Jul 062020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1 Play Off Semi Final




Pompey missed out on a place in the League One play-off final after losing to Oxford on penalties at the Kassam Stadium.

Marcus Harness had given the Blues a second leg advantage, only for an unfortunate Ellis Harrison own-goal to level the tie.

Extra-time failed to find a winner and so it headed to a shoot-out, with Cameron McGeehan’s miss proving decisive.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Fratton Park just three days earlier.

Steve Seddon and James Bolton returned to the full-back berths, while Ryan Williams was handed an attacking wide role.

That saw Lee Brown, Ross McCrorie and Andy Cannon drop to the bench, with Christian Burgess claiming the captain’s armband.

As in the first leg, there was a minute of applause in recognition of the NHS and other key workers, while players then took the knee to show opposition to racism.

The hosts were first to threaten, but Alex Bass got down to keep out an early effort from Jamie Mackie.

Pompey, meanwhile, looked bright going forward, although their attacks often broke down before former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood could be tested.

There was one perfectly-timed challenge inside the box to stop the energetic Williams collecting a threaded Harness pass.

Williams then swung in a dangerous left-footed cross that Bryn Morris was not quite able to guide on target.

Harrison thought he received a shove in the box from Elliott Moore following the mid-half drinks break.

But referee Darren England did not agree with that assessment, while a follow-up effort from McGeehan was blocked.

The visitors finally forced Eastwood into action on 36 minutes, with a decent stop preventing Harrison converting a low Williams delivery.

Bass denied Marcus Browne at the other end – just seconds before a route-one move saw the Blues break the deadlock.

The keeper’s long punt up the pitch was flicked on by Harrison, with HARNESS collecting the ball, spinning sharply and slotting a shot into the bottom corner.

It looked like Pompey would take that lead into the break, only for some sloppy play to allow Oxford to level right on the stroke of half-time.

James Henry’s corner caused problems in the box and Harrison inadvertently flicked the ball towards his own net.

Sean Raggett tried frantically to hack clear, but after a quick check of his watch, the referee signalled that it had crossed the line.


Half Time

Oxford United 1

Portsmouth 1


The hosts were quicker from the blocks once the action restarted and their opponents had to deal with some tricky balls into the box.

They were unable to make the most of their control of possession, though, with a Henry effort that flew over the bar summing things up.

And frustration boiled over when Sam Long fouled Ronan Curtis, with pushing and showing ensuing and the United defender shown a yellow card.

Curtis soon curled a free-kick off target and Jackett then decided to make a double switch on the hour mark.

It was Harrison and Seddon who made their way from the pitch, with John Marquis and Lee Brown on to replace them.

But Marquis’ first contribution was a foul on Oxford skipper Rob Dickie that saw his name added to England’s book.

The striker came close to restoring the visitors’ advantage following the drinks break, though, when he headed a Curtis cross against the post.

Harness then attempted an ambitious curling effort that did not quite have enough dip to send the ball under the crossbar.

That was his last piece of meaningful involvement in the contest, with Cannon replacing him on 81 minutes.

But it was Oxford substitute Dan Agyei who came close to a late winner, embarking on a persistent run before eventually being forced to fire wide by Brown.

The hosts also threatened from a free-kick and corner in stoppage-time, but 180 minutes of action ended with the sides all square at 2-2 on aggregate.

Full Time: Oxford 1 Pompey 1 (2-2)

An early extra-time Pompey chance saw Curtis send a free-kick over the bar after Dickie had been shown a yellow card for bringing down Marquis.

There were set-piece opportunities for the visitors, although a couple of Brown deliveries were dealt with.

But there was then a scramble at the opposite end, with Burgess forced to make a key block amidst a sea of bodies.

Pompey’s players were furious when Cannon was the victim of a meaty Alex Gorrin challenge, but England decided it only warranted a booking.

There were more frayed tempers after a brief interval when Matty Taylor was booked for catching McGeehan late.

Marquis then had a chance to put Pompey back into the lead, but could only nod an excellent Brown cross wide at the back post.

Hawkins replaced Williams for the closing stages and when he chased down Eastwood, the keeper’s clearance ricocheted against the substitute and flew wide.

But the sides could still not be separated and that ensured a mammoth play-off tie would be heading for penalties

After Extra Time: Oxford 1 Pompey 1 (2-2)

There were some impressive penalties from both sides, with Marquis, Gareth Evans – on as a late substitute – and Brown all finding the net.

But Eastwood went the right way to keep out McGeehan’s effort and although Hawkins hit the target, Oxford scored all five of their attempts.

It was Cameron Brannagan who converted the last of them to ensure it would be United who are heading to Wembley.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton (Evans 120+1), Burgess (c), Raggett, Seddon (Brown 60); Morris, McGeehan; Williams (Hawkins 114), Harness (Cannon 81), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 60)
Goals: Harness 38
Booked: Marquis, Curtis
Subs not used: MacGillivray, McCrorie, Downing, Naylor

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long (Woodburn 120), Dickie (c), Moore, Ruffels; Gorrin (Mousinho 120); Sykes (Hanson 85), Henry (Forde 100), Brannagan, Browne (Agyei 85); Mackie (Taylor 63)
Goals: Harrison 45+3 (og)
Booked: Long, Browne, Dickie, Gorrin, Taylor
Subs not used: Stevens, Atkinson, Kelly

Referee: Darren England

Portsmouth FC

Jul 032020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1 Play Off Semi Final




Pompey’s play-off contest with Oxford is finely balanced after the sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at Fratton Park.

The hosts made the stronger start and deservedly took the lead through a low finish from Ronan Curtis.

But Marcus Browne grabbed a United leveller just before the interval and neither side were able to find a winner in the second half.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew with Fleetwood all the way back in March.

Lee Brown wore the captain’s armband, with regular skipper Tom Naylor named on an extended nine-man bench.

There were also returns for Christian Burgess, Marcus Harness and a fit-again Bryn Morris, as James Bolton, Ryan Williams and Steve Seddon made way.

A blustery Fratton Park was virtually empty, with the Covid-19 pandemic necessitating games taking place behind closed doors.

But there were still more than 1,000 fans present in the form of cardboard cut-outs, with 2003 promotion hero Svetoslav Todorov, chairman Michael Eisner and the late John Jenkins MBE among them.

Before kick-off, there was a minute of applause to celebrate the NHS and other key workers, while all players then took the knee in a powerful statement against racism.

The hosts controlled possession for much of the first half and Ellis Harrison had an early header blocked from a corner.

And the deadlock was almost broken moments later, courtesy of a drilled Curtis effort that struck the base of the post.

Both sides were clearly up for the challenge, with several meaty challenge flying in and Oxford boss Karl Robinson constantly in the ear of a beleaguered fourth official.

Neither keeper was really being put to the test and a Harness curler was blocked, while it took a diving Josh Ruffels header to deal with one Curtis delivery.

After a brief break for drinks, Cameron Brannagan and Cameron McGeehan were both booked following a spat in the middle of the pitch.

Burgess then thought he should have won a penalty after appearing to be tugged back by Rob Dickie, but appeals were dismissed by referee Gavin Ward.

Pompey’s pressure did pay off on 32 minutes, though, as CURTIS advanced and hit a low shot that crept past former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood and nestled in the net.

That seemed to spark the visitors into life and Browne dragged an effort past the post, although Alex Bass appeared to have it covered.

The Blues could not keep their opponents at bay, though, and Browne did well to burst forward and find the net.

But Pompey did finish the half with a flourish and visiting players had to fling themselves in front of a flurry of shots in quick succession.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Oxford United 1


There was a slow start to the second period in terms of chances, although Harrison felt a challenge on him inside the box warranted a penalty.

Jackett tried to liven up proceedings with a double switch just past the hour mark, as Ross McCrorie and Andy Cannon made way for Bolton and Williams.

But it was Oxford who were next to have a shot, albeit a long-range James Henry attempt that Bass held comfortably.

Williams soon showed some neat trickery, although his low cross was cut out before it could reach Harrison in the centre.

The Blues then delivered a couple of fine corners – first from Brown and then Harness – that were just about dealt with.

Jackett made his third change of the evening on 73 minutes and it was a straight substitution up front, as Harrison made way for John Marquis.

The hosts were starting to build some momentum and Brown’s effort was deflected into the side netting, while the skipper then did well to halt Browne’s break at the other end.

And Burgess went close to restoring the lead when he met Brown’s free-kick, only for Eastwood to get down and make the save.

Curtis was furious not to be awarded a late penalty after going down under a challenge from Dan Agyei, but again Ward said no.

Pompey pushed forward in search of a lead to take to the Kassam Stadium on Monday, but had to settle for a draw.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie (Bolton 62), Burgess, Raggett, Brown (c); McGeehan, Morris; Harness, Cannon (Williams 62), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 73)
Goals: Curtis 32
Booked: McGeehan
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Downing, Seddon, Naylor, Evans, Hawkins

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long, Dickie (c), Moore, Ruffels; Gorrin; Henry, Woodburn (Sykes 55), Brannagan (Forde 81), Browne (Agyei 81); Taylor (Mackie 73)
Goals: Browne 43
Booked: Brannagan, Gorrin
Subs not used: Stevens, Atkinson, Mousinho, Kelly, Hanson

Referee: Gavin Ward

Portsmouth FC

Nov 022019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




It was a case of déjà vu for Pompey, as they dropped points in a game they dominated for the third Saturday in succession.

They created plenty of chances against an in-form Oxford outfit at a windy Fratton Park and were on top for most of the contest.

A confident penalty from Gareth Evans, awarded for a foul on Ben Close, looked to have secured all three points.

But United applied late pressure and salvaged a draw when Matty Taylor nodded home in the final minute of normal time.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were unlucky not secure all three points at Bristol Rovers the previous week.

The earlier rain had died down ahead of kick-off, but a strong wind was still swirling around the stadium.

It made life difficult for the veterans, Gurkhas and standard bearers, who paraded onto the pitch for the annual Remembrance commemorations, which included a bugler playing the Last Post.

And the players also had to deal with the tricky conditions, with the ball blowing out of play as Ryan Williams shaped to cross.

The Australian winger also bent a shot wide, while an Evans effort was deflected past the post as the hosts dominated the opening stages.

They almost broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, but brave blocks denied both Williams and John Marquis in quick succession.

Ross McCrorie’s delivery then took a deflection off Alex Gorrin, forcing former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood into action to prevent an own-goal.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Christian Burgess had to deal with Josh Ruffels’ cut-back before a Tariqe Fosu corner was cleared by Sean Raggett at the back post.

But it was still the Blues looking more likely to score and Ruffels made a key block after Ronan Curtis had spun and fired in a shot.

Evans then managed to get a cross into the centre at the second attempt, but Marquis could only nod into Eastwood’s arms.

The visitors were forced to make a change before the break, as Ruffels limped off after McCrorie had been booked for a firm challenge on the left-back.

His team-mate Jamie Mackie had already received treatment for a cut head, angrily accusing Raggett of foul play.

Oxford then came close to scoring in stoppage-time – and it would have been a second unfortunate own-goal in the space of a week for Craig MacGillivray.

Mackie’s low drilled effort was cleared from the line by Raggett, but the ball ricocheted off the keeper’s back and trickled just past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


Pompey continued to look bright following the restart and McCrorie’s centre was behind both Marquis and Curtis in the centre.

The latter then looked to have taken Williams’ pass too wide, but still managed to hit a ferocious strike that cannoned against the crossbar.

But the hosts were presented with an excellent chance to finally take the lead just before the hour mark.

It was a lovely flowing move and when Marquis slipped a pass through to Close, the midfielder was clearly tripped by Elliott Moore.

Referee Ben Toner pointed straight to the spot and EVANS leathered home the penalty to leave Eastwood with no chance.

The lead might have been doubled moments later, as the Blues marauded quickly up the pitch through Williams and Marquis.

But the latter’s pass for Evans was not quite right and the midfielder’s shot was parried behind by Eastwood.

Still the chances kept coming and after Eastwood did well to parry Williams’ drilled effort, John Mousinho cleared behind before Curtis could convert the loose ball.

Oxford had a dangerous set-piece of their own on 73 minutes, but MacGillivray was able to parry clear Anthony Forde’s free-kick from the edge of the box.

They then won a corner that led to an almighty scramble in the Blues box and there were plenty of hearts in mouths before the ball was eventually got to safety.

A MacGillivray goal-kick might have led to an assist at the other end, but Williams could only lift his shot over the bar.

Oxford had been second best for most of the afternoon, only to exert plenty of pressure in the closing stages, winning a number of corners.

McCrorie – who was carrying a yellow card – was replaced at right-back by James Bolton for the final five minutes.

A free-kick from Forde then narrowly cleared the crossbar after the United substitute had tried to move the referee’s foam forward a few yards.

But Oxford did level on 90 minutes, as James Henry crossed towards the far post, where Taylor was waiting to guide home a header.

Ellis Harrison was immediately brought on for Evans to add another attacking option in stoppage-time.

Curtis crossed to the back post, but nobody could make a connection, while another delivery from the same player was nodded over by Williams.

But they were unable to find a winning goal, leaving most inside a sold out Fratton Park feeling deflated.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie (Bolton 85), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans (Harrison 90+1), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Evans 58 (pen)
Booked: McCrorie, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness

Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Ruffels (Moore 42); Gorrin; Sykes, Henry; Fosu (Forde 70); Taylor, Mackie (Baptiste 70)
Goals: Taylor 90
Booked: Mackie
Subs not used: Stevens, Agyei, Lofthouse, Lopes

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 18,528 (1,747 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 082019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




Bradley Lethbridge scored his first senior Pompey goal in a draw with Oxford in the Leasing.com Trophy.

The striker cancelled out Matty Taylor’s opener at a sparsely-populated Kassam Stadium in Southern Group B.

Anton Walkes then looked to have won it for the youthful visitors with a late strike, only for Rob Dickie to level in stoppage-time.

But the night ended on a happy note for the Blues, as they won 5-4 on penalties to claim a bonus point and secure top spot, guaranteeing a home draw in the second round.

Kenny Jackett changed the entire side that won at Doncaster in the league at the weekend, with five teenagers getting a chance to impress.

Harvey Rew was handed his debut a week after signing a first professional contract and was joined in the starting line-up by Joe Hancott, Josh Flint, Leon Maloney and Lethbridge.

Paul Downing skippered a defence that also included Brandon Haunstrup and Walkes, with Alex Bass between the sticks.

Ryan Williams – who previously had a spell on loan with the hosts – and Andy Cannon completed the team, while there were plenty of experienced reinforcements on the bench.

Pompey’s young side started brightly and enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening stages, without being able to test former Fratton keeper Simon Eastwood.

They had a chance to break the deadlock when Cannon and Williams combined to tee-up Lethbridge, but he screwed wide from 10 yards.

And the more experienced hosts soon started to take control, with Rob Hall dragging a shot wide before Bass denied Taylor at his near post.

Rew was perhaps unfortunate to be shown a yellow card on 19 minutes for a challenge that referee Will Finnie deemed excessive.

United then broke the deadlock soon after, as Taylor latched onto Shandon Baptiste’s threaded pass and slotted home.

And the same player should have immediately doubled the lead, only to see his first effort saved by Bass and the second fly off target.

Pompey picked up after that nervy period, though, and levelled on 33 minutes thanks to a first senior goal for Lethbridge.

It started when Cannon stole possession and cut the ball back for Flint, whose effort was deflected into the striker’s path.

The angle was tight for LETHBRIDGE, but he got enough power on his shot for the ball to squirm under Eastwood and over the line.

It was United who finished the half on top, however, and a fierce drive from Cameron Brannagan had to be parried down by Bass and gathered at the second attempt.

And the keeper made an even better save just before the break, acrobatically tipping over Taylor’s firm header from a Josh Ruffels delivery.


Half Time

Oxford United 1

Portsmouth 1


Jackett made a double switch at the start of the second half, with Flint and Rew replaced by Gareth Evans and Ben Close.

It was Cannon who had the first shot following the restart, but quickly saw four yellow shirts around him and could only fire wide.

An angled effort from Maloney was then comfortably dealt with by Eastwood in a low-key opening to proceedings.

Then, after Hall had an effort deflected wide at the other end, Dickie diverted a corner straight at Bass.

Jackett made his final switch just past the hour mark, with goalscorer Lethbridge withdrawn and Saturday’s hero Ellis Harrison on in his place.

But it was United on the attack and they had two decent chances to retake the lead in quick succession.

First, Bass came off his line to narrow Taylor’s angle and make a smart stop after the striker had been sent through on goal.

Another header from Dickie was then blocked on the line by Williams, with Finnie waving away handball appeals.

Close has scored a couple of spectacular strikes already this season and tried to add a third when he hit a dipping ball cleanly on the volley, but it lacked the power to overly trouble Eastwood.

Evans then had a great chance after being sent through on goal by Maloney, only to lose his balance at the crucial moment, allowing his shot to be saved.

But Bass was keeping the Blues in the contest and he made another fine save to repel Brannagan’s fierce angled drive on 75 minutes.

And Walkes was also called into action moments later to block a powerful goal-bound effort from substitute Dan Agyei.

Pompey might have capitalised on a quick break, but the onrushing Williams could not quite reach Harrison’s ball across the box.

And they did go ahead on 85 minutes after WALKES raced on to a fine pass down the right from the lively Cannon.

Eastwood came off his line, but the right-back just about got there first and was able to send the ball rolling over the line.

But Oxford managed to draw level in stoppage-time when a free-kick was launched into a crowded box and Dickie spun before finding the bottom corner.

Full Time: Oxford 2 Pompey 2

A penalty shoot-out was then held to decide who would take the bonus point, with Evans, Harrison, Williams and Downing all scoring.

But Close sent his attempt high over the bar to hand the advantage to the hosts, only for Ruffels’ shot to be brilliantly saved by Bass.

Walkes and Agyei both failed to find the target in sudden death and after Haunstrup rolled home his penalty, Sam Long blazed high over the bar.

Oxford (4-1-4-1): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Moore, Ruffels (c); Gorrin (Sole 86); Hall, Brannagan, Baptiste (Lopes 73), Sykes; Taylor (Agyei 69)
Goals: Taylor 21, Dickie 90+1
Booked: Agyei
Subs not used: Stevens, Jones, Cadden, Fosu

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Walkes, Downing (c), Haunstrup, Hancott; Cannon, Rew (Close 46); Williams, Flint (Evans 46), Maloney; Lethbridge (Harrison 63)
Goals: Lethbridge 33, Walkes 85
Booked: Rew, Haunstrup
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Raggett, Harness

Referee: Will Finnie

Attendance: 1,548 (274 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 192019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey lost 2-1 at Oxford to ensure they suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.

Goals from Cameron Brannagan and James Henry meant the hosts enjoyed a comfortable lead at the interval.

The Blues were well below par, but Brett Pitman came on to spark hopes of a comeback with a fine finish.

Those 1,803 travelling fans were not given a result their backing deserved, however, as United held on for the points.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten by Blackpool on home soil the previous week.

One was enforced, with Andre Green being recalled from his loan spell by Aston Villa, while Dion Donohue and Pitman dropped to the bench.

A fit-again Lee Brown returned at left-back, Andy Cannon was handed his full debut and David Wheeler also got a rare league start.

It meant that Jamal Lowe led the line for Pompey and skipper Gareth Evans moved into a more advanced role.

Matt Clarke’s appearance in the side brought up 150 appearances for the defender, but new signing Bryn Morris had to be content with a spot among the substitutes.

The visitors started brightly and won an early corner that was dealt with, while a similar set-piece at the other end was nodded wide by Rob Dickie.

A deep free-kick from Brown then caused problems in the United defence, who were eventually able to scramble the ball to safety.

There were not an abundance of opportunities, with both sides showcasing attacking intent, but unable to produce any meaningful shots.

A couple of set-pieces were comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray, while Evans’ curler from the edge of the box was not too far off target.

But it was the hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the first half, although it might have been the Blues celebrating a goal.

Lowe could not quite charge the ball down following a slip from former Fratton keeper Simon Eastwood.

Instead his long clearance eventually made its way to Brannagan, who drilled a fine low shot right into the bottom corner.

Oxford might have doubled their lead soon after, as a corner led to a spot of pinball inside the Pompey box.

The visitors won a couple of their own soon after and Eastwood dropped the second, but grabbed the ball at the second attempt.

It became a niggly affair as the interval approached, but United were able to double their advantage on the stroke of half-time.

Jamie Mackie was unable to get a shot away and instead played the ball across for an unmarked Henry to lash home.


Half Time

Oxford United 0

Portsmouth 0


There were no substitutions for the Blues at the break, although Wheeler and Lowe swapped positions.

And the former had a chance to reduce the deficit moments after the restart, meeting Evans’ free-kick and sending a header just off target.

But it was still Oxford looking more likely to add to the scoring and an effort from Mackie flew narrowly over.

Then, after a Lowe strike had been comfortably dealt with by Eastwood, the hosts had two more chances to put the result beyond doubt.

First, a cross from Jordan Graham was punched away by MacGillivray and Jamie Hanson’s follow-up was deflected off target by Clarke.

Gavin Whyte’s corner was then palmed clear by the Blues stopper and this time Brannagan’s attempt flew into the side netting.

With the visitors struggling to find any kind of fluency, Jackett made a double change just before the hour mark.

Wheeler and Evans were the men to make way, with Pitman and Louis Dennis coming on to replace them.

And it proved to be an inspired decision, as the duo combined to reduce Pompey’s deficit on 64 minutes.

Dennis provided the assist, crossing the ball for PITMAN to convert with an acrobatic overhead effort that left Eastwood helpless.

The Blues were struggling to build on that goal, however, and Cannon made way for Donohue in a final throw of the dice.

One patient move did lead to a chance on 81 minutes, although Lowe could not adjust his body enough to guide Brown’s delivery on target.

And despite producing plenty of effort in the closing stages, Oxford remained firm at the back to secure victory.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Hanson, Nelson, Dickie, Ruffels; Mousinho (c), Brannagan; Whyte (Kashi 86), Henry, Graham (Browne 76); Mackie
Goals: Brannagan 25, Henry 45
Booked: Henry
Subs not used: Stevens, Long, Garbutt, Sykes, Carruthers

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Cannon (Donohue 76), Naylor; Wheeler (Pitman 59), Evans (c) (Dennis 59), Curtis; Lowe
Goals: Pitman 64
Booked: Lowe, Whatmough, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Morris

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 8,202 (1,803 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 182018
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




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

Highlights

League 1




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

Highlights

League 1




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

Highlights

League 2




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

Highlights

League 2




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