assist for a second Pompey goal.
It was a fine cross in from the right and CHAPLIN showed his usual poaching instincts to arrive and head the hosts back into the lead.
There might have been another soon after when Cisak fumbled Stevens’ low cross, but the keeper grabbed the loose ball before Smith could pounce.
Orient were unsurprisingly showing more ambition than prior to the interval, but it was still the Blues controlling possession as the half progressed.
Naismith, in particular, was looking full of confidence, showcasing some silky skills to jink his way past challenges.
But there was almost a disaster for Pompey on 66 minutes when Christian Burgess did not spot Forde coming to collect the ball and headed narrowly past his own post.
It was soon back to normal, though, and only a slight deflection prevented Smith from turning in Naismith’s free-kick.
Amine Linganzi replaced the Scottish winger on 76 minutes, as Cook looked to inject more steel into the midfield.
But that did not mean the Blues were looking to sit on their lead and a sliding Smith was agonisingly close to reaching Chaplin’s centre.
Stevens then surged into the box from wide on the left and sent a powerful effort fizzing past the post.
Chaplin received a standing ovation as he left the pitch to be replaced by Bennett for the closing stages.
And it was a deserved reception for the diminutive striker, as Pompey saw out the final few minutes to secure a valuable victory.
Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans (Lowe 46), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker, Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith (Linganzi 76); Smith, Chaplin (Bennett 87)
Goals: Chaplin 23
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Roberts, Hunt
Leyton Orient (5-1-2-1-1): Cisak; Judd, Hunt (c), Mezague, Parkes, Semedo (Palmer 89); Moore (Bowery 69); Atangana, Collins; Massey; McCallum
Goals: Massey 38
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Kennedy, Nnomo, Koroma
Referee: Brett Huxtable
Attendance: 16,564 (607 away fans)
Christian Burgess found the target as Pompey returned to winning ways at Leyton Orient.
The Blues recovered from successive league defeats to claim all three points in an absorbing contest in the capital.
They had to wait until after the interval to grab the game’s only goal, though, with Burgess heading home from a corner.
Paul Cook made two changes from the side that were beaten by Doncaster the previous week.
Amine Linganzi was handed a first league start in the centre of midfield, while Kyle Bennett came in wide on the left.
Former Pompey loanees Alex Cisak and Paul McCallum both featured for the hosts, but Nigel Atangana had not fully recovered from a groin problem.
The first half was a goalless – but entertaining – affair, with both sides creating chances and the officials at the source of some controversial moments.
It was a quick start from the hosts, who had a corner hacked clear before David Forde denied McCallum with his legs.
Conor Chaplin then thought he had broken the deadlock with a neat sweeping finish from Enda Stevens’ cross, only for the linesman’s flag to cut his celebrations short.
Orient were soon forced into an early change after Liam Kelly had to be stretchered off, although it took almost four minutes for Sandro Semedo to get ready to replace him.
The first of three penalty appeals was made by the Blues on eight minutes, but referee Christopher Sarginson did not believe Gareth Evans’ cross had been turned behind by a hand.
An unmarked Linganzi should have broken the deadlock seconds later, heading Gary Roberts’ corner wide from a few yards out.
Then it was the Londoners’ turn to cry ‘penalty’ when Callum Kennedy’s free-kick appeared to be handled by Burgess.
Pompey’s defender then bundled over Yvan Erichot for good measure, but Sarginson again shook his head.
The visitors were causing problems with their constant pressing and when Chaplin forced a mistake from Cisak, the keeper recovered well to deny his opponent.
Bennett was proving a nuisance with his probing runs and one ended with a shot that was inadvertently diverted behind by Chaplin.
And it was Bennett who had the third penalty shout on 29 minutes. He neatly side-stepped Gavin Massey and looked to be tripped, but Sarginson disagreed once more and, adding insult to injury, also booked the winger.
He narrowly failed to find the target with a shot from the edge of the box soon after, while Chaplin’s fierce volley also went inches wide before the break.
Leyton Orient 0
There was a great Blues opening just after the restart when Stevens delivered a delightful low cross into the box.
It looked like the ball would land perfectly for Chaplin to convert, only for the striker to slip at the worst possible moment.
But the visitors were then caught in possession at the back, with Forde just about leaping high enough to stop Alan Dunne from chipping him.
It was a defender who finally opened the scoring for Pompey on 57 minutes, however.
Roberts did well to win a corner on the left side and when Carl Baker whipped the ball into the box, BURGESS rose highest to head home.
Cook made a double switch soon after, with Linganzi and Chaplin making way for Danny Rose and Curtis Main.
There was still work to be done at the other end, though, and a dangerous Kennedy free-kick had to be scrambled to safety.
But Leyton Orient were leaving gaps at the back for Pompey to exploit, although the visitors were just lacking a final killer ball in their attempts to double the lead.
Roberts had an effort deflected wide following some good link-up play with Bennett, while a couple of fine Baker crosses could not quite be converted.
The hosts were looking increasingly ragged at the back, with the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring.
And they were almost gifted a second goal on 81 minutes when Nicky Hunt headed Baker’s cross against his own post.
But Orient were certainly not out of the contest and a corner led to two shots in quick succession, both of which were blocked.
That was as close as the Londoners came to snatching a share of the spoils, however, as Pompey’s travelling army were able to celebrate a win on the road.
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Cisak; Hunt, Erichot, Parkes, Kennedy; Janse, Kelly (c) (Semedo 9), Massey, Nnomo (Palmer 82); McCallum (Dunne 46), Simpson
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Benedicic, Bowery
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi (Rose 67), Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Bennett (Lalkovic 82); Chaplin (Main 67)
Goals: Burgess 57
Booked: Bennett, Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Lalkovic, Smith
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 6,078 (1,328 Pompey fans)
Leyton Orient leapfrogged their opponents in the table after limiting the hosts to few clear-cut chances.
Marc McNulty had the best of them before the break, but it was the Londoners who looked more likely to add to the scoring.
Paul Cook made four changes from the side that drew at Morecambe during the week.
Kieron Freeman was brought in for his debut at right-back, while Christian Burgess, Gary Roberts and Kyle Bennett all returned to the starting line-up.
Adam Webster – who was carrying a slight hamstring strain – dropped to the bench, along with Ben Davies and Gareth Evans, while Kal Naismith missed out completely.
Former Pompey loanee Alex Cisak started between the sticks for the visitors, but there was no place in their side for Nigel Atangana.
The Blues came roaring out of the blocks and McNulty drew a save from Cisak in the opening few seconds.
Then, at the other end of the pitch, Sammy Moore’s delivery from the right was deflected onto the roof of the net.
Those incidents did not foreshadow a half of scintillating football, however, with the game soon turning into a drab affair.
The crowd did their best to lift the mood at a blustery Fratton Park, but chances were thin on the ground.
Pompey did spark into life around the half-hour mark when Cisak came charging off his line to deny McNulty following good work from Bennett.
Freeman was then not quite able to pick out Roberts with a raking pass in a move that began with a lovely bit of trickery by Ben Close.
Ryan Fulton had not been troubled in Pompey’s goal, but Orient did carve out a couple of chances before the break.
McAnuff was the creator for both, with his crosses headed into the side netting by Mathieu Baudry and narrowly wide by Moore.
Leyton Orient 0
Pompey had an opportunity just after the restart when the rampaging Freeman was felled wide on the right.
He took the free-kick quickly and Roberts’ cut-back was intercepted, with Freeman hitting the loose ball wide.
But Orient wasted an excellent chance to break the deadlock moments later – and it was their manager who was left hanging his head.
Burgess made a great block to deny Jack Payne, but the ball sat up nicely for Kevin Nolan, who somehow managed to hit the bar from a few yards out.
His blushes were spared on 53 minutes, however, thanks to a stunning strike from McAnuff.
Jay Simpson’s path to goal was blocked and the ball sat up for the winger, who fired home an unstoppable first time shot from 25 yards.
Cook made his first change on the hour mark, with home debutant Michael Smith making way for Evans and Pompey reverting to their usual 4-2-3-1 system.
They soon had an opening when Bennett’s free-kick from the left made its way through a crowded box without anyone managing to get a touch.
But it was Orient who almost doubled their lead on 66 minutes, with Simpson hooking over from close range after Fulton had kept out Nolan’s header.
Simpson went close again moments later when he met McAnuff’s cross with a diving header that flew straight at Fulton.
Pompey soon made a double change to try to inject some attacking impetus, with Conor Chaplin and Adam McGurk on for Bennett and McNulty.
Referee Graham Salisbury booked Cisak for time-wasting as the visitors looked to see out the closing stages.
Pompey were desperately trying to get the ball into the box and Chaplin’s header was deflected wide from Roberts’ corner.
But it was Orient who almost scored near the end when Armand Gnanduillet met a cross at the far post and volleyed against the woodwork.
And McGurk and Michael Doyle were both denied by brave Nicky Hunt blocks deep into stoppage-time as the visitors held on to secure all three points.
Pompey (4-4-2): Fulton; Freeman, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Roberts, Close, Doyle (c), Bennett (Chaplin 73); McNulty (McGurk 73), Smith (Evans 60)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Webster, Barton
Leyton Orient (4-1-4-1): Cisak; Hunt, Baudry (c), Brisley, Shaw; Payne; McAnuff, Moore (Clohessy 73), Nolan (Pritchard 70), Jahraldo-Martin; Simpson (Gnanduillet 80)
Goals: McAnuff 53
Subs not used: Sargeant, Essam, Binnom-Williams, Palmer
Referee: Graham Salisbury
Attendance: 15,643 (1,031 away fans)
Transfer : Portsmouth – Leyton Orient
|Nigel Atangana has joined Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee.
Orient, Crawley and Ebbsfleet were among a number of clubs trailing the out-of-favour midfielder..
The 26-year-old had already been told by Paul Cook there will be no new deal when his existing contract expires at the season’s end – now he has bid farewell to Fratton Park.
The Frenchman’s last appearance was as a substitute at Carlisle in November and since has seen Danny Hollands, Ben Close and Adam Barton preferred as one of the two holding midfielders.
With Paul Cook keen to reduce his sizeable squad this month, Atangana had been a prime candidate to depart, alongside Matt Tubbs.
He started the first eight league matches of the Cook era before falling away from the side.
Atangana joined Pompey from the Hawks for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2014, going on to make 48 appearances and score once.
They took an early lead through Connor Essam’s own-goal, but the tide turned when Adam Webster was sent off and Jay Simpson scored the resulting penalty.
Ollie Palmer then added two more for the hosts, who had skipper Mathieu Baudry dismissed in between.
Gareth Evans reduced the deficit to spark hopes of a comeback, but the Blues were unable to find a late leveller.
Paul Cook stuck with the same side that won at Northampton before Christmas.
Michael Doyle was fit enough to feature after injuring his ankle, while Gary Roberts returned from more than two months on the sidelines to take his place among the substitutes.
The hosts selected former Fratton loanees Alex Cisak and Cole Kpekawa in their line-up, with John Marquis on the bench.
Pompey made a storming start and Caolan Lavery’s persistence almost paid off in the opening seconds as he tried to chase down Cisak’s clearance.
But the Blues did break the deadlock on four minutes when Evans failed to get a decent connection on Kyle Bennett’s cross and the ball ricocheted off Essam and into the net.
They almost doubled their advantage soon after, but Cisak made a fine double save to first keep out Bennett’s fierce drive and then Lavery’s diving header.
Lavery was unable to make contact with the resulting corner and Webster headed wide, as the visitors continued to dominate.
But all their good work was undone midway through the first half when Webster was sent off.
The defender failed to control Danny Hollands’ heavy back-pass and then bundled over Jobi McAnuff inside the box.
Referee Graham Horwood immediately pointed to the spot and brandished a red card, while League Two top scorer Simpson stepped up to convert the penalty.
With no recognised defender on the bench, Adam Barton was brought on to partner Matt Clarke at the back, with Marc McNulty the man to make way.
The dismissal also impacted on Pompey’s ability to play their normal pressing, passing game and they were under the cosh for the rest of the half.
Brian Murphy prevented them from falling immediately behind when he dived to his left to palm away McAnuff’s strike.
Palmer then spun neatly and cut inside from the right before hitting a tame effort straight into the keeper’s arms.
And the Blues also survived late in the half when a Kpekawa free-kick led to the ball pinging around their area.
But they did fall behind deep into stoppage-time, with Palmer finding it far too easy to convert a hopeful cross from Kpekawa.
Leyton Orient 2
Pompey appeared destined for defeat at the break, but there was a spark of hope when Leyton Orient were also reduced to 10 men early in the second half.
Baudry did not react well to a challenge on him by Doyle, lashing out at the Blues skipper and then receiving his marching orders.
The visiting fans were not celebrating for too long, however, as from Sean Clohessy’s free-kick, Palmer arrived at the far post to head into the bottom corner.
Pompey were not too far away from reducing the deficit on 55 minutes, with Barton’s cross agonisingly out of reach for Hollands.
Evans then met Ben Davies’ corner and the ball was heading for the top corner until Cisak got across to pluck it from the air.
The hosts had an opportunity on 66 minutes when Simpson cut inside from the right, but his weak effort was comfortably claimed by Murphy.
And the Blues then went straight up the other end of the pitch to reduce their deficit.
Bennett was the architect, turning Jack Payne and then playing a magnificent pass through to EVANS, who calmly slotted the ball past Cisak.
It almost got even better moments later, as the visitors were denied three times in the space of a few seconds.
First Jean-Yves M’Voto did well to prevent Lavery from getting a shot away and then Enda Stevens flashed a dangerous pass across goal that just evaded Bennett.
Davies picked up the loose ball on the right and hit a powerful angled drive that Cisak managed to push clear.
Cisak was again involved on 72 minutes, doing enough to deny Lavery from close-range before Evans volleyed narrowly over.
The keeper then just about beat Clarke to Davies’ corner as Pompey kept knocking on the door in search of another goal.
Roberts and Conor Chaplin were thrown on for the closing stages as Cook made one last roll of the dice.
But it was the hosts who almost scored late on when Marquis latched onto a poor back-pass from Stevens.
The Orient substitute could only find the post with his first effort, however, while Stevens recovered to clear his follow-up attempt from the line.
Pompey’s left-back then sent in a low cross that was met by Evans, but Cisak made a fine save as the Londoners saw out seven minutes of stoppage-time to claim all three points.
Leyton Orient (4-4-2): Cisak; Baudry (c), M’Voto, Essam, Kpekawa; Clohessy, Pritchard, Payne, McAnuff (Turgott 88); Palmer (Marquis 82), Simpson (Shaw 72)
Goals: Simpson 23 (pen), Palmer 45+1, 52
Sent off: Baudry
Booked: Essam, Palmer, Pritchard, Shaw
Subs not used: Grainger, Dunne, Kashket, Moncur
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Hollands (Roberts 87), Doyle (c); Evans, McNulty (Barton 24), Bennett (Chaplin 87); Lavery
Goals: Essam 4 (og), Evans 66
Sent off: Webster
Subs not used: Bass, Close, Tollitt, McGurk
Referee: Graham Horwood
Attendance: 5,848 (1,316 Pompey fans)