Transfer : Portsmouth – Wigan Athletic
Transfer : Portsmouth – Wigan Athletic
|Jamal Lowe has completed a move to Championship side Wigan for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old winger scored 29 goals in 119 appearances during his two-and-a-half years at Fratton Park.
He arrived at Pompey from Hampton & Richmond in January 2017 and helped them secure promotion in his first season.
Lowe netted twice on a memorable day at Notts County that secured a spot in League One for Paul Cook’s side.
He also scored a stunning strike at Wembley back in March, as the Blues beat Sunderland on penalties to lift the EFL Trophy.
Loan : Wigan Athletic – Portsmouth
Pompey have signed striker James Vaughan on loan from Wigan for the remainder of the season.
The 30-year-old – who was capped by England up to under-21 level – will wear the number 32 shirt during his time at Fratton Park.
Blues boss Kenny Jackett said: “James is an experienced centre-forward and has been excellent for clubs for a number of years – we’re delighted to bring him here.
“He’ll bring physicality to our front line between now and the end of the season, which is something we’ve lacked at times.”
Vaughan progressed through the ranks at Everton and a goal against Crystal Palace in April 2005 means he still holds the record for being the youngest Premier League scorer.
He appeared for the Toffees in the 2009 FA Cup final and went on to appear for Norwich, Huddersfield, Birmingham and Bury.
A prolific spell for the latter saw him named in the League One Team of the Season and led to a move to Sunderland.
Vaughan signed for Wigan last January and helped them secure promotion to the Championship, where he has netted three times this term.
Pompey’s fine run of form continued with a convincing victory over title-chasing Wigan at Fratton Park.
It was the second home game in succession that the Blues impressed in front of the Sky Sports cameras.
Brett Pitman maintained his own prolific run with a penalty before the break, while Jamal Lowe doubled the advantage on a damp Easter Monday.
Will Grigg came off the bench to pull once back for the Latics late on, but Pompey held on to maintain their play-off hopes.
Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that won at Walsall just a couple of days earlier.
With Dion Donohue’s partner about to give birth, he was replaced at left-back by Brandon Haunstrup.
It was a first return to Fratton Park for title-winning manager Paul Cook and his assistant Leam Richardson.
But Gary Roberts had to be content with a place on the bench against his former club, while Noel Hunt was in the press box on radio punditry duties.
It was the hosts who had the first chance when Gareth Evans delivered a low cross that Chey Dunkley just about got to before Pitman.
But the Latics – as expected – controlled possession and a few niggly challenges from Pompey ensured the contest became a scrappy affair.
Max Power saw a shot deflected narrowly past the post after possession had been stolen, as Wigan looked to make the pressure count.
It was certainly not one-way traffic, though, and when the atmosphere started to go up a few notches, the players responded.
Pitman managed to send a dangerous low cross into the box from the right and Lowe slid in at the near post, but could not quite make a connection.
Both sides earned a yellow card midway through the first half, with Callum Elder cautioned for a foul on Lowe and Nathan Thompson booked for upending Nick Powell.
Michael Jacobs thought he should have been awarded a penalty on 28 minutes after going down under pressure from Thompson, only to see his appeals waved away by Tim Robinson.
The referee – after being alerted by the fourth official – then had to go over to speak to Cook about his protestations, with the Latics boss given a stern ticking off.
Powell sent a free-kick into the wall, while James Vaughan dragged a shot wide following good work by Max Power.
But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 40 minutes after Dan Burn had clumsily brought down Ben Close in the box.
PITMAN stepped up to take the penalty, sending Christian Walton the wrong way as he buried the ball into the bottom left corner.
He almost had another before the break when Elder made a hash out of clearing, but Walton came to the defender’s rescue.
There was still time for Wigan to have a chance to level, though, and it took a fine diving header from Jack Whatmough to stop Powell meeting Nathan Byrne’s cross.
Wigan Athletic 0
It was a fairly quiet start to the second half, with Powell hitting another free-kick into the wall, while Kal Naismith’s long-range effort was comfortably dealt with at the other end.
But LOWE certainly got Fratton Park rocking again on 55 minutes when he doubled Pompey’s advantage.
The forward collected a low cross from Thompson, turned sharply and sent the ball past Walton’s grasp and into the bottom corner.
That was the cue for the heavens to open, although it failed to dampen the spirits of the crowd – even if some in the front row did make a dash for shelter.
Wigan had an opportunity when a free-kick was only partially cleared, but Sam Morsy hit the loose ball high into the Fratton End.
Cook made a double switch as he tried to find a route back into the game, with the dangerous Grigg joining Ryan Colclough on the pitch.
But it was Powell who almost reduced the deficit on 69 minutes, only for Luke McGee to brilliantly divert the ball against the crossbar.
There were a few nerves creeping in – on and off the pitch – and the game descended into a scrappy affair once more, with cheap fouls conceded by both sides.
McGee was still looking assured, though, and made a super stop to keep out Grigg’s cleanly-struck volley from a Jacobs centre.
Roberts was brought on as Cook made one last throw of the dice, with the midfielder given warm applause by the Fratton faithful.
Pompey were beginning to tire, but failed to let their efforts falter, with a host of brave challenges and strong headers.
It looked like they would comfortably see the game out, but the nerves returned when Grigg nodded home a Roberts cross.
The Blues saw out five minutes of stoppage-time, however, to secure a memorable victory and spoil Cook’s south coast return.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; Walkes; Lowe, Evans, Close, Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Pitman 40 (pen), Lowe 55
Booked: Thompson, Walkes, Naismith
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, O’Keefe, Ronan, Kennedy, Chaplin, Hawkins
Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder; Power, Morsy (c); Massey (Grigg 66), Powell, Jacobs (Roberts 81); Vaughan (Colclough 66)
Goals: Grigg 89
Booked: Elder, Walton
Subs not used: Jones, Bruce, Perkins, Walker
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 17,842 (461 away fans)
Conor Chaplin came off the bench to rescue a point for Pompey at promotion favourites Wigan.
It did not look a likely outcome when Ivan Toney fired the hosts ahead early in the contest and they then dominated the rest of the first half.
The Latics hit the woodwork on three occasions, but Chey Dunkley’s red card turned the tide in the Blues’ favour.
And Chaplin’s header ensured that the noisy travelling faithful had plenty to cheer on the long trip home, despite Gareth Evans also being dismissed late on.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew with Walsall the previous week.
Dion Donohue was handed a debut wide on the left, with Jamal Lowe returning from suspension to lead the line and Kyle Bennett also given a recall.
Kal Naismith dropped to the bench, while there was no place in the squad for Milan Lalkovic or the injured Drew Talbot.
Wigan immediately showed why they are the favourites for League One promotion and it took just eight minutes for them to break the deadlock.
Nick Powell threaded a pass through to Gavin Massey and he slid the ball across the face of goal for Toney to tap home from close range.
That failed to temper the hosts’ attacking intent and the only surprise at half-time was that they failed to extend their advantage.
It was a combination of Luke McGee and the woodwork that came to Pompey’s rescue to limit the damage.
The keeper made a fine save with his feet to deny Toney a second when the striker looked to convert a dangerous Massey delivery.
Reece James then teed-up Powell, whose fierce strike cannoned back off the crossbar on 22 minutes.
The Blues had created little at the other end of the pitch, with an uncharacteristic heavy touch from Brett Pitman denying him a shooting opportunity.
Wigan, by contrast, were looking dangerous with every attack and Christian Burgess did well to block Samy Morsy’s effort after the midfielder had initially given him the slip.
Pompey did provide more of a threat towards the end of the half and when Evans’ met a Donohue free-kick, his downwards header had to be scrambled clear.
A couple of corners also caused the Latics problems, but although Christian Walton flapped at one, they both ultimately came to nothing.
Paul Cook would have enjoyed seeing his new side dominate his old one, although that failed to stop Wigan’s boss berating the fourth official for some perceived poor refereeing decisions.
And he had more reason to moan when Toney, under pressure from Evans, could only turn Massey’s cross against the post.
The hosts looked like they would grab a second before the break, with Lee Evans’ strike heading for the net until a diving McGee managed to palm it behind.
Wigan Athletic 1
It had been virtually one-way traffic before the break, but the Blues came close to levelling just 56 seconds after the restart.
Brandon Haunstrup sent the ball into the box from wide on the left, only for Lowe to turn it wide from close range.
Wigan were soon back on the attack, however, and McGee was at his best once more to keep out Michael Jacobs’ fiercely-struck attempt.
The keeper then failed to hold another effort from the same player, but was quickly able to smother the loose ball.
Jackett made a double switch on 53 minutes in an attempt to spark a reversal of fortunes, with Donohue and Danny Rose withdrawn for Naismith and Ben Close.
And a Wigan player was also departing soon after – although there was nobody coming on to replace Dunkley.
The centre-back lashed out at Pitman off the ball and referee Robert Jones had no choice but to brandish a red card.
But it was the Latics who almost scored again on 69 minutes, with the post coming to Pompey’s rescue once more when an effort from substitute Terell Thomas beat McGee’s grasp.
The Blues were trying to make their numerical advantage count, but were finding it difficult to test Walton.
There was an equaliser for the large travelling support to cheer on 76 minutes, however.
Haunstrup swung in a fine cross from wide on the left and CHAPLIN – who had only just been brought on – deftly nodded it home.
It almost got even better for the visitors soon after, but Walton just about got down quick enough to palm clear Adam May’s daisy-cutter.
There were still chances at the other end, though, and Will Grigg should have done better than divert his far-post header straight into McGee’s arms.
But the Blues also had to play out the closing stages with 10 men when Evans’ foul earned him a second booking of the afternoon.
The fourth official’s display of six additional minutes spurred the home side on in their search for a winner.
But Pompey were able to see that out to secure a point and end Wigan’s 100 per cent start to the League One campaign.
Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, James; Evans, Morsy (c); Massey (Colclough 83), Powell (Grigg 73), Jacobs; Toney (Thomas 61)
Goals: Toney 8
Sent off: Dunkley
Subs not used: Jones, Perkins, Gilbey, Hunt
Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Evans, Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; May, Rose (Close 53); Bennett (Chaplin 73), Pitman (c), Donohue (Naismith 53); Lowe
Goals: Chaplin 76
Sent off: Gareth Evans (two yellow cards)
Booked: Donohue, Pitman, Whatmough
Subs not used: Bass, Thompson, Davies, Kabamba
Referee: Robert Jones
|Portsmouth Football Club can announce that Gary Roberts has left the club by mutual consent.
The 33-year-old midfielder netted 20 goals in 80 appearances during his two seasons on the south coast.
He scored 10 times last term as the Blues secured the League Two title, including crucial strikes against Colchester, Exeter and Plymouth.
Gary Roberts subsequently signed for Wigan Athletic.
Manager takes up Wigan post
Paul Cook has stepped down as Pompey boss to take up the vacant managerial position at Wigan Athletic.
A financial compensation agreement was reached with Wigan over the weekend, resulting in permission being granted for the Latics to speak to Paul.
Assistant manager Leam Richardson has also left Fratton Park.
Cook arrived at Pompey in May 2015 and led the club to the League Two play-offs in his first season in charge.
There was even more success at the end of last term, with the Blues earning automatic promotion and securing the title on a dramatic final day.