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Match Report


Posted Tue 18 Oct 11 at 19:08 PM


Keith Andrews' fifth goal of the season was enough for Town to beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Portman Road.

The midfielder slotted home a Nathan Ellington knockdown midway through the second-half to ensure Blues took all three points.

Paul Jewell named the same side that drew with Cardiff last time out, as Town went looking to extend the unbeaten run to six games.

Town fashioned the first opening of the game in the seventh minute, with midfielder Lee Bowyer forcing a smart save out of Portsmouth 'keeper Stephen Henderson who tipped the ball past the post.

The visitors responded through Hayden Mullins but his long range strike flew just over David Stockdale's bar after 13 minutes.

Five minutes later and Pompey should have taken the lead. Luke Varney was played through on goal with an expert ball from midfield, but the striker couldn't find a way past Stockdale who saved with his legs.

The visitors were dominating and were inches away from breaking the deadlock after 28 minutes. A Liam Lawrence corner wasn't dealt with and striker Dave Kitson got in front of his marker but fired his shot just wide.

Stockdale was called into action just after the half hour mark, as he pushed a downward header from Joel Ward behind for a corner.

Town responded through Andrews, who linked up well with Jason Scotland, before seeing his left-footed effort well held by Henderson nine minutes before the break.

Carlos Edwards tried his luck from distance two minutes before half-time, but his long range strike was well over the bar and the sides went in level at the break.

Ellington emerged for the second-half in place of Jason Scotland who was withdrawn.

But it was the visitors who started the second-half the brighter and could have gone in front had Lawrence connected with Tal Ben Haim's left-wing cross a minute after the restart.

Town hit back soon after and Andrews glanced a header towards goal from a Jimmy Bullard centre, but Henderson was on hand to gather the ball with Michael Chopra lurking.

Right-back Greg Halford was causing Town problems with his long throws and after he launched another one into the box after 55 minutes, the ball broke to Kitson whose shot on the turn was superbly kept out by Stockdale before former Blue David Norris fired the rebound wide.

Edwards was seeing a lot of the ball and after another run down the right flank, the defender flashed a shot that went just past the post with Pompey 'keeper Henderson scrambling across his line.

Town finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute through midfielder Andrews. An Edwards cross was headed on by substitute Ellington and Andrews was quickest to react and slotted the ball past Henderson to make it 1-0.

However Pompey were not giving in and Ward almost equalised two minutes later, but his curling effort went just over the bar and behind for a goal-kick

.Ellington had the chance to extend Town's lead in the 74th minute, but after getting away from his marker the striker tried one turn in the box too many and was eventually crowded out before getting his shot away.

Town endured a late scare, as deep into injury time Erik Huseklepp crossed the ball back into the box where Norris was on hand to head towards goal, but Stockdale gathered the ball and Town held on for all three points.

The win sees Town extend their unbeaten run to six games and move into the Play-Off positions going into Saturday's home clash with Crystal Palace.

Town: Stockdale, Edwards, Collins, Sonko (Delaney 60), Cresswell, Andrews, Bullard, Leadbitter, Bowyer, Chopra (Emmanuel-Thomas 65), Scotland (Ellington 46). Subs not used: Lee-Barrett, Wabara. Booked: Bowyer

Portsmouth: Henderson, Ward, Rocha (Kanu 75), Ben Haim, Pearce, Halford, Lawrence (Mokoena 87), Mullins, Norris, Kitson (Huseklepp 73), Varney. Subs not used: Ashdown, Riise.

Att: 17, 297.

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