Dec 262016
 
League 2
Newport County 2 – 3 Portsmouth

 

Blues win dramatic Boxing Day clash

Pompey ensured there was plenty of festive cheer in a Christmas cracker of a contest at Newport.

It looked like the Blues would be as miserable as Scrooge before a visit from the spirits as the hosts roared into a two-goal advantage.

Danny Rose then provided a spark of hope, only for it to be snuffed out again when Kal Naismith missed from the spot.

But Enda Stevens drew the Blues level with his first goal for the club before Naismith grabbed a late winner.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that drew with Hartlepool before Christmas.

Naismith and Noel Hunt were brought in for Kyle Bennett and Gary Roberts, as Pompey switched to a 4-4-2 system.

A more direct approach was adopted to cope with the poor surface and physicality of the opposition.

But it was the Welsh hosts who settled quickest and David Forde had to deal with a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

The Blues created most of the half’s clear-cut chances, however, and Michael Smith should have found the target from close range following good work from Naismith and Stevens.

Joe Day then had to come tearing from his box to beat Hunt to an under-hit back-pass and sweep the ball to safety.

But the County keeper lost the same race moments later, with the striker not quite able to guide his looping header on target.

Instead it was Newport who broke the deadlock on 25 minutes when Josh Sheehan curled a fine free-kick over the wall and past Forde’s desperate dive.

There was almost an immediate equaliser, but after Day failed to hold Naismith’s long-range effort, Rose’s follow-up was hacked from the line by Jennison Myrie-Williams.

Scot Bennett then attempted to clear a low cross from Stevens and only just avoided sending the ball into his own net.

And it was Christian Burgess who was next to go close on 38 minutes when a Naismith free-kick was not properly cleared.

The centre-back did well to turn amidst a host of amber-shirted bodies, but his shot fizzed narrowly past the post.

Stevens then almost opened his Blues account just before the break with a deflected strike that Bennett just about stopped from sneaking inside the post.

Half Time: Newport 1 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

There was another opportunity for Smith early in the second half when Michael Doyle sent a ball into the box from deep, but the striker was unable to make a clean connection.

Newport were proving more clinical, though, and Rhys Healey doubled their advantage from close range after Forde could only parry a curling effort from Sheehan.

But the Blues soon hit back to reduce the deficit, with Gareth Evans getting free down the right and cutting the ball back for ROSE to slot home.

It was the visitors, unsurprisingly, looking the more threatening side by this point and Day was fortunate to parry Evans’ shot to safety, with Smith and Hunt both waiting to pounce.

But they were given an excellent opportunity to level just past the hour mark when Jazzi Barnum-Bobb pushed Naismith in the box and referee Charles Breakspear pointed to the spot.

It was Naismith who stepped up to take the penalty, only to blast the ball over the bar and turn the party in the away end sour.

The Scottish winger tried to make amends with an ambitious effort from long-range, but there was not quite enough dip on his shot.

Cook threw on an extra striker on 74 minutes as Pompey chased an equaliser, with Carl Baker making way for Conor Chaplin.

It was Naismith who was next to threaten, though, surging half the length of the pitch before drawing a save from Day.

But there was an unlikely provider of Pompey’s equaliser on 80 minutes, as STEVENS latched onto Rose’s pass and lashed home a neat finish.

And Evans was fuming that they did not have the chance to score again soon after, with Breakspear deciding that the right-back had not been pushed in the box.

The winning goal did arrive late on – even if there was a bit of confusion about who scored it.

NAISMITH whipped in a free-kick from wide on the right and it was unclear whether anyone else got a touch as the ball flew into the net.

Not that it mattered to the horde of travelling fans, who celebrated wildly – as did the players and those on the bench.

Newport (3-5-1-1): Day; Meite (Green 90), Jones, Bennett (c); Barnum-Bobb, Tozer (Randall 90), Owen-Evans (Jackson 85), Rigg, Myrie-Williams; Sheehan; Healey
Goals: Sheehan 25, Healey 51
Booked: Healey, Tozer, Barnum-Bobb
Subs not used: Bittner, Bignot, O’Hanlon, Butler

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Chaplin 74), Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith; Hunt (Linganzi 89), Smith
Goals: Rose 56, Stevens 80, Naismith 87
Booked: Burgess, Hunt
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Whatmough, Lalkovic, Bennett

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 3,714 (729 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Mar 122016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 0 – 3 Newport County

Pompey’s good run of form was abruptly halted as they lost at home to Newport.

Darren Jones headed the visitors in front during a first half that was extremely low on quality.

The Blues were then controversially reduced to 10 men when Gary Roberts was shown a second booking for alleged simulation.

And County ensured that they would take all three points back to south Wales, as Scott Boden and Dean Morgan increased their lead.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that won convincingly at Accrington earlier in the week.

The switch came up front, where on-loan Michael Smith made way for top scorer Marc McNulty.

It was a warm and sunny afternoon on the south coast, but there certainly was not a spring in the step of the players.

There was not much to lift the crowd in an incredibly low-tempo opening to the game, with shots thin on the ground.

McNulty dragged the ball wide from the edge of the box, while, at the other end, Boden hit a tame effort straight into Ryan Fulton’s arms.

With little footballing action to excite those in the stands, referee Ben Toner provided the only incidents of note by brandishing a flurry of yellow cards.

Mark Byrne probably deserved his for a cynical challenge on Gareth Evans, although the bookings for Enda Stevens and Danny Hollands looked harsh.

But that was the least of Pompey’s worries, as – despite County not offering much of a threat – they fell behind on 34 minutes.

Medy Elito’s free-kick was flicked on by Boden and Jones out-muscled Fulton to head home, with Toner ignoring the cries of foul from the Blues keeper.

The hosts tried to inject some more urgency into their play, but were finding it difficult to breach a well-organised Exiles defence.

Their best chance arrived in stoppage-time when Joe Day dropped Ben Davies’ cross, but McNulty was too close to the keeper to fire the loose ball past him.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Newport 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Cook, unsurprisingly, made an attacking switch at the break, with Evans the man to make way for Smith.

And there certainly seemed to be an increase in tempo as Pompey set about trying to find an equaliser.

Day was twice called into action in the opening stages, although was not overly troubled by a shot from Roberts and header from Smith.

But the Blues came agonisingly close to scoring on 57 minutes when Smith was inches away from meeting a fine low cross from Kyle Bennett.

Their hopes of getting anything from the game were dealt a severe blow moments later, however, when they were reduced to 10 men.

Roberts went down on the edge of the box and claimed a free-kick, but Toner decided he had dived.

Having already booked the midfielder for a trip on Elito, he displayed a second yellow card followed by a red – much to the ire of most of those inside Fratton Park.

Cook soon made his second substitution of the afternoon, withdrawing Bennett and bringing on Kal Naismith.

But Newport made their numerical advantage count on 69 minutes when they doubled their lead after Pompey had lost possession.

The ball was worked to Elito out on the left and the winger’s cross was headed home by Boden from close range.

Conor Chaplin was immediately brought on for McNulty and soon had a chance, but could only hook the ball over from 12 yards.

He then teed-up Smith with a neat pass, with Day getting down low to his right to save an angled drive.

Instead, it was Newport who scored to complete a miserable afternoon for the Blues, with substitute Morgan converting a low cross from Byrne.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Hollands, Doyle (c); Evans (Smith 46), Roberts, Bennett (Naismith 61); McNulty (Chaplin 70)
Sent off: Roberts (two yellow cards)
Booked: Stevens, Hollands, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, McGurk

Newport (4-1-3-2): Day; Holmes, Donacien, Jones, Hughes; Byrne (c); Rodman, O’Sullivan, Elito (Gosling 74); Boden (Morgan 77), Ayina (Wilkinson 61)
Goals: Jones 34, Boden 69, Morgan 87
Booked: Byrne, O’Sullivan
Subs not used: Green, Partridge, Barrow, Klukowski

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 16,245 (386 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Oct 172015
 

League Two


 

Newport County    0

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


Matt Tubbs grabbed the only goal as Pompey maintained their excellent away record with victory at bottom club Newport.

The winner arrived in first half stoppage-time after the visitors had dominated without creating many clear-cut chances.

The game’s other big talking point was a change of officials after referee James Adcock was forced off injured.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that won at Cambridge the previous week.

Adam Webster and Kal Naismith both made their first league starts of the season, with Matt Clarke dropping to the bench and Gareth Evans starting a three-match ban.

Also among the substitutes were recent loan signing Caolan Lavery, utility man Rommy Boco and fit-again goalkeeper Brian Murphy.

Pompey made a bright start and Gary Roberts sent a fine ball across the face of goal that none of his team-mates could make a connection with.

At the other end, Webster did well to turn behind Zak Ansah’s low cross and Aaron McCarey punched clear from the resulting corner.

But the Blues soon started to dominate possession and enjoy their usual patient passing game.

Kyle Bennett created a great chance on 17 minutes when he bamboozled his man down the left and sent a delivery into the box, but Roberts’ effort was blocked by Scot Bennett.

Roberts had another chance after Pompey advanced down the middle moments later, with his chipped effort flying wide.

The home support were growing frustrated by their side’s inability to keep hold of the ball, but Newport were not really being put under too much pressure.

And Lenell John-Lewis had the ball in the back of Pompey’s net on 31 minutes, only for the goal to be disallowed for a foul on Christian Burgess in the build-up.

There was then a lengthy stoppage as Adcock limped to the sidelines and had to be replaced by fourth official Wayne Barratt.

That drew comical – and somewhat uncaring – chants of ‘You’re Not Fit To Referee’ from the amused spectators.

It led to four minutes of stoppage-time and Pompey managed to forge ahead in the second of them.

Bennett sent a fine threaded pass through to TUBBS, who clinically slotted the ball into the bottom corner to send the large travelling contingent wild with delight.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


The first action of the second half – once a qualified referee from the crowd had been sourced to take over fourth official duties – saw Scott Barrow booked for a late challenge on Tubbs.

It was a scrappy first few minutes, although both sides had the chance to score within a few seconds of each other on 53 minutes.

When Naismith won a free-kick on the edge of the box, Bennett quickly played it to Roberts, whose fierce drive was blocked.

Newport then broke quickly up the other end of the pitch and the moved ended with Mark Byrne firing inches past the post.

The hosts had another opportunity when Adam Barton conceded a free-kick in a dangerous position, but Tommy O’Sullivan’s curling effort was comfortable for McCarey.

Cook decided the time was right for a change just before the hour mark and Naismith made way for debutant Rommy Boco.

Pompey were struggling to find any fluency, although Bennett did see a long-range drive sail narrowly wide.

Another substitution followed on 68 minutes as Danny Hollands replaced Barton in the centre of midfield.

And the Blues had a great chance to wrap the points up soon after following a great move down the left involving Bennett and Enda Stevens.

County keeper Joe Day managed to get a hand to the latter’s low cross and the ball was agonisingly out of reach for either Tubbs or Roberts to poke home.

Pompey’s final change came on 75 minutes and saw Lavery come on for his debut in place of goalscorer Tubbs.

And the closing stages passed by pretty much incident-free as the Blues secured another three-point haul on the road.

Newport (3-5-2): Day; Partridge, Bennett, Donacien; Barnum-Bobb, O’Sullivan, Byrne (c), Elito, Barrow (Rodman 65); John-Lewis (Collins 65), Ansah (Boden 59)
Booked: Barrow
Subs not used: Taylor, Holmes, Taylor, Klukowski

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Doyle (c), Barton (Hollands 68); Naismith (Boco 59), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Lavery 75)
Goals: Tubbs 45+2
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Murphy, Clarke, Atangana, Chaplin

Referee: James Adcock (Wayne Barratt 40)

Attendance: 3,298 (1,087 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC