Apr 232022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Gillingham 1


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN WON WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST DRAWN WON

Pompey continued their fine Fratton form by easing to a comfortable win over relegation-threatened Gillingham.

Ronan Curtis fired them ahead in the early stages and then restored the lead with his 50th goal for the club after Ryan Jackson had levelled for the visitors.

The Blues deserved more for their dominance, though, and Clark Robertson headed home following the interval to wrap things up.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that were cruelly denied victory at Morecambe on Monday.

Joe Morrell and Louis Thompson both returned to the engine room, with Ryan Tunncliffe and Shaun Williams dropping to the bench.

Meanwhile, former Pompey loanees Ben Thompson and Stuart O’Keefe were selected in the visitors’ midfield.

Before the game there was the award of The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season trophy, with readers of our local papers selecting Sean Raggett for the honour.

A minute’s applause was then held to remember all members of the Pompey family who have passed away during the course of the campaign.

The first half was a curious affair, with plenty of excitement at the start and finish and not a lot happening in between.

It was in the fourth minute when Marcus Harness burst down the right and played a neat one-two with Hayden Carter.

He then sent a low cross into the box, where CURTIS was waiting to slam the ball home off the underside of the bar.

The hosts continued to dominate both possession and territory, but were unable to make the most of that.

And they were made to pay on the half-hour mark, as Jackson lost Curtis at the back post to angle home from a Ben Reeves delivery.

There were a couple of blocked shots from the Blues, but nothing to suggest they would retake the lead.

That changed in the second minute of stoppage-time, when Jackson was unable to deal with a Raggett cross.

The ball reached CURTIS at the back post and he showed plenty of composure to arrow it into the bottom corner.

Gillingham were furious, seemingly feeling that referee Darren Drysdale should had already blown for the interval.

The protests of boss Neil Harris saw him sent to the stands, while another member of the coaching team was booked.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Gillingham 1


The second half took some time to get going, but the Fratton faithful soon had another goal to celebrate.

Jacobs sent a corner into the box and ROBERTSON rose above David Tutonda to plant a bullet header into the net.

They might have gone further ahead a few minutes later, with Michael Jacobs only able to find the side netting from an acute angle.

And Curtis tried to complete a hat-trick, but fired into Aaron Chapman’s midriff after collecting a Carter cross.

Pompey were coasting and passing the ball around nicely, prepared to stay patient in search of an opening.

Cowley gave Jay Mingi an opportunity to gain some minutes on the pitch, with Louis Thompson the man to make way.

And former Gills defender Connor Ogilvie then limped off with an injury to be replaced by Mahlon Romeo.

Aiden O’Brien also came off the bench in the closing stages and had a stoppage-time shot turned around the post by Chapman.

But the game had been drifting towards a conclusion before then and Pompey saw out the final moments to secure a deserved win.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie (Romeo 78); Morrell, Thompson (Mingi 74); Harness (O’Brien 89), Jacobs, Curtis; Hirst
Goals: Curtis 4, 45+2, Robertson 54
Subs not used: Webber, Williams, Tunnicliffe, Walker

Gillingham (3-5-2): Chapman; Tucker, Ehmer, Masterson; Jackson, Thompson, Lee, O’Keefe (c) (Phillips 46), Tutonda (Dickson-Peters 64); Oliver, Reeves
Goals: Jackson 30
Booked: Tutonda, Ehmer
Subs not used: Dahlberg, Lintott, Maghoma, Chambers, Sithole

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 15,540 (1,192 away fans)

Apr 152022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Lincoln City 2


FORM GUIDE

WON WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST DRAWN WON WON WON

Ronan Curtis came off the bench to hit the winner in an eventful Good Friday contest with Lincoln at Fratton Park.

George Hirst opened the scoring from the penalty spot early in the first half and the hosts appeared to be cruising when Michael Jacobs curled home a fine free-kick.

But Ted Bishop immediately reduced the Imps’ deficit and Ben House then equalised with his first touch.

It was fellow substitute Curtis who had the final say, though, after ensuring he was in the right place to deal with a loose ball.

Danny Cowley made one change from the side that eased to victory over Rotherham earlier in the week.

Aiden O’Brien was restored to the starting line-up, with fellow Republic of Ireland international Curtis dropping to the bench.

There was a familiar face in Michael Appleton’s opposition team, with John Marquis involved after completing a January switch to the Imps.

It was the visitors who made the faster start in the warm south coast sunshine and Lewis Fiorini wasted a glorious chance in the opening seconds.

He received a cut-back from Liam Cullen in acres of space on the edge of the box, only to blaze over the bar.

The opening was lively and when O’Brien sent the ball into the mixer, Jacobs and Marcus Harness saw efforts blocked in quick succession.

A spell of pressure from Lincoln then resulted in an angled Marquis drive that was comfortably dealt with by Gavin Bazunu.

Pompey were soon dealt a blow when Joe Morrell went down injured for the second time in the space of a few minutes.

The midfielder was unable to continue after receiving treatment and limped off the pitch to be replaced by Ryan Tunnicliffe.

A nice bit of passing play from the Blues involving Sean Raggett and Jacobs almost provided an opening, but the angle was just too tight for O’Brien.

But the action soon began to lull and the rest of the first half had a distinct ‘end of season’ flavour to it.

The Imps did try to finish with a bit of a flourish and Fiorini tried to catch Bazunu off his line, with a shot that flew not too far over the bar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Lincoln City 0


Pompey might have hit a lull towards the end of the first half, but they certainly came charging out of the blocks following the restart.

There was a great chance to score after just a few seconds, but Hirst could not keep his header down from a fine Connor Ogilvie cross.

However, the Blues did break the deadlock on 50 minutes after Cullen was penalised for a clumsy challenge on Jacobs inside the box.

Referee Trevor Kettle pointed straight to the spot and although Jordan Wright went the right way, the penalty from HIRST went under his dive and into the net.

The hosts then went from cursing their failure to double the lead to being relieved they still had one in quick succession.

Louis Thompson did well to steal possession and leave O’Brien with just the keeper to beat, but Wright was equal to his powerful effort.

Lincoln broke straight down the other end and Fiorini sent Cullen racing through on goal, only for Bazunu to come to the rescue with a smart save.

The game began to slow again after the frantic period, but it was given a shot in the arm with two goals just a few minutes apart.

Pompey looked to have wrapped things up when JACOBS curled home a fine 25-yard free-kick that he had won himself.

But the Imps were soon back in the contest, as Bishop was given far too much time to bring the ball under control inside the area before slotting into the net.

Thompson then required treatment on the pitch and was brought off to be replaced by Shaun Williams.

The Blues looked to restore their two-goal advantage and Hirst turned a low Ogilvie centre narrowly past the post.

Cowley made his final switch on 76 minutes, with Curtis adding some fresh attacking energy in place of O’Brien.

Lincoln also made a change, bringing off Marquis for House, who promptly scored just a few seconds later.

The striker slid in to bundle the ball over the line after a Jamie Robson cross had been flicked on by Cullen.

But the Blues were soon back in front after patiently passing the ball around the Imps half in search of an opening.

Raggett eventually found one and surged forward before hitting a low shot that Wright could not keep hold of.

CURTIS picked the ball up and calmly took it past the prostrate keeper before slotting into an empty net.

Lincoln applied late pressure in search of another leveller and the display of eight additional minutes certainly gave them hope.

But the Blues managed to see out the closing stages without too much concern and Hirst might have settled any nerves, only to get the ball caught under his feet inside the area.

It mattered not, though, as they had already done enough to secure the win and continue their fine Fratton form.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c), Ogilvie; Morrell (Tunnicliffe 11), Thompson (Williams 71); Harness, O’Brien (Curtis 76), Jacobs; Hirst
Goals: Hirst 50 (pen), Jacobs 68, Curtis 82
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Webber, Romeo, Mingi, Walker

Lincoln (4-3-3): Wright; Norton-Cuffy, Jackson, Poole, Robson; Bishop (Sanders 83), McGrandles (c), Fiorini; Cullen, Marquis (House 77), Scully
Goals: Bishop 70, House 78
Booked: Jackson
Subs not used: Sørensen, Adelakun, Hopper

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 15,175 (811 away fans)

Feb 262022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 3
Fleetwood Town 3


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN WON WON WON LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST

Pompey produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they fought from three goals down to secure a point against Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

They were punished for a poor first half, with goals from Anthony Pilkington, Harrison Biggins and Paddy Lane giving the visitors a commanding lead.

But Ronan Curtis converted a penalty just before the interval and the Blues looked a different side following a talking to from Danny Cowley.

They peppered the opposition goal with crosses and shots, with Marcus Harness scrambling home before Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Cowley made four changes from the side that dramatically won on the road at Shrewsbury earlier in the week.

Joe Morrell made an immediate return after completing his three-match ban, while there were also starts for Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett and Harness.

Louis Thompson, O’Brien, George Hirst and Mahlon Romeo were the men to make way, with the quartet dropping to the bench.

There was also a switch of system, with Hayden Carter moving to a right-back role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The early signs were positive, with Walker hitting an early shot wide before Curtis’ knock-back flew just behind the striker.

But what followed was a pretty chastening experience for the home faithful, who allowed the visitors to score three times from their four shots on target in the first half.

Former Pompey striker Ellis Harrison provided the first, getting down the right and driving into the box before cutting the ball back for Pilkington to slam home.

A second goal soon followed for the Cod Army, with nobody picking up Biggins to meet Carl Johnston’s pass across the box and fire into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and Denver Hume drilled a shot wide following a spell of patient passing play.

But the visitors were getting plenty of men behind the ball to protect their lead and it was proving difficult to find a way through.

And instead Pompey went further behind late in the half, as Lane cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed screamer that Gavin Bazunu was unable to keep out.

There was, however, time for a lifeline to arrive just before the break, when Morrell’s pass was handled by Callum Camps.

Referee Alan Young immediately pointed to the spot and CURTIS stepped up to smash the penalty straight down the middle.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Fleetwood Town 3


Curtis was certainly trying to drag Pompey back into the contest and his delivery led to the ball pinging around the Fleetwood box before eventually being cleared behind.

He then did well to get on the end of a deep Morrell pass into the box, with his header landing on the roof of the net.

But the Republic of Ireland international saw penalty appeals turned away when he went down in the box soon after and was instead harshly booked for simulation.

Hackett soon had a great chance to score for the hosts, but got his shot all wrong after being teed-up by Carter.

It looked like a second goal had arrived just before the hour mark, when Curtis sent a superb ball into the area from the left.

But Walker’s header struck Zak Jules on the back and was prevented from crossing the line by Alex Cairns, who then kept out the striker’s follow-up effort.

And the Fratton faithful screamed for a penalty when the ball bounced up and struck Danny Andrew on the arm, but Young deemed it to be accidental.

Walker then thought he had netted his first Pompey goal after turning home a low Curtis cross, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

O’Brien was brought on for Hume and went close with his first touch, but Cairns was able to keep out his header from a Ryan Tunnicliffe centre.

Cowley made an attacking switch on 78 minutes, taking off Carter and bringing on an extra striker in Hirst.

And the Blues did have a second goal when Cairns made a mess of dealing with a Curtis corner and the ball struck HARNESS before crossing the line.

There was a worrying moment soon after when Sean Raggett disappeared over the advertising boards and into the area of the North Lower currently being redeveloped.

Thankfully he emerged unhurt, with one wag commenting that the concreate had probably come off worse.

Fleetwood’s constant time wasting throughout the second half meant eight minutes were added on by the officials.

And Hirst almost levelled in the first of them, beating his man inside the box before drilling a low shot inches past the post.

Raggett then spun sharply and hit a shot that was gathered by Cairns, as the visitors continued to hold onto their lead by their fingernails.

But Fratton Park erupted soon after when a Curtis pass was helped on by both Walker and Hirst, and O’BRIEN raced clear before coolly slotting past Cairns.

Pompey sensed they could score again, but there was not quite enough time remaining and the spoils were ultimately shared.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter (Hirst 78), Raggett, Robertson (c), Hume (O’Brien 69); Tunnicliffe, Morrell; Harness, Hackett, Curtis; Walker
Goals: Curtis 45 (pen), Harness 80, O’Brien 90+5
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Webber, Ogilvie, Romeo, Thompson, Mingi

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Nsiala, Clarke, Jules; Johnston, Camps, Lane (Baggley 90), Biggins, Andrew (c); Pilkington (Butterworth 23), Harrison (Garner 86)
Goals: Pilkington 7, Biggins 15, Lane 41
Booked: Lane, Cairns, Harrison
Subs not used: O’Hara, Morris, Boyle, Hayes

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 15,224 (106 away fans)

Feb 052022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Oxford United 3
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

LOST LOST LOST DRAWN LOST LOST WON DRAWN WON DRAWN

Pompey conceded deep into stoppage-time to cruelly be denied a point at Oxford after having to play most of the game with just 10 men.

Michael Jacobs immediately cancelled out Luke McNally’s early opener, only for Joe Morrell to then be harshly sent off.

But the Blues were on course for an unlikely victory when Ronan Curtis slotted them into the lead after the break.

Cameron Brannagan levelled in the closing stages of normal time, however, before substitute Nathan Holland struck at the death.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that were beaten by Charlton on home soil on Monday night.

Two of them were enforced, with the injured Mahlon Romeo (ankle) and Shaun Williams (back) replaced by Kieron Freeman and Louis Thompson.

Marcus Harness, Tyler Walker and Clark Robertson all dropped to the bench to make way for Jacobs, Curtis and Connor Ogilvie.

Also named among the substitutes were deadline day signing Aiden O’Brien and a fit-again Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Former Blues players Ryan Williams and Steve Seddon both started for the hosts, who also had Simon Eastwood in their matchday squad.

Anybody who got into the ground late would certainly have missed some key incidents, as the opening 16 minutes saw two goals and a red card.

The hosts took an early lead when McNally rose highest in the box to convert a corner from Billy Bodin.

But Pompey quickly hit back, as a long kick from Gavin Bazunu was flicked on by George Hirst and Curtis did well to keep it in play.

His neat back-flick was collected from Freeman, who then squared the ball for JACOBS to slot home from close range.

The celebrations did not last long, however, as the disbelieving visitors were soon reduced to 10 men.

Morrell caught Brannagan and there was no surprise that a free-kick was awarded, but the midfielder was left open-mouthed when referee Samuel Barrott brandished a red card.

United looked to make the most of their numerical advantage and got plenty of men forward to apply pressure.

They came close to restoring their advantage when Brannagan was sent racing through, but Bazunu was off his line quickly to make a key save.

Williams then ballooned a good chance over the bar, while Herbie Kane rolled a shot narrowly wide and saw another attempt held by Bazunu.

But the Blues almost took the lead themselves just before the break after Jacobs had stolen possession.

He rolled the ball across for Hirst, but the striker’s low shot was kept out by the foot of keeper Jack Stevens.


Half Time

Oxford Un ited 1

Portsmouth 1


The second half began more than 20 minutes later than scheduled because of an unspecified ‘incident’.

And when the action did get started, there was a cagey opening – before Pompey helped explode the contest back into life.

Hirst did well to get forward and use his strength brilliantly to hold of a challenge before finding Jacobs.

He then slipped a clever pass through to CURTIS, who was left in space to calmly roll the ball past Stevens and into the net.

Oxford tried to hit back and Bodin’s shot was blocked after both Matty Taylor and Seddon had failed to connect with Williams’ centre.

Bazunu then dived to his left to push behind Brannagan’s angled strike and was able to deal with the resulting corner.

And Pompey were forced to make a change on the hour mark when Freeman took a ball to the face and was replaced by Robertson.

It was the home side that were unsurprisingly seeing more of the ball and a couple of corners caused a few nerves, while Bazunu made a regulation save to deny Mark Sykes.

Cowley then made his second switch on 71 minutes, bringing some fresh legs into the engine room by swapping Thompson with Tunnicliffe.

Bazunu was soon called into action again, getting down to his right to push clear a low Brannagan shot that was creeping towards the bottom corner.

But the Blues’ resistance was finally broken late on, courtesy of a fine 25-yard strike from Brannagan that flew into the net.

O’Brien was then brought on for his debut in place of Hirst and the delay caused by Freeman’s injury, along with various other stoppages, meant 10 minutes were added on.

With the defender’s departure deemed a concussion substitute, Denver Hume made way for Reeco Hackett.

But the Blues were unable to hang on and Holland’s effort from outside the box clipped the inside of the post on its way into the net.

Oxford (3-1-4-2): Stevens; McNally, Moore (c), Brown (Holland 55); Kane; Williams (Winnall 63), Sykes, Brannagan, Seddon (Mousinho 90+8); Bodin (McGuane 87), Taylor
Goals: McNally 6, Brannagan 82, Holland 90+6
Booked: Brannagan, Seddon, Kane, Moore
Subs not used: Eastwood, Forde, Smyth

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Freeman (Robertson 60), Thompson (Tunnicliffe 71), Morrell, Hume (Hackett 90+5); Jacobs; Hirst (O’Brien 82), Curtis
Goals: Jacobs 10, Curtis 51
Sent off: Morrell
Booked: Jacobs, Hirst, Hume, Curtis, Bazunu, Tunnicliffe, Raggett
Subs not used: Webber, Harness, Walker

Referee: Samuel Barrott

Attendance: 10,373 (1,754 Pompey fans)

Jan 072022
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A EFL Trophy
Exeter City 2
Portsmouth 3


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN WON DRAWN LOST WON WON WON WON WON

Ronan Curtis came off the bench to score two late goals and secure a dramatic Papa John’s Trophy victory for Pompey at Exeter.

The visitors were heading out of the competition before the Republic of Ireland international’s late heroics.

George Hirst had nodded them into an early lead in Devon, only for Matt Jay to hit an immediate leveller.

The Blues then failed to make the most of their first half dominance and were made to pay when Archie Collins struck for the Grecians after the break.

But Curtis headed home with time running out and appeared to have secured a penalty shoot-out, only to then find the net again in stoppage-time.

Pompey will now look to make it through to the quarter-finals when they head to Cambridge on Tuesday night.

Danny Cowley made four changes from the side that drew at the Abbey Stadium in the league at the start of the week.

John Marquis was handed a starting berth up front, while Lee Brown – who wore the captain’s armband – Alex Bass and Miguel Azeez all returned.

Curtis and Reeco Hackett both dropped to the bench, while Gavin Bazunu and Shaun Williams were not included in the squad.

Also named among the substitutes were teenage keeper Toby Steward and his academy team-mate Harry Jewitt-White.

The contest certainly got off to a lively start and the visitors took an early lead when Marcus Harness lifted the ball towards the back post and HIRST rose highest to head into the bottom corner.

But their advantage lasted just 68 seconds, as Exeter went straight up the pitch to level from kick-off.

Jay picked up the ball and found it all too easy to shake off a couple of challenges before expertly guiding a shot past Bass.

From that point on, though, it was pretty much one-way traffic, as the Blues were totally dominant in possession.

But the struggle was to make the most of it and a number of key openings were wasted in the search for a second goal.

Pompey’s high-pressing game was causing plenty of problems and there were a few occasions when possession was stolen and the situation not capitalised on.

The lead should have been retaken when Harness released Marquis down the left and the striker saw his shot blocked.

Hirst tried to convert the loose ball, but was left swiping at thin air, as the Grecians breathed a sigh of relief.

The striker soon had another opportunity after being fed by Kieron Freeman following a patient spell of passing, spinning neatly and seeing his attempt deflected just past the post.

And he twice tried to get on the end of Brown deliveries in quick succession, but could not make a firm contact on each occasion.

Pompey maintained a constant vigil in their hosts’ half as the seconds ticked down, with Exeter defending resolutely to keep them at bay.


Half Time

Exeter City 1

Portsmouth 1


It was the home side who were first to threaten when the action restarted, but Bass was equal to Jay’s shot after Owura Edwards had teed the ball up perfectly for his team-mate.

And they had another decent chance moments later, with Josh Key’s teasing cross somehow evading everyone as it made its way across the Blues box.

Pompey started to settle again and looked to impose themselves, although Azeez’s pass for Marquis in the area ricocheted off the striker and landed clear.

Cowley then introduced a raft of fresh legs by making a quartet of substitutions just past the hour mark.

Curtis, Hackett, Michael Jacobs and the fit-again Louis Thompson all came on, as Marquis, Hirst, Harness and Azeez made way.

Exeter were still looking more threatening than before the break, though, and Connor Ogilvie got in the way of Key’s effort before Bass beat Jay to Jake Caprice’s cross.

And they did take the lead on 76 minutes, as Key got forward and laid the ball off for Collins, whose shot deflected off Freeman to sneak into the net.

The home side tried to see out the closing stages and were doing a good job of protecting their slender lead.

There was a late opportunity for Pompey, but Cameron Dawson dealt with Hackett’s header after Joe Morrell had lifted the ball into the mixer.

Jewitt-White injected some youthful vigour into the Blues for the final few minutes, but it was a more experienced player who drew them level.

Jacobs swung in a free-kick from the right and CURTIS timed his leap perfectly to head the ball past Dawson.

He might have had another just a few moments later, but Hackett’s cross was just too high for him to head on target.

CURTIS did grab the winner deep into stoppage-time, though, firing into the net after Hackett had raced across goal and found the forward.

Exeter (3-4-3): Dawson; Sweeney (Kite 46), Stubbs, Diabate; Key, Collins, Taylor (Dieng 55), Caprice; Seymour (Brown 55), Jay (c) (Coley 79), Edwards (Amond 71)
Goals: Jay 6, Collins 76
Subs not used: Brown, Ray

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bass; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell (Jewitt-White 88), Azeez (Thompson 63), Brown (c); Harness (Jacobs 63); Marquis (Curtis 63), Hirst (Hackett 63)
Goals: Hirst 5, Curtis 89, 90+3
Booked: Morrell, Raggett, Curtis
Subs not used: Steward, Downing

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 2,146 (507 Pompey fans)

Oct 232021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Accrington Stanley 2
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN LOST LOST LOST WON LOST DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST

A late Marcus Harness goal rescued a point for Pompey after it looked like they would leave Accrington on the back of an undeserved defeat.

The Blues created a host of chances, but only had Ronan Curtis’ early finish to show for their efforts at the interval.

Harry Pell levelled for Stanley following the restart and after surviving plenty of dangerous moments, then took the lead through Matt Butcher.

It looked like being a harsh loss, but the noisy travelling faithful were rewarded for their backing when Harness struck late on.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that were beaten on home soil by Ipswich earlier in the week.

Reeco Hackett and Connor Ogilvie both returned to the starting line-up, with Ryan Tunnicliffe and Kieron Freeman dropping to the bench.

That saw a return to a back four, with Shaun Williams returning to his preferred position in the centre of midfield.

Cowley had asked for a positive reaction following successive heavy defeats and his troops responded by making a fast start.

An early corner was worked to Harness on the edge of the box and his shot had to be tipped over by Toby Savin.

And the keeper did even better to deal with a thunderous Williams attempt that followed good work from the lively Hackett.

But it was proving to be a mixed display from Savin, who quickly grabbed the loose ball from John Marquis after spilling a Lee Brown delivery.

He was then back to his best on 15 minutes, saving at the feet of Marquis after Hackett and Harness had combined brilliantly down the right.

And the Blues got the lead their pressure deserved on 15 minutes, when Brown laid the ball off for CURTIS.

The Republic of Ireland international took a few touches before hitting a low effort that bounced awkwardly in front of Savin and crept into the bottom corner.

Pompey kept attacking and Hackett was asking plenty of questions, while Williams and Joe Morrell were looking assured in the centre of the pitch.

But Stanley had a chance to level when Ethan Hamilton crossed from the right and Colby Bishop could only turn it wide.

Savin then fumbled another centre – this time from Hackett – but the home side were able to clear the danger.

And when Accrington enjoyed a spell of pressure and won a corner, it almost led to another Pompey goal.

Morrell stole possession and launched a quick counter, with Harness showing some tricky footwork before hitting a shot that rose narrowly over the bar.

There was even a cheeky free-kick attempt by Williams from near the halfway line, although the midfielder could not find the target.


Half Time

Accrington Stanley 0

Portsmouth 1


The visitors picked up where they left off following the restart and Stanley were relieved to see the ball land safe when Savin parried an angled Hackett drive.

But the home side were level on 50 minutes after Gavin Bazunu had dived to his left to keep out Sean McConville’s strike.

The Accrington midfielder took the resulting corner and the ball was nodded on by Ross Sykes for Pell to head home from close range.

It might have got worse for the Blues, as a Hamilton effort took a big deflection off Brown and had to be dealt with Bazunu.

And Sean Raggett then suddenly appeared from nowhere to make a superb block to repel Bishop’s shot.

Pompey then went close to scoring themselves, as Savin raced from his area to deal with Bazunu’s long ball, only to swipe at thin air.

Curtis dispossessed the keeper and saw off Yeboah Amankwah’s challenge before hitting a shot from outside the box.

It appeared to be heading for the net, but Butcher got back and managed to clear the ball against the post and out to safety.

Pompey were certainly doing their best to retake the lead and Marquis rolled a shot past the post before Savin denied Harness.

Harness went close again on 69 minutes, but Sykes flung himself in the path of the ball to divert it behind.

And yet it was Stanley who went ahead for first time from a long Savin punt, with McConville playing in Butcher for a neat lobbed finish over Bazunu.

Louis Thompson immediately replaced Williams and there was a quick chance for the Blues to draw level.

Morrell’s pass found Marquis in the box, but the striker was unable to slide his shot past Savin, who saved with his foot.

A double substitution followed as Cowley made his final throw of the dice, with Morrell and Hackett making way for Tunnicliffe and Michael Jacobs.

The latter was soon involved in Pompey’s leveller on 86 minutes after combining with Marquis on the left.

Pompey’s hard-working striker sent the ball across the face of goal, where HARNESS was in space to fire home from close range.

There was still time for more late drama, but neither side were able to score again and had to settle for a point each.

Accrington (3-5-1-1): Savin; Amankwah, Nottingham, Sherring (Sykes 19); Butcher, Hamilton, Conneely (c), Morgan, McConville; Pell; Bishop
Goals: Pell 50, Butcher 77
Booked: Sykes, Hamilton
Subs not used: Trafford, O’Sullivan, Leigh, Nolan, Mansell, Malcolm

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie, Brown (c); Morrell (Tunnicliffe 84), Williams (Thompson 78); Hackett (Jacobs 84), Harness, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 18, Harness 86
Booked: Raggett, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Azeez, Hirst

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 2,889 (892 Pompey fans)

Sep 252021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


A League 1
Charlton Athletic 2
Portsmouth 2


FORM GUIDE

DRAWN DRAWN LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON WON LOST

Pompey twice let a lead slip and were forced to settle for a point against Charlton, despite a largely impressive performance at The Valley.

Ronan Curtis had given them an early advantage with an excellent strike and it was a dominant display before the break.

The hosts were better in the second period, however, and substitute Sean Clare levelled before Harness hit back for the Blues.

But with time running out, another replacement struck for the Addicks, with Josh Davison ensuring the spoils would be shared.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that dramatically drew with Plymouth on home soil earlier in the week.

It meant that Sean Raggett made his 100th appearance for the club, flanked by Shaun Williams and Kieron Freeman in a back three.

Former Pompey players Craig MacGillivray, Jason Pearce and Jayden Stockley all started for the hosts, while Stephen Henderson was on the bench.

The visitors came charging out of the blocks and it came as no surprise to see them break the deadlock on six minutes.

It was a fine goal from CURTIS, who collected a pass from Mahlon Romeo and sent a shot dipping over MacGillivray and underneath the crossbar.

Charlton almost hit back immediately when Elliot Lee raced onto Jonathan Leko’s pass and fired in a low effort that hit the inside of Gavin Bazunu’s leg and flew narrowly past the post.

The Blues were the team in control, though, and the home support were growing increasingly frustrated at the way their side were being cut through.

Manager Nigel Adkins was the focus of their ire, while his Southampton connections ensured the travelling fans also offered plenty of stick.

Only some fine defending from Pearce and Adam Matthews prevented Harness and Marquis respectively from testing MacGillivray.

The lead should have been doubled on 19 minutes when Harness found Marquis unmarked in the box.

He took a poor first touch, however, and despite recovering to get a shot away, could only screw the ball wide.

Pompey were showcasing some neat passing football and looking capable of adding to their slender lead.

But the Addicks finally enjoyed some joy going forward towards the end of the first half and Bazunu had to adjust his feet to deal with a swerving Leko strike.

Alex Gilbey then surged forward and swapped passes with Leko before hitting a low effort that Bazunu kept out with his leg.

The visitors had the final say before the break, though, and Marquis flicked a Ryan Tunnicliffe delivery narrowly wide.


Half Time

Charlton Athletic 0

Portsmouth 1


While Pompey had started the first half in impressive fashion, it was their opponents who were brighter straight after the restart.

Raggett conceded a free-kick to the right of the box and the free-kick was cut back by Lee for Clare – who had been on the pitch for a matter of seconds – to slot home the equaliser.

The Blues looked to build again, although Curtis could not repeat his earlier magic after finding space to run into and dragged a shot wide.

And the Addicks were still looking threatening at the other end, with Lee’s strike forcing Bazunu into action.

Lee Brown had tried to halt that attack with a cynical foul on Clare and referee Antony Coggins went back to book the skipper.

It was then Pompey’s turn to challenge, although Curtis’ cross was just behind Romeo, whose header lacked the power to properly trouble MacGillivray.

The action was continuing to switch from one side of the pitch to the other and a Charlton corner almost led to the visitors retaking the lead.

Curtis broke quickly up the pitch and slipped in Harness and he tried to find Marquis in the middle, but Clare slid in to make a crucial interception.

They did go back into the lead on 72 minutes, however, as Tunnicliffe’s pass was neatly flicked on by Marquis for HARNESS to confidently slide into the net.

Pompey set about trying to wrap things up and MacGillivray was called into action twice in quick succession to deal with shots from Harness and Marquis.

A change soon followed from Cowley, with Reeco Hackett-Fairchild coming on against his former club in place of Harness.

And another switch came along moments later, as George Hirst replaced the tireless Marquis up front.

But Charlton hit back in the closing stages, with two of their substitutes combining to find another equaliser.

Corey Blackett-Taylor escaped down the right and squared the ball for the onrushing Davison to slam home from close range and deny the Blues a win.

Charlton (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Matthews, Lavelle, Pearce (c), Souare; Watson; Leko, Arter (Clare 46), Gilbey, Lee (Blackett-Taylor 82); Stockley (Davison 82)
Goals: Clare 47, Davison 87
Booked: Souare, Clare
Subs not used: Henderson, Famewa, Dobson, Kirk

Pompey (3-4-3): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Williams; Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Morrell, Brown (c); Harness (Hackett-Fairchild 78), Marquis (Hirst 82), Curtis
Goals: Curtis 6, Harness 72
Booked: Brown, Raggett
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Thompson, Azeez, Harrison

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 16,278 (2,995 Pompey fans)

Sep 182021
 

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022


H League 1
Portsmouth 1
Cambridge United 2


FORM GUIDE

LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON WON LOST WON

Pompey’s Fratton homecoming ended in disappointment, as they slipped to a third successive League One defeat by losing to Cambridge.

The home side were unable to make the most of their overall control of proceedings and trailed at the break to Joe Ironside’s header.

Liam O’Neil doubled United’s advantage after the break and a fine strike from Ronan Curtis was not enough for the Blues.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at MK Dons the previous week.

Miguel Azeez was handed his debut, while Mahlon Romeo made his Fratton bow and there were also starts for Ellis Harrison, Ronan Curtis and Paul Downing.

The latter replaced injured skipper Clark Robertson – with Lee Brown taking the armband – while Reeco-Hackett Fairchild, John Marquis, Joe Morrell and Kieron Freeman dropped to the bench.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Fratton academy graduate Adam May starting in midfield.

It was a familiar story once the action got underway, as Pompey dominated possession without really testing Dimitar Mitov between the sticks.

In fairness, the visitors defended resolutely and the keeper did come off his line to collect some dangerous deliveries.

One dangerous move saw the Blues break quickly forward from a Cambridge corner, but Harrison was tackled inside the box after good work from Azeez and Marcus Harness.

Conor Masterson also made a key headed clearance when Brown tried to pick out Harrison at the back post.

It was one-way traffic, with Pompey showcasing some neat passing play as they sought a breakthrough.

But Cambridge went ahead against the run of play on 38 minutes, as Ironside hung in the air to meet George Williams’ cross, sending a header looping over Gavin Bazunu and into the net.

And they might have had a second before the break, with Bazunu getting down to deal with a long-range drive from May.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Cambridge United 1


The visitors appeared more than happy to sit back deep inside their own half when the action restarted.

It meant that Pompey had the freedom of most of the pitch, but getting inside the final third continued to prove problematic.

One break did provide an opening, as Harness found Harrison who slid the ball across goal for the advancing Ryan Tunnicliffe, only for Mitov to get there first.

Cowley made a double switch just before the hour mark, with Harrison and Azeez withdrawn for Marquis and Louis Thompson.

But United were next to threaten when a May corner was met by Ironside and his header deflected behind off Romeo.

Pompey’s third and final switch saw George Hirst replace Downing, meaning Shaun Williams dropped back into defence.

Their hopes of taking something from the game were dealt a huge blow on 69 minutes, however, as Cambridge doubled their lead.

May’s corner was only cleared as far as O’Neil on the edge of the box and he hit a half-volley into the top corner.

Hirst went down in the box under pressure from two defenders moments later, but his penalty cries were ignored by referee Gavin Ward.

And the striker then saw a shot blocked inside the box, only for the Blues to score just a few seconds later.

The ball ran loose for CURTIS, who hit a fine strike into the net from a tight angle to give the home faithful renewed hope.

Now the search was on for an equaliser, but Hirst’s shot lacked power after a neat turn on the edge of the area and Mitov made a comfortable stop.

Tempers flared in the closing stages and a bout of shoving in front of the Milton End led to Brown and George Williams both being booked.

The crowd were also growing frustrated by some apparent play-acting from the visitors to use up time, with seven minutes added on by the officials.

Pompey tried to snatch a point, but the closest they came was when Sean Raggett headed over from a Harness free-kick.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): Bazunu; Romeo, Downing (Hirst 67), Raggett, Brown (c); Williams; Harness, Tunnicliffe, Azeez (Thompson 59), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 59)
Goals: Curtis 76
Booked: Williams, Brown, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Morrell, Hackett-Fairchild

Cambridge (4-1-4-1): Mitov; Williams, Jones, Masterson, Iredale; Digby (c); Tracey (Dunk 87), May, O’Neil, Brophy; Ironside (Smith 74)
Goals: Ironside 38, O’Neil 69
Booked: Tracey, Digby, Williams
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Okedina, Weir, Lankester, Knibbs

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 15,330 (544 away fans)

May 112021
 

Portsmouth FC


It seems that not only do Portsmouth players make us ashamed on the pitch it now seems they are incapable of behaving off it.

First we have Ronan Curtis posting a video of himself, Lee Brown and Tom Naylor celebrating the end of the season a few hours after their abject display against Accrington Stanley.

Then rumours spread of an incident outside the Astoria later that night, although the specific players have not been mentioned inside knowledge points once again to Curtis being the idiot. Portsmouth Football Club issued the following statement..

During the course of yesterday (May 10), Portsmouth Football Club were made aware of an incident that occurred outside Astoria nightclub on Sunday evening.

After liaising with the police and speaking to players who were present, we now have an understanding of what happened.

A member of the public did require medical treatment, but despite rumours to the contrary, nobody was, or has been, arrested and no allegations of assault have been made.

While footballers are entitled to enjoy themselves in their spare time, there are acceptable boundaries and it is clear, in this instance, that a line was crossed.

They fell below the standards expected of them as representatives of Portsmouth Football Club.

We have started an internal process with the players who were involved and they will be dealt with appropriately.

As far as I am concerned Ronan Curtis can just fuck off.

May 012021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


A League 1
AFC Wimbledon 1
Portsmouth 3


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN WON LOST LOST DRAWN LOST WON WON WON

Lee Brown was the unlikely goalscoring hero, as Pompey won at AFC Wimbledon to ensure that securing a play-off place is in their hands.

The defender – making his first appearance for three weeks after recovering from a hamstring problem – struck twice at the end of the first half.

He had only previously netted just once for the Blues, but his second goal in particular was a thing of beauty that would have been treasured by the most prolific of strikers.

The visitors had earlier fallen behind to Joe Pigott’s questionable goal, only for Ronan Curtis to immediately level.

And the Plough Lane result, coupled with Charlton dropping points at Accrington, means that Pompey head into their final fixture knowing that a win would be enough to extend their season.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that dramatically drew at Accrington earlier in the week.

Paul Downing was handed a first league start in more than 19 months, while there were also returns for Ryan Williams and a fit-again Brown.

Rasmus Nicolaisen, James Bolton and George Byers were the players to make way, with the trio all named among the substitutes.

Pompey almost took the lead in the opening minute following a neat move that was started by Curtis.

He found Tom Naylor, who in turn spread the ball out for Marcus Harness, but his delivery was a bit too powerful for Curtis and he fired over.

It was the home side who then started to look dangerous and Jack Rudoni scuffed wastefully wide after Sean Raggett could only clear a cross into his path.

The same player then drilled in a low shot and Craig MacGillivray got down well to his right to palm the ball behind.

But it was a moment of controversy that saw the Dons break the deadlock midway through the first half.

Pigott raced onto a powerful header forward from Ben Heneghan, but was in an offside position and the assistant raised his flag.

Referee Charles Breakspear decided the ball had flicked off Ben Close, however, and allowed the goal to stand, much to the visitors’ fury.

But they did not let their heads drop and levelled straight from the restart, with the in-form CURTIS on target.

Harness cut inside from the right and tried to find John Marquis in the centre, only for the ball to run across for the Republic of Ireland international to lash home.

AFC Wimbledon tried to restore their advantage and MacGillivray managed to divert Pigott’s angled effort behind.

It was Pompey who finished the half on top, though, and there were half-chances for Naylor and Marquis.

But it was an unlikely figure that scored twice right at the end of the first half to give them a commanding lead.

BROWN had only one Blues goal to his name, but collected the ball from Curtis on the overlap and fired into the bottom corner.

And it was an even more majestic finish from the left-back to give them a two-goal advantage at the interval.

BROWN stole possession from Ryan Longman on the left, collected the ball back from Curtis and hit a fine shot with the outside of his foot that crashed against the underside of the bar and into the net.


Half Time

AFC Wimbledon 1

Portsmouth 3


Pigott had a chance to reduce his team’s deficit following the restart, but nodded Cheye Alexnader’s cross wide at the back post.

Pompey were still passing the ball around nicely, though, as they continued to search for a route through the opposition defence.

And a great piece of perseverance created an opening for Harness on 57 minutes, with the winger flashing a shot inches past the post.

The visitors were enjoying plenty of possession in the Dons half and only a timely block denied Brown an unlikely treble.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and MacGillivray got down to his left when Pigott curled a free-kick towards the target.

The Blues were next to threaten, but Williams scuffed his attempt wide following great work from Harness on the right.

Both sides were guilty of some wasteful finishing, with Pigott and Alexander failing to get enough power on their efforts to trouble MacGillivray.

But the Dons were dealt a blow when Heneghan went down injured on 76 minutes and was unable to continue.

They had already used all three of their substitution slots and so had to play out the closing stages with just 10 men.

Harvey White came on for Curtis for the closing stages and soon had a chance to wrap up the three points.

Marquis raced clear on goal, but Nik Tzanev stuck out a hand to deny him and the striker instead picked out White, whose shot was deflected just wide.

But Pompey saw out the closing stages to claim a valuable win and results elsewhere ensured that Wimbledon could celebrate survival.

AFC Wimbledon (4-2-2-2): Tzanev; Alexander, Heneghan, Nightingale, Guinness-Walker; Woodyard (c), Dobson (Oksanen 62); Longman, Rudoni (McLoughlin 71); Pigott, Palmer (Assal 57)
Goals: Pigott 23
Booked: Pigott, Dobson, Alexander
Subs not used: Cox, O’Neill, Kalambayi, Harrison

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Downing, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close (Cannon 90+2); Harness (Byers 88), Curtis (White 84), Williams; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 24, Brown 45, 45+4
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Ward, Bolton, Nicolaisen, Daniels

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Apr 242021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


H League 1
Portsmouth 1
Bristol Rovers 0


FORM GUIDE

WON LOST LOST DRAWN LOST WON WON WON WON LOST

Ronan Curtis scored the only goal of the game as Pompey beat Bristol Rovers to revive their play-off hopes.

The result at a sunny Fratton Park also ended the visitors’ slim hopes of avoiding relegation to League Two.

It was midway through the first half when the key moment arrived, as Curtis completed a fine move with a neat finish.

Danny Cowley made a single change from the side that were beaten on the road at Swindon earlier in the week.

Charlie Daniels dropped to the bench to make way for George Byers, as Pompey switched to a 3-4-3 system.

Callum Johnson joined Sean Raggett and Rasmus Nicolaisen in the back-line, with Ryan Williams and Marcus Harness out wide.

Byers and Curtis were positioned either side of leading marksman John Marquis, who was making his 100th appearance for the club.

The game began at a frenetic pace, with both sides flying into challenges and looking to get forward when possible.

But there were few clear-cut chances to speak of and it took a while for the hosts to gain control of proceedings.

They soon began passing the ball around neatly on a carpet of a pitch, with Byers and Ben Close looking particularly pleasing in possession.

It was the visitors who were first to properly threaten, though, as Alex Rodman got past Nicolaisen and tried an angled shot that Craig MacGillivray got his fingertips to.

But Pompey broke the deadlock moments later, with a nice move that started with the keeper rolling the ball out to Close.

He then found CURTIS, who received a delightful return pass from Byers before expertly bending a shot into the bottom corner.

Nicolaisen came close to doubling the lead, rising highest to meet a Close free-kick and sending a header narrowly past the post.

Pompey were looking pretty much in control, but Rovers had a chance to level just before the interval.

A free-kick was not properly dealt and Rodman nodded the ball towards the line, with Raggett able to scramble it clear.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Bristol Rovers 0


The visitors looked to attack right from kick-off and a fierce long-range strike from Luke McCormick was gathered at the second attempt by MacGillivray.

A nice pass from Tom Naylor then found Williams on the left and Anssi Jaakkola did well to claim the Australian’s cross, with Marquis ready to pounce.

Rovers – who had nothing really to lose – were certainly posing more of a threat as the second half progressed.

But the back three were holding their own and denying the opposition forward line a clear sight of MacGillivray’s goal.

Cowley made a change just past the hour mark, with Andy Cannon – who has been nursing a back problem – replacing Close.

Pompey began to take control again, with Byers, Harness and Marquis all seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.

Another change saw the impressive Byers make way for Harvey White, with Cowley looking for some fresh energy.

Daniels and James Bolton then came on for Williams and Harness to shore up the wing-back positions.

A superb long pass from White picked out Curtis in space on 80 minutes, but the Republic of Ireland international could not find the target with a curling shot.

And Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to claim the three points that boosts their hopes of a top six finish.

Pompey (3-4-3): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen; Harness (Bolton 77), Close (Cannon 63), Naylor (c), Williams (Daniels 77); Byers (White 70), Marquis, Curtis
Goals: Curtis 27
Subs not used: Ward, Downing, Stanley

Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Jaakkola; Williams, Kilgour (Hare 84), Baldwin, Leahy (c); Rodman (Hargreaves 75), Martinez (Little 84), McCormick, Westbrooke (Oztumer 59); Hanlan, Daly (Walker 75)
Subs not used: Day, Tutonda

Referee: Thomas Bramall

Apr 202021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


A League 1
Swindon Town 3
Portsmouth 1


FORM GUIDE

LOST LOST DRAWN LOST WON WON WON WON LOST LOST

Pompey stumbled again in their hunt for a play-off spot, losing to bottom side Swindon at the County Ground.

Brett Pitman came back to haunt his former club with a goal in each half, the second coming from the penalty spot.

Ronan Curtis reduced the deficit and the Blues pressed for a leveller, only for Tyer Smith to wrap things up for the struggling Robins at the death.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at MK Dons at the weekend.

Ben Close recovered from a groin problem to replace Harvey White in the centre of midfield, while Rasmus Nicolaisen came in for Jack Whatmough – who begins a four-match ban – at the back.

It was a nervy start from the visitors, who looked nervy at the back and sloppy in possession during the opening stages.

But they had the first decent chance of the contest on 13 minutes, as Marcus Harness met Callum Johnson’s corner with a fine header that was turned over by Lee Camp.

Craig MacGillivray was soon called into action at the other end, getting down to his right to push clear a Scott Twine free-kick.

He could do nothing to prevent Swindon from breaking the deadlock moments later, though, after the Blues had lost possession.

Their opponents took advantage in clinical fashion, as Jack Payne laid the ball off for Pitman to lash into the net.

Pompey began to enjoy more possession as the half progressed, without really threatening to equalise.

One fine Johnson pass over the top played Marquis through and although the striker made a nice first touch, his second saw the ball run wastefully out of play.

A low Harness ball towards the striker at the back post was cut out by Anthony Grant, as the visitors finished the half on top.

But the Robins dealt with a couple of Charlie Daniels corners to ensure they would go in ahead at the interval.


Half Time

Swindon Town 1

Portsmouth 0


Pompey showed plenty of attacking intent once the action restarted, but were continuing to struggle in the final third.

Curtis – who was the most dangerous player going forward – flashed a shot wide, while another Daniels corner came to nothing.

They almost levelled on 55 minutes after Tom Naylor sent a perfectly timed lofted pass over the Robins back-line.

Marquis collected it well, but his shot was blocked by Dominic Thompson and Camp saved the follow-up from Harness.

Swindon went straight up the other end and came close to doubling their advantage, with MacGillivray coming to the rescue after Smith had squared the ball to Pitman.

And the home side did go further ahead just past the hour mark, with Daniels conceding a penalty for the second time in as many games.

He was booked for bundling over Smith, who had taken a heavy touch following fine work from Pitman.

Referee Ben Toner pointed to the spot and Pitman made no mistake, slamming the ball right into the bottom corner.

Pompey were trying to fight back and a fizzing strike from Curtis had to be palmed behind by Camp after Ben Close had laid the ball into his path.

George Byers then came on for Daniels, with skipper Naylor dropping into a three-man defensive line, while Sean Raggett soon made way for James Bolton.

Andy Cannon also replaced Ben Close for the closing stages, as the visitors continued to control possession.

And they had a lifeline on 82 minutes, as CURTIS controlled a threaded Marquis pass and bundled the ball home.

They came close to a leveller seconds later, with Byers playing a neat one-two with Curtis and drawing a smart stop from Camp.

Cannon was next to go close, with a low drive that crept inches past the post, as the Blues increased the pressure.

But Swindon wrapped things up in stoppage-time, as Smith stole possession, advanced forwards and neatly found the bottom corner.

Swindon (4-4-2): Camp; Garrick, A.Grant, Grounds, Thompson; Payne, Palmer, Missilou (Hope 79), Twine; Pitman (c) (Broadbent 90), Smith
Goals: Pitman 17, 61 (pen), Smith 90+1
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Matthews, Baudry, Curran, Omotoye, J.Grant

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett (Bolton 74), Nicolaisen, Daniels (Byers 70); Naylor (c), Close (Cannon 81); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 82
Booked: Daniels, Nicolaisen, Cannon
Subs not used: Ward, Downing, White, Stanley

Referee: Ben Toner

Apr 022021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Rochdale 1


FORM GUIDE

WON WON WON LOST LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON

Pompey continued their winning start under Danny Cowley by beating League One’s bottom side Rochdale at Fratton Park.

The damage was done before the break, with Ronan Curtis’ neat finish adding to an early Ryan Williams opener.

Some neat possession play ensured that the visitors were unable to really get into the game and although they had a few moments late on, Craig MacGillivray was rarely troubled.

Jake Beesley did score for Dale deep into stoppage-time, but it proved to be no more than a consolation.

Cowley made one enforced change from the side that had won at Shrewsbury the previous week.

With John Marquis starting a three-match ban, Curtis – back from international duty – took his place up front.

It meant that former Rochdale midfielder Andy Cannon had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

The sun was shining on the south coast and the hosts were basking underneath the blue skies as they took an early lead.

Marcus Harness got into the area and sent a low ball towards the far post, where WILLIAMS was waiting to bundle over the line.

Pompey were passing the ball patiently around the pitch and looking to find another goal, with Harness causing problems with his jinking runs.

It was Michael Jacobs who should have doubled the advantage on 19 minutes, however, scuffing his shot narrowly past the post after being played through by Curtis.

He tried again with an acrobatic effort from a Callum Johnson cross, but was unable to guide the ball on target.

Pompey did have a cushion towards the end of the half, though, as their dominance in possession paid off.

CURTIS collected a pass from Jacobs and advanced into the box before angling a precise low strike right into the bottom corner.

Gavin Bazunu was then alert to gather the ball after Harness had been found by Williams and tried to pick out Curtis.

Rochdale had barely threatened, but a long kick from their keeper sent Beesley through on goal in stoppage-time.

MacGillivray was off his line to deny the forward, however, and Sean Raggett hooked clear the loose ball.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Rochdale 0


Pompey did not abandon their passing principles once the action restarted and a nice move down the right provided another opening.

Harness swapped passes with Johnson and found Curtis, whose ball into the middle could not quite be flicked home by Williams.

Lee Brown then picked up possession and his cross-shot was gathered by Bazunu, as Rochdale held on.

The Blues were still controlling both possession and territory, with their opponents causing very few problems.

Bazunu was not having much to deal with at the other end, but the hosts’ healthy lead meant that was not causing much concern.

Cowley freshened things up on 65 minutes, with Tottenham loanee Harvey White coming on for Jacobs.

Rochdale did begin to look a bit more threatening as the contest neared its conclusion and Johnson did well to stop Kwadwo Baah getting a shot away.

The lively Harness made way for Cannon for the closing stages, with Pompey shoring up their midfield.

Charlie Daniels also came on for the tidy Ben Close, as the Blues seemed to be comfortably seeing out the final few moments.

But there were a few nerves when Beesley turned home Alex Newby’s low cross in stoppage-time before the final whistle blew and Pompey could celebrate a third straight win.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close (Daniels 87); Harness (Cannon 82), Williams, Jacobs (White 65); Curtis
Goals: Williams 5, Curtis 37
Booked: Williams
Subs not used: Ward, Bolton, Nicolaisen, Byers

Rochdale (3-5-2): Bazunu; O’Connell (c), McShane (Roberts 53), Osho; Keohane (Newby 82), Shaughnessy (Dooley 68), Rathbone, Grant (Morley 53), Done; Beesley, Baah
Goals: Beesley 90+3
Booked: Keohane
Subs not used: Lynch, McNulty, Hopper

Referee: Lee Swabey

Feb 092021
 

Portsmouth FC 2020/2021


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Swindon Town 0


FORM GUIDE

WON DRAWN WON LOST LOST WON WON LOST LOST WON

Pompey got their Fratton form back on track by easing to victory against struggling Swindon at a freezing Fratton Park.

It looked as though the floodgates might open once Ronan Curtis gave the hosts an early lead on a bitterly cold night.

But they had to wait until the second half to wrap things up, with substitute Ellis Harrison converting a penalty.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that secured a dramatic draw with Plymouth at the weekend.

Curtis was rewarded for his goal from the bench by being handed a start in place of the injured Michael Jacobs.

Ryan Williams also returned to the team, with Harrison dropping to the bench, where he was joined by fellow forward Jordy Hiwula.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, as prolific striker Brett Pitman led the line for the Robins.

Pompey came charging out of the blocks and their opponents struggled to even make it out of their own half in the opening stages.

The first decent opportunity was a fierce angled effort from Curtis that had to be beaten away by Mark Travers at the keeper’s near post.

But CURTIS did break the deadlock just a few moments later, getting ahead of Dominic Thompson to fire home after Charlie Daniels’ free-kick had been flicked on by John Marquis.

It had been pretty much one-way traffic, but the hosts failed to capitalise on that bright opening, with the contest quickly turning stale.

The chances that did arrive in the remainder of the first half mainly fell the way of the Blues, however, with Craig MacGillivray not having much action to warm him up.

Williams was proving a particular menace and most of the hosts’ good work came through the Australian forward.

But it was Andy Cannon who came close to doubling the lead on 20 minutes, courtesy of a stunning half-volley that Travers tipped over the bar.

Then, when a low delivery from Williams went just behind Curtis, the ball was picked up by Daniels, whose drilled effort was dealt with by the Robins keeper.

There was one moment of Swindon danger, as Pitman’s pass was laid off by Christopher Missilou, but Jack Payne’s strike was deflected behind off James Bolton.

It was the hosts who had the final say before the break, however, as Williams teed-up Curtis for a shot that was diverted narrowly past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Swindon Town 0


Swindon looked bright in the middle of the pitch once the action restarted, but Pitman was cutting a frustrated figure as he was starved of service up front.

And it was still the hosts looking more likely to add to the scoring, with Dion Conroy doing just enough to put off Marquis and stop the striker converting a fine Curtis delivery.

But failure to clear their lines almost cost them just before the hour mark, as Missilou’s placed effort clipped the outside of the post with MacGillivray rooted to the spot.

Jackett quickly made a double change, with Marquis and Marcus Harness withdrawn for Harrison and George Byers.

And both of the newcomers played a key role in Pompey’s second goal on 64 minutes, with Byers slotting a fine pass through to Williams.

He got the wrong side of Thompson, who brought down the Aussie, with referee Christopher Pollard pointing straight to the spot.

HARRISON won the argument with Curtis over who should take the penalty and calmly rolled the ball straight down the middle to double the lead.

Another substitution soon followed for the Blues, with Daniels given a rest and Lee Brown on at left-back.

It was proving to be a useful cameo from Byers and his effort was deflected wide following some good link-up play with Curtis and Harrison.

But that was as close as Pompey came to extending their advantage, as they saw out the closing stages with relative ease to collect a valuable three points.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Bolton, Raggett, Daniels (Brown 67); Harness (Byers 59), Naylor (c), Cannon (White 90+3), Curtis; Williams; Marquis (Harrison 59)
Goals: Curtis 8, Harrison 64 (pen)
Subs not used: Ward, Mnoga, Hiwula

Swindon (4-1-4-1): Travers; Hunt (Caddis 78), Odimayo, Conroy (c), Thompson; Missilou; Garrick, Palmer, Payne (Twine 83), Hope (Omotoye 78); Pitman
Booked: Payne
Subs not used: Matthews, Curran, Broadbent, Iandolo

Referee: Christopher Pollard