Aug 122017
 

League One

3 – 0


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

(0 – 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
 

Portsmouth 0 v 1 Oxford United

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: Pompey 0 Oxford 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
 

League Two

1 – 1


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

(1 – 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