Jan 272018
 

Match Report

League One


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Shrewsbury Town    1

 


Pompey’s barren start to 2018 continued as they suffered a narrow defeat to high-flying Shrewsbury at a damp Fratton Park.

James Bolton was left in space to score the only goal of the game midway through a first half that failed to sparkle.

But there was plenty of controversy before the break, with two decent shouts for a penalty turned down.

The Blues looked more inventive following the interval, but keeper Craig MacGillivray and the woodwork came to the Shrews’ rescue.

Adam May’s late dismissal for a second bookable offence only served to compound the hosts’ misery.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that suffered a dramatic defeat at Rotherham the previous week.

Gareth Evans returned from injury to skipper the side, while there were also recalls for May and Oli Hawkins.

Regular captain Brett Pitman dropped to the bench, along with Sylvain Deslandes and Matty Kennedy.

Pompey were guilty of some sloppy play before the break, although the wet conditions were undoubtedly making life tough for both sides.

But they dominated possession throughout the first half and Hawkins could not quite connect with Evans’ cross after leaping in the box.

May then received the game’s first booking for a late challenge on Shaun Whalley as the contest continued to meander.

And the goal that gave Shrewsbury the lead was indicative of what had come before, as the Blues failed to deal with a corner and Bolton took advantage at the far post.

There might have been a second when Luke McGee lost out in a race for the ball with Abu Ogogo, but Ben Close was on hand to clear the danger.

But the hosts were soon back on the attack and when Close’s free-kick was only partially cleared, Donohue’s follow-up volley was deflected wide.

Pompey were even closer to a leveller on 31 minutes, as Hawkins met Evans’ delivery, only for MacGillivray to make a superb save.

There was controversy either side of that, however, as the hosts were controversially denied a penalty on two occasions.

Referee David Coote had a clear view of Christian Burgess’ shirt being tugged as he tried to attack a corner, but opted to do nothing.

The official then failed to spot Whalley’s handball in the box, much to the fury of the home side, who rushed to complain, earning Evans a booking.

The Blues had to put that to the back of their minds and Hawkins almost capitalised when the Shrews defence failed to deal with May’s pass.

Evans also had a shot blocked by Omar Beckles and another effort that went over, as the hosts went in behind at the break.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Shrewsbury Town 1


Former Fratton favourite Ricardo Rocha – who made almost 100 appearances for the club – was introduced to the crowd during the interval.

That provided a lift, but the supporters were soon up in arms again when Coote missed another handball, although at least this one was not in the box.

Pompey were still struggling to find any fluidity and Jackett soon made a switch, replacing Jamal Lowe with Pitman.

That certainly provided the required spark, as the hosts soon began to take control and had a series of chances to draw level.

Toto Nsiala was well-placed in the box to keep out Evans’ shot and when the skipper delivered the ball back into the box, Pitman’s guided header was saved by MacGillivray.

Matt Clarke then saw an opening from the resulting corner, but could not force the ball through a sea of orange shirts.

And MacGillivray came to Shrewsbury’s rescue once again when he dived to his right to expertly keep out Kal Naismith’s 30-yard drive.

But the chances began to dry up again and so Naismith was withdrawn on 70 minutes for the fresh legs of Connor Ronan.

It was not all one-way traffic, though, and McGee managed to claw away Carlton Morris’ header at point-blank range.

Whalley then arrowed an angled drive narrowly past the post after Shrewsbury had countered quickly.

Time was rapidly running out for the hosts, but they almost found an equaliser on 84 minutes.

Ronan’s looping header was volleyed towards goal by Pitman and a deflection took the ball onto the crossbar.

And there was more controversy late on when the ball bounced up and hit the arm of Beckles, only for Coote to remain unmoved.

But there was still time for the afternoon to get even worse for the hosts, as May’s foul on Stefan Payne saw him receive a second yellow card and subsequent red.

Pitman almost rescued an unlikely point deep into stoppage-time, however, with an angled shot rolling agonisingly past the post.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; May, Close; Evans (c), Naismith (Ronan 70), Lowe (Pitman 55); Hawkins
Sent off: May (two yellow cards)
Booked: Evans, Donohue
Subs not used: Bass, Deslandes, Bennett, Kennedy, Chaplin

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; Godfrey; Whalley (John-Lewis 90+2), Nolan, Ogogo (c), Rodman; C.Morris (Payne 83)
Goals: Bolton 21
Booked: C.Morris, Rodman, Payne
Subs not used: Rowley, Hendrie, Lowe, B.Morris, Gnahoua

Referee: David Coote

Attendance: 17,779 (498 away fans)


Portsmouth FC

Dec 232017
 

Match Report

League One


 

Shrewsbury Town    2

 


 

Portsmouth    0

 


It was not exactly the Nightmare before Christmas.

But Pompey were certainly lacking festive cheer after individual errors saw their fine run of form brought to an end at high-flying Shrewsbury.

Things appeared to be going the visitors’ way when Luke McGee saved Shaun Whalley’s penalty following a lifeless first half.

But Whalley and substitute Stefan Payne both capitalised on sloppy defending to maintain the Shrews’ magnificent home record.

The game began in cautious fashion and neither side really looked like scoring in a scrappy opening 45 minutes.

Pompey’s three bookings were arguably the most noteworthy incidents, although the Blues could perhaps feel aggrieved to see Matt Clarke, Jamal Lowe and Brandon Haunstrup’s names all taken.

There were a few balls pumped into Shrewsbury’s box, but nothing to trouble Dean Henderson between the sticks.

More concerning was a long-range attempt by Kennedy on 19 minutes, with the keeper managing to push the ball clear after it bounced awkwardly in front of him.

Not too much was happening at the other end of the pitch, although Clarke had to head away Alex Rodman’s curling effort.

And Christian Burgess then made a well-timed challenge inside the box to halt Carlton Morris’ path to goal.

But, with the game drifting towards the interval, neither stopper had realistically looked like conceding.

That almost changed in stoppage-time, though, as McGee showed good reactions after Whalley’s cross was diverted towards the net by an inadvertent Haunstrup deflection.


Half Time

Shrewsbury Town 0

Portsmouth 0


The first half had been forgettable – and Blues fans will be keen for the second period to also escape their memories.

Shrewsbury were given an excellent opportunity to break the deadlock soon after the restart when Christian Burgess lost the ball to Whalley.

He burst into the box and when McGee came charging from his line to deal with the danger, referee Darren Handley decided he took the man and not the ball.

It was Whalley who stepped up to take the spot-kick, only for his tame effort to be saved by the diving Blues keeper.

Pompey almost made him pay for his profligacy when Brett Pitman won a free-kick, but Henderson was equal to the skipper’s effort.

And it was the hosts who took the lead just before the hour mark when McGee tried to stop a deflected Jon Nolan effort from going out for a corner.

The keeper could not keep hold of the ball, however, and Whalley capitalised by sliding it into the net.

Jackett immediately made a double substitution, with Lowe and Kennedy making way for Oliver Hawkins and Kyle Bennett.

But the Blues were looking ragged after falling behind and McGee did well to beat Whalley to Carlton Morris’ threaded pass.

Conor Chaplin replaced Pitman in one last effort by Pompey to try to find a spark of magic and grab an equaliser.

Instead, Shrewsbury grabbed a late second goal, as Payne stole the ball from Clarke and found the target, despite McGee’s best efforts to keep it out.

Pompey kept plugging away – no doubt inspired by a noisy travelling army – but there was to be no Christmas miracle.

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): Henderson; Bolton, Nsiala, Sadler, Beckles; B.Morris; Whalley, Nolan, Ogogo (c), Rodman (Godfrey 87); C.Morris (Payne 75)
Goals: Whalley 59, Payne 81
Booked: C.Morris, Nolan
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Riley, Gnahoua, Dodds, John-Lewis

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup; Close, Rose; Lowe (Hawkins 60), Evans, Kennedy (Bennett 60); Pitman (c) (Chaplin 77)
Booked: Clarke, Lowe, Haunstrup
Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, May, Main

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 7,429 (1,094 Pompey fans)


Portsmouth FC