Transfer : Portsmouth – Atlanta
Goals from John Marquis and Ellis Harrison ensured Pompey continued their defence of the Leasing.com Trophy with victory at Walsall in the third round.
Marquis opened the scoring in the first half with a goal that was remarkably similar to the one netted at Fleetwood on Saturday.
Elijah Adebayo should have levelled from the spot just before the interval, but saw his penalty well saved by Craig MacGillivray.
Ellis Harrison came off the bench to give the Blues a late cushion against their League Two opponents.
But the Saddlers were awarded another penalty that was converted by Caolan Lavery to ensure a nervy finale for the competition holders.
Kenny Jackett made seven changes from the side that progressed in the FA Cup with victory at Highbury Stadium.
Reeco Hackett-Fairchild came straight into the starting line-up after completing his transfer from Bromley the previous day.
Teenage defender Haji Mnoga made his first appearance of the season, while MacGillivray returned between the sticks.
Gareth Evans was handed the captain’s armband, with Paul Downing, Ben Close and Oli Hawkins also recalled.
The only players to keep their spot from the Highbury success were Christian Burgess – moved to left-back – Sean Raggett, Marcus Harness and Marquis.
It was a slow start to the contest played at a sparsely-populated Bescot Stadium, although there were eventually opportunities at both ends.
Marquis dragged an early effort wide, while counterpart Adebayo saw a header comfortably dealt with by MacGillivray.
The first decent chance fell to the Pompey forward, who swapped passes with Hawkins and saw a low drive kept out by Liam Roberts.
Adebayo was looking particularly dangerous for the hosts, but was unable to convert crosses from Cameron Norman and Cameron Pring
Roberts then denied Marquis again midway through the first half after Hawkins had provided a neat pass.
But the deadlock was broken from the resulting corner, which was whipped menacingly into the box by Evans.
Burgess met the ball at the far post and sent it arrowing towards the net, with MARQUIS on hand to slam it over the line from a few yards out.
There was an opportunity for Hawkins to double the lead, although he fired over after Marquis had laid off a fine Evans delivery.
It looked as though Hackett-Fairchild’s debut was going to come to a premature end on 36 minutes when he went down clutching his ankle.
The forward received treatment on the side of the pitch, but was eventually able to rejoin the action – and soon collected the first booking of the evening.
Walsall were handed an excellent chance to get back on level terms in stoppage-time when Raggett challenged Rory Gaffney in the box
Referee Anthony Backhouse had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, although the Blues defender was adamant he had won the ball.
It mattered not, though, as MacGillivray got down low to his left to palm Adebayo’s penalty to safety.
The Saddlers also went close from the resulting corner, which saw James Clarke’s header cleared from the line and Backhouse ignoring handball appeals.
There was not a lot of goalmouth action to excite the crowd once the action restarted, with dangerous forays from both sides breaking down.
Long-range attempts from both Rory Holden and Burgess flew well off target, as the game drifted along.
But Mnoga showed good awareness to nip in and halt one Walsall attack, then embarked on a surging run that drew a foul.
The hosts made a double change on 56 minutes, with former Fratton loanee Lavery one of the men to make an entrance.
He soon tired his luck with an attempt from the edge of the area, only to see the ball bend out of play.
Jackett then made two changes of his own, as Hackett-Fairchild and Mnoga made way for Steve Seddon and Tom Naylor.
Clear-cut chances were still at a premium, although Roberts kept out a neat Hawkins flick from Seddon’s cross.
That was the striker’s last meaningful contribution to the contest, as he was replaced by Harrison for the final 20 minutes.
Some last-gasp defending saw Marquis and Evans denied in quick succession and from the resulting corner, Burgess thudded a header over.
The flag then stayed down when Lavery was sent racing through at the other end, but the striker blazed over the bar.
Pompey were looking the more threatening side as the game neared its conclusion, though, and the win was seemingly wrapped up on 82 minutes.
Seddon delivered a fine cross from the right and fellow substitute HARRISON nodded home to double the advantage.
But Walsall soon had a route back into the tie when Holden went down under Downing’s challenge and Backhouse again pointed to the spot.
This time it was Lavery who stepped up to take the penalty and he sent MacGillivray the wrong way to reduce the home side’s deficit.
That audibly lifted the home supporters, who sensed a comeback was on the cards, but the Blues held on to book their place in Thursday’s quarter-final draw.
Walsall (3-5-2): Roberts; Clarke (c), Scarr (McDonald 56), Jules; Norman, Holden, Perry, Kinsella, Pring; Gaffney (Lavery 56), Adebayo (Willis 73)
Goals: Lavery 86 (pen)
Subs not used: Rose, Roberts, Foulkes, Bates
Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Mnoga (Seddon 63), Downing, Raggett, Burgess; Harness, Evans (c), Close, Hackett-Fairchild (Naylor 63); Marquis; Hawkins (Harrison 71)
Goals: Marquis 23, Harrison 82
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Casey, Cannon
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 1,082 (226 away fans)
Loan : Barnsley – Portsmouth
Transfer : Bromley – Portsmouth
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Well this isn't as funny as the Ariel Winter sketch and Isabela Moner doesn't quite fill the outfit as well but she is prettier. This is very much a kids movie.
FA Cup 3
Goals from James Bolton and John Marquis ensured Pompey won at Fleetwood to reach the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup for a second successive season.
There was little to separate the League One promotion hopefuls before the break at a chilly Highbury Stadium.
But the visitors were more clinical in a rain-soaked second half and James Bolton arrived at the far post to open his Blues account.
John Marquis added a second in similar fashion soon after and Conor McAleny’s stoppage-time effort proved no more than a consolation.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that collected a point at Gillingham on New Year’s Day.
Loan signing Steve Seddon went straight into the starting line-up following his arrival from Birmingham on Thursday.
There were also returns for both Marquis and Andy Cannon, with Gareth Evans, Ben Close and Ellis Harrison dropping to the bench.
With Seddon slotting in at left-back, the versatile Anton Walkes moved up to join skipper Tom Naylor in the midfield engine room.
The game – as with all third round fixtures – began one minute late to give everyone the chance to think about looking after their mental health.
There was an early chance for the visitors once the action started, with Bolton looping a header narrowly wide following good work down the left by Marcus Harness.
Marquis then cried for a penalty after going down in a challenge for the ball with Ashley Eastham, although referee Marc Edwards ignored his appeals.
It was generally a slow opening to the contest, however, with neither keeper being called into action.
There were fears for Wes Burns when a clearance from Seddon smacked into his head from point-blank range, but the winger was quickly back on his feet.
On a cold evening on the Fylde coast, there were only half-chances to excite the travelling fans, with a fierce volley from Cannon fizzing not too far off target.
But the action intensified as time progressed and a passage of patient passing play from Pompey ended with the lively Harness drawing a save from Alex Cairns.
Paddy Madden’s effort was then comfortably stopped by Alex Bass at the other end, while an attempt from Marquis was blocked by Harry Souttar.
The quick feet of Harness were causing problems for the hosts and after racing across the six-yard box, he could only find the side netting.
Fleetwood were seeing plenty of the ball, but not really testing Bass, although a Josh Morris free-kick was diverted narrowly over his own bar by Marquis.
The visitors won a set-piece themselves before the break and Seddon’s delivery was nodded off target by Sean Raggett.
Fleetwood Town 0
The rain was falling when the sides returned after the break, but clear-cut openings continued to be at a premium.
Bass dealt with a dangerous Burns cross, while Christian Burgess’ block denied Cod Army left-back Danny Andrew.
It then took a perfectly-timed challenge in the box from Harry Souttar to stop Cannon from Converting Marquis’ threaded pass.
The contest was lacking quality in the final third, although a delivery from the impressive Harness caused problems as it bounced around the box before being hacked clear.
And another cross – this time from Curtis – led to the Blues finally breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes.
Fleetwood failed to deal with the danger and the ball appeared to get flicked on inside a packed box before BOLTON bundled it over the line from a yard out.
There probably should have been an immediate leveller, but an unmarked Madden scooped high over the bar from Burns’ cut-back.
Pompey quickly made them pay, as Seddon’s corner was headed powerfully back across goal by Burgess and MARQUIS converted at the back post.
The hosts were trying to find a route back into the tie, but some more wasteful finishing from Madden was proving costly.
Seddon was replaced by Close – making his 150th Blues appearance – late on, as Jackett introduced some fresh legs.
Fleetwood were given hope in stoppage-time, as a strike from substitute McAleny took a deflection to beat Bass.
That caused hearts to flutter in the away end of Highbury, but the Blues saw out the closing stages to secure their progress.
Fleetwood (4-4-2): Cairns; Coyle, Eastham (McAleny 83), Souttar, Andrew; Burns, Coutts (c) (Sowerby 72), Dempsey, Morris; Madden (Saunders 81), Evans
Goals: McAleny 90+1
Subs not used: Gilks, Hill, Biggins, Garner
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Seddon (Close 81); Naylor (c), Walkes; Harness, Cannon, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Bolton 66, Marquis 72
Booked: Raggett, Walkes
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Downing, Evans, Hawkins, Pitman, Harrison
Referee: Marc Edwards
Attendance: 2,145 (525 Pompey fans)