Pompey had to remain patient before finally easing to victory against struggling Southend at Fratton Park.
It looked like being a frustrating evening for the hosts against their stubborn opponents until John Maquis opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time.
Ellis Harrison forced home another after the break, although Brandon Goodship’s Shrimpers strike got supporters fretting about more dropped points.
But they need not have worried, as Harrison converted a penalty before Marcus Harness came off the bench to wrap things up.
Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that drew with Oxford on home soil at the weekend.
One of them was enforced, with an injury to Craig MavGillivray meaning Alex Bass was handed a third league start between the sticks.
The other switch saw Harrison replace Gareth Evans and play up front, with Marquis sitting a bit deeper.
There were plenty of familiar faces in the visitors’ dug-out, as Southend had recently appointed a management team of Sol Campbell, Hermann Hreidarsson and Andy Cole.
Svetoslav Todorov, meanwhile, recently left his role as Shrimpers coach, but was at the game to watch his former clubs in action.
The first half was, for the most part, a frustrating one for the hosts, who dominated possession, but found their disciplined opponents difficult to break down.
Clear-cut chances were very much at a premium, with a few teasing crosses that nobody could get on the end of about as good as it got.
Bass was the busier of the two keepers in the early stages, smothering one effort from Isaac Hutchinson and then making a better save to deny Goodship.
At the other end, Sean Raggett was unable to nod Ronan Curtis’ free-kick on target, while Harrison’s header was blocked by Hutchinson.
Pompey then received a blow when Ross McCrorie pulled up with a hamstring injury and had to be substituted, with Brandon Haunstrup on to replace him.
The hosts were looking more dangerous as the interval approached and Mark Milligan just about got in front of Ryan Williams to turn the ball behind.
Ben Close was then fed by Marquis inside the box and drew a smart stop from Nathan Bishop, with his second attempt deflected behind.
But, with virtually the final kick of the half, the deadlock was broken and the assist was provided by the man who came on.
It was a delightful left-footed cross from wide on the right by Haunstrup and MARQUIS found space to prod past Bishop.
Southend United 0
Harrison should really have doubled the advantage straight after the interval, but could not keep his header down from Curtis’ centre.
But he made up for that moments later by taking a much more difficult chance to provide a bit of breathing space.
An initial cut-back for Williams was headed back to the striker and HARRISON somehow managed to sneak a shot home, via the underside of the bar, from the byline.
Southend were suddenly being run ragged, with Pompey looking dangerous with every attack and almost adding a third goal.
Brown cut the ball back for Tom Naylor outside the box and the skipper’s fierce effort struck the inside of the post before rebounding safe.
Another long-range attempt – this time from Marquis – was then fumbled behind by Bishop, as the hosts continued to dominate.
Curtis had been the provider of plenty of fine crosses and another one on 65 minutes had to be cleared by Timothee Dieng, with Harrison lurking.
And when Lee Brown’s corner was nodded back by Christian Burgess, an inventive over-head effort from Williams flew narrowly over.
Pompey had to be careful not to switch off at the other end, though, as substitute Emile Acquah headed wastefully wide from Hutchinson’s corner.
They did concede soon after, though, with Bass getting his hands to Goodship’s ferocious strike, but unable to keep it out of the net.
Jackett responded with a second substitution of the evening on 73 minutes, as the lively Williams made way for Harness.
He had an early sighter after Elvis Bwomono’s clearance fell into his path, but the winger’s shot flew off target.
The nerves were settled soon after, though, as Raggett tried to reach Curtis’ free-kick and was tugged to the turf by Rob Kiernan.
Referee Lee Swabey pointed straight to the spot and although HARRISON’s penalty caught Bishop’s trailing leg, it was hit with enough power to find the net.
But the scoring was not over and after entering the area from the right, HARNESS lashed home to ensure there would be no comeback.
And Close almost got in on the act just a few moments later, with a shot that was deflected inches past the post.
Harness also drilled narrowly wide in stoppage-time, as the Blues finished a productive game with a flourish.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; McCrorie (Haunstrup 40), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams (Harness 73), Marquis, Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Marquis 45+2, Harrison 50, 80 (pen), Harness 84
Subs not used: McGee, Downing, Evans, Cannon, Pitman
Southend (3-4-1-2): Bishop; Shaughnessy, Dieng, Lennon (Kiernan 74); Bwomono, Hutchinson, Milligan (c), Ralph; Goodship; Cox (Acquah 61), Hopper (Rush 87)
Goals: Goodship 69
Subs not used: Oxley, Demetriou, Taylor, Ndukwu
Referee: Lee Swabey
Attendance: 16,995 (316 away fans)
It was a case of déjà vu for Pompey, as they dropped points in a game they dominated for the third Saturday in succession.
They created plenty of chances against an in-form Oxford outfit at a windy Fratton Park and were on top for most of the contest.
A confident penalty from Gareth Evans, awarded for a foul on Ben Close, looked to have secured all three points.
But United applied late pressure and salvaged a draw when Matty Taylor nodded home in the final minute of normal time.
Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were unlucky not secure all three points at Bristol Rovers the previous week.
The earlier rain had died down ahead of kick-off, but a strong wind was still swirling around the stadium.
It made life difficult for the veterans, Gurkhas and standard bearers, who paraded onto the pitch for the annual Remembrance commemorations, which included a bugler playing the Last Post.
And the players also had to deal with the tricky conditions, with the ball blowing out of play as Ryan Williams shaped to cross.
The Australian winger also bent a shot wide, while an Evans effort was deflected past the post as the hosts dominated the opening stages.
They almost broke the deadlock on 16 minutes, but brave blocks denied both Williams and John Marquis in quick succession.
Ross McCrorie’s delivery then took a deflection off Alex Gorrin, forcing former Fratton stopper Simon Eastwood into action to prevent an own-goal.
It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Christian Burgess had to deal with Josh Ruffels’ cut-back before a Tariqe Fosu corner was cleared by Sean Raggett at the back post.
But it was still the Blues looking more likely to score and Ruffels made a key block after Ronan Curtis had spun and fired in a shot.
Evans then managed to get a cross into the centre at the second attempt, but Marquis could only nod into Eastwood’s arms.
The visitors were forced to make a change before the break, as Ruffels limped off after McCrorie had been booked for a firm challenge on the left-back.
His team-mate Jamie Mackie had already received treatment for a cut head, angrily accusing Raggett of foul play.
Oxford then came close to scoring in stoppage-time – and it would have been a second unfortunate own-goal in the space of a week for Craig MacGillivray.
Mackie’s low drilled effort was cleared from the line by Raggett, but the ball ricocheted off the keeper’s back and trickled just past the post.
Oxford United 0
Pompey continued to look bright following the restart and McCrorie’s centre was behind both Marquis and Curtis in the centre.
The latter then looked to have taken Williams’ pass too wide, but still managed to hit a ferocious strike that cannoned against the crossbar.
But the hosts were presented with an excellent chance to finally take the lead just before the hour mark.
It was a lovely flowing move and when Marquis slipped a pass through to Close, the midfielder was clearly tripped by Elliott Moore.
Referee Ben Toner pointed straight to the spot and EVANS leathered home the penalty to leave Eastwood with no chance.
The lead might have been doubled moments later, as the Blues marauded quickly up the pitch through Williams and Marquis.
But the latter’s pass for Evans was not quite right and the midfielder’s shot was parried behind by Eastwood.
Still the chances kept coming and after Eastwood did well to parry Williams’ drilled effort, John Mousinho cleared behind before Curtis could convert the loose ball.
Oxford had a dangerous set-piece of their own on 73 minutes, but MacGillivray was able to parry clear Anthony Forde’s free-kick from the edge of the box.
They then won a corner that led to an almighty scramble in the Blues box and there were plenty of hearts in mouths before the ball was eventually got to safety.
A MacGillivray goal-kick might have led to an assist at the other end, but Williams could only lift his shot over the bar.
Oxford had been second best for most of the afternoon, only to exert plenty of pressure in the closing stages, winning a number of corners.
McCrorie – who was carrying a yellow card – was replaced at right-back by James Bolton for the final five minutes.
A free-kick from Forde then narrowly cleared the crossbar after the United substitute had tried to move the referee’s foam forward a few yards.
But Oxford did level on 90 minutes, as James Henry crossed towards the far post, where Taylor was waiting to guide home a header.
Ellis Harrison was immediately brought on for Evans to add another attacking option in stoppage-time.
Curtis crossed to the back post, but nobody could make a connection, while another delivery from the same player was nodded over by Williams.
But they were unable to find a winning goal, leaving most inside a sold out Fratton Park feeling deflated.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; McCrorie (Bolton 85), Burgess, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close; Williams, Evans (Harrison 90+1), Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Evans 58 (pen)
Booked: McCrorie, Marquis
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Haunstrup, Cannon, Harness
Oxford (4-1-2-1-2): Eastwood; Long, Dickie, Mousinho (c), Ruffels (Moore 42); Gorrin; Sykes, Henry; Fosu (Forde 70); Taylor, Mackie (Baptiste 70)
Goals: Taylor 90
Subs not used: Stevens, Agyei, Lofthouse, Lopes
Referee: Ben Toner
Attendance: 18,528 (1,747 away fans)
|Norman Lovett194673||John Candy1950 - 1994Died Aged 43||Julia Lee197544||Erica Cerra197940|
|Eddie Kaye Thomas198039||Samaire Armstrong198039||Vanessa Marano199227||Danielle Rose Russell199920|
29 October 2019
Probably the most “rock” gig I’ve ever been but I was not disapointed.
Very, very load but what a guitar player!.
Always a concern when you see older acts is that the singers voice may have gone but no worries here.
01. Sun King
02. Wild Flower
03. Automatic Blues
04. American Horse
05. Sweet Soul Sister
06. New York City
07. Edie (Ciao Baby)
08. Soul Asylum
11. The Phoenix
13. American Gothic
14. Fire Woman
15. Love Removal Machine
16. Lil’ Devil
17. She Sells Sanctuary