Portsmouth vs ASFC

League 2
vs
11/02/2017
Score: 2 - 0

Match Report

Stanley lost out at promotion-chasing Portsmouth with an early Matt Clarke goal and a late Kal Naismith strike sealing the win.

Pompey had lost three of their last four league games but Clarke’s goal after just one minute and 35 seconds set them on their way before ex-Stanley man Naismith fired home in injury time.

Stanley battled hard but just couldn’t find a way past David Forde in the Pompey goal and John Coleman was frustrated the Reds weren’t awarded a penalty for a challenge on Billy Kee in the second half – a decision which could have changed the game.

Fulham on loan keeper Marek Rodak was first in action superbly keeping out a striker by former Red Gary Roberts within 45 seconds.

However, from the resulting short corner, Clarke leapt highest at the far post from a Roberts cross to put Pompey ahead.

Portsmouth were doing all the early pressing with Kyle Bennett firing wide, Jamal Lowe forcing a save out of Rodak and they threatened with a succession of corners.

Stanley’s first effort on goal came in the 29th minute when Sean McConville chipped wide of the goal and, in the next attack, Janoi Donacien forced Pompey keeper Forde into his first save of the match, pushing the defender’s strike around the post.

Donacien fired well over from distance as Stanley looked to get back in it while goalscorer Clarke turned in the area and lobbed wide before the end of the first half.

Championship loan striker Eoin Doyle had an early strike after the interval which was deflected into Rodak’s arms while Bennett headed wide for Pompey.

Sheffield Wednesday loan midfielder Sean Clare tried to get the Reds going, charging forward from his own half but his final shot was wide on 55 minutes.

Coleman made a double substitution on the hour bringing on Shay McCartan and Jordan Clark for Harvey Rodgers and Clare as they looked for an equaliser.

But the next chance fell to Pompey with Doyle racing into the area but he was crowded out as he lined up to shoot while Doyle had another chance on 66 minutes but Rodak denied him from close range .

Stanley then looked the more threatening and they came so close to the equaliser when a McConville free kick was headed down by Donacien, Forde couldn’t keep hold of the ball and it bounced almost across the goalline before being hooked clear.

Billy Kee then almost set up the unmarked McConville in the area but the Pompey defence managed to get their first while striker Kee went down under a challenge on the edge of the area on 78 minutes with nothing given much to the annoyance of the Stanley team.

Nerves were tense for the home fans with Mark Hughes volleying over and a couple of goalmouth melees as Stanley finished strongly with ex-Pompey player Rommy Boco coming on for the final five minutes.

However, in injury time with Stanley attacking, Pompey broke and Naismith finished calmly against his former club.

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