Pompey 5 Bradford City 1
Pompey got their league form back on track with a bang, thumping five past a hapless Bradford City but the win came at a cost with Oli Hawkins, Nathan Thompson and Ronan Curtis picking up nasty looking injuries and losing Matt Clarke with a badly cut head.
Kenny Jackett named a near full strength side with Christian Burgess surprisingly being fit to resume in the back four. Jamal Lowe regained his place on the right flank.
Pompey simply got back to their old ways with Hawkins as the spearhead of their attack and City could not handle him. With better refereeing, Oli would have got more protection but on 23 minutes as a corner came over he was thrown to the ground and Gareth Evans slammed the spot kick into the top corner.
Just before half time an Evans corner was knocked on to the bar by Curtis and Tom Naylor smashed the rebound home. Two nil at half time and both goals from former Bantams.
The second half saw City improve slightly and after Craig MacGillivray made a fine save from the resulting corner Akpan reduced the deficit. That had panic amongst the crowd but not the team who reacted immediately pouring forward. Lee Brown put in a dangerous cross and Lowe flung himself at the ball to chest home.
It was then time for Ben Close to take over first diverting an Evans shot home and then when Curtis got away on the left the ball dropped for Ben to hit a left-foot volley into the corner.
The game was delayed on the hour when a Leeds United drone was spotted hovering over the ground – now that was a first for me. That and the clash of heads between Clarke and Thompson meant there were ten minutes added on by the officials.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; Thompson (Walkes 77), Burgess, Clarke (Donohue 84), Brown; Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c), Close, Curtis; Hawkins (Vaughan 69)
Goals: Evans 23 (pen), Naylor 41, Lowe 67, Close 70, 87
Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor, Pitman
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 17,657 (493 away fans)
After the game assistant boss, Joe Gallen was optimistic that all four injuries were not severe although Thompson may have had some teeth knocked out by Matt Clarke’s forehead!