Mar 052022

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022

H League 1
Portsmouth 4
Accrington Stanley 0



Pompey maintained their run of fine form by thrashing Accrington at Fratton Park – despite playing much of the contest with just 10 men.

George Hirst had provided an early lead, but the afternoon threatened to unravel when Marcus Harness was dismissed midway through the first half.

Instead, however, the Blues merely stepped up their performance and Sean Raggett’s header gave them a healthy advantage at the break.

Stanley tried their best to battle back, but further goals from Hirst and the impressive Ryan Tunnicliffe wrapped up a comfortable victory.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that fought from behind to beat Oxford on home soil earlier in the week.

Tunnicliffe and skipper Clark Robertson both returned to the starting line-up, as Joe Morrell and Denver Hume dropped to the bench.

The visitors almost enjoyed a perfect start, as a long-range effort from Josh Woods dipped narrowly over the crossbar.

A corner routine then saw Tunnicliffe send in a fine delivery, but Accrington had too many bodies back for a shot to get through to test Toby Savin.

But the breakthrough did arrive for the Blues on 16 minutes after a quick counter from a Stanley corner.

Mahlon Romeo combined well with Harness on the right and cut the ball back for HIRST to divert into the bottom corner.

It quickly went from ecstasy to agony for the Fratton faithful, though, as they were reduced to 10 men.

Harness made a reckless two-footed challenge from behind on Ross Sykes and referee Carl Brook immediately reached for his back pocket to show a red card.

Pompey were still looking to attack despite that setback and it took a fine sliding challenge from Michael Nottingham to prevent Hirst getting a shot away.

But a second goal did arrive from the resulting corner, as RAGGETT rose above Sykes to emphatically convert a Tunnicliffe cross.

Accrington tried their best to get back into the contest, but the hosts were defending resolutely, with one fine interception from Hayden Carter drawing warm applause.

There were a couple of nervy moments late in the half, however, and Gavin Bazunu twice had to come to the rescue.

He got down quickly to deal with a low Woods drive and then made an even better stop to deny Rosaire Longelo, who had been left in far too much space from a corner.

Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Accrington Stanley 0

The home side were fuming soon after the restart, when Harry Pell – who had been brought off the bench – scythed down Louis Thompson.

He was only shown a yellow card for the challenge, with Pompey players understandably pointing out the official’s earlier punishment for Harness.

The boos turned to cheers on 56 minutes, though, as the hosts extended their advantage even further.

It was similar to the second goal, with HIRST this time the man to barge past Sykes and emphatically convert a Tunnicliffe corner.

Pompey’s set-pieces were causing plenty of problems and another Tunnicliffe flag-kick was unconvincingly palmed away by Savin.

Accrington were trying to cause threats of their own and Pell’s looping header had to be tipped over by Bazunu.

They went even closer from the resulting corner, as Sykes’ effort was blocked and the ball pinged around the box before being fired wide.

But, incredibly, it was the Blues who scored again on 69 minutes and it was all down to some great play from Aiden O’Brien.

He picked up the ball inside his own half and ran up the pitch, bursting between Sykes and Ethan Hamilton before cutting back for TUNNICLIFFE to fire home.

Cowley used his bench to bring some fresh legs on, as Thompson and Hirst made way for Morrell and Tyler Walker.

And there was even time for Jay Mingi to come on for his debut in place of O’Brien, who has already become a fans’ favourite on the south coast.

Accrington saw plenty of the ball during the closing stages, but the Blues remained resolute to add a clean sheet to their three points.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Carter, Raggett, Robertson (c); Romeo, Tunnicliffe, Thompson (Morrell 72), Ogilvie; Harness; O’Brien (Mingi 78), Hirst (Walker 73)
Goals: Hirst 16, 56, Raggett 28, Tunnicliffe 69
Sent off: Harness
Booked: Robertson, Romeo
Subs not used: Webber, Vincent, Hume, Jewitt-White

Accrington (3-4-1-2): Savin; Sykes, Nottingham, Amankwah (Longelo 34); Rodgers (Leigh 52), Conneely (c) (Pell 46), Butcher, McConville; Hamilton; Woods, Bishop
Booked: Pell, Nottingham
Subs not used: Isherwood, Rich-Baghuelou, Morgan, Adedoyin

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 15,091 (144 away fans)

Aug 172021

Portsmouth FC 2021/2022

H League 1
Portsmouth 1
Shrewsbury Town 0



Ryan Tunnicliffe struck after just 120 seconds to see off Shrewsbury and secure a third successive League One victory for Pompey.

The midfielder had already provided three assists in the first couple of games, but managed to open his account at the Milton End to send the hosts to the summit.

There was a welcome return to Fratton Park for Shrews boss Steve Cotterill following his spell in intensive care with Covid-19 last term.

And his side certainly provided tough opposition, but could not find a way through to seriously test Gavin Bazunu between the sticks.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that had played so well in their victory over Crewe at the weekend.

The ground was noticeably fuller than the weekend and the crowd were in fine voice when the action got underway.

But some had barely settled into their seats by the time the deadlock was broken after just 120 seconds.

The visitors struggled to deal with some nice passing play between Marcus Harness and TUNNICLIFFE, with the latter neatly slotting the ball into the bottom corner.

Shrewsbury had an instant chance to level, with Bazunu getting down to his left to deny Elliott Bennett and Tom Bloxham blazing the loose ball over.

It was an entertaining contest and a mis-hit forward pass from Tunnicliffe almost looped over Shrews keeper Marko Maroši, who just about managed to pluck it from the air.

A long-range effort from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild was then deflected wide after the young forward had been teed-up by a neat Harness flick.

But it was certainly not one-way traffic and the visitors enjoyed plenty of joy going forward, without being able to test Bazunu.

A Shaun Williams corner caused problems at the other end, but a touch in the box from Clark Robertson allowed Matthew Pennington to make a vital block.

Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Shrewsbury Town 0

There were two changes before the action restarted, with Harness not emerging from the tunnel and being replaced by Gassan Ahadme.

Robertson initially came out onto the pitch, but was withdrawn for Connor Ogilvie, suggesting he might have picked up a knock.

It was the visitors that made the stronger start to the half, with Bazunu getting down to tip Luke Leahy’s bobbling effort around the post.

And the wide player then hit a dangerous delivery across the face of goal that none of his team-mates could connect with.

Ronan Curtis sent a superb cross into the box at the other end and it deserved a converting touch, but Hackett-Fairchild could not quite get there at the back post.

Both sides were looking capable of adding to the scoring and Bazunu was soon called into action to deal with a Josh Vela drive from the edge of the box.

Pennington then bravely put his head in front of Gassan to deal with a Hackett-Fairchild centre, with both players getting nasty cuts in the process.

Hackett-Fairchild had a chance to double the hosts’ lead when the action restarted, but dragged his shot wide after the ball was laid off by Gassan.

Shrewsbury poured forward in the closing stages, though, and almost had a leveller, only for Aaron Pierre’s firm header to be kept out by Bazunu.

The visitors were buoyed by a display of eight additional minutes, but the Blues saw them out to claim top spot.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Robertson (c) (Ogilvie 46), Brown; Tunnicliffe, Williams; Harness (Gassan 46), Hackett-Fairchild, Curtis; Marquis (Harrison 90+4)
Goals: Tunnicliffe 3
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Morrell, Jacobs, Hirst

Shrewsbury (4-2-3-1): Maroši; Daniels (Ogbeta 84), Pennington, Pierre, Nurse; Bennett (c), Vela; Bloxham (Pyke 62), Udoh, Leahy; Cosgrove
Booked: Vela
Subs not used: Burgoyne, Gregory, Davis, Caton

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 14,471 (259 away fans)

Jun 262021

Portsmouth FC Transfers Career Stats

Ryan Tunnicliffe

(Free Agent)

Pompey have completed the signing of 28-year-old midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe.

He has put pen to paper on a two-year deal – with the club holding an option for a further 12 months – after leaving Luton.

Tunnicliffe progressed through the ranks at Old Trafford and made a couple of senior appearances for the Red Devils.

He had several spells out on loan before signing for Fulham and briefly featuring for them in the Premier League.

Millwall was his next stop in the summer of 2017, with Tunnicliffe spending two years at The Den and then moving to Luton.

He made a total of 68 appearances in two years with the Hatters, helping to establish them in the second tier of English football.