Feb 252020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey moved back into the League One play-off places with a hard-fought victory over MK Dons at Fratton Park.

It looked like a comfortable evening might be on the cards when Andy Cannon opened his account for the club early on.

But Alex Gilbey reacted quickly to level after Alex Bass had kept out his penalty just moments before the interval.

Both sides had chances to win the contest and John Marquis restored the Blues’ lead early in the second half, while Carlton Morris was then sent off for the visitors.

Marcus Harness then came off the bench to add a third goal at the death and breathe new life into the promotion charge.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Fleetwood at the weekend.

Cannon had recovered from a glute problem, while Lee Brown was handed a first start since early December.

There were also returns for Ross McCrorie, Ryan Williams and Ben Close as the team was freshened up during a hectic schedule.

Oli Hawkins, Steve Seddon, Marcus Harness and Cameron McGeehan all dropped to the bench, with James Bolton missing from the squad.

Pompey made a flying start and took the lead on four minutes, thanks in part to some sloppy play from their opponents.

Jordan Houghton tried to pass out of his own box, but Williams intercepted the ball and squared for CANNON to slot home.

MK Dons almost hit back with an immediate equaliser, only for Bass to come to the rescue with a save from Gilbey.

The action fell pretty flat after that and there were not too many more clear-cut opportunities at either end of the pitch before the break.

Marquis and Close both had efforts blocked in quick succession, while Houghton’s long-range effort for the visitors flew straight at Bass.

The Dons were passing the ball around nicely, but lacking a clinical edge, with the hosts looking more likely to add to the scoring.

Lee Nicholls raced from his line to stop Marquis converting Cannon’s threaded pass, then kept out an angled Brown strike.

And the keeper was called into action again to tip over Close’s drilled attempt following some good work from McCrorie and Marquis.

But MK Dons were given an excellent chance to level in stoppage-time, when McCrorie rashly bundled over Rhys Healey in the box.

Bass guessed the right way to keep out Gilbey’s penalty, but the midfielder was quickest to the rebound and scored at the second attempt.

He did not exactly endear himself to the home support by celebrating right in front of the Fratton End.

And there were more boos – this time aimed at referee Kevin Johnson – when Pompey were not awarded a spot-kick of their own for George Williams’ challenge on Marquis.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

MK Dons 1


The Blues might have fallen behind once the action restarted, with Christian Burgess making a fine sliding challenge after Gilbey had been sent through on goal.

But instead they retook the lead, with MARQUIS getting on the scoresheet to become the club’s leading marksman in his own right.

It was not the most elegant of finishes from McCrorie’s cut-back, with the ball striking a defender and the inside of the post before crossing the line.

They tried to increase their advantage and Close’s chipped cross was headed towards the net by Sean Raggett, but Nicholls made the save.

And the visitors then broke quickly up the pitch, with Burgess taking one for the team by fouling Gilbey and earning a yellow card.

They were still looking dangerous and a Dean Lewington free-kick was glanced narrowly past the post by Jordan Moore-Taylor.

Pompey were beginning to lose patience with Johnson, who failed to book players for a shove on Cannon and late challenge on Marquis.

Lewington finally had his name taken for his reaction to a foul on Williams, just seconds after Healey’s volley was well saved by Bass.

Both sides were looking capable of adding more goals to the contest, with Gladwin and Healey having opportunities for the visitors.

A couple of Ronan Curtis corners then caused problems at the other end, but were eventually scrambled clear.

Jackett had made a double change moments earlier, with Cannon and Williams replaced by McGeehan and Harness.

MK Dons’ hopes of a comeback were made tougher when they were reduced to 10 men in the closing stages.

Pompey had broken quickly from a corner and Curtis fed Marquis, who was brought down by Morris as he raced through on goal, with the forward shown a red card.

And they wrapped up the points just before the end, with HARNESS holding off a defender to collect Raggett’s header and neatly slotting home.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie, Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Close, Naylor (c); Williams (Harness 77), Cannon (McGeehan 77), Curtis (Seddon 90+3); Marquis
Goals: Cannon 4, Marquis 59, Harness 90+1
Booked: Burgess, Cannon
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Pitman, Hawkins

MK Dons (4-1-2-1-2): Nicholls; Poole, Williams, Moore-Taylor, Lewington (c); Houghton (Reeves 73); Thompson (Nombe 77), McGrandles (Gladwin 62); Gilbey; Morris, Healey
Goals: Gilbey 45+2 (pen)
Sent off: Morris
Booked: Lewington, Poole
Subs not used: Fisher, Walsh, Brittain, Kasumu

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 16,577 (170 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 292019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey finished the calendar year in miserable fashion after conspiring to suffer defeat at struggling MK Dons.

They looked comfortable for most of the contest and created plenty of chances, but a lack of clinical finishing and some sloppy defending meant they went home empty-handed.

Rhys Healey and Conor McGrandles both scored in the latter stages of the first half at Stadium MK, with Alex Gilbey adding a third after the break.

Ronan Curtis continued his fine goalscoring form by finding the net in stoppage-time, but it was just a consolation.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Wycombe on home soil on Boxing Day.

Ryan Williams picked up a groin injury in the early stages of that game and the man who replaced him, Marcus Harness, was handed a start.

That opened up a place on the bench, which was taken by teenage full-back Haji Mnoga, who signed his first professional contract at the start of the week.

Harness played a more advanced role than expected, playing alongside Ellis Harrison in what looked more like a 4-4-2 system.

Pompey took control of the contest right from the start and enjoyed plenty of possession and territorial advantage.

But for all the play they had in and around their opponents’ area, Lee Nicholls looked fairly comfortable between the sticks.

Ben Close and Curtis – the goal heroes against Wycombe – both had shots blocked in the early stages.

The hosts were looking nervy at the back and struggled to deal with some corners from Close, as well as Harness’ trickery.

Anton Walkes also looked a threat going forward down the left and sent a few dangerous deliveries into the box.

Nicholls was called into action on 15 minutes and did well to get behind a fierce long-range drive from the lively Harness.

The keeper conceded a free-kick inside the box after picking up Joe Walsh’s back-pass, but the wall did its job by rushing forward to block Curtis’ effort.

And the Dons then took the lead completely against the run of play, although the Blues were furious that referee Leigh Doughty failed to give a foul against James Bolton in the build-up.

Instead, Jordan Houghton launched the ball forward and Sean Raggett’s header was not hard enough to reach Craig MacGillivray, with Healey nipping in to score.

It got even worst for Pompey before the break, as Tom Naylor tackled Healey on the edge of the box and the ball ran kindly for McGrandles to impressively fire into the top corner.


Half Time

MK Dons 2

Portsmouth 0


Harrison did not emerge following the interval, with John Marquis coming on to replace him up front.

But it was the hosts who were first to threaten, courtesy of a long-range Gilbey attempt that MacGillivray tipped over the bar.

Pompey soon started to take control, though, and once again put plenty of pressure on their opponents.

But the ball just would not seem to fall kindly for them and although unconvincing, the Dons managed to get the ball clear.

And Nicholls was soon called into action to make two key saves in quick succession, first denying Marquis after the striker had been played through by Harness.

The resulting corner was flicked on by Naylor for Curtis at the far post, but the keeper was there to deny the Blues’ top scorer.

MK Dons still threatened at the other end, though, and Raggett had to head Dean Lewington’s free-kick just past his own post.

Then, from the resulting corner, a scramble in the box led to MacGillivray diving on the ball at the feet of Healey.

But Pompey were still pushing forward whenever possible and after some neat build-up play involving Curtis, Close and Harness, the latter’s shot was blocked.

Curtis then went close with a bending strike from outside of the box that Nicholls did brilliantly to turn behind.

Jackett made a double switch on 72 minutes, with Harness and Cannon racing from the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman.

Marquis was only able to hit a weak shot straight at Nicholls from a low Walkes cross, as time began to run out on the visitors.

A fracas near the touchline led to Walsh and Christian Burgess both being booked – and the Dons scoring a third to wrap the points up.

Pompey were awarded a free-kick, but it came to nothing and the hosts broke quickly up the field, with Gilbey lifting a neat finish over MacGillivray and into the net.

There was at least a reply from CURTIS, who turned home Bolton’s cross from close range right at the death, but there was not enough time for the Blues to launch another attack.

The loss was perhaps an unfair outcome for the visitors, who will hope to improve their away form when they visit Gillingham on New Year’s Day.

MK Dons (4-1-2-1-2): Nicholls; Brittain, Williams, Walsh, Lewington (c); Houghton; McGrandles, Kasumu; Gilbey (Reeves 90+1); Healey (Nombe 68), Mason (Agard 77)
Goals: Healey 35, McGrandles 42, Gilbey 84
Booked: McGrandles, Brittain, Kasumu, Walsh
Subs not used: Moore, Poole, Cargill, Boateng

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Cannon (Pitman 72), Naylor (c), Close, Curtis; Harness (Evans 72); Harrison (Marquis 46)
Goals: Curtis 90+3
Booked: Harness, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Downing, Hawkins

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Attendance: 12,788 (5,083 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Feb 102018
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Conor Chaplin struck deep into stoppage-time as Pompey battled from behind to secure a dramatic victory at MK Dons.

Matt Clarke had already grabbed a late equaliser on his 100th appearance to cancel out Ike Ugbo’s opener.

Luke McGee also made several fine saves, while Brett Pitman and Oli Hawkins both went close as it seemed as though the Blues were heading for defeat.

But Clarke’s header lifted a large travelling army and substitute Chaplin sent them delirious at the death.

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

Both were enforced, with the injured Stephen Henderson and suspended Christian Burgess making way for McGee and skipper Pitman.

It meant that striker Hawkins was once again forced into the central defensive role, where he has featured on many occasions this term.

Burgess was present at Stadium MK, however, sat with team-mate Stuart O’Keefe among the 6,257 away supporters.

The first half was an open affair, with the contest quickly switching from one end to the other, although it was the visitors who had more of the ball in the early stages.

Connor Ronan’s curling effort drew a save from Lee Nicholls, while the keeper also punched clear Matty Kennedy’s cross under pressure from Pitman.

Peter Pawlett’s drive was pushed away by McGee at the other end, but the first clear opportunity fell to Kieran Agard on 12 minutes.

The striker was slipped through on goal by Ed Upson, but was unable to keep his composure and shot wide of the post.

Pompey then threatened themselves when Gareth Evans picked up a loose ball and hit a fierce effort that Nicholls was just about able to parry behind.

Dion Donohue was next to force the stopper into action with a low drilled attempt after cutting along the edge of the box.

But it was MK Dons who broke the deadlock on 21 minutes, even if Ugbo almost managed to miss a simple chance.

Josh Tymon did well down the left and centred for Agard, who saw his effort saved at point-blank range by McGee.

Ugbo was left with an empty goal to fire into, however, and his shot clipped the inside of the post before nestling in the net.

Pompey tried to hit back and Kennedy’s sighter flew wide before a better effort from Ben Close swerved inches over the bar.

A brilliant effort from Pitman almost drew them level, only for a back-pedalling Nicholls to tip over the striker’s lob.

But the Blues might have found themselves further behind at the break, as McGee first saved Callum Brittain’s shot and then kept out a thumping Scott Wootton header from the resulting corner.


Half Time

MK Dons 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double substitution at the start of the second half, with Kennedy and Ronan withdrawn for Jamal Lowe and Chaplin.

Pitman thought he should have won a penalty when he went to ground under pressure from Dean Lewington, but referee John Brooks was not interested.

Chaplin then cut the ball back for Evans, who hit his shot cleanly enough, but the ball flew straight at a grateful Nicholls.

But the Blues were again indebted to McGee for a couple more fine pieces of goalkeeping around the hour mark.

Firstly, he used his feet to deny Ugbo and then, from the resulting corner, somehow managed to athletically tip over Upson’s header.

Again the action switched back down the other end and Pitman went it alone, bundling his way into a shooting position, only for a well-placed Wootton to hack the ball from the line.

The ball then fell for Lowe inside the area, but it bounced up at an awkward angle and forced the winger to fire over.

Pompey were struggling to break down their stubborn hosts, although they came close to levelling when Hawkins headed Donohue’s corner against the post.

Close then did well to steal possession and although his pass was too heavy for Pitman, the skipper managed to win a corner.

And it was from that set-piece that the Blues levelled on 84 minutes, as Evans played the ball to Donohue and his cross was headed home by CLARKE.

The visitors then survived a scare at the other end, as Upson’s free-kick somehow evaded everyone and flashed just past the post.

But it was the Blues who grabbed a last-gasp winner when Donohue’s cross deflected into CHAPLIN’s path and the striker swept the ball into the net.

MK Dons (3-5-1-1): Nicholls; Williams, Wootton, Lewington (c); Brittain, Pawlett (McGrandles 58), Upson, Cisse (Ebanks-Landell 80), Tymon; Ugbo; Agard
Goals: Ugbo 21
Booked: Tymon
Subs not used: Sietsma, Nesbitt, Rasulo, Muirhead, Thomas-Asante

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Walkes, Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson, Close; Evans, Ronan (Chaplin 46), Kennedy (Lowe 46); Pitman (c)
Goals: Clarke 84, Chaplin 90+3
Booked: Clarke, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, Widdrington, May, Naismith

Referee: John Brooks

Attendance: 14,762 (6,257 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 142017
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




A brace from Oliver Hawkins ensured that Pompey beat MK Dons to secure successive league wins for the first time this season.

Both goals arrived in a first half that was almost completely one-sided, as the visitors struggled to deal with the Blues’ attacking play.

Hawkins was the beneficiary of some good work from the hosts’ wide players, as he converted crosses from first Matty Kennedy and then Jamal Lowe.

It was no surprise that the Dons were better after the break, but they did not do enough to test Luke McGee.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Gillingham the previous week.

Christian Burgess had recovered from a calf injury to start in defence and make his 100th appearance for the club, allowing Hawkins to move to a more natural position up front.

A slight niggle ensured that Curtis Main was the man to miss out, with Stuart O’Keefe continuing to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence.

The visitors had an early chance when Osman Sow got past Matt Clarke, only for the centre-back to recover well and win the ball back.

But after that it was a first half that saw Pompey enjoy almost total dominance, as they poured forward at every opportunity.

Kyle Bennett burst free down the right and Kennedy just got a touch to his cross to take the ball away from the advancing Lowe.

But the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes – and Kennedy had a large part to play in giving the hosts the lead.

He intercepted a sloppy pass from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and burst past the Dons defender before teeing-up HAWKINS for a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

There was a scare for both teams when Kennedy and Callum Brittain disappeared over the advertising hoardings at the Fratton End.

But the Blues winger soon reappeared and, after some treatment, the visiting right-back was able to continue.

Lee Nicholls was looking nervous between the MK Dons sticks and was perhaps lucky to win a free-kick after failing to hold Dion Donohue’s corner.

He then made a hash of dealing with Lowe’s centre and would have been relieved to see no Pompey player nearby to take advantage.

Donohue then tried his luck from 25 yards when Kennedy’s free-kick was only partially cleared, but could not send the ball on target.

With the visitors clinging on, O’Keefe was next to try his luck and Scott Wooton had to fling himself in front of the shot.

And Nicholls then charged from his line to dive on the ball following some fine work between Bennett and Lowe on the right.

MK Dons finally threatened late in the half and it took a fine challenge from Clarke to deny Sow after the striker burst through on goal.

But there was still time for Pompey to double their lead prior to the interval, as a persistent Lowe was able to cut the ball back for HAWKINS to turn home from close range.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

MK Dons 0


A Kennedy corner caused issues for the visitors just after the restart, but they were eventually able to scramble the ball clear.

Burgess then had to deal with Gboly Ariyibi’s dangerous low delivery from the right and just about managed to turn it the right side of the post.

MK Dons were looking more of a threat in the second half, but McGee was still a virtual spectator between the sticks.

And Hawkins had a chance to complete a hat-trick on the hour mark, only to swipe at thin air as he tried to convert Kennedy’s cross.

Bennett then missed another decent chance to put the result beyond doubt, firing wide when Lowe’s centre somehow found its way to his feet.

MK Dons might have made the most of that let-off and the Blues survived a couple of nervy scrambles in their box.

Ed Upson then whipped a free-kick into a crowded box and McGee did well to find his way through the bodies and punch clear.

Kennedy received a rousing reception from the Fratton faithful when he made way for Gareth Evans for the closing stages.

And Pompey saw out the final few minutes with relative ease to secure all three points on the sunny south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe (c); Lowe, Bennett, Kennedy (Evans 81); Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 14, 45+2
Booked: Kennedy
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Rose, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naismith

MK Dons (4-1-4-1): Nicholls; Brittain (Williams 41), Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Golbourne; Cisse (Agard 66); Ariyibi, Upson, Gilbey (c), Nesbitt (Aneke 46); Sow
Booked: Williams, Nicholls, Ebanks-Landell
Subs not used: Sietsma, Walsh, Lewington, Seager

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 17,608 (580 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jun 142016
 

Carl Baker

TransferMarkt.co.uk

Free Agent


Pompey have agreed a deal to sign midfielder Carl Baker on a two-year contract on July 1.


The 33-year-old joins fellow new additions Matt Clarke and Danny Rose as Paul Cook continues to shape his squad for the 2016/17 campaign.

Baker has spent the past two seasons at MK Dons, where he scored 15 goals in 72 appearances.

Baker netted 10 goals in the 2014/15 season when MK Dons won automatic promotion to the Championship and was named Player of the Year.

The going was tougher last term and Karl Robinson’s side were relegated back to the third tier, but the midfielder still chipped in with five strikes.

After beginning his career in the non-league game with Southport, Baker moved on to feature for Morecambe and Stockport.

He then spent four-and-a-half years with Coventry, scoring 28 goals in 182 games and being named captain.

Portsmouth FC