Portsmouth (2-0) Scunthorpe
16th March 2019
Fratton Park (17,308)
By Mike Hurdle
Portsmouth took advantage of a rare slip up from Barnsley and Luton Town to gain valuable ground on the automatic promotion places and in the process recording back to back wins against a lacklustre Scunthorpe side on a wet and windy afternoon at Fratton Park today.
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett named an unchanged side for the visit of Scunthorpe who in-turn made two changes from the midweek victory against Southend, with Harrison McGahey and Kyle Wooton replacing Levi Sutton and Kevin van Veen.
Portsmouth had near total dominance in the first half with Jamal Lowe coming close to breaking the deadlock after curling a long range affect which ended just high of Jak Alnwick’s right hand post. Scunthorpe sparked their only attempt of the half with the Portsmouth keeper Craig MacGillivary comfortably collecting Tony McMahon’s tame effort.
With Portsmouth asking all sorts of questions of the Scunthorpe defence it was the flair of Viv Soloman-Otabor who created Pompey’s best effort of the half by providing a lovely cross from the left which was headed straight into the path of Omar Bogle by Cameron Burgess. Alnwick then produced an outstanding double save, firstly from Bogle and then blocking Bret Pitman’s follow up shot. With the ball moving across the six yard box Lowe facing an unguarded goal came agonisingly close to connecting with the loose ball.
With seconds remaining of the first half Portsmouth was forced into their first change with Gareth Evans replacing the injured Soloman-Otobar.
The second half started in the same fashion as first ended with Lee Brown, Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe all coming close to breaking the deadlock. Bogle’s new boots finally eased the nerves around Fratton Park on 71 minutes. Lowe won a free kick in-front of the home dugout which was dispatched into the Scunthorpe box. Scunthorpe failed to clear properly and with Ben Close’s heavy touch falling to Bogle 17 yards out and on the turn fired the loose ball into the bottom corner of the Scunthorpe goal.
Lowe settled the tie three minutes from time, after picking up the ball 25 yards from goal and driving into the right of the box, Lowe then smashed a right footed shot past Alnwick and into the top left hand corner of the goal to settle the Fratton Park nerves.
Full Time: Portsmouth 2 Scunthorpe 0
Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett said “In the end we had to persevere, we had to keep going and stay patient is one thing but keep trying to do the right things”
Portsmouth now goes onto next Saturdays tie away to Shrewsbury Town forth in League one and only four points behind second placed Barnsley.