Apr 122022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Rotherham United 0


FORM GUIDE

WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST DRAWN WON WON WON DRAWN

Pompey roared back to winning ways in some style by dismantling title-chasing Rotherham at Fratton Park.

The game exploded into life after a slow start when Clark Robertson headed home against his former employers.

And the Blues were in fine form after the break, with another ex-Miller, George Hirst, setting up one goal for Marcus Harness before finding the net himself.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that were beaten on the road at Cheltenham at the weekend.

Hirst, Michael Jacobs, Joe Morrell, Louis Thompson and skipper Robertson all returned to the starting line-up.

It meant that Tyler Walker, Aiden O’Brien, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Shaun Williams and Mahlon Romeo dropped to the bench.

Former Pompey players Michael Smith and Joe Mattock were both named in the visitors’ team, who had Richie Barker among their coaching staff.

There were little of note in the opening exchanges besides a flurry of bookings, with both sides ending the first half with two yellow cards each.

In fact, there were 20 minutes on the clock before either side seriously threatened to break the deadlock.

It was the hosts who were first to go close, though, after Jacobs showed a neat piece of skill to take out three defenders.

He then found Ronan Curtis, who cut the ball back for Harness and his effort was kept out at point-blank range by Viktor Johansson.

Rotherham had a few bright moments at the other end of the pitch, without being able to properly test Gavin Bazunu.

And it was the Blues that broke the deadlock on 35 minutes, as ROBERTSON haunted his former club by rising to meet Jacobs’ free-kick and guide a header into the net.

Morrell’s pass then sent Hirst racing away late in the half and the striker did well to hold off a couple of challenges before dragging a shot wide.

The Millers had not shown much attacking flair, although a dipping Chiedozie Ogbene effort just before the break landed on the roof of the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Rotherham United 0


Robertson needed to show his capabilities at the other end of the pitch when the action restarted and did well to prevent Smith getting a shot away.

There were then a couple of dangerous attacks for the Blues, but one good move ended with the otherwise impressive Hirst getting his attempt all wrong.

The Millers were trying to find a way back into the contest and Mattock glanced a header wide after meeting Dan Barlaser’s free-kick.

But the Blues soon came close to hitting their opponents on the break and Hirst could not quite get on the end of a Jacobs delivery.

And they did double their advantage just before the hour mark, courtesy of some superb play from Hirst.

The striker raced into space to collect a Bazunu throw before surging forward and holding off two challenges, then sending in a brilliant low ball for HARNESS to slot home.

They might have gone further ahead when a Jacobs corner was only partially cleared, but a thunderbolt from Hayden Carter was just about turned behind by Johansson.

It was only a brief respite for the beleaguered Millers, however, with Pompey soon finding a third goal.

Morrell lifted a pass into the box and Sean Raggett beat Johansson to the ball, nodding it back for HIRST to neatly hook home.

A first substitution soon followed for the hosts, with Friday’s contest perhaps in the mind of Cowley as Jacobs was swapped with O’Brien.

Harness and Thompson also made way to warm applause soon after, as Romeo and Williams were handed opportunities to impress.

The first of those newcomers was soon in the action, although not in the way he intended, with an accidental shove on David Rock sending the official tumbling to the turf.

Pompey were seeing out the closing stages with relative ease and Bazunu made sure of the clean sheet by clawing away a late Barlaser free-kick.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie; Morrell, Thompson (Williams 76); Harness (Romeo 75), Curtis, Jacobs (O’Brien 69); Hirst
Goals: Robertson 35, Harness 59, Hirst 65
Booked: Robertson, Jacobs
Subs not used: Webber, Mingi, Tunnicliffe, Walker

Rotherham (3-1-4-2): Johansson; Ihiekwe, Wood (c), Mattock; Barlaser; Ogbene, Lindsay, Wiles (Rathbone 46), Osei-Tutu (Miller 84); Smith, Kayode (Ladapo 57)
Booked: Lindsay, Barlaser, Mattock
Subs not used: Chapman, Harding, Ferguson, Edmonds-Green

Referee: David Rock

Attendance: 14,154 (301 away fans)

Feb 262022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Fleetwood Town 3


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN WON WON WON LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST

Pompey produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they fought from three goals down to secure a point against Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

They were punished for a poor first half, with goals from Anthony Pilkington, Harrison Biggins and Paddy Lane giving the visitors a commanding lead.

But Ronan Curtis converted a penalty just before the interval and the Blues looked a different side following a talking to from Danny Cowley.

They peppered the opposition goal with crosses and shots, with Marcus Harness scrambling home before Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Cowley made four changes from the side that dramatically won on the road at Shrewsbury earlier in the week.

Joe Morrell made an immediate return after completing his three-match ban, while there were also starts for Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett and Harness.

Louis Thompson, O’Brien, George Hirst and Mahlon Romeo were the men to make way, with the quartet dropping to the bench.

There was also a switch of system, with Hayden Carter moving to a right-back role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The early signs were positive, with Walker hitting an early shot wide before Curtis’ knock-back flew just behind the striker.

But what followed was a pretty chastening experience for the home faithful, who allowed the visitors to score three times from their four shots on target in the first half.

Former Pompey striker Ellis Harrison provided the first, getting down the right and driving into the box before cutting the ball back for Pilkington to slam home.

A second goal soon followed for the Cod Army, with nobody picking up Biggins to meet Carl Johnston’s pass across the box and fire into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and Denver Hume drilled a shot wide following a spell of patient passing play.

But the visitors were getting plenty of men behind the ball to protect their lead and it was proving difficult to find a way through.

And instead Pompey went further behind late in the half, as Lane cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed screamer that Gavin Bazunu was unable to keep out.

There was, however, time for a lifeline to arrive just before the break, when Morrell’s pass was handled by Callum Camps.

Referee Alan Young immediately pointed to the spot and CURTIS stepped up to smash the penalty straight down the middle.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Fleetwood Town 3


Curtis was certainly trying to drag Pompey back into the contest and his delivery led to the ball pinging around the Fleetwood box before eventually being cleared behind.

He then did well to get on the end of a deep Morrell pass into the box, with his header landing on the roof of the net.

But the Republic of Ireland international saw penalty appeals turned away when he went down in the box soon after and was instead harshly booked for simulation.

Hackett soon had a great chance to score for the hosts, but got his shot all wrong after being teed-up by Carter.

It looked like a second goal had arrived just before the hour mark, when Curtis sent a superb ball into the area from the left.

But Walker’s header struck Zak Jules on the back and was prevented from crossing the line by Alex Cairns, who then kept out the striker’s follow-up effort.

And the Fratton faithful screamed for a penalty when the ball bounced up and struck Danny Andrew on the arm, but Young deemed it to be accidental.

Walker then thought he had netted his first Pompey goal after turning home a low Curtis cross, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

O’Brien was brought on for Hume and went close with his first touch, but Cairns was able to keep out his header from a Ryan Tunnicliffe centre.

Cowley made an attacking switch on 78 minutes, taking off Carter and bringing on an extra striker in Hirst.

And the Blues did have a second goal when Cairns made a mess of dealing with a Curtis corner and the ball struck HARNESS before crossing the line.

There was a worrying moment soon after when Sean Raggett disappeared over the advertising boards and into the area of the North Lower currently being redeveloped.

Thankfully he emerged unhurt, with one wag commenting that the concreate had probably come off worse.

Fleetwood’s constant time wasting throughout the second half meant eight minutes were added on by the officials.

And Hirst almost levelled in the first of them, beating his man inside the box before drilling a low shot inches past the post.

Raggett then spun sharply and hit a shot that was gathered by Cairns, as the visitors continued to hold onto their lead by their fingernails.

But Fratton Park erupted soon after when a Curtis pass was helped on by both Walker and Hirst, and O’BRIEN raced clear before coolly slotting past Cairns.

Pompey sensed they could score again, but there was not quite enough time remaining and the spoils were ultimately shared.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter (Hirst 78), Raggett, Robertson (c), Hume (O’Brien 69); Tunnicliffe, Morrell; Harness, Hackett, Curtis; Walker
Goals: Curtis 45 (pen), Harness 80, O’Brien 90+5
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Webber, Ogilvie, Romeo, Thompson, Mingi

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Nsiala, Clarke, Jules; Johnston, Camps, Lane (Baggley 90), Biggins, Andrew (c); Pilkington (Butterworth 23), Harrison (Garner 86)
Goals: Pilkington 7, Biggins 15, Lane 41
Booked: Lane, Cairns, Harrison
Subs not used: O’Hara, Morris, Boyle, Hayes

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 15,224 (106 away fans)

Dec 112021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Morecambe 0


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN LOST WON WON WON WON WON WON DRAWN

Pompey stretched their unbeaten League One run to nine games by beating Morecambe to send the Fratton faithful home full of festive cheer.

Marcus Harness took his tally for the season to 10 goals by firing home after George Hirst and Miguel Azeez had both gone close.

And while it was not exactly a Christmas cracker of a performance from the Blues, they wrapped up the points when Connor Ogilvie headed home after the break.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week.

But Michael Jacobs and Paul Downing had recovered enough – from illness and injury respectively – to be named on the bench.

After a slow start, it was Pompey who settled quickest and a fizzing effort from Ronan Curtis was not too far over.

Scott Wootton then just about got to the ball before Hirst after Azeez’s clever dummy allowed Mahlon Romeo to whip in a cross.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 11 minutes – even if they did make harder work of it than was perhaps necessary.

It started when the hosts broke quickly up the pitch through Azeez and Curtis hit a fine first time pass over the top for Hirst.

He was forced wide, but still managed to angle in a shot that was cleared against the crossbar by Wootton.

The ball then hit Azeez and ricocheted against the post, while the midfielder’s second attempt was blocked by Liam Gibson.

It looked as if the chance had gone, but HARNESS raced in to finally slam a shot into the net and end a frenzied period of play.

Morecambe tried to hit back and Gavin Bazunu got down well to deal with a low effort from Cole Stockton.

The hosts were, in the main, looking comfortable without really getting out of third gear and continued to pass the ball around nicely.

A shot from Curtis was spilled by Kyle Letheren, but the keeper recovered to grab the loose ball before Azeez could capitalise.

And Letheren then did well to gather a dangerous delivery from Harness while under pressure from Curtis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Morecambe 0


It was the visitors who were first to threaten when the action restarted and Hirst had to acrobatically clear a dangerous Alfie McCalmont free-kick.

Harness saw a shot blocked at the other end, but sent the ball back into the box, where a stretching Curtis could only nod straight at Letheren.

Morecambe were certainly providing more of a threat than before the break and substitute Jonah Ayunga dispossessed Kieron Freeman inside the Blues box.

The former Hawks forward sent a low ball into the mixer, but Romeo came to the rescue by clearing the danger.

Cowley decided the time was right to change his striker on 70 minutes and Hirst made way for John Marquis.

The hosts were still struggling for fluency, however, and Bazunu had to deal with a glancing header from Stockton.

But they had some breathing space when Azeez swung in a corner and OGILVIE was left unmarked to head home his first Blues goal.

A second switch soon followed, with Harness given a breather and Ellis Harrison coming on in his place.

The Shrimps came close to setting up a grandstand finale when Adam Phillips hit a long-range piledriver, only for Bazunu’s fingertips to divert the ball against the crossbar.

But the hosts saw out the closing stages to add a fourth successive league clean sheet to their three-point haul.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Romeo, Azeez, Williams, Hackett; Harness (Harrison 80); Curtis, Hirst (Marquis 70)
Goals: Harness 11, Ogilvie 77
Booked: Hackett
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Jewitt-White, Jacobs, Gassan

Morecambe (3-4-1-2): Letheren; O’Connor (c), Wootton (Delaney 56), Gibson; McLaughlin, McLoughlin, McCalmont, Leigh; Phillips; Obika (Ayunga 59), Stockton
Booked: Gibson, McLaughlin, Delaney
Subs not used: Andrésson, Cooney, Jones, Wildig, Gnahoua

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 15,001 (182 away fans)

Nov 232021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Lincoln City 0
Portsmouth 3


FORM GUIDE

WON WON WON WON WON DRAWN WON DRAWN LOST LOST

Pompey made it five wins in succession with an impressive performance against Lincoln at Sincil Bank.

They were in charge for most of the contest, but had to wait until the closing stages of the first half before Marcus Harness increased his goal tally.

And they were rewarded for their overall play after the break, with George Hirst doubling the lead and Reeco Hackett wrapping things up at the death.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that dramatically beat AFC Wimbledon on home soil at the weekend.

Kieron Freeman came in for the suspended Lee Brown, but started in the centre of defence, with the Blues switching to a 3-4-1-2 system.

There were also starts for Hackett – as a left-sided wing-back – and Joe Morrell, as Michael Jacobs and Louis Thompson dropped to the bench.

With the absence of Clark Robertson and Brown, former Imps hero Sean Raggett was handed the captain’s armband.

Pompey dominated the first half and created a number of promising openings, but were often let down by the final ball.

An early Shaun Williams corner was turned wide by Raggett, while a deflected Ronan Curtis effort was diverted behind by Josh Griffiths.

And the Imps keeper was called into action again from the resulting corner, which was fired towards goal by Connor Ogilvie.

Curtis miscued another shot narrowly past the post and Ogilvie then saw his goal-bound drive cleared from the line by Lewis Montsma.

The momentum faded after that, although the Blues were still looking the stronger team, with Williams and Morrell – the latter facing his former club – dominating in midfield.

They received a blow when Raggett was – rather harshly – booked for a foul in the middle of the pitch on 28 minutes.

It was the defender’s fifth yellow card of the season and, just before an amnesty kicks in, means he will be suspended for Saturday’s trip to Gillingham.

There had not been too much trouble at the other end, although the home support wanted a penalty when Hackett eased Lasse Sorensen off the ball inside the area.

The breakthrough almost came in stoppage-time, as Hirst charged his way up the pitch and past a couple of challenges before forcing a save from Griffiths.

But there was still time for Pompey to take the lead before the break – and there was no surprise to see who scored.

Mahlon Romeo found Hirst in the box and although he was denied, the loose ball ran for HARNESS to fire home in a fourth successive appearance.


Half Time

Lincoln CIty 0

Portsmouth 1


An early opportunity for Harness was stabbed wide, as the Blues looked to build on their lead once the action restarted.

And they went a lot closer to finding a second goal following some good work from Curtis along the edge of the box.

He eventually picked out Romeo on the right and the wing-back’s low effort struck the inside of the post and bounced back out.

But the Imps began to pick up the pace and former Fratton loanee Chris Maguire curled a shot narrowly over after cutting inside from the left.

Just as they were starting to get into the ascendency, however, the visitors doubled their lead – much to the delight of the noisy travelling army.

Harness slipped a neat pass through to Curtis, who unselfishly squared the ball for HIRST to slide home his first league goal for the club.

Lincoln tried to find a path back into the contest, but Gavin Bazunu did well to deny Hakeeb Adelakun from point-blank range.

Cowley then freshened things up with a couple of changes in quick succession, as Jacobs came on for Hirst before Thompson replaced Morrell.

And a third substitution followed on 80 minutes, with Harness making way for the fit-again Ellis Harrison.

Pompey appeared to be coasting towards the final whistle, but there was further reason to celebrate towards the end.

Harrison was brought down on the edge of the box and although the free-kick from HACKETT hit the wall, he was first to the loose ball to slam it into the net.

Lincoln (4-1-4-1): Griffiths; Poole, Montsma, Eyoma, Robson; McGrandles (c); Bishop (Nlundulu 58), Sorensen (Adelakun 68), Maguire, Fiorini; Draper (Sanders 86)
Booked: Montsma, Maguire
Subs not used: Long, Jackson, Roughan, Gallagher

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell (Thompson 76), Williams, Hackett; Harness (Harrison 80); Curtis, Hirst (Jacobs 73)
Goals: Harness 45+3, Hirst 66, Hackett 89
Booked: Raggett, Morrell
Subs not used: Bass, Vincent, Azeez, Gassan

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 8,533 (746 Pompey fans)

Nov 202021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
AFC Wimbledon 1


FORM GUIDE

WON WON WON WON DRAWN WON DRAWN LOST LOST LOST

Marcus Harness continued his fine run of goalscoring form by hitting Pompey’s late winner against AFC Wimbledon at Fratton Park.

The home side had to recover from falling behind following a terrible penalty decision, with Nesta Guinness-Walker’s theatrical tumble fooling the referee.

Ollie Palmer converted from the spot and it took until midway through the second half before Michael Jacobs finally got the equaliser.

Time was ticking away in the search for a winner, but Harness finally slotted home a seventh goal in his past 11 outings.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that impressively won at Wycombe the previous week.

Gavin Bazunu reclaimed his place between the sticks after returning from international duty, while there was a first league start of the season for Jacobs.

Alex Bass and Miguel Azeez both dropped to the bench, where they were joined by fit-again striker Ellis Harrison.

Before kick-off, a minute’s applause was held to pay tribute to 1979/80 promotion-winning skipper Joe Laidlaw, who passed away earlier in the week.

Pompey came charging out the blocks once the action began and Harness combined neatly with Jacobs.

The latter’s square pass looked like it would leave George Hirst with a simple finish, only for Paul Osew to make a timely interception.

Palmer then collected a pass from Luke McCormick at the other end, with his drive claimed at the second attempt by Bazunu.

But it was the Blues looking more likely to break the deadlock and some impressive pressing saw them win possession high up the pitch.

A neat Harness back-flick sent Jacobs through on goal, but Nik Tzanev spread himself well to make the save.

The home side were playing with real energy and causing plenty of problems, only to fall behind following a terrible refereeing decision.

Guiness-Walker and Ronan Curtis were shoulder-to-shoulder in the Blues box and the Dons defender threw himself to the ground.

Thomas Bramall was fooled, though, and pointed to the spot, much to the astonishment of the home side, their coaching staff and practically everyone inside Fratton Park.

Former Hawks striker Palmer stepped up to take the penalty and coolly sent it straight down the middle to find the net.

Pompey set about trying to find an equaliser and thought it had arrived when Lee Brown cut the ball back for Harness to slot home.

Bramall again incurred the wrath of the home faithful, though, by blowing for an earlier foul on Curtis.

The home side recovered from a ragged spell to the finish the half strongly and Tzanev beat away a long-range Curtis attempt.

And the keeper made an even better save moments later, this time stopping Harness from converting a clever Jacobs pass.

But a poor Bazunu kick almost led to a second goal for the visitors just before the break, with the Republic of Ireland international recovering well to deny McCormick.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

AFC Wimbledon 1


AFC Wimbledon went close again following the restart after Osew escaped down the right and found McCormick in the box.

The midfielder’s effort was heading for the net, but Sean Raggett slid in to make a timely block and keep the deficit at just one goal.

Cowley made his first switch on 53 minutes, with Hirst withdrawn and Reeco Hackett joining the forward line.

And another one soon followed, as Joe Morrell – back from international duty with Wales – replaced Louis Thompson.

The newcomer soon combined with Harness to release Mahlon Romeo, who surged half the length of the pitch before firing in a low shot that was kept out by Tzanev.

Wimbledon’s stopper had arguably been their best player, but will feel he could have done better with Pompey’s leveller on 63 minutes.

JACOBS collected a pass from Lee Brown and cut inside from the left before hitting a low shot that the keeper could only help into the net.

There might have been another goal for the hosts soon after, but Tzanev redeemed himself by keeping out a dipping Curtis free-kick.

They still had to stay alert at the other end, though, and Jack Rudoni wasted a decent opening by dragging the ball wide.

Bazunu then dived acrobatically to his left to cling onto a long-range effort from Osew, as the action continued to switch from one end to the next.

Cowley made one last attacking throw of the dice on 83 minutes, with the tiring Jacobs replaced by Harrison.

Bazunu then did well to dive at the feet of Osew inside the area after the Wimbledon right-back had found some space.

Pompey threw bodies forward in search of another goal, but time appeared to be running out on them.

Then, with just a minute of normal time remaining, HARNESS collected a Morrell pass and hit a low shot that clipped the inside of the post on its way into the net.

There was still time for a bit more late drama, as a Dons corner found substitute Ethan Chislett, whose shot was claimed by Bazunu.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bazunu; Romeo, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown (c); Harness, Thompson (Morrell 56), Williams, Jacobs (Harrison 82); Curtis, Hirst (Hackett 53)
Goals: Jacobs 63, Harness 89
Booked: Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Azeez, Gassan

AFC Wimbledon (4-2-3-1): Tzanev; Osew, Heneghan, Czoka, Guinness-Walker; Hartigan, Woodyard (c); Assal (Chislett 82), McCormick (Marsh 76), Rudoni; Palmer (Pressley 76)
Goals: Palmer 24 (pen)
Booked: Assal
Subs not used: Oualah, Charles, Jenkins, Mebude

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Attendance: 16,234 (910 away fans)

Nov 132021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Wycombe Wanderers 0
Portsmouth 1


FORM GUIDE

WON WON WON DRAWN WON DRAWN LOST LOST LOST WON

Marcus Harness netted his seventh goal of the season as Pompey earned a hard-fought victory at high-flying Wycombe.

The forward bundled the ball home after good work from Ronan Curtis and George Hirst to secure the points.

Alex Bass had earlier saved a poor penalty from Joe Jacobson to ensure the sides went in level at the break.

And the Blues had to survive a torrent of late pressure before the noisy travelling army were able to celebrate.

Danny Cowley made three enforced changes from the side that beat Harrow Borough in the FA Cup the previous week.

With Gavin Bazunu and Joe Morrell both away on international duty, Bass and Louis Thompson came into the starting line-up.

The other switch saw Hirst – fresh from his Papa John’s Trophy heroics – replace the injured John Marquis up front.

Reeco Hackett is also nursing a knock, as three members of the academy side occupied spots on the bench.

There was also an alteration to the formation, with Harness playing behind Curtis and Hirst at the tip of a diamond midfield.

The first half was an absorbing – often frantic – affair, with both sides causing problems going forward.

And the trickery of Harness drew an early foul from Jordan Obita that saw the former Fratton loanee receive a yellow card.

But the Wycombe winger was soon causing trouble of his own and fired in a low shot that struck the outside of the post.

A chance for Brandon Hanlan also rolled harmless wide, while strong defending from Anthony Stewart at the other end prevented Curtis from getting on the end of a Harness delivery.

Hirst was proving to be a lively presence up front and an effort from the edge of the box rolled past the post.

Bass then launched an attack after claiming a Jason McCarthy cross and when the ball eventually landed for Harness, he fired wastefully over.

There was a spot of controversy when Thompson took a tumble over Obita inside the area, only to have his penalty appeals waved away by referee Neil Hair.

And the mood did not improve when Anis Mehmeti collided with Sean Raggett and the Blues defender was deemed to have committed a foul.

Jacobson stepped up to take the penalty, but hit the ball straight down the middle and Bass made the save.

Pompey’s bench were raving about the two decisions, with both of the Cowley brothers being booked.

Hirst had a chance to get the visitors on top after racing onto a precise long pass from Shaun Williams.

He did well to hold off the challenge of Ryan Tafazolli and get past the defender, but David Stockdale dived at the striker’s feet to claim the ball.


Half Time

Wycombe Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 0


The Blues almost broke the deadlock soon after the restart when Harness slipped a neat pass through to Hirst.

It was a clean strike from the Leicester loanee, but Stockdale made a superb save to push the ball over.

And there was another opportunity from the resulting corner that was whipped in by Miguel Azeez, but Raggett could not quite keep his header down.

It was a similar story again a few moments later, although this time the centre-back nodded the ball downwards and it bounced wide.

The Chairboys had a chance of their own just before the hour mark, but Mehmeti’s fierce strike was beaten away by Bass.

Pompey were certainly looking capable of scoring and a teasing Curtis cross was just out of reach for Hirst after the Republic of Ireland international had been found by a fine Harness pass.

Curtis then had a chance of his own, but his angled shot flew agonisingly past the post, with Stockdale perhaps getting his fingertips to it.

Cowley made a switch on 68 minutes, providing a midfield refresh by replacing Azeez with Michael Jacobs.

Thompson then did well to surge forward in the centre of the pitch and find Harness, whose low shot was spilled by Stockdale, but grabbed at the second attempt.

And the goal the visitors deserved did arrive on 73 minutes after Curtis sent a fine pass down the left.

That sent Hirst racing clear and he unselfishly squared for HARNESS, who took a poor first touch, but slid in to make sure the ball crossed the line.

Wycombe threw on former Blues winger David Wheeler and Adebayo Akinfenwa in an attempt to find a leveller.

And the latter soon had a chance to score, but could not keep his header down from an Anthony Stewart centre.

The hosts were forcing plenty of late pressure on their opponents, which led to a few nervy moments.

Hirst received a standing ovation for his tireless display as he made way for Gassan Ahadme for the closing stages.

But it looked like Wanderers had levelled late on when McCarthy’s shot hit the inside of the post and his follow-up was blocked by Raggett.

Six minutes of stoppage-time lifted the home side’s spirits, but Bass made a brilliant save to keep out Sam Vokes’ header at the death.

He then did the same again, this time to deny Akinfenwa from point-blank range and ensure the Blues would depart with all three points.

Wycombe (3-4-3): Stockdale; Stewart, Tafazolli, Jacobson (c) (Wheeler 76); McCarthy, Thompson, Scowen, Obita; Mehmeti (Akinfenwa 76), Vokes, Hanlan
Booked: Obita, Jacobson, McCarthy
Subs not used: Przybek, Grimmer, Forino, Pendlebury, Parsons

Pompey (4-1-2-1-2): Bass; Romeo, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown (c); Williams; Thompson, Azeez (Jacobs 68); Harness (Downing 90); Hirst (Gassan 86), Curtis
Goals: Harness 73
Booked: Bass
Subs not used: Steward, Freeman, Kaba, Hughes

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 6,471 (1,420 Pompey fans)

Nov 062021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H FA Cup
Portsmouth 1
Harrow Borough 0


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN WON DRAWN LOST LOST LOST WON LOST DRAWN

Pompey booked their spot in the second round of the Emirates FA Cup with relative ease after seeing off plucky Harrow Borough at Fratton Park.

Marcus Harness scored the only goal of the game in the first half following good work from Mahlon Romeo.

And there were plenty of other chances to make the margin of victory greater, but the Blues were unable to convert them.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that drew with Cheltenham in the league earlier in the week.

Miguel Azeez was handed just his second start for the club, while Shaun Williams also returned, as Reeco Hackett and Louis Thompson dropped to the bench.

With sides allowed to name nine players on the bench, academy duo Harry Jewitt-White and Harvey Hughes were included named among the substitutes.

Ahead of Armistice Day, there was a minute’s silence before kick-off in memory of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their country.

When the action began, it did not come as a surprise to see the home side dominating both possession and territory.

Pompey were immediately on the attack, with Azeez and Ronan Curtis both seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.

Harness then sent in a teasing low delivery from the right that was agonisingly out of reach for both Azeez and John Marquis.

And a stretching Curtis was then unable to guide a header on target after meeting another fine cross from the lively Harness.

There was not too much happening at the other end, although Gavin Bazunu was called into action to deal with an angled James Ewington attempt.

Pompey were doing most of the attacking and Joe Morrell released Romeo down the right, with the full-back’s fierce drive parried away by Joe Strizovic.

Curtis was next to try his luck, collecting a pass from Connor Ogilvie and fizzing a long-range shot narrowly over the bar.

But the breakthrough did arrive on 28 minutes, when Romeo was afforded space to gallop down the right.

He then cut the ball back perfectly for HARNESS, who was left in plenty of space to coolly slot into the net.

The lead should have been doubled just a few seconds later, as a sliding Marquis somehow failed to connect with a low Harness centre.

And when Sean Raggett met an Azeez corner with a firm header, Strizovic dived to his left to push the ball to safety.

There was one heart-in-mouth moment at the opposite end, as Raggett’s short back-pass gifted a chance to Ewington, but Bazunu came to the rescue by tackling the striker.

The centre-back tried to make amends just before the break, with his header from a Harness corner looping onto the roof of the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Harrow Borough 0


Pompey picked up where they left off once the action restarted and Harness drilled a shot against the base of the post, with the loose ball not running for Curtis.

The opportunities kept coming and Romeo tried a drive after Marquis’ effort had been blocked into his path.

It was a clean strike from the full-back and Strizovic almost spilled it over the line, but recovered to grab hold of the ball at the second attempt.

But Harrow were still sitting deep, forcing the Blues to pass the ball around patiently and search for openings.

Cowley freshened up his forward line on the hour mark, with Azeez making way for Gassan Ahadme in the number 10 role.

And Thompson then replaced Williams, as the visitors continued to frustrate the Blues in their hunt for another goal.

They were looking to sit deep and soak up the pressure before trying to catch out their hosts on the break.

When Harness did get a shot away on 78 minutes, he was unable to catch out Strizovic at the keeper’s near post.

Cowley’s final intervention was a double switch, with Harness and Marquis withdrawn for Hackett and Michael Jacobs.

Harrow were trying their best to conjure some late cup magic, but a clean strike from George Moore flew straight into Bazunu’s arms.

But they were unable to test the keeper again during four minutes of stoppage-time, as the Blues ensured they would be in the hat for Monday night’s draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Romeo, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown (c); Morrell, Williams (Thompson 73); Harness (Hackett 83), Azeez (Gassan 60), Curtis; Marquis (Jacobs 83)
Goals: Harness 28
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Hughes, Jewitt-White, Hirst

Harrow Borough (4-1-4-1): Strizovic; Adenola, Mansfield, Preddie (c) (Cole 71), Taylor; Donnellan; Bryan (Otudeko 74), Keita (Wynter 79), Uche, Moore; Ewington
Booked: Adenola
Subs not used: Pearce, Biler, Tricker, Cain, Ozobia, Owoeye

Referee: Scott Tallis

Attendance: 6,869 (499 away fans)

Oct 232021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Accrington Stanley 2
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN LOST LOST LOST WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST

A late Marcus Harness goal rescued a point for Pompey after it looked like they would leave Accrington on the back of an undeserved defeat.

The Blues created a host of chances, but only had Ronan Curtis’ early finish to show for their efforts at the interval.

Harry Pell levelled for Stanley following the restart and after surviving plenty of dangerous moments, then took the lead through Matt Butcher.

It looked like being a harsh loss, but the noisy travelling faithful were rewarded for their backing when Harness struck late on.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that were beaten on home soil by Ipswich earlier in the week.

Reeco Hackett and Connor Ogilvie both returned to the starting line-up, with Ryan Tunnicliffe and Kieron Freeman dropping to the bench.

That saw a return to a back four, with Shaun Williams returning to his preferred position in the centre of midfield.

Cowley had asked for a positive reaction following successive heavy defeats and his troops responded by making a fast start.

An early corner was worked to Harness on the edge of the box and his shot had to be tipped over by Toby Savin.

And the keeper did even better to deal with a thunderous Williams attempt that followed good work from the lively Hackett.

But it was proving to be a mixed display from Savin, who quickly grabbed the loose ball from John Marquis after spilling a Lee Brown delivery.

He was then back to his best on 15 minutes, saving at the feet of Marquis after Hackett and Harness had combined brilliantly down the right.

And the Blues got the lead their pressure deserved on 15 minutes, when Brown laid the ball off for CURTIS.

The Republic of Ireland international took a few touches before hitting a low effort that bounced awkwardly in front of Savin and crept into the bottom corner.

Pompey kept attacking and Hackett was asking plenty of questions, while Williams and Joe Morrell were looking assured in the centre of the pitch.

But Stanley had a chance to level when Ethan Hamilton crossed from the right and Colby Bishop could only turn it wide.

Savin then fumbled another centre – this time from Hackett – but the home side were able to clear the danger.

And when Accrington enjoyed a spell of pressure and won a corner, it almost led to another Pompey goal.

Morrell stole possession and launched a quick counter, with Harness showing some tricky footwork before hitting a shot that rose narrowly over the bar.

There was even a cheeky free-kick attempt by Williams from near the halfway line, although the midfielder could not find the target.


Half Time

Accrington Stanley 0

Portsmouth 1


The visitors picked up where they left off following the restart and Stanley were relieved to see the ball land safe when Savin parried an angled Hackett drive.

But the home side were level on 50 minutes after Gavin Bazunu had dived to his left to keep out Sean McConville’s strike.

The Accrington midfielder took the resulting corner and the ball was nodded on by Ross Sykes for Pell to head home from close range.

It might have got worse for the Blues, as a Hamilton effort took a big deflection off Brown and had to be dealt with Bazunu.

And Sean Raggett then suddenly appeared from nowhere to make a superb block to repel Bishop’s shot.

Pompey then went close to scoring themselves, as Savin raced from his area to deal with Bazunu’s long ball, only to swipe at thin air.

Curtis dispossessed the keeper and saw off Yeboah Amankwah’s challenge before hitting a shot from outside the box.

It appeared to be heading for the net, but Butcher got back and managed to clear the ball against the post and out to safety.

Pompey were certainly doing their best to retake the lead and Marquis rolled a shot past the post before Savin denied Harness.

Harness went close again on 69 minutes, but Sykes flung himself in the path of the ball to divert it behind.

And yet it was Stanley who went ahead for first time from a long Savin punt, with McConville playing in Butcher for a neat lobbed finish over Bazunu.

Louis Thompson immediately replaced Williams and there was a quick chance for the Blues to draw level.

Morrell’s pass found Marquis in the box, but the striker was unable to slide his shot past Savin, who saved with his foot.

A double substitution followed as Cowley made his final throw of the dice, with Morrell and Hackett making way for Tunnicliffe and Michael Jacobs.

The latter was soon involved in Pompey’s leveller on 86 minutes after combining with Marquis on the left.

Pompey’s hard-working striker sent the ball across the face of goal, where HARNESS was in space to fire home from close range.

There was still time for more late drama, but neither side were able to score again and had to settle for a point each.

Accrington (3-5-1-1): Savin; Amankwah, Nottingham, Sherring (Sykes 19); Butcher, Hamilton, Conneely (c), Morgan, McConville; Pell; Bishop
Goals: Pell 50, Butcher 77
Booked: Sykes, Hamilton
Subs not used: Trafford, O’Sullivan, Leigh, Nolan, Mansell, Malcolm

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown (c); Morrell (Tunnicliffe 84), Williams (Thompson 78); Hackett (Jacobs 84), Harness, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 18, Harness 86
Booked: Raggett, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Azeez, Hirst

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 2,889 (892 Pompey fans)

Oct 162021
 

Portsmouth FC


A League 1
Rotherham United 4
Portsmouth 1


FORM GUIDE

LOST LOST WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST LOST LOST

Pompey suffered a second half capitulation as they were beaten heavily by promotion hopefuls Rotherham at New York Stadium.

The visitors were arguably the better side before the break, only for Michael Smith to haunt his former club by breaking the deadlock.

Marcus Harness levelled quicky after the break and suddenly the Blues sensed they could claim all three points.

Their hope did not last long, however, as the Millers netted three times in the space of seven minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

Smith was handed his second goal of the afternoon on a plate, with Richard Wood and Ben Wiles soon piling on the misery.

Danny Cowley made one change from the side that thrashed Sunderland on home soil a fortnight earlier.

Defender Connor Ogilvie came in for his first appearance in more than a month after picking up a quad injury.

He replaced the suspended Ronan Curtis in a three-man back-line, while Shaun Williams returned to the midfield.

Meanwhile, injured Pompey skipper Clark Robertson – who used to play for the Millers – was sat with the travelling fans.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start and they enjoyed more possession and greater territorial advantage in the opening stages.

Williams had an early chance with a fierce long-range effort that kept awkwardly and was just about diverted over by Viktor Johansson.

There were plenty of forays forward from the Blues and balls into the box that were either intercepted or would not quite land right.

Michael Ihiekwe did particularly well to prevent a cross from Harness finding John Marquis in the centre.

Rotherham had offered little, but almost took the lead on 17 minutes when a Dan Barlaser free-kick was headed on by Ihiekwe.

It looked like being a simple finish for Rarmani Edmonds-Green at the back post, only for Gavin Bazunu to somehow claw the ball away.

Pompey, meanwhile, were showcasing plenty of energy, without being able to penetrate their opponents’ back-line.

And the hosts made them pay on 29 minutes, as Smith was left unmarked to head home a fine Wes Harding cross.

There was a quick chance to level when Williams was fouled just outside the box, but Harness curled the free-kick wide.

And Johansson did well to clear the danger before Marquis could charge him down just before the break.


Half Time

Rotherham United 1

Portsmouth 0


Cowley’s message at the interval seemed to do the trick, as Pompey were level within five minutes of the restart.

Joe Morrell can take some of the credit, making a well-timed sliding challenge to halt a dangerous Will Grigg surge.

And the visitors went up the other end to score, with HARNESS collecting a pass from Ryan Tunnicliffe and arrowing a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

But just as they started to get on top in the contest once again, the Millers were gifted back their advantage.

A shot from Ollie Rathbone flew straight at Bazunu, but the keeper failed to hold on and Smith capitalised.

His initial attempt was brilliantly blocked by Kieron Freeman, only for the loose ball to fall back to the striker, who found the net with a neat back-heel.

And Rotherham went further ahead on the hour mark, with nobody picking up Wood as he raced in to head home a Barlaser free-kick.

Pompey had collapsed and it soon got even worse, as Wiles collected Mickel Miller’s pass, turned neatly and fired in a fourth goal for the hosts.

Bazunu then managed to stop the rot by diving to his right and pushing behind a fierce free-kick from Barlaser.

Cowley tried to freshen things up by making a substitution on 70 minutes, as George Hirst came on to face his former club in place of Marquis.

And two more quickly followed, with Reeco Hackett and Louis Thompson replacing Tunnicliffe and Williams.

Bazunu then had to be at his best to keep out another Barlaser free-kick, courtesy of an acrobatic dive to his right.

Rotherham then saw out the final few moments with relative ease to ensure the Blues would make the long trip home on the back of a heavy defeat.

Rotherham (3-1-4-2): Johansson; Edmonds-Green, Wood (c), Ihiekwe (Ogbene 54); Barlaser; Harding, Rathbone, Wiles, Miller; Smith (Kayode 81), Grigg (Ladapo 68)
Goals: Smith 29, 55, Wood 60, Wiles 62
Booked: Ihiekwe, Rathbone
Subs not used: Vickers, Ferguson, Odoffin, Sadlier

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell, Williams (Thompson 73), Brown (c); Tunnicliffe (Hackett 72); Harness, Marquis (Hirst 70)
Goals: Harness 49
Booked: Romeo, Freeman
Subs not used: Bass, Jacobs, Azeez, Gassan

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 9,684 (1,242 Pompey fans)

Oct 022021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 4
Sunderland 0


FORM GUIDE

WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON

Pompey produced their best display of the season to thrash League One leaders Sunderland at a sodden Fratton Park.

The job was done by half-time, with Marcus Harness completing a fine team move to open the scoring on his 100th appearance.

Skipper Lee Brown soon doubled the advantage, while John Marquis added a third goal just before the interval.

And with Marquis netting again following the restart, the only question was whether the rain would scupper things.

There was certainly plenty of standing water in the corners, but not enough to trouble referee Ben Toner.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that had been beaten on the road by Burton earlier in the week.

It might have come as a surprise to some following a performance at the Pirelli Stadium that was below-par at best.

But it looked an inspired decision following a first half display that blew the table-topping visitors away.

Pompey dominated from the off, dealing with the treacherous conditions – that left standing water on the south side of the ground – much better than their opponents.

Harness saw an early attempt deflected over, while Tom Flanagan did well to stop the same player receiving a square pass from Marquis.

But he did break the deadlock on 19 minutes by completing a fine team move that started with Gavin Bazunu.

He found Brown on the left and the skipper played a neat one-two with Ronan Curtis before finding HARNESS, who drilled a low shot inside Thorben Hoffmann’s near post.

Sunderland did have an early chance to level with a free-kick from Luke O’Nien that was curled narrowly over.

And there was a scary moment when Bazunu tried to roll the ball out for Kieron Freeman, only for it to get stuck in the sodden turf and have to be hurriedly dealt with by the defender.

But the Blues had a cushion on 33 minutes – and it was another impressive goal that saw them double their advantage.

Curtis did well to win back possession on the left and a low centre from Harness was back-heeled by Marquis for BROWN to fire home.

They kept pouring forward and Harness was not far off target with a curling strike after cutting in from the left.

And there was still time for things to get even better for the hosts when Carl Winchester was penalised for a foul on the impressive Curtis on the left.

The Republic of Ireland international took the free-kick himself and MARQUIS got in front of Dennis Cirkin to flick the ball into the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 3

Sunderland 0


The conditions continued to deteriorate throughout the interval and the ball was getting particularly held up in the corners once the action restarted.

Pompey kept trying to add to their lead, though, and an instinctive effort from Curtis was not too far off target.

And Shaun Williams went close just before the hour mark, meeting Brown’s corner with a header that was just about prevented from crossing the line by Hoffmann.

But the Blues did go further ahead a few moments later after Joe Morrell curled a fine ball into the box.

MARQUIS stooped to meet it and although his header was kept out by Hoffmann, the striker was left with a simple tap-in.

There was almost another goal when Harness stayed onside to collect an incisive pass from Curtis and square for Ryan Tunnicliffe.

The midfielder tried to chip the ball over the advancing Hoffmann, but the keeper stayed upright to keep it out.

That was the last piece of action for Harness, who received a standing ovation after making way for Louis Thompson.

There was no let-up from the Blues as the game entered its closing stages, with their work-rate never dropping.

Fratton Park rose to its feet to applaud Marquis – who had provided two goals and one assist – when he made way for Ellis Harrison.

And the final few minutes passed by without incident to ensure that the home faithful went home singing in the rain.

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Brown (c); Harness (Thompson 74), Curtis, Marquis (Harrison 85)
Goals: Harness 19, Brown 33, Marquis 45, 61
Booked: Tunnicliffe, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Jacobs, Hackett, Hirst

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): Hoffmann; Winchester, Flanagan, Wright, Cirkin; Evans (c) (Neil 74), O’Nien; O’Brien, Embleton (Doyle 46), Dajaku (Pritchard 68); Stewart
Booked: Neil
Subs not used: Burge, Huggins, Alves, Taylor

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 17,418 (2,110 away fans)

Sep 252021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Charlton Athletic 2
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON WON LOST

Pompey twice let a lead slip and were forced to settle for a point against Charlton, despite a largely impressive performance at The Valley.

Ronan Curtis had given them an early advantage with an excellent strike and it was a dominant display before the break.

The hosts were better in the second period, however, and substitute Sean Clare levelled before Harness hit back for the Blues.

But with time running out, another replacement struck for the Addicks, with Josh Davison ensuring the spoils would be shared.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that dramatically drew with Plymouth on home soil earlier in the week.

It meant that Sean Raggett made his 100th appearance for the club, flanked by Shaun Williams and Kieron Freeman in a back three.

Former Pompey players Craig MacGillivray, Jason Pearce and Jayden Stockley all started for the hosts, while Stephen Henderson was on the bench.

The visitors came charging out of the blocks and it came as no surprise to see them break the deadlock on six minutes.

It was a fine goal from CURTIS, who collected a pass from Mahlon Romeo and sent a shot dipping over MacGillivray and underneath the crossbar.

Charlton almost hit back immediately when Elliot Lee raced onto Jonathan Leko’s pass and fired in a low effort that hit the inside of Gavin Bazunu’s leg and flew narrowly past the post.

The Blues were the team in control, though, and the home support were growing increasingly frustrated at the way their side were being cut through.

Manager Nigel Adkins was the focus of their ire, while his Southampton connections ensured the travelling fans also offered plenty of stick.

Only some fine defending from Pearce and Adam Matthews prevented Harness and Marquis respectively from testing MacGillivray.

The lead should have been doubled on 19 minutes when Harness found Marquis unmarked in the box.

He took a poor first touch, however, and despite recovering to get a shot away, could only screw the ball wide.

Pompey were showcasing some neat passing football and looking capable of adding to their slender lead.

But the Addicks finally enjoyed some joy going forward towards the end of the first half and Bazunu had to adjust his feet to deal with a swerving Leko strike.

Alex Gilbey then surged forward and swapped passes with Leko before hitting a low effort that Bazunu kept out with his leg.

The visitors had the final say before the break, though, and Marquis flicked a Ryan Tunnicliffe delivery narrowly wide.


Half Time

Charlton Athletic 0

Portsmouth 1


While Pompey had started the first half in impressive fashion, it was their opponents who were brighter straight after the restart.

Raggett conceded a free-kick to the right of the box and the free-kick was cut back by Lee for Clare – who had been on the pitch for a matter of seconds – to slot home the equaliser.

The Blues looked to build again, although Curtis could not repeat his earlier magic after finding space to run into and dragged a shot wide.

And the Addicks were still looking threatening at the other end, with Lee’s strike forcing Bazunu into action.

Lee Brown had tried to halt that attack with a cynical foul on Clare and referee Antony Coggins went back to book the skipper.

It was then Pompey’s turn to challenge, although Curtis’ cross was just behind Romeo, whose header lacked the power to properly trouble MacGillivray.

The action was continuing to switch from one side of the pitch to the other and a Charlton corner almost led to the visitors retaking the lead.

Curtis broke quickly up the pitch and slipped in Harness and he tried to find Marquis in the middle, but Clare slid in to make a crucial interception.

They did go back into the lead on 72 minutes, however, as Tunnicliffe’s pass was neatly flicked on by Marquis for HARNESS to confidently slide into the net.

Pompey set about trying to wrap things up and MacGillivray was called into action twice in quick succession to deal with shots from Harness and Marquis.

A change soon followed from Cowley, with Reeco Hackett-Fairchild coming on against his former club in place of Harness.

And another switch came along moments later, as George Hirst replaced the tireless Marquis up front.

But Charlton hit back in the closing stages, with two of their substitutes combining to find another equaliser.

Corey Blackett-Taylor escaped down the right and squared the ball for the onrushing Davison to slam home from close range and deny the Blues a win.

Charlton (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Matthews, Lavelle, Pearce (c), Souare; Watson; Leko, Arter (Clare 46), Gilbey, Lee (Blackett-Taylor 82); Stockley (Davison 82)
Goals: Clare 47, Davison 87
Booked: Souare, Clare
Subs not used: Henderson, Famewa, Dobson, Kirk

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Brown (c); Harness (Hackett-Fairchild 78), Marquis (Hirst 82), Curtis
Goals: Curtis 6, Harness 72
Booked: Brown, Raggett
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Thompson, Azeez, Harrison

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 16,278 (2,995 Pompey fans)

Aug 142021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Crewe Alexandra 0


FORM GUIDE

WON LOST WON

The long wait for fans to return to Fratton Park for a competitive fixture was certainly worth it, as Pompey eased to a 2-0 victory over Crewe.

They were in control for most of the contest on the sunny south coast, although had to remain patient against stubborn opposition.

But the result never looked in doubt once John Marquis had angled home an opener early in the second half.

And Marcus Harness then added the second goal the Blues’ dominance deserved to make sure there would be no way back for the Railwaymen.

Danny Cowley made four changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Millwall in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

Gavin Bazunu was handed his debut between the sticks, while Kieron Freeman, Lee Brown and Harness all returned.

Alex Bass, Connor Ogilvie and Gassan Ahadme dropped to the bench, with Callum Johnson missing through suspension.

A minute’s applause was held before kick-off to remember all those Pompey fans – as well as former players and managers – who have passed away in the past 17 months since fans were allowed inside the ground in significant numbers.

Pompey controlled possession from the first whistle and set about trying to find a route through the opposition defence.

Ronan Curtis nodded over an early cross from Shaun Williams, then sent a long-range effort past the post.

And when Williams then sent a corner into the box, Clark Robertson appeared to have his shirt tugged, only for referee Will Finnie to wave away his appeals.

The deadlock was almost broken midway through the first half, when Brown cut the ball back for Harness.

But he was brilliantly denied by Will Jaaskelainen from point-blank range and Ryan Tunnicliffe then nodded over.

Crewe were not causing too many problems, although Mike Mandron’s header cleared the crossbar from a recycled corner.

And Pompey finished the half with a flourish, as Curtis’ clean strike had to be tipped over by Jaaskelainen.

A teasing stoppage-time cross from Harness was then agonisingly out of reach for both Marquis and Curtis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Crewe Alexandra 0


A goal looked like it might be coming as the interval approached – and it finally arrived within three minutes of the restart.

Tunnicliffe drove forward with purpose before releasing MARQUIS, who angled in a shot that clipped the inside of the post and nestled in the net.

They seemed to have the initiative and set about trying to find another goal to give the Fratton faithful even more reason to cheer.

But the Blues were almost undone from a corner, with Freeman not able to clear and an almighty scramble ensuing before Callum Ainley eventually dragged a shot wide.

Normal service soon resumed, though, and when the hosts were gifted possession, Marquis collected a cross from Curtis and was not quite able to pick out Reeco Hackett-Fairchild.

The Fratton faithful through their side had gone further ahead on the hour mark after Brown had done well to win a corner.

Williams’ delivery was flicked on by Hackett-Fairchild for Marquis to turn home at the back post, but the flag was raised for offside.

However, a second goal did arrive on 64 minutes after Curtis had switched the ball across the field to Tunnicliffe.

He then found HARNESS and the winger managed to squeeze a shot past defender and keeper from a tight angle.

Cowley soon handed a debut to Joe Morrell in place of Williams, with both players afforded a standing ovation from the crowd.

Two more substitutions soon followed for the home side, as Hackett-Fairchild and Marquis made way for Michael Jacobs and George Hirst respectively.

Pompey remained on the attack as the seconds ticked down and Curtis’ cleanly struck effort from the edge of the box rose inches over the bar.

And they kept pushing for more goals right up until the final whistle, as an impressive start to the season continued.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Robertson (c), Brown; Tunnicliffe, Williams (Morrell 74); Harness, Hackett-Fairchild (Jacobs 79), Curtis; Marquis (Hirst 82)
Goals: Marquis 48, Harness 64
Subs not used: Bass, Ogilvie, Gassan, Harrison

Crewe (4-4-2): Jaaskelainen; Ramsay, Daniels, Offord, Adebisi; Lundstram, MacDonald (Finney 65), Murphy (c), Ainley; Mandron (Porter 88), Dale (Long 41)
Booked: Long
Subs not used: Richards, Thomas, Johnson, McFadzean

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 11,470 (306 away fans)

Mar 272021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


A League 1
Shrewsbury Town 1
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

WON WON LOST LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON LOST

Pompey climbed back into the play-off places after securing a deserved League One victory at Shrewsbury – despite playing a quarter of the contest with just 10 men.

They controlled possession, with goals from Marcus Harness and John Marqus securing a commanding lead at the break.

But Nathanael Ogbeta reduced the hosts’ deficit early in the second half and the Shrews were then given an extra boost.

Marquis was shown a controversial red card for a challenge on Harry Chapman, but the Blues saw the game out with relative ease to ensure the points would be heading back to the south coast.

Danny Cowley made four changes from the side that beat Ipswich on home soil in his first game in charge the previous week.

There were returns from injury for Marquis and Callum Johnson, while Michael Jacobs and Ben Close also started.

James Bolton and Andy Cannon dropped to the bench, with the injured Jordy Hiwula missing out completely and Ronan Curtis away on international duty.

Former Pompey striker Curtis Main was in the hosts’ line-up, although manager Steve Cotterill was still missing from the dug-out, as he continues his recovery from a Covid-enforced stay in hospital.

In a slow opening to proceedings it was the Shrews who were first to threaten, with Dan Udoh spinning on the edge of the box and firing in a low show that was saved by Craig MacGillivray.

But the Blues soon settled and began to dominate possession, while asking questions of their opponents’ back three.

Close lifted a pass into the mixer, where Ryan Williams rose to deftly flick the ball inches past the post.

Tom Naylor then tried to glance home a corner from Jacobs, but could not get enough on his header to guide it on target.

And the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes after Johnson had played a neat one-two with Williams down the right.

He then laid the ball off for HARNESS, who neatly bent the ball into the side of the net to make the pressure count.

They almost had a second when the ball pinged dangerously around the Shrewsbury box, but Harry Burgoyne denied Williams from point-blank range.

The Blues were on top, though, and unsurprisingly doubled their advantage on 36 minutes, with the impressive Close involved.

He lifted a pass towards Lee Brown at the far post and the left-back sent the ball across the face of goal, with MARQUIS on hand to find the net from a yard out.

Even when the hosts were able to get into Pompey’s area in stoppage-time, Naylor was back to dispossess Ogbeta.


Half Time

Shrewsbury Town 0

Portsmouth 2


The visitors appeared to be cruising, but conceded a soft goal soon after the restart to allow their opponents back into the contest.

Ogbeta collected the ball on the left and was given far too much space to race towards the edge of the box and stroke a shot into the bottom corner.

Pompey tried to hit back and a dangerous Harness delivery was turned behind, while Marquis was tackled before he could get a strike away.

Harness then cut the ball back from the right and there was another spot of pinball before the hosts was able to clear.

Shrewsbury then threatened at the other end, although Main flicked a Chapman cross straight into MacGillivray’s arms.

But Pompey were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half, with Marquis the man to be sent off.

He slid in on Chapman and appeared to win the ball, but also caught the Shrews substitute and referee Benjamin Speedie deemed it dangerous enough to issue a red card.

Cowley made a change shortly afterwards, with Jacobs making way for Cannon to shore up the midfield.

And the lively Close was then replaced by former Shrews defender Charlie Daniels for the closing stages.

Pompey were not being put under too much pressure from their hosts as they attempted to see the contest out.

A display of seven additional minutes might have caused nerves to rise among the visiting ranks, but they held on to celebrate another vital victory.

Shrewsbury (3-4-1-2): Burgoyne; Pennington (Pyke 82), Ebanks-Landell (c), Williams; Sears (Chapman 46), Davis, Vela, Ogbeta; Goss (Whalley 69); Udoh (Edwards 69), Main
Goals: Ogbeta 52
Subs not used: Bevan, Bloxham, Caton

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close (Daniels 84); Harness, Williams (Nicolaisen 90+5), Jacobs (Cannon 75); Marquis
Goals: Harness 25, Marquis 36
Sent off: Marquis
Subs not used: Ward, Bolton, Byers, White

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

Mar 202021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Ipswich Town 1


FORM GUIDE

WON LOST LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON LOST LOST

The Danny Cowley era got off to a perfect start, as Pompey battled back to beat Ipswich at Fratton Park.

It looked like more of the same for the Blues, who fell behind to James Norwood’s emphatic first half striker.

But Tom Naylor nodded the hosts back on level terms before the break and Marcus Harness slotted home the winner after it.

Cowley’s first starting line-up saw two changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Peterborough earlier in the week.

Jordy Hiwula and Marcus Harness both returned, with Ben Close and Rasmus Nicolaisen dropping to the bench.

After playing with three at the back against Posh, there was also a switch to a 4-2-3-1 system, with Ryan Williams tucked in behind Hiwula.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition technical area, with Paul Cook and Gary Roberts leading the Tractor Boys.

Ronan Curtis had an early attempt, courtesy of a 35-yard free-kick that was bent over the wall, but comfortably into the arms of Tomas Holy.

There was plenty of noise being generated by both managers, as well as the injured John Marquis up in the South Stand.

It was not a particularly rip-roaring contest on the pitch, though, with both sides showing plenty of energy, but failing to turn that into clear-cut chances.

Ipswich’s first opportunity also came from a free-kick, with Jack Whatmough booked for his challenge on Keanan Bennetts.

Andy Cannon adopted the now popular ‘draught excluder’ technique by laying down flat behind the wall.

Alan Judge bent his strike over it, however, and Craig MacGillivray flung himself to the left to push the ball clear.

But the visitors did break the deadlock soon after, as Norwood raced onto Gwion Edwards’ threaded pass and rifled home.

Pompey quickly fought back, though, and levelled by scoring their first goal in 358 minutes of football.

Curtis whipped a fine corner into the box and NAYLOR rose highest to send a header against the inside of the post and into the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Ipswich Town 1


An early long-range attempt from Edwards straight after the restart was easily dealt with by MacGillivray.

The Blues then came close to taking the lead for the first time in what would have been a similar goal to their first.

Naylor again met a corner from Curtis, but this time Holy was able to push the ball away – then stop Sean Raggett from converting the rebound.

Cowley made his first switch just before the hour mark, with Andy Cannon – who had just been booked – making way for Close.

Williams then had a chance after being picked out by Harness following a quick break, but could not keep his angled strike on target.

A second switch followed on 72 minutes, with Michael Jacobs on for Hiwula and Curtis moving up front.

And it was the Republic of Ireland international who provided the pass for Pompey’s second goal a few seconds later.

He sent a low pass across the area and HARNESS’ first shot was blocked by Judge, but the ball landed back at his feet to slam past a helpless Holy.

Pompey looked to keep possession as much as possible in the closing stages, but had two late chances to increase their lead.

Toto Nsiala almost sliced a Harness cross into his own net and then, from the resulting corner, Holy kept out James Bolton’s header from point-blank range.

But the Blues saw out five minutes of stoppage-time to collect a precious three points and ensure the Cowley brothers began their reign with a win.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 58); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Hiwula (Jacobs 72)
Goals: Naylor 41, Harness 72
Booked: Whatmough, Curtis, Cannon, Jacobs
Subs not used: Ward, Mnoga, Nicolaisen, Daniels, Byers

Ipswich (4-2-3-1): Holy; Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson (Vincent-Young 79), Ward; Bishop (Parrott 89), Dozzell; Edwards, Judge (Jackson 79), Bennetts (Dobra 59); Norwood
Goals: Norwood 32
Booked: Edwards, Chambers, Bishop
Subs not used: Cornell, McGuinness, Skuse

Referee: Alan Young