Sep 082018
 

Match Report

League One


Portsmouth 1    1 Shrewsbury Town

Brett Pitman came off the bench to net a penalty and ensure Pompey’s unbeaten start to the League One campaign continued.

The first half was a largely drab affair, although the hosts did improve markedly following the interval.

It looked like a first defeat was on the cards when Greg Docherty took advantage of some sloppy defending to give Shrewsbury the lead.

But – much to the relief of the Fratton faithful – Pitman kept his cool from the spot to secure a share of the spoils.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that comfortably saw off Plymouth the previous week.

With Ronan Curtis away on international duty, Andre Green was handed his league debut wide on the left.

There were also a couple of enforced switches at the back, with Christian Burgess and Nathan Thompson replacing the injured Jack Whatmough and Anton Walkes.

The Blues had got off to a flying start against Argyle, but it was flat opening 45 minutes against the struggling Shrews.

That did not look like being the case when Jamal Lowe’s shot was tipped around the post by Joel Coleman in the early stages.

But that was not a portent of what was to come, with the remainder of the half being a fairly lifeless affair.

Indeed, it was Shrewsbury who looked more likely to break the deadlock, without really being able to test Craig MacGillivray between the sticks.

Lenell John-Lewis could not connect with Shaun Whalley’s teasing delivery at the back post, while a drive from Omar Beckles was not too far off target.

And John-Lewis had another decent opportunity after Ollie Norburn had dispossessed Tom Naylor, only to fire high over the bar.

Christian Burgess had to make a timely challenge inside the box on 42 minutes to stop Josh Laurent getting a shot away.

But the visitors’ best chance came just before the break, as Anthony Grant turned neatly and fired inches past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Shrewsbury Town 0


Jackett made a double switch at the start of the second half, as Green and Ben Thompson made way for David Wheeler and Ben Close.

The former won a free-kick after being fouled by Mat Sadler just after the restart, with Gareth Evans’ effort pushed clear by the diving Coleman.

It was much better from the Blues and a corner from Evans caused problems, while Wheeler was unable to beat Coleman at the keeper’s near post.

The visitors thought they should have been awarded a penalty just past the hour mark after Alex Gilliead had cut through the home defence.

He went down under Lee Brown’s challenge and cried foul, but referee Charles Breakspear was not interested.

And Brown then had an ambitious shot from 30 yards that fizzed narrowly wide, amidst anguished cries from the crowd.

They went even closer when Evans met Nathan Thompson’s cross with a firm header that Coleman just about managed to push clear.

Pompey’s final change came on 67 minutes, as the hard-working Hawkins was withdrawn for Pitman.

The hosts had looked much more of a threat since the restart, but it was the Shrews celebrating a goal on 74 minutes.

Burgess was unable to clear a cross from Whalley and Docherty – who had only come on a few seconds earlier – took advantage to lash the ball into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Pitman went down on 81 minutes.

Josh Emmanuel certainly had his hands on the striker, but Breakspear waved away the noisy appeals from players and fans alike.

The referee did point to the spot soon after, though, when Gilliead brought down Nathan Thompson in the box.

It was the linesman who flagged, although Breakspear took a while to make his mind up before awarding the penalty.

PITMAN stepped up to take it and although Coleman went the right way, the ball nestled in the bottom corner.

Five minutes of stoppage-time meant there were even hopes raised for a dramatic winner, but the Blues were unable to strike again.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson (Close 46), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Green (Wheeler 46); Hawkins (Pitman 67)
Goals: Pitman 87 (pen)
Subs not used: McGee, Haunstrup, Rose, Mason

Shrewsbury (4-1-4-1): Coleman; Emmanuel, Waterfall, Sadler (c), Beckles; Grant; Whalley, Norburn, Laurent (Docherty 73), Gilliead; John-Lewis (Amadi-Holloway 67)
Goals: Docherty 74
Subs not used: Gregory, Sears, Haynes, Colkett, Okenabirhie

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 17,634 (281 away fans)



Portsmouth FC

Jun 042018
 

Craig MacGillivray

Free Agent



Pompey have signed goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray on a two-year deal.

The 25-year-old will officially become a Blues player on July 1 when his contract with Shrewsbury expires.

Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “He strengthens our goalkeeping department and will provide good competition for Luke McGee. They can drive each other on.

“Craig’s fiercely ambitious and excelled when he played last season, so we’re very pleased to bring him to the club.

“He has been slightly unlucky in the past to be behind some top keepers, but he’s ready for the opportunity.

“His general game and shot-stopping are both good and he’s very brave, which is a quality that’s often underestimated.”

MacGillivray joined the Shrews in the summer of 2017 and made 14 appearances last season, keeping a clean sheet in their 1-0 victory at Fratton Park in January.

He was on the bench at Wembley as the Shropshire side suffered an extra-time defeat to Rotherham in the League One play-off final.

MacGillivray previously featured for Stalybridge, Harrogate Town and Harrogate Railway before being given a Football League chance by Walsall.


      

Portsmouth FC

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