Oct 212017
 

League One


 

Blackburn Rovers    3

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey completed a disappointing week on the road with a 3-0 defeat at Blackburn.

The visitors created little, albeit in terrible conditions, and conceded goals in both halves to make the treacherous trip home with nothing to show for their efforts.

Bradley Dack opened the scoring before the break, while Danny Graham then doubled Rovers’ advantage after it.

Dominic Samuel was sent off for the hosts, but they were still able to wrap things up with a third goal from Craig Conway.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Doncaster earlier in the week.

Jamal Lowe was restored to the starting line-up and Gareth Evans dropped to the bench, meaning that the captain’s armband returned to Stuart O’Keefe.

Brett Pitman had recovered from keyhole surgery on his knee, but had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

There was also a ‘Battle of the Bennetts’, as Pompey winger Kyle was up against his older brother Elliott.

Storm Brian made life difficult for both teams, with heavy rain accompanying the wind swirling around Ewood Park.

And there were not too many clear-cut chances to reward those fans who braved the conditions to watch the game.

It was the hosts looking the more threatening, though, and a couple of dangerous deliveries had to be scrambled clear.

Dack then fired a warning shot narrowly wide midway through the first half after being teed-up by strike-partner Graham.

Richie Smallwood was closer moments later, with a thumping effort from 30 yards that Luke McGee did well to turn over the bar.

The keeper was soon called into action again and denied Dack with his legs before Graham turned the loose ball against the crossbar.

But the Blues soon had a decent opportunity of their own when Bennett met Lowe’s cross with a volley that forced David Raya to save down to his right.

It was Rovers who broke the deadlock on 38 minutes, however, as Harry Chapman stole the ball from Dion Donohue and fed Dack for a powerful finish.

Pompey tried to find a response before the break, although an O’Keefe shot that was comfortably saved by Raya was all they had to show for their efforts.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


The rain got even heavier as the teams came out to start the second half and it certainly seemed to affect the standard of play.

Donohue was shown a yellow card for tugging back Chapman as the midfielder tried to surge into the box.

Skipper Charlie Mulgrew took the resulting free-kick from the side of the box and his fierce effort had to be beaten away by McGee.

But Rovers did double their advantage just before the hour mark, as Derrick Williams got down the left and teed-up Graham for a calm finish into the bottom corner.

Pompey had a chance to hit back when Ryan Nyambe received a yellow card for a foul on Matty Kennedy.

The free-kick was played short to Bennett, whose low shot from outside the area crept narrowly wide of Raya’s post.

That was Bennett’s last contribution to proceedings, however, as he and Oliver Hawkins made way for Conor Chaplin and a mask-wearing Pitman.

Both sides then had attempts from long distance, with strikes from Peter Whittingham and Pitman not too far off target.

With the rain continuing to fall there was plenty of surface water to make life even more difficult for both sides.

And with players struggling to keep their footing, the Blues could at least take comfort from the fact that nobody limped off in the closing stages.

But Rovers did not end the game with all 11 men on the pitch, with referee Chris Kavanagh forced to brandish a red card.

Christian Burgess held up Samuel as he tried to chase a loose ball and the frustrated Blackburn substitute kicked out at him.

The hosts were still able to add another goal late on, however, as Conway broke up the pitch and slotted past McGee.

Blackburn: Raya; Nyambe, Downing, Mulgrew (c), Williams; Chapman (Conway 68), Smallwood, Whittingham, Bennett; Graham (Samuel 74), Dack (Evans 77)
Goals: Dack 38, Graham 58, Conway 90
Sent off: Samuel
Booked: Nyambe
Subs not used: Leutwiler, Caddis, Gladwin, Antonsson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe (c), Close; Lowe, Bennett (Chaplin 64), Kennedy (Naismith 76); Hawkins (Pitman 64)
Booked: Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Rose, Evans

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Attendance: 11,673 (1,209 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 172017
 

League One


 

Doncaster Rovers    2

 


 

Portsmouth    1

 


A disastrous start cost Pompey as they made the long trip home from Doncaster on the back of a 2-1 defeat.

They conceded twice inside the opening five minutes, with Liam Mandeville opening the scoring before Christian Burgess inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

A comical own-goal from Mathieu Baudry sparked hopes of a comeback, but they were dashed when Dion Donohue – figuratively and literally – saw red.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that convincingly beat MK Dons on home soil at the weekend.

Gareth Evans returned to the starting line-up in a wide attacking role on the right and was also handed the captain’s armband.

Jamal Lowe dropped to the bench, having travelled up later than the rest of the squad following the birth of his baby daughter.

Pompey were looking to build on successive league victories, but got off to a terrible start and found themselves two down before some fans had even taken their seat.

They had looked bright immediately following kick-off and a couple of attacks were thwarted by the Rovers back-line.

But the hosts were more clinical and broke the deadlock when Rodney Kongolo collected Tommy Rowe’s pass and squared for Mandeville to prod home.

And Doncaster doubled their advantage a few seconds later, as Burgess inadvertently sliced Harry Toffolo’s corner into his own net.

It almost got even worse for the Blues, but Andy Butler could not guide his header on target after meeting another Toffolo set-piece.

Pompey almost reduced their deficit midway through the first half, with Joe Wright forced to clear from the line when Burgess guided Matty Kennedy’s free-kick towards goal.

That was about it for clear-cut opportunities before the interval, with much of the battle taking place in the centre of the pitch.

Ben Close did see a volley charged down when Kennedy’s cross was headed into his path by Nathan Thompson.

Donohue then lifted a free-kick into the box with the seconds ticking down, but Kennedy was unable to force his shot through a sea of bodies.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Jackett, unsurprisingly, decided to make a couple of changes at the start of the second half, as the visitors looked for a route back into the game.

They were both attacking substitutes, with Evans and Kyle Bennett making for new father Lowe and – making his 100th appearance – Conor Chaplin.

And Chaplin almost made an immediate impression when Oliver Hawkins was fouled right on the edge of the box.

The diminutive striker stepped up take the free-kick and managed to bend it over the wall and against the crossbar.

But the Blues were handed a lifeline in bizarre fashion on 54 minutes – and it is a moment that Ian Lawlor will be keen to forget.

Doncaster’s keeper allowed Baudry’s back-pass to slip under his foot and was unable to hack the ball clear before it crossed the line.

That gave the visitors a visible lift, while their opponents started to display some nerves now their lead was so narrow.

A couple of dangerous Kennedy corners had to be headed clear, while a cross from the winger was then flicked narrowly wide by Chaplin.

But just when the 620 travelling fans started to dream of a comeback, Pompey were suddenly faced with an even steeper mountain to climb.

A frustrated Donohue kicked out at Niall Mason in an off-the-ball incident and although referee Martin Coy missed it, his assistant advised that the left-back should be dismissed.

The visitors kept trying to push forward in search of a leveller, but were obviously now finding it more difficult.

When they did get the ball into dangerous areas, Doncaster had plenty of players back to halt their charge.

There was clearly a bit of needle between the teams and something Mandeville said as he was substituted left Burgess enraged.

But Pompey were almost celebrating deep into stoppage-time when Lowe met Kennedy’s cross, only for his deft header to be superbly kept out by Lawlor.

Doncaster (4-2-3-1): Lawlor; Blair (Mason 46), Wright, Butler (c), Baudry (Beestin 72); Houghton, Whiteman; Kongolo, Rowe, Toffolo; Mandeville (Garratt 88)
Goals: Mandeville 3, Burgess 5 (og)
Booked: Rowe
Subs not used: Marosi, Alcock, Ben Khemis, Fletcher

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Evans (c) (Lowe 46), Bennett (Chaplin 46), Kennedy; Hawkins
Goals: Baudry 54 (og)
Sent off: Donohue
Booked: Burgess, O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Rose, Naismith

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 7,211 (620 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 142017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    2

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


A brace from Oliver Hawkins ensured that Pompey beat MK Dons to secure successive league wins for the first time this season.

Both goals arrived in a first half that was almost completely one-sided, as the visitors struggled to deal with the Blues’ attacking play.

Hawkins was the beneficiary of some good work from the hosts’ wide players, as he converted crosses from first Matty Kennedy and then Jamal Lowe.

It was no surprise that the Dons were better after the break, but they did not do enough to test Luke McGee.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Gillingham the previous week.

Christian Burgess had recovered from a calf injury to start in defence and make his 100th appearance for the club, allowing Hawkins to move to a more natural position up front.

A slight niggle ensured that Curtis Main was the man to miss out, with Stuart O’Keefe continuing to wear the captain’s armband in Brett Pitman’s absence.

The visitors had an early chance when Osman Sow got past Matt Clarke, only for the centre-back to recover well and win the ball back.

But after that it was a first half that saw Pompey enjoy almost total dominance, as they poured forward at every opportunity.

Kyle Bennett burst free down the right and Kennedy just got a touch to his cross to take the ball away from the advancing Lowe.

But the deadlock was broken on 14 minutes – and Kennedy had a large part to play in giving the hosts the lead.

He intercepted a sloppy pass from Ethan Ebanks-Landell and burst past the Dons defender before teeing-up HAWKINS for a powerful finish into the roof of the net.

There was a scare for both teams when Kennedy and Callum Brittain disappeared over the advertising hoardings at the Fratton End.

But the Blues winger soon reappeared and, after some treatment, the visiting right-back was able to continue.

Lee Nicholls was looking nervous between the MK Dons sticks and was perhaps lucky to win a free-kick after failing to hold Dion Donohue’s corner.

He then made a hash of dealing with Lowe’s centre and would have been relieved to see no Pompey player nearby to take advantage.

Donohue then tried his luck from 25 yards when Kennedy’s free-kick was only partially cleared, but could not send the ball on target.

With the visitors clinging on, O’Keefe was next to try his luck and Scott Wooton had to fling himself in front of the shot.

And Nicholls then charged from his line to dive on the ball following some fine work between Bennett and Lowe on the right.

MK Dons finally threatened late in the half and it took a fine challenge from Clarke to deny Sow after the striker burst through on goal.

But there was still time for Pompey to double their lead prior to the interval, as a persistent Lowe was able to cut the ball back for HAWKINS to turn home from close range.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


A Kennedy corner caused issues for the visitors just after the restart, but they were eventually able to scramble the ball clear.

Burgess then had to deal with Gboly Ariyibi’s dangerous low delivery from the right and just about managed to turn it the right side of the post.

MK Dons were looking more of a threat in the second half, but McGee was still a virtual spectator between the sticks.

And Hawkins had a chance to complete a hat-trick on the hour mark, only to swipe at thin air as he tried to convert Kennedy’s cross.

Bennett then missed another decent chance to put the result beyond doubt, firing wide when Lowe’s centre somehow found its way to his feet.

MK Dons might have made the most of that let-off and the Blues survived a couple of nervy scrambles in their box.

Ed Upson then whipped a free-kick into a crowded box and McGee did well to find his way through the bodies and punch clear.

Kennedy received a rousing reception from the Fratton faithful when he made way for Gareth Evans for the closing stages.

And Pompey saw out the final few minutes with relative ease to secure all three points on the sunny south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe (c); Lowe, Bennett, Kennedy (Evans 81); Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 14, 45+2
Booked: Kennedy
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Rose, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naismith

MK Dons (4-1-4-1): Nicholls; Brittain (Williams 41), Ebanks-Landell, Wootton, Golbourne; Cisse (Agard 66); Ariyibi, Upson, Gilbey (c), Nesbitt (Aneke 46); Sow
Booked: Williams, Nicholls, Ebanks-Landell
Subs not used: Sietsma, Walsh, Lewington, Seager

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 17,608 (580 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 082017
 

League One


 

Gillingham    0

 


 

Porstmouth    1

 


Matty Kennedy scored early in the second half to ensure Pompey picked up all three points at Gillingham.

The winger converted after Curtis Main’s header had come back off the woodwork to give the large travelling army – and all those watching live on Sky Sports – plenty to cheer.

A one-goal advantage ensured it was a nervy finale at Priestfield, but the struggling hosts never really looked like claiming an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side beaten by Oldham in Pompey’s last league outing.

Striker Main was handed a first league start in more than a year in place of the injured skipper Brett Pitman.

Drew Talbot dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett, with Oliver Hawkins continuing to be deployed as a makeshift centre-back.

Nathan Thompson – who went off against the Latics with concussion – was declared fit to feature at right-back, but the game came too soon for Christian Burgess.

The watching television audience might have been forgiven for reaching for their remote, as the game took a while to find its flow.

In fact, the most noteworthy moment in the opening stages was the continuing efforts of various Priestfield staff to replace a dislodged corner flag.

Kennedy tried his luck with a curling right-footed effort, but the ball flew safely into the arms of Gills keeper Tomas Holy.

A delightful delivery from the outside of Jamal Lowe’s boot caused some problems, with Josh Parker having to head clear.

It was Ben Close who had the first decent chance on 20 minutes, though, with Holy having to get down to deal with his low drilled effort.

And a dangerous centre from Bennett flashed across the face of goal, with none of his white-shirted team-mates able to get a touch.

But the hosts grew in confidence as the first half progressed and thought they should have won a penalty on 34 minutes.

Hawkins’ challenge sent Sean Clare tumbling to the ground, only for referee Christopher Sarginson to ignore the appeals.

Pompey won a trio of corners before the break and two of them were met by Matt Clarke, but the defender sent both wide of the target.

It was Gillingham who ended stronger, though, and Parker volleyed narrowly past the post after being picked out by Lee Martin.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Pompey came tearing out of the traps at the start of the second half and were ahead after just 26 seconds.

Thompson whipped a cross in from the right and when Main’s header came back off the post, KENNEDY was waiting to stroke home the loose ball.

And Thompson might have added a second, with a cross that drifted towards goal and dipped narrowly over.

It was the visitors looking more likely to add to the scoring and a long-range attempt from Kennedy was not too far off target.

Hawkins then met another Kennedy corner, although his header lacked enough power to trouble Holy.

But Gillingham thought they had grabbed an equaliser when Finn O’Mara’s cross was converted by Parker.

The home fans leapt from their seats to celebrate before realising that the linesman had raised his flag for offside.

Jackett was forced to make his first change moments later, as Dion Donohue limped off to be replaced by Brandon Haunstrup.

Pompey had a chance to extend their lead when Bennett broke quickly on 74 minutes, but he took too long to find Lowe, whose effort was blocked.

Gareth Evans and Danny Rose were brought in for the closing stages, with Bennett and Close withdrawing to the bench.

But it was Clarke who almost grabbed a second goal for the Blues late on, diverting Kennedy’s free-kick inches past the post.

Gillingham (3-5-2): Holy; O’Hara, Ehmer, Nugent (Tucker 45); Parker, Hessenthaler, Martin (c) (List 57), Bingham, Ogilvie; Wilkinson, Clare (Oldaker 67)
Booked: Ehmer
Subs not used: Arnold, Simpson, Wagstaff, Nash

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue (Haunstrup 67); O’Keefe (c), Close (Rose 83); Lowe, Bennett (Evans 83), Kennedy; Main
Goals: Kennedy 46
Booked: Clarke, Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naismith

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 8,163 (1,333 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Oct 032017
 

Checkatrade Trophy


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Crawley Town    1

 


Pompey boosted their chances of a qualifying for the Checkatrade Trophy knockout stages with victory over Crawley at a sparsely-populated Fratton Park.

Matt Clarke opened the scoring with the type of goal you would not normally associate with a defender.

His stand-in back-line partner Oliver Hawkins then doubled the lead, only for Moussa Sanoh to pull one back after the break.

But Stuart O’Keefe added a third for the hosts to wrap the points up and move the Blues to the top of Southern Group A.

Kenny Jackett made six changes from the side that were beaten at home by Oldham at the weekend.

Gareth Evans returned to skipper the side at right-back, while Danny Rose and Adam May were recalled in midfield.

Curtis Main led the line and there were also starts in attacking roles for both Kal Naismith and Kyle Bennett.

Pompey’s defensive injury crisis meant that striker Hawkins had to continue partnering Clarke in the centre of defence.

It was a fairly quiet start to proceedings, with neither side managing to create any clear-cut openings.

Bennett had an effort blocked, while Rose’s diagonal pass was just too heavy for Main, allowing Red Devils keeper Yusuf Mersin to claim.

Main did go close on 12 minutes, though, collecting Naismith’s through ball and fizzing an angled drive just past the post.

Crawley then forced Luke McGee into action for the first time midway through the first half, with the keeper doing well to push behind Kaby Djalo’s fierce drive.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 30 minutes and it was an impressive goal from CLARKE.

He ran more than half the length of the pitch before feeding Main and was on hand to calmly convert when the striker’s shot was saved.

And his central defensive partner HAWKINS soon doubled the lead, slamming home the loose ball after Main’s header from a Naismith free-kick had been kept out by Mersin.

The visitors then missed an opportunity to reduce the deficit just before the break when Panutche Camara fired wide.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


The Red Devils made a bright start to the second half, but a couple of half-chances failed to test McGee.

Ibrahim Meite then took a heavy touch from Sanoh’s dangerous low delivery to waste another decent opening.

And when Sanoh crossed dangerously for a second time, the ball was just out of reach for both Meite and Camara, as the visitors continued to threaten.

The impressive Sanoh had a shot of his own just before the hour mark, but McGee was equal to his powerful effort.

Jackett made a double switch soon after, withdrawing May and Rose for Brandon Haunstrup and Jamal Lowe.

But it was Bennett who had a great chance to wrap the game up when he took the ball past Mersin, only to fire over with the goal gaping.

And Crawley immediately went down the other end to reduce their deficit, with Sanoh racing onto Camara’s flick and sliding past McGee.

But Bennett soon made up for his miss by providing the assist for Pompey’s third goal of the evening on 71 minutes.

He jinked his way into the box and teed-up O’KEEFE to slot home and open his scoring account for the club.

Bennett might have added a gloss to the scoreline late on when he was left unmarked to meet Lowe’s cross, but sent his header wide.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans (c), Hawkins, Clarke, Donohue; May (Haunstrup 62), Rose (Lowe 62); O’Keefe (Close 87), Bennett, Naismith; Main
Goals: Clarke 30, Hawkins 34, O’Keefe 71
Booked: May
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Kennedy, Chaplin

Crawley (4-2-3-1): Mersin; Tajbakhsh (Lewis 76), McNerney, Yorwerth, Djalo (Smith 87); Payne, Bulman (c); Camara (Boldewijn 76), Clifford, Sanoh; Meite
Goals: Sanoh 65
Booked: Djalo
Subs not used: Morris, Evina, Connolly, Lelan

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,527 (44 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 302017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    1

 


 

Oldham Athletic    2

 


Eoin Doyle netted twice on his Fratton return as Pompey endured a difficult afternoon on the south coast.

Both sides started the game with an attacking intent, but Oldham were in control from the moment they grabbed their early opener.

It was a game to forget for the Blues, who suffered another injury blow at the back when Nathan Thompson was stretchered off.

And it never really looked like they would salvage anything once Doyle doubled the Latics’ lead just after the interval.

Brett Pitman did pull one back late on to restore some hope, but the hosts were unable to find a dramatic leveller.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Bristol Rovers earlier in the week.

Christian Burgess missed out with a calf injury, so Drew Talbot came into the starting 11 and Thompson moved to the centre of defence.

Richie Wellens said in the lead-up to the contest that former Fratton loanee Doyle would miss the contest through injury.

But it appeared to be mind games from the interim Oldham manager, as the striker was named in the team.

And it was Doyle who almost broke the deadlock in a frantic opening to the game, with his 25-yard effort cannoning against the post.

Pitman then tried his luck from a similar distance and a fine strike was expertly tipped over by Latics keeper Johny Placide.

Pompey’s skipper soon met a low cross from Dion Donohue, but Kean Bryan was well placed to clear the danger.

Both sides were looking capable of scoring and Matt Clarke blocked Jack Byrne’s effort before Rob Hunt’s shot swerved wide.

At the other end, Matty Kennedy’s centre was just about taken off the foot of Oliver Hawkins, who was waiting to pounce at the far post.

But it was Oldham who forged ahead on 16 minutes, when Thompson blocked Craig Davies’ effort and Doyle gobbled up the loose ball.

It soon got even worse for the hosts, as their defensive injury curse continued following a collision between Talbot and Thompson.

The latter came off worse and had to be stretchered from the pitch, with Gareth Evans coming on and Talbot moving to the middle.

Both setbacks seemed to affect the Blues and they struggled to find any fluency at either end of the pitch for the remainder of the first half.

A snap-shot from Byrne had to be acrobatically tipped over by Luke McGee to stop the Latics from doubling their lead.

Pompey did carve open one more decent opportunity before the break, however, following a quick move up the pitch.

The visitors were initially able to deal with the attack, but Jamal Lowe picked up the loose ball and struck the post.


Half Time

(0 – 1)


There was a surprise at the start of the second half, as Hawkins moved to the centre of a makeshift defence, with Evans playing off Pitman.

But it was a slip by Clarke that let in Davies, although the striker’s effort did not cause McGee too many problems.

Oldham did not let their hosts off for a second time, though, and after Hawkins had done well to intercept the danger, Doyle dispossessed Talbot and neatly dinked home his second of the game.

He came close to adding a third on 56 minutes, only for McGee to quickly leave his line and smother Dan Gardner’s ball over the top.

Some more slack defending saw Davies left in acres of space at the far post, although the striker could not quite rise high enough to guide Gevrao Nepomuceno’s cross on target.

Talbot was brought off on the hour mark to be replaced by Kyle Bennett and the newcomer had an immediate chance to reduce the deficit, but could not turn Kennedy’s centre on target.

The third and final switch soon followed, with Ben Close making way for Danny Rose in the middle of the park.

But those changes failed to result in a change of fortunes, as Pompey continued to labour against their energetic visitors.

Pitman was clearly struggling with an injury, but with the Blues having already made all their substitutions, he had to continue

And PITMAN seemed to shake it off, continuing his remarkable scoring streak late on by slotting in from Lowe’s cut-back.

The display of eight minutes of additional time made the Fratton faithful believe that a point could be salvaged.

But despite their best efforts, Pompey were unable to find another goal, as Oldham held on for the victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Bennett 60), Thompson (Evans 22), Clarke, Donohue; Close (Rose 68), O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy; Hawkins
Goals: Pitman 90
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Naismith, Main

Oldham (4-4-2): Placide; Dummigan, Clarke (c), Bryan, Hunt; Byrne (Menig 88), Fane, Gardner (Banks 79), Nepomuceno (Omrani 65); Doyle, Davies
Goals: Doyle 16, 47
Booked: Dummigan, Bryan, Byrne, Banks, Davies, Placide
Subs not used: Ruddy, Gerrard, Edmundson, Obadeyi

Referee: Craig Hicks

Attendance: 17,848 (466 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 262017
 

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Bristol Rovers    0

 


Oliver Hawkins opened his goalscoring account as Pompey returned to winning ways against Bristol Rovers.

He headed home just before the interval of an absorbing contest that was often played at a breathless pace.

The Fratton faithful played their part by creating a vibrant atmosphere and Brett Pitman made sure they had plenty to celebrate by adding a second half brace.

Kenny Jackett kept faith with the side that were beaten at Scunthorpe at the weekend.

But there was no place for Conor Chaplin among the substitutes, with his hamstring injury handing Curtis Main a seat on the bench.

The visitors looked dangerous on the break in the opening stages and Christian Burgess got in the way of Ellis Harrison’s strike before Joe Partington’s fine cross somehow evaded Billy Bodin.

Matt Clarke then just about did enough to put off Tom Nichols after the forward had latched onto a ball over the top and advanced on goal.

But the Blues were providing a threat of their own and it took a key interception from skipper Tom Lockyer to prevent Hawkins turning in Jamal Lowe’s teasing delivery at the far post.

The winger sent in another dangerous centre moments later and this time it was Pitman who was unable to get on the end of it.

Limbs were then flying at the other end of the pitch on 21 minutes, with Burgess and Clarke flinging themselves in front of shots from Bodin and Ollie Clarke respectively.

Both sides had a man cautioned before the break, with Stuart O’Keefe penalised for a foul on Partington and Harrison shown a yellow card for tugging back Burgess.

It looked like the players would be heading in all square at the break, but the Blues broke the deadlock – in confusing fashion – on 42 minutes.

Dion Donohue’s first cross was blocked, but his second was perfect for HAWKINS to meet at the back post.

Chris Lines made a valiant attempt to hack the ball from the line, although only succeeded in sending it into the roof of the net.

But celebrations were cut short by a linesman’s flag, only to start back up again when referee John Busby conferred with his colleague and awarded the goal.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


Donohue’s set-pieces were proving a dangerous weapon in the Blues’ armoury and one free-kick had to be punched clear.

O’Keefe then tried to convert the loose ball, only for a well-placed Harrison to boot it away and to safety.

Hawkins soon did well to steal the ball from Lockyer and draw a foul, which earned the defender his side’s second yellow card.

Pitman was way off target with the resulting free-kick, however, sending the ball high into the Fratton End.

But the Blues skipper showed some fine trickery to dribble the ball along the byline just past the hour mark, although there was nobody in the box to meet his cutback.

There was a scare at the other end when Bodin burst into the box, only for Nathan Thompson to make a fine challenge to dispossess him.

And O’Keefe then managed to get in the way of Liam Sercombe’s shot when the midfielder received the ball on the edge of the area.

But a quick Pompey break really should have resulted in the hosts extending their advantage on 75 minutes.

Thompson started the move by stealing possession and when O’Keefe delivered the ball to the far post, Hawkins could only guide it wide.

PITMAN did make sure of the victory soon after, though, meeting Matty Kennedy’s pin-point cross with a firm header that Sam Slocombe could not keep out.

Hawkins was afforded a standing ovation when he made his way off the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans for the final few minutes.

But PITMAN’s evening was not over and he shrugged off the challenge of Lockyer with ease before slamming home Pompey’s third goal to complete a successful night.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Close, O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Bennett 87); Hawkins (Evans 82)
Goals: Hawkins 42, Pitman 77, 85
Booked: O’Keefe
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, Naismith, Main

Bristol Rovers (4-3-3): Slocombe; Partington, Lockyer (c), Sweeney (Brown 78), Bola; Sercombe, Lines, Clarke; Bodin, Harrison (Dunwald 78), Nichols (Telford 66)
Booked: Harrison, Lockyer
Subs not used: Smith, Broadbent, Menayese, Broom

Referee: John Busby

Attendance: 17,716 (782 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 232017
 

League One

2 – 0


Pompey’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they left Scunthorpe on the back of a 2-0 defeat.

The damage was done in the first half, with goals from Lee Novak and Duane Holmes giving the hosts a commanding lead.

It was a much more assured performance from the Blues after the break, but they did not really do enough to warrant any return for their efforts.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Fleetwood so convincingly at Fratton Park the previous week.

One was enforced, with Damien McCrory’s knee injury affording Dion Donohue a chance at left-back.

The other switch was up front, with Conor Chaplin dropping to the bench to be replaced by Oliver Hawkins.

Just 12 goals had been scored in Scunthorpe’s preceding eight league games and a barren contest looked likely following a cagey opening.

But it was the hosts that were quickest to settle and Paddy Madden flashed an angled drive narrowly past the post.

Pompey then had their first sighter, although Brett Pitman’s cleanly-struck effort flew straight into the arms of Iron keeper Matt Gilks.

Scunthorpe were looking more likely to break the deadlock, however, and Novak chipped a shot against the crossbar after bundling his way into space.

And it was Novak who did give them the lead on 12 minutes, steering home after Jordan Clarke had collected Neal Bishop’s cross-field pass and sent the ball into the box.

The Blues were struggling to find any fluency, although Hawkins had a great opportunity to draw them level.

Jamal Lowe brilliantly beat his man down the right and delivered the ball into the area, only for the striker to head wide from just a few yards out.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy when Scunthorpe doubled their advantage just a few moments later.

Donohue was only able to head Lewis Butroid’s teasing delivery straight to Holmes, who coolly steered the ball past Luke McGee and into the net.

Pompey kept fighting, though, and a couple of Donohue corners caused problems in the Iron defence.

The left-back’s free-kick was then headed into Christian Burgess’ path by Hawkins, but the defender mis-kicked the ball into Gilks’ arms.

However, there was an escape at the other end just before the break when Novak failed to get on the end of another excellent Butroid cross.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Pompey, unsurprisingly, came out for the second half with a lot more urgency and Pitman bent a shot narrowly wide following good work from Matty Kennedy down the left.

The hosts then received a blow when Novak when down injured and despite trying to carry on for a few minutes, he was soon replaced by Tom Hopper.

It was the Blues who were dominating possession as the second half progressed, without being able to penetrate the Scunthorpe defence and test Gilks.

A challenge for the ball then saw Matt Clarke become the latest member of the Pompey squad to suffer a cut head and he had to be treated on the pitch by physio Bobby Bacic.

It meant the defender was left with a bandaged head, while Pitman was playing with a broken nose and Hawkins still has a huge scar above his eye.

And it was the latter who made way as Jackett made his first switch on 68 minutes, with Chaplin on to lead the line.

It was Ben Close who was next to try his luck, however, with a volley that was deflected behind after Kennedy’s floated delivery could only be partially cleared.

Jackett made another substitution soon after, as Kennedy was replaced by Kal Naismith wide on the left.

But Scunthorpe threatened to add a third goal on 74 minutes, with a long-range drive from Holmes stinging the palms of McGee.

It was still the Blues playing with more intent, but Gilks was being well protected by an organised Iron back-line.

Burgess was almost the unlikely provider of a goal on 83 minutes, volleying narrowly wide with an acrobatic effort after being picked out in space by Close.

Lowe, unlike last week, was then unable to find the net from a tight angle, as Gilks was finally forced into action.

And Scunthorpe comfortably saw out the closing stages to ensure Pompey made the long journey south without any points.

Scunthorpe (4-4-2): Gilks; Clarke, McArdle (c), Wallace, Butroid; Holmes (Mantom 79), Bishop, Ojo, Morris; Novak (Hopper 54), Madden (Burgess 84)
Goals: Novak 12, Holmes 33
Subs not used: Watson, Sutton, Adelakun, van Veem

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Naismith 73); Hawkins (Chaplin 68)
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, May, Evans

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 4,685 (815 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 162017
 

League One

4 – 1


Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe each bagged a brace as Pompey outclassed Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

The skipper opened the scoring with a brave header, only for Devante Cole to impressively level early in the second half.

Lowe then took over, restoring the lead with a header before somehow finding the net from an acute angle.

And it was Pitman – sporting a bandaged nose from his earlier exploits – who curled home a fine fourth to wrap up the points.

A miserable afternoon for the visitors was wrapped up late on when Kyle Dempsey was dismissed for a second bookable offence.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side beaten at Northampton earlier in the week.

It came in the centre of midfield, where Adam May dropped out of the squad to be replaced by Ben Close.

The visitors had an early chance when Cian Bolger came forward for a George Glendon corner and headed narrowly over.

But the Blues were inches away from breaking the deadlock themselves moments later, with Pitman doing well to connect with Lowe’s pass and scooping the ball just past the post.

It was otherwise a slow start to proceedings, though, with little in the way of goalmouth action to excite the crowd.

Damien McCrory’s afternoon came to an abrupt end on 21 minutes when the defender limped off to be replaced by Dion Donohue.

And the newcomer bent a shot just off target from 20 yards after Matty Kennedy had found him with a corner.

But Pompey did forge ahead just before the break when Nathan Thompson crossed from the right and PITMAN arrived at the far post to head home.

The price was a bloodied nose, which saw the Blues skipper disappear down the tunnel for treatment and re-emerge with a new numberless shirt.


Half Time

(1 – 0)


There was a fairly pedestrian start to the second half, but Cole brought the contest to life with a fantastic leveller on 52 minutes.

He was teed-up by Lewie Coyle and unleashed a superb half-volleyed strike that left Luke McGee helpless.

Pitman tried to hit back at the other end of the pitch, although his 25-yard drive was comfortable for Alex Cairns between the Cod Army sticks.

But the Blues did restore their advantage on 57 minutes after Kennedy’s effort had been deflected behind for a corner.

LOWE had spoken earlier in the week about never having scored with his head, but arrived at the far post to nod in Donohue’s corner.

Fleetwood were still a threat, though, and Cole’s shot squirted narrowly wide following a quick break up the pitch.

Dempsey then slid a pass through to Conor McAleny, who should at least have tested McGee with his effort.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy on 70 minutes, thanks to a fine individual effort from LOWE.

He collected the ball from Conor Chaplin and burst into the box before finding the target with fierce finish from the tightest of angles.

And any doubts about the outcome vanished soon after, as PITMAN curled home an exquisite shot that stroked the inside of the post on its way into the net.

It soon went from bad to worse for Fleetwood, as Dempsey’s clumsy challenge on substitute Gareth Evans earned him a second yellow card – and subsequent red – from referee Dean Whitestone.

Pitman then made way for Oliver Hawkins and was afforded a standing ovation from the Fratton faithful as he trooped off.

And there were more cheers when the final whistle blew a few minutes later to confirm a thoroughly deserved Blues victory.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory (Donohue 21); O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Hawkins 86), Kennedy; Chaplin (Evans 74)
Goals: Pitman 40, 78, Lowe 57, 70
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Naismith, Main

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Bolger (Cargill 59), Pond (c), Eastham; Coyle, O’Neill (McAleny 46), Glendon, Dempsey, Bell; Cole, Hiwula (Hunter 72)
Goals: Cole 52
Sent off: Dempsey (two yellow cards)
Booked: Bolger
Subs not used: Neal, Ekpolo, Grant, Burns

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,192 (115 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 122017
 

League One

3 – 1


Pompey’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they were beaten 3-1 by Northampton at a sodden Sixfields Stadium.

The visitors were well below-par in the first half and trailed to a Chris Long strike and Matt Clarke’s unfortunate own-goal.

But they dominated after the break and Matty Kennedy deservedly pulled one back, with several more chances to level the game soon following.

A healthy travelling support were not able to celebrate a leveller, however, and Long netted again for the hosts to wrap up victory for the Cobblers.

Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that won at AFC Wimbledon three days earlier.

Oliver Hawkins suffered a nasty head wound in that fixture and was replaced up front by Conor Chaplin.

A mixture of driving rain and strong winds made conditions difficult for both sets of players throughout the contest.

Pompey carved out a couple of half-chances in the early stages before Kennedy curled a 20-yard effort narrowly over the bar.

But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, with Matt Grimes’ free-kick causing confusion between Luke McGee and Clarke before eventually swinging out of play.

It was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, as the Cobblers did forge ahead just a few moments later.

Shaun McWilliams slipped a fine pass through to Long and although McGee came off his line to narrow the angle, the striker neatly slotted home.

Unfortunately, McWilliams’ evening was soon cut short, as he went down injured and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

That did not stop the Cobblers’ charge, though, and some poor defending allowed them to double their advantage on 32 minutes.

Grimes delivered a free-kick from wide on the right and no Pompey player was able to get it clear, with the helpless Clarke only able to turn the ball into his own net at the far post.

It seemed to stun the Blues into action and they had a few opportunities to reduce the deficit before the interval.

Northampton almost provided a helping hand when Ash Taylor diverted Jamal Lowe’s cross against his own post.

Stuart O’Keefe then tried a long-range effort deep into stoppage-time that Matt Ingram did well to tip over the bar.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Pompey had been poor before the break, but whatever Jackett told them during the interval seemed to do the trick.

They came roaring out of the blocks and soon reduced the deficit when O’Keefe teed-up KENNEDY for a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Adam May then had an effort deflected over before Lowe arrived at the far post to head Damien McCrory’s cross just past the post.

The Blues kept pouring forward and Brett Pitman received the ball inside the box, only for some decent Cobblers defending to prevent him getting a shot away.

Lowe then had another excellent opportunity to draw the visitors level, as there was time for him to bring Kennedy’s cross under control before a wild shot that flew wide.

Jackett made his first switch of the evening just before the hour mark, as May made way for Ben Close in midfield.

Lowe seemed to be involved in everything that was happening and soon after being booked for a foul on Daniel Powell, his low centre was deflected into the arms of a grateful Ingram.

It was pretty much one-way traffic and when McCrory’s free-kick was only partially cleared, Kennedy sent the ball back into the box, where it was turned wide by Chaplin.

But rising hopes were dashed on 70 minutes when Northampton scored against the run of play to strengthen their advantage.

There was some good work on the right by Brendan Moloney and Crooks, with the latter’s cross flicked on by Alex Revell for Long to lash home his second of the night.

Pompey, to their credit, kept trying to get the ball into their opponents’ box, but the Cobblers were holding firm at the back.

They forged a decent opening late on, however, when McCrory whipped a fine free-kick into the box, where Christian Burgess’ header was kept out by Ingram.

And the keeper made an even better stop on 87 minutes, flinging himself to the right to palm clear O’Keefe’s cleanly-struck attempt and ensure there was no late drama.

Northampton (4-4-2): Ingram; Moloney, Taylor, Pierre, Buchanan (c); Crooks, McWilliams (Kasim 29), Grimes, Smith (Powell 56); Revell (Richards 78), Long
Goals: Long 18, 70, Clarke 32 (og)
Subs not used: Cornell, Barnett, Poole, Waters

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, McCrory; May (Close 57), O’Keefe; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy; Chaplin
Goals: Kennedy 49
Booked: Thompson, Clarke, Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Donohue, Bennett, Naismith, Main

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 5,855 (1,153 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC