Aug 252018
 

Match Report

League One


Doncaster Rovers 0    0 Portsmouth

Pompey’s winning run came to an end at Doncaster, although they remain unbeaten following a goalless draw.

The visitors were well below-par before the break and survived some nervy moments, but were much improved in the second half.

Gareth Evans was twice denied by excellent Marko Marosi stops, but the keeper was sent off for a handball in the closing stages, meaning Rovers finished with an outfield player between the sticks.

Kenny Jackett named the same side for a third successive game, following victories over Oxford and Bristol Rovers.

But if the visitors were in a confident mood then it was not particularly evident during the opening 45 minutes.

There were plenty of nervy moments in the Blues back-line, with the ball spending much of the time in and around their area.

An early chance from Alfie May was comfortably dealt with by Craig MacGillivray and the chances kept coming for Doncaster.

They had a great opportunity to open the scoring moments later, with unmarked skipper Andy Butler heading Herbie Kane’s corner wide from just a few yards out.

Then, after Anton Walkes had been penalised for a foul on Matty Blair, the free-kick was curled narrowly over by Ben Whiteman.

It was a sloppy start from Pompey and when they failed to clear the danger on 12 minutes, MacGillivray was called into action again to deny May.

The hosts then thought they should have won a penalty, although replays showed Walkes was nowhere near May when he flung himself to the ground.

Not much was happening at the other end of the pitch, with Ronan Curtis and Ben Thompson both sending efforts well off target.

Meanwhile, a cross from Jamal Lowe had to be turned behind by Niall Mason before Evans could connect at the far post.

There was then almost a second own-goal in a week for Jack Whatmough, not that he knew much about it.

Kane’s shot struck the defender and wrong-footed MacGillivray, who managed to recover in time to stop the ball crossing the line.

Rovers continued to dominate as the interval neared and Mallik Wilks’ inventive overhead effort was kept out by MacGillivray, while Whiteman then blazed over.


Half Time

Doncaster Rovers 0

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double change at the break, with Thompson and Oli Hawkins withdrawn for Ben Close and Brett Pitman.

And they looked more assured once the action restarted, seeing much more of the ball without being able to test keeper Marosi.

Doncaster still posed a threat, however, and Lee Brown made a timely clearance to stop former Blues loanee John Marquis getting a shot away.

It was Pompey who almost broke the deadlock just before the hour mark, however, when Evans met a low Curtis cross and saw his shot kept out by Marosi at point-blank range.

The ball came loose and Evans picked it back up again, but could only find the side netting from a tight angle.

By now the action was switching from one end of the pitch to the other and MacGillivray got down to his right to save Blair’s strike.

Another excellent chance for the visitors followed and once more it was Evans who could count himself unlucky.

He lined up a shot after Pitman’s initial effort had been parried into his path, although Marosi again made a fine save to deny him.

But the ball fell straight back to Evans and although his second attempt beat the keeper, Whiteman was on hand to clear from the line.

The chances started to dry up as the game neared its conclusion, although both sides were still trying to attack.

Suddenly the drama picked up again, however, as Doncaster were reduced to 10 men on 83 minutes.

Marosi came tearing out of his box to beat Curtis to the ball and handled it, earning a red card from referee Andy Haines.

The hosts had made their final substitution moments earlier, meaning midfielder Whiteman had to don the keeper’s jersey.

But he was well protected by his defence in the closing stages, with a simple save from Curtis the closest Pompey came to snatching victory.

Doncaster (4-3-3): Marosi; Mason, Wright, Butler (c), Andrew; Kane, Whiteman, Blair (Rowe 73); Wilks (Coppinger 73), Marquis, May (Kiwomya 82)
Sent off: Marosi
Booked: Whiteman, Kane
Subs not used: Lawlor, T.Anderson, J.Anderson, Beestin

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson (Close 46), Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 46), Curtis
Booked: B.Thompson, Close, Whatmough
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Wheeler

Referee: Andy Haines

Attendance: 7,618 (1,121 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 212018
 

Match Report

League One


Bristol Rovers 1    2 Portsmouth

A late goal from Ronan Curtis ensured Pompey continued their impressive start to the season with victory over Bristol Rovers.

Gareth Evans netted for the second game in succession to give them an interval lead at the Memorial Stadium.

But Chris Lines then levelled from the penalty spot and was sent off in the space of three second half minutes.

It looked like the spoils would be shared, only for Curtis to scramble a shot home late on and secure another three-point haul for the Blues.

Kenny Jackett unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Oxford in such impressive fashion at the weekend.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Kyle Bennett starting against his former club.

The game began in a cagey fashion, as both sides were limited to long-range efforts that failed to find the target.

Tom Naylor, Ben Thompson and Evans had their radars off for the visitors, while it was Ed Upson and Bennett for Rovers.

But Liam Sercombe really should have done better when Bennett’s cross found him unmarked in the box and he screwed over the bar.

Matt Clarke then did well to hook the ball to safety and prevent Stefan Payne from getting a shot away.

Those opportunities came during a spell of pressure for the hosts, but instead it was the Blues that broke the deadlock on 32 minutes.

A long ball up the pitch was flicked on first by Oli Hawkins and then Curtis, with EVANS collecting it and lashing home a rocket of a shot.

Rovers came close to levelling before the break, with MacGillivray getting down to his right to push clear a low Sercombe drive.

Anton Walkes was also called into action to block efforts from Ollie Clarke and Upson, ensuring Pompey went in ahead at the break.


Half Time

Bristol Rovers 0

Portsmouth 1


It was Pompey who threatened first following the interval, but when Jamal Lowe’s cross was headed clear, Naylor was unable to keep his shot down.

There was then a break in play while Clarke received treatment for a cut above his eye and the Blues defender returned to the pitch with a bandaged head.

Rovers then had a great chance to equalise when MacGillivray palmed clear a curler from Tom Nichols, but Sercombe could only send the loose ball into the side netting.

Rovers were on top and after having penalty appeals turned down when Sercombe’s shot hit Thompson, an effort from Nichols had to be blocked by Clarke.

Pompey saw that nervy period out, however, and began to look more of a threat at the other end of the pitch.

Evans came close to his second goal of the evening after a surging run across the edge of the box, but drilled narrowly wide with his left foot.

But then came a couple of moments of controversy, as Rovers sub Lines scored from the spot before being sent off.

It was his corner that referee Graham Salisbury decided Curtis had deliberately handled, with the midfielder just about squeezing his penalty past MacGillivray’s outstretched arm and into the bottom corner.

Brett Pitman was immediately introduced from the bench and was caught by the studs of Lines, whose reckless challenge earned him a red card.

It was a hectic ending, with goals looking likely to go in at either end of the pitch, perhaps thanks to some tiring limbs.

But it was the Blues celebrating on 87 minutes, when CURTIS capitalised on Pitman’s flick from a Thompson pass and just about managed to force a shot over the line.

The visitors were then indebted to MacGillivray, who made a stunning save to deny Bennett, while Pitman cleared off the line from the resulting corner.

Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Smith; Leadbitter, Lockyer (c), Craig, J.Clarke; Bennett, Upson (Lines 69), O.Clarke, Sercombe; Payne (Jakubiak 69), Nichols (Rodman 79)
Goals: Lines 76 (pen)
Sent off: Lines
Booked: J.Clarke
Subs not used: Andre Jr, Broadbent, Mensah Jr, Reilly

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Evans (c), Naylor; Lowe, Hawkins (Pitman 77), Curtis (Haunstrup 90)
Goals: Evans 32, Curtis 87
Booked: B.Thompson
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Close, Wheeler, Chaplin

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 9,073 (1,137 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 182018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 4    1 Oxford United

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Oxford United 0


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referee: Lee Swabey

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


Portsmouth FC

Aug 172018
 

Ben Thompson

Loan : Millwall – Portsmouth



Ben Thompson

Pompey have signed midfielder Ben Thompson on loan from Millwall.

The deal sees the 22-year-old – who has been given the number 32 shirt – move to Fratton Park for the remainder of the 2018/19 campaign.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He comes here with a point to prove and looking to play football on a regular basis.

“Ben’s a good all-round midfielder and has a little bit of everything – an impressive passing range, energy and is competitive.

“I’m looking forward to working with him and it is an area of the pitch where we do really need to improve.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the next two weeks and if we can improve the squad even further then that’s great.”

Thompson is a graduate of Millwall’s academy and has made 93 senior appearances for the Championship outfit.

He played the full 90 minutes for the Londoners in their Carabao Cup victory over Gillingham earlier in the week.

Following his first full campaign at the club, Thompson collected both the Young Player of the Season and Goal of the Season awards.

Portsmouth FC   .   Ben Thompson

Aug 142018
 

Match Report

Carabao Cup 1st Round


Portsmouth 1    2 AFC Wimbledon

A late Anton Walkes own-goal saw Pompey crash out of the Carabao Cup in the first round for a third successive season.

It looked like they would progress when Christian Burgess nodded in following a first half that was short on entertainment.

But Joe Pigott headed in the equaliser and, with just a few minutes remaining, Walkes found his own net.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that won at Blackpool in the league at the weekend.

Brett Pitman returned to skipper the team, while there was a first Pompey start for on-loan winger David Wheeler.

Luke McGee, Burgess and Brandon Haunstrup were also called upon, with Craig MacGillivray, Jack Whatmough, Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Oli Hawkins all dropping to the bench.

The first half was a forgettable affair, with little to entertain the fans packed into the Fratton End and South Stand.

It was the visitors who had the first chance when Mitchell Pinnock crossed from the left, but Scott Wagstaff’s header was off target.

The same player then screwed another effort well wide after Walkes had failed to properly deal with Pinnock’s free-kick.

And it was a hat-trick of chances missed when Wagstaff beat Haunstrup to a header and sent the ball looping towards goal, only for the left-back to recover and hook it clear.

But it was the Blues who almost broke the lead on 23 minutes when Wheeler met Pitman’s centre and sent his header wide.

Neither McGee or opposite number Tom King had been called into action and that did not change when Pinnock’s drive flashed past the post.

Jamal Lowe was not too far off target following a surging run through the centre, but there was still little to whet the appetite.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

AFC Wimbledon 0


Pompey had struggled to create anything meaningful before the break, but they soon took the lead after it.

Pitman did well to bring the ball under control inside the box, only for his shot to be deflected behind.

And the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, as a delivery from Evans was emphatically headed home by BURGESS at the back post.

AFC Wimbledon thought they should have won a penalty when McGee and Pinnock collided soon after, but referee Ollie Yates was not interested.

They then came close to a leveller, as Anthony Wordsworth unleashed a rocket form 25 yards that fizzed over the bar.

Jackett made a double change on 67 minutes, with Pitman and Evans withdrawn for Conor Chaplin and Hawkins.

It had been a quiet evening for both keepers, but McGee was certainly not caught napping by a fierce Wordsworth drive that was well saved.

He could do nothing about the Dons’ equaliser on 76 minutes, though, as Pigott found space to meet Wagstaff’s cross and head home from just a few yards out.

That unsurprisingly gave the visitors a boost and they set about trying to find a winner, with Curtis brought on for Pompey to try to offer more at the other end.

But it was Wimbledon looking more threatening and when a corner was not properly dealt with, McGee had to get down and push Wagstaff’s shot around the post.

The Blues then almost retook the lead in a frenetic end to the game, but Hawkins was denied as he tried to convert Lowe’s centre.

Instead it was the visitors who grabbed a late winner – although they had their opponents to thank for the goal.

Tom Soares’ cross found Walkes at the back post and the defender tried to clear it, but only succeeded in planting the ball in the back of his own net.

Pompey threw bodies forward to try to force a penalty shoot-out, but they were unable to find a second goal.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Naylor, Close; Wheeler (Curtis 80), Evans (Hawkins 67) Lowe; Pitman (c) (Chaplin 67)
Goals: Burgess 49
Booked: Close, Naylor
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, May

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): King; Watson (Sibbick 77), Oshilaja (c), McDonald, Garratt; Wagstaff, Wordsworth, Soares, Pinnock (Appiah 66); Hanson, Pigott (Hartigan 90)
Goals: Pigott 76, Walkes 88 (og)
Subs not used: McDonnell, Nightingale, Purrington, Ashley

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 6,588 (438 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 112018
 

Match Report

League One


Blackpool 1    2 Portsmouth

Ronan Curtis bagged a brace as Pompey continued their winning start to the season with a 2-1 victory against Blackpool.

The summer signing netted in each half, as the visitors appeared to be cruising towards three points at a grey Bloomfield Road.

Mark Cullen’s late effort meant the ending was perhaps nervier than it might have been and the same player also had a goal disallowed, as the Blues held on for what was a deserved win.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Luton on home soil on the opening day.

With Brett Pitman on the bench, Gareth Evans skippered the side and lined up alongside Ben Close in a 4-1-4-1 system.

Oli Hawkins was handed the striking role, as Brandon Haunstrup and the injured Nathan Thompson made way.

The stands were sparsely populated in all but the away end, as the Seasiders support staged protests against their club’s owners outside the ground.

But those who had made their way through the turnstiles almost witnessed a goal in the opening seconds, with Joe Dodoo striking the post from a narrow angle.

The danger was not over for the visitors, however, as Nathan Delfouneso’s follow-up effort had to be blocked by Matt Clarke.

A promising spell of possession soon led to a chance at the other end and an Evans cross was headed narrowly wide by Hawkins.

But the deadlock was broken on nine minutes and it was a moment to remember for CURTIS as he opened his Blues account.

The Blackpool defence failed to deal with Hawkins’ header, allowing the summer signing to pick the ball up and force it home, with Mark Howard’s hand not forceful enough to divert it wide.

Pompey were in control and looking more likely to add to the scoring as the half progressed, although there were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities.

Curtis and Hawkins both glanced wide from dangerous deliveries into the box, while a tightly-marked Jamal Lowe was unable to get a shot away following good work from Close.

The Blues started to look more dangerous as the interval approached, though, and Howard was forced into action to deny Curtis.

Evans then whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left that a stretching Hawkins was inches away from connecting with.

It had been a quiet start for Craig MacGillivray and he was not overly troubled by Chris Taylor’s attempt from a tight angle.

Curtis went much closer on 38 minutes, surging through the centre of the pitch and unleashing a strike from outside the box that crashed against the post.

There were a couple of half-chances for the hosts before the whistle, although nothing to overly trouble MacGillivray.


Half Time

Blackpool 0

Portsmouth 1


Blackpool had been poor before the break, but did look more assured following the restart, albeit without creating much.

The town’s air show was causing more of a nuisance, with hair-raising stunts overhead meaning it was often difficult to focus on what was happening on the pitch.

There was a booking for Evans for clattering into Taylor, while the midfielder then saw his free-kick nodded wide by Curtis.

The hosts did have a decent opening just before the hour mark, although Delfouneso could not convert Marc Bola’s low cross as he slid in.

Instead Pompey went straight back up the other end to double their advantage after a long ball had been headed on by Hawkins.

It was CURTIS who picked the ball up, advancing on goal and neatly slotting it through the legs of Howard.

There was more good news when Danny Rose replaced Close on 66 minutes, with the midfielder making his first competitive appearance since suffering a leg break at the end of December.

MacGillivray had a couple of comfortable saves to make as Blackpool tried to find a way back, while Joe Bunney drilled narrowly wide.

But the Blues did not look under too much threat and David Wheeler was introduced for his debut, with Lowe the player to make way.

Blackpool did have a goal on 81 minutes, though, and it came just seconds after Evans had volleyed narrowly over.

The ball was pumped up the pitch and went straight into the path of substitute Cullen, who lifted it home under pressure from Clarke.

Taylor and John O’Sullivan both had chances as the seconds ticked down, while Cullen did find the net again – only for his celebrations to be cut short by the linesman’s flag.

It was a heart-stopping moment for those travelling fans in the North Stand, but the final whistle came moments later to spark jubilant scenes.

Blackpool (4-3-3): Howard; Turton, Heneghan, O’Connor, Bola (Gnanduillett 72); Taylor, Spearing (c), Pritchard (O’Sullivan 60); Delfouneso, Dodoo (Cullen 60), Bunney
Goals: Cullen 81
Booked: O’Connor
Subs not used: Mafoumbi, Nottingham, Thompson, Sinclair-Smith

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe (Wheeler 79), Evans (c), Close (Rose 66), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Curtis 9, 59
Booked: Evans, Naylor
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Pitman

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 4,154 (1,638 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Aug 072018
 

David Wheeler

Loan : Queens Park Rangers – Portsmouth



David Wheeler

Pompey have signed David Wheeler on a season-long loan deal from QPR.

The 27-year-old winger will wear the number 22 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He’s an attacking wide player, who can be used on either side and has an impressive goalscoring record.

“He hasn’t quite made the breakthrough at QPR, but had a number of seasons at Exeter and was very keen to come here.

“It’s our first loan signing and supplements the good base of our own players that is already here.

“We’re pleased to bring his attacking qualities into our group and are grateful to QPR for letting him come here.”

Wheeler joined QPR from Exeter 12 months ago and has scored one goal in nine appearances for the Championship outfit.

He signed for Exeter in the summer of 2013 following a successful trial and played a total of 171 times, finding the target on 39 occasions.

Wheeler’s final season with the Grecians included a run of eight goals in seven successive games, while he also hit the net at Wembley in a play-off final defeat.

He twice grabbed winning goals against Pompey at Fratton Park, settling encounters in September 2015 and January 2017.

Portsmouth FC   .   David Wheeler

Aug 042018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 1    0 Luton Town

Jamal Lowe celebrated his miraculous recovery from injury with a goal that ensured Pompey began the new season with victory over Luton.

He slotted home in the first half to cap an enjoyable afternoon at a Fratton Park that was bathed in south coast sunshine.

But the Blues had to withstand some heavy pressure at times, with the Hatters twice hitting the woodwork in their quest for an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett handed debuts to four of his summer signings, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Ronan Curtis all starting.

But the big surprise when the teams were announced was the inclusion of Lowe, who was expected to miss out after injuring his ankle against Utrecht the previous week.

There was also a start for Brandon Haunstrup on the left of midfield, as Jackett opted to stick with the 4-4-2 system he had preferred towards the end of pre-season.

The visitors received an early scare as skipper Alan Sheehan crashed into the advertising hoardings and ended up in the Milton End moat.

It was nervy few moments as the crowd waited for the centre-back to emerge, but thankfully he was unscathed.

Luton – who were promoted from League Two last term – started the brighter side and when Sheehan’s delivery was flicked on by Harry Cornick, the ball flashed dangerously across the face of goal.

A moment of controversy followed as Curtis rose for a challenge and there were suggestions of an elbow being used as he crashed to the turf.

The Fratton faithful certainly appealed for a red card, but after consulting with his assistant, referee Gavin Ward decided to take no action.

Pompey’s fans did have cause to cheer on 16 minutes, however, as their side managed to break the deadlock.

It was LOWE who grabbed the first goal of the season, slotting in from inside the box after Curtis had done well to get to the byline and cut the ball back.

Most of the game’s clearest chances were still falling Luton’s way, though, and Nathan Thompson had to intervene when Jorge Grant tried to pick out James Collins in the box.

They then had two excellent opportunities to draw level within the space of a few minutes – and on both occasions some visiting fans thought they had.

First up was Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu, whose low effort from the edge of the box could not quite creep into the bottom corner.

Then, after Brown had been booked for a foul on James Justin, Sheehan’s free-kick cannoned back off the upright.

But the closing stages of the half passed by relatively incident free, although former Fratton loanee Dan Potts did receive a booking for a foul on Lowe.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Luton Town 0


Brett Pitman did not emerge from the tunnel for the start of the second half, with Oli Hawkins taking his place up front and Naylor claiming the captain’s armband.

But it was fellow striker Curtis who forced Marek Stech into action with a curling shot on 50 minutes, although the flag had been raised for offside.

The Blues were looking a threat on the counter-attack and when Curtis surged towards goal, Alan McCormack decided to take one for the team.

Luton’s midfielder deliberately clipped the heels of his opponent and there was no surprise when he received a yellow card.

But the Hatters were looking dangerous themselves and when the hosts lost possession, Collins smashed a shot against the woodwork.

MacGillivray then came to the rescue just past the hour mark, doing well to deny Cornick from close range.

Pompey made their second change in between those chances, with Anton Walkes making way for Ben Close in the centre of the pitch.

Thompson’s shot flew off target, as the hosts tried to ease the pressure and injured himself in the process.

It forced Jackett into his final change of the afternoon, with Christian Burgess taking up an unfamiliar right-back role.

Fellow defender Jack Whatmough was looking assured and halted one Hatters attack with a couple of key tackles in quick succession.

There was also persistence from Naylor to win the ball back after losing possession, while MacGillivray did well to cut out Mpanzu’s low centre.

Nerves started to creep in as the seconds ticked down and only rose when Whatmough conceded a free-kick just outside the box.

It was Sheehan who stepped up to curl a shot around the wall, but MacGillivray dived to his right to push the ball clear.

Former Blues players Jake Jervis and Sonny Bradley both came on and were thrown up front for the closing stages, but Luton were unable to find a late leveller.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Thompson (Burgess 71), Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Lowe, Naylor, Walkes (Close 60), Haunstrup; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 46), Curtis
Goals: Lowe 16
Booked: Brown, Curtis
Subs not used: McGee, Donohue, Evans, Chaplin

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Stech; Justin (Bradley 90+1), Pearson, Sheehan (c), Potts; McCormack (Jervis 87); Mpanzu, Grant; Lee; Cornick (Shinnie 78), Collins
Booked: Potts, McCormack, Justin, Sheehan
Subs not used: Shea, Rea, Stacey, Gambin

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 19,018 (2,392 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 282018
 

Match Report

Friendly


Portsmouth 1    1 FC Utrecht

Pompey completed their pre-season preparations with a 1-1 draw against top-flight Dutch outfit FC Utrecht.

Both goals were worthy of a competitive encounter, however, with Sean Klaiber’s long-range strike cancelled out by an equally impressive effort from Anton Walkes.

Ronan Curtis produced a bright performance and was unsurprisingly named man-of-the-match by the sponsors.

Kenny Jackett dispensed with his usual 4-2-3-1 system and opted for a 4-4-2 formation, with Brandon Haunstrup on the left wing.

There were also first home appearances for Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor and Curtis, with fellow summer signing Louis Dennis on the bench.

It was typical friendly fare in the opening stages, with little in the way of excitement at a blustery Fratton Park.

The visitors were forced into an early change when Jack Whatmough and Gyrano Kerk clattered into the advertising hoardings, with the latter replaced by Cyriel Dessers.

But neither goalkeeper was given much to do and so the quality of the opening goal caught everyone by surprise.

Dessers rolled the ball across to Klaiber and the right-back hit a stunning long-range shot that arrowed into the top corner.

Pompey improved as the half progressed and crosses from Haunstrup and Nathan Thompson were inches away from reaching their intended targets.

Curtis did meet a free-kick from Naylor and half of the Fratton End thought his header was in, when the ball in fact flew into the side netting.

Sander van de Streek then had a chance at the other end, but his angled drive was beaten away by MacGillivray.

Curtis was proving a lively presence up front for the hosts and almost capitalised on a defensive mix-up, only to see his eventual shot blocked.

It was the Blues on top as the interval approached and Brett Pitman had an effort blocked, while Curtis was flagged offside as he converted Jamal Lowe’s cross.

The former Republic of Ireland under-21 international then did well to get a shot away, forcing David Jensen to tip the ball over.

But a leveller did arrived just before the break – and it was another goal that came right out of the top drawer.

A cross from Curtis was brought down by Pitman for WALKES, who fizzed home a fierce strike from 25 yards.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

FC Utrecht 1


Pompey almost flipped the match on its head just after the restart, but Matt Clarke was unable to guide a Curtis corner on target.

Curtis was involved in every attack for the hosts, although he was unable to connect with a testing Haunstrup delivery at the far post.

The hosts were also working hard out of possession, constantly pressing their opponents to force mistakes and win the ball back.

But there was a moment of concern just past the hour mark, as Lowe limped off injured to be replaced by Gareth Evans.

Both sides then had chances to take the lead during a flurry of activity midway through the second half.

Utrecht were first up when van de Streek met Urby Emanuelson’s corner and sent a header flying narrowly over the bar.

Pompey broke straight down the other end, with Curtis’ low angled drive diverted wide by the fingertips of Jensen.

A deluge of substitutes broke up the flow of the game on 73 minutes, with the hosts making six changes.

There was still time for Utrecht to find the net from a corner, although referee Andy Davies saw an infringement and the game ended all square.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray (McGee 73); Thompson (Rose 73), Whatmough, Clarke (Burgess 73), Brown; Lowe (Evans 62), Walkes, Naylor (Close 73), Haunstrup; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 73), Curtis (Chaplin 73)
Goals: Walkes 44
Subs not used: May, Dennis

FC Utrecht (4-1-2-1-2): Jensen; Klaiber, Leeuwin, Janssen (c), van der Maarel (Guwara 83); Strieder (Troupee 61); van Overeem, Emanuelson; van de Streek (Boussaid 83); Gustafson (Joosten 83), Kerk (Dessers 9 (Gortler 73))
Goals: Klaiber 15
Subs not used: de Keijzer, Paes, Memengi

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 4,299 (144 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Jul 242018
 

Match Report

Friendly


Brighton &
Hove Albion
1    1 Portsmouth

Brett Pitman showed his poacher’s instincts, but Pompey had to settle for a pre-season stalemate against Brighton.

The match was played at the Premier League side’s Elite Football Performance Centre and both sides fielded a strong line-up.

There did not look a two division gap between the teams, with the Blues looking assured in possession and strong at the back.

And it looked like victory was on the cards when Pitman prodded home, only for Anthony Knockaert to head home an equaliser.

The game was split into three 25-minute periods, with Pompey changing the majority of their side two-thirds of the way through the contest.

They certainly did not look overawed against their top-flight opponents and created the better chances in the early stages.

Pitman did deal with a Seagulls corner at the near post, while a long-range effort from Knockaert flew over the bar.

But it was the Blues that almost broke the deadlock when Pitman stooped to reach Brandon Haunstrup’s corner and saw his header come back off the post.

Knockaert then threw himself in front of Lee Brown’s drive to deny the left-back following a neat spell of possession from the visitors.

There were also half-chances for Haunstrup and Pitman as Pompey finished the opening third on top.


End Of First Period

Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Portsmouth 0


Pitman thought he should have won a penalty when the action restarted after trying to meet a Haunstrup corner.

The skipper could only turn the ball over as he went to ground under pressure from the Brighton back-line, but the referee was not interested in his appeals.

It might have been billed as a friendly, but that did not stifle either side’s competitive instincts, with plenty of healthy challenges being made.

One of them led to a Blues free-kick and although Pitman got plenty of pace on his effort, the striker’s radar was slightly off.

Craig MacGillivray was relatively untroubled at the other end and although he was briefly wrong-footed by Yves’ Bissouma’s deflected shot, the keeper recovered to comfortably gather.


End Of Second Period

Brighton & Hove Albion 0

Portsmouth 0


The visitors made multiple changes for the final third, with only Pitman and Haunstrup remaining on the pitch.

And it was PITMAN who broke the deadlock seconds after the restart, bundling the ball over the line from close range after Adam May’s corner had been headed towards goal by Christian Burgess.

Substitute Seagulls stopper Hugo Keto then kept out Pitman’s curling effort to stop his side falling further behind.

But Brighton almost found an equaliser moments later, with Ezequiel Schelotto getting into the box and striking the base of the post.

Oliver Norwood then delivered a dangerous free-kick from wide on the right that Beram Kayal glanced narrowly wide.

But the equaliser did arrive on 67 minutes, with Tomer Hemed doing well to beat his man and swing in a cross that Knockaert in.

It was the Seagulls who looked more likely to grab a winner in the closing stages, although Pompey held firm at the back to ensure the spoils were shared.

Brighton (4-4-1-1): Ryan (Keto 51); Schelotto, Duffy, White, Bong (Gyokeres 51); Knockaert, Bissouma (Mandriou 51), Kyal, Suttner; Norwood; Hemed (Collar 51)
Goals: Knockaert 67
Subs not used: Moore, Davies

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray (McGee 51); Thompson (Smith 51), Whatmough (Burgess 51), Clarke (Casey 51), Brown (Dennis 51); Lowe (Chaplin 51), Naylor (May 51), Walkes (Rose 51), Haunstrup; Pitman (c), Curtis (Hawkins 51)
Goals: Pitman 51
Subs not used: Flint, Lethbridge


Portsmouth FC

Jul 212018
 

Match Report

Friendly


Swindon Town 0    2 Portsmouth

Oli Hawkins and Jamal Lowe were on target as Pompey beat Swindon 2-0 in their latest pre-season fixture.

There were chances at both ends during an opening 45 minutes that occasionally burst into life amidst quiet spells.

But Hawkins headed home the opener following the restart and Lowe tucked in a second to secure victory for Kenny Jackett’s troops.

A healthy following made the journey up from the south coast and they were vocal in their support for former Fratton hero Matt Taylor, who was skippering the hosts.

Pompey were quickly out of the blocks and there were just 16 seconds on the clock when Ronan Curtis’ long-range effort dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

Chris Robertson soon made a key block after Lowe had latched on to a threaded pass from Conor Chaplin.

A corner then caused the Robins problems and when the ball fell to Lowe on the edge of the box, he dragged his shot wide.

But it was the hosts who almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Ellis Iandolo met Kyle Knoyle’s cross, only for Craig MacGillivray to get down to his left and make a fine save.

The intensity of the game slowed after that bright opening, although Pompey were still looking dangerous from corners.

Lee Brown sent some dangerous deliveries into the box, which both Hawkins and Matt Clarke failed to capitalise on.

Chaplin attempted a more ambitious effort midway through the first half, with an acrobatic over-head volley that flew past the post.

It was Swindon who finished the half on top, however, and Steven Alzate curled narrowly wide, while Iandolo was inches away from meeting a cross from the evergreen Taylor.


Half Time

Swindon Town 0

Portsmouth 0


Pompey made a change at the start of the second half, as Anton Walkes made way for Danny Rose in the centre of midfield.

It was their opponents who first to threaten following the restart, however, as Alzate’s drive was deflected wide.

Then, at the other end, Hawkins rose at the far post to meet a Curtis cross and the ball flew into the side netting.

And when Lowe was fouled on the right, Elijah Adebayo had to nod clear Brown’s free-kick before Clarke could pounce.

But the deadlock was finally broken just before the hour mark, as HAWKINS converted Lowe’s cross with a thumping header.

Swindon tried to get back on level terms, with Tom Naylor – wearing the captain’s armband – and Rose both making brave blocks.

Clarke then had to clear from the line when Dion Conroy juggled the ball and hooked it inventively towards the net.

Swindon were looking the more adventurous side by this point, but it was certainly not all one-way traffic and Hawkins glanced Chaplin’s centre narrowly wide.

The action soon switched back up the other end of the pitch and Adebayo’s hit a fierce strike that fizzed past the upright.

But victory was secured on 72 minutes after a low drive from Curtis was deflected into Chaplin’s path.

He sent the ball across the face of goal and LOWE was there to bundle home and double the Blues’ lead.

Swindon made a triple substitution late on, with former Pompey players James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga both entering the fray.

They were unable to help the hosts mount a comeback, however, as the closing stages passed by without much incident.

Swindon (4-1-4-1): Vigouroux; Knoyle, Robertson, Conroy (Romanski 66), Taylor (c); Smith (McCourt 81); McGlashan (Edwards 88), Alzate (Diagouraga 81), Iandolo (Dunne 81), Anderson; Adebayo
Subs not used: McCormick, Young, Twine, Pryce, Henry

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor (c), Walkes (Rose 46); Lowe, Chaplin, Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Hawkins 58, Lowe 72
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup, May, Evans, Dennis, Smith, Pitman

Referee: Dean Whitestone


Portsmouth FC

Jul 182018
 

Anton Walkes

Transfer : Tottenham Hotspur – Portsmouth



Anton Walkes

Pompey have signed Anton Walkes from Tottenham for an undisclosed fee.

The versatile 21-year-old – who spent the second half of last season on loan at Fratton Park – has penned a two-year deal, with the club holding an option for a further 12 months.

Walkes previously featured at both right-back and in midfield, and has been handed the number two shirt.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He’s somebody we obviously know very well and he had a successful loan spell with us in a number of positions."

Walkes scored on his Pompey debut in a 2-2 draw against Doncaster after arriving on loan back in January.

He played a total of 12 times as the Blues narrowly missed out on a place in the League One play-offs.

Walkes is a graduate of Tottenham’s academy and made a single senior appearance for the Londoners, while also enjoying a spell on loan with MLS outfit Atlanta United.

Portsmouth FC   .   Anton Walkes