Feb 042017
 
League 2
Wycombe Wanderers 1 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Deflected goal seals Blues defeat

Pompey received a second successive slice of misfortune as they lost out to a fluke goal at Wycombe.

After being frustrated by a ricochet against Exeter last week, it was a wicked deflection that saw Scott Kashket claim all three points for the Chairboys.

Both sides created chances in a lively encounter at Adams Park, but it was the hosts who were able to boost their promotion credentials.

Paul Cook made five changes from the side beaten at home by the Grecians the previous week.

Eoin Doyle came straight into the starting 11 following his deadline day loan arrival from Preston.

Behind him was a new attacking trio of Kyle Bennett, Gary Roberts and – making his full debut – Jamal Lowe.

There was also a space for Amine Linganzi in midfield, while Conor Chaplin, Carl Baker, Kal Naismith and Danny Rose all dropped to the bench.

Pompey came roaring out of the blocks and Roberts slipped the ball through to Lowe, who could only drag the ball wide in the opening seconds.

But it was the hosts who then started to dominate, with the giant frame of Adebayo Akinfenwa unsurprisingly causing a few problems.

For all their balls into the box, however, there was little to trouble David Forde between the Blues’ sticks.

Christian Burgess did particularly well to beat Kaskhket to Akifenwa’s flick and powerfully head clear.

The centre-back then tried his luck at the other end of the pitch and met two Roberts corners, but sent one straight at Jamal Blackman and the other wide of the post.

Pompey started to look the more threatening side as the first half progressed and Eoin Doyle was unable to beat the Chairboys keeper after taking a fine touch to beat Anthony Stewart.

They had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 33 minutes when Bennett sent Enda Stevens through on goal, but Blackman came racing from his line to deny the left-back.

But the Blues survived a nervy moment just before the break when Matt Clarke and Stevens combined to bring down Kashket on the edge of the box.

It was the Irishman blamed by referee Graham Salisbury and shown a yellow card, but Sido Jombati’s free-kick was poor and comfortably claimed by Forde.

Half Time: Wycombe 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

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Second Half

Pompey enjoyed some joy at the start of the second half, with Eoin Doyle showing neat footwork down the left.

But the large band of travelling supporters saw their side fall behind in unfortunate fashion just moments later.

Forde dived to his left to keep out a routine shot from Kashket, but the ball took a massive deflection to leave the keeper stranded.

And the keeper then had to scramble back quickly to stop Burgess heading into his own net just a few seconds later.

Bennett tried to catch Blackman out at his near post when the Blues won a free-kick on 52 minutes, but the ball flew narrowly past the post.

The winger then whipped in a cross following a spell of patient build-up play, although there was nobody to meet it at the back stick.

Pompey were dominating possession by this point, with Wycombe doing most of their attacking work on the break.

Bennett played a neat one-two with Roberts on 67 minutes, but his low cross did not quite sit up right for Eoin Doyle in the box.

Cook made a double switch soon after in the hunt for an equaliser, with Lowe and Bennett withdrawn for Baker and Naismith.

And it was Baker who came close to immediately grabbing a goal, taking advantage of a mix-up at the back and hooking narrowly over.

Blackman then did well to stop Eoin Doyle netting from a tight angle, while Baker drilled an effort just past the post.

Chaplin was thrown on for the closing stages as Pompey poured forward and a display of eight additional minutes sparked hopes of a point.

Stevens, Baker and Chaplin all went close as the seconds ticked down, but the Blues were unable to salvage anything.

Wycombe (4-3-3): Blackman; Jombati, Stewart, Pierre (De Havilland 60), Jacobson; O’Nien, Gape, Wood; Kashket (Thompson 89), Akinfenwa, Hayes (c) (Saunders 46)
Goals: Kashket 48
Booked: Wood, Stewart, Saunders, Kashket
Subs not used: Richardson, Bean, Weston, Jakubiak

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 72), Roberts (Chaplin 86), Bennett (Naismith 72); E.Doyle
Booked: Stevens
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Rose, Hunt

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 6,028 (1,800 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 312017
 
OUT



Michael Smith

(25)
Northampton Town


Striker moves to League One side

Michael Smith has joined Northampton loan for the rest of the season.

The 25-year-old striker has scored 10 goals in 37 appearances since arriving at Fratton Park in February 2016.

He netted a hat-trick in August’s EFL Trophy defeat at Yeovil and also struck this season in league games against Cheltenham, Luton and Stevenage.

Northampton won the League Two title last term and currently sit 16th in the third tier standings table ahead of a trip to Walsall on Saturday.

Portsmouth FC
Jan 312017
 
IN



Eoin Doyle

(28)
Preston NE


Blues bring in striker on deadline day

Pompey have signed Eoin Doyle on loan from Championship side Preston North End for the remainder of the 2016/17 campaign.

The 28-year-old Irish striker will wear the number 17 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.

He played under Paul Cook at both Sligo and Chesterfield, and the Blues boss said: “Having worked with Eoin previously at two clubs, I am delighted with this signing.

“He knows what I want as a manager and I know that I can rely on him to give 100 per cent on the pitch.

“Eoin brings commitment and quality to our side and I’m sure he’ll be popular with all our supporters.

“We’re extremely pleased with his signing and are very grateful to Preston for loaning him to us.”

Doyle moved south of the border from Hibs to join Chesterfield in 2013 and also featured for Cardiff prior to signing for Preston last summer following a successful loan spell.

Portsmouth FC
Jan 312017
 
OUT



Ben Close

(20)
Eastleigh


Midfielder joins National League side

Ben Close has joined Eastleigh on loan for the rest of the season.

The 20-year-old midfielder has made four appearances for Pompey this term, most recently skippering the side to an EFL Trophy victory over Bristol Rovers.

He also featured against Yeovil and Reading in the same competition, as well as in the FA Cup defeat to Wycombe.

Eastleigh – managed by ex-Blues midfielder Martin Allen – are currently sitting 13th in the National League table ahead of their next game at Guiseley

Portsmouth FC
Jan 312017
 
OUT



Adam Buxton

(24)


Defender departs Fratton Park

Pompey and Adam Buxton have mutually agreed to cancel the defender’s contract with Pompey.

The 24-year-old full-back made eight appearances for the Blues after signing from Accrington last summer.

He made his debut in an EFL Cup defeat at Coventry in August, also featuring in cup contests against Reading, Wycombe and Bristol Rovers.

Everyone at the club would like to thank Adam for his service and wish him well for the future.

Portsmouth FC
Jan 282017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 0 – 1 Exeter City

 

Wheeler goal downs Blues

Pompey were unable to halt Exeter’s resurgence as they fell to defeat against their in-form visitors.

The goal that proved the difference between the sides from David Wheeler owed a lot of good fortune, with a ricochet aiding the Devon outfit.

But the Blues struggled to create many chances of note in their ultimately futile search for a leveller.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Leyton Orient on the south coast a fortnight earlier.

That meant Conor Chaplin continued to lead the line alongside Michael Smith in a 4-4-2 formation.

Before kick-off there was a minute’s applause in memory of title-winning forward Lindy Delapenha, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

There was little to excite another large Fratton crowd once the action got underway, with clear-cut chances at a premium throughout the first half.

The hosts dominated possession, although a well-marshalled defence meant they were not able to test Christy Pym in the Grecians goal.

Chaplin showed some neat invention to try to convert Carl Baker’s cross with a back-flick, but the ball flew wide.

David Forde flung himself to the left to deny Reuben Reid at the other end, then grabbed the loose ball at the second attempt.

Ollie Watkins was looking the most threatening player for the visitors and the sought-after striker drilled a low effort narrowly past the post on 16 minutes.

And Christian Burgess was enjoying a personal tussle with Reid, with the defender making a couple of key challenges inside the box to frustrate his opponent.

There was one more opportunity for Baker to break the deadlock before the break, but his effort was fumbled behind by Pym as a drab opening 45 minutes came to a close.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Exeter 0

HIGHLIGHTS

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Second Half

Pompey were first to threaten at the start of the second half, but a poor attempt from Kal Naismith flew over the bar.

The visitors went closer moments later and Enda Stevens had to turn Ryan Harley’s cross behind before Watkins could pounce.

And the Grecians did forge ahead on 57 minutes – although they were aided by a huge slice of fortune.

Reid burst down the centre and when he was dispossessed, the ball ricocheted off Danny Rose and straight into the path of Wheeler, who lashed it into the net.

Cook immediately responded with a double substitution, bringing on Jamal Lowe and Gary Roberts in place of Smith and Baker.

And Lowe tried to add a spark to the hosts’ performance with some tricky footwork, while his cross was headed wide by Matt Clarke.

It was Gareth Evans who forced Pym into action on 72 minutes, however, with a fierce left-footed effort that the keeper did well to smother.

But Exeter then came close to doubling their advantage when Troy Brown met a corner and glanced a header inches wide.

Pompey pushed forward in search of an equaliser and some fans thought a penalty had been awarded when Stevens went down under Jack Stacey’s challenge, although referee Dean Whitestone was instead pointing for a goal-kick.

There were also a host of late corners, which saw Forde come up to provide a different threat, but despite five minutes of added time and the Grecians starting to sit back, the hosts were unable to provide some late drama.

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Roberts 59), Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith; Chaplin, Smith (Lowe 59)
Booked: Clarke, Forde
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Linganzi, Bennett, Hunt

Exeter (4-4-2): Pym; Stacey, Brown, Moore-Taylor (c), Woodman; Wheeler, Taylor, James, Harley; Reid (McAlinden 81), Watkins
Goals: Wheeler 57
Booked: Reid
Subs not used: Olejnik, Sweeney, Tillson, Croll, Oakley, Simpson

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 17,195 (1,010 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 182017
 
IN



Nicke Kabamba

(23)
Hampton & Richmond Borough


Pompey have signed striker Nicke Kabamba from Hampton & Richmond for an undisclosed fee.

The 23-year-old – who has netted 16 National League South goals this season – has penned an 18-month deal with the Blues, with the club holding an option for a further year.

Kabamba said: “I’m really grateful for this opportunity and hopefully I can bring my scoring ratio into this league.

“Coming from non-league and now signing for a club like Pompey, life’s going to completely change.

“I’ve quit my job as a car salesman after four years and I will be moving down to the area.

“Playing in front of 17,000 people will be the strangest thing. I’ve seen it on TV, but it’s not until I’m out there and am able to soak in the atmosphere for myself first-hand that it will all sink in.”

Kabamba has previously turned out for Burnham and Hemel Hempstead, and scored at Bath in his last appearance for Hampton & Richmond

Portsmouth FC
Jan 142017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 1 Leyton Orient

 

Chaplin double secures win

Conor Chaplin bagged a brace as Pompey got their promotion challenge back on track by beating Leyton Orient.

It was a display of almost total dominance by the Blues and the margin of victory probably should have been greater.

Chaplin saw a penalty saved, but quickly put that out of his mind to open the scoring, only for Gavin Massey to grab an impressive leveller.

There was to be no shock outcome, however, as Chaplin grabbed his second of the afternoon – and seventh of the season – early in the second half.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that were beaten at table-topping Doncaster nine days earlier.

That saw Chaplin replace Kyle Bennett, as the hosts switched to a more traditional 4-4-2 system.

There were plenty of familiar faces in the opposition line-up, with former Blues Alex Cisak, Nigel Atangana and Paul McCallum all selected.

Both sets of fans held a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of former Pompey and Orient defender Paul Went, as well as ex-England boss Graham Taylor.

On the pitch it was a totally dominant first half display from the hosts, who set about attacking their struggling opponents straight from kick-off.

Chaplin could not quite get a touch to Kal Naismith’s clever free-kick after nipping in between a couple of defenders.

Tom Parkes then made a mess of trying to clear Carl Baker’s cross and Cisak had to intervene to stop the ball dipping under the crossbar.

Naismith soon played a neat one-two with Michael Smith and burst into the box, only to then fire over the top.

The hosts had an even better chance to break the deadlock on 22 minutes when Sammy Moore tripped Enda Stevens just inside the box.

Referee Brett Hutxtable pointed to the spot, but Cisak guessed the right way to palm Chaplin’s shot wide – the fifth penalty that Pompey have missed this season.

It was only a brief respite for the beleaguered visitors, however, as CHAPLIN made amends just seconds later by arriving at the far post to turn home Baker’s low cross.

The Blues immediately set about trying to add to their lead and Baker sent an effort curling narrowly past the post.

And Smith was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet when he met Naismith’s corner, only to see his header cleared from the line by Parkes.

David Forde might as well have been sat in the Fratton End such was Pompey’s dominance in the early stages.

But his first involvement was to pick the ball out of the net, as Orient levelled with their maiden chance on 38 minutes.

Not that the keeper could have done much to stop a stunning strike from Massey that flew into the top corner.

And the action was soon back down the other end of the pitch, with Stevens’ cut-back going behind three of his waiting team-mates in the box.

There was still time for one more chance in stoppage-time, with Teddy Mezague making a brilliant block to deny Baker before Naismith drove the loose ball wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Leyton Orient 1

HIGHLIGHTS

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Second Half

There was a surprise switch at the start of the second half, with Jamal Lowe introduced in place of Gareth Evans – who had picked up an injury before the break – to make his Blues debut.

That saw Baker drop to right-back, but it did not stop his attacking intent as he soon provided the assist for a second Pompey goal.

It was a fine cross in from the right and CHAPLIN showed his usual poaching instincts to arrive and head the hosts back into the lead.

There might have been another soon after when Cisak fumbled Stevens’ low cross, but the keeper grabbed the loose ball before Smith could pounce.

Orient were unsurprisingly showing more ambition than prior to the interval, but it was still the Blues controlling possession as the half progressed.

Naismith, in particular, was looking full of confidence, showcasing some silky skills to jink his way past challenges.

But there was almost a disaster for Pompey on 66 minutes when Christian Burgess did not spot Forde coming to collect the ball and headed narrowly past his own post.

It was soon back to normal, though, and only a slight deflection prevented Smith from turning in Naismith’s free-kick.

Amine Linganzi replaced the Scottish winger on 76 minutes, as Cook looked to inject more steel into the midfield.

But that did not mean the Blues were looking to sit on their lead and a sliding Smith was agonisingly close to reaching Chaplin’s centre.

Stevens then surged into the box from wide on the left and sent a powerful effort fizzing past the post.

Chaplin received a standing ovation as he left the pitch to be replaced by Bennett for the closing stages.

And it was a deserved reception for the diminutive striker, as Pompey saw out the final few minutes to secure a valuable victory.

Pompey (4-4-2): Forde; Evans (Lowe 46), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker, Rose, Doyle (c), Naismith (Linganzi 76); Smith, Chaplin (Bennett 87)
Goals: Chaplin 23
Booked: Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Roberts, Hunt

Leyton Orient (5-1-2-1-1): Cisak; Judd, Hunt (c), Mezague, Parkes, Semedo (Palmer 89); Moore (Bowery 69); Atangana, Collins; Massey; McCallum
Goals: Massey 38
Booked: Atangana
Subs not used: Sargeant, Pollock, Kennedy, Nnomo, Koroma

Referee: Brett Huxtable

Attendance: 16,564 (607 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 052017
 
League 2
Doncaster Rovers 3 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Blues lose at league leaders

Pompey missed out on the chance to close in on the automatic promotion places with a 3-1 defeat at Doncaster.

Former Fratton loanee John Marquis gave the hosts an early lead, only for Kal Naismith to level late in the first half.

But the Blues failed to build on that after the break, with Tommy Rowe rocketing Rovers back ahead before Marquis wrapped things up.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that beat Luton at Fratton Park on Bank Holiday Monday.

That meant an attacking midfield trio of Carl Baker, Naismith and Kyle Bennett were deployed behind lone frontman Michael Smith.

Pompey started poorly against the league leaders and looked particularly susceptible on the counter-attack.

And it came as no surprise when Doncaster broke the deadlock after just five minutes, with James Coppinger’s delivery flicked on by Matty Blair for Marquis to head home.

Rovers immediately set about trying to build on their lead and David Forde denied Conor Grant before another dangerous Coppinger cross had to be hooked clear by Michael Doyle.

But the Blues almost levelled with their first decent chance soon after, as keeper Marko Marosi only just managed to keep out Matt Clarke’s header from a Baker corner.

The visitors grew stronger as the half progressed, but Doncaster still looked threatening on the break and one ended with Niall Mason firing into the side netting.

Marquis was then inches away from extending their advantage, meeting Craig Alcock’s cross, but seeing his header hit the woodwork.

A couple of Naismith corners caused problems at the other end of the pitch, while Marosi did well to gobble up Enda Stevens’ low cross before Smith could pounce.

Pompey were starting to pile on some pressure, however, and they deservedly found themselves back on level terms just before the break.

Former Rovers winger Bennett – who was roundly booed by the home support throughout – intercepted the ball and threaded a neat pass to NAISMITH, who coolly slid the ball past Marosi.

Half Time: Doncaster 1 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

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Second Half

Both sides had looked capable of adding more goals before the interval, but the second half took longer to provide any inspiration.

An Evans shot from long-range that forced Marosi down to his left was as close as either side came in the opening stages.

But Doncaster suddenly brought the game back to life by restoring their advantage on 58 minutes.

It was a fine effort from Rowe, who collected a pass from Coppinger and beat Evans before rifling a fierce shot into the roof of the net.

Cook soon responded by making his first substitution, with Milan Lalkovic given an opportunity to impress in place of Baker.

And Bennett then made way for Gary Roberts, as Pompey tried to add fresh attacking impetus into their side.

But it was Rovers who looked the more dangerous going forward and they extended their lead on 71 minutes.

It was Marquis who found the target once again after a cross from Rowe was deflected kindly into his path.

Cook made one final throw of the dice soon after, with Naismith making way so Conor Chaplin could partner Smith up front.

It was Lalkovic who almost reduced the deficit, however, meeting Evans’ excellent cross with a close-range header that Marosi dived across goal to keep out.

But the keeper almost cost his side moments later when he failed to hold a cross under pressure from Smith.

The loose ball fell to Chaplin, who did not have long to react, and his effort was hacked clear by a well-placed Alcock.

An injury to Marosi – which saw the keeper stretchered off – meant there were seven minutes of injury-time.

But that failed to provide the inspiration for an unlikely comeback as Doncaster saw out the final moments to increase their title hopes.

Doncaster (4-3-2-1): Marosi (Etheridge 86); Alcock, Baudry, Butler, Mason; Blair (Williams 55), Houghton, Grant; Coppinger (c) (Middleton 67), Rowe; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 5, 71, Rowe 58
Booked: Alcock
Subs not used: Wright, Keegan, Beestin, May

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker (Lalkovic 62), Naismith (Chaplin 75), Bennett (Roberts 67); Smith
Goals: Naismith 41
Booked: Burgess, Evans, Doyle
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Linganzi, Hunt

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Attendance: 5,568 (669 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Jan 022017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 1 – 0 Luton Town

 

Burgess header secures victory

Pompey got 2017 off to a great start by beating Luton to close the gap on the automatic promotion places.

Christian Burgess grabbed the only goal of the game by heading home from a first half free-kick.

The hosts dominated before the break, but there were a few nervy moments after it and Gary Roberts missed a penalty before the victory could finally be celebrated.

Paul Cook made one change from the side that drew at a foggy Yeovil in the final game of last year.

Noel Hunt dropped to the bench to make way for Kyle Bennett, as the Blues switched back to a more familiar 4-2-3-1 system.

The visitors’ line-up suggested they would play with more ambition than most sides who visit Fratton Park.

But it was the Blues who made the brighter start, without really testing Christian Walton in the Hatters goal.

There was then a lengthy break in play when Cameron McGeehan went down injured following a challenge with Michael Doyle and had to be stretchered from the pitch.

The game took a while to gather pace once it restarted, but Pompey soon started to impose themselves.

Gareth Evans sent a snap-shot narrowly over the bar from 30 yards, while an unmarked Carl Baker then completely mis-hit his effort from inside the box.

Bennett was next to go close when he collected a pass from Enda Stevens and sent a low drive inches past the post.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 31 minutes after Bennett had been fouled by Stephen O’Donnell wide on the left.

Baker stepped up to send a sumptuous delivery into the box, where BURGESS rose highest to send a thumping header into the net.

He then made an important intervention at the other end of the pitch to dispossess Danny Hylton inside the area.

But most of the action was still taking place in and around the Luton box, with Scott Cuthbert forced to make a vital challenge when Evans collected Baker’s incisive pass.

And Burgess almost doubled the advantage just before the break, only to divert Kal Naismith’s corner wide.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Luton 0

HIGHLIGHTS

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Second Half

Pompey started the second half as they had finished the first – and an unmarked Evans should really have done better than guiding Baker’s free-kick straight at Walton.

Naismith then delivered a dangerous cross that was just behind the onrushing Michael Smith, as the Blues looked to make their pressure count.

But Luton almost levelled when Burgess was caught in possession seconds later. Hylton stole the ball and neatly chipped David Forde, but it bounced back off the crossbar.

The visitors were certainly looking more of a threat since the interval and Forde made a comfortable stop to deny Jonathan Smith before a free-kick was nervously dealt with by Stevens.

And it was Smith who should have at least tested Forde when Hylton ran along the byline and teed-up him up, only for the midfielder to fire wide from a few yards out.

Cook made his first substitution on 68 minutes, with a refreshed Roberts coming on for Bennett.

It was a nervy period for Pompey and Forde had to palm the ball clear when James Justin took advantage of Evans’ slip to fire in a shot.

The visitors were being hampered by an injury to Hylton, however. Boss Nathan Jones had already made all his changes, so the striker was forced to carry on, cutting a forlorn figure as he hobbled around the pitch.

Pompey tried to make the most of that and one attack looked particularly promising on 75 minutes.

They broke quickly up the pitch, but Smith picked the ball up when he probably should have left it for Naismith and when his path was blocked, Baker fired high over the bar.

There was certainly a feeling of tension around Fratton Park as the clock ticked down towards a much-needed home triumph.

Roberts then missed a chance to let everyone breathe out when he fired over from the spot after Noel Hunt had been tripped in the box by Olly Lee in stoppage-time.

But the Blues saw out the final few moments to ensure there was plenty of New Year cheer on the south coast.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose (Linganzi 84), Doyle (c); Baker (Hunt 80), Naismith, Bennett (Roberts 68); Smith
Goals: Burgess 31
Booked: Forde, Hunt
Subs not used: O’Brien, Whatmough, Lalkovic, Chaplin

Luton (4-1-2-1-2): Walton; O’Donnell, Cuthbert (c), Mullins, Justin; Rea; Gilliead (Lee 54), Smith; McGeehan (Mpanzu 20); Cook (Vassell 54), Hylton
Booked: McGeehan, Smith, Vassell, Mpanzu
Subs not used: King, Senior, Marriott, McQuoid

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 17,402 (1,547 away fans)

Portsmouth FC