200822 Portsmouth v Rovers Match Report

Back to back defeat for Rovers

Goals from Ogilvie, Pigott and a late third from Dale secured all three points for Portsmouth despite Aaron Collins' fourth goal of the season. 

Rovers made three changes as they looked to bounce back from Tuesday night's fruitless trip to Barnsley. In place of Anderson, Gordon and Saunders came Rossiter, Gibson and Glenn Whelan. The player-coach set the tone with a crunching first-minute tackle as Rovers looked to atone for Tuesday night's slow start.

Sam Finley, playing in a more advanced role than usual, was seeing a lot of the ball in the early exchanges and he was unlucky to have the ball pinched off his toe just as he was lining up a shot from thirty yards.

Portsmouth, buoyed by an unbeaten start to the season and a raucous home crowd, were soon bossing possession and won a free-kick in the 10th minute. Jacobs swung it in dangerously but the advancing Morrison just failed to connect.

Lewis Gibson, making his full debut for the Gas, had to make a smart interception in the 13th minute as Curtis threatened to run through on goal. From the corner, Raggett's header was easily gathered by Belshaw.
Four minutes later, the new signing was at it again, sliding in expertly to disposess Curtis in the area.
The game's first flashpoint happened in the 18th minute. Glenn Whelan challenged for the ball with Louis Thompson. Within seconds, medical personnel were on the scene to administer oxygen as the Portsmouth player lay in agony in front of the dugouts. After a talking to from referee Ward, Whelan was shown a yellow card, with Thompson stretchered off the pitch.


When play resumed, Rovers almost took the lead. Collins was released down the left; he raced to the byline and it looked like Marquis was impeded as he looked to get onto the end of the cross. Pompey couldn't clear the danger and Coutts struck a shot goalwards, which was cleared to Collins, who hooked his effort just over the bar.
Portsmouth went straight up the other end and Ogilvie rose unchallenged to head home from a Jacobs corner in the 32nd minute.


The home side forced three quick corners in the 45th minute as seven additional minutes were added for the earlier injury. The Gas stood firm to clear their lines for the first two but, from the third, Morrison sliced wide when well-placed at the back post.
Portsmouth played out the rest of the half by bossing possession and the Gas went into the interval a goal behind.

Boss Joey Barton opted to make one change, compared to the three he made at Oakwell on Tuesday. On came Harry Anderson in place of Glenn Whelan. 

In the 46th minute, Evans lay on the turf following a challenge and play was brought to a halt. The midfielder limped off the pitch but was soon back in the action. Pompey won a corner in the 50th minute and Belshaw had to be alert to paw the ball away from goal. From the resulting corner, Marquis was on hand to head the ball off the line as the hosts made a strong start to the second half.

Luca Hoole tried to play out from the back but was disposessed and only a timely intervention from the impressive Gibson stopped a surefire second.

Marlon Pack was booked for a late challenge on Evans as the Gas were awarded a free-kick in the 58th minute. Nothing came from it and the nigh-on two thousand travelling Gasheads were left wondering where the next goal was coming from.

They weren't wondering for long.

Marquis robbed the dozing Raggett on the byline in the 61st minute and squared for Collins. The striker took a touch and fired low beyond Griffiths for his fourth goal of the season. From nowhere, the visitors were level.


The home side nearly regained the lead almost instantaneously, but Dale's flying volley was just over Belshaw's bar. 

The busy visiting 'keeper was then left poleaxed in the area in the 73rd minute under a challenge from Morrison. in the ensuing melee, both Morrison and Rovers' Rossiter were shown yellow cards for shoving. Rossiter was withdrawn for Loft as Rovers reverted to a back four. Gibson was then replaced by Kilgour as Portsmouth had a free-kick wide on the left. From it, the home side peppered the goal with five shots, all of which were blocked by heroic tackles as the Rovers backline put their bodies on the line to keep the scores level.

Substitute Pigott then blazed over from the centre of the penalty area. Marquis was next to be replaced, this time by Harvey Saunders. The game was getting increasingly frantic. Substitute Hackett fired on target from thirty yards and Belshaw parried away. Anderson was adjudged to have fouled Pigott and referee Ward pointed to the spot. The Portsmouth number 10 picked himself up to calmly sidefoot home, sending Belshaw the wrong way. Rovers had it all to do again, but there were only eight minutes left.

They should have had a penalty of their own straight away. Collins worked space in the box and was seemingly clipped by a Portsmouth defender. Referee Ward gave a corner, much to the fury of the Rovers players, for whom Coutts was booked for dissent.

Scarlett was booked in the 88th minute for fouling Kilgour as Rovers pushed for an equaliser.

From the free-kick, Rovers won a corner. From it, Griffiths claimed a looping deflected header as the board went up to show seven minutes of time added on. In the second of those, with Rovers playing a high line in an attempt to get back into the game, Portsmouth broke and Dale was given time to plant a header home to make it 3-1 to Portsmouth. It could have been four, but Hoole blocked a goalbound Hackett effort. The last action saw Saunders have a low shot saved by Griffiths. 

Rovers are back at The Mem next Saturday for the visit of Shrewsbury Town in Sky Bet League One (3pm KO).

PORTSMOUTH: Griffiths, Rafferty, Morrison, Raggett (c), Ogilvie, Dale, Thompson, Pack, Jacobs, Curtis, Bishop.

Substitutes: Oluwayemi, Swanson, Robertson, Lowery, Hackett, Pigott, Scarlett.

ROVERS: Belshaw, Hoole, Conolly, Gibson, Finley, Coutts (c), Evans, Rossiter, Collins, Marquis, Whelan (Anderson 45).

Substitutes: Jaakkola, Kilgour, Loft, Saunders, Anderson (45), Gordon, Lawrence.

Referee: Gavin Ward.

Attendance: 18,842 (1,842 away)


Read Time: 6 mins