Bradford City 0 Pompey 1
Gareth Evans put Pompey ahead on twelve minutes and they held on in a game best remembered for the number of chances missed by both sides.
Kenny made three changes bringing back Jack Whatmough for Christian Burgess, Tom Naylor after suspension and Anton Walkes replaced the banned Nathan Thompson. Ben Close dropped to the bench.
Bradford started brightly for the side on such a bad run testing Craig MacGillivray in the first five minutes. However, once Pompey got going they were ahead Jamal Lowe found Ronan Curtis and his pull back for Evans who pushed Lowe aside and hammered home six yards.
Pompey then dominated for a spell but as usual, when on top they could not make their pressure pay and gradually City with their brittle confidence came back into the game. Both goalkeepers were overworked to keep the score at 1-0 and Eoin Doyle had the best chance to level as the half-time whistle approached.
The second period started with Pompey on top but again there was no end product to their play. This meant that again the home side were applying pressure with Pompey just having the breaks of Lowe and Curtis to relieve that pressure.
City were down to ten men when Adam Chicksen picked up his second yellow card both for fouls on Lowe. In injury time Bradford missed their best and last chance when Hope Akpan shot over from close range.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 76), Curtis (Wheeler 87); Hawkins
Goals: Evans 12
Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason, Pitman
Referee: Geoff Eltringham
Attendance: 16,393 (1,289 Pompey fans)
Joe Gallen told the official site: “I know Bradford are bottom of the league, but it certainly didn’t feel like that when we came into a big stadium. They’ve put together a squad that certainly wasn’t designed to be where they are in the table at this stage of the season. So we’re delighted to not only claim all three points, but also keep a clean sheet. It was a classic away performance.
“We started quite well and scored a very good goal to take the lead. It’s often hard after that because pressure will naturally come on you, but we held out. We’ve been working with Ronan on going both outside and inside his man because we know defenders are wary of him. And we all know that Gareth times his runs perfectly from the number 10 position. He’s got a centre-forward’s instinct. A lot of players would have perhaps leant back and blasted it high, but he gets over the ball and finished it well.
“Coming away from home and expecting the opposition not to have any chances is naïve, but we had some class on the ball and I felt we were the better team overall.”
So, Pompey now have a three-week break from League action to concentrate on the FA Cup and the FLT game with Tottenham U23s before they are back in action at Scunthorpe on 24 November.
This fixtures mess is caused by the postponement on the Charlton game on 17th because of international call-ups from the London side squad. It has been rearranged for December 11 but only if neither side is involved in an FA Cup Second round replay.
The moving of the Charlton game means that Pompey have had to move the Remembrance Day commemorations. These had been planned for some time with the input from the Eisner’s and the Pompey Pals. Now there is no home until 27th and the decision for the switch to the Spurs U23 game is unfortunate as only a small crowd will be in attendance and being that this year marks the centenary of the end of World War One it is a real shame.
On that note, there will be no Chimes next week as I will be in London as part of the Nation’s Thank you procession which follows the British Legion’s veteran’s parade in Whitehall on Sunday morning.
And finally… fairytale town
18-year-old Lois Openda recently had the chance to defeat an expensive Monaco side in the dying moments of a Europa League match, but the Club Brugge youngster somehow missed an open goal. Luckily at this time of year, there are loads of alcoves to hide in across the fairytale town.