Nov 122016
 
League 2
Portsmouth 4 – 0 Mansfield Town

 

Stags tamed in Fratton rout

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Half Time: Pompey 1 Mansfield 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,393 (326 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 042016
 
IN
Noel Hunt

(33)
Southend United


Blues bring in Irish striker

Pompey have completed the signing of striker Noel Hunt on a one-year deal.

The 33-year-old has already featured for the Blues in pre-season and will wear the number 20 shirt.

“This is a fantastic club,” said the former Republic of Ireland international. “They have a great reputation and manager, so it was a no-brainer for me.

“The gaffer wanted me to come down here and see what a professional standard it is. It’s a really high quality.

“I’ve turned down a few clubs from higher leagues because I felt that this was the right one for me.

“This is a club with plenty of ambition and I spoke to friends of mine who have played here before – like Andy Griffin, Jason Pearce and David Norris – and speak very highly about the place.

“It’ll be great to play in front of such large crowds and it gives you an extra buzz when you take to the pitch.”

Hunt started his career at Shamrock Rovers in his homeland before spells with Scottish sides Dunfermline and Dundee United.

He is perhaps best known for his time with Reading, however, where he scored 39 goals in 162 appearances and won promotion to the Premier League.

Hunt moved on to feature for Leeds and Ipswich, spending last season with Southend before departing in May.

Portsmouth FC
Jul 192016
 
Friendly
Salisbury 2 – 2 Portsmouth

 

Hunt and Roberts net for Blues

Pompey were twice pegged back by Salisbury and had to settle for a draw in their latest pre-season outing at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.

They created a host of chances and finally forged ahead through Noel Hunt, only for Justin Bennett to immediately equalise.

Gary Roberts’ restored the lead after the interval, but the Whites – despite rarely posing a threat – levelled again when Eddie Perrett headed home.

On a sweltering evening in Wiltshere, it was the hosts who made the brighter start and Pompey had to deal with a couple of free-kicks.

But Paul Cook’s side soon started to take control and Milan Lalkovic saw a shot deflected wide following a quick counter-attack.

Jack Whatmough then missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock on eight minutes, heading Gary Roberts’ cross wide after being left unmarked in the box.

Carl Baker has already shown that he is unafraid to have a pop, but appeared to leave his shooting boots at home with a couple of efforts that failed to find the target.

And Lee Angel then made a superb diving block to deny the midfielder as the Blues continued to threaten.

Hunt was looking a danger up front for the visitors and lifted a shot narrowly wide following a fine through ball by Roberts.

One fine flowing move involved Hunt and Baker, but Enda Stevens was unable to beat Whites keeper Charlie Searle after being teed-up.

Searle then made a stunning save to keep out a close-range Roberts header that seemed destined for the net.

But Pompey’s pressure finally paid dividends on 42 minutes when HUNT collected Stevens’ low cross and steered a shot inside the near post.

The lead lasted for just a minute, however, as a corner from Lewis Benson was emphatically headed home by Bennett.

There was still time for the Blues to go close before the break, but another superb Angel block denied Lalkovic.

Half Time: Salisbury 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey continued to look bright after the interval and Roberts’ header was deflected wide after the midfielder had met Drew Talbot’s cross.

Baker then slid a pass across the face of goal that was just out of the reach of substitute Michael Smith.

It was Smith who probably should have restored the Blues’ lead on 54 minutes, but he failed to find the target with a close-range header.

Pompey were dominating and it came as no surprise when they did score a second soon after.

Lalkovic slid a pass through to ROBERTS in the box and the midfielder’s shot creeped over the line, despite the best efforts of the Salisbury back-line to get the ball clear.

Salisbury were not doing much to test trialist keeper Chris Kanopka at the other end, with an effort from Tony Lee almost going out for a throw.

But they found themselves level on 72 minutes with another goal from a corner, as Benson’s cross was headed back for Perrett to flick home.

Pompey had an immediate chance to restore their advantage, but Smith could not quite squeeze the ball in from a tight angle.

Kyle Bennett then fired over the bar after Stevens had been released down the left by Roberts and delivered a low cross into the box.

Pompey continued to dominate possession as the game drew to a conclusion, but were unable to convert that into a winning goal.

Salisbury (4-4-2): Searle (Childs 62); Colson, Wheeler (c) (Leigh 74), Angel, Perrett; Herbert (Jones 46), Whelan, Benson, Young (Masterton 59); Wright (Lee 46), Bennett (Flint 67)
Goals: Bennett 43, Perrett 72

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Konopka; Talbot, Whatmough, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 62); Hunt (Smith 46)
Goals: Hunt 42, Roberts 59
Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Haunstrup, Close, May, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Linganzi, Tollitt, Chaplin

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 1,124

Portsmouth FC
Jul 132016
 
Friendly
Havant & Waterlooville 0 – 5 Portsmouth

 

Blues ease to friendly victory

Carl Baker bagged a brace as Pompey hit five unanswered goals past non-league neighbours Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park.

The midfielder struck either side of the interval to give the Blues a commanding lead after Gary Roberts had opened the scoring.

Trialist Noel Hunt and Curtis Main then both came off the bench to cap a comfortable victory for Paul Cook’s side.

There was good news for the hosts before kick-off, as they announced the return of former Pompey midfielder Wes Fogden on a two-year deal.

But it was the visitors who had most of the joy once the action belatedly got underway, following a 15-minute delay to allow all the fans to get into the ground.

Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin went close in the opening stages, with the pair both narrowly failing to find the target.

In between was the Hawks’ only decent chance of the evening, with a crisp effort from ex-Fratton youngster Bradley Tarbuck superbly tipped around the post by Michael Crowe.

And Pompey broke the deadlock on 12 minutes when Milan Lalkovic slid a fine pass through to ROBERTS, who neatly lifted the ball over keeper Ryan Young and into the net.

The Blues continued to dominate and Baker had a hat-trick of efforts – the first clearing the ground, the second fizzing narrowly over and the third hit straight at Young.

Rose was next to go close midway through the first half, firing into the side netting following good build-up play from Michael Doyle and Lalkovic.

Baker was not afraid to try his luck from distance and another attempt from the summer signing had to be pushed to safety by Young.

And his persistence paid off just before the break with a strike that was most definitely worth the wait.

BAKER picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and hit a stunning shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, leaving Young rooted to the spot.

Half Time: Hawks 0 Pompey 2

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey picked up where they left off after the restart and Young had to come charging from his line to stop Chaplin racing onto Lalkovic’s pass.

The Hawks keeper then kept out Lalkovic’s stinging drive, but was unable to stop the Blues from grabbing a third goal.

He could only parry the ball as far as Roberts, who cut it back for BAKER to tap home from just a couple of yards out.

The usual pre-season flurry of substitutions meant that chances began to dry up and the pace started to slow.

But two of those late arrivals managed to find the net and give the scoreline an added gloss for the visitors.

First trialist HUNT slid in to convert Enda Stevens’ low cross from wide on the left after the full-back had picked up Doyle’s raking pass.

Then, after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had stolen possession and seen his shot parried by Young, MAIN followed-up to poke home.

He almost scored again late on, but a thunderous effort from 30-yards hit the inside of the post and flew clear.

There was a bit of needle between Main and Ben Swallow late on that would normally have received a harsher punishment than the ticking off dished out by referee Dean Treleaven.

But that was a rare moment of petulance in a good-natured contest that saw the Blues continue their preparations for the 2016/17 campaign in fine style.

Hawks (4-4-2): Young (Searle 65); Strugnell (Miller 89), Woodford (Molyneaux 54), Robinson, Williams (Medway 65); Swallow, Lewis (Ridge 65), Stock (c) (Whittingham 84), Tarbuck (Barker 54); Prior (Hayter 65), Paterson (Rutherford 54)

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Crowe; Talbot (Sessegnon 74), Whatmough (Bradbury 85), Burgess (Barton 78), Stevens (Haunstrup 76); Rose (Widdrington 74), Doyle (c) (Bedford 74); Baker (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71), Roberts (Main 69), Lalkovic (Tollitt 60); Chaplin (Hunt 57)
Goals: Roberts 12, Baker 45, 56, Hunt 69, Main 73

Referee: Dean Treleaven

Attendance: 2,300

Portsmouth FC