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