Aug 122017
 

League One

3 – 0


Wes Thomas struck against his former club to ensure that Pompey left the Kassam Stadium empty-handed.

A tight encounter was short on clear-cut chances, although Kyle Bennett and Brett Pitman both went close, while the latter also had a goal disallowed.

But Thomas found the net just after the restart before substitute Gino van Kessel and Josh Ruffels both notched late on to ensure the Blues suffered their first league loss of the season.

Kenny Jackett stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Cardiff in the Carabao Cup earlier in the week.

That meant Kal Naismith continued to lead the line, with teenager Adam May given another chance to impress in midfield.

Oxford handed starts to three former Blues players, with keeper Simon Eastwood, defender Mike Williamson and striker Thomas all featuring.

It was the hosts who dominated possession during the first half, although Pompey laid claim to the better of the scoring chances.

Jack Whatmough could not get on the end of a Gareth Evans corner in the opening stages, while Pitman met May’s centre and sent a firm header narrowly past the post.

Bennett then tried his luck with a snap-shot from outside the box, with Eastwood scrambling across his goal to palm the ball behind.

The hosts started to look more threatening as the half progressed and Drew Talbot did well to cut across and prevent Thomas from getting a shot away.

Then, moments later, Christian Burgess made a crunching tackle to dispossess Christian Ribeiro on the edge of the box.

Pompey won a few corners and one of them from Evans was nodded back across goal by Burgess, only for Whatmough to head into Eastwood’s arms.

But United then had their best chance of the half on 39 minutes, as Curtis Nelson turned Williamson’s pass wide from close range.

Pitman did have the ball in the back of the net at the other end moments later when he met Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, but referee Graham Salisbury spotted a foul.

There were still time for Bennett have a shot in stoppage-time, although his cleanly-struck effort was straight at Eastwood.


Half Time

(0 – 0)


It had been a fairly calm opening first half, but Oxford broke the deadlock within a couple of minutes of the restart.

McGee failed to hold on to an angled drive from Ribeiro and Thomas was well placed to force home the loose ball.

A substitution then had to be made, as referee Salisbury – who seemed to walk off relatively untroubled – was replaced by fourth official Marc Wilson.

Naismith was not too far away from an equaliser when he sent in a corner from the right that almost swung in at the far post.

But that was his last piece of the action as, just seconds later, the Scottish forward was replaced by Conor Chaplin.

It became an end-to-end affair, as Pompey went in search of a leveller and Oxford looked to hit them on the break.

A couple of dangerous crosses from Talbot and Brandon Haunstrup were dealt with assuredly by Williamson.

On both occasions the hosts were quickly up the other end to go close themselves and twice Burgess came to the rescue, first with a key tackle and then a crucial block.

The Blues made their second switch on 69 minutes and it was an attacking one, with Talbot making way for Carl Baker and Evans moving to right-back.

A moment of confusion between Burgess and Evans almost gave Oxford a second goal soon after, but McGee managed to push Jon Obika’s effort over the bar.

The hosts did wrap things up on 82 minutes, however, when van Kessel – who had only just come on – cut in from the left and coolly fired home.

Pompey kept battling away, but were unable to send the large travelling support home with at least a consolation effort to cheer.

And their misery was compunded deep into stoppage-time when Jack Payne slipped in Ruffels to slot home a third for the hosts.

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Eastwood; Ribeiro, Nelson (c), Williamson, Ricardinho; Ledson, Ruffels; Henry (Hall 76), Payne, Johnson (van Kessel 79); Thomas (Obika 69)
Goals: Thomas 47, van Kessel 82, Ruffels 90+4
Subs not used: Shearer, Carroll, Martin, Rothwell

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot (Baker 69), Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup; May, Rose; Evans, Pitman (c), Bennett; Naismith (Chaplin 56)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Close, Main, Kabamba

Referee: Graham Salisbury (Marc Wilson 51)

Attendance: 9,510 (1,810 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 082017
 
League Cup
Cardiff City 2 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Greg Halford both scored against their former club as Pompey fell at the first hurdle in the Carabao Cup.

But they took the lead against their Championship hosts when Sean Morrison sent the ball into his own.

Mendez-Laing levelled early in the second half before Halford struck late in extra-time to send the Welsh side through.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that beat Rochdale in the league at the weekend.

One of those was enforced, with Brandon Haunstrup replacing the injured Tareiq Holmes-Dennis at left-back.

The others saw Kal Naismith come in for Conor Chaplin up front, while Carl Baker made way for Adam May in midfield.

There were a couple of familiar faces in the hosts’ line-up, with former Pompey players Brian Murphy and Halford both starting.

It was a cagey start to proceedings, although a few deliveries from Cardiff’s right forced the Blues back-line into action.

One from Danny Ward was headed clear by Jack Whatmough, while another by Matthew Kennedy had to be dealt with by Christian Burgess.

Kyle Bennett saw a shot from outside the box fly narrowly past the post, while Luke McGee was confidently off his line to claim another Kennedy delivery.

But it was otherwise a pretty cagey opening to proceedings on a damp and chilly evening in South Wales.

Stuart O’Keefe sent a header straight into McGee’s arms on 31 minutes before a Cardiff player finally did find the back of the net moments later.

But MORRISON will not have celebrated breaking the deadlock, as he inadvertently turned Naismith’s low cross past his own keeper.

And Murphy was then booked just before the break for pushing down Gareth Evans after the winger had beaten him to the ball.

Half Time: Cardiff 0 Pompey 1

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

The hosts, unsurprisingly, came out all guns blazing after the interval and McGee did well to tip Bruno Ecuele Manga’s header onto the crossbar.

But it was only a brief respite for the Blues, as former Fratton loanee Mendez-Laing – who had only just come off the bench – steered home after Lee Tomlin’s ball had been deflected into his path.

It was certainly not all one-way traffic, however, and Murphy got down to his right to stop Bennett from squeezing a shot inside the post.

Jackett made a change to his forward line on 65 minutes, as Naismith made way for Nicke Kabamba – much to the delight of the 851 travelling fans, who were quick to serenade the striker.

But it was Cardiff who were next to go close following Tomlin’s quick break and a deflected drive from Mendez-Laing was well held by McGee.

And the keeper was then quickly off his line to deny Kennedy after some clever trickery from Mendez-Laing had sent the winger through on goal.

It was the hosts who looked more threatening as the seconds ticked down, with Kennedy heading wide before Danny Rose chucked himself in the path Loic Damour’s strike.

The Blues were not done yet, though, and Murphy had to palm Evans’ drilled shot behind for a corner on 84 minutes.

But neither side was able to find a late winner and referee Stephen Martin’s whistle signalled an additional 30 minutes.

After 90 Minutes: Cardiff 1 Pompey 1

Mendez-Laing continued to look dangerous in extra-time, but sent two efforts wide after good work to find space.

And Drew Talbot then took the sting out of Junior Hoillet’s drive to allow McGee a relatively comfortable save.

Blues fans saw a ‘first’ on 102 minutes, when Cardiff brought on Joe Ralls to take advantage of a new rule that allows a fourth substitution to be made in extra-time

The visitors had to soak up plenty of pressure as the Championship side tried to forge ahead before the interval.

But it was Pompey who had a chance immediately after it, with Carl Baker sending a low ball across the face of goal that none of his team-mates could quite connect with.

Cardiff were dominating possession, however, and finally made their dominance count with a winning goal on 113 minutes.

It was Halford who slotted the ball home following a Hoillet corner, but the defender’s celebrations were muted against his former club.

Chaplin immediately came on to try to find a leveller and take the tie to penalties, but Pompey could not find a way through.

Cardiff (4-4-2): Murphy; Halford, Morrison (c), Ecuele Manga, Richards; Pilkington (Mendez-Laing 46), O’Keefe, Damour (Ralls 102), Kennedy (Hoillet 87); Ward, Tomin (Meite 97)
Goals: Mendez-Laing 48, Halford 113
Booked: Murphy
Subs not used: Etheridge, Peltier, Coxe

Pompey (4-2-3-1): McGee; Talbot, Burgess, Whatmough, Haunstrup (Close 106); Rose, May; Evans, Pitman (c) (Chaplin 114), Bennett (Baker 98); Naismith (Kabamba 65)
Goals: Morrison 32 (og)
Subs not used: Bass, Davies, Main

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 6,592 (851 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC

Aug 082017
 

Gary Roberts

Released



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.

Chief executive Mark Catlin said: “I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to Gary – both on a personal level and on behalf of everyone at the club.

“I hope that he will forever be remembered for what he achieved at Pompey, especially last season when we went on that fantastic run to win the title.

“His contribution over the past two years has been invaluable – he has been a fantastic player for this club. We all wish him every success for the future.”

Gary Roberts subsequently signed for Wigan Athletic

Portsmouth FC