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6 August 2019
Carabao Cup 1
Ellis Harrison headed in his first goals since arriving from Ipswich, with a fine strike from Ben Close sandwiched between.
It was a similar tale to Saturday’s League One game at Shrewsbury on Saturday in terms of the way the Blues dominated the play.
But this time they also managed to find a cutting edge, creating plenty of chances to put their higher-ranked opponents to the sword.
Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at New Meadow at the weekend.
Harrison made his full debut in place of fellow summer signing John Marquis, whose partner was about to give birth.
Close replaced the suspended Ross McCrorie in midfield, while Gareth Evans dropped to the bench to make way for Andy Cannon.
Pompey made a bright start against a much-changed Birmingham side and Marcus Harness’ cross had to be hacked behind by Geraldo Bajrami before it could reach Harrison.
There were not an abundance of clear-cut chances, but the hosts certainly looked the more dangerous of the two teams in the early stages.
Their opponents did have an opportunity to break the deadlock on 16 minutes, however, when Ronan Curtis attempted to clear a corner and sliced the ball straight up into the air.
It landed right in front of the goal and there was an almighty scramble before the ball was hacked to safety.
But much of the action was taking place at the opposite end of the pitch and a series of corners eventually led to the opening goal.
The first couple of deliveries were nervously dealt with by the visitors, but it proved to be third time lucky.
It eventually found skipper Tom Naylor and his header was blocked by Steve Seddon, only for the ball to fall for HARRISON.
Wes Harding tried his best to punt the ball away before it crossed the line, but referee Neil Hair decided to award the goal.
Birmingham almost found an immediate leveller, though, and a shot from Jude Bellingham was well saved by an otherwise underworked Craig MacGillivray.
Harrison then clashed with Bajrami right in front of the North Stand, leading to a melee that ultimately saw both players booked.
Pompey were still on top and deservedly doubled their advantage thanks to a sumptuous strike on 39 minutes.
An effort from Curtis was blocked by Jake Clarke-Salter and the ball fell kindly for CLOSE to unleash a fine volley that flew into the net.
They almost had a third goal in stoppage-time following a quick break up the pitch, but Curtis’ drive flashed narrowly past the post.
Birmingham City 0
The Blues remained in control once the action restarted, although Curtis was unable to glance Harness’ cross on target.
A third goal did arrive on 54 minutes, however, as Curtis whipped in a pin-point cross for HARRISON to nod home at the back post.
It might have got worse for the visitors, but Hair decided to be lenient with Bajrami – who had already been booked – following a late challenge on Harrison.
Pompey were looking to add to their already impressive tally and were almost rewarded after some fine footwork from Harness and Close.
The move looked to have broken down, but the visitors could not clear their lines and Close teed-up Harrison for a hat-trick attempt.
Stockdale came to Birmingham’s rescue with a smart stop and Lee Brown could only lash the loose ball into the side netting.
The hosts were putting in plenty of effort all over the pitch and Naylor threw himself in the path of Steve Seddon’s shot, with Odin Bailey then firing over.
Jackett made a couple of changes on 77 minutes, with Harrison and Brown withdrawn for Brett Pitman and Brandon Haunstrup.
Brum came close to reducing their deficit soon after, but MacGillivray was equal to Gary Gardner’s thunderous 35-yard free-kick.
Sean Raggett was brought on for Paul Downing for the final few minutes, giving the on-loan defender his competitive Blues debut.
And Pompey passed the ball around comfortably in the closing stages, although another long-range attempt from Gardner had to be pushed over by MacGillivray.
The hosts had long since got the job done, though, and can look forward to a first trip to the second round of the competition since 2015.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing (Raggett 85), Burgess, Brown (Haunstrup 77); Naylor (c), Close; Harness, Cannon, Curtis; Harrison (Pitman 77)
Goals: Harrison 30, 54, Close 39
Subs not used: Bass, Evans, Maloney, Hawkins
Birmingham (3-1-4-2): Stockdale; Harding, Bajrami, Clarke-Salter; Medina; Dacres-Cogley, Gardner (c), Lakin, Seddon; Bellingham (Boyd-Munce 81), Crowley (Bailey 55)
Booked: Harding, Bajrami, Medina, Bellingham
Subs not used: Trueman, Redmond, O’Keeffe, Burke, Stirk
Referee: Neil Hair
Attendance: 9,913 (1,513 away fans)
The game was short of clear-cut chances and it took a fine second half strike from Ryan Giles to settle the contest.
And Ross McCrorie was then sent off on his debut to cap a disappointing opening day for the Blues in Shropshire.
Kenny Jackett also handed competitive starts to summer signings Paul Downing and Marcus Harness.
And there was a second Blues bow for striker John Marquis, who had a short spell on loan at the club in 2013.
Former Shrewsbury full-back James Bolton had to be content with a place on the bench, as did striker Ellis Harrison.
Brett Pitman was also named among the substitutes, so Gareth Evans claimed the captain’s armband.
It was not surprising to see a disjointed start to the action so early in the campaign, with the visitors enjoying territorial advantage, but not creating any clear-cut openings.
Downing thought he was fouled at the far post when trying to meet Lee Brown’s corner, although referee Charles Breakspear did not agree.
Pompey had a large share of the possession and were just lacking a final pass in key areas of the pitch.
McCrorie shanked a volley from the edge of the box and when the ball came back to him, the on-loan midfielder saw his second attempt gathered by Shrews stopper Max O’Leary.
The Blues were growing frustrated as the half progressed, feeling that decisions were going against them.
Shrewsbury then had a great chance when veteran striker Steve Morison controlled the ball neatly and volleyed narrowly over the bar.
Pompey were still angry about failing to get some free-kicks, leading to fouls from Anton Walkes and Gareth Evans that earned the pair bookings in quick succession.
They brightened up as half-time neared, however, and several deliveries into the area were well dealt with by O’Leary.
Marquis also had a couple of long-range shots blocked, as the hosts ensured it was goalless at the interval.
Shrewsbury Town 0
Pompey looked to get at their hosts following the restart, but were still finding it hard to test O’Leary.
A fizzing Brown cross did cause alarm when it drifted towards goal and the keeper had to palm the ball to safety.
Jackett soon decided to make a double substitution, with Evans and Anton Walkes replaced by Pitman and Bolton.
A free-kick from Brown – after Ethan Ebanks-Landell was booked for barging Marquis to the ground – was flicked on by Tom Naylor and deflected behind.
Pitman and McCrorie also received cautions for late challenges on Romain Vincelot and Shaun Whalley.
And the free-kick conceded from the second of those led to Shrewsbury opening the scoring on 68 minutes.
Giles received the ball and hit a rocket of a shot from long-range that left Craig MacGillivray helpless against his former club.
Pompey tried to hit back and Pitman instinctively stuck out a boot to meet Bolton’s cross, only to see the ball land safely in O’Leary’s arms.
And they almost found an equaliser when Brown played a clever free-kick to Marquis, who had broken away from a packed box to receive the ball.
He sent the ball towards the net, but Aaron Pierre slid in to somehow turn the ball just past his own post.
Jackett made his final throw of the dice soon after, with Harrison coming on for his debut in place of Bolton.
But the Blues were soon down to 10 men, with Breakspear deciding that McCrorie had caught Donald Love late and showing the Scot his second booking.
They threw men forward in search of a leveller, although Shrewsbury were holding firm at the back to repel them.
There was six minutes of added time to give the travelling army of Pompey fans hope of some late drama.
And it almost arrived when Brown sent a low ball across the face of goal that nobody was able to get a touch on.
A corner was then cleared only as far as an unmarked Curtis in the box, but he fired over and that proved to be the final chance.
Shrewsbury (3-5-2): O’Leary; Williams, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love, Edwards (c), Vincelot, McCormick (Laurent 53), Giles; Morison (Eisa 89), Okenabirhie (Whalley 64)
Goals: Giles 68
Booked: Ebanks-Landell, Whalley, Love
Subs not used: Murphy, Beckles, Golbourne, Walker
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes (Bolton 53), Downing, Burgess, Brown; McCrorie, Naylor; Curtis, Evans (c) (Pitman 53), Harness (Harrison 75); Marquis
Sent off: McCrorie (two yellow cards)
Booked: Walkes, Evans, Pitman
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Close, Cannon
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 7,880 (1,714 Pompey fans)
Transfer : Portsmouth – Wigan Athletic
|Jamal Lowe has completed a move to Championship side Wigan for an undisclosed fee.
The 25-year-old winger scored 29 goals in 119 appearances during his two-and-a-half years at Fratton Park.
He arrived at Pompey from Hampton & Richmond in January 2017 and helped them secure promotion in his first season.
Lowe netted twice on a memorable day at Notts County that secured a spot in League One for Paul Cook’s side.
He also scored a stunning strike at Wembley back in March, as the Blues beat Sunderland on penalties to lift the EFL Trophy.
Transfer : Portsmouth – Leyton Orient
|Louis Dennis has joined League Two side Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old forward made eight appearances for Pompey after signing from Bromley last summer.
Most of his appearances came in the EFL Trophy, with his only Blues goal arriving in a last 16 tie at Southend.
Dennis’ impressive performance in that game saw him collect the competition’s Player of the Round award.
He also featured in a league loss at Oxford and both of the FA Cup ties against Queens Park Rangers.
Leyton Orient secured the National League title last season to return to the EFL following a two-year absence.
Everyone at Pompey would like to thank Louis for his contribution to the club and we wish him well for the future.
Transfer : Doncaster Rovers – Portsmouth
|Pompey have signed striker John Marquis from Doncaster for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year-old – who had a short loan spell at Fratton Park in 2013 – has penned a three-year deal, with a club option for a further 12 months.
Marquis began his career with Millwall and was handed his professional debut by Jackett at Bristol Rovers in 2009.
He had several stints out on loan, including a two-month stay at Pompey in the first half of the 2013/14 campaign.
Marquis netted two goals in six appearances, grabbing a consolation in a 4-2 defeat at York and then scoring in an EFL Trophy win at Oxford.
He signed for Rovers in the summer of 2016 and struck 67 times in 153 appearances during three years in south Yorkshire.
Twenty-six of those goals arrived last term, as Doncaster suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat to Charlton in the League One play-offs.
The former converted an early penalty he had won himself and soon doubled the lead from a free-kick.
It was Hawkins’ first action of the summer and the striker added a goal in each half, while Manny Parry and Moussa Dierra both netted for the National League hosts.
There were plenty of first team players involved, with Hawkins and James Bolton both returning from injury.
The heavy rain had subsided by the time kick-off came around and Pompey took an almost immediate lead.
Moussa Dierra brought down PITMAN inside the box, with the skipper dusting himself off to coolly slot home.
It was a bright start from the Blues and Ben Close fired over following a neat and patient passing move.
Hawkins then raced onto a long pass from Haji Mnoga and was cleaned out by Cards keeper Sam Howes.
Referee Charles Breakspear might have reached for a red card in a competitive fixture, but instead stuck with awarding a free-kick.
But there was further punishment for Woking, with PITMAN drilling a 20-yard shot into the bottom corner.
And the visitors found themselves three goals ahead with just 19 minutes on the clock after Andy Cannon had done well to win possession.
The ball was eventually played out to Bolton on the right and he drilled a low cross into the box, with HAWKINS sliding in to score.
Chances started to dry up following that early goal flurry, although Matt Casey did well to block Dave Tarpey’s effort.
But Woking reduced their deficit just before the break after a Josh Casey free-kick had caused chaos in the Blues box.
The ball was stabbed towards goal and Alex Bass made a smart save, with Parry following up to convert from close range.
Pitman had a cheeky attempt to secure a hat-trick straight from the kick-off, with his effort dipping over the bar.
Pompey’s skipper then thought he should have had another penalty after hitting the turf when trying to reach Brandon Haunstrup’s cross, although this time his appeals fell on deaf ears.
There were not an abundance of clear-cut openings, but Mnoga made a well-timed challenge to deny Jake Hyde from inside the box.
The game continued to drift along, with a number of substitutions for the hosts not doing anything to help the flow.
Pompey were looking comfortable in possession, though, and content to pass the ball around without providing much of a threat.
Hawkins did send a dangerous ball across the face of goal on 78 minutes, but neither Mnoga or Josh Flint could get on the end of it.
Cannon then teed-up Pitman for a blocked shot, with the midfielder collecting the loose ball and being frustrated in his attempts to find space for a shot.
The Blues soon managed to add a fourth goal of the evening, however, with HAWKINS sliding in at the back post to convert Pitman’s pass.
But it was Woking who had the final say, as Dierra glanced home Max Kretzschmar’s corner at the near post for a consolation.
Woking (3-4-1-2): Howes (Ross 46); Parry, Gerring (Trialist 65), Dierra; Cook (Collier 46), Donnellan (Trialist 65), Poku (Kretzschmar 46), Casey (c); Ferdinand; Tarpey (Trialist 65), Hyde (Hodges 79)
Goals: Parry 45, Dierra 89
Subs not used: Skinner, Morrison
Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Bolton, Mnoga, Casey, Haunstrup; Brindley, Cannon, Close, Flint (Maloney 88); Pitman (c), Hawkins
Goals: Pitman 3 (pen), 14, Hawkins 19, 83
Subs not used: L.Pitman, Kavanagh, Hancott, Robb, Stanley
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Attendance: 1,603 (393 away fans)
|PLOTIn 2563, 300 years after Earth was devastated by a catastrophic war known as "The Fall,” scientist Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a disembodied female cyborg with an intact human brain while scavenging for parts in the massive scrapyard of Iron City. Ido attaches a new cyborg body to the brain and names her "Alita" after his deceased daughter. Alita awakens with no memory of her past and quickly befriends Hugo, a young man who dreams of moving to the wealthy sky city of Zalem. She also meets Dr. Chiren, Ido's estranged ex-wife. Hugo later introduces Alita to Motorball, a racing sport played by cyborg gladiators. Secretly, Hugo robs cyborgs of their parts for Vector, owner of the Motorball tournament and the 'de facto' ruler of the Factory, Iron City's governing authority.
One night, Alita follows Ido; they are ambushed by a gang of cyborg serial killers led by Grewishka. Ido is injured, and Alita instinctively fights using "Panzer Kunst,” a lost combat art for machine bodies. She kills two of the cyborgs and damages Grewishka, who retreats. Ido reveals that he is a Hunter-Warrior- a bounty hunter hired by the Factory. Grewishka goes to Dr. Chiren- who is working for Vector- for help. Despite Alita believing that fighting will help her rediscover her past, Ido discourages her from becoming a Hunter-Warrior. Alita finds a highly advanced cyborg body in a crashed spaceship outside the city. Recognizing that the body belonged to a Berserker — deadly shock troops of the enemy nation United Republics of Mars (URM) from the Fall, of which Alita was a member—Ido refuses to install Alita in it.
Frustrated with Ido, Alita registers herself as a Hunter-Warrior. At the Kansas Bar, she and Hugo are unable to recruit other Hunter-Warriors to help her take down Grewishka. Zapan, a cyborg Hunter-Warrior bully, provokes Alita, and she severely beats him in a fight, triggering a chaotic bar brawl until Ido arrives to intervene. Suddenly an upgraded Grewishka appears and challenges Alita to a duel, revealing that he has been sent by Zalem's technocrat overlord, Nova, to destroy her. Despite her combat skills, Alita's body is damaged by Grewishka, before Ido, Hugo and Hunter-Warrior dogmaster McTeague arrive and force Grewishka to retreat. Ido apologizes and transplants Alita into the Berserker body.
Having fallen in love with Hugo, Alita enters a Motorball tryout race for the prize money to send Hugo to Zalem. Hugo's relationship with Alita leads him to decide to quit his criminal job. He confronts his partner Tanji, but Zapan appears, kills Tanji and frames Hugo for the murder of another cyborg. Hugo narrowly escapes and calls Alita for help; she abandons the race and finds him just as Zapan does. Zapan mortally wounds Hugo. Dr. Chiren, having changed her mind about working for Vector, offers to help save Hugo by attaching his severed head to Alita's life support system. When Zapan sees through the trick and attempts to stop Alita, she seizes his prized Damascus blade and injures him.
Ido transplants Hugo's head onto a cyborg body and tells Alita that Vector's offer to help Hugo reach Zalem was a lie; as an exiled citizen of Zalem, Ido is certain that citizens of Iron City cannot enter Zalem without becoming a motorball champion. Alita storms the Factory and confronts Vector, who reveals that Chiren has been harvested for her organs. Vector summons Grewishka, but Alita's new nanotech body allows her to easily destroy him. She forces Nova to speak to her through Vector. When Nova threatens to harm her friends, Alita fatally stabs Vector.
Ido tells Alita that Hugo has fled to climb a cargo tube towards Zalem. Alita catches up to him and pleads with him to return with her. He eventually agrees, but a serrated defense ring dropped by Nova shreds his body and throws him off the tube. Alita catches him but cannot pull him up. Hugo thanks Alita for saving him before falling to his death.
Months later, Alita is a rising superstar in the Motorball tournament. Cheered on by the crowd, she pledges vengeance by pointing her plasma-charged sword toward Zalem, where Nova watches from above, smirking.
|2019Personal Rating60Rotten Critics61Rotten Audience92IMDb Rating73Combined Rating69.2|
They created plenty of chances against their League Two hosts, with Paul Downing hitting the woodwork and another Naylor effort being cleared from the line.
A fierce strike from Mason Bloomfield reduced the Reds’ deficit late on, but they could not find a leveller.
Anton Walkes was called into action early on, heading clear after George Francomb tried to convert a corner.
But it was the Blues who dominated for the majority of the first half and created the best chances to score.
The first arrived on 10 minutes when Downing met Evans’ free-kick and saw his header clip the top of the crossbar.
And the visitors did break the deadlock midway through the half, courtesy of a fine move that started with Naylor.
The midfielder slipped a precise pass through to Marcus Harness and his cross was met by a diving header from EVANS, with the ball striking the woodwork on its way into the net.
There was not much going on at the other end of the pitch, although a header from Ollie Palmer was comfortably claimed by Craig MacGillivray.
Ross McCrorie was looking dangerous for Pompey and a surging run ended with the Scottish loanee’s effort being deflected wide.
They went much closer on 31 minutes after Glenn Morris made a mess of trying to punch clear Ronan Curtis’ header.
Downing collected the ball and although he was unable to get a shot away, Naylor was and the ball had to be cleared from the line by a well-placed Tom Dallison.
There were a couple more half-chances for Curtis before the break, as the Blues continued to probe away.
Crawley Town 0
Harness linked up well to Ellis Harrison and McCrorie soon after the restart and the latter’s effort was deflected behind.
And the lead was doubled on 51 minutes, although Morris will probably think he could have done better.
Lee Brown cut the ball back for NAYLOR, whose effort beat the keeper far too easily before nestling in the net.
Crawley brought on Nathan Ferguson and the newcomer had an immediate impact, forcing MacGillivray down to deal with his angled drive.
The action was soon back down the other end and when Harrison collected Walkes’ threaded pass, David Sesay had to slide in and stop the striker’s shot finding the bottom corner.
But former Hawks striker Palmer really should have reduced the hosts’ deficit just past the hour mark.
He was picked out by Filipe Morais’ left-wing cross, but managed to nod the ball wide from just a couple of yards out.
The same Crawley duo combined again just past the hour mark and this time MacGillivray showed fine reflexes to deny Palmer.
Chances were now coming thick and fast, but Curtis could not keep his shot down after being slipped through by Harness.
It was proving to be an open end to the contest, with the action quickly switching from one end to the next as both sides went in search of goals.
A looping Downing header caused chaos in the Crawley box and the ball eventually crossed the line, although referee Tim Robinson had spotted a foul.
It seemed as though Pompey would see things out comfortably, but the hosts found themselves back in the game courtesy of a thunderous strike from substitute Bloomfield.
A flurry of substitutes slowed things down for the Blues, though, and the final few moments passed by without incident.
Crawley (4-1-4-1): Morris; Sesay, Tunnicliffe, Dallison, Doherty; Bulman (c) (Ferguson 53); Morais, Francomb, Camara (Bloomfield 69), Nathaniel-George (Grego-Cox 61); Palmer (Galach 82)
Goals: Bloomfield 80
Subs not used: Luyamula, Payne, Allarakhia
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Burgess, Brown (Haunstrup 86); McCrorie (Close 88), Naylor; Harness, Evans (c), Curtis (Cannon 86); Harrison (Pitman 86)
Goals: Evans 20, Naylor 61
Subs not used: Bass, Bolton, Dennis, Lowe, Hawkins
Referee: Tim Robinson
Attendance: 1,777 (688 Pompey fans)
|PLOTHusband and wife Pete and Ellie Wagner, taunted by relatives who think they will never have children, consider adoption. They enroll in foster care, led by social workers Karen and Sharon. At a fair to meet foster children, Ellie voices her reluctance to adopt a teen, and is confronted by 15-year-old Lizzy, who impresses Pete and Ellie.
Karen and Sharon reveal that Lizzy has two siblings, ten-year-old Juan and six-year-old Lita, and their mother is a drug addict currently in prison. The Wagners’ meeting with Lizzy and her siblings does not result in an immediate "cosmic connection", leading them to reconsider. At Thanksgiving dinner with Ellie's family, Pete and Ellie explain they have decided not to adopt. The family admits that no one really believed they should adopt, which spurs Ellie to go through with fostering the siblings.
Lizzy, Juan, and Lita move in with the Wagners, whose lives become hectic – Lita refuses to eat anything but potato chips, Juan is overly emotional, and Lizzy resents Ellie’s attempts to parent her. The Wagners turn to a support group of their fellow foster parents. Pete's mother Sandy wins the siblings over by taking the family to Six Flags, but Lizzy disappears with friends and returns late, prompting Pete to ground her.
When Pete and Ellie confront Lizzy as she leaves the house, Juan accidentally shoots a nail into his foot. Seeing Pete and Ellie rush Juan to the hospital and comfort Lita, Lizzy begins to warm to them, and Pete invites her to vent her frustrations by demolishing a house he is renovating. Lita calls Pete "daddy" after he fixes her doll, and Juan tells Ellie, "Good night, mommy" when she comforts him after a nightmare.
Pete and Ellie meet Carla, the siblings’ mother, who has been released from prison and wants to reunite with her children. The Wagners express their feelings to the support group, but the social workers explain the system’s main goal is to keep families together, and the children might return to their biological mother.
Carla’s meetings with her children disrupt the Wagner household; the children become more unruly, leaving Pete and Ellie demotivated and frustrated. They are horrified to discover Lizzy taking naked pictures of herself to send to someone at school named Jacob, who sends her a naked photo of himself. Pete and Ellie seek out the Fernandez family, whose adoptive daughter Brenda had inspired them at their orientation; though Brenda is back in rehab, Mr. and Mrs. Fernandez assure the Wagners that “things that matter are hard.”
Taking the children to school the next day, Pete and Ellie confront a student named Charlie, mistaking him for Jacob. Discovering Jacob is actually the school's 22-year-old janitor, they beat him up and he is arrested, as are Pete and Ellie, leaving Juan and Lita in the car. Returning home after posting bail, Pete and Ellie are told by Sandy that they need to reassure Lizzy that they love her.
At the children’s court hearing, the judge reads a statement from Lizzy, detailing Pete and Ellie’s actions in a negative light. He refuses to let Ellie read her own statement, and the children are returned to Carla’s care. Juan and Lita do not want to leave the Wagners, but Lizzy is ready. Karen and Sharon arrive to inform Lizzy that Carla is not coming to get them, having failed to appear that morning, and seems to be using drugs again. Heartbroken, Lizzy runs away, but Pete and Ellie chase after her and tell her they love her, and the trio reconcile.
Four months later, the family attends a new court hearing, where the judge finalizes Pete and Ellie's adoption of Lizzy, Juan, and Lita. They all pose for a picture, joined by their families and fellow foster families.
|2018Personal Rating70Rotten Critics81Rotten Audience82IMDb Rating73Combined Rating75.2|
It was a pretty flat contest throughout, although the visitors started to dominate towards the end of the encounter.
Ronan Curtis scored the only goal with a stooping header and Anton Walkes later chipped against the woodwork.
The first half was typical friendly fare, with the game moving along at a slow pace and offering little to excite the relatively sparse crowd.
It was the hosts who looked marginally more dangerous in the opening stages, but Emmanuel Sonupe fired into the side netting after charging into the box.
Ben Close met a delivery from Walkes at the other end, although the midfielder’s header lacked the required power to test Paul Farman.
There were also a couple of free-kicks, with one from Lee Brown deflected wide and Brett Pitman curling another over the bar.
In truth, though, there was nothing to really trouble either goalkeeper on a warm – but cloudy – afternoon in Hertfordshire.
The Blues finally started to provide more of a threat towards the end of the half and had a couple of decent opportunities to break the deadlock.
A Brown free-kick from wide on the right was flashed dangerously across the face of goal, with Curtis not quite able to make a connection at the far post.
Ross McCrorie’s purposeful run was then crudely halted outside the box to ensure another set-piece for the visitors.
It was Curtis wo launched the ball into the box for Ellis Harrison, but the summer signing could only nod wide.
The action failed to heat up following the restart, with chances still very much at a premium at both ends.
Curtis did collect the ball from Brown on the overlap, but his cross went over the head of Harrison and was nodded clear.
And Curtis tried a shot from long-range on the hour mark, only for the ball to cannon into a Stevenage triallist.
A goal was not looking likely, but one arrived for Pompey on 65 minutes after they won a free-kick on the right.
Brown played the ball across to Jamal Lowe, who lifted it towards the back post, where CURTIS arrived to head home.
An immediate substitution followed, with Pitman making way and fans getting a first glimpse of new signing Marcus Harness.
There were more chances to follow and Harrison was unble to guide his header on target after meeting a delivery from Walkes.
Walkes then attempted a cheeky lob of the keeper from just outside the box, with the ball looping over Farman and against the crossbar.
The Blues somehow failed to double their lead on 78 minutes after Harrison had done well to bring the ball under control on the byline.
He squared it for Lowe, but the forward was unable to force home and neither was Harrison at the second attempt.
Stevenage searched for an equaliser, although they never really looked like beating Craig MacGillivray, as the Blues comfortably held on for victory.
Stevenage (3-5-1-1): Farman; Vancooten, Cuthbert (c), Stokes (Triallist 80); James-Wildin (Triallist 55), Sonupe (Iontton 81), Triallist (Byrom 65), Parrett (Triallist 65 (Denton 76)), Triallist (Fernandez 80); Carter (Smith 65); Newton (Smyth 86)
Subs not used: Triallist, Triallist, Triallist, Ashton
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Naylor, Brown; McCrorie, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Harness 65), Curtis (Cannon 84); Harrison
Goals: Curtis 64
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Evans
Referee: Will Finnie