Apr 072018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Rochdale    3

 


 

Portsmouth    3

 


A last-gasp own-goal saw Pompey continue their unbeaten run with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Rochdale at Spotland.

They showed their fighting spirit by battling back to level on three separate occasions, as the prolific Brett Pitman cancelled out efforts from Bran Inman and Stephen Humphrys.

Ian Henderson scrambled home what seemed to be a Dale winner, only for Matt Done to find his own net deep into stoppage-time.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat Wigan on home soil on Easter Monday.

Dion Donohue missed that game to attend the birth of his son, but returned at left-back, with Brandon Haunstrup dropping to the bench.

There was a minute of applause before kick-off to remember former England international Ray Wilkins, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

The hosts might have been sitting inside the drop zone, but had won each of their past two games and made a bright start.

A hooked effort from Humphrys was deflected wide, while several crosses into the box caused Pompey problems in the opening stages.

But the Blues could have broken the deadlock when Gareth Evans picked out Pitman, only for the unmarked skipper to guide the ball over.

Instead it was Dale who scored on 13 minutes, as Inman bent a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

They thought they had another when Joe Rafferty flicked on Inman’s corner and Ian Henderson bundled the ball over the line, only to be flagged offside.

And Pompey made the most of that let-off by levelling midway through the first half, thanks to some great work from Pitman and Jamal Lowe.

The skipper held the ball up well in the centre of the pitch before releasing Lowe, who showed lightning pace to surge into the box.

He slipped at a pivotal moment, only to recover well and square for PITMAN to lash home his 20th league goal of the campaign.

The Blues then came close to forging ahead, courtesy of a thunderbolt from Evans that crashed against the crossbar.

It was Rochdale that finished the half on top, however, and Luke McGee was twice called into action to deny Rafferty and Humphrys, while Oliver Rathbone saw a shot deflected past the post.

But there was one more chance for the visitors before the break, with Pitman diverting an Evans centre over the top.


Half Time

Rochdale 1

Portsmouth 1


Rochdale were quicker from the blocks once the action restarted and Matt Clarke was well-placed to head clear a couple of dangerous deliveries.

But it took another fine finish for the hosts to retake the lead, as Humphrys collected Done’s pass and arrowed the ball past McGee’s grasp.

Jackett responded with a double switch on the hour mark, withdrawing Nathan Thompson and Kal Naismith for Matty Kennedy and Stuart O’Keefe.

And his side were level moments later when Donohue clipped in a free-kick that was only partially dealt with.

The ball was headed back into the danger zone by Clarke, where PITMAN was waiting to slot home again.

But the action soon switched back to the other end of the pitch and an Inman effort took a deflection to send the ball just over the bar.

Rochdale were back ahead on 71 minutes, though, when Calvin Andrew nodded Inman’s delivery across goal and Henderson bundled the ball over the line.

Jackett soon made his third and final change, with Oli Hawkins adding more firepower in place of Evans.

There was a nervy moment for the hosts when Josh Lillis failed to claim a high ball, but they were eventually able to scramble clear.

Hawkins did well to shake off having his shirt tugged and get a shot away late on, although the attempt failed to trouble Lillis.

The visitors tried to get the ball forward and four minutes of stoppage-time gave them hope of finding an equaliser.

And it arrived when Jack Whatmough’s centre was nodded towards goal by Pitman, with DONE only able to head the ball into his own net from a couple of yards out.

Rochdale (4-1-4-1): Lillis; Rafferty, McGahey, McNulty, Done; Camps; Andrew, Rathbone, Henderson (c), Inman (Delaney 80); Humphrys (Thompson 74)
Goals: Inman 13, Humphrys 57, Henderson 71
Subs not used: Moore, Wiseman, Ntlhe, Dobre, Davies

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Thompson (Kennedy 60), Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Walkes; Lowe, Evans (Hawkins 72), Close, Naismith (O’Keefe 60); Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 26, 62, Done 90+2 (og)
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, Ronan

Referee: Scott Oldham

Attendance: 3,781


Portsmouth FC

Aug 052017
 
League 1,,,,
,Portsmouth,2 – 0,Rochdale,

 

Brett Pitman scored a brace on his debut to ensure Pompey began life in League One with victory over Rochdale.

The striker bagged an impressive individual goal after Keith Keane had been dismissed for the visitors at Fratton Park.

But there was a nervous edge to the closing stages, with substitute Jamal Lowe also sent off for the Blues.

That changed to elation in stoppage-time, however, as Pitman headed home to complete a memorable afternoon for the skipper.

Kenny Jackett handed starts to three summer signings in his first competitive match as Pompey manager.

Luke McGee, Tareiq Holmes-Dennis and Pitman all featured, while there was also a surprise appearance for Drew Talbot at right-back.

There were a mixture of emotions before kick-off, with Michael Eisner and other members of the Tornante Company applauded onto the pitch.

It was a more sombre occasion after that, however, with a minute’s applause to remember former Blues players Fred Evans, Pat Neil and Jimmy White, who all passed away over the summer.

Supporters were also paying their respects to fan Alan Dobson, who sadly died during the recent friendly against Bournemouth.

Once the action got underway at a sunny Fratton Park, it was the visitors who looked the more threatening.

Andy Cannon blasted a shot over the crossbar, although there were not too many opportunities to test McGee.

And Rochdale’s threat was blunted somewhat when they were reduced to 10 men on 21 minutes.

Conor Chaplin collected a loose ball and charged towards goal, only to be crudely upended by Keane just outside the box.

Referee Lee Probert immediately brandished a red card and the centre-back was forced to trudge off to the dressing room.

Pompey were unable to make the free-kick count, though, as Carl Baker’s delivery evaded everyone and went behind.

Calvin Andrew then did well to nip in ahead of Christian Burgess and head behind Baker’s dangerous corner.

The hosts went close again from the resulting flag-kick, as Pitman found space to nod narrowly past the post.

But the Blues were dealt a blow of their own late in the first half, with Holmes-Dennis going down injured on the left.

He limped off to be replaced by Lowe, with Gareth Evans dropping to right-back and Talbot moving across to the left.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Rochdale 0

 

The first half had been rather slow to get going, but the second exploded into life after just 34 seconds.

It was a fine effort from PITMAN, who picked the ball up on the left and – through a mixture of skill and persistence – found space to slot it into the net.

There was soon an opening for the visitors at the other end of the pitch, although Ollie Rathbone dragged his effort wide.

Rochdale then won a free-kick 25 yards out, but Reece Brown could not quite force his shot through the defensive wall.

An error from Josh Lillis almost handed Pompey a second goal on 69 minutes, with the keeper tearing off his line to try to beat Chaplin to the ball.

But he only succeeded in chesting it into the path of Lowe, whose cheeky lob landed narrowly wide of the post.

Jackett made his second substitution moments later, with Chaplin making way for Kal Naismith in the Blues attack.

And Lowe made way on 81 minutes – although there was nobody to replace him after the substitute was shown a red card.

He stretched to win the ball, but caught Jamie Allen and Probert decided it was enough to warrant a sending off.

That ensured a more fraught end to proceedings than perhaps was necessary, but Pitman eased those nerves in stoppage-time.

Evans got free down the right and picked out the unmarked striker in the box, with PITMAN expertly guiding his header past Lillis and into the net.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Holmes-Dennis (Lowe 39); Baker, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Chaplin (Naismith 71)
Goals: Pitman 46, 90+2
Sent off: Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, May, Main, Kabamba

Rochdale (4-4-2): Lillis; Brown, Keane, McNulty, Ntlhe; Cannon (Davies 75), Camps (Rafferty 59), Allen, Rathbone; Henderson (c), Andrew (Done 59)
Sent off: Keane
Subs not used: Collis, Canavan, Inman, Williams

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 18,009 (471 away fans)

Portsmouth FC