Aug 172019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey suffered defeat in their latest encounter with familiar foes Sunderland, despite taking the lead in the north-east.

A first goal for Marcus Harness since his summer switch from Burton broke the deadlock – and the Blues were good value for their lead.

But the Black Cats had turned things around by the interval, with Jordan Willis heading a leveller before Chris Maguire struck against his former club.

There were chances for the visitors to leave with at least a share of the spoils, but Sunderland held on for the win.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat Tranmere on home soil the previous weekend.

John Marquis returned to the starting line-up to lead the line, with Ellis Harrison dropping to the bench.

Former Blues loanees Marc McNulty and Maguire both featured for the hosts, with the latter having scored the decisive goal in last season’s play-off clash.

It was Pompey who made the brighter start and a cross from Anton Walkes in the opening seconds was diverted over by Ronan Curtis.

Ben Close has netted a couple of recent stunners and tried his luck with another 30-yard effort, although this time the ball narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Then, after Marquis had done well to win a corner on the right, Lee Brown’s delivery was cleverly collected by Jon McLaughlin.

The Sunderland stopper soon had to come racing from his line to stop Marquis latching onto Close’s fine pass.

And the visitors made their dominance count by breaking the deadlock midway through the first half.

Harness played a neat one-two with Marquis and was unable to dig out a shot, with his team-mate also failing to make a clean connection at the second attempt.

But the ball fell for HARNESS and he made no mistake, sweeping home a shot to open his goalscoring account for the club.

The lead did not last long, however, as Willis charged into the box to powerfully convert a Grant Leadbitter corner.

Both sides were looking capable of adding to the scoring as the half progressed, although it was the hosts celebrating on 39 minutes.

Walkes tried to stop Aiden McGeady, but his interception ricocheted against the winger, who continued his charge

The Irishman then played a lovely pass across the face of goal, with Maguire there to slot past a helpless Craig MacGillivray.


Half Time

Sunderland 2

Portsmouth 1


The hosts did receive a blow soon after the restart, as McNulty went down injured and was unable to continue, with Charlie Wyke on to replace him.

Pompey were looking for a leveller, but Curtis could not find the target after rising to meet Walkes’ right-sided delivery.

They had a better chance when the visitors won position and Harness slipped a neat pass through to Marquis, who was unable to find the target.

And a spell of intricate short passes led to Brown finding the ball on the left, although his cross was not quite right for Harness.

Brown soon received the ball back again, though, and this time could not beat McLaughlin from a tight angle.

Luke O’Nien wanted a penalty at the other end after going down under pressure from Tom Naylor, but his appeals were immediately dismissed by referee Michael Salisbury.

And the official was equally unimpressed just moments later, when Maguire decided to theatrically hit the turf.

Jackett made a double switch just past hour mark, with Curtis and Andy Cannon making way for Harrison and Gareth Evans.

There was then a nervy moment as the ball flew around the Blues box and could not be cleared, but the danger eventually passed.

The final substitution for the visitors saw on-loan Scottish youngster Ross McCrorie replace Walkes at right-back.

And he immediately released Marquis with a great pass down the right. The striker squared for Evans, whose goal-bound effort was blocked by Alim Ozturk.

A cross from McCrorie was then diverted towards his own net by Leadbitter, but McLaughlin was able to claw the ball to safety.

Pompey continued to control possession as the seconds ticked down, although Sunderland remained resolute to see the game out.

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): J.McLaughlin; O’Nien, Ozturk, Willis, C.McLaughlin; Power, Leadbitter (c); Gooch, Maguire (Hume 87), McGeady (Grigg 81); McNulty (Wyke 49)
Goals: Willis 27, Maguire 39
Booked: McGeady, Maguire
Subs not used: Burge, Flanagan, Dobson, McGeouch

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes (McCrorie 73), Downing, Burgess, Brown; Close, Naylor (c), Cannon (Evans 62); Harness, Marquis, Curtis (Harrison 62)
Goals: Harness 22
Booked: Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Haunstrup, Pitman

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Attendance: 29,140 (874 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

May 162019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1 Play Off




Pompey’s promotion hopes are over after they suffered a narrow aggregate defeat to Sunderland in the play-offs.

Trailing by a single goal from the first game in the north-east, the Blues fought hard to try to level the tie.

They certainly created the best chances, with Jon McLaughlin making some key saves and Matt Clarke hitting the woodwork.

But they failed to find the breakthrough in what was an often ugly encounter, with the Black Cats holding on to book their spot at Wembley.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were narrowly beaten in the first leg at the weekend

Lee Brown and Brett Pitman were injured for that Wearside clash, but were fit enough for a return to the starting line-up.

Viv Solomon-Otabor was also given a chance to impress, as Anton Walkes, Ronan Curtis and Jamal Lowe dropped to the bench.

There was a minute of applause before kick-off, as those inside the ground paid tribute to former Pompey defender Jon Gittens, who sadly passed away at the age of just 55.

It was a feisty contest right from the off and Gareth Evans was soon shown a yellow card for a challenge on Lee Cattermole.

Tom Naylor soon followed him into the referee’s notebook, with the midfielder throwing the ball at Chris Maguire after the pair had clashed in the corner.

The Sunderland midfielder was also guilty of some poor challenges, however, with official Peter Bankes finally losing patience and taking his name.

But despite a frantic showing from both sides, clear-cut chances were proving to be at a premium in the opening stages.

Neither keeper was not given too much to do, besides a few regulation stops, with a final ball or moment of quality lacking.

Maguire was certainly enjoying his role as pantomime villain, earning cries of derision from the Fratton faithful following weak appeals for a penalty.

The hosts grew stronger as the first half progressed, with Ben Close exchanging passes with Pitman, whose cross was just out of reach for Oli Hawkins.

Sunderland then had a decent chance at the other end after Maguire beat Craig MacGillivray to a ball over the top, only to slip and allow Christian Burgess to clear the danger.

Pompey had two great opportunities to level the tie just before the break, with McLaughlin doing well to keep out Gareth Evans’ diving header from point-blank range.

And they then went close from the resulting corner, as Clarke’s nodded the ball down into the turf and up against the crossbar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 0


There was another coming together following the restart, this time involving Charlie Wyke and Nathan Thompson, but the referee managed to calm things down.

Jackett then made his first change on 52 minutes, as leading marksman Lowe came on for Solomon-Otabor.

They almost scored moments later, with Hawkins meeting Lee Brown’s fine cross and seeing his header tipped over by McLaughlin.

It was still proving to be niggly affair and there was more consternation when Luke O’Nien tumbled into the North Lower.

James Vaughan replaced Hawkins on 68 minutes, as Jackett looked to add some fresh attacking impetus into his side.

And the newcomer almost grabbed an immediate goal, only to be denied by another fine McLaughlin save after Pitman had hooked the ball towards the back post.

Clarke then wanted a penalty after tangling with Alim Ozturk as he tried to reach Evans’ free-kick, but Bankes was uninterested.

Pompey kept fighting and tried their best to put the Black Cats under pressure, with their visitors fighting hard to keep them at bay.

The display of six minutes of added time gave the Fratton faithful renewed hope, but Sunderland held on to reach the final.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Evans, Pitman (c), Solomon-Otabor (Lowe 52); Hawkins (Vaughan 68)
Booked: Evans, Naylor, Pitman, Vaughan
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Morris, Curtis, Dennis

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Ozturk, Flanagan, Oviedo; Cattermole, Leadbitter; Honeyman (c), Power (Morgan 80), Maguire (Gooch 69); Wyke (Grigg 83)
Booked: Maguire, O’Nien
Subs not used: Ruiter, Matthews, Dunne, Watmore

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 18,077 (1,397 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

May 112019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1 Play Off




Pompey will have to overcome a first leg deficit if they are to beat Sunderland and reach the League One play-off final.

Former Fratton loanee Chris Maguire came off the bench to net an impressive winner in a match that was otherwise short of a spark.

The Black Cats played the final quarter of the contest with just 10 men after Alim Ozturk was shown a straight red card.

Gareth Evans struck the woodwork from the resulting free-kick, but the Blues were unable to find an equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Accrington on the final day of the regular campaign.

Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis were rested for that Fratton fixture, but returned to replace Viv Solomon-Otabor and Bryn Morris.

Lee Brown failed a fitness test on an Achilles injury, with Nathan Thompson coming back into the starting line-up as expected and Anton Walkes moving across to the left.

Skipper Brett Pitman was on the bench against Stanley, but missed out with a hamstring problem, so Evans retained the armband.

Pompey were not the only side to be suffering, however, and after picking up an injury in the warm-up, Aiden McGeady was swapped with Lynden Gooch.

There was not an abundance of quality on display once the action got underway, with both teams perhaps shackled by what was at stake.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of early possession, although Jon McLaughlin comfortably dealt with a couple of crosses into his box.

Evans did cut the ball back into the danger zone, where first Lowe and then Ben Close saw efforts blocked.

There was also an opening when Curtis advanced towards goal, although his strike from outside of the box was scuffed wide of the post.

Sunderland were also struggling to find their feet at the other end and a delivery from Gooch was nodded over by Charlie Wyke.

Wyke looked the most likely player to break the deadlock, with Walkes doing well to stop him from meeting Lewis Morgan’s centre.

Max Power soon sent the ball back into the area for the striker and this time he fired over the crossbar.

The Black Cats had one more opening before the break and Gooch finally had an attempt on target, although it was no bother for MacGillivray.


Half Time

Sunderland 0

Portsmouth 0


The entertainment value did not immediately increase once the action restarted, with niggly fouls at both ends interrupting the flow.

Evans did try to thread a precise pass through to the onrushing Lowe, but Tom Flanagan was able to cut the ball out.

And Flanagan was then involved at the other end of the pitch after collecting the ball from a corner, with Naylor flinging himself in the path of the shot.

A clear-cut opportunity was finally created just before the hour mark – and it was the Black Cats who came close to scoring.

Gooch whipped the ball into the box from wide on the left and George Honeyman’s header was brilliantly tipped over by MacGillivray.

And Sunderland were ahead just moments later and it came from a man who had only been on the pitch for a few minutes.

Bryan Oviedo swung in a teasing cross that Matt Clarke headed clear, but the ball fell for Maguire to fire home a fine volley from the edge of the box.

But the hosts were soon reduced to 10 men after Clarke released Evans, who was brought down just outside the area by Ozturk.

Referee Andy Woolmer reached into his pocked and pulled out a red card, leaving the defender to trudge from the pitch.

Jackett immediately made a double substitution, with Oli Hawkins and Curtis making way for Solomon-Otabor and Omar Bogle.

Evans then stepped up to take the free-kick and curled a brilliant effort against the bar, with the ball bouncing clear.

Another opportunity soon came from a corner, as Bogle’s close-range shot was diverted behind by a well-placed Luke O’Nien.

But the Blues were almost undone at the other end after losing possession, with Maguire’s low drive clipping the outside of the post.

Pompey were trying their best to find a leveller and after bundling his way into a shooting position, Bogle could not quite lift the ball over McLaughlin.

There was plenty of endeavour at both ends of the pitch as the seconds ticked down, but it is Sunderland who will head back to the south coast with a narrow advantage.

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Ozturk, Flanagan, Oviedo; Cattermole, Power; Gooch (Dunne 70), Honeyman (c), Morgan (Maguire 58); Wyke
Goals: Maguire 62
Sent off: Ozturk
Booked: Honeyman
Subs not used: Ruiter, Matthews, Hume, Leadbitter, Grigg

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Walkes; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Evans (c), Curtis (Bogle 69); Hawkins (Solomon-Otabor 69)
Subs not used: Bass, May, Cannon, Morris, Dennis

Referee: Andy Woolmer

Attendance: 26,610 (1,288 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Apr 272019
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Sunderland 1 1 Portsmouth

Jamal Lowe was on target as Pompey battled from behind to secure a hard-fought behind at promotion rivals Sunderland.

But the result means that their fate is now out of their own hands, as second-placed Barnsley beat Blackpool.

Tom Flanagan had headed the hosts into an early lead in front of more than 41,000 spectators at the Stadium of Light.

Lowe was on hand to level midway through the first half, however, and Craig MacGillivray made several fine saves to keep the Black Cats at bay.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Coventry on home soil on Easter Monday.

Former Sunderland striker James Vaughan was handed his first start, while Ronan Curtis also returned, as Oli Hawkins and Gareth Evans dropped to the bench.

It was the hosts who made the brighter start and an acrobatic effort from Lewis Morgan had to be turned on to the post by MacGillivray.

But the keeper could do nothing to prevent the Black Cats from breaking the deadlock on nine minutes.

Max Power sent a free-kick into the box from wide on the right and Flanagan rose highest to head it home.

There were plenty of meaty challenges flying in during a competitive encounter, with Aiden McGeady and George Honeyman booked for the visitors.

Nathan Thompson and Ben Close were also shown yellow cards during the first half, as neither side held back.

Pompey grew into the contest as time passed, although a cross from Curtis was comfortably claimed by Jon McLaughlin.

And an equaliser came on 24 minutes, as Brett Pitman’s delivery was nodded against the bar by Lee Brown and the ball landed for LOWE to slot home.

Tempers then boiled over once more, leading to some pushing and shoving, but referee Craig Pawson soon calmed things down.

The visitors had the ball in the net again when Curtis looked to capitalise on a corner not being properly dealt with, but it was disallowed for a shove on McLaughlin.

Thompson then came to the rescue, quickly coming across to divert the ball behind after it had fallen kindly for McGeady.

And both sides had chances to take the lead during five minutes of stoppage-time, as the first half ended with a flourish.

First, Charlie Wyke met a cross from Luke O’Nien at the back post, only for MacGillivray to make a fine save from point-blank range.

A Curtis free-kick then led to a spot of pinball in the Black Cats box, but the hosts were eventually able to clear.


Half Time

Sunderland 1

Portsmouth 1


It was Sunderland that had the first opportunity following the restart, although MacGillivray dealt with Morgan’s effort.

But it had turned into quite a cagey contest, with neither side looking as threatening as they had before the break.

Jackett made his first switch just before the hour mark, as Vaughan – to a chorus of boos from the home fans – was replaced by Hawkins.

There were still not an abundance of clear-cut openings, but Thompson made a fine challenge to dispossess Wyke inside the box.

A second substitution then followed for the visitors, with Evans taking Curtis’ position wide on the left.

Sunderland, meanwhile, brought on former Fratton loanee Chris Maguire and his shot was deflected into MacGillivray’s arms.

Pompey were not having too much luck at the other end, with Christian Burgess unable to make a clean connection with Evans’ corner.

Power went close for the hosts on 79 minutes, however, only to see his fierce attempt kept out by another fine MacGillivray stop.

The Black Cats were starting to ramp up the pressure and Burgess made two key blocks in quick succession, before MacGillivray denied Will Grigg.

But the Blues saw out the closing stages to secure a point that could yet prove crucial in the race for promotion.

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien (Matthews 90), Ozturk, Flanagan, Oviedo; Cattermole, Power; Morgan (Grigg 69), Honeyman (c) (Maguire 60), McGeady; Wyke
Goals: Flanagan 9
Booked: McGeady, Honeyman
Subs not used: Ruiter, Leadbitter, Dunne, Gooch

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Evans 66); Vaughan (Hawkins 57)
Goals: Lowe 24
Booked: Thompson, Close, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Morris, Solomon-Otabor

Referee: Craig Pawson

Attendance: 41,129 (3,222 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 312019
 

Match Report

Highlights

Checkatrade Trophy – Final


Portsmouth 2
(5)
2
(4)
Sunderland

Pompey won the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties following a 2-2 draw with Sunderland at a packed Wembley Stadium.

They were poor in the first half and an Aiden McGeady free-kick meant the Black Cats deservedly led at the interval.

But the Blues were rejuvenated following the restart and Nathan Thompson levelled to ensure an additional 30 minutes.

Jamal Lowe then struck to seemingly secure the win, only for McGeady to scramble the ball home at the death.

That meant a dreaded shoot-out, but Pompey scored all of their spot-kicks, meaning that Craig MacGillivray’s save from Lee Cattermole allowed Oli Hawkins to fire home the winner.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Shrewsbury in the league the previous week.

Ronan Curtis was fit enough to start after recovering from severing his finger, meaning that Gareth Evans dropped to the bench.

The teams emerged to a vociferous atmosphere created by a packed crowd at the national stadium.

Pompey’s contingent were whipped up by rousing pre-match speeches from former Fratton heroes David Norris and Hermann Hreidarsson.

But it was the Black Cats who made the brighter start, with Thompson forced to clear George Honeyman’s teasing cross behind.

Lee Brown then made a great challenge right in the corner to stop Lewis Morgan’s charge, as the side from the north-east looked threatening.

Lowe tried his best to cause problems at the other end, although a ball into the box flew straight into Jon McLaughlin’s grasp.

Sunderland were looking more likely to open the scoring and Matt Clarke threw himself in the path of McGeady’s strike.

Pompey’s best opportunity came when Omar Bogle was felled on the right and Brown swung the ball into the mixer.

Christian Burgess rose at the back post, but could not get enough power on his header to trouble McLaughlin.

An effort from Morgan was deflected behind by Brown, while a key Clarke challenge halted Will Grigg’s charge.

There was a rare shot for Pompey on 22 minutes, although Curtis’ effort was always swerving wide of the post.

Then, after Tom Naylor had conceded a free-kick, the midfielder had to nod behind Grant Leadbitter’s delivery.

Sunderland came close to breaking the deadlock soon after when the ball was only cleared as far as Morgan outside the box.

The winger hit a fierce volley that flew through a sea of bodies, but MacGillivray got down well to push the ball clear.

It was only a brief respite for the Blues, however, and they were undone after Thompson had conceded a foul.

McGeady was brought down and picked himself up to curl the ball home, albeit with the help of a deflection off Clarke’s shoulder.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 1


Pompey tried to hit back after the break and when Bogle met a corner from Brown, his header was cleared from the line.

It would not have counted, though, as referee Dean Whitestone had spotted a foul on Luke O’Nien in the build-up.

The Blues were looking a lot brighter and trying to use Lowe as an outlet, but were still lacking a final ball.

Jackett tried to shake things up on 56 minutes, with Curtis being brought off and replaced by Evans on the left.

And it was a long pass from the newcomer that almost provided an equaliser just past the hour mark.

The ball was nodded down by Lowe and Pitman took one touch before hitting a neat half-volley that struck the base of the post.

Pompey were suddenly looking a real threat and when Sunderland failed to deal with another Evans delivery, Thompson was unable to find the target at the back post.

Lowe then had a great opportunity following good work from Pitman, but rolled his shot wastefully past the post.

Jackett made his second switch to the forward line on 69 minutes, as Bogle made way for Hawkins.

The striker was soon having his shirt tugged inside the area, although Whitestone did not think it was enough to warrant a penalty.

Evans then did well to hold off a challenge and burst forward, firing in a long-range strike that flashed past the post.

But Pompey did find themselves level on 82 minute – and the goal came from a very unlikely source.

THOMPSON had yet to score in 69 appearances, but certainly picked the right location to open his account, nodding home after Evans had collected the ball from Clarke and sent it into the box.

The Blues contingent of an EFL Trophy record crowd of 85,021 erupted as the players ran towards them in celebration.

It had been a dominant second half display, but Sunderland might have secured victory in stoppage-time when Denver Hume skipped through and sent a dangerous ball across the face of goal.

Full Time: Pompey 1 Sunderland 1

There were, unsurprisingly, a few tired legs on display at Wembley as the extra period of 30 minutes got started.

Pompey were still looking to get forward and Evans was tackled inside the box after playing a neat one-two with Brown.

Lowe then screwed a shot wide after Hawkins had laid the ball off, while an angled effort from Brown was comfortable for McLaughlin.

Following a brief break after the first set of 15 minutes, the Blues got straight back on the attack and Evans had a shot blocked after cutting in from the left.

Jackett was forced to make a change when Ben Close limped off and his replacement almost scored within seconds of coming on.

Anton Walkes received the ball on the edge of the box and his effort had to be clawed behind by McLaughlin.

But Pompey did go ahead on 114 minutes and it was a brilliant finish from LOWE, who collected a long Clarke pass and sent a glorious lob over McLaughlin and into the net.

The winger was booked for taking his shirt off in celebration, but it looked like being the decisive goal.

Sunderland had other ideas, however, and in the dying seconds McGeady scrambled home an equaliser, despite the best efforts of Clarke to clear from the line.

After Extra Time: Pompey 2 Sunderland 2

A penalty shoot-out is always a nervy occasion, but the Blues kept their nerve throughout, scoring all five of their spot-kicks.

Evans, Pitman, Brown and Lowe all tucked away their efforts, while Sunderland’s second from Cattermole was saved by MacGillivray.

It meant that Hawkins had the chance to win it for the Blues and he made no mistake, slotting the ball home to send the large travelling contingent home in joyous mood.

Pitman then led his side up the Wembley steps to collect the Checkatrade Trophy and send those fans wild with delight.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close (Walkes 113); Lowe, Pitman (c), Curtis (Evans 56); Bogle (Hawkins 69)
Goals: Thompson 82, Lowe 114
Booked: Curtis, Evans, Lowe
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, May, Vaughan

Sunderland (4-2-3-1): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Flanagan, Baldwin, James (Hume 88); Leadbitter (Wyke 95), Cattermole; Morgan (Gooch 73), Honeyman (c), McGeady; Grigg (Power 77)
Goals: McGeady 38, 119
Booked: Baldwin, McGeady
Subs not used: Ruiter, Dunne, McGeouch

Referee: Dean Whitestone

Attendance: 85,021

Portsmouth FC

Dec 222018
 

Match Report

League One

MATCH HIGHLIGHTS

Portsmouth 3    1 Sunderland

Pompey ensured it would be a very Merry Christmas by seeing off Sunderland in a pulsating encounter on the south coast.

There was plenty of energy, but little goalmouth action before the break – but that certainly changed after it.

Gareth Evans opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Glenn Loovens had been sent off for a foul on Oli Hawkins.

Ronan Curtis soon doubled the advantage, although Luke O’Nien reduced the deficit in front of the biggest crowd Fratton Park had seen for seven years.

Nerves were quickly calmed, however, as Ben Thompson added another for the Blues, who continued to attack right up until the final whistle.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had battled for a point up at Barnsley the previous week.

However, David Wheeler had sufficiently recovered from a hamstring injury to take his place among the substitutes.

The atmosphere inside a packed Fratton Park was crackling before a ball had been kicked and continued to impress throughout the contest.

But while the action on the pitch was often played at a hectic pace, there were not many clear-cut chances to excite the sell-out crowd during the first half.

Ronan Curtis was a threat for the hosts and Jon McLaughlin came tearing from his line to deny the Republic of Ireland international a shot.

A shot for O’Nien then hit Nathan Thompson right in the face, with the right-back looking dazed, but able to continue.

Pompey put some dangerous balls into the mixer, but the Sunderland defence looked solid and headed everything clear.

Hawkins thought he should have been awarded a penalty midway through the half after having his shirt tugged by O’Nien, although referee Peter Bankes disagreed.

There were plenty of firm challenges going in, with Lee Brown and Lee Cattermole both receiving a talking to following one clash.

Hawkins was booked by Bankes for a foul on Loovens, with Curtis and O’Nien also getting a ticking off.

Duncan Watmore did well down the Pompey right on 36 minutes, only to see his cross deflected into Craig MacGillivray’s arms.

And the Black Cats had the best chance of the half just before the break, with Watmore squaring for Lynden Gooch, whose shot was saved by the legs of MacGillivray.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Sunderland 0


It had been entertaining fare before the break, but the action moved up a few gears immediately after the restart.

A brilliant ball from Curtis was latched on to by Hawkins, who charged into the box and was unceremoniously hauled down by Loovens.

Bankes immediately pointed to the spot and life soon got worse for the Sunderland defender, who was shown a red card.

It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty, with the skipper slamming the ball right into the top corner.

And it soon got even better for the league leaders after CURTIS collected a header from the hard-working Hawkins.

It looked like crossing for the well-placed Jamal Lowe was the better option, but instead he drove the ball into the net from a tight angle.

But the action was not going to let-up and Sunderland reduced their deficit when O’Nien turned home a cross from Max Power.

It was soon the Blues back on the attack and an effort from Evans was deflected narrowly past the post.

The respite was a brief one for the visitors, however, as they fell further behind from the resulting corner.

McLaughlin did well to keep out a firm Hawkins header, but Sunderland could not get the ball clear and Ben THOMPSON’s drive was deflected into the roof of the net.

The opportunities kept coming at both ends, with another attempt from the on-loan Millwall midfielder going wide, while Gooch blazed over for the Black Cats.

MacGillivray then took a heavy touch from Brown’s back-pass, but recovered well to deny Gooch.

Hawkins almost capped his impressive display with a goal on 73 minutes, sending his header from a Curtis cross inches past the post.

He received a standing ovation when being replaced by Brett Pitman soon after, with Evans having already been withdrawn for Ben Close.

And the two substitutes combined to put the ball in the net late on, only for Pitman to be flagged offside.

Pompey looked likely to add to the scoring in the closing stages and Close had a shot saved by McLaughlin.

But the crowd did not seem to mind settling for just the 3-1 win, as they exited the ground full of festive glee.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 72), Curtis (Green 87); Hawkins (Pitman 81)
Goals: Evans 48 (pen), Curtis 53, B.Thompson 63
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis, N.Thompson
Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Burgess, Wheeler

Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2): McLaughlin; O’Nien, Loovens, Baldwin, James; Cattermole; Honeyman (c) (Maguire 58), Power; McGeady (Sinclair 78); Gooch, Watmore (Ozturk 49)
Goals: O’Nien 57
Sent off: Loovens
Booked: Honeyman
Subs not used: Ruiter, Oviedo, McGeouch, Maja

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 19,402 (2,637 away fans)

Portsmouth FC