Feb 082020
 

Match Report

Highlights

League 1




Sean Raggett and Ryan Williams were on target as Pompey won at Tranmere to set a new club record.

It is the first time they have won nine successive games in all competitions since entering the Football League in 1920.

Raggett opened his Blues account with an early close-range header and Williams made sure of the points with a low strike after the break.

The relegation-threatened Rovers kept battling away, but were all too often let down by their play in the final third.

Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that beat Sunderland on home soil the previous week.

One was enforced, with Andy Cannon’s glute injury seeing Ben Close recalled to midfield and Cameron McGeehan pushed further forward.

Ellis Harrison also returned to lead the line and John Marquis dropped to the bench, where he was joined by Gareth Evans.

The hosts had received plenty of negative publicity for their pitch, which was lacking much grass and included big patches of sand in the wide areas.

Both sides found the conditions – not helped by the windy weather – difficult to deal with and there were plenty of misjudged passes.

But a lovely touch from Ronan Curtis provided an early opening and when his shot was beaten away by Scott Davies, the loose ball was cleared by Calum Woods before Williams could capitalise.

The deadlock was broken on 13 minutes, however, with Curtis providing the assist after he had been fouled by Kane Wilson.

A free-kick was swung into the box by the winger and although Christian Burgess could not make a connection, RAGGETT was in position to head home his opening Blues goal from a few yards out.

Tranmere fought back and almost gained an immediate leveller after Burgess had made a key block to deny former Fratton loanee James Vaughan.

The ball was sent straight back into the area and Andy Cook’s neat back-heel was well saved by Alex Bass from point-blank range.

Still the danger was not over, though, and Close had to go sliding in to prevent Kieron Morris having a free shot on goal.

Harrison had an attempt at the other end midway through the first half, but angled the ball wide after being teed-up by Curtis.

George Ray then did well to get ahead of Burgess at the far post and prevent the defender meeting Steve Seddon’s free-kick.

But it was Tranmere who finished the opening period on top and Bass got down well to stop Cook from nodding home Wilson’s cross.

A delivery from Corey Blackett-Taylor then appeared to present Cook with a free header, only for the striker to somehow miss the ball completely.

Another attempt from the same player soon crept pass the post after Woods had this time provided the cross.

And Burgess came to the rescue in stoppage-time to block Cook’s centre after Bass had come charging from his box and misjudged the bounce of the ball.


Half Time

Tranmere Rovers 1

Portsmouth 0


A couple of Seddon free-kicks caused the hosts problems once the action restarted, while Curtis scuffed a chance off target.

But the lead was doubled on 51 minutes after McGeehan slipped a neat pass through to Curtis, who had stayed onside.

The Republic of Ireland international’s cut-back went behind WILLIAMS, who recovered well to drill a low shot into the bottom corner from just outside the box.

Pompey kept looking for more goals, though, and a firm header from Harrison was sent straight into Davies’ arms.

Their opponents started to look more of a threat as the half progressed, although were constantly being let down by a poor final ball.

A corner – which Bass was booked for holding up – then led to an almighty scramble and Morris eventually prodded wastefully wide.

Rovers were seeing a lot of the ball, without doing much with it, while the visitors were trying to break quickly.

One delivery from Seddon was neatly flicked on by Harrison, but Davies was able to scramble behind before Close could pounce.

And Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to continue their charge up the League One table.

Tranmere (4-4-2): Davies (c); Wilson (Ridehalgh 46), Ray, Monthe, Woods (Danns 59); Morris, Woodyard, McCullough, Blackett-Taylor; Vaughan (Ferrier 59), Cook
Booked: Vaughan
Subs not used: Pilling, Perkins, Gilmour, Jennings

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Seddon; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, McGeehan, Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Raggett 13, Williams 51
Booked: Bass, Williams
Subs not used: MacGillivray, McCrorie, Whatmough, Brown, Evans, Harness, Marquis

Referee: Michael Salisbury

Attendance: 6,985 (1,379 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 102019
 

Match Report

Highlights

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

Dec 092016
 

Ben Tollitt

PompeyRama

Transfer : Portsmouth – Tranmere Rovers


Winger makes loan move permanent.


Ben Tollitt has left Pompey to sign a permanent deal with Tranmere for an undisclosed fee.

The 22-year-old winger has spent the last few months on loan with the National League leaders.

He joined the Blues from Skelmersdale in the summer of 2015 and scored once in 18 appearances during his time at Fratton Park.

Portsmouth FC