AFC Wimbledon 1 Pompey 2
Pompey appeared to be coasting to an easy three points yesterday afternoon but conceded halfway through the second period and then had to hold on testing the nerve of fans at the ground or watching on television.
After the defeat last week and the absence of Ronan Curtis on International duty, fans were interested in boss Kenny Jackett’s team selection. He was without wide men David Wheeler and Andre Green.
Kenny made three changes with Ben Thompson replacing Ben Close, fit again Dion Donohue in for Curtis and Oli Hawkins preferred to Brett Pitman up front. The hosts included both Andy Barcham and Jake Jervis.
It the first period it looked like Pompey would score with every attack playing some lovely football. The ball was switched from side to side and some intricate stuff.
Pompey took the lead on 24 minutes when Donohue sent in an inswinging corner from the right and it was met by Tom Naylor making a late run to nod in his first goal for the Blues.
Seven minutes later it was two as Jamal Lowe slipped in the overlapping Lee Brown and his cross eluded all bar Evans who scored from a tight angle.
The Dons, lucky to be only two behind at the break bravely made three changes but it took a Pompey mistake to let them into the game. Naylor cleared from a home attack and the ball fell to Evans twenty-five yards out who had time to collect the ball and set Pompey away. He did, however, lash out at the ball with his left foot and it dropped for sub James Hanlon to curl a left-foot shot past Craig MacGillivray from the edge of the area.
The game then swung to the home side at it was backs to the wall as Pompey dug deep to take the points.
Now we have two home games to look forward to with Fleetwood Town next Saturday and Burton Albion the following Tuesday. Both sides won yesterday and will have the confidence to prove tough hurdles for Pompey. It is vital to maintain the impressive start to the season that improved performances are forthcoming as Pompey have only taken two points from the last three homes games.
There will be plenty of tickets available for Pompey fans as neither club is liable to bring more than a few hundred fans – remember too that the Burton game is ‘kids for a quid’.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, B.Thompson; Evans (c) (Walkes 89), Lowe, Donohue (Close 74); Hawkins (Pitman 80)
Goals: Naylor 24, Evans 31
Booked: Donohue, Whatmough
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Dennis, Mason
Referee: Lee Probert
Attendance: 4,569 (769 Pompey fans)
With no Premier League or Championship games Sky Sports News gave the Pompey game top billing and debutant assessor Shola Ameobi did a decent job covering the game. He could not help but be impressed by Pompey’s first half display.
Twelve years ago today
14th October 2006 Pompey entertained West Ham at Fratton Park. Pompey won the game 2-0 with goals from Premier League legends.
The first after 24 minutes saw Kanu head home a cross by Glen Johnson. The second came with Matt Taylor playing a one-two with Andy Cole in the box and the latter twisted and turned before netting his first Pompey goal just five minutes after replacing Benjani – it was the day before his thirty-fifth birthday.
That left Pompey just three points behind leaders Manchester United in fourth place. Those were the days.
Watch the goals here.
And finally… Bohemian like you
Not much back story to this one – just an old-fashioned rocket from Bohemians defender Ian Morris against Cork City in the semi-final of the FAI Cup this week.
Some fans will recognise the stadium as Turner’s Cross where Pompey played in pre-season.
2018-19 Prediction League – October
Fleetwood (h) – Saturday 20th October 2018 – click here.
Burton (h) – Tuesday 23rd October 2018 – click here.
Accrington (a) – Saturday 27th October 2018 – click here.