Jan 132018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    3

 


 

Scunthorpe United    0

 


Jamal Lowe celebrated his new contract with a goal, but Pompey had to settle for a 1-1 draw with play-off rivals Scunthorpe at Fratton Park.

Both sides looked bright before the break, although it was the hosts who led thanks to some inventive play from Lowe.

The Iron were more dominant in the second half, however, and Kevin van Veen grabbed a deserved leveller.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that exited the Checkatrade Trophy earlier in the week.

Top scorer Brett Pitman returned to lead the line, partnered by a fit-again Kal Naismith, who was making his first start for seven weeks.

There was also a system switch, with Oli Hawkins joining Matt Clarke and Christian Burgess in a three-man back-line.

That meant Nathan Thompson advanced into the centre of midfield, where he was joined by Ben Close and recent loan signing Connor Ronan.

Pompey took time to get used to the change in formation and looked a bit shaky at the back in the early stages.

Their opponents almost took advantage, with Luke McGee doing well to deny Tom Hopper and Lowe taking care of the loose ball.

But the hosts were lively at the other end and Ronan was especially bright as he attempted to thread passes through to the front two.

It was LOWE who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, though, stealing the ball off the foot of Josh Morris and finding the net from a tight angle with a shot that went in off the post.

The Iron were now shaky at the back and it took some desperate blocks to deny both Pitman and Naismith.

And the lead was almost doubled following a fine passing move involving more than half the side, with Pitman drilling a low effort narrowly past the post.

Scunthorpe were providing an attacking threat of their own, although McGee watched Funso Ojo’s attempt sail safely wide.

Their best opportunity to level came when Murray Wallace let fly from outside the box, but McGee was equal to the shot and punched the ball over the bar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Scunthorpe United 0


And the Iron also had a great chance just after the restart when Hopper cut the ball back for van Veen in the box.

The striker found himself in far too much space, only for Clarke to make a great recovery challenge to deny the visitors.

But there was nothing that Pompey could do to prevent Scunthorpe from drawing level on 53 minutes.

Hopper got free down the left and picked out van Veen in the box, with the Dutchman swivelling and firing home an unstoppable shot.

And it almost got even worse for the Blues, with McGee having to make a fine reaction save from point-blank range to deny Morris.

Pompey tried to make an impression at the other end and Charlie Goode’s slip let in Naismith, only for the defender to recover and make a key block.

Jackett made a double change to try to steady the ship, with Ronan and Dion Donohue making way for Matty Kennedy and Adam May.

That resulted in a change of system to 4-1-4-1, with Naismith and Kennedy out wide and Pitman playing as a lone striker.

And Naismith had a chance to score when Scunthorpe failed to deal with a corner, but saw his angled drive gathered by Rory Watson at the second attempt.

That proved to be the end of the chances, as the final few moments passed by with little goalmouth incident to provide any late drama.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): McGee; Hawkins, Burgess, Clarke; Lowe, Close, Thompson, Donohue (May 71); Ronan (Kennedy 71); Pitman (c), Naismith
Goals: Lowe 15
Booked: Clarke, Hawkins
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, Deslandes, Bennett, Chaplin

Scunthorpe (3-4-1-2): Watson; Goode, Burgess, Wallace (c); Holmes, Bishop, Ojo, Morris; Adelakun; van Veen, Hopper (Novak 84)
Goals: van Veen 53
Booked: Bishop, Adelakun
Subs not used: Kelsey, McArdle, Townsend, Sutton, McGeehan, Toney

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,741 (386 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Sep 232017
 

League One

2 – 0


Pompey’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they left Scunthorpe on the back of a 2-0 defeat.

The damage was done in the first half, with goals from Lee Novak and Duane Holmes giving the hosts a commanding lead.

It was a much more assured performance from the Blues after the break, but they did not really do enough to warrant any return for their efforts.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Fleetwood so convincingly at Fratton Park the previous week.

One was enforced, with Damien McCrory’s knee injury affording Dion Donohue a chance at left-back.

The other switch was up front, with Conor Chaplin dropping to the bench to be replaced by Oliver Hawkins.

Just 12 goals had been scored in Scunthorpe’s preceding eight league games and a barren contest looked likely following a cagey opening.

But it was the hosts that were quickest to settle and Paddy Madden flashed an angled drive narrowly past the post.

Pompey then had their first sighter, although Brett Pitman’s cleanly-struck effort flew straight into the arms of Iron keeper Matt Gilks.

Scunthorpe were looking more likely to break the deadlock, however, and Novak chipped a shot against the crossbar after bundling his way into space.

And it was Novak who did give them the lead on 12 minutes, steering home after Jordan Clarke had collected Neal Bishop’s cross-field pass and sent the ball into the box.

The Blues were struggling to find any fluency, although Hawkins had a great opportunity to draw them level.

Jamal Lowe brilliantly beat his man down the right and delivered the ball into the area, only for the striker to head wide from just a few yards out.

And the visitors were made to pay for their profligacy when Scunthorpe doubled their advantage just a few moments later.

Donohue was only able to head Lewis Butroid’s teasing delivery straight to Holmes, who coolly steered the ball past Luke McGee and into the net.

Pompey kept fighting, though, and a couple of Donohue corners caused problems in the Iron defence.

The left-back’s free-kick was then headed into Christian Burgess’ path by Hawkins, but the defender mis-kicked the ball into Gilks’ arms.

However, there was an escape at the other end just before the break when Novak failed to get on the end of another excellent Butroid cross.


Half Time

(2 – 0)


Pompey, unsurprisingly, came out for the second half with a lot more urgency and Pitman bent a shot narrowly wide following good work from Matty Kennedy down the left.

The hosts then received a blow when Novak when down injured and despite trying to carry on for a few minutes, he was soon replaced by Tom Hopper.

It was the Blues who were dominating possession as the second half progressed, without being able to penetrate the Scunthorpe defence and test Gilks.

A challenge for the ball then saw Matt Clarke become the latest member of the Pompey squad to suffer a cut head and he had to be treated on the pitch by physio Bobby Bacic.

It meant the defender was left with a bandaged head, while Pitman was playing with a broken nose and Hawkins still has a huge scar above his eye.

And it was the latter who made way as Jackett made his first switch on 68 minutes, with Chaplin on to lead the line.

It was Ben Close who was next to try his luck, however, with a volley that was deflected behind after Kennedy’s floated delivery could only be partially cleared.

Jackett made another substitution soon after, as Kennedy was replaced by Kal Naismith wide on the left.

But Scunthorpe threatened to add a third goal on 74 minutes, with a long-range drive from Holmes stinging the palms of McGee.

It was still the Blues playing with more intent, but Gilks was being well protected by an organised Iron back-line.

Burgess was almost the unlikely provider of a goal on 83 minutes, volleying narrowly wide with an acrobatic effort after being picked out in space by Close.

Lowe, unlike last week, was then unable to find the net from a tight angle, as Gilks was finally forced into action.

And Scunthorpe comfortably saw out the closing stages to ensure Pompey made the long journey south without any points.

Scunthorpe (4-4-2): Gilks; Clarke, McArdle (c), Wallace, Butroid; Holmes (Mantom 79), Bishop, Ojo, Morris; Novak (Hopper 54), Madden (Burgess 84)
Goals: Novak 12, Holmes 33
Subs not used: Watson, Sutton, Adelakun, van Veem

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; O’Keefe, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c), Kennedy (Naismith 73); Hawkins (Chaplin 68)
Subs not used: Bass, Talbot, Haunstrup, May, Evans

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 4,685 (815 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC