Mar 202021
 


H League 1
Portsmouth 2
Ipswich Town 1


FORM GUIDE (All competitions)25 %

WON LOST LOST LOST LOST LOST DRAWN WON LOST LOST

The Danny Cowley era got off to a perfect start, as Pompey battled back to beat Ipswich at Fratton Park.

It looked like more of the same for the Blues, who fell behind to James Norwood’s emphatic first half striker.

But Tom Naylor nodded the hosts back on level terms before the break and Marcus Harness slotted home the winner after it.

Cowley’s first starting line-up saw two changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at Peterborough earlier in the week.

Jordy Hiwula and Marcus Harness both returned, with Ben Close and Rasmus Nicolaisen dropping to the bench.

After playing with three at the back against Posh, there was also a switch to a 4-2-3-1 system, with Ryan Williams tucked in behind Hiwula.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the opposition technical area, with Paul Cook and Gary Roberts leading the Tractor Boys.

Ronan Curtis had an early attempt, courtesy of a 35-yard free-kick that was bent over the wall, but comfortably into the arms of Tomas Holy.

There was plenty of noise being generated by both managers, as well as the injured John Marquis up in the South Stand.

It was not a particularly rip-roaring contest on the pitch, though, with both sides showing plenty of energy, but failing to turn that into clear-cut chances.

Ipswich’s first opportunity also came from a free-kick, with Jack Whatmough booked for his challenge on Keanan Bennetts.

Andy Cannon adopted the now popular ‘draught excluder’ technique by laying down flat behind the wall.

Alan Judge bent his strike over it, however, and Craig MacGillivray flung himself to the left to push the ball clear.

But the visitors did break the deadlock soon after, as Norwood raced onto Gwion Edwards’ threaded pass and rifled home.

Pompey quickly fought back, though, and levelled by scoring their first goal in 358 minutes of football.

Curtis whipped a fine corner into the box and NAYLOR rose highest to send a header against the inside of the post and into the net.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Ipswich Town 1


An early long-range attempt from Edwards straight after the restart was easily dealt with by MacGillivray.

The Blues then came close to taking the lead for the first time in what would have been a similar goal to their first.

Naylor again met a corner from Curtis, but this time Holy was able to push the ball away – then stop Sean Raggett from converting the rebound.

Cowley made his first switch just before the hour mark, with Andy Cannon – who had just been booked – making way for Close.

Williams then had a chance after being picked out by Harness following a quick break, but could not keep his angled strike on target.

A second switch followed on 72 minutes, with Michael Jacobs on for Hiwula and Curtis moving up front.

And it was the Republic of Ireland international who provided the pass for Pompey’s second goal a few seconds later.

He sent a low pass across the area and HARNESS’ first shot was blocked by Judge, but the ball landed back at his feet to slam past a helpless Holy.

Pompey looked to keep possession as much as possible in the closing stages, but had two late chances to increase their lead.

Toto Nsiala almost sliced a Harness cross into his own net and then, from the resulting corner, Holy kept out James Bolton’s header from point-blank range.

But the Blues saw out five minutes of stoppage-time to collect a precious three points and ensure the Cowley brothers began their reign with a win.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 58); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Hiwula (Jacobs 72)
Goals: Naylor 41, Harness 72
Booked: Whatmough, Curtis, Cannon, Jacobs
Subs not used: Ward, Mnoga, Nicolaisen, Daniels, Byers

Ipswich (4-2-3-1): Holy; Chambers (c), Nsiala, Wilson (Vincent-Young 79), Ward; Bishop (Parrott 89), Dozzell; Edwards, Judge (Jackson 79), Bennetts (Dobra 59); Norwood
Goals: Norwood 32
Booked: Edwards, Chambers, Bishop
Subs not used: Cornell, McGuinness, Skuse

Referee: Alan Young

Portsmouth FC Season 20/21

Feb 022021
 


WON (A) League 1
Charlton Athletic 1
Portsmouth 3


Pompey returned to winning ways in style with a deserved victory over promotion rivals Charlton at The Valley.

The game – which was rearranged from the weekend because of a waterlogged pitch – saw the visitors create a hatful of chances.

They led at the break thanks to a superb Michael Jacobs strike, although Jayden Stockley levelled against his former club.

But the Blues were not to be denied and Tom Naylor restored the advantage before Andy Cannon wrapped things up with a fierce finish.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that were beaten by Lincoln on home soil the previous week.

Charlie Daniels came in for his full Pompey debut, while there were also starts for James Bolton, Ellis Harrison and Jacobs.

Jack Whatmough started a three-match ban following his red card against the Imps, with Lee Brown, Ronan Curtis and Marcus Harness dropping to the bench.

The possession stats did not give a true indication of how the first half unfolded, with the hosts seeing more of the ball, but their opponents largely on top.

An early John Marquis effort did not overly trouble Addicks keeper Ben Amos, while it was the Londoners who were first to properly threaten.

A fizzing effort from the edge of the box by Albie Morgan on 10 minutes clipped the top of the crossbar.

But Pompey soon found their feet and looked particularly dangerous on the break, causing plenty of problems.

When Sean Raggett intercepted the ball, Harrison probably took too long to find Marquis, who was unable to keep his effort down.

A Daniels free-kick was blocked by the Charlton wall, while the follow-up from Harrison met the same fate.

Jacobs’ superb pass then found Marquis in the area, but Amos was quickly off his line to deny the striker.

Addicks skipper Darren Pratley was perhaps fortunate not to make a fuller connection with Cannon after lunging in on the midfielder and escaped with a booking.

That failed to stop Pompey’s attacking mindset, though, and Marquis’ shot was deflected wide after Deji Oshilaja’s slip opened up space.

But the deadlock was finally broken on 39 minutes – and it was a fine strike to give the Blues their deserved lead.

Naylor collected the ball from a corner and slipped a pass to JACOBS, who launched a rocket of a shot right into the top corner.

Pompey almost added a second in stoppage-time after the lively Harrison had stolen possession, but this time the attempt from Jacobs was deflected narrowly past the post.


Half Time

Charlton Athletic 0

Portsmouth 1


It was the visitors who had created most of the game’s best moments before the break, but their opponents levelled with the first decent chance of the second half.

A corner was sent into the box by Andrew Shinnie and Stockley rose highest to nod the ball past Craig MacGillivray.

Harrison came close to restoring the lead almost immediately, but Amos stuck out a hand to somehow deny him after Daniels’ free-kick had been nodded on by Marquis.

The goal did come soon after, however, as Harness – who had come on for Williams – whipped in a free-kick that was headed home by NAYLOR.

And it soon got even better, with CANNON stealing the ball from Ben Watson and hammering in a fierce shot that found the net off the inside of the post.

There were worries following a clash of heads between Raggett and Oshilaja, although both were fine to continue after getting bandaged up.

Charlton committed men forward in search of a route back into the contest, only for attempts from Watson and Liam Millar to fail to find the target.

Pompey let their opponents have the ball in the closing stages and there were eight minutes of stoppage-time for the hosts to do something special.

But the Blues – who brought on George Byers and Harvey White as the seconds ticked down – saw the game out to climb up to fourth in the table.

Charlton (4-1-2-1-2): Amos; Matthews, Gunter, Oshilaja, Maatsen; Pratley (c) (Watson 46); Forster-Caskey, Shinnie (Smith 77); Morgan (Millar 46); Schwartz (Aneke 61), Stockley
Goals: Stockley 52
Booked: Oshilaja, Pratley, Maatsen, Watson
Subs not used: Maynard-Brewer, Pearce, Purrington

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Bolton, Raggett, Daniels; Williams (Harness 53), Naylor (c), Cannon, Jacobs (White 90+5); Marquis (Byers 87), Harrison
Goals: Jacobs 39, Naylor 55, Cannon 61
Booked: Harrison, Naylor
Subs not used: Ward, Mnoga, Brown, Curtis

Referee: Lee Swabey

Portsmouth FC Season 20/21

Dec 052020
 

League 1




Pompey celebrated the return of fans to Fratton Park with a convincing victory over promotion rivals Peterborough.

They dominated for much of the contest on a wet and windy south coast, but could not find a breakthrough before the interval.

Jack Whatmough finally broke the deadlock, though, and a Tom Naylor special made sure the points were safe.

It was a result that was gleefully welcomed by 2,000 Blues fans, who had waited almost nine months to see their side in action.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that had been narrowly beaten at Blackpool earlier in the week.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Papa Bouba Diop, who tragically passed away last weekend at the age of just 42.

When the action started, Pompey looked bright in and out of possession and passed the ball around nicely.

But for all their neat play in the centre of the pitch, they were unable to test Christy Pym between the sticks.

Siriki Dembele went close for the visitors in the early stages with a long-range effort that flew not too far wide of the post.

The Blues were sending in plenty of deliveries at the other end, but Posh were defending them well, with striker Jonson Clarke-Harris coming back to good effect to deal with corners.

Former Fratton full-back Nathan Thompson was then forced into a hurried clearance to prevent Lee Brown from pouncing after Ryan Williams’ low centre had been flicked on by John Marquis.

Peterborough came close to scoring against the run of play on 34 minutes after Whatmough had sliced a clearance.

That sent Dembele through on goal, but Craig MacGillivray was off his line quickly to deny the forward.

The hosts soon had an opening of their own when Ronan Curtis stole possession and fed Williams, whose angled drive flew narrowly past the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Peterborough United 0


Pompey broke menacingly from a Posh corner early in the second half and Curtis burst away from inside his own half.

But the winger was cynically brought down by Thompson, who was deservedly shown the game’s first yellow card.

Marcus Harness then lifted the ball into the mixer and Williams had space to rise unmarked, but sent his header wide.

The Blues were certainly posing a threat and Frankie Kent did well to deny Curtis, who also skewed a shot wide from Callum Johnson’s cross.

Williams then outfought Fraser Blake-Tracy and fired in a shot that was parried by Pym, only for Curtis to fire the loose ball wide.

But the hosts finally made their pressure count just past the hour mark after Blake-Tracy had been booked for a foul on Johnson.

Brown swung in the free-kick from the right and WHATMOUGH rose above Kent to emphatically head home.

The visitors responded with a triple substitution, but soon found themselves further behind thanks to a moment of magic from the skipper.

NAYLOR, who headed a corner over a few moments earlier, received a pass from Andy Cannon 30 yards out and hit a rocket into the top corner to continue his recent goalscoring form.

It was still the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and Curtis sent a long-range free-kick dipping onto the roof of the net.

And, with the rain continuing to fall, they saw the contest out with relative ease, much to the delight of those in the stands.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Cannon, Naylor (c); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Marquis (Harrison 86)
Goals: Whatmough 61, Naylor 75
Booked: Cannon, Naylor, Brown
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Pring, Morris, Close, Hiwula

Peterborough (4-1-2-1-2): Pym; Thompson (Mason 67), Kent, Beevers (c), Blake-Tracy (Kanu 67); Reed; Taylor, Hamilton (Broom 67); Szmodics (Eisa 74); Dembele, Clarke-Harris
Booked: Thompson, Blake-Tracy, Taylor
Subs not used: Gyollai, Brown, Clarke

Referee: Peter Wright

Attendance: 2,000

Portsmouth FC

Nov 282020
 

FA Cup 2




Pompey eased into the third round of the Emirates FA Cup with a clinical display against non-league King’s Lynn at Fratton Park.

The television cameras had arrived on the south coast hoping to capture an upset, only for Rasmus Nicolaisen to open the scoring in just the second minute.

A stunning strike from Tom Naylor increased the lead and there were chances for it to be extended in the first half.

But the Blues got the job done after the interval, with Sean Raggett and Marcus Harness getting in on the act.

Dayle Southwell came off the bench to reduce the National League side’s deficit, but that was a rare bright spot for them.

Ellis Harrison soon increased their misery by scoring from the spot and Jordy Hiwula added an impressive sixth goal late on.

Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Oxford in the league earlier in the week.

Three of them came at the back, where Alex Bass was preferred between the sticks, and Cam Pring and Nicolaisen also returned.

Ben Close and Ryan Williams were handed starts, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon and John Marquis all dropping to the bench.

There was a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off in memory of all those who have passed away during these tough times.

That includes footballing greats Diego Maradona and Ray Clemence, as well as former Pompey players Ray Hiron, Fred Smith, John Collins, Alan Garner, Malcolm Manley and Cyril Rutter

When the action started, fears of a giant-killing were quickly soothed, as Pompey took the lead after just 108 seconds.

Williams won a corner on the right and Pring swung the ball into the box for NICOLAISEN to head home his first goal for the club.

The visitors did not look over-awed in the opening stages, however, and Sonny Carey glanced a flag-kick narrowly wide.

Bass was then called into action and got down to his right to push away a cleanly-struck effort from Adam Marriott.

But the Blues soon began to take control and started to play some neat passing football to trouble the opposition defence.

And the pressure paid off on 30 minutes, as the skipper continued his run of fine goalscoring form to double the advantage.

It was a superb strike, with Ronan Curtis’ delivery laid off by Williams for NAYLOR to hit a 25-yard rocket that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.

The floodgates might have opened after that, as the hosts unleashed a deluge of pressure, with the Linnets hanging on as the interval approached.

Harrison – who was being held by Rory McAuley – saw his header saved by Archie Mair after a Close effort had been blocked.

There was then an almighty scramble in the King’s Lynn box, with Raggett and Williams unable to force the ball home, while a defender flung himself in the path of Nicolaisen’s effort.

And Curtis was inches away from getting his name on the scoresheet when he intercepted a loose ball and hit a fine 30-yard strike that rattled the bar.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

King’s Lynn Town 0


The second half began at the same frantic pace as the first, with a perfectly-timed Kyle Callan-McFadden challenge stopping Close from racing clear.

But the hosts did increase their lead on 51 minutes, when RAGGETT charged towards the far post to firmly convert a Curtis corner.

King’s Lynn were still posing a threat going forward, but whenever their moves broke down, Pompey would break with menace.

And they soon had a fourth, as Harrison stole possession in the middle of the pitch and burst forward.

The striker then laid the ball off for HARNESS, who calmly slipped it into the bottom corner to kill any lingering hopes of a Linnets comeback.

Hiwula and Bryn Morris were both brought on, as Jackett gave Curtis and Naylor the chance to rest any tired limbs ahead of a midweek trip to Blackpool.

But the visitors reduced their deficit when McAuley held the ball up for Southwell to slot neatly into the net.

It was a brief reprieve for King’s Lynn, however, and Pompey had the chance to grab a fifth goal when Pring was fouled in the area by Ross Barrows.

Referee Will Finnie made the simple decision to point to the spot and HARRISON sent Mair the wrong way.

That was not the end of the action, though, and HIWULA opened his Blues account in impressive fashion, cutting inside from the left and curling home a fine strike.

Harness came close to wrapping things up in style following good work by Williams, but Mair was equal to his strike.

And Bass also kept his concentration at the other end, doing well to stop Southwell’s effort flying inside his near post.

But the contest almost finished the same way it had started – with a Nicolaisen goal. The defender nodded a Harness free-kick against the post seconds before the final whistle blew.

Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Pring; Williams, Close, Naylor (c) (Morris 66), Curtis (Hiwula 59); Harrison (Marquis 81), Harness
Goals: Nicolaisen 2, Naylor 30, Raggett 51, Harness 58, Harrison 72 (pen), Hiwula 80
Booked: Naylor
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, Cannon

King’s Lynn (3-4-3): Mair; Callan-McFadden, Smith, McAuley; Barrows, Clunan (c), Carey, Brown; Power (Gash 81), Marriott (Southwell 63), Loza (King 63)
Goals: Southwell 68
Booked: McAuley
Subs not used: Fleming, Richards, Jarvis

Referee: Will Finnie

Portsmouth FC

Nov 212020
 


WON (H) League 1
Portsmouth 4
Crewe Alexandra 1


Pompey climbed up to fourth in the League One table after enjoying an ultimately comfortable victory over Crewe at Fratton Park.

The visitors saw the majority of the ball, but it was the Blues who were deadly in front of goal to secure the points.

Ronan Curtis bagged a brace before the break, with his second strike the result of some terrible defending.

Tom Naylor scored his third goal in as many appearances early in the second half and the prolific John Marquis was also on target before Oli Finney grabbed a late consolation from the spot.

Kenny Jackett made four changes from the side that drew at Plymouth in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Monday night.

Haji Mnoga came in for his full league debut, while Curtis returned from Republic of Ireland international duty.

There were also starts for Jack Whatmough and Ellis Harrison, as Callum Johnson, Rasmus Nicolaisen and Ben Close dropped to the bench, with Ryan Williams missing out through injury.

It was the visitors who dominated possession in the first half, but Pompey were more assured at the back and more clinical at the other end.

Craig MacGillivray – making his 100th appearance for the club – was called into action in the early stages, making a fine stop to deny Finney.

Skipper Naylor then made a well-timed challenge inside the area to stop Tom Lowery getting a shot away.

The Blues had not really threatened at the other end, but were celebrating taking the lead on 15 minutes.

CURTIS swapped passes with Marquis and scuffed his shot, but that took the ball past the grasp of Will Jääskeläinen and into the bottom corner of the net.

Crewe will wonder how they were not level just moments later after Harry Pickering cut back for Finney.

His goal-bound effort was blocked by Sean Raggett and MacGillivray somehow prevented Daniel Powell from converting the loose ball.

A fine John Marquis back-heel then started a quick counter and the striker received a pass back via Curtis and Marcus Harness, but fired wide.

Offrande Zanzala went close at the other end, with his header from a Lowery free-kick deflected behind off Jack Whatmough.

And Pompey were then gifted a second goal by their opponents late in the first half, as Crewe tried to play the ball across their defence.

Omar Beckles took a poor touch and Curtis took advantage to burst clear, being fouled first by the defender and then Jääskeläinen.

But referee James Oldham played the advantage and CURTIS was able to poke the ball over the line, despite the best efforts of Luke Offord to clear.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Crewe Alexandra 0


Jackett made a double switch at the break and replaced both his full-backs, as Mnoga and Cam Pring made way for Johnson and Lee Brown.

And the hosts almost add a third goal soon after the restart, with Sean Raggett’s header cleared from the line by Finney and Perry Ng then getting the ball to safety.

But they did extend their advantage on 50 minutes, as Harness’ cross was only cleared as far as NAYLOR, who guided the ball into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

The Blues were well on top now and Curtis started a quick counter-attack, with Harrison sliding a pass across the box and Marquis’ cushioned effort rolling agonisingly past the post.

So it came as no surprise that a fourth goal arrived before the hour mark, although the hosts did get the rub of the green.

Crewe were – rightly – arguing that a throw should have been awarded in their favour, but a quick-thinking Harrison took it quickly and found Curtis.

He cut inside and drew a smart stop from Jääskeläinen, with Marquis hammering the loose ball against the crossbar.

But it bounced straight back towards League One’s top scorer and MARQUIS made no mistake with his header.

Crewe kept battling and MacGillivray did well to tip over Olly Lancashire’s header, not realising the defender had been flagged offside.

They brought Callum Ainley off the bench and he almost reduced the deficit, courtesy of a fierce effort that rattled the post.

Both sides were still looking to get forward when possible, although Harness and Harrison were given deserved rests for the closing stages, as Bryn Morris and Jordy Hiwula entered the fray.

Ainley sent a shot flashing narrowly wide in stoppage-time and Crewe did manage to score a late consolation.

Brown was rather harshly penalised when the ball struck his arm from point-blank range and Finney converted from the spot.

It meant the hosts were unable to add a clean sheet to their three-point haul, but it was still a convincing win for Pompey.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Mnoga (Johnson 46), Whatmough, Raggett, Pring (Brown 46); Harness (Morris 82), Naylor (c), Cannon, Curtis; Marquis, Harrison (Hiwula 87)
Goals: Curtis 15, 40, Naylor 50, Marquis 56
Booked: Cannon, Harrison
Subs not used: Bass, Nicolaisen, Close

Crewe (4-1-4-1): Jääskeläinen; Ng (c), Beckles (Lancashire 46), Offord, Pickering; Wintle (Ainley 66); Powell (Dale 59), Lowery (Murphy 59), Finney, Kirk; Zanzala (Griffiths 90)
Goals: Finney 90+4 (pen)
Booked: Ng
Subs not used: Richards, Johnson

Referee: James Oldham

Portsmouth FC Season 20/21

Nov 162020
 

League 1




Pompey were denied third spot in the League One standings after being held to a draw at Plymouth.

They were poor in the first half and an unfortunate own-goal from Sean Raggett meant they were trailing at the break.

But they completely turned things around in the space of three minutes following the restart, courtesy of John Marquis’ penalty and a fine Tom Naylor finish.

The Blues were unable to become the first side to leave Devon with all three points, however, as Jerome Opoku hit an Argyle equaliser.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that had beaten Ipswich in the FA Cup nine days earlier.

Ben Close – who scored in Pompey’s last trip to Home Park – came in for Ronan Curtis, who was away on Republic of Ireland international duty.

Andy Cannon, Naylor and Raggett had all been doubts ahead of kick-off, but the trio were passed fit to feature.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for Jack Whatmough, who had been missing since the end of October with a hamstring injury.

It was battle between the sides with best home and away records in League One respectively, but the men from Devon made the brighter start.

Ryan Hardie raced onto a pass from Kell Watts and was able to beat Craig MacGillivray to the ball, only for the keeper to recover well and deny the striker.

Watts then did well at the other end to prevent dangerous deliveries from Ryan Williams and Callum Johnson reaching their intended targets.

But Plymouth broke the deadlock on 11 minutes, with Raggett the unfortunate man to be credited with the goal.

The defender had to try to stop Hardie converting Frank Nouble’s pass and could only tun the ball into his own net.

Pompey were seeing plenty of possession and getting into some dangerous areas, although a final key pass or shot proved elusive.

One good example was when Cannon showed some neat footwork to beat Panutche Camara and play a one-two with Marquis, but could not force his way past the last defender.

A sloppy pass from Rasmus Nicolaisen then allowed Camera to find Nouble, who found space and forced a fine stop from MacGillivray.

The Blues continued to push forward and try to find a route through the Arglye back-line, but Michael Cooper was not being forced into action.

Their best opening came in stoppage-time, with Williams not quite able to bring Cam Pring’s cross under control and seeing the ball bounce off him and fly wide.


Half Time

Plymouth Argyle 1

Portsmouth 0


Jackett made a double switch at the break, with Whatmough and Ellis Harrison on to replace Nicolaisen and Close.

But it was Plymouth who were first to threaten following the restart and they will be left wondering quite how the ball stayed out of the net.

MacGillivray got down to parry away Danny Mayor’s attempt and it seemed certain that Hardie would convert the loose ball, only for Pring to make a brilliant block.

Harrison then dived forward to try to meet Harness’ delivery from the right, but could not quite make contact.

And when the substitute was fouled by Tyrese Fornah, a Marquis free-kick cannoned back off the wall and the same players follow-up flashed past the post.

Then, when Williams’ cross was only partially cleared, a fierce Naylor strike had to be tipped over by Cooper.

But the Blues were level just past the hour mark when Watts battled with Whatmough to reach a cross and the ball struck his outstretched arm.

Referee Charles Breakspear had no choice but to point to the spot and MARQUIS confidently converted the penalty.

And the game was flipped on its head a few moments later when the Pilgrims defence failed to deal with Cannon’s cross.

The ball found NAYLOR on the edge of the box and the skipper expertly drilled it right into the bottom corner.

But it was then Plymouth’s turn to hit back on 78 minutes when they won a free-kick wide on the left.

MacGillivray was unable to claim George Cooper’s delivery, allowing Dom Telford to nod the ball back and leave Opoku with a simple finish.

With the game so delicately poised it was little surprise that tempers became frayed and both Naylor and Ben Reeves were booked for a spot of mutual shoving.

A knock from Williams then saw Haji Mnoga brought on for the final few minutes, which passed by without either side able to find a winner.

Plymouth (3-5-2): M.Cooper; Aimson, Opoku, Watts; Edwards (c), Camara (Reeves 84), Fornah (Grant 67), Mayor, G.Cooper; Nouble, Hardie (Telford 63)
Goals: Raggett 11 (og), Opoku 78
Booked: Opoku, Reeves
Subs not used: McCormick, Wootton, Canavan, Abraham

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen (Whatmough 46), Pring; Naylor (c), Close (Harrison 46); Harness, Williams (Mnoga 90), Cannon; Marquis
Goals: Marquis 63 (pen), Naylor 65
Booked: Marquis, Cannon, Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Morris, Hiwula

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Portsmouth FC

Nov 072020
 

FA Cup 1




Sean Raggett scored late in extra-time at Ipswich to send Pompey into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.

The defender lashed the ball into the net just when it looked like penalties would be required to separate the two League One sides.

It did not look the contest was going to be a close when the Blues roared into a commanding lead through early Ronan Curtis and Tom Naylor goals.

But the Tractor Boys reduced their deficit through Jon Nolan and James Norwood came off the bench to draw them level after the break.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were so impressive in victory at Lincoln in the league on Tuesday evening.

That meant Cam Pring continued to deputise for Lee Brown – who injured his hamstring in the Sincil Bank warm-up – at left-back.

Oli Hawkins led the line for the hosts against his former club, while ex-Blues loanee David Cornell was between the sticks.

With Armistice Day approaching, there was a period of remembrance observed ahead of kick-off, while a bugler paid the Last Post.

And when the action started, Pompey got off to a blistering start and found themselves with a commanding lead inside the opening 13 minutes.

The first goal came after Ryan Williams was fouled 25 yards from goal by defender Mark McGuinness.

CURTIS stepped up to take the free-kick and managed to squeeze his effort between Cornell’s glove and the post.

The advantage was then doubled moments later, as Andy Cannon cut the ball back for NAYLOR to find the net – via a McGuinness deflection – from the edge of the area.

But that was Cannon’s last meaningful piece of action, as he soon limped off the pitch to be replaced by Ben Close.

The newcomer was immediately in the thick of the action, playing a fine pass through to Curtis, whose first time strike had to be turned behind by Cornell.

But the keeper – who did not make an appearance during his short stint with the Blues in 2015 – then almost saw a clearance charged down by the ever lively Ryan Williams.

Instead the ball flew to Marcus Harness and he won a corner that was taken by Cam Pring and headed clear by Hawkins.

Pompey were looking capable of adding to their lead, but instead found their advantage reduced just before the break.

Raggett intervened to stop Nolan’s header reaching Freddie Sears, but the ball flew straight back to the midfielder, who spun sharply and fired home.


Half Time

Ipswich Town 1

Portsmouth 2


The hosts then had a couple of opportunities to get back on level terms immediately after the restart.

Nolan’s effort was deflected narrowly past the post and Brett McGavin’s corner then almost snuck in at the near post, with Craig MacGillivray making the save with his legs.

Jackett soon made his second switch of the afternoon, as Callum Johnson made way and Haji Mnoga was given another chance to impress.

The game had quietened down a bit since Ipswich’s fast start, although a dangerous McGavin delivery into the box somehow evaded everyone on its path out of play.

Curtis showed some neat footwork at the other end of the pitch on 60 minutes, but his effort was comfortably dealt with by Cornell.

Hawkins was soon replaced by Norwood and the striker made an instant impact, racing between the Blues back-line and neatly slotting in an equaliser for the Tractor Boys.

Fellow substitute Gwion Edwards then came close to giving the hosts a lead, courtesy of a fierce strike that was beaten away by MacGillivray.

Ellis Harrison was also brought on to see if he could find a winner against his former club in the closing stages, with Curtis the man to head off.

It was Ipswich looking more likely to score again, though, and Emyr Huws nodded wastefully wide after meeting a McGavin corner.

And they almost did settle the tie in stoppage-time following a spot of pinball in the Pompey box, but Close was in the right place to stop the ball finding the net.

He then had a chance to score for the visitors a few moments later, but fired over from a Williams cut-back.


Full Time

Ipswich Town 2

Portsmouth 2


Teams are allowed to make an additional substitution if ties go into extra-time and Jackett immediately used his, swapping John Marquis with Bryn Morris.

And the visitors suddenly looked bright again, creating a few half-chances before Harness sent a shot crashing against the post.

Cam Pring then lifted a cross into the area from wide on the left, with Harrison rising to meet it and drawing a save from Cornell.

But the Blues did retake the lead in the second period of extra-time after Janoi Donacien had been booked for a foul on Harrison.

Harness’ delivery was met by Naylor, but his header was saved by Cornell. The loose ball was turned towards goal by Rasmus Nicolaisen, though, and RAGGETT made sure that it crossed the line.

And Mnoga almost added icing on the cake at the death, but could not keep his shot down after racing through on goal.

Ipswich (4-3-3): Cornell; Donacien, Nsiala (c), McGuiness, Kenlock; Huws (Judge 102), Nolan, McGavin; Bennetts (Edwards 67), Hawkins (Norwood 62), Sears (Lankester 94)
Goals: Nolan 43, Norwood 66
Booked: Hawkins, Donacien, Norwood
Subs not used: Holy, Wilson, Jackson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson (Mnoga 50), Raggett, Nicolaisen, Pring; Naylor (c), Cannon (Close 23); Harness, Williams, Curtis (Harrison 74); Marquis (Morris 91)
Goals: Curtis 11, Naylor 13, Raggett 111
Booked: Pring
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Hiwula

Referee: Andy Haines

Portsmouth FC

Oct 102020
 

League 1




Pompey recorded a third successive victory – but were left hanging on against MK Dons at Fratton Park.

Tom Naylor headed the hosts into an early lead, only for the men from Milton Keynes to level through Scott Fraser’s spot-kick.

The Blues were awarded a first half penalty of their own, however, and it was converted by Ellis Harrison.

It was a nervy affair after the interval and the Dons dominated possession, but could not find a leveller.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that were so impressive in victory at Burton the previous week.

Ronan Curtis – who bagged a brace against Southend in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday night – replaced Ryan Williams out wide.

The visitors looked to attack straight from kick-off, but their opponents immediately broke up the other end and Harrison’s ball across goal was just out of reach for Marcus Harness.

And then – for the second league match in succession – the Blues broke the deadlock in the second minute.

Lee Brown whipped in a corner from the right and NAYLOR was left in space to head the ball off the underside of the bar and over the line.

But the Dons were soon given a chance to draw level when Bryn Morris was penalised for a clumsy challenge on Louis Thompson inside the box.

Fraser stepped up to take the spot-kick and stroked the ball straight down the middle, with Craig MacGillivray going low to his right.

Both sides were looking to get forward whenever possible, although were lacking that final killer ball to test the keepers.

And Lee Swabey evened things up midway through the first half, with the referee spotting George Williams’ push on Sean Raggett from a corner.

Lee Nicholls got his fingertips to the penalty from HARRISON, but there was too much power on the shot to keep it from flying into the net.

Dons boss Russell Martin was incensed with the decision and his furious reaction earned a yellow card.

Pompey tried to extend their advantage further, but Michael Jacobs could not quite dig the ball out from under his feet after being found in space by Naylor.

At the other end, Carlton Morris looked to have got past Jack Whatmough, only for the defender to make a fine recovery and dispossess the striker.

Then, in stoppage-time, Sam Nombe hit a fierce long-range effort that MacGillivray had to palm around the post.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

MK Dons 1


Jackett made a change of personnel and system after the interval, with Curtis withdrawn so Rasmus Nicolaisen could make his league debut.

That saw Pompey switch to a 3-4-1-2 formation, as Jacobs moved behind the front two of Harness and Harrison.

It was the visitors who started the half brighter, however, and MacGillivray denied Carlton Morris before Naylor was forced to block Fraser’s effort.

The keeper then needed a bandage applied to his head after colliding with team-mate Nicolaisen, with both players requiring treatment.

It did not seem to do MacGillivray much harm, though, as the keeper immediately made a fine save to turn behind Nombe’s angled effort.

Pompey then came close to scoring a third goal on the hour mark, when Harrison cut in from the left side of the area.

The striker was unable to force a fierce shot past Nicholls from an acute angle, though, and David Kasumu was able to hack away the loose ball.

It had turned into a fairly open affair and MacGillivray was called into action to deal with Nombe’s strike from the edge of the box.

A free-kick – which earned Dean Lewington a booking – then led to Raggett finding the net, although the flag had long since been raised for an offside against Whatmough.

And the defender almost scored at the other end soon after, turning Carlton Morris’ dangerous pass inches past his own post.

With the Blues looking to stem the tide, John Marquis was brought on for Harness for the final 10 minutes.

The hosts conceded several free-kicks in dangerous areas as the seconds ticked down and the Dons poured forward in search of an equaliser.

A display of five additional minutes was not what Pompey wanted to see, but they saw the time out to secure a welcome three points.

Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Curtis (Nicolaisen 46), Naylor (c), Morris, Jacobs (Williams 87); Harness (Marquis 80), Harrison
Goals: Naylor 2, Harrison 23 (pen)
Booked: Naylor
Subs not used: Bass, Pring, Close, Cannon

MK Dons (3-1-4-2): Nicholls; Williams, Keogh, Lewington (c); Kasumu; Sorinola (Sørensen 86), Thompson (Houghton 70), Fraser, Cargill; Nombe (Jerome 70), Morris
Goals: Fraser 12 (pen)
Booked: Lewington, Jerome
Subs not used: Walker, Davies, Freeman, Bird

Referee: Lee Swabey

Portsmouth FC

Aug 102019
 

League 1




Ben Close’s stunning strike set Pompey on their way to victory over Tranmere in the first Fratton league fixture of the season.

The midfielder netted with a second long-range strike in the space of just a few days and it was a finely-executed effort midway through the first half.

There were plenty more chances for the dominant Blues to extend their lead, but they had to wait until the closing stages for Tom Naylor to wrap things up.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that eased past Birmingham in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

It meant that the returning duo of John Marquis and Ross McCrorie had to be content with a place on the bench.

Pompey also kept the same 4-3-3 system that had yielded such positive results against Championship opposition.

Michael Eisner and his family were over to watch the game – and were joined by an extremely famous face.

Hollywood favourite Will Ferrell – star of hit films like Anchorman and Elf – was sat in the directors’ box to take in the action.

When the action began, it was the hosts who quickly began to dominate and some early balls into the box had to be dealt with.

Ronan Curtis then played a neat one-two with Andy Cannon and drilled in a low shot that Scott Davies did well to get down and save.

But it was the Republic of Ireland international who was first to the loose ball and George Ray was forced to make the block.

Newly-promoted Tranmere’s best chance of the half came from a corner, with Craig MacGillivray having to claw away Manny Monthe’s powerful header.

Kieron Morris also drilled the ball narrowly past the post, but the visitors were not causing too many problems.

Pompey were looking more threatening and a couple of crosses from Marcus Harness were not far from reaching their targets.

The opening goal almost arrived from an unlikely source, with a fierce volley from Naylor well dealt with by Davies.

Rovers eventually managed to clear behind for a corner – and that did lead to the Blues forging ahead.

An initial attempt from Cannon was blocked, but the ball bounced up nicely for CLOSE, who showed excellent technique to guide it into the top corner from 30 yards.

They looked to add to their scoring and Paul Downing could not make a clean connection after diving in to meet a Curtis free-kick.

Tranmere tried to hit back before the break, but MacGillivray comfortably dealt with a Connor Jennings drive.

Anton Walkes then did well to stop Morgan Ferrier from collecting a threaded pass and advancing towards goal.


Half Time

Portsmouth 1

Tranmere Rovers 0


Jackett made a change at the break, with Harrison making way for John Marquis in the centre of the hosts’ attacking three.

Tom Naylor then became the first name taken by referee Scott Oldham following a clumsy challenge on Ferrier.

But the Blues might have doubled their advantage within five minutes of the restart following a display of fine footwork from Harness.

He then squared the ball for Walkes in space inside the box, but the right-back fired wildly over the crossbar.

Marquis did manage to find the net moments later, although the whistle had already been blown for a foul on David Perkins by Naylor.

Pompey were still showing plenty of attacking promise and one neat passing move ended with Lee Brown firing just past the post.

The windy conditions were making life difficult, however, and a couple of Brown crosses were blown off target.

And when the ball did land for a blue-shirted player, the woodwork managed to come to Rovers’ rescue.

Brown’s low delivery was not cut out by Davies and flew along the face of goal, with Cannon arriving at the back post to smash the ball against the post.

A Rovers corner was then glanced narrowly wide by Monthe, while Curtis soon had the ball in the net at the other end, only for the linesman’s flag to cut short any celebrations.

Brett Pitman replaced a tiring Cannon on 68 minutes, with the midfielder abiding by the new substitution rules by exiting the pitch in front of the North Stand.

His performance was recognised by the Fratton faithful, who rose to give a standing ovation as he made his way around to the dug-out.

Tranmere were suddenly looking lively and Walkes timed his challenge well to dispossess Corey Blackett-Taylor in the box, while MacGillivray kept out a low Morris shot.

But the Blues had a cushion on 75 minutes after Harness won a corner on the right that was delivered by Brown.

Downing rose to meet it and saw his header cleared from the line by Perkins, only for NAYLOR to rifle home the loose ball.

A third almost goal arrived courtesy of a fierce Pitman strike that was heading for the net, but inadvertently blocked on the line by team-mate Downing.

In a hectic finale that saw both sides on the attack, it looked like Brown had finally opened his Pompey account.

He tucked the ball home after Pitman’s initial attempt had been parried by Davies and looked utterly dejected when he spotted the offside flag.

The Rovers keeper then did well to deny Curtis after Harness had sent a teasing ball across the box following a quick break.

But the hosts had already done enough to secure the points and Fratton Park roared in appreciation when the final whistle was blown.

Pompey (4-3-3): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Burgess, Brown; Cannon (Pitman 68), Naylor (c), Close; Harness, Harrison (Marquis 46), Curtis
Goals: Close 27, Naylor 75
Booked: Naylor, Downing
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Haunstrup, McCrorie, Evans

Tranmere (4-1-4-1): Davies (c); Wilson, Ray, Monthe, Ridehalgh; Potter; Morris, Banks, Perkins, Ferrier (Payne 63); Jennings (Blackett-Taylor 58)
Subs not used: Pilling, Nelson, Gilmour, Ponticelli, Mullin

Referee: Scott Oldham

Attendance: 18,575 (639 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Jul 272019
 


WON (A) Friendly
Crawley Town 1
Portsmouth 2


Goals from Gareth Evans and Tom Naylor saw Pompey win at Crawley in their penultimate pre-season fixture.

They created plenty of chances against their League Two hosts, with Paul Downing hitting the woodwork and another Naylor effort being cleared from the line.

A fierce strike from Mason Bloomfield reduced the Reds’ deficit late on, but they could not find a leveller.

Anton Walkes was called into action early on, heading clear after George Francomb tried to convert a corner.

But it was the Blues who dominated for the majority of the first half and created the best chances to score.

The first arrived on 10 minutes when Downing met Evans’ free-kick and saw his header clip the top of the crossbar.

And the visitors did break the deadlock midway through the half, courtesy of a fine move that started with Naylor.

The midfielder slipped a precise pass through to Marcus Harness and his cross was met by a diving header from EVANS, with the ball striking the woodwork on its way into the net.

There was not much going on at the other end of the pitch, although a header from Ollie Palmer was comfortably claimed by Craig MacGillivray.

Ross McCrorie was looking dangerous for Pompey and a surging run ended with the Scottish loanee’s effort being deflected wide.

They went much closer on 31 minutes after Glenn Morris made a mess of trying to punch clear Ronan Curtis’ header.

Downing collected the ball and although he was unable to get a shot away, Naylor was and the ball had to be cleared from the line by a well-placed Tom Dallison.

There were a couple more half-chances for Curtis before the break, as the Blues continued to probe away.


Half Time

Crawley Town 0

Portsmouth 1


Harness linked up well to Ellis Harrison and McCrorie soon after the restart and the latter’s effort was deflected behind.

And the lead was doubled on 51 minutes, although Morris will probably think he could have done better.

Lee Brown cut the ball back for NAYLOR, whose effort beat the keeper far too easily before nestling in the net.

Crawley brought on Nathan Ferguson and the newcomer had an immediate impact, forcing MacGillivray down to deal with his angled drive.

The action was soon back down the other end and when Harrison collected Walkes’ threaded pass, David Sesay had to slide in and stop the striker’s shot finding the bottom corner.

But former Hawks striker Palmer really should have reduced the hosts’ deficit just past the hour mark.

He was picked out by Filipe Morais’ left-wing cross, but managed to nod the ball wide from just a couple of yards out.

The same Crawley duo combined again just past the hour mark and this time MacGillivray showed fine reflexes to deny Palmer.

Chances were now coming thick and fast, but Curtis could not keep his shot down after being slipped through by Harness.

It was proving to be an open end to the contest, with the action quickly switching from one end to the next as both sides went in search of goals.

A looping Downing header caused chaos in the Crawley box and the ball eventually crossed the line, although referee Tim Robinson had spotted a foul.

It seemed as though Pompey would see things out comfortably, but the hosts found themselves back in the game courtesy of a thunderous strike from substitute Bloomfield.

A flurry of substitutes slowed things down for the Blues, though, and the final few moments passed by without incident.

Crawley (4-1-4-1): Morris; Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Dallison, Doherty; Bulman (c) (Ferguson 53); Morais, Francomb, Camara (Bloomfield 69), Nathaniel-George (Grego-Cox 61); Palmer (Galach 82)
Goals: Bloomfield 80
Subs not used: Luyamula, Payne, Allarakhia

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Burgess, Brown (Haunstrup 86); McCrorie (Close 88), Naylor; Harness, Evans (c), Curtis (Cannon 86); Harrison (Pitman 86)
Goals: Evans 20, Naylor 61
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Dennis, Lowe, Hawkins

Referee: Tim Robinson

Attendance: 1,777 (688 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC Season 19/20

Apr 222019
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey scored a late winner for the second time over the Easter weekend to beat Coventry and maintain their automatic promotion hopes.

They were poor in an open first half at Fratton Park and Jordy Hiwula’s goal meant that the visitors went in ahead at the break.

It was a much improved display following the restart, however, and Tom Naylor headed the Blues back on level terms.

They did not quite leave it until stoppage-time on this occasion, but time was still running out when Brett Pitman fired home the winner.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that secured a dramatic triumph at Burton on Good Friday.

Former Pompey defenders Tom Davies and Dominic Hyam started for the visitors, although Conor Chaplin had to be content with a place on the bench.

The sun was shining and the atmosphere was rocking as the sides emerged from the tunnel ahead of kick-off.

An early sliding challenge from Pitman to dispossess Bright Enobakhare showed that the skipper meant business.

And the hosts almost broke the deadlock on seven minutes when Lee Burge made a hash of dealing with Lee Brown’s corner.

The keeper almost managed to punch the ball into his own net, only for a well-placed Davies to clear from the line.

Instead it was Coventry who broke the deadlock moments later, as Enobakhare found space to charge through the centre.

He played the ball through to Hiwula in the box, with the winger spinning and finding the net with a neat finish.

It was proving to be a fairly open contest, with both sides looking shaky in defence and capable of adding to the scoring.

Burge failed to deal with another corner and when Matt Clarke hooked it back into the mixer, Jamal Lowe’s fierce effort was blocked.

Coventry then broke straight up the other end of the pitch and looked like they would double their lead.

Craig MacGillivray came out of his area and was beaten to the ball by Luke Thomas, but Nathan Thompson got back on the line to make a vital block.

Davies then proved a hindrance to his former club once again, making a key challenge to deny Lowe when Pitman flicked on a long MacGillivray pass.

A couple of Jordan Shipley corners caused problems for the Blues, while Naylor headed a decent chance over after Pitman’s effort had been deflected behind.

Enobakhare then ran along the byline and tried to cut the ball back, but Christian Burgess was able to clear it behind.


Half Time

Portsmouth 0

Coventry City 1


Jackett made a double switch at the break, with Oli Hawkins and Gareth Evans making way for James Vaughan and Ronan Curtis.

The latter immediately won a corner that he took himself, but a dangerous delivery was headed clear.

He then took a free-kick after Lowe had been brought down by Dujon Sterling, with Burge doing well to punch the ball to safety.

There was a break in play following a clash of heads between Vaughan and Liam Kelly, although both were fine to continue.

And Pompey came close to levelling when the action restarted, as Brown collected Lowe’s cross and drilled a shot narrowly wide.

Burge took an over the resulting goal-kick, with referee Darren Drysdale eventually losing patience and brandishing a yellow card.

The hosts were controlling the play, but finding the Coventry defence in stubborn mood as they looked to protect their lead.

One patient attacking move ended with a cross from Lowe that was just too high for a stretching Vaughan.

But the Blues were level on 66 minutes, as Brown whipped in a corner from the right that was converted by NAYLOR’s bullet header.

Pompey looked to increase the pressure and Vaughan stole possession, only to see his pass for Pitman intercepted.

Curtis then sent a ball into the mixer that somehow managed to evade everyone on its path out of play.

But the visitors soon had a chance to score on the break, with Enobakhare slipping a pass through to the onrushing Thomas, who could only send his shot into the side netting.

And there was soon the unnerving sight of seeing Chaplin enter the pitch in opposition colours, as the former Fratton favourite was brought on.

It was Pompey who were next to go close, however, as Lowe collected a pass from Naylor and curled the ball narrowly past the post.

Shipley then lined up a dangerous looking free-kick at the other end, although Hyam could only head straight into MacGillivray’s arms.

But it was the Blues who forged on 83 minutes – and Fratton Park erupted as the ball hit the back of the net.

A corner from Brown was sent back into the danger zone by Curtis and when it landed for PITMAN, the skipper lashed home a fierce finish.

Coventry won a corner that was nervously scrambled clear and the display of six additional minutes caused the tension to grow.

But the hosts saw out the closing stages with relative ease to stretch their winning run in the league to seven matches.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Walkes 90+2), Evans (Curtis 46); Hawkins (Vaughan 46)
Goals: Naylor 66, Pitman 83
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Morris, Solomon-Otabor

Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Sterling, Davies (Willis 74), Hyam, Mason; Kelly (c), Shipley (Wakefield 85); Thomas (Chaplin 74), Enobakhare, Hiwula; Bakayoko
Goals: Hiwula 9
Booked: Burge
Subs not used: Addai, McCallum, Westbrooke, Ponticelli

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 18,884 (1,267 away fans)

Portsmouth FC

Mar 022019
 


WON (H) League 1
Portsmouth 5
Bradford City 1


Pompey returned to winning ways in the league in some style, with a 5-1 rout of Bradford at Fratton Park.

Gareth Evans got the ball rolling from the penalty spot, while Tom Naylor ensured the interval lead was a comfortable one.

Hope Akpan did reduce the deficit for the struggling Bantams, only for Jamal Lowe to immediately restore the two-goal advantage.

Ben Close then ensured the scoreline received a gloss by adding a brace to cap a fine individual display.

The downside for the Blues were injuries suffered by Oli Hawkins, Ronan Curtis, Matt Clarke and Nathan Thompson – the latter two following a clash of heads.

Throw in a delay while a drone flew over the ground and it was certainly an eventful afternoon on the south coast.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Bury to reach the Checkatrade Trophy final earlier in the week.

Lowe came in for Viv Solomon-Otabor out wide, with Christian Burgess making a quicker than expected return from an ankle injury.

There was a minute’s applause before kick-off in memory of Division Three title-winner Bobby Doyle, who sadly passed away earlier in the week.

The start of the first half was a disjointed affair, with neither goalkeeper being called into action during the early stages.

Hawkins did almost break the deadlock on six minutes, stooping to head against the post after Evans had lifted the ball into the mixer.

Close then swivelled neatly inside the box moments later, although failed to guide his shot on target.

Those opportunities aside, it was not exactly proving to be a flowing contest, but Pompey started to dominate as the game progressed.

They were handed an excellent chance to open the scoring midway through the half when Oliver Langford pointed to the spot.

Evans had sent a corner into the box and with Hawkins being hauled to the ground by Anthony O’Connor, the referee had no choice.

It was EVANS who stepped up to take the penalty and confidently slammed his penalty into the top corner.

The traffic was mostly one-way from that point, with Hawkins proving to be a particular menace to the Bantams back-line.

He played a fine pass through to Curtis on 34 minutes, but the ball got stuck under the forward’s feet and Lowe’s effort was blocked.

And their pressure paid off late in the half when the advantage was doubled, courtesy of another Evans corner.

It was flapped at by Richard O’Donnell and the ball fell for Curtis, whose strike cannoned off the underside of the bar.

The forward thought it had crossed the line, but there was no signal from the officials and NAYLOR followed up to slot home.


Half Time

Portsmouth 2

Bradford City 0


Pompey continued to look bright once the action restarted and Clarke glanced an Evans corner past the post.

But there was a bizarre incident just past the hour mark, when the referee called both sets of players to the sidelines.

Everybody was looking up in the air and there was a drone hovering overhead, but it eventually flew off and the action was able to restart.

It was the Bantams who were next to go close, with Craig MacGillivray doing well to palm over Akpan’s drive.

But Akpan did score from the resulting corner, driving the ball into the net after Kelvin Mellor’s had headed the ball into his path

Pompey’s response was immediate and when Lee Brown whipped a dangerous cross into the box, LOWE got down to convert with his chest.

But Hawkins had picked up an injury and was withdrawn by James Vaughan – not that it stopped the hosts’ momentum.

They soon had a fourth goal, as Evans met a delivery from Curtis with a half-volley that was turned into the net by CLOSE.

There was more injury concern for the Blues following a sickening clash of heads between Clarke and Nathan Thompson.

Both medical teams were quickly on the case and the right-back was withdrawn for Anton Walkes, with Clarke carrying on after getting bandaged up.

Pompey continued to attack and almost increased their lead, only for O’Donnell to tip over Lowe’s fierce drive.

A bloodied Clarke was struggling, however, and Jackett made his final change by bringing him off for Dion Donohue.

The action continued at a breathless pace and the hosts did have a fifth goal on 87 minutes, with Curtis’ pass being cut out, but the ball breaking for CLOSE to fire into the bottom corner.

The various injuries and drone interruption meant there were 10 minutes of stoppage-time displayed by the fourth official.

And Pompey finished the contest with 10 men, as Curtis pulled up while chasing the ball and hobbled off the pitch.

But the final moments passed by incident-free, as the Blues brought an impressive week to a close by collecting all three points.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson (Walkes 77), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 84), Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Close, Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 69)
Goals: Evans 23 (pen), Naylor 41, Lowe 67, Close 70, 87
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor, Pitman

Bradford (4-2-3-1): O’Donnell; Caddis (c) (Mellor 46), O’Connor, Knight-Percival, Wood (Miller 62); Akpan, Butterfield; Ball, Payne (Clarke 72), O’Brien; Doyle
Goals: Akpan 65
Booked: Caddis, Knight-Percival
Subs not used: Wilson, Anderson, Maltby, Patrick

Referee: Oliver Langford

Attendance: 17,657 (493 away fans)

Portsmouth FC Season 18/19

Nov 242018
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Pompey continued their fine form on the road with a 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe, despite a tense conclusion to the contest.

They appeared to be cruising to three points at Glanford Park, with goals from Tom Naylor and Gareth Evans giving them a comfortable interval lead.

But Evans missed a great chance to extend the advantage further after the break and Lee Novak immediately reduced The Iron’s deficit.

The hosts applied some under intense pressure in the closing stages, but the Blues held on to secure more away-day joy for the travelling support.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that comfortably progressed in the FA Cup at Maidenhead a fortnight ago.

It mean that the in-form Oli Hawkins continued to lead the line, having netted five goals in his previous six appearances.

Brett Pitman recovered from a slight knee problem to take his place on the bench, but there was no room for the fit-again Andre Green.

Pompey looked in control for much of the first half and dominated possession, with plenty of the action taking place in and around the opposition area.

There were not too many clear-cut chances at either end of the pitch, although some dangerous deliveries from Jamal Lowe were just out of reach for his team-mates.

Nathan Thompson made a timely block to deny Andy Dales at the other end, while Funso Ojo injured himself as he blazed wildly over and had to be replaced.

A corner from Evans was glanced agonisingly past the post by Matt Clarke and Hawkins then had appeals for a penalty turned down following an apparent push by Cameron Burgess.

Scunthorpe’s best opening came when George Thomas’ corner was nodded narrowly over the bar by Matthew Lund.

Evans almost caught out Jak Alnwick with a set-piece of his own that came close to dipping under the bar before the keeper turned it over.

But the next corner did lead to a goal on 34 minutes, as Jack Whatmough turned Ronan Curtis’ cross back into the centre, where NAYLOR was left in space to hook home.

Pompey were in control by this point and it came as no surprise when they doubled their lead soon after.

Nathan Thompson fed EVANS and the skipper showed neat footwork in the box before lofting a fine shot past Alnwick.

The only sour note for the visitors before the break came when Hawkins was booked following an aerial challenge.


Half Time

Scunthorpe United 0

Portsmouth 2


The Blues picked up where they left off following the interval and Lee Brown’s free-kick was not too far over the bar after Hawkins had been fouled.

Scunthorpe started to enjoy more of the ball as the second half progressed, although it was still their opponents looking more dangerous.

And Evans should really have wrapped things up on 58 minutes, somehow firing wide from just a few yards out after being picked out by Naylor.

The Iron made Pompey pay for that miss just moments later, with Novak arrowing the ball into the net after Craig MacGillivray had pushed clear Thomas’ cross.

More goals were looking possible at both ends by this point and it was the visitors’ time to go close on 66 minutes.

Alnwick failed to hold a low cross from Lowe under pressure from Evans, but dived on the loose ball before Curtis could capitalise.

There were hearts in mouths at the opposite side of the pitch, with a mad scramble in the Blues box before Whatmough eventually hacked clear.

And another spell of sustained Iron pressure finished with Thomas curling a shot past MacGillivray’s grasp, but also the post.

Jackett was forced to make a change on 79 minutes, with Evans limping off to be replaced by Christian Burgess and a switch to three at the back.

It was proving to be a nervy finale and a free-kick from Thomas somehow evaded everyone on its way out of play, although referee Martin Coy spotted a slight Pompey touch.

But the Blues managed to see out five minutes of stoppage-time, much to the delight of the 913 fans who had travelled up from the south coast,

Scunthorpe (4-1-4-1): Alnwick; McArdle (c), Goode, Burgess, Borthwick-Jackson (Butroid 46); Horsfield (Humphrys 75); Lund, Ojo (Ugbo 13), Thomas, Dales; Novak
Goals: Novak 60
Booked: Goode, Lund, Novak, McArdle
Subs not used: Flatt, Ben El-Mhanni, Morris, Wootton

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe (Wheeler 84), Evans (c) (Burgess 79), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Naylor 34, Evans 40
Booked: Hawkins, Curtis
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Haunstrup, Close, Pitman

Referee: Martin Coy

Attendance: 4,365 (913 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Oct 132018
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Tom Naylor and Gareth Evans were on target as Pompey secured a deserved victory at AFC Wimbledon.

But they were forced to endure a nervy conclusion after a fine James Hanson strike reduced the Dons’ deficit.

Up until that point it had been a dominant afternoon for the visitors, with Naylor’s header opening his account for the club.

Evans doubled the advantage before the break and the Blues had several more chances to extend the lead further.

But Hanson pulled one back for Wimbledon and a tense finale ensued before the final whistle was blown.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were beaten by Gillingham in the last league fixture.

Dion Donohue was rewarded for his winning Checkatrade Trophy goal earlier in the week, while there were also returns for Ben Thompson in midfield and Oli Hawkins up front.

Brett Pitman and Ben Close both dropped to the bench, with Ronan Curtis absent on international duty.

There were a couple of familiar faces on the Wimbledon flanks, with former Pompey players Jake Jervis and Andy Barcham both starting.

The first half was a breathless affair, with the visitors in almost total control from first whistle until last.

AFC Wimbledon were indebted to Joe McDonnell in the opening stages, with the keeper saving Naylor’s header with his legs following a corner from Donohue.

He then raced off his line to deny Evans after the stand-in skipper had raced on to a great pass from Nathan Thompson.

It was an unseasonably warm afternoon in south-west London, but conditions proved difficult when the breeze picked up.

Craig MacGillivray was relatively untroubled, although he was called into action to keep out a deflected Tom Soares free-kick.

A rare spell of prolonged Dons pressure then ended with the stopper keeping out a low attempt from Jervis.

But it was Pompey on top and they deservedly broke the deadlock on 24 minutes – much to the delight of the lucky ballot winners packed into the away end.

Another fine corner from Donohue was met by NAYLOR, whose header deflected off Liam Trotter and managed to cross the line.

They kept pouring forward and Hawkins nodded narrowly wide from a Lee Brown cross, while Deji Oshilaja did well to dispossess the lively Jamal Lowe in the box.

But the advantage was doubled on 31 minutes, as Brown sent a low delivery across the face of goal and EVANS raced in at the far post to arrow a shot home.

The wind almost caught out MacGillivray at the other end, with Jervis’ cross catching a gust and landing on the roof of the net.

Still the Blues kept up their attacking intent, however, and a long-range effort from Naylor was just about pushed wide by McDonnell.

A vital block from Oshilaja then came to Wimbledon’s rescue after Lowe had bamboozled the back-line and picked out Hawkins.

The only down side for the visitors was a couple of bookings they collected from referee Lee Probert just before the interval.

Donohue was penalised for an alleged dive in the box, with Jack Whatmough booked for a late challenge on Joe Pigott.


Half Time

AFC Wimbledon 0

Portsmouth 2


Such had been Pompey’s dominance, that opposition manager Neal Ardley made all three of his substitutions at the break.

Tennai Watson, Barcham and Pigott were all hauled off, with Will Nightingale, Anthony Hartigan and Hanson replacing them.

The three newcomers were out there on their own for a while, however, with the rest of the home side taking an age to take to the pitch.

It was the Blues that were first to threaten after Soares had been booked for a swipe at Nathan Thompson.

Whatmough’s free-kick was nodded on by Hawkins for Lowe, who tried a cheeky back-heel that McDonnell got down to keep out.

The traffic was continuing to head in the same direction and a couple of corners almost led to more goals.

When the first of them was only partially cleared, a thunderbolt from Donohue flew narrowly off target.

He took the second himself and it was met by the head of Matt Clarke, with a well-placed Jervis clearing from the line.

But Wimbledon suddenly found themselves back in the game with a goal of their own just past the hour mark.

It was slightly unfortunate for the visitors, with Evans mis-cueing his clearance and Hanson capitalising with a fine finish that curled around MacGillivray’s dive and into the net.

The Dons might have had another soon after, but Jervis could only head the ball straight to the keeper after meeting Oshilaja’s cross.

A corner from Evans was nodded inches wide by Clarke, as Pompey tried to restore their grip on the contest.

Jackett made his first switch on 74 minutes, with Donohue the man to make way for Ben Close in midfield.

Wimbledon were playing with much more belief by this point, though, with Whatmough and Clarke both making blocks to deny Kwesi Appiah.

A second Blues change occurred soon after, with Hawkins being replaced by Pitman in the lone striking role.

The visitors were more content to use up time as the seconds ticked down, before the Pompey fans could finally celebrate another victory.

AFC Wimbledon (4-4-2): McDonnell; Watson (Nightingale 46), Oshilaja (c), McDonald, Purrington; Jervis, Trotter, Soares, Barcham (Hartigan 46); Appiah, Pigott (Hanson 46)
Goals: Hanson 63
Booked: Soares
Subs not used: King, Sibbick, Egan, Pinnock

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Evans (c) (Walkes 89), Lowe, Donohue (Close 74); Hawkins (Pitman 80)
Goals: Naylor 24, Evans 31
Booked: Donohue, Whatmough
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Dennis, Mason

Referee: Lee Probert

Attendance: 4,569 (769 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC