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.
Brett Pitman hit a hat-trick, while there were braces from Louis Dennis and Ronan Curtis, with Jamal Lowe, Gareth Evans, Joe Hancott and Ben Close also scoring against the top-flight Irish club.
Following almost two weeks of training at bases in Portsmouth and Dublin, the Blues returned to match action with less than a month until the start of the new League One campaign.
Pompey – with summer recruits James Bolton, Paul Downing, Sean Raggett, Ross McCrorie and Ellis Harrison all starting – looked bright from the off and opened their account after just 10 minutes.
Dennis looked electric in the opening half and he crossed from the right, with CURTIS doing just enough to force his header home.
And the lead was soon doubled following more good work from Dennis, who delivered from the opposite flank, leaving LOWE with plenty of time to slot past Conor Kearns.
The visitors almost added a third just seconds later, but Lowe’s effort was saved and the ball ricocheted against the bar.
That would be Kearns’ final contribution, with the keeper taken off injured and replaced between the sticks by Tom Murphy.
The lead was increased midway through the half, however, as DENNIS latched on to Lee Brown’s quickly taken free-kick and bent a shot around the new stopper.
CURTIS then got his second of the evening on 39 minutes when Harrison’s cross evaded its intended target of Dennis.
Instead it fell for the Republic of Ireland international, who chested the ball down and emphatically found the net.
There was an almost instant fifth goal, as DENNIS rounded off an impressive first half display by receiving Harrison’s pass, spinning past the last defender and coolly finishing.
Jackett changed his entire team at the break, but that did not stop the goals from flowing in the second half.
EVANS became the fourth different scorer of the contest, with a blocked pass bouncing back to him and a powerful shot striking the underside of the crossbar before finding the net.
PITMAN then got his first on the hour mark, capitalising on some slack defending to take a touch and find the target from close range.
He might have earlier scored in more acrobatic fashion, but a scorpion-style attempt narrowly cleared the bar.
Murphy was being continually called into action, getting down low to save first from Anton Walkes and then deny Evans at the near post.
But an eighth goal did arrive, with PITMAN picking the defence’s pocket following an Evans cross to double his personal tally.
Teenage full-back HANCOTT – playing a more advanced role – was next to score, being quickest to react when Pitman was denied by Murphy.
The travelling Blues fans wanted 10 and skipper PITMAN duly obliged by completing a 20-minute treble.
Aaron McGrath took too much time over clearing the ball, allowing the striker to steal possession and bend it around Murphy.
The scoring was finally complete six minutes from the end, with UCD unable to clear under pressure and CLOSE emphatically finishing.
Pompey’s run of friendlies continues at Westleigh Park on Saturday when they take on neighbours Havant & Waterlooville (3pm kick-off).
UCD: Kearns; Tobin, Farrell, McEvoy, McClelland; Doyle (c), Keaney; O’Farrell, Kinsella-Bishop; Dignam; Mahdy
Subs: Murphy, Griffin, Mullen, Akinsete, Daly, Ring, Ryan, Boore, Keane, Smith, McGrath
Pompey: MacGillivray (Bass 46); Bolton (Walkes 46), Downing (Burgess 46), Raggett (Casey 46), Brown (Haunstrup 46); Naylor (c) (Morris 46), McCrorie (Close 46); Lowe (Evans 46), Dennis (Cannon 46), Curtis (Hancott 46); Harrison (Pitman 46)
Goals: Curtis 10, 39, Lowe 16, Dennis 24, 41, Evans 49, Pitman 60, 76, 80, Hancott 78, Close 84
Referee: David Dunne
They went ahead through Louis Dennis almost immediately from kick-off and never looked like relinquishing that lead.
Gareth Evans then wrapped things up on the stroke of half-time before a turgid second period that did little to excite the small Essex crowd.
Kenny Jackett made 10 changes from the side that secured a dramatic FA Cup victory at Norwich at the weekend.
Evans – who wore the captain’s armband – was the only man to keep his place, although substitute goalscorer Andre Green also featured.
Dan Smith was handed a debut at right-back, with fellow teenagers Matt Casey and Bradley Lethbridge also given an opportunity to impress.
Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup and David Wheeler added first team experience to a young side, with Dennis, Adam May and Alex Bass making up the starting 11.
The hosts – by contrast – were fielding a much more experienced side and yet found themselves behind with just 93 seconds on the clock.
Wheeler played the ball to Smith on the right and his smart delivery into the box was nodded into the net by DENNIS to open his Blues account.
Pompey looked the more dominant outfit throughout the first half and a free-kick from Evans was unconvincingly punched behind by Ted Smith.
May screwed a shot wide of the post after being teed-up by Lethbridge, who then fired a fierce effort narrowly over the bar.
It looked like the lead would be doubled on 28 minutes when Wheeler raced on to Green’s threaded pass, but the winger slotted inches past the post.
Southend had done little to threaten the visitors’ goal, although a short free-kick routine almost saw them level.
The ball was played to former Fratton triallist Theo Robinson and his low delivery somehow evaded both Harry Bunn and Taylor Moore as they slid in at the far post.
Pompey immediately went up the other end to create an opening of their own, as Burgess met an Evans corner and saw his header cleared from the line by a well-placed Robinson.
But they did score again in stoppage-time when Dennis showed neat footwork to tee-up EVANS, who lashed the ball past a helpless Smith.
Southend Uited 0
Jackett made a change at the start of the second half, with academy midfielder Freddie Read replacing Green.
And Evans almost got the half off to the perfect start, curling a free-kick past Smith’s grasp and just wide of the upright.
Leon Maloney then became the second Blues player to make his debut, with the youth team forward coming on for Lethbridge.
It was still the visitors looking more likely to add to the scoring and May fired over when Casey sent Evans’ free-kick back into the centre.
The traffic was not totally heading in one direction, however, and Burgess had to block a Stephen McLaughlin shot following a spell of Shrimpers pressure.
But, in truth, neither side was doing much to raise the tempo as the minutes ticked down with very little in the way of noteworthy incidents.
Southend did win a series of corners towards the end of the contest, but it was proving to be a comfortable evening for Bass between sticks
A long-range volley from Read was not too far off target, but Pompey had already done comfortably enough to ensure their name would be in Thursday evening’s quarter-final draw.
Southend (4-2-3-1): Smith; Bwomono, White, Moore (Hutchinson 60), Hendrie; Hyam, Yearwood (c); Kightly (Dieng 46), Cox (McLaughlin 46), Bunn; Robinson
Subs not used: Bishop, Turner, Mantom, Klass
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Smith, Casey, Burgess, Haunstrup; Evans (c), May; Wheeler, Dennis, Green (Read 46); Lethbridge (Maloney 54)
Goals: Dennis 2, Evans 45+1
Subs not used: Durin, Mnoga, Clarke, Hancott, Lowe
Referee: Craig Hicks
Attendance: 1,649 (189 Pompey fans)
|Pompey have signed attacking midfielder Louis Dennis on a two-year deal.
The 25-year-old – who can also play out wide – was available as a free agent after leaving Bromley at the end of last season.
His final appearance for the National League outfit was at Wembley, where the Londoners lost on penalties to Brackley in the FA Trophy final.
Dennis scored 21 goals and provided 12 assists in 53 appearances last term, as Bromley narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
He spent four-and-a-half years with the Ravens and was part of the side that secured the National League South title in 2014/15.
A former Watford schoolboy, Dennis began his senior career with Dagenham & Redbridge and had spells on loan with Grays and Canvey Island.