Apr 082017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 3 – 1 Yeovil Town

 

Evans, Naismith and Lowe on target

Pompey strengthened their grasp on automatic promotion with a 3-1 victory over Yeovil.

Gareth Evans opened the scoring from the spot, as the Blues finally managed to break their penalty curse.

But an unfortunate own-goal drew the Glovers level after the break and threatened to spoil the party.

Top scorer Kal Naismith restored the advantage, however, and Jamal Lowe came off the bench to net his first goal for the club.

Paul Cook made two changes from the side that won at Hartlepool the previous week.

Lowe dropped to the bench to make way for a fit-again Carl Baker, while Gary Roberts replaced the injured Noel Hunt.

That meant Naismith was employed as a makeshift striker – a role he performed so effectively in the second half at Victoria Park.

Pompey made a bright start in the south coast sunshine and Bevis Mugabi had to be alert to beat Roberts to Evans’ cross.

But it was Yeovil who should have forged ahead moments later, with an unmarked Tom Eaves sending Kevin Dawson’s cross over the bar.

It was generally the hosts looking more threatening, however, and a dangerous low Roberts centre had to be cleared behind by Alex Lacey.

Then, from the resulting corner, Matt Clarke rose highest to meet the ball, only for Liam Shephard to clear from the line.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 15 minutes – and finally bring an end to their penalty hoodoo.

Roberts did well to nip in and steal the ball from the dithering Mugabi, drawing a clumsy challenge from the centre-back.

Referee Graham Horwood immediately pointed to the spot and EVANS coolly steered his shot into the bottom corner.

They kept pushing forward and Artur Krysiak denied Naismith before Roberts’ cross hit the hapless Mugabi and ricocheted against the inside of the post.

Pompey continued to send some dangerous deliveries into the box that caused the Glovers defence problems.

There was also one at the other end, however, and Mugabi should at least have turned Matty Dolan’s corner on target from just a few yards out.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Yeovil 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey were keen to build on their narrow advantage once the second half got underway, with Naismith and Kyle Bennett proving a nuisance down the left.

Roberts then found Naismith in the box and a glancing header from the hosts’ top scorer was superbly palmed clear by Krysiak.

Instead, the Glovers drew level in bizarre circumstances on 51 minutes. Francois Zoko, Clarke and Stevens were all competing for the ball and the latter two conspired to inadvertently lob it into their own net.

That was the signal for the Blues to camp out in their opponents’ half, with the visitors having to deal with several corners.

Evans and Bennett also had shots blocked, as Pompey – backed by a noisy crowd – tried to restore their advantage.

Stevens then tried to catch Krysiak out at his near post with a low drive, as the Glovers struggled to contain their hosts.

Cook made his first change on 67 minutes, as Conor Chaplin replaced Roberts to give the strikeforce a more conventional look.

But it was the stand-in who fired the Blues back into the lead just seconds later, as Stevens teed-up NAISMITH and Krysiak could not get a strong enough hand to the Scotsman’s shot.

Yeovil boss Darren Way quickly brought on Otis Khan and his effort flew narrowly over the bar, rippling the top of the net in the process.

Baker then made way for Lowe and within two minutes of his introduction, the January signing opened his account for the club.

It was a decent individual effort from LOWE, who bundled his way past a challenge before finding the net from the tightest of angles.

That ensured Pompey could see the game out relatively free of nerves and take another stride towards a place in League One.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Rose, M.Doyle (c); Baker (Lowe 76), Roberts (Chaplin 67), Bennett; Naismith (Kabamba 90)
Goals: Evans 15 (pen), Naismith 68, Lowe 78
Subs not used: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough, Linganzi

Yeovil (3-4-3): Krysiak; Mugabi (Smith 57), Lacey, Butcher; Shephard, Dawson (c), Dolan, James; Goodship (Khan 70), Zoko, Eaves (Akpa Akpro 50)
Goals: Stevens 51 (og)
Subs not used: Maddison, Sowunmi, Lawless, Jones

Referee: Graham Horwood

Attendance: 17,564 (443 away fans)

Portsmouth FC
Dec 302016
 
League 2
Yeovil 0 – 0 Portsmouth

 

Blues end the year with a draw

Pompey ended 2016 by picking up a point in extremely testing conditions at Huish Park.

With fog enveloping the ground for the entire contest, it was difficult to make out what was happening at times.

But referee Christopher Sarginson decided to let the game go ahead – even if the mass of travelling supporters could not see their side’s attacks in the first half.

Both sides did their best to find a path through to goal, but neither was able to finish the year on a high.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that fought from behind to win at Newport on Boxing Day.

But the boss switched to a 4-3-3 system, with Kal Naismith and Michael Smith deployed in attacking roles either side of Noel Hunt.

The thick fog engulfing Huish Park began to lift as the kick-off neared, only to return with a vengeance once the players emerged from the tunnel.

It was a particular pea-souper in the end housing the visiting fans, who surely struggled to see what was happening once the ball passed the halfway line.

There were not an abundance of clear-cut opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, but it was Pompey who looked more of a threat.

Naismith was first to test Artur Krysiak in the Glovers goal with a fierce angled effort that had to be beaten behind.

The Scotsman also sent in a couple of inviting deliveries that first Matt Clarke and then Smith failed to divert on target from close-range.

A corner from Naismith then caused an almighty scramble in the Yeovil box on 28 minutes, but the hosts were eventually able to hack the ball clear.

Otis Khan was the player causing the most problems for the Glovers, but a couple of weak efforts from him failed to overly trouble David Forde.

The best chance of the half arrived on 37 minutes when Krysiak stuck out a hand to brilliantly deny Naismith, although a raised flag from the linesman diluted that piece of drama.

Half Time: Yeovil 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Yeovil caused a moment of panic in the Blues box within seconds of the restart, only for Matt Clarke to charge across the box and make a vital challenge on Khan.

A period of Pompey pressure at the other end of the pitch soon led to a shot from Danny Rose that was blocked.

Then, seconds later, Hunt burst into the box and hit a fierce volleyed effort that Krysiak did well to get behind.

It was the Blues who were dominating possession and Carl Baker had a chance on the hour mark, dragging a shot narrowly wide.

Cook made his first switch on 67 minutes, with Kyle Bennett adding an injection of energy into Pompey’s attacking trio in place of Hunt.

And it took a great sliding interception from Nathan Smith to deny namesake Michael from opening the scoring by converting a low Enda Stevens delivery moments later.

It was a similar outcome on 77 minutes, but this time Krysiak dived on the left-back’s cross before the striker could pounce.

Smith did beat the keeper to another Stevens cross soon after, only for Ryan Dickson to get back and clear the ball to safety.

But Yeovil roared into life in the final few moments and had a couple of chances to grab a late winner.

The first one saw a low cross ricochet off both Clarke and Christian Burgess before Forde was able to jump on the loose ball.

And Khan then surged through on goal and had just the keeper to beat, but his fierce drive cannoned back off the corner of post and bar.

Pompey were still looking to get forward in the closing stages, although they had ultimately to settle for a point in a contest that will be best remembered for what those present could not see.

Yeovil (4-3-3): Krysiak; Shephard (Mugabi 21), Lacey, Smith, Dickson (c); Dawson, Whitfield (Butcher 82), Lawless; Khan, Eaves, Campbell (Zoko 71)
Booked: Dickson
Subs not used: Maddison, Ezewelle, Sowunmi, Bassett

Pompey (4-3-3): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Baker (Chaplin 81), Doyle (c) (Linganzi 90), Rose; Smith, Hunt (Bennett 67), Naismith
Subs not used: O’Brien, Buxton, Whatmough, Lalkovic

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 6,306 (2,084 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Aug 302016
 
EFL Trophy
Yeovil Town 4 – 3 Portsmouth

 

EFL Trophy fails to excite

A new-look Pompey side suffered defeat in their first Checkatrade Trophy group stage match at a sparsely-populated Huish Park.

In a game that was full of attacking verve, but short on defensive solidity, it was Yeovil who emerged with all three points.

That is despite an impressive hat-trick from Michael Smith, who looked full of confidence leading the line for the Blues.

But a brace from Thomas Eaves, as well as goals from Bevis Mugabi and Izale McLeod, ensured the treble counted for little.

Paul Cook changed the entire side that started the league victory at Exeter at the weekend.

Liam O’Brien was handed his debut between the sticks, while there was a first appearance for Matt Clarke since he made a permanent Blues switch.

But the keeper was almost picking the ball out of his net before the first minute had passed, with McLeod bursting through on goal and firing against the post.

The former Pompey striker had another opportunity soon after and this time fired into the side netting from an acute angle.

It was the Blues who broke the deadlock after eight minutes, however, when the impressive Kal Naismith whipped in a pin-point cross from the left and SMITH rose to convert with a bullet header.

But the lead was short-lived, as Yeovil won a free-kick 35 yards out and Matthew Dolan’s shot was diverted in by Mugabi.

McLeod then had the ball in the back of O’Brien’s net again, although the linesman had long since raised his flag for offside.

It certainly counted just seconds later, though, when Eaves neatly controlled a ball over the top and calmly slotted home.

Pompey were still looking a real threat going forward, but both Gareth Evans and Smith failed to trouble Glovers keeper Jonathan Maddison with headers.

It was a different story at the back, however, as a defence containing three midfielders and someone making their first appearance of the season unsurprisingly struggled.

And McLeod made the most of that by netting against his old side on 27 minutes, playing a neat one-two with Otis Khan before lifting the ball over O’Brien.

Still the goals kept coming and this time it was Pompey who found the target thanks to a fine goal.

Naismith picked out SMITH in the box and the striker brought the ball under control before turning and firing into the bottom corner.

But no sooner had the Blues got themselves back into the game, they conceded a fourth, with Eaves allowed far too much time to burst forward and find the net.

Half Time: Yeovil 4 Pompey 2

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The start to the second half was not quite as explosive as the first, although Eaves fired over in his search for a hat-trick.

Evans then collected Ben Tollitt’s low cross at the other end, but was not given the time or space to get a decent shot away.

Eaves may have been denied his treble, but SMITH made sure of the matchball when he rose at the back post to head home a deep cross from Adam May.

Pompey immediately made their first substitution, with Tollitt making way and Conor Chaplin looking to join in the goal spree.

One quick break saw him cynically tugged back by Liam Shephard, earning the Yeovil defender a yellow card.

He then surged forward to join Evans in a counter-attack, only to be forced wide and then curl his eventual shot over.

It was Smith who almost drew the Blues level with his fourth of the evening on 72 minutes, but he could not quite get the ball from under his feet and fired narrowly over.

That was his last involvement, as he was withdrawn for Noel Hunt, receiving warm applause from the small pocket of travelling fans.

There was then a late moment of controversy when Amine Linganzi diverted a corner towards the goal.

Maddison was able to smother the ball, but Pompey were adamant it had crossed the line, only for their appeals to fall on deaf ears.

The visitors kept up their attacking intent as they went in search of a leveller, but Yeovil held on for the victory.

Yeovil (4-1-4-1): Maddison; Shephard, Mugabi, Smith (c), Butcher; Lawless; Khan (Copp 89), Whitfield (Lea 75), Dolan, Eaves; McLeod
Goals: Mugabi 13, Eaves 22, 39, McLeod 27
Booked: Shephard, Khan
Subs not used: Krysiak, Sowunmi, Bassett

Pompey (4-2-3-1): O’Brien; May, Barton, Clarke (T.Davies 61), Naismith; Close, Linganzi; Evans, Bennett (c), Tollitt (Chaplin 55); Smith (Hunt 73)
Goals: Smith 10, 37, 54
Booked: Barton, Close
Sub not used: Hall

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 1,534 (270 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Feb 202016
 

Yeovil Town 1 v 1 Portsmouth

Pompey snatched a point at Yeovil, thanks to a late strike from Gary Roberts.

That came after Christian Burgess had been sent off for collecting a couple of bookings in the space of a few seconds.

Francois Zoko had earlier pounced to give the struggling Glovers hope of claiming all three points.

But the Blues were determined not to leave empty-handed and Roberts’ intervention ensured that would not be the case.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that eased to victory against Bristol Rovers at Fratton Park the previous week.

Kal Naismith was added to the list of substitutes, however, as Conor Chaplin nursed an ankle injury.

The game started brightly and both sides looked dangerous on the break, without either keeper being tested.

But it soon became an extremely disjointed affair, with Pompey struggling to find any fluidity going forward.

Kyle Bennett had a couple of half-chances, first unable to turn Michael Smith’s cross on target and then fizzing a low shot inches past the post.

And the winger went close again on 28 minutes, firing narrowly over after Artur Krysiak had punched clear a corner from Ben Davies.

Both sides were starting to grow frustrated by the lack of creativity and Smith and Connor Roberts received a talking to from referee Mark Haywood following a spot of handbags.

The closest either side came to breaking the deadlock arrived on 37 minutes – and it would have been a comical goal.

Burgess inadvertently diverted Liam Walsh’s poor effort towards its intended target, but the defender recovered well to hack the ball off the line.

And Cook was then forced into a change when Gareth Evans suffered a knock and was replaced by Ben Tollitt.

Half Time: Yeovil 0 Pompey 0

Pompey looked sharper once the second half got underway and came close to forging ahead on 51 minutes.

It was a neat move, with Smith picking out Tollitt with a fine cross-field ball and the substitute cutting along the edge of the box before sliding a pass through to Roberts.

The latter hit a low shot that was heading for the bottom corner before Krysiak stuck out a hand to push the ball clear.

Ben Close then came close to opening his Blues account with a low 30-yard shot that was inches off target.

However, the visitors almost fell behind after losing possession in the centre on 59 minutes.

The ball made its way to Zoko in the box, but Ryan Fulton was quickly off his line to make a vital save.

With the hosts starting to take control, Cook made his second switch of the afternoon, with Bennett making way for Marc McNulty.

But Yeovil broke the deadlock on 75 minutes when Walsh’s corner led to a scramble in the Blues box and Zoko eventually forced the ball home.

Pompey tried to find a route back into the game and Burgess saw his header deflected wide after meeting a free-kick from Davies.

But their afternoon got worse when Burgess was booked twice in the space of just a few seconds to leave the visitors with 10 men.

He was first punished for an off-the-ball tussle and then received his marching orders for bringing down Ryan Dickson on the edge of the box.

That looked to have ended the Blues’ hopes of getting anything from the game, but they found themselves level on 85 minutes.

It was a fine finish from inside the box from ROBERTS, who left Krysiak with no chance to send the large travelling support wild with delight.

McNulty then had a shot deflected wide in stoppage-time before a frantic second half was brought to a close.

Yeovil (4-1-4-1): Krysiak; Roberts, Ward (c), Sokolik, Dickson; Tozer; Cornick (Gillett 86), Walsh, Dolan, Campbell (Goodship 69); Zoko (Bird 90+2)
Goals: Zoko 75
Booked: Tozer
Subs not used: Weale, Lacey, Laird

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Fulton; Davies, Burgess, Webster, Stevens; Close, Doyle (c); Evans (Tollitt 41), Roberts, Bennett (McNulty 73); Smith (McGurk 81)
Goals: Roberts 85
Sent off: Burgess (two yellow cards)
Subs not used: Bass, Clarke, Barton, Naismith

Referee: Mark Haywood

Attendance: 6,051 (2,088 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Oct 032015
 

League Two


 

Portsmouth    0

 


 

Yeovil Town    0

 


Pompey were frustrated in their attempts to return to winning ways after being held to a goalless draw by Yeovil.

Neither side created much in an opening 45 minutes that was devoid of any excitement at both ends of the pitch.

The Blues looked dangerous after the interval, but were unable to breach an increasingly over-worked Glovers defence.

Paul Cook made three changes from the side that suffered a first league defeat against Exeter on Tuesday night.

Skipper Michael Doyle returned to the midfield in place of Danny Hollands, while Conor Chaplin and Jayden Stockley dropped to the bench to make way for Gary Roberts and Matt Tubbs.

Yeovil named a couple of familiar faces in their starting line-up, with Ryan Bird and Wes Fogden both featuring.

The first half was a low-key affair played out in bright autumn sunshine, with neither keeper having much to do.

There were plenty of balls into the box and blocked half-chances, but little to excite another packed Fratton crowd.

Pompey were producing plenty of patient passing football, although they were unable to unlock the Glovers defence.

And it was the visitors who came closest to breaking the deadlock when Matt Clarke was dispossessed on 22 minutes, but his defensive partner Christian Burgess quickly slid in to deny Harry Cornick.

Then, from the resulting corner, Bird diverted the ball goalwards, only to be denied by Aaron McCarey.

The Blues’ best chance also came from a corner, with Doyle launching a fierce volley that flew narrowly past the post.

Pompey did start to look more threatening towards the end of the half, but a couple of dangerous Kyle Bennett crosses could not be converted.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


Cook made a switch at the break, with Jayden Stockley on for Gareth Evans as the hosts switched to a 4-4-2 system.

But they were still lacking that incisive final ball to breach Yeovil’s back-line and test keeper Artur Krysiak.

The Fratton faithful were doing their best to inject some life into proceedings, with constant chants of ‘Blue Army’ ringing around the ground.

It almost had the desired effect just past the hour mark when Ben Davies delivered a fine cross that somehow managed to evade the waiting Stockley.

The right-back tried to find the same player again moments later, but this time the striker could not beat Krysiak with a header.

Pompey were suddenly looking threatening and Roberts was next to have a chance when he met Bennett’s cut-back and powered inches over the bar.

A second substitution followed on 70 minutes, with Danny Hollands coming on for Adam Barton in the middle of the park.

It was Bennett who tried to bring the game to life soon after, though, when he surged inside from the left and fired in a shot that was blocked.

The ball then sat up nicely for Tubbs, but a Yeovil player managed to get in the way and Hollands’ follow-up suffered the same fate.

Pompey had their opponents camped back in their own half, with a succession of corners causing plenty of problems.

One of them fell to Doyle 30 yards out and his fierce drive had to be smartly parried clear by Krysiak.

The Blues continued to pour forward in the closing stages, as their under-pressure visitors struggled keep hold of the ball.

But Yeovil held firm until the final whistle to frustrate Pompey and ensure a share of the spoils.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McCarey; Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Barton (Hollands 70), Doyle (c); Evans (Stockley 46), Roberts, Bennett; Tubbs (Chaplin 89)
Subs not used: Bass, Webster, Tollitt, Naismith

Yeovil (4-1-4-1): Krysiak; Roberts, Arthurworrey, Sokolik (Howells 66), Smith; Fogden; Cornick (Laird 79), Sheehan (Jeffers 90+2), Dolan, Dickson (c); Bird
Booked: Dolan
Subs not used: Weale, Lacey, Allen, Bassett

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 17,309 (612 away fans)


Portsmouth FC