Pompey 2 Southend United 0
Pompey strolled to three more points yesterday afternoon with a routine 2-0 win over Sarfend.
Kenny made just one change from the Rochdale cup win with Tom Naylor back for Ben Close. Louis Dennis had done enough in midweek to earn a place among the subs.
The conditions were such that good football was bound to be difficult. A strong wind was blowing down the pitch and heavy persistent drizzle was swirling in the gale. Pompey though took no notice of that and playing into the wind and the Fratton End produced a wonderful first-half display, one which showed why they are now six points clear at the top of League One.
It was no surprise when Pompey went ahead on eleven minutes Gareth Evans set up Ronan Curtis and his cross was turned into his own net by Turner under pressure from Oli Hawkins.
After that Matt Clarke headed over when he should have scored and Hawkins had a header that went just wide of the left-hand post.
The second came when another cross from Curtis on the break was headed against the far post and into the net by Jamal Lowe.
Pompey then had a good shout for a penalty when a defender appeared to knock down a Lowe cross.
After the break, the visitors had more of the ball but created little Pompey had the two best chances when Curtis stung the keepers hands and on the break, Lowe fed Close – on for Evans – and he should have scored missing from six yards.
Pompey (4-1-4-1): MacGillivray; N.Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; Naylor; Lowe, B.Thompson (Pitman 89), Evans (c) (Close 73), Curtis; Hawkins
Goals: Turner 11 (og), Lowe 29
Subs not used: McGee, Walkes, Burgess, Dennis, Green
Referee: Lee Collins
Attendance: 18,062 (726 away fans)
With the game between Accrington and Sunderland abandoned after 75 with a flooded pitch when the score was 1-1 – the game will have now be played again, Luton moved up to second place six points behind Pompey but the Hatters have played a game more.
The Blues boss was in reflective mood when he told the Official Site: “I thought we deserved to win and could have scored more because we created a lot of chances.
“Ronan Curtis put the ball into a good area for the first goal and then whipped it in with his right foot for the second. Jamal made a fine run and gave the keeper no chance with his header. There were times when we should have got tighter in the second half, but we still limited them to few – if any – proper chances. Jack Whatmough made one excellent block when it looked like we were outnumbered and there wasn’t much else.
“It’s something to build on now for Tuesday night and the players are all in a really good place at the moment. But we have to keep our feet on the ground and remain humble while trying to continue building confidence. The crowd were fantastic and to have them and the players bouncing off each other is ideal for me as a manager.”
Pompey fans sat watching the draw for the FA Cup third round last Monday evening only to be disappointed when they were handed Norwich City away.
It will be very different to the last meeting in the third round way back in January 1950 when the Pompey were the reigning champions of England and on their way to retaining the First Division title, and the Canaries were in Third Division South.
The first game was a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park in front of over 42,000 spectators, when Noel Kinsey earned a replay for the Canaries in the second half, cancelling out a goal from Lindy Delaphena which would later emerge as coming from a handball.
The replay at Carrow Road drew a record crowd of 42,624 and Pompey eventually ‘did the job’ winning 2-0 with a brace from Duggie Reid. Here are the highlights thanks to Pathe News.
The two have only met in cup competitions on one other occasion and that was in 1987 in the much lamented Full Members Cup quarter final.
Yesterday the draw made for the Southern quarter finals of the EFL Trophy and Pompey were handed an away tie with yesterday’s opponents Southend. Match to be played in the week commencing 7 January 2019.
Transfer window to open soon..
Yes, there are just twenty-three days until the window opens again and with Pompey sitting top of League One rumours are spreading about players on the shopping list all over the country.
In Nottingham, the local rag is suggesting Pompey will splash half a million pounds on Forest midfielder Ryan Yates who after loan spells at Notts County and Scunthorpe has been unable to break into Aitor Karanka’s first team. He is currently in the U23 squad under the guidance of Jimmy Gilligan. Yes, the same Jimmy Gilligan who played up front with Guy Whittingham in the 1989/90 season – small world.