Feb 182017
 
League 2
Barnet 1 – 1 Portsmouth

 

Chaplin grabs late equaliser

Conor Chaplin hit a fine late leveller to rescue a point for Pompey in a scrappy contest at The Hive.

A largely turgid encounter looked to be heading for a goalless scoreline, with few chances to excite those in the stands.

But Mauro Vilhete converted a late free-kick to give the home supporters cause to cheer and deflate the large travelling army.

Substitute Chaplin perked them up in the dying moments, however, with a peach of a shot that left Bees keeper Josh Vickers with no chance.

Paul Cook unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that beat Blackpool earlier in the week – naming an unchanged starting 11 for a fourth successive game.

The first half was a distinctly forgettable affair, with neither outfit being able to find their rhythm in a scrappy encounter.

Barnet won a free-kick 30 yards out, but Ruben Bover’s delivery swung out of play in a moment that summed up the action on offer.

The visitors finally carved out a decent opening on 20 minutes when Kyle Bennett released Gary Roberts down the right and the latter’s cross was glanced narrowly wide by Eoin Doyle.

Then, at the other end, David Forde made a fine reaction save to stop Curtis Weston from volleying home Vilhete’s centre.

And it was the Bees who finished the half looking the stronger side, with the Blues guilty of some sloppy play on the ball.

Former Pompey loannee John Akinde did brilliantly to chest the ball down on 38 minutes and send a shot dipping inches over the crossbar.

Charlie Clough then got on the end of a corner and his header was deflected just past the post by a relieved Michael Doyle.

Half Time: Barnet 0 Pompey 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Cook made a double switch at the start of the second half, as Bennett and Jamal Lowe were replaced by Chaplin and Danny Rose.

That saw Pompey match their opponents’ 4-4-2 system, with Roberts at the tip of a diamond midfield.

The visiting fans – who made up more than 50 per cent of the total crowd – were making a racket in the stands.

But there was little action of note happening on the pitch, as the second half continued in the same vein as the first.

Chaplin got crowded out after collecting Amine Linganzi’s pass and charging into the box, as chances eluded both sides.

The hosts did go close on 66 minutes after Akinde won a soft free-kick just outside the area and Bover curled it onto the roof of the net.

And the Blues began to show more urgency as the minutes ticked down, with Chaplin having a shot blocked.

They were starting to look the more dangerous side, although it took a fine Christian Burgess challenge to finally halt the rampaging Akinde.

Carl Baker came on for the tiring Roberts for the final 10 minutes as Cook made his last throw of the dice.

But it was Barnet who forged ahead 10 minutes from time when Justin Amaluzor was fouled just outside the box and Vilhete stepped up to curl the free-kick over the wall.

It looked like the hosts were going to hang on for all three points – although CHAPLIN had other ideas.

The substitute had not had much joy since entering the pitch, but found the net with a rocket of a shot from 25 yards that flew into the top corner.

He celebrated with the fans first and then those on the bench, and it proved enough to secure a share of the spoils.

Barnet (4-4-2): Vickers; Clough, Nelson (c), Santos, Johnson; Vilhete, Bover (Sweeney 69), Champion, Weston; Akinola (Amaluzor 75), Akinde
Goals: Vilhete 82
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Dembele, Taylor, Tutonda, Coulson

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Rose 46), Roberts (Baker 80), Bennett (Chaplin 46); E.Doyle
Goals: Chaplin 89
Booked: Roberts
Subs not used: O’Brien, T.Davies, Naismith, Hunt

Referee: Mark Brown

Attendance: 4,571 (2,430 Pompey fans)

Portsmouth FC
Feb 152017
 

Stanley Aborah

Free Agent



Pompey swoop for midfielder

Pompey have signed midfielder Stanley Aborah on a deal until the end of the season.

The 29-year-old is allowed to join outside the transfer window as a free agent after leaving Notts County last month.

He said: “I’m happy to be at a great club and I’ll do my best to earn the trust of the manager, my team-mates and the fans. I had other offers, but I really wanted to be here.”

Aborah – who was born in Ghana and has represented Belgium at youth level – started his career in the Netherlands at Ajax.

He joined the Magpies from Hungarian giants Ferencvaros in 2015, scoring once in 42 appearances.

Portsmouth FC

Feb 142017
 
League 2
Portsmouth 2 – 0 Blackpool

 

Evans and Doyle fire Blues to victory

Goals from Gareth Evans and Eoin Doyle ensured Pompey beat Blackpool to record a second successive victory.

They totally dominated the first half and probably deserved to lead by more than Evans’ clinical finish.

It was a tighter affair after the break, however, and there were a few nervy moments before the hard-working Doyle opened his account deep into stoppage-time to secure another three-point haul.

Paul Cook stuck with the same side that had beaten Accrington at the same venue less than four days earlier.

And he was rewarded with a bright start for the Blues, who looked to attack their mid-table opponents from the off.

They almost broke the deadlock after just five minutes, only for Gary Roberts to turn Eoin Doyle’s cut-back against the crossbar.

And Roberts then combined well with Kyle Bennett, but the former’s pass was cut-out before it could reach Pompey’s lone striker.

Eoin Doyle did connect with a cross – again from Roberts – moments later and sent a header flying just past the post.

The hosts’ attacking quartet were linking up extremely well, while the impressive Amine Linganzi saw a shot saved by Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe.

There was not too much happening at the other end, although David Forde was at his commanding best to claim a couple of dangerous balls into the box.

The keeper then had to get down low to his right to push a drive from Kyle Vassell behind for a corner.

But it was the Blues who looked the more threatening side throughout the first half and they deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes.

Enda Stevens’ delivery from the left was missed by Linganzi, but fell for EVANS to lash into the roof of the net.

The advantage was almost doubled a few moments later, with Roberts not quite able to guide a cross on target with his head.

And Eoin Doyle was then inches away from connecting with a superb low cross from Evans that dissected the visitors’ defence.

It was the Irishman who might have added another goal just before the break, but he fired over after Roberts had brilliantly cushioned a long ball forward.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Blackpool 0

HIGHLIGHTS

Second Half

Pompey continued to push forward following the interval and Slocombe was just able to beat Eoin Doyle to Matt Clarke’s long pass.

The visitors did start to have more of an impact as the second half progressed and one corner led to a scramble in the Blues box before Evans eventually hacked clear.

Chances were certainly harder to find since the restart, though, and one acrobatic effort from Christian Burgess flew high over the bar.

Cook made his first change on 68 minutes and it was like for like, as Jamal Lowe made way for Carl Baker.

Blackpool then carved out an excellent opening when Jordan Flores’ low cross found Brad Potts at the far post.

It looked like the midfielder would draw the visitors level, but Stevens launched himself at the ball to make a brilliant block.

Evans had received treatment for a shoulder injury earlier in the half and had to be withdrawn on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith taking his place at right-back.

Pompey then had a chance to strengthen their lead following a quick break, but Baker was dispossessed before he could shoot.

Jack Whatmough came on for Bennett in the Blues’ final change late on, although for the second game in a row the fourth official initially displayed the wrong number.

And Blackpool then went close to levelling from a corner, but Tom Aldred’s bullet header flew narrowly wide.

The atmosphere understandably grew tenser as the seconds ticked down and Blackpool delivered more crosses into the box.

But with the Seasiders committing men forward, the hosts took advantage to make sure of all three points.

Eoin DOYLE did well to hold off a couple of challenges and find Baker, before collecting the return pass and slotting home his first goal for the club.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans (Naismith 75), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 68), Roberts, Bennett (Whatmough 83); E.Doyle
Goals: Evans 27, E.Doyle 90+5
Booked: Burgess, Roberts, Bennett
Subs not used: O’Brien, Rose, Chaplin, Hunt

Blackpool (3-5-2): Slocombe; Aimson, Aldred (c), Robertson; Mellor, Potts (Osayi-Samuel 81), Payne (Matt 81), Flores, Daniel; Delfouneso, Vassell (Odelusi 81)
Booked: Mellor
Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Gnanduillet, Cullen

Referee: Darren Deadman

Attendance: 15,132 (216 away fans)

Portsmouth FC