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Match Reports

Report: Town narrowly defeated by top of the league Portsmouth

20 January 2024

Match Reports

Report: Town narrowly defeated by top of the league Portsmouth

20 January 2024

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Fleetwood Town suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Portsmouth at Highbury Stadium.

Town were competitive throughout, creating several second-half chances, but were ultimately undone by a long-range strike from Abu Kamara.

The opening 15 minutes of the game set an early precedent for a tough, physical battle in cold and windy conditions at Highbury, with both sides competing but neither able to create any meaningful opportunities.

After a cagey opening period, the first real sight of goal ultimately resulted in the deadlock being broken, when Kamara expertly skipped past a number of challenges before curling in from distance to put the away side ahead.

With work now to do, Charlie Adam’s men searched for a route back into the tie but had to contend with some resolute defensive work, as Colby Bishop’s deflected effort came close to making it two.

The two teams continued to entertain a competitive midfield scrap, as Pompey took a slender one-goal advantage into half-time from a game that had struggled to find its rhythm.

Just after the interval, Fleetwood nearly found the equaliser when Bosun Lawal’s close-range effort crashed onto Jayden Stockley and narrowly wide of the post, to give the away side early food for thought.

Moments later, Portsmouth was up the other end and almost found their second, as Jay Lynch expertly denied Bishop from point-blank rage following a slick counter-attack from John Mourinho’s men.

The second half was a much more action-packed encounter than the first, as Fleetwood started to show signs of attacking intent. With Town now in the ascendancy, they came close again as Omochere’s powerful cross bundled into Danny Mayor who couldn’t quite apply the finishing touch before Lawal saw his header saved by Will Norris.

That illusive equalising goal so nearly arrived when Brendan Wiredu opened up into a pocket of space before firing at Norris from close range who had to make a brilliant low save.

With under 10 minutes to go, time was running out for Fleetwood, as Harry Boyes delivered a delightful set piece that sailed into the area but needed someone to apply the finishing touch before Phoenix Patterson saw two late efforts denied.

Having created several chances as part of an improved second-half performance, Charlie Adam’s men were ultimately left to miss out as Portsmouth held out through four minutes of added time to claim all three points.

Town XI: Lynch (GK), Boyes, Wiredu, Lawal, Vela (C), Stockley (Coughlan 77’) Mayor (Paterson 77’), Marriott (Omochere 60’), Heneghan, Dolan (Johnston 21’), Earl.

Subs not used: McMullan (GK), Holgate, Rooney.

Pompey XI: Norris (GK), Towler, Pack (C), Bishop, Morrell (Saydee 56’), Shaughnessy, Raggett, Devlin, Kamara (Sparks 80’), Lowery (Ogilvie 84’), Lane.

Subs not used: Macey (GK), Ogilvie, Scully, Whyte, Martin.


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