Apr 292017
 
League 2
Mansfield Town 0 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Blues win final away game

Pompey won their final away game of the season at Mansfield to keep title hopes alive.

A fractious contest was settled just before the hour mark with a goal that Carl Baker and Conor Chaplin both claimed.

The Stags thought Matt Clarke should have been dismissed earlier in the second half and could not make their late pressure count.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that beat Cambridge on home soil the previous week.

Chaplin, Christian Burgess and Danny Rose all returned, with Nicke Kabamba, Jack Whatmough and Stanley Aborah – the latter of whom had been struggling with a neck injury – dropping to the bench.

The hosts were desperately searching for a play-off spot, so it came as no surprise that they showed more urgency in the opening stages.

A free-kick led to a scramble in Pompey’s box and Lee Collins’ cross ricocheted off Rhys Bennett and straight into David Forde’s arms.

Another set-piece from the hosts was quickly given to the familiar-sounding Danny Rose, whose low drive was comfortably stopped by Forde.

In truth, however, neither side was able to get out of second gear in a drab half that yielded very few clear-cut chances.

Mansfield’s Rose had another effort easily dealt with by Forde, while Kal Naismith took a swipe at thin air and ended up on his backside – drawing laughter from Cook in the technical area.

Gareth Evans was looking lively for the Blues and he dragged a shot wide after stealing the ball from Alex MacDonald.

Naismith then had the best chance for the visitors with a fierce drive that was heading for the top corner until being beaten behind by Jake Kean.

Kyle Bennett also enjoyed an impressive run along the edge of the box, but his shot did not cause the Stags keeper too much trouble.

Half Time: Mansfield 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The first half might have been forgettable, but the second exploded into life in the opening few minutes.

Mansfield’s Danny Rose caught Clarke dithering and was brought down by the defender, who would have just had Forde to beat.

The home crowd – and players – were baying for a red card and left furious when referee Lee Swabey instead pulled a yellow one from his pocket.

There was more bad news for the Stags moments later when Rhys Bennett found the net, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 57 minutes – even if there was some confusion about who should claim it.

BAKER played a neat one-two with Naismith and curled a shot past the grasp of Kean and into the net.

He was certainly credited with the goal, although it might have got a touch off Chaplin – not that it mattered to the celebrating travelling fans.

There was certainly a fractious atmosphere, not helped by a late challenge by Ben Whiteman on Bennett.

That led to some pushing and shoving, with Swabey booking both Whiteman and Bennett, as well as Enda Stevens.

Mansfield knew they needed at least a point, so poured forward in search of an equaliser and MacDonald should at least have hit the target after being picked out at the far post.

But Chaplin then had an opportunity at the other end of the pitch and dragged his shot narrowly past the post.

MacDonald aoon had another chance for the hosts, but his effort was well saved low to his left by Forde.

Whatmough replaced Chaplin on 69 minutes as Cook looked to shore things up at the back and was immediately called into action to head clear a free-kick.

Cook completed his changes with the introductions of Gary Roberts and Aborah for Baker and Bennett respectively.

But Mansfield substitute Matt Green should have levelled soon after when he was sent through on goal and lifted the ball over Forde – but also over the net.

It was backs to the wall for Pompey as their hosts poured forward in search of a leveller, but that left spaces at the other end.

Naismith should have taken one of them late on, but could not keep his shot down after being teed-up by Roberts.

It mattered not, however, as the Blues saw out six minutes of stoppage-time to maintain hopes of adding some silverware to their promotion party.

Mansfield (4-4-2): Kean; White, Pearce, Bennett, Benning; Whiteman, Collins (c) (Green 68), Byrom, MacDonald (Hoban 86); Coulthirst, Rose (Taft 83)
Booked: White, Whiteman, Bennett, Pearce
Subs not used: Jensen, McGuire, Potter, Hamilton

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, M.Doyle (c); Baker (Roberts 77), Naismith, Bennett (Aborah 77); Chaplin (Whatmough 69)
Goals: Baker 57
Booked: Baker, Clarke, Stevens, Bennett, Aborah
Subs not used: O’Brien, Linganzi, Lowe, Kabamba

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 6.819 (1,459 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Nov 122016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 4 – 0 Mansfield Town

 

Stags tamed in Fratton rout

Pompey roared back to winning ways at Fratton Park in the league with a comfortable victory over nine-man Mansfield.

Gary Roberts opened the scoring for the hosts, but despite dominating, they struggled to extend their advantage.

Mansfield put up a strong fight, even after Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti had both been dismissed in the second half.

But Noel Hunt came off the bench to make sure of the three points before Carl Baker added a gloss to the scoreline with a late brace.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly made a host of changes from the side that beat Bristol Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

Kyle Bennett was the only survivor, with Michael Doyle, Roberts and Conor Chaplin among those recalled to the line-up.

Before kick-off, Pompey paid tribute to all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice, with D-Day veteran John Jenkins MBE reading the Ode to Remembrance and the Last Post being played.

It was the hosts who made the brighter start in the wet conditions, with their high pressing forcing Mansfield to make errors.

Chaplin had an early chance after he met Roberts’ cross, but was unable to divert his header on target.

But there was an even better opportunity when a corner was only cleared as far as Bennett, whose first touch into the box fooled Matt Green.

His clumsy challenge saw the Blues winger dumped onto the turf and referee Roger East pointed straight to the spot.

ROBERTS stepped up to take the penalty and slammed a powerful effort right down the middle to give Pompey the lead.

It was not all one-way traffic, however, and a misunderstanding between David Forde and Christian Burgess led to Green firing into the side netting.

James Baxendale then did well to get on the end of an Ashley Hemmings cross and send a header crashing against the post.

Pompey thought they should have had a second spot-kick on 33 minutes when Roberts stole possession and saw his cross hit Jamie McGuire’s hand, but East was not interested.

And the hosts soon came close to doubling their advantage, with Baker beating his man and firing in a rocket that cannoned back off the woodwork.

But they received a let-off just before the break when Bennett was harshly penalised for a challenge outside the box.

Chris Clements stepped up to take the free-kick and the Fratton faithful breathed a sigh of relief as he curled the ball over.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Mansfield 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey continued their search for more goals once the second half got underway, with Scott Shearer just about managing to tip over Bennett’s dipping shot from distance.

The same player then exchanged neat passes with Roberts, whose low ball into the box was agonisingly out of reach for Gareth Evans.

And Mansfield were reduced to illegal methods of halting the hosts’ surge, with Howkins booked for cynically hauling down Chaplin on the edge of the box.

It was Chaplin who should have doubled the advantage after being slipped through by Doyle’s clever pass, only to then drag his shot wide.

The Stags’ challenge was soon made harder when Howkins – who had only received his yellow card four minutes earlier – needlessly slid in on Bennett and was promptly dismissed.

Pompey immediately set about trying to make their numerical advantage count and when Shearer failed to hold Baker’s effort, he had to dive on the loose ball before the lively Danny Rose could pounce.

Roberts then did well to dig the ball out from his feet inside the area, only to prod wide from just a few yards out.

And there was more woe for the beleaguered visitors on 74 minutes when substitute Iacovitti dived into a challenge on Doyle and was immediately shown his marching orders.

Cook looked to turn the screw by bringing on some fresh attacking players, with Hunt and Kal Naismith replacing Roberts and Bennett.

The two combined to secure the three points on 84 minutes when a period of patient passing play was ended by Naismith squaring for HUNT to convert from close range.

And BAKER ensured it was an even more enjoyable afternoon when he tricked his way into the box and drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

But there was still time for BAKER to add another deep into stoppage-time, with a fine left-footed finish from long-range that flew into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts (Hunt 77), Bennett (Naismith 79); Chaplin (Smith 86)
Goals: Roberts 11 (pen), Hunt 84, Baker 88, 90+5
Booked: Baker, Chaplin
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Close, Lalkovic

Mansfield (4-1-2-1-2): Shearer; Bennett, Howkins, Pearce, Benning (D.Rose 69); McGuire; Clements (c), Gobern; Baxendale (Iacovitti 59); Hemmings, Green (Henderson 55)
Sent off: Howkins (two yellow cards), Iacovitti
Subs not used: Jensen, M.Rose, Hamilton, Hoban

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,393 (326 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Mar 192016
 
League 2
Mansfield Town 1 – 1 Portsmouth

Tafazolli own-goal secures Blues a point

Marc McNulty missed a penalty as Pompey fought from behind to claim a point at Mansfield.

It looked bleak for the Blues when, within the space of a few minutes, McNulty saw his spot-kick saved and Matt Green slotted the hosts ahead.

But Ryan Tafazolli’s own-goal levelled the contest before the interval and neither side was able to take any of their second half chances.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side beaten at home by Newport the previous week.

One of them was enforced, with Michael Smith replacing the suspended Gary Roberts, while Gareth Evans dropped to the bench to make way for Kal Naismith.

There was not an abundance of chances in the early stages, although the hosts survived a defensive mix-up early on, while Mitchell Rose was unable to beat Ryan Fulton with an angled drive.

Pompey’s keeper then had to race from his area to clear after a blocked Christian Burgess shot turned into a quick Stags attack.

Set-pieces were causing the most problems for both sides, with Mansfield delivering some dangerous free-kicks and the Blues threatening from corners.

But it was penalty that gave the visitors a golden opportunity to break the deadlock on 20 minutes.

McNulty was brought down in the box by former Pompey loanee Daniel Alfei, but his spot-kick was brilliantly saved by Scott Shearer low to the keeper’s left.

And the Stags soon made him pay for his profligacy by taking the lead themselves, as Emmanuel Dieseruvwe teed-up Green for a cool finish.

Referee Carl Boyeson upset the mood of the home fans, however, by issuing a flurry of yellow cards, not that Dieseruvwe, Rose or Green could have much to complain about.

Pompey, meanwhile, were trying to find a leveller, but despite some neat passing forward, they were doing little to trouble Shearer.

Instead, the keeper was finally beaten by one of his team-mates just before the break, with TAFAZOLLI inadvertently turning a Ben Davies corner into his own net.

Half Time: Mansfield 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The second half was slow to get going, although it was the Blues were looking the more likely to score again.

But they were limited to a couple of scuffed efforts from Enda Stevens and Smith that did little to trouble Shearer.

Kyle Bennett went closer on 65 minutes when he met Davies’ corner with a volley that was heading for the net before it was deflected wide.

The visitors had a chance of their own when Stevens was booked for a foul on Dieseruvwe, but the resulting free-kick was confidently plucked from the air by Fulton.

Cook soon made his first substitution, with Ben Tollitt replacing Bennett wide on the left to add some youthful exuberance to Pompey’s attack.

And the Blues boss made another switch to his front line moments later, with McNulty making way for Adam McGurk.

The hosts had been growing in confidence as the half progressed and almost retook the lead on 62 minutes.

Fulton had to get down to his right to push clear Rose’s skidding, long-range effort and then denied Green from the resulting corner.

His counterpart Shearer had looked assured in the Stags goal, but almost made a hash of Michael Doyle’s opportunistic strike from distance on 77 minutes.

There was then a break in play when one of the linesmen appeared to injure his arm and had to be replaced – not that he received much sympathy from the stands.

Conor Chaplin was introduced in place of Naismith for the final five minutes, as Pompey went in search of a winner.

But, despite the fourth official announcing six minutes of stoppage-time, neither side was able to snatch victory.

Mansfield (4-4-2): Shearer; Alfei, Pearce, Tafazolli, Benning; Rose (Daniel 86), Collins (c), Clements, Kavanagh (Blair 64); Green (Thomas 83), Dieseruvwe
Goals: Green 26
Booked: Dieseruvwe, Rose, Green
Subs not used: Jensen, Baxendale, Chapman, Beardsley

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Naismith (Chaplin 85), McNulty (McGurk 70), Bennett (Tollitt 67); Smith
Goals: Tafazolli 43 (og)
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, Evans

Referee: Carl Boyeson

Attendance: 3,980 (1,192 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Oct 242015
 
League 2
Portsmouth 0 – 0 Mansfield Town

Pompey endured more Fratton frustration as they were unable to break down Mansfield.

It was not a game of many clear-cut chances, although the Blues did have the best there were on offer.

Ben Davies and substitute Conor Chaplin came closest to finding a goal, although the hosts had to settle for another share of the spoils.

Paul Cook made four changes to the side held to a draw by Stevenage earlier in the week.

Brian Murphy had recovered from a groin problem to replace the departing Aaron McCarey between the sticks.

Caolan Lavery made his first Pompey start in place of Matt Tubbs up front, while there were also returns for Kal Naismith and Danny Hollands in midfield.

And there was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Craig Westcarr named in the Stags side.

The hosts started brightly and Lavery’s ball into the box was turned over by Kyle Bennett in the opening stages.

They then broke quickly up the pitch following a Mansfield corner, only for Naismith to mis-kick in front of goal following good work from Lavery and Enda Stevens

Another decent move followed on nine minutes and ended with Stevens cutting inside and unleashing a thumping drive that was well held by Stags keeper Brian Jensen.

Davies’ crosses were causing problems as usual and one was headed over by Naismith, while another had to be hacked clear by Nicky Hunt.

Mansfield survived that spell of Pompey pressure, however, and saw out the rest of the half with relative ease.

They did not really create much at the other end, though, with an off-target header from Hunt the closest they came to testing Murphy.

Not that Jensen was being over-worked at the other half, although a Davies cross was deflected comfortably into his arms on 37 minutes.

Then, just before the break, the Blues won a free-kick and Davies’ curling effort somehow evaded everyone as it flew wide.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Mansfield 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

It was the visitors who were first to threaten once the second half got underway, although Adam Chapman’s long-range effort flew high over the bar.

Pompey, meanwhile, were struggling to find any sort of rhythm, with too many passes going astray.

Cook tried to liven things up with a double substitution on 56 minutes, as Naismith and Rommy Boco made way for Chaplin and Nigel Atangana.

That seemed to liven up both players and fans and the hosts were injected with a fresh vigour, with ‘Blue Army’ soon reverberating around Fratton Park.

It was Davies who came close to breaking the deadlock on 64 minutes after Lavery’s header from his initial cross had been blocked.

The right-back picked up the loose ball and hit a fierce curling shot that Jensen did well to tip over the bar.

And Davies went close again soon after, curling a 30-yard free-kick inches past the post after Bennett had been felled.

Cook made his third and final switch on 78 minutes, with Tubbs replacing Lavery in the Blues’ attack.

But it was Chaplin who came agonisingly close to scoring moments later, collecting Stevens’ pass and seeing his close-range effort deflected inches wide.

And despite throwing plenty of men forward in the final stages, Pompey were unable to find a winner.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Boco (Atangana 56), Bennett, Naismith (Chaplin 56); Lavery (Tubbs 78)
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Tollitt, McGurk

Mansfield (4-4-1-1): Jensen; Hunt (c), Collins, Tafazolli, Adams; Rose, Clements, Chapman, Lambe (Yussuf 86); Westcarr (Blair 62); Green (N.Thomas 78)
Booked: Hunt, Blair
Subs not used: Shearer, McGuire, J.Thomas, Beardsley

Referee: Kevin Wright

Attendance: 16,210 (389 away fans)

Portsmouth FC