Fleetwood Town battled hard in a narrow 1-0 league loss to Portsmouth at Highbury Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of the game, everyone in the ground participated in a minute’s silence so that we could remember all the fans, supporters and staff that unfortunately passed away in the last twelve months.
Town seemed to be on top for large portions of the game but it was a John Marquis header from close range that broke the deadlock. Simon Wiles’ side continued to press but couldn’t find a way through the Portsmouth defence.
The first chance of the game came in the second minute as new signing Kyle Vassell played the ball through to Paddy Madden, who turned on the spot before firing just wide of the target.
Town quickly followed with Madden as he ran down the left, cut back, and crossed the ball into a packed box but the keeper came out to collect it.
The away side took the led around the 15-minute mark as Ryan Williams picked up the ball on the right-wing before whipping a cross into the box, where Marquis beat James Hill to a header inside the six-yard box.
Fleetwood almost responded straight away as a brilliant passing move with Madden finding Callum Camps, who was through on goal, forcing a save out of Craig MacGillivray from inside the Pompey area.
Most of the play in the following ten minutes was spent in the middle of the park, with both sides battling it out until Vassell found a yard of space on the left, crossed the ball in towards Charlie Mulgrew who headed just wide of the near post.
On the stroke of half-time, Town had a free kick in a good range of the goal, but Josh Morris’ strike was straight at MacGillivray, not troubling the goalkeeper.
Portsmouth started out the second half with the better team as Michael Jacobs was fed the ball after a quick counter-attack but his left-footed shot was easily saved by Joe Hilton.
Like the majority of the first half, both sides were cancelling each other out in the midfield with minimal attacks being created. Both sides had half-chances but neither keeper was troubled before Camps struck the ball from 20-yards straight at MacGillivray.
With five minutes to go, Hill miskicked the ball at the back, leaving Williams free on the edge of the Fleetwood area but his first-time shot goes well wide of the far post.
Town XI: Hilton (GK), Connolly, Whelan (Rossiter 72’), Camps, J.Morris (S.Morris 79’), Mulgrew, Coutts (C), Madden, Vassell, Hill, Rydel.
Subs not used: Duffy, Saunders, Finley, Holgate, Matete.
Pompey XI: MacGillivray (GK), Johnson, Brown, Naylor (C), Whatmough, Williams, Marquis, Cannon, Harness, Raggett, Jacobs.
Subs not used: Turnbell (GK), Close, Harrison, Bolton, Nicolaisen, Hiwula, Monga.