Loan : Birmingham City – Portsmouth
Pompey were denied a winning start to the new decade after Gillingham grabbed a late equaliser at Priestfield.
Gareth Evans had given the Blues a deserved lead after being restored to the side for the New Year’s Day encounter.
But their hosts improved after the interval and Alex Jakubiak came off the bench to earn them a share of the spoils.
Kenny Jackett made two changes from the side that were beaten at MK Dons in the final fixture of 2019.
Alex Bass was handed a rare start between the sticks, while Evans also returned, as Craig MacGillivray and Andy Cannon dropped to the bench.
In a scrappy opening to the contest, it was the hosts – who had won their past seven Priestfield fixtures – who were first to threaten.
An acrobatic overhead effort from skipper Max Ehmer was bravely blocked by his counterpart Tom Naylor.
Then, after a long throw had found its way across to Oliver Lee in the box – a cleanly-struck effort was well saved by Bass.
But the Blues soon began to look more threatening and, certainly in terms of chances created, dominated the rest of the half.
A free-kick from Evans was nodded straight up in the air by Christian Burgess and unconvincingly punched away by Jack Bonham.
That led to a scramble in the box and when the ball eventually landed for Evans, the keeper made amends with a smart stop.
It was an impressive opening for the recalled Evans, who had another opportunity to break the deadlock on 18 minutes.
He nipped in to get on the end of James Bolton’s low cross following a neat one-two with Marcus Harness, but Ehmer blocked his shot and Barry Fuller hacked the loose ball to safety.
It was Harness who was next to try his luck after an intended pass for Ellis Harrison rebounded back into his path, with Bonham getting down to save the resulting attempt.
Gillingham were doing little to test Bass and Connor Ogilvie nodded Lee’s corner wide at the near post.
But it was Pompey who forged ahead on 36 minutes and it was no surprise that the lively EVANS got the all-important goal.
He raced into the middle of the area to meet a low delivery from Harness and lash the ball into the roof of the net.
The hosts came close to levelling late in the half after former Fratton loanee Stuart O’Keefe charged into the box and hit a fierce strike against the crossbar.
Pompey then had the ball in the net again in stoppage-time, as Bonham and Curtis both rose to meet Naylor’s up and under.
The keeper dropped the ball against his opponent and saw it roll into the net, but referee Alan Young awarded a free-kick against the Irish winger.
Gillingham looked much brighter once the action restarted and Naylor did well to head Tom O’Connor’s corner to safety.
Barry Fuller then sent a dangerous deep cross into the box and Ehmer’s angled shot was well saved by Bass.
The keeper also kept out Mikael Mandron’s attempt from long-range, although that was a more comfortable stop for the academy graduate.
Pompey looked dangerous on the break, though, and when Bonham flapped at an Anton Walkes cross, Naylor sent the loose ball narrowly past the post.
It was all getting rather frantic, with the action quickly switching from one end of the pitch to the other.
Brandon Hanlan was allowed to run at the Blues back-line on 67 minutes, although his drilled effort was easily gathered by Bass.
A corner from Evans then gave the visitors a chance to double the lead, with Ellis Harrison’s improvised flick going just wide.
But it took a fine save from Bass to keep them ahead soon after, with the keeper getting his fingertips to Fuller’s vicious curling attempt from outside the box.
And the Gills were level with 10 minutes remaining, as Alfie Jones forced a pass through to Jakubiak, with the substitute slotting past Bass.
Jackett soon made a double switch, with Evans and Harrison replaced by Oli Hawkins and John Marquis.
The display of six additional minutes gave both sets of fans hope that their side could find a last-gasp winner.
But aside from a 25-yard Ben Close effort that flew over the top, neither side came close to scoring again.
Gillingham (4-1-2-1-2): Bonham; Fuller, Ehmer (c), Tucker, Ogilvie; Jones; O’Keefe (Marshall 70), O’Connor; Lee; Mandron (Jakubiak 70), Hanlan
Goals: Jakubiak 80
Subs not used: Walsh, Hodson, Pringle, Charles-Cook, Ndjoli
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Naylor (c), Close; Harness, Evans (Hawkins 83), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 83)
Goals: Evans 36
Booked: Evans, Naylor, Raggett
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Mnoga, Downing, Cannon, Pitman
Referee: Alan Young
Attendance: 5,724 (1,180 Pompey fans)
Pompey finished the calendar year in miserable fashion after conspiring to suffer defeat at struggling MK Dons.
They looked comfortable for most of the contest and created plenty of chances, but a lack of clinical finishing and some sloppy defending meant they went home empty-handed.
Rhys Healey and Conor McGrandles both scored in the latter stages of the first half at Stadium MK, with Alex Gilbey adding a third after the break.
Ronan Curtis continued his fine goalscoring form by finding the net in stoppage-time, but it was just a consolation.
Kenny Jackett made one enforced change from the side that beat Wycombe on home soil on Boxing Day.
Ryan Williams picked up a groin injury in the early stages of that game and the man who replaced him, Marcus Harness, was handed a start.
That opened up a place on the bench, which was taken by teenage full-back Haji Mnoga, who signed his first professional contract at the start of the week.
Harness played a more advanced role than expected, playing alongside Ellis Harrison in what looked more like a 4-4-2 system.
Pompey took control of the contest right from the start and enjoyed plenty of possession and territorial advantage.
But for all the play they had in and around their opponents’ area, Lee Nicholls looked fairly comfortable between the sticks.
Ben Close and Curtis – the goal heroes against Wycombe – both had shots blocked in the early stages.
The hosts were looking nervy at the back and struggled to deal with some corners from Close, as well as Harness’ trickery.
Anton Walkes also looked a threat going forward down the left and sent a few dangerous deliveries into the box.
Nicholls was called into action on 15 minutes and did well to get behind a fierce long-range drive from the lively Harness.
The keeper conceded a free-kick inside the box after picking up Joe Walsh’s back-pass, but the wall did its job by rushing forward to block Curtis’ effort.
And the Dons then took the lead completely against the run of play, although the Blues were furious that referee Leigh Doughty failed to give a foul against James Bolton in the build-up.
Instead, Jordan Houghton launched the ball forward and Sean Raggett’s header was not hard enough to reach Craig MacGillivray, with Healey nipping in to score.
It got even worst for Pompey before the break, as Tom Naylor tackled Healey on the edge of the box and the ball ran kindly for McGrandles to impressively fire into the top corner.
MK Dons 2
Harrison did not emerge following the interval, with John Marquis coming on to replace him up front.
But it was the hosts who were first to threaten, courtesy of a long-range Gilbey attempt that MacGillivray tipped over the bar.
Pompey soon started to take control, though, and once again put plenty of pressure on their opponents.
But the ball just would not seem to fall kindly for them and although unconvincing, the Dons managed to get the ball clear.
And Nicholls was soon called into action to make two key saves in quick succession, first denying Marquis after the striker had been played through by Harness.
The resulting corner was flicked on by Naylor for Curtis at the far post, but the keeper was there to deny the Blues’ top scorer.
MK Dons still threatened at the other end, though, and Raggett had to head Dean Lewington’s free-kick just past his own post.
Then, from the resulting corner, a scramble in the box led to MacGillivray diving on the ball at the feet of Healey.
But Pompey were still pushing forward whenever possible and after some neat build-up play involving Curtis, Close and Harness, the latter’s shot was blocked.
Curtis then went close with a bending strike from outside of the box that Nicholls did brilliantly to turn behind.
Jackett made a double switch on 72 minutes, with Harness and Cannon racing from the pitch to be replaced by Gareth Evans and Brett Pitman.
Marquis was only able to hit a weak shot straight at Nicholls from a low Walkes cross, as time began to run out on the visitors.
A fracas near the touchline led to Walsh and Christian Burgess both being booked – and the Dons scoring a third to wrap the points up.
Pompey were awarded a free-kick, but it came to nothing and the hosts broke quickly up the field, with Gilbey lifting a neat finish over MacGillivray and into the net.
There was at least a reply from CURTIS, who turned home Bolton’s cross from close range right at the death, but there was not enough time for the Blues to launch another attack.
The loss was perhaps an unfair outcome for the visitors, who will hope to improve their away form when they visit Gillingham on New Year’s Day.
MK Dons (4-1-2-1-2): Nicholls; Brittain, Williams, Walsh, Lewington (c); Houghton; McGrandles, Kasumu; Gilbey (Reeves 90+1); Healey (Nombe 68), Mason (Agard 77)
Goals: Healey 35, McGrandles 42, Gilbey 84
Booked: McGrandles, Brittain, Kasumu, Walsh
Subs not used: Moore, Poole, Cargill, Boateng
Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Walkes; Cannon (Pitman 72), Naylor (c), Close, Curtis; Harness (Evans 72); Harrison (Marquis 46)
Goals: Curtis 90+3
Booked: Harness, Burgess
Subs not used: Bass, Mnoga, Downing, Hawkins
Referee: Leigh Doughty
Attendance: 12,788 (5,083 Pompey fans)
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Born : 14 December 1988 ( 31 )
After making her feature film debut in Thirteen (2003), Hudgens rose to fame portraying Gabriella Montez in the High School Musical film series (2006–08), which brought her significant mainstream success. The success of the first film led to Hudgens' acquiring a recording contract with Hollywood Records, with whom she released two studio albums, V (2006) and Identified (2008).
Since the release of her studio albums and the High School Musical franchise, Hudgens has focused on her acting career. She has appeared in the films Bandslam (2009), Beastly (2011), Sucker Punch (2011), Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012), Spring Breakers (2013), The Princess Switch (2018), and Second Act (2018). She has also played the title role in the Broadway musical Gigi in 2015. She has had roles in two of Fox's live musical productions: Rizzo in Grease: Live in 2016, and Maureen Johnson in Rent: Live in 2019.