Portsmouth vs ASFC

League One
vs
04/05/2019
Score: 1 - 1

Match Report

Stanley finished their first season in Sky Bet League One in 14th place after a 1-1 draw at Play-Off side Portsmouth.

Sean McConville continued his rich scoring vein with a solo goal within 44 seconds of the re-start but Ben Close equalised as the Reds completed their season with an unbeaten three game run.

Keeper Dimi Evtimov came back into the side for the injured Jonny Maxted while striker Billy Kee didn’t pass a late fitness test.

Stanley could have opened the scoring on eight minutes when McConville hit the bar with a looping header from a Janoi Donacien ball in from the right.

The Reds were creating the better chances and had a number of set-pieces around the Pompey box.

From one, on 26 minutes, the ball came to Paul Smyth who made space for himself but keeper Craig MacGillivray denied him from close range.

Portsmouth’s first real chance came in the 34th minute from a Gareth Evans free kick which defender Christian Burgess glanced wide.

Stanley then forced a period of pressure with a quick break but Luke Armstrong’s final ball in was collected by MacGillivray while, a moment later, Smyth had a go from distance which wasn’t held on to by the keeper but eventually cleared.

Before half time Pompey had two good chances with a high ball in to striker Oli Hawkins which, from six yards out, he looped over the goal while a Bryn Morris blast was well over the bar.

After limited chances in the first half, McConville lit up the second half in the first minute with a solo goal from 20 yards which curled into the bottom corner of the net – his fourth goal in two games.

Portsmouth almost replied immediately but Stanley defended well as Hawkins was waiting to touch home a Ronan Curtis cross but the Reds managed to get their first.

Defender Burgess again leapt highest to a set-piece but couldn’t find the target but then on 59 minutes, Close ran with the ball and fired low into the bottom corner to level the scores.

An Omar Bogle effort flew past the post while, at the other end, Stanley appealed for a penalty when Erico Sousa went down under a challenge in the area but referee Scott Duncan said no.

The game was then end-to-end as both sides looked for the winner with Pompey goalscorer Close hitting a fierce drive from 20 yards which hit the corner of the post and upright on 80 minutes.

Pompey now go into the Play-Offs while Stanley will continue their preparations for next season in League One.

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