Jan 202018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Rotherham United    1

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


Pompey were cruelly denied a point at Rotherham after conceding a goal in stoppage-time.

It looked like they had done enough to secure a draw after surviving plenty of second half pressure.

But two of their former players combined for the Millers’ late winner, with Michael Smith teeing-up Joe Mattock for a headed finish.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Scunthorpe on home soil the previous week.

Sylvain Deslandes was handed a debut at left-back, while Matty Kennedy also returned, as Oli Hawkins and Connor Ronan dropped to the bench.

Jackett was facing the club where he had a short spell as manager last term, while former Blues boss Richie Barker was in the opposition dug-out.

The ball was a regular visitor to both ends of the pitch in the early stages, although a lack of quality in the final third meant a goal did not appear likely.

Dion Donohue – in a natural midfield role – made a block to deny Will Vaulks, while Kal Naismith sent a volley wildly over the bar after meeting Kennedy’s cross.

A fierce effort from Jamal Lowe was on target, although it was straight at Marek Rodak and the Millers keeper made a comfortable save.

Pompey did look bright following a quick break up the pitch on 13 minutes, as Deslandes collected the ball from Ben Close on the overlap, only for his cross to be just too high for Naismith.

And a Donohue free-kick that was flighted into the box somehow evaded both Christian Burgess and Matt Clarke as the defensive duo dashed in at the far post.

Both sides then had decent chances to break the deadlock in the space of a few minutes – with the Blues first to threaten.

Lowe chipped a pass up to Brett Pitman and the skipper tried to deftly flick the ball home, but he did not get enough on his header and it flew safely into Rodak’s arms.

David Ball soon had a dig for Rotherham at the other end, with his curling effort taking a slight deflection and sailing narrowly over the bar.

There were certainly not too many clear-cut attempts, though, with the home fans growing frustrated by some wasteful finishing.

Donohue had one last effort before the break and although his drive took a deflection off Vaulks, it was not enough to deceive Rodak.


Half Time

Rotherham United 0

Portsmouth 0


The first half had drifted towards a conclusion, but Rotherham came charging from the blocks at the start of the second.

First, Luke McGee had to leap on the ball when Ryan Williams’ delivery was turned back into the centre by Richie Towell.

A series of corners then caused chaos in the Blues box, with the Millers going closest to scoring from the first of them.

Richard Wood’s header was blocked in a crowded box and Nathan Thompson then charged down Vaulks’ follow-up effort.

Another flag-kick was soon sent back into the danger zone, though, and this time an unmarked Wood skewed wide.

But Pompey then had an opportunity of their own, with a commanding Rodak punch preventing Naismith from converting Lowe’s cross.

Jackett made a double switch on 66 minutes, with Pitman and Deslandes withdrawn for Hawkins and Ronan.

Smith soon worked his way into the Blues box, but Burgess was there to make a block and deny his former team-mate.

Corners were certainly proving a problem for Pompey and when one was met by Smith, the ball pinged around the area before eventually being hacked to safety.

Another soon followed and it was Thompson to the rescue once more, with the defender throwing himself in front of Semi Ajayi’s effort.

Rotherham applied more pressure as the seconds ticked down, but the visitors were holding firm at the back.

They might have even snatched victory late on when the ball fell to Lowe on the edge of the box, but his effort flew over.

Instead it was the Millers celebrating a late goal, as Smith crossed from the right and Mattock rose to head home at the far post.

Rotherham (4-2-3-1): Rodak; Emmanuel, Ajayi, Wood (c), Mattock; Forde (Taylor 83), Vaulks; Towell, Yates (Smith 65), Williams (Newell 65); Ball
Goals: Mattock 90+1
Booked: Emmanuel
Subs not used: Price, Ihiekwe, Cummings, Clarke-Harris

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Deslandes (Ronan 66); Close, Donohue; Lowe, Naismith, Kennedy; Pitman (c) (Hawkins 66)
Subs not used: Bass, Widdrington, May, Bennett, Chaplin

Referee: Robert Jones

Attendance: 9,129 (1,471 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 032017
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 0    1 Rotherham United

Pompey suffered their first home defeat since March, as Rotherham left Fratton Park with all three points.

Jon Taylor netted the only goal during the first half of a televised contest that improved as it went on.

The Blues were much better after the break, but were unable to convert any of the numerous chances they carved out.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew at Wigan the previous week.

He handed debuts to Stuart O’Keefe and Oliver Hawkins, while fellow deadline day signings Damien McCrory and Matty Kennedy had to be content with a place on the bench.

Matt Clarke returned from the groin injury that had kept him sidelined since pre-season and there was also a start for Conor Chaplin.

That saw a switch to a 3-4-1-2 system, with Brandon Haunstrup and Jamal Lowe occupying the wide roles, and skipper Brett Pitman playing behind Chaplin and Hawkins.

The rain was falling heavily when the game got underway and the action on the pitch was doing little to brighten the mood.

It was a fairly lethargic opening to proceedings, with both sides struggling to keep hold of the ball, perhaps hindered by the wet conditions.

The first chance fell for the hosts, though, and Pitman ran at the Rotherham defence, beat his man and fired narrowly over the bar.

But the Millers soon threatened themselves, with Michael Ihiekwe failing to find the target before O’Keefe bravely blocked Lee Frecklington’s effort.

Kieffer Moore than tried his luck from the edge of the box, but could not make a clean connection and the ball bobbled safely into Luke McGee’s arms.

There were not too many clear-cut openings, but the Blues did have opportunites to break the deadlock.

Haunstrup saw a shot deflected past the post after meeting Adam May’s delivery, while Hawkins’ long-range attempt only flew narrowly wide.

Instead it was Rotherham who took the lead on 36 minutes, as Taylor latched onto a ball down the right and lashed home a powerful strike.

Pompey immediately set about trying to find a leveller and Clarke failed to divert Chaplin’s corner on target.

A superb cross Haunstrup cross from wide on the left was then headed over by Lowe, as the hosts went in behind at the break.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Rotherham Untied 1


Jackett made a change of personnel and system for the start of the second half, with a return to four at the back.

Jack Whatmough and Chaplin both failed to emerge from the tunnel and were replaced by debutants Nathan Thompson and Kennedy.

And the latter made in instant impression with a cross that Millers keeper Richard O’Donnell could not get to.

The ball landed at the feet of Lowe at the far post and he took a touch before sending in a low drive that was deflected behind.

Pompey fans were baying for a penalty when Hawkins took a boot to the face on 57 minutes, although referee Gavin Ward was not interested.

There was then a lighter moment just past the mark, as Pitman and Kennedy both tried to keep the ball in play and the former ended up taking out the latter!

The hosts were looking much more dangerous than before the break and when a bandaged Hawkins met May’s free-kick, his header had to be cleared from the line by Darren Potter.

Jackett made a final throw of the dice on 70 minutes, with Hawkins given a generous ovation as he made way for Kal Naismith.

But the Scottish forward was getting patched up on the sidelines following a challenge with O’Donnell when the Blues came close to levelling on 79 minutes.

It was a dangerous low ball into the box from a slightly out-of-position Clarke, but a stretching Lowe could not quite make a connection at the far post.

Pompey poured forward in the closing stages, which were played out almost entirely in Rotherham’s half.

And the display of six additional minutes gave the Fratton faithful hope of salvaging something, but the visitors held on for victory.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): McGee; Burgess, Whatmough (Thompson 46), Clarke; Lowe, May, O’Keefe, Haunstrup; Pitman (c); Chaplin (Kennedy 46), Hawkins (Naismith 70)
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, McCrory, Close, Donohue

Rotherham (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Cummings, Ihiekwe, Wood, Purrington; Potter, Vaulks; Williams (Forde 54), Frecklington (c) (Towell 90+1), Taylor (Newell 85); Moore
Goals: Taylor 36
Booked: Potter, Purrington, Vaulks
Subs not used: Bilboe, Ajayi, Clarke-Harris, Ball

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 17,118 (436 away fans)


Portsmouth FC