Aug 182018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 4    1 Oxford United

Pompey continued their 100 per cent start to the league season with a convincing victory over Oxford at Fratton Park.

They dominated the contest, but it looked like a frustrating afternoon might be in store when Gareth Evans saw his penalty saved.

The Blues were more clinical after the interval, however, and Evans redeemed himself, while a Rob Dickie own-goal and Jamal Lowe effort gave the scoreline a more realistic gloss.

United staged a late rally and twice the struck the woodwork before Jack Whatmough found his own net.

But the visitors – who are without a league point – were unable to stage an unlikely comeback and Lowe wrapped things up impressively in stoppage-time.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that exited the Carabao Cup on home soil earlier in the week.

Ben Thompson was handed an immediate debut in the centre of midfield, having finalised a loan switch from Millwall the previous day.

There were also starts for Craig MacGillivray, Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins.

Luke McGee, Christian Burgess, Brandon Haunstrup, Ben Close, David Wheeler and Brett Pitman were the men to make way, with all of them dropping to the bench.

Pompey had not been overly convincing in their opening day home victory over Luton, but they completely controlled the first half against Oxford.

The contest was slow to get going, but it was the hosts who dominated in terms of both possession and chances.

Tony McMahon had to clear Tom Naylor’s header behind, while Curtis was unable to keep his effort down from a Lowe centre.

Hawkins was proving a constant nuisance, but could not find the target after Whatmough’s long clearance picked him out.

It was a lively display from Thompson in the centre of the pitch and he certainly endeared himself to the Fratton faithful with a crunching – yet fair – challenge on Marcus Browne.

And the host should have broken the deadlock when Hawkins stole possession from Jamie Hanson, only to then be scythed down by the Oxford midfielder.

Referee Lee Swabey immediately pointed to the spot, but Evans’ tame effort was comfortably dealt with Jonathan Mitchell.

The ball stayed in play, though, and when it was worked to Thompson outside the box, his drilled effort fizzed just past the post.

Pompey were totally on top and had another great opportunity, as Hawkins flicked on Thompson’s pass, but Naylor swiped at thin air from just a few yards out.

Evans had another chance after collecting the ball from Lowe, but could not force his shot through a sea of yellow-shirted bodies.

United were racking up the bookings, with Hanson, Cameron Brannagan and Shandon Baptiste all cautioned.

But there was a Fratton first when their coach Shaun Derry – formerly of the Blues – argued with the fourth official and – under new FA rules – was also shown a yellow card.

There was one more chance for the hosts just before the break, but Hawkins was unable to connect with Thompson’s low cross at the near post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey had not made the most of their dominance in the first half, but roared into the lead just after the interval.

Hawkins was unable to turn in Lowe’s delivery, but instead managed to lay the ball off for EVANS to steer home.

Naylor then clashed with Brannagan and both players required treatment, with the Blues midfielder returning to the pitch sporting a bandaged head.

It was still pretty much one-way traffic and the lead was deservedly doubled on 56 minutes – albeit in fortuitous circumstances.

Lowe caused more problems on the right and tried to pick out Evans in the box, only for DICKIE to get there first and turn the ball into his own net.

Oxford made a triple substitution just past the hour mark in a desperate attempt to find a route back into the contest.

Instead they found themselves further behind, as Pompey continued to torment their under-siege opponents.

A corner from Evans was helped on by Clarke and turned towards goal by Hawkins, with LOWE sticking out a boot to flick the ball past Mitchell.

The visitors finally came to life in the closing stages and Brannagan forced a decent save from MacGillivray.

Oxford then hit the post twice in quick succession, with James Henry and Jon Obika both denied in a lively conclusion.

Their hopes were raised when Whatmough inadvertently sliced McMahon’s cross into his own net, but that was as good as it got.

Instead it was Pompey who had the final say, as LOWE surged forward and curled home an exquisite finish to complete the rout.

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Evans (c), B.Thompson; Lowe, Hawkins, Curtis (Wheeler 80)
Goals: Evans 48, Dickie 56 (og), Lowe 65, 90+2
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Close, Chaplin, Pitman

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Mitchell; McMahon, Dickie, Nelson (c), Garbutt (Ruffels 61); Hanson, Brannagan; Mackie, Baptiste (Henry 61), Browne; Smith (Obika 61)
Goals: Whatmough 89 (og)
Booked: Brannagan, Hanson, Baptiste
Subs not used: Shearer, Norman, Mousinho, Whyte

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 18,093 (1,312 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Mar 252018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Oxford United    0

 


Pompey made a mockery of their poor Fratton form in 2018 with a resounding victory over Oxford.

Kal Naismith grabbed an early opener, although the visitors responded well and it looked as though there might be a nervy finale.

That all changed when Alex Mowatt saw his penalty saved and was promptly sent off for lashing out at Nathan Thompson.

There was only going to be one winner from that point and Brett Pitman twice capitalised on good work from Jamal Lowe to wrap things up.

There was a single change from the side that won away at snowy Oldham the previous week.

Thompson came straight back into the starting line-up after returning from a four-match ban, with Brandon Haunstrup dropping to the bench.

A fit-again Gareth Evans – who had missed the same number of games with a hamstring injury – had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the visitors’ line-up, with former Pompey players Simon Eastwood and Wes Thomas both featuring.

The hosts made a bright start and the fans inside Fratton Park – as well as those watching on Sky Sports – had a goal to celebrate in just the fifth minute.

Connor Ronan sent a corner into the box and Matt Clarke nodded it back into the centre, where NAISMITH was waiting to hook home from close range.

He might have had a second after getting down well to meet another Ronan delivery with a diving header that flashed wide.

Oxford were all over the place and Ryan Ledson collected an early booking following a late challenge on the energetic Ronan.

Eastwood then grabbed Dion Donohue’s free-kick before Naismith could make a connection, while a cross from the Scottish forward had to be turned past his own post by Ashley Smith-Brown.

But United improved as the half progressed and James Henry turned sharply on the edge of the box before crashing a shot against the bar.

The Blues soon had a chance at the other end, with Lowe’s centre agonisingly out of reach for Pitman, as the skipper slid in at the far post.

Pitman was then brought down by Rob Dickie as he burst through on goal. The Fratton faithful were baying for a red card, but referee Charles Breakspear instead brandished a yellow.

It was Oxford who dominated as the interval approached, though, and Malachi Napa’s effort was diverted wide by Luke McGee’s fingertips.

Then, from the resulting corner, a well-placed Pitman had to hack Dickie’s goal-bound header from the line.

And the United defender should have done better just before the break, rising at the far post to meet a corner, only to send the ball wide from just a few yards out.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Oxford United 0


Oxford were still on top in the early stages of the second half, with Jack Whatmough doing well to deal with Todd Kane’s dangerous cross.

And the hosts made a change after just 51 minutes, with Evans making a welcome return to action in place of Ronan.

Pompey were struggling to keep hold of the ball and United were growing in confidence as they pushed forward, without forcing McGee into too much action.

And it looked as though the visitors would draw level just past the hour mark – only to miss a penalty and then be reduced to 10 men.

Clarke was penalised for a tug on Dickie inside the box, with Mowatt sending the spot-kick cannoning against the post.

The Oxford forward immediately clashed with Thompson, lashing out to send the Blues player tumbling to the turf.

That sparked a melee, involving plenty of pushing and shoving. When it all calmed down, Breakspear booked McGee for his reaction, before dismissing Mowatt.

It did not take long for the hosts to make the most of their numerical advantage, with the lead doubled on 69 minutes.

The delivery from Lowe on the right was superb and PITMAN was there to lash the ball into the roof of the net from a few yards out.

Pompey were, unsurprisingly, completely on top, with Evans seeing a shot blocked as home players started to fancy seeing their name on the scoresheet.

Instead it was the familiar figure of PITMAN who extended the advantage – with Lowe again playing a key role.

He raced onto a Thompson pass and rounded Eastwood with ease, only to be forced wide.

But the winger maintained his composure and squared for the Blues’ top scorer to stab into the net and complete an enoyable afternoon.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson (May 87); Lowe, Close, Ronan (Evans 51), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Naismith 5, Pitman 69, 79
Booked: Thompson, Naismith, McGee
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Kennedy, Chaplin

Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Kane, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Smith-Brown (Ricardinho 77); Brannagan; Ledson, Mowatt; Henry (Mehmeti 77); Napa (Rothwell 66), Thomas
Sent off: Mowatt
Booked: Ledson, Dickie, Brannagan
Subs not used: Shearer, Martin, Ashby, Ruffels

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,892 (1,050 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 122017
 

Match Report

League One


Oxford United 3    0 Portsmouth

Wes Thomas struck against his former club to ensure that Pompey left the Kassam Stadium empty-handed.

A tight encounter was short on clear-cut chances, although Kyle Bennett and Brett Pitman both went close, while the latter also had a goal disallowed.

But Thomas found the net just after the restart before substitute Gino van Kessel and Josh Ruffels both notched late on to ensure the Blues suffered their first league loss of the season.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Cardiff in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

That meant Kal Naismith continued to lead the line, with teenager Adam May given another chance to impress in midfield.

Oxford handed starts to three former Blues players, with keeper Simon Eastwood, defender Mike Williamson and striker Thomas all featuring.

It was the hosts who dominated possession during the first half, although Pompey laid claim to the better of the scoring chances.

Jack Whatmough could not get on the end of a Gareth Evans corner in the opening stages, while Pitman met May’s centre and sent a firm header narrowly past the post.

Bennett then tried his luck with a snap-shot from outside the box, with Eastwood scrambling across his goal to palm the ball behind.

The hosts started to look more threatening as the half progressed and Drew Talbot did well to cut across and prevent Thomas from getting a shot away.

Then, moments later, Christian Burgess made a crunching tackle to dispossess Christian Ribeiro on the edge of the box.

Pompey won a few corners and one of them from Evans was nodded back across goal by Burgess, only for Whatmough to head into Eastwood’s arms.

But United then had their best chance of the half on 39 minutes, as Curtis Nelson turned Williamson’s pass wide from close range.

Pitman did have the ball in the back of the net at the other end moments later when he met Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, but referee Graham Salisbury spotted a foul.

There were still time for Bennett have a shot in stoppage-time, although his cleanly-struck effort was straight at Eastwood.


Half Time

Oxford United 0

Portsmouth 0


It had been a fairly calm opening first half, but Oxford broke the deadlock within a couple of minutes of the restart.

McGee failed to hold on to an angled drive from Ribeiro and Thomas was well placed to force home the loose ball.

A substitution then had to be made, as referee Salisbury – who seemed to walk off relatively untroubled – was replaced by fourth official Marc Wilson.

Naismith was not too far away from an equaliser when he sent in a corner from the right that almost swung in at the far post.

But that was his last piece of the action as, just seconds later, the Scottish forward was replaced by Conor Chaplin.

It became an end-to-end affair, as Pompey went in search of a leveller and Oxford looked to hit them on the break.

A couple of dangerous crosses from Talbot and Brandon Haunstrup were dealt with assuredly by Williamson.

On both occasions the hosts were quickly up the other end to go close themselves and twice Burgess came to the rescue, first with a key tackle and then a crucial block.

The Blues made their second switch on 69 minutes and it was an attacking one, with Talbot making way for Carl Baker and Evans moving to right-back.

A moment of confusion between Burgess and Evans almost gave Oxford a second goal soon after, but McGee managed to push Jon Obika’s effort over the bar.

The hosts did wrap things up on 82 minutes, however, when van Kessel – who had only just come on – cut in from the left and coolly fired home.

Pompey kept battling away, but were unable to send the large travelling support home with at least a consolation effort to cheer.

And their misery was compunded deep into stoppage-time when Jack Payne slipped in Ruffels to slot home a third for the hosts.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Ribeiro, Nelson (c), Williamson, Ricardinho; Ledson, Ruffels; Henry (Hall 76), Payne, Johnson (van Kessel 79); Thomas (Obika 69)
Goals: Thomas 47, van Kessel 82, Ruffels 90+4
Subs not used: Shearer, Carroll, Martin, Rothwell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Baker 69), Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; May, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Naismith (Chaplin 56)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Close, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Marc Wilson 51)

Attendance: 9,510 (1,810 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jan 232016
 

Match Report

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Oxford United    1

 


Pompey lost ground on the automatic promotion places with a 1-0 home defeat to Oxford.

Jordan Bowery came off the bench to score the only goal of the game late on at a packed Fratton Park.

Goalkeeper Ryan Fulton had earlier conceded and then saved a penalty in a memorable debut for the teenager.

The Blues’ best chance came before the break when Marc McNulty’s effort was cleared off the line.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that knocked Ipswich out of the FA Cup earlier in the week.

Fulton was thrown straight into the side after completing his loan switch from Liverpool the previous day.

He replaced the injured Brian Murphy in goal, while Christian Burgess made way for Matt Clarke in defence.

Oxford, meanwhile, were without former Fratton striker Ryan Taylor, with ex-Pompey boss Michael Appleton moving top scorer Kemar Roofe up front.

The game began at a frantic pace and continued in that vein for the rest of the first half.

But the Fratton faithful were not happy with a number of decisions by Neil Swarbrick and gave the referee a standing ovation when he finally awarded their side a free-kick.

The visitors looked an attacking threat, although Fulton was not being overworked on his debut.

He did, however, have to come charging out of his box on 16 minutes to beat Danny Hylton to the ball.

Johnny Mullins and Roofe both headed over from set-pieces, while George Baldock fired a shot into the side netting.

But it was the Blues who almost broke the deadlock on 19 minutes after Gary Roberts and McNulty traded clever passes inside the box.

The latter then controlled the ball neatly before firing in a shot that Jake Wright had to clear from the line.

Kyle Bennett also came close with a 20-yard free-kick that was deflected narrowly over the crossbar.

The game was still being played at a breathtaking speed as the interval drew nearer, but the closest Oxford came to a goal was when Liam Sercombe drilled wide.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


The pace did not let up following the restart and United were given a chance to forge ahead on 51 minutes.

Hylton burst into the box and Fulton caught the striker as he tried to beat him to the ball, with Swarbrick immediately pointing to the spot.

But the keeper went from villain to hero, diving to his right to save Sercombe’s penalty and then brilliantly recovering to stop him converting the loose ball.

Cook made his first substitution soon after, with Adam Barton making way for Ben Close in midfield.

Pompey then won a couple of corners, with Ben Davies’ delivery for the second just too high for Adam Webster at the far post.

Cook injected a fresh attacking impetus into his side on 63 minutes, as Adam McGurk came on for Roberts.

It was Close who lined up a long-range drive moments later, however, only to see his shot blocked before it could reach the goal.

The Blues were now on top, but Roofe caused concern at the other end when he swung in a free-kick from wide on the left that somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play.

And it was Oxford who took the lead on 76 minutes when Bowery collected Wright’s long ball forward and guided a shot into the bottom corner.

Cook made one last throw of the dice by bringing on Conor Chaplin in place of McNulty in Pompey’s attack.

But it was McGurk who came closest to grabbing an equaliser, only to guide his header straight into the arms of United keeper Sam Slocombe.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Webster, Clarke, Stevens; Barton (Close 54), Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts (McGurk 63), Bennett; McNulty (Chaplin 82)
Subs not used: Jones, Burgess, Tollitt, Naismith

Oxford (4-4-2): Slocombe; Baldock, Mullins, Wright (c), Skarz; MacDonald (Bowery 69), Lundstram, Sercombe, O’Dowda (Evans 82); Hylton (Hoban 88), Roofe
Goals: Bowery 76
Booked: Mullins
Subs not used: Buchel, Long, Dunkley, Ruffels

Referee: Neil Swarbrick

Attendance: 17,840 (2,047 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 192015
 

Match Report

League Two


Oxford United 1    1 Portsmouth

Adam McGurk’s stunning strike saw Pompey fight from behind to preserve their unbeaten league record at Oxford.

The forward fired home from long-range after the interval to cancel out Liam Sercombe’s first half opener.

But the Blues had to play out the closing stages with only 10 men after captain Michael Doyle was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that beat Barnet at Fratton Park the previous week.

With Gary Roberts and Brian Murphy both absent through injury, in came Gareth Evans wide on the right and Paul Jones between the sticks.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start, sending a few deliveries into the box for the hosts to deal with.

They were enjoying plenty of possession, but the final ball was lacking and Sam Slocombe remained untroubled in the Oxford goal.

And United started to grow into the game as the half progressed, finally having the first decent chance on 26 minutes.

Doyle was booked for a foul on Sercombe and Jones was quickly off his line to punch clear the resulting free-kick.

Pompey’s keeper was in action again moments later, this time preventing Danny Hylton from scoring with an angled close-range drive.

The visitors were soon forced into making a substitution, with Conor Chaplin limping off to be replaced by Matt Tubbs.

Hylton then saw his shot deflected behind and it was from the resulting corner that Oxford broke the deadlock.

Rose swung a dangerous cross into the box and Pompey were unable to properly deal with the delivery, leaving Sercombe in space to lash home the loose ball.

The Blues were still not creating much at the other end and a Ben Davies free-kick that curled wide was the closest they came to troubling Slocombe.

United were having more joy, however, and Roofe probably should have guided Callum O’Dowda’s cut-back on target.

Johnny Mullins then met a Rose free-kick on 43 minutes, but Jones palmed away his header and Pompey were able to hack clear.

And Jones came to the rescue again just before the interval, doing well to make himself large and deny Roofe.


Half Time

Oxford United 1

Portsmouth 0


Cook made a change at the break, with Adam Barton coming on for his first league appearance in place of the below-par Nigel Atangana.

Pompey soon had a chance to draw level when they broke quickly up the pitch and Slocombe did well to stop the onrushing Evans from meeting McGurk’s low cross.

Evans then hooked the ball into the box and McGurk sent a header looping narrowly over the crossbar.

But the Blues’ afternoon was perhaps best summed up on 58 minutes when Kyle Bennett did well to win a corner.

Evans placed the ball down to take what was clearly a well-rehearsed effort, only to roll it straight out of play.

But suddenly – and without looking particularly threatening – Pompey found themselves level.

There did not appear to be much on when McGURK received the ball 30 yards out, but he let fly with a fierce effort that beat Slocombe’s desperate dive and slammed into the net.

The goal seemed to give the visitors a massive lift, although Oxford arguably should have restored their advantage on 69 minutes.

Mullins met George Baldock’s cross with a firm header, but he could only direct the ball straight at Jones.

It was Pompey now looking the more assured side in possession, however, and they forged another good opening on 77 minutes.

A patient passing move ended with McGurk cutting the ball back for Bennett, who was unable to force his shot through a sea of bodies.

But, with the Blues firmly in control, they were reduced to 10 men after Doyle ended a brisk Oxford break by bringing down Sercombe.

Referee Iain Williamson immediately called Pompey’s skipper over and showed him his second yellow card of the afternoon, followed by a red.

However, the Blues saw out the final few minutes with relative ease to take a point back home to the south coast.

Oxford (4-4-2): Slocombe; Baldock, Mullins, Wright (c), Skarz; Rose (Ruffels 71), Sercombe, Lundstram, O’Dowda (MacDonald 40); Roofe (Hoban 82), Hylton
Goals: Sercombe 33
Booked: Hylton, Wright, Ruffels
Subs not used: Buchel, Dunkley, Roberts, Taylor

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana (Barton 46), Doyle (c); Bennett (Hollands 82), Chaplin (Tubbs 30), Evans; McGurk
Goals: McGurk 61
Sent off: Doyle (two yellow cards)
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Naismith, Stockley

Referee: Iain Williamson

Attendance: 9,093 (2,459 Pompey fans)



Portsmouth FC