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Match Reports

Report: Town narrowly lose out to Portsmouth on opening day

7 August 2021

Match Reports

Report: Town narrowly lose out to Portsmouth on opening day

7 August 2021

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Fleetwood Town narrowly lost out on the opening day of the season, losing 1-0 to Portsmouth on a blustery afternoon at Highbury.

The Cods started out the game strong creating multiple gilt-edged chances, forcing saved out of the Portsmouth goalkeeper but it wasn’t meant to be as the only goal of the game came from a driven hot by Lee Brown.

The first chance of the game fell to Fleetwood just four minutes into the game as Shayden Morris managed to work his way Brown, before playing a low-cross towards Callum Morton, who couldn’t quite guide the ball goal wards.

Town pressured the goalkeeper again two minutes later when Jordan Rossiter picked out Ged Garner 25-yards. He drove forward and struck the ball with his left foot and forced a save out of Alex Bass.

Harrison Biggins had a chance soon after as a cross found him inside the Portsmouth box unmarked as he swung his boot at it and made the goalkeeper make another save.

Eight minutes in, Garner fancied a chance from the right-wing as he moved the ball to his left and curled an effort, aiming for the top corner, but it went just wide of the far post.

Portsmouth had their first real chance of the game 11 minutes in as Marcus Harness received the ball on the wing, playing a cross into the Town box, which was cleared only to Ryan Tunnicliffe on the edge, whose effort went well wide of the target.

It was almost a goal to the good for Town after 13 minutes as Max Clark found Garner from a cross, who forced another save from the goalkeeper, even though he could only parry the ball to Morton but, it was blocked by Clark Robertson.

The game calmed down then, after a short interval as James Hill received some treatment, with the next big chance coming in the 28th minute as Ronan Curtis stood over a free-kick for the visitors 30-yards out and tried his luck, hitting the crossbar in the process.

Ten minutes later, Fleetwood had a gilt-edged chance to go into the lead as a cross was played over a crowd of players around the penalty area towards Harrison Biggins, but his open header went wide.

The heavens opened at the start of the second half as both sides struggled to find their feet in the early stages. The best chance would come from Hill, who scuffed his half-volley wide of the Pompey goal.

In the 55th minute, Morris was played in from the midfield, dribbling between Brown and Robertson and unleashing a strike towards the near post, but Bass was a match.

After a bit of pinball inside the Town box a couple of minutes later, The Cods’ new number one Alex Cairns was called into action, pulling off a brilliant save from John Marquis’ close-range effort.

On the hour mark, the visitors took the lead as Brown latched onto a loose cross inside the Fleetwood box and swung his boot at the ball, which went across Cairns and into the back of the net.

Simon Grayson’s side carried on attacking, even after the away goal, with Brad Halliday passing to Garner on the edge of the area, whose shot was mis-hit and went well wide.

Halliday had a tricky effort from close range go just wide with little time left on the clock, after Morris burst past his marker and found him in the box. Bass had to be on hand but the shot trickled just past the post.

Town XI: Cairns (GK), Halliday, Andrew, Clarke, Morton, Rossiter (C), Garner (Pilkington 72’), Morris, Hill, Biggins (Batty 72’), Clark (Edmondson 82’).

Subs not used: Crellin (GK), D.Johnson, Camps, Holgate.

Pompey XI: Bass (GK), Brown, Robertson (C), Ahadme (Hackett-Fairchild 68’), Tunnicliffe, Marquis (Hirst 74’), Harness (C.Johnson 90+2'), Curtis, Freeman, Ogilvie, Raggett.

Subs not used: Bazunu (GK), Mnoga, Kaba, Jewitt-White.

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