Jan 182020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Christian Burgess scored his first goal of the season to earn Pompey a hard-fought win at struggling Bolton.

The centre-back was quickest to the ball after Sean Raggett’s effort had been saved late in the first half.

League One’s basement club offered a stern challenge after the interval, but the Blues held on to give their large travelling army cause to celebrate.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat AFC Wimbledon on home soil the previous week.

John Marquis was rewarded for netting in three successive games by replacing Andy Cannon in the number 10 role.

The first half was not a thrilling affair, with both sides failing to make the most of promising situations.

Ethan Hamilton fired into the side netting for the hosts, while Raggett was unable to get on the end of a Ronan Curtis free-kick at the other end.

The visitors won a host of corners – many of them delivered by Steve Seddon – but none of them led to anything.

Curtis had the first decent opportunity midway through the first half, with an opportunistic long-range effort that had enough bend to trouble Remi Matthews in the opposition goal.

There was a scare at the other end when Raggett fouled Joe Dodoo as the striker tried to race through on goal.

Home fans and players were baying for a red card, but thankfully for the defender, referee Tom Nield only brandished a yellow one.

That perhaps led to a sense of injustice among the Wanderers faithful, who began appealing for everything.

Ellis Harrison seemed to be the main focus of their ire and there were demands for a red card when Toto Nisala went down – despite the defender being inadvertently tripped by his own keeper.

Nsiala was then called into action to make a timely block on Curtis’ shot after Marcus Harness had pulled the ball back into the box.

But Pompey did take the lead just before the interval, with three members of their back-line playing a key role in the goal.

Seddon whipped in a free-kick from the right and Raggett’s header was pushed clear by Matthews, only for BURGESS to follow up and lash the ball home.


Half Time

Bolton Wanderers 0

Portsmouth 1


The hosts looked much stronger once the action restarted and Dodoo headed narrowly over from a free-kick.

Dennis Politic’s fierce drive was then beaten away by Alex Bass, with Raggett on hand to nod the loose ball behind.

Pompey were struggling to keep their revived opponents at bay, forcing Jackett into a double switch just before the hour mark.

Harrison and Harness were the men withdrawn, with Cannon and a fit-again Ryan Williams on to replace them.

The latter was involved in a quick Blues break soon after, only to then lose possession and see Bolton launch forward.

Ronan Darcy sent in a cross that was turned towards goal by the lively Dodoo, but Chris O’Grady somehow failed to score from just a couple of yards out.

Pompey tried to threaten themselves and began to see more of the ball, without really troubling Matthews.

The keeper did struggle with another dangerous Seddon corner, although the danger eventually passed.

Bolton kept searching for an equaliser and Bass comfortably kept out Politic’s effort, while Josh Emmanuel fired over from outside the box.

Their best chance came on 83 minutes, with Bass getting down low to his left to push clear a low drive from Politic that was heading for the bottom corner.

But the Blues survived a nervy finale – including four minutes of added time – to celebrate a valuable away victory.

Bolton (4-1-2-1-2): Matthews; Emmanuel, Nsiala, Edwards (O’Grady 46), Fleming; Murphy; Hamilton, Lowe (c); Darcy (Hall 89); Dodoo, Politic
Booked: Edwards, Dodoo
Subs not used: Alexander, Senior, Brockbank, Graham, Thomason

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Seddon; McGeehan, Naylor (c); Harness (Williams 56), Marquis, Curtis; Harrison (Cannon 56)
Goals: Burgess 42
Booked: Raggett, Harrison
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Haunstrup, Close, Hawkins

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 13,407 (1,846 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 162020
 

Luke McGee

TransferMarkt.co.uk

Loan : Portsmouth – Bradford City


Luke McGee has joined Bradford on loan until the end of the season.


The 24-year-old goalkeeper has linked up with a Bantams side chasing promotion from League Two.

McGee has made 55 appearances for the Blues since signing from Tottenham in the summer of 2016.

He most recently featured in an EFL Trophy victory over Arsenal’s under-21 side midway through last season.

Everyone at Pompey would like to wish Luke all the best during his time at Valley Parade.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 112020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey beat AFC Wimbledon to ensure the first Fratton fixture of the new decade was one to celebrate.

They dominated for much of the contest and Marcus Harness’ fine finish ensured the Blues deservedly led at the break.

Joe Pigott levelled in the second half, but John Marquis came off the bench to put the hosts back into the lead.

And the Dons had to see out the closing stages with just 10 men after substitute Scott Wagstaff was dismissed for two bookable offences in quick succession.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Gillingham in the last League One outing.

Cameron McGeehan came straight into the starting line-up after completing his loan switch from Barnsley earlier in the week.

Fellow January arrival Steve Seddon also made his Fratton bow, while Andy Cannon was the other player to return.

Ben Close and Gareth Evans both dropped to the bench, with Anton Walkes having departed for America.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for Jack Whatmough after almost a year out with a knee injury.

The first half was a pretty one-sided affair – in favour of the hosts – although it did take a bit of time to get going.

And it was actually the Dons who were first to threaten when a corner found its way through to Rod McDonald, with the defender turning sharply and firing just past the post.

Pompey soon began to hit their stride, however, and debutant McGeehan drilled a low-range effort narrowly wide.

There was concern among the Fratton faithful when Harness went down with a knock and had to receive treatment on the pitch.

But the winger was soon back up on his feet and, just a few moments later, gave the Blues a deserved lead.

It was a quick move through the middle that began with Sean Raggett stepping up confidently to win the ball.

He slipped a neat pass through to Cannon, who burst forward and laid the ball off for HARNESS to lash into the net.

Pompey continued to dominate possession and enjoy territorial advantage as the action progressed, although more clear-cut chances were eluding them.

Harness was looking the most dangerous attacking player and dragged one effort wide, then hit a dipping long-range shot over the bar.

AFC Wimbledon, meanwhile, lost one of their key men, as striker Marcus Forss pulled up while chasing the ball and limped down the tunnel.

It was the hosts still looking more likely to add to the scoring and Terell Thomas bravely blocked strikes from McGeehan and Harness in quick succession.

A Ronan Curtis corner was then weakly punched by Nathan Trott and there was panic in the Dons defence before the ball was finally cleared.

The Republic of Ireland international also delivered a free-kick from the left that was headed back across goal by Raggett, with a stretching Harness not quite able to make a firm connection.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

AFC Wimbledon 0


It was the Blues who had the first opening once the action restarted, as Harrison fed the ball to Curtis.

He took the ball into space and hit a fierce effort that Trott did well to divert over the bar, with the keeper then getting to Seddon’s corner before Christian Burgess could connect.

There was also a flag-kick for the Dons that a sliding McDonald could only turn into the side netting at the far post.

But it had been a quiet afternoon for Alex Bass between the sticks, so it was somewhat of a surprise when the visitors levelled just past the hour mark.

Pompey were caught out at the back by a quick break and Mitch Pinnock delivered a fine cross for Pigott to convert from close range.

That gave the Londoners a lift and Bass had to claim Pigott’s looping header from Nesta Guinness-Walker’s centre.

Jackett responded with a double switch, as Marquis and a fit-again Brandon Haunstrup replaced Cannon and James Bolton.

And it was the former who restored the home side’s lead on 79 minutes to get Fratton rocking once more.

Harness picked out Curtis with a cross-field pass and the winger’s superb cross was deftly headed home by MARQUIS.

It soon got even worse for the Dons, as Wagstaff – who had only been on the pitch for 13 minutes – fouled Seddon to collect his second booking.

They still tried to apply some late pressure in the search of another equaliser, but Pompey saw out five minutes of stoppage-time.

And they probably should have given the scoreline a gloss, but Marquis could not beat Trott after being sent racing clear.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton (Haunstrup 71), Burgess, Raggett, Seddon; McGeehan, Naylor (c); Harness, Cannon (Marquis 71), Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Harness 20, Marquis 79
Booked: Cannon
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Close, Evans, Hawkins

AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Trott; O’Neill, Thomas, McDonald; McLoughlin (Wagstaff 71), Hartigan, Sanders, Reilly, Guinness-Walker; Pigott (c), Forss (Pinnock 36)
Goals: Pigott 62
Sent off: Wagstaff (two yellow cards)
Booked: Reilly, O’Neill
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sorensen, Biler, Osew, Wood

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 18,417 (836 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 092020
 

Anton Walkes

Transfermarkt.co.uk

Transfer : Portsmouth – Atlanta


Anton Walkes has left Fratton Park to sign for Major League Soccer side Atlanta United for an undisclosed fee.


The versatile 22-year-old scored three goals in 66 appearances for Pompey after arriving, initially on loan, from Tottenham in January 2018.

Walkes had a previous loan spell with Atlanta during the 2017 American season, shortly before joining Pompey.

He appeared 19 times this term – in a variety of roles – and scored in the Leasing.com Trophy draw at Oxford back in October.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 072020
 

Match Report

Highlights

Leasing.com Trophy




Goals from John Marquis and Ellis Harrison ensured Pompey continued their defence of the Leasing.com Trophy with victory at Walsall in the third round.

Marquis opened the scoring in the first half with a goal that was remarkably similar to the one netted at Fleetwood on Saturday.

Elijah Adebayo should have levelled from the spot just before the interval, but saw his penalty well saved by Craig MacGillivray.

Ellis Harrison came off the bench to give the Blues a late cushion against their League Two opponents.

But the Saddlers were awarded another penalty that was converted by Caolan Lavery to ensure a nervy finale for the competition holders.

Kenny Jackett made seven changes from the side that progressed in the FA Cup with victory at Highbury Stadium.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild came straight into the starting line-up after completing his transfer from Bromley the previous day.

Teenage defender Haji Mnoga made his first appearance of the season, while MacGillivray returned between the sticks.

Gareth Evans was handed the captain’s armband, with Paul Downing, Ben Close and Oli Hawkins also recalled.

The only players to keep their spot from the Highbury success were Christian Burgess – moved to left-back – Sean Raggett, Marcus Harness and Marquis.

It was a slow start to the contest played at a sparsely-populated Bescot Stadium, although there were eventually opportunities at both ends.

Marquis dragged an early effort wide, while counterpart Adebayo saw a header comfortably dealt with by MacGillivray.

The first decent chance fell to the Pompey forward, who swapped passes with Hawkins and saw a low drive kept out by Liam Roberts.

Adebayo was looking particularly dangerous for the hosts, but was unable to convert crosses from Cameron Norman and Cameron Pring

Roberts then denied Marquis again midway through the first half after Hawkins had provided a neat pass.

But the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, which was whipped menacingly into the box by Evans.

Burgess met the ball at the far post and sent it arrowing towards the net, with MARQUIS on hand to slam it over the line from a few yards out.

There was an opportunity for Hawkins to double the lead, although he fired over after Marquis had laid off a fine Evans delivery.

It looked as though Hackett-Fairchild’s debut was going to come to a premature end on 36 minutes when he went down clutching his ankle.

The forward received treatment on the side of the pitch, but was eventually able to rejoin the action – and soon collected the first booking of the evening.

Walsall were handed an excellent chance to get back on level terms in stoppage-time when Raggett challenged Rory Gaffney in the box

Referee Anthony Backhouse had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, although the Blues defender was adamant he had won the ball.

It mattered not, though, as MacGillivray got down low to his left to palm Adebayo’s penalty to safety.

The Saddlers also went close from the resulting corner, which saw James Clarke’s header cleared from the line and Backhouse ignoring handball appeals.


Half Time

Walsall 0

Portsmouth 1


There was not a lot of goalmouth action to excite the crowd once the action restarted, with dangerous forays from both sides breaking down.

Long-range attempts from both Rory Holden and Burgess flew well off target, as the game drifted along.

But Mnoga showed good awareness to nip in and halt one Walsall attack, then embarked on a surging run that drew a foul.

The hosts made a double change on 56 minutes, with former Fratton loanee Lavery one of the men to make an entrance.

He soon tired his luck with an attempt from the edge of the area, only to see the ball bend out of play.

Jackett then made two changes of his own, as Hackett-Fairchild and Mnoga made way for Steve Seddon and Tom Naylor.

Clear-cut chances were still at a premium, although Roberts kept out a neat Hawkins flick from Seddon’s cross.

That was the striker’s last meaningful contribution to the contest, as he was replaced by Harrison for the final 20 minutes.

Some last-gasp defending saw Marquis and Evans denied in quick succession and from the resulting corner, Burgess thudded a header over.

The flag then stayed down when Lavery was sent racing through at the other end, but the striker blazed over the bar.

Pompey were looking the more threatening side as the game neared its conclusion, though, and the win was seemingly wrapped up on 82 minutes.

Seddon delivered a fine cross from the right and fellow substitute HARRISON nodded home to double the advantage.

But Walsall soon had a route back into the tie when Holden went down under Downing’s challenge and Backhouse again pointed to the spot.

This time it was Lavery who stepped up to take the penalty and he sent MacGillivray the wrong way to reduce the home side’s deficit.

That audibly lifted the home supporters, who sensed a comeback was on the cards, but the Blues held on to book their place in Thursday’s quarter-final draw.

Walsall (3-5-2): Roberts; Clarke (c), Scarr (McDonald 56), Jules; Norman, Holden, Perry, Kinsella, Pring; Gaffney (Lavery 56), Adebayo (Willis 73)
Goals: Lavery 86 (pen)
Booked: Perry
Subs not used: Rose, Roberts, Foulkes, Bates

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Mnoga (Seddon 63), Downing, Raggett, Burgess; Harness, Evans (c), Close, Hackett-Fairchild (Naylor 63); Marquis; Hawkins (Harrison 71)
Goals: Marquis 23, Harrison 82
Booked: Hackett-Fairchild
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Casey, Cannon

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 1,082 (226 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 072020
 

Cameron McGeehan

TransferMarkt.co.uk

Loan : Barnsley – Portsmouth


Pompey have signed midfielder Cameron McGeehan on loan from Barnsley for the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign.


The 24-year-old was part of the Tykes squad that secured promotion to the Championship last season.

McGeehan progressed through the ranks at Norwich and signed for Luton in 2015 following some successful loan spells with the Hatters.

He made more than 100 appearances in his various stints at Kenilworth Road – scoring 31 goals – and then moved on to Barnsley.

The former Northern Ireland youth international was a regular member of the side that finished as League One runners-up last term.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 062020
 

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild

TransferMarkt.co.uk

Transfer : Bromley – Portsmouth


Pompey have completed the signing of forward Reeco Hackett-Fairchild from Bromley for an undisclosed fee.


The 21-year-old – who has been given the number 18 shirt – has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal at Fratton Park, with the club holding an option for a further 12 months.

Hackett-Fairchild progressed through the ranks at Dagenham & Redbridge and signed for Charlton following a successful trial.

He made 24 appearances for the Addicks and featured in an EFL Trophy defeat to Pompey at The Valley.

The Londoner then moved to Bromley last summer, having ended the previous season on loan with the National League outfit.

He has featured in 25 games for them this term and netted eight goals, including braces against Hartlepool and Maidenhead.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 042020
 

Match Report

Highlights

FA Cup 3




Goals from James Bolton and John Marquis ensured Pompey won at Fleetwood to reach the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup for a second successive season.

There was little to separate the League One promotion hopefuls before the break at a chilly Highbury Stadium.

But the visitors were more clinical in a rain-soaked second half and James Bolton arrived at the far post to open his Blues account.

John Marquis added a second in similar fashion soon after and Conor McAleny’s stoppage-time effort proved no more than a consolation.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that collected a point at Gillingham on New Year’s Day.

Loan signing Steve Seddon went straight into the starting line-up following his arrival from Birmingham on Thursday.

There were also returns for both Marquis and Andy Cannon, with Gareth Evans, Ben Close and Ellis Harrison dropping to the bench.

With Seddon slotting in at left-back, the versatile Anton Walkes moved up to join skipper Tom Naylor in the midfield engine room.

The game – as with all third round fixtures – began one minute late to give everyone the chance to think about looking after their mental health.

There was an early chance for the visitors once the action started, with Bolton looping a header narrowly wide following good work down the left by Marcus Harness.

Marquis then cried for a penalty after going down in a challenge for the ball with Ashley Eastham, although referee Marc Edwards ignored his appeals.

It was generally a slow opening to the contest, however, with neither keeper being called into action.

There were fears for Wes Burns when a clearance from Seddon smacked into his head from point-blank range, but the winger was quickly back on his feet.

On a cold evening on the Fylde coast, there were only half-chances to excite the travelling fans, with a fierce volley from Cannon fizzing not too far off target.

But the action intensified as time progressed and a passage of patient passing play from Pompey ended with the lively Harness drawing a save from Alex Cairns.

Paddy Madden’s effort was then comfortably stopped by Alex Bass at the other end, while an attempt from Marquis was blocked by Harry Souttar.

The quick feet of Harness were causing problems for the hosts and after racing across the six-yard box, he could only find the side netting.

Fleetwood were seeing plenty of the ball, but not really testing Bass, although a Josh Morris free-kick was diverted narrowly over his own bar by Marquis.

The visitors won a set-piece themselves before the break and Seddon’s delivery was nodded off target by Sean Raggett.


Half Time

Fleetwood Town 0

Portsmouth 0


The rain was falling when the sides returned after the break, but clear-cut openings continued to be at a premium.

Bass dealt with a dangerous Burns cross, while Christian Burgess’ block denied Cod Army left-back Danny Andrew.

It then took a perfectly-timed challenge in the box from Harry Souttar to stop Cannon from Converting Marquis’ threaded pass.

The contest was lacking quality in the final third, although a delivery from the impressive Harness caused problems as it bounced around the box before being hacked clear.

And another cross – this time from Curtis – led to the Blues finally breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes.

Fleetwood failed to deal with the danger and the ball appeared to get flicked on inside a packed box before BOLTON bundled it over the line from a yard out.

There probably should have been an immediate leveller, but an unmarked Madden scooped high over the bar from Burns’ cut-back.

Pompey quickly made them pay, as Seddon’s corner was headed powerfully back across goal by Burgess and MARQUIS converted at the back post.

The hosts were trying to find a route back into the tie, but some more wasteful finishing from Madden was proving costly.

Seddon was replaced by Close – making his 150th Blues appearance – late on, as Jackett introduced some fresh legs.

Fleetwood were given hope in stoppage-time, as a strike from substitute McAleny took a deflection to beat Bass.

That caused hearts to flutter in the away end of Highbury, but the Blues saw out the closing stages to secure their progress.

Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Eastham (McAleny 83), Souttar, Andrew; Burns, Coutts (c) (Sowerby 72), Dempsey, Morris; Madden (Saunders 81), Evans
Goals: McAleny 90+1
Booked: Evans
Subs not used: Gilks, Hill, Biggins, Garner

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Seddon (Close 81); Naylor (c), Walkes; Harness, Cannon, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Bolton 66, Marquis 72
Booked: Raggett, Walkes
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Downing, Evans, Hawkins, Pitman, Harrison

Referee: Marc Edwards

Attendance: 2,145 (525 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jan 022020
 

Steve Seddon

TransferMarkt.co.uk

Loan : Birmingham City – Portsmouth


Pompey have signed Steve Seddon on loan from Birmingham until the end of the season.


The 22-year-old left-back has made four Championship appearances for his parent club this term and signed a new contract last summer.

He also played the full 90 minutes when they were beaten at Fratton Park in the first round of the Carabao Cup back in August.

Seddon turned professional at Birmingham in the summer of 2016 and spent the majority of last season out on loan at Stevenage and AFC Wimbledon.

He made a total of 43 appearances for those two clubs and also chipped in with six goals, helping the Dons retain their League One status.

Portsmouth FC

Jan 012020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey were denied a winning start to the new decade after Gillingham grabbed a late equaliser at Priestfield.

Gareth Evans had given the Blues a deserved lead after being restored to the side for the New Year’s Day encounter.

But their hosts improved after the interval and Alex Jakubiak came off the bench to earn them a share of the spoils.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were beaten at MK Dons in the final fixture of 2019.

Alex Bass was handed a rare start between the sticks, while Evans also returned, as Craig MacGillivray and Andy Cannon dropped to the bench.

In a scrappy opening to the contest, it was the hosts – who had won their past seven Priestfield fixtures – who were first to threaten.

An acrobatic overhead effort from skipper Max Ehmer was bravely blocked by his counterpart Tom Naylor.

Then, after a long throw had found its way across to Oliver Lee in the box – a cleanly-struck effort was well saved by Bass.

But the Blues soon began to look more threatening and, certainly in terms of chances created, dominated the rest of the half.

A free-kick from Evans was nodded straight up in the air by Christian Burgess and unconvincingly punched away by Jack Bonham.

That led to a scramble in the box and when the ball eventually landed for Evans, the keeper made amends with a smart stop.

It was an impressive opening for the recalled Evans, who had another opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes.

He nipped in to get on the end of James Bolton’s low cross following a neat one-two with Marcus Harness, but Ehmer blocked his shot and Barry Fuller hacked the loose ball to safety.

It was Harness who was next to try his luck after an intended pass for Ellis Harrison rebounded back into his path, with Bonham getting down to save the resulting attempt.

Gillingham were doing little to test Bass and Connor Ogilvie nodded Lee’s corner wide at the near post.

But it was Pompey who forged ahead on 36 minutes and it was no surprise that the lively EVANS got the all-important goal.

He raced into the middle of the area to meet a low delivery from Harness and lash the ball into the roof of the net.

The hosts came close to levelling late in the half after former Fratton loanee Stuart O’Keefe charged into the box and hit a fierce strike against the crossbar.

Pompey then had the ball in the net again in stoppage-time, as Bonham and Curtis both rose to meet Naylor’s up and under.

The keeper dropped the ball against his opponent and saw it roll into the net, but referee Alan Young awarded a free-kick against the Irish winger.


Half Time

Gillingham 0

Portsmouth 1


Gillingham looked much brighter once the action restarted and Naylor did well to head Tom O’Connor’s corner to safety.

Barry Fuller then sent a dangerous deep cross into the box and Ehmer’s angled shot was well saved by Bass.

The keeper also kept out Mikael Mandron’s attempt from long-range, although that was a more comfortable stop for the academy graduate.

Pompey looked dangerous on the break, though, and when Bonham flapped at an Anton Walkes cross, Naylor sent the loose ball narrowly past the post.

It was all getting rather frantic, with the action quickly switching from one end of the pitch to the other.

Brandon Hanlan was allowed to run at the Blues back-line on 67 minutes, although his drilled effort was easily gathered by Bass.

A corner from Evans then gave the visitors a chance to double the lead, with Ellis Harrison’s improvised flick going just wide.

But it took a fine save from Bass to keep them ahead soon after, with the keeper getting his fingertips to Fuller’s vicious curling attempt from outside the box.

And the Gills were level with 10 minutes remaining, as Alfie Jones forced a pass through to Jakubiak, with the substitute slotting past Bass.

Jackett soon made a double switch, with Evans and Harrison replaced by Oli Hawkins and John Marquis.

The display of six additional minutes gave both sets of fans hope that their side could find a last-gasp winner.

But aside from a 25-yard Ben Close effort that flew over the top, neither side came close to scoring again.

Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham; Fuller, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Ogilvie; Jones; O’Keefe (Marshall 70), O’Connor; Lee; Mandron (Jakubiak 70), Hanlan
Goals: Jakubiak 80
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Pringle, Charles-Cook, Ndjoli

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Naylor (c), Close; Harness, Evans (Hawkins 83), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 83)
Goals: Evans 36
Booked: Evans, Naylor, Raggett
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Mnoga, Downing, Cannon, Pitman

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 5,724 (1,180 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 292019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey finished the calendar year in miserable fashion after conspiring to suffer defeat at struggling MK Dons.

They looked comfortable for most of the contest and created plenty of chances, but a lack of clinical finishing and some sloppy defending meant they went home empty-handed.

Rhys Healey and Conor McGrandles both scored in the latter stages of the first half at Stadium MK, with Alex Gilbey adding a third after the break.

Ronan Curtis continued his fine goalscoring form by finding the net in stoppage-time, but it was just a consolation.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Wycombe on home soil on Boxing Day.

Ryan Williams picked up a groin injury in the early stages of that game and the man who replaced him, Marcus Harness, was handed a start.

That opened up a place on the bench, which was taken by teenage full-back Haji Mnoga, who signed his first professional contract at the start of the week.

Harness played a more advanced role than expected, playing alongside Ellis Harrison in what looked more like a 4-4-2 system.

Pompey took control of the contest right from the start and enjoyed plenty of possession and territorial advantage.

But for all the play they had in and around their opponents’ area, Lee Nicholls looked fairly comfortable between the sticks.

Ben Close and Curtis – the goal heroes against Wycombe – both had shots blocked in the early stages.

The hosts were looking nervy at the back and struggled to deal with some corners from Close, as well as Harness’ trickery.

Anton Walkes also looked a threat going forward down the left and sent a few dangerous deliveries into the box.

Nicholls was called into action on 15 minutes and did well to get behind a fierce long-range drive from the lively Harness.

The keeper conceded a free-kick inside the box after picking up Joe Walsh’s back-pass, but the wall did its job by rushing forward to block Curtis’ effort.

And the Dons then took the lead completely against the run of play, although the Blues were furious that referee Leigh Doughty failed to give a foul against James Bolton in the build-up.

Instead, Jordan Houghton launched the ball forward and Sean Raggett’s header was not hard enough to reach Craig MacGillivray, with Healey nipping in to score.

It got even worst for Pompey before the break, as Tom Naylor tackled Healey on the edge of the box and the ball ran kindly for McGrandles to impressively fire into the top corner.


Half Time

MK Dons 2

Portsmouth 0


Harrison did not emerge following the interval, with John Marquis coming on to replace him up front.

But it was the hosts who were first to threaten, courtesy of a long-range Gilbey attempt that MacGillivray tipped over the bar.

Pompey soon started to take control, though, and once again put plenty of pressure on their opponents.

But the ball just would not seem to fall kindly for them and although unconvincing, the Dons managed to get the ball clear.

And Nicholls was soon called into action to make two key saves in quick succession, first denying Marquis after the striker had been played through by Harness.

The resulting corner was flicked on by Naylor for Curtis at the far post, but the keeper was there to deny the Blues’ top scorer.

MK Dons still threatened at the other end, though, and Raggett had to head Dean Lewington’s free-kick just past his own post.

Then, from the resulting corner, a scramble in the box led to MacGillivray diving on the ball at the feet of Healey.

But Pompey were still pushing forward whenever possible and after some neat build-up play involving Curtis, Close and Harness, the latter’s shot was blocked.

Curtis then went close with a bending strike from outside of the box that Nicholls did brilliantly to turn behind.

Jackett made a double switch on 72 minutes, with Harness and Cannon racing from the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman.

Marquis was only able to hit a weak shot straight at Nicholls from a low Walkes cross, as time began to run out on the visitors.

A fracas near the touchline led to Walsh and Christian Burgess both being booked – and the Dons scoring a third to wrap the points up.

Pompey were awarded a free-kick, but it came to nothing and the hosts broke quickly up the field, with Gilbey lifting a neat finish over MacGillivray and into the net.

There was at least a reply from CURTIS, who turned home Bolton’s cross from close range right at the death, but there was not enough time for the Blues to launch another attack.

The loss was perhaps an unfair outcome for the visitors, who will hope to improve their away form when they visit Gillingham on New Year’s Day.

MK Dons (4-1-2-1-2): Nicholls; Brittain, Williams, Walsh, Lewington (c); Houghton; McGrandles, Kasumu; Gilbey (Reeves 90+1); Healey (Nombe 68), Mason (Agard 77)
Goals: Healey 35, McGrandles 42, Gilbey 84
Booked: McGrandles, Brittain, Kasumu, Walsh
Subs not used: Moore, Poole, Cargill, Boateng

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Cannon (Pitman 72), Naylor (c), Close, Curtis; Harness (Evans 72); Harrison (Marquis 46)
Goals: Curtis 90+3
Booked: Harness, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Downing, Hawkins

Referee: Leigh Doughty

Attendance: 12,788 (5,083 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 262019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey provided the perfect belated Christmas present with victory over table-topping Wycombe at Fratton Park.

The hosts came alive following an instantly forgettable first half that never really got out of second gear.

Their pressure told when Ben Close fired home and a neat finish from the in-form Ronan Curtis made the points safe.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that impressively beat Ipswich just before Christmas.

Ross McCrorie injured his hamstring midway through that game and was replaced at right-back by James Bolton.

Those expecting a free-flowing contest like the one witnessed against the Tractor Boys a few days earlier were in for a disappointment.

It was an attritional and stop-start contest from the off on a blustery and damp afternoon on the south coast.

The hosts were first to threaten when Andy Cannon stole possession and whipped in a fine cross from the left.

Ellis Harrison – who was being nudged – nodded the ball down for Ryan Williams, who volleyed narrowly past the post.

But that was Williams’ last involvement, with the winger soon going down injured for the second time and having to be replaced by Marcus Harness.

Ben Close then played a short corner to Cannon and received the ball back before bending a powerful effort wide.

Pompey collected a few bookings before the break, with Harrison and Tom Naylor punished for fouls, while Curtis saw yellow for an alleged dive.

Wycombe won a series of corners, although were never really able to threaten Craig MacGillivray’s net.

Anton Walkes, meanwhile, showed some neat footwork on the left and stung the palms of former Fratton loanee Ryan Allsop with a fierce angled drive.

The visitors’ best chance came when a Joe Jacobson’s flag-kick was glanced across goal by Alex Samuel, but there was nobody to get the required touch.

Six minutes of additional time was the result of a bitty opening period and Harrison had an opportunity after being fed by Cannon, only to fire straight at a grateful Allsop.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Wycombe Wanderers 0


Pompey started the second half brightly and won a corner on the right following some neat interplay between Cannon and Harness.

The ball was sent into the mixer by Close, but Bolton could only head it over the bar from just a few yards out.

Close then had a chance of his own after driving along the edge of the box and firing narrowly over the bar.

Bolton was alert at the other end just before the hour mark, just about getting to Samuel’s low centre before Paul Smyth to turn the ball behind.

MacGillivray then got his fingertips to an effort from Samuel and Christian Burgess was well-placed to deal with the loose ball.

But the Blues picked up again on 66 minutes and Allsop made two fine saves in quick succession, first keeping out Curtis’ deflected effort and then Bolton’s follow-up.

It was the briefest of respites for the Chairboys, though, as the deadlock was broken a few seconds later.

Harrison prodded against the post with just the keeper to beat, but CLOSE kept his cool to get into a shooting position and fire home from close range.

Wycombe immediately responded by replacing Rolando Aarons with David Wheeler, who spent the first half of last season on loan at Fratton Park.

And a change for the hosts soon followed, with the hard-working Cannon drawing warm applause as he made way for Gareth Evans.

The Blues immediately doubled their advantage, as Harness sent in a low cross from the right that was converted by a neat CURTIS flick.

Wanderers were forced to open up a bit more and their opponents looked threatening on the counter.

But the visitors almost reduced their deficit from a late free-kick, with skipper Joe Jacobson curling the ball against the outside of the post.

Pompey saw out the closing stages in driving rain, however, to continue their fine run of form and ensure the final Fratton fixture of 2019 ended in a celebratory fashion.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett; Walkes; Naylor (c), Close; Williams (Harness 7), Cannon (Evans 72), Curtis (Marquis 90+2); Harrison
Goals: Close 66, Curtis 73
Booked: Harrison, Curtis, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Hawkins, Pitman

Wycombe (4-2-3-1): Allsop; Jombati, Stewart, Samuel, Jacobson (c); Thompson (Pattison 27), Ofoborh; Aarons (Wheeler 67), Samuel, Freeman; Smyth (Kashket 77)
Booked: Stewart, Aarons, Jacobson
Subs not used: Yates, Phillips, Bloomfield, Parker

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 18,419 (749 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 212019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Ronan Curtis ensured there would be plenty of festive Fratton cheer by scoring the only goal of the game against high-flying Ipswich.

The margin of victory might have been narrow, but Pompey were dominant for much of the contest on a sodden south coast.

Will Norris came to the Tractor Boys’ rescue in the first half, although was unable to keep out Curtis’ fierce drive after the break.

And the visitors’ misery was compounded late on, as skipper Luke Chambers was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were comfortably beaten at Accrington the previous week.

Andy Cannon was handed a first league start for three months, while Christian Burgess returned from suspension and there was also a place for Ryan Williams.

That meant John Marquis, James Bolton and Marcus Harness all dropped to the bench, with Ross McCrorie moving to right-back and skipper Tom Naylor switching back to his usual midfield role.

There was a minute of applause before kick-off to celebrate the lives of Ron Saunders, Jim Smith and John Jenkins MBE.

The crowd also sang the name of the D-Day veteran, who sadly passed away earlier in the week at the age of 100.

Pompey dominated the opening 45 minutes and although there were not many clear-cut openings, the best ones fell to the hosts.

Ellis Harrison – playing against his former club – was booked with just 16 seconds on the clock and was then fouled by Toto Nsiala, who collected a yellow card of his own.

In between those transgressions, Williams’ effort took a deflection, forcing a wrong-footed Norris to react brilliantly to claw the ball away.

The keeper was at his best again soon after, this time to deny McCrorie after the ball had fallen kindly for the loanee.

And Curtis then fired a shot over the bar after Ipswich had failed to properly clear a Williams delivery.

There were more bookings as the half continued, with Gwion Edwards and Burgess punished by referee Brett Huxtable.

But Nsiala was lucky to escape being sent off when his challenge on Cannon was not even deemed worthy of a free-kick.

Tractor Boys boss Paul Lambert sensed his defender was walking a tightrope and withdrew him for Alan Judge.

Jackett was then forced to make a change of his own after McCrorie picked up an injury, with Bolton on to replace him.

The rain was falling heavily by this point, making conditions tough for both sides, although it was still the Blues looking more dangerous before the interval.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Ipswich Town 0


Pompey came so close to breaking the deadlock just seconds after the restart when Norris punched clear a Curtis cross intended for the head of Harrison.

The keeper was on the floor, but still managed to keep out Bolton’s effort, while a follow-up header from Williams was cleared from the line by a well-placed Luke Garbutt.

Norris did well again moments later, this time palming away a fine Curtis cross that seemed destined for the head of Harrison at the back stick.

The visitors finally had a shot on target on 49 minutes, not that James Norwood’s attempt from outside the box particularly troubled Craig MacGillivray.

Instead the Blues went up the other end to finally break the deadlock and it was the in-form CURTIS who got the goal.

The Republic of Ireland international collected a pass from Ben Close, cut inside and hit a ferocious effort that Norris could only help into the net.

Ipswich understandably began to play with a bit more urgency after falling behind, but were still doing little to trouble the hosts.

Jackett made his second switch just before the hour mark, with Cannon coming off to be replaced by Gareth Evans.

The Tractor Boys were starting to look threatening and after Alan Judge brought the ball down near the back post, the substitute hit a low shot narrowly past the post.

Pompey sensed that a second goal was needed and after expertly bringing down a long ball, Harrison’s cleanly-struck effort was kept out by Norris.

Evans then nipped in to collect the ball inside the box and evade a challenge, but was forced wide and Norris used his legs to keep out the midfielder’s angled drive.

The resulting corner eventually fell for Close on the edge of the box and he drilled a low shot inches off target.

It was a rocking atmosphere at Fratton Park and the crowd started up a chant of ‘Jim Smith’s Blue and White Army’ in memory of the former Blues boss.

Flynn Downes tried his luck at the other end and Bolton bravely flung himself in the path of the shot to avert the danger.

And Norwood then burst into the box – seemingly using his hand to control the ball – but could only fire into the side netting.

With the rain continuing to hammer down, there were a few players slipping and sliding on the slick surface.

Evans intentionally threw himself forward to try to get on the end of Harrison’s cross on 83 minutes, but could not quite make a connection.

Ipswich were forced to play the final few minutes with 10 men after Chambers fouled Harrison to collect his second booking of the afternoon.

The visitors’ bench were clearly not happy and assistant manager Stuart Taylor was also shown a yellow card.

Ipswich’s discipline had well and truly gone, with Luke Woolfenden and Kayden Jackson also forcing Huxtable to reach into his pocket.

The referee was being kept extremely busy and Pompey coach Jake Wigley was next to receive a booking for kicking the ball away.

Pompey, meanwhile, remained professional on the pitch to see the game out and collect the perfect Christmas present of three points.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie (Bolton 42), Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Cannon (Evans 59), Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Curtis 50
Booked: Harrison, Burgess, Williams
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Harness, Marquis, Pitman

Ipswich (3-5-2): Norris; Chambers (c), Nsiala (Judge 38), Woolfenden; Edwards (Jackson 64), Nolan, Skuse (Donacien 60), Downes, Garbutt; Keane, Norwood
Sent off: Chambers (two yellow cards)
Booked: Nsiala, Edwards, Nolan, Woolfenden, Jackson
Subs not used: Holy, Wilson, Huws, Dozzell

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 18,801 (1,994 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Dec 142019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




It was an afternoon to forget for Pompey, who saw their long unbeaten run end with a heavy defeat at Accrington.

When the in-form Ronan Curtis headed them in front towards the end of the first half it seemed as though the Blues would continue their climb up the League One standings.

But Ellis Harrison nodded into his own net just before the break, with a finish that would have been lauded at the other end of the pitch.

And Stanley ran away with it after the break, with Dion Charles giving them the lead – albeit in controversial circumstances – before Colby Bishop added a brace.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Peterborough on home soil the previous week.

The entire defence had to change, with Brandon Haunstrup (knee) and Lee Brown (Achilles) both injured, Christian Burgess suspended and Oli Hawkins recently becoming father to a baby boy.

That meant there were recalls for James Bolton and Anton Walkes in the full-back slots and Sean Raggett in the middle, while Tom Naylor also dropped into the back-line.

Ross McCrorie took the skipper’s midfield slot and Ryan Williams dropped to the bench to make way for Marcus Harness on the right.

Pompey started brightly and were camped out in their opponents’ half in the opening stages, but created only one decent opening.

Harrison’s cross from the left was just behind a stretching John Marquis, who could only send the ball over the bar and out of the ground.

Stanley then started to apply more pressure as the first half progressed and Jordan Clark was inches away from making a connection when he slid in at the far post.

Bishop was next to go close flashing a shot narrowly wide after Ben Close had initially made a fine challenge on Sam Finley.

It took a decent tackle from Ross Sykes to deny Marquis at the other end, with the striker almost being sent through by Harrison.

The hosts were still looking more dangerous, though, and when Clark met Seamus Conneely’s cross from deep on the left, Craig MacGillivray was forced to make a fine save to tip the ball over.

Pompey then started to pick up again, although Harrison and Marquis collided with Mark Hughes when all three players tried to get to Harness’ centre first.

Bolton was then unable to get enough on Curtis’ free-kick from the left and Josef Bursik made a simple stop.

But the Blues did go ahead on 35 minutes, as Harness whipped in a dangerous cross from the right and CURTIS stooped to meet it, sending the ball into the net off the inside of the post.

Jerome Opoku came close to hitting an immediate leveller, courtesy of an audacious long-range piledriver that cannoned back off the post.

And Accrington did equalise just before the break – although they received a big helping hand from the visitors.

Conneely sent a corner into the box and Harrison rose to meet it with a firm header that inadvertently sent the ball past MacGillivray and into his own net.


Half Time

Accrington Stanley 1

Portsmouth 1


The hosts had unsuccessfully appealed for two penalties before the break and were at it again when the action restarted.

This time it was Clark who felt he was unfairly upended by Walkes, but referee Martin Coy remained unimpressed.

Pompey then came close to retaking the lead when Harrison turned quickly outside the box and hit a fine strike that a diving Bursik did well to push clear.

Raggett soon did well at the other end to hold off Charles and stop the striker going one-on-one with MacGillivray.

But Charles did give Accrington the lead just past the hour mark, although the hosts were unhappy that the goal was allowed to stand.

Opoku held off Harness with a hand to the face, but it was not spotted by Coy and the left-back was able to square for his team-mate to slot home.

Jackett responded with a double change, as Harness and Marquis made way for Williams and Brett Pitman.

But Stanley almost extended their advantage just seconds later, as Bishop glanced a header against the post, with the loose ball hacked clear.

And Bishop did give them a cushion on 69 minutes, angling the ball into the net after MacGillivray had parried clear Finley’s initial effort.

Things soon got even worse for the visitors, as Bishop raced clear to slot home his second goal of the afternoon.

That came after Coy had played advantage following McCrorie’s challenge on Charles, but the referee went back to book the midfielder.

Accrington continued to look threatening as the minutes ticked down, while a neat Pitman flick was blocked before it could trouble Bursik.

That was as close as Pompey came to reducing their deficit, although the 733 travelling fans continued to cheer right up until the final whistle.

Accrington (4-4-2): Bursik; Johnson, Sykes, Hughes, Opoku; Clark, Finley (Diallo 90), Conneely (c), Pritchard; Bishop (Zanzala 90), Charles
Goals: Harrison 44 (og), Charles 62, Bishop 69, 77
Booked: Finley
Subs not used: Evtimov, Alese, Rodgers, Sherif, Carvalho

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Naylor (c), Raggett, Walkes; McCrorie, Close; Harness (Pitman 65), Marquis (Williams 65), Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Curtis 35
Booked: McCrorie
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Casey, Cannon, Evans

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 2,429 (733 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC