Defeat for Town at Portman Road
Ryan Williams’ first-half brace was enough for Portsmouth to run out as winners at Portman Road on a frustrating afternoon for Town.
For the first time in 280 days, Blues were able to welcome back supporters to Portman Road, with 2,000 season ticket holders present.
Paul Lambert made one change to the side that defeated Plymouth last weekend, with Andre Dozzell replacing Brett McGavin after serving his one-match suspension.
It was a lively opening to the game, with the visitors carving out the first real chance. David Cornell got down low to his left to deny John Marquis, whose curling effort was heading for the bottom corner.
Marcus Harness won a knock-down which set Ronan Curtis in on goal, but the Irishman skewed his effort way over the bar from just inside the penalty area.
It was then Town’s turn to threaten the Pompey goal on 23 minutes. Armando Dobra latched onto a deft flick from Kayden Jackson, before jinking past his marker and getting a low strike off which Craig MacGillivray saved well.
Just before the half hour mark, Pompey took the lead. Harness’ low cross found Marquis who laid the ball back on a plate for Williams to slot home into the top left corner.
Portsmouth continued to threaten. This time, Lee Brown found room down the left flank and pulled the ball back to Tom Naylor, whose low effort just flashed past the post.
A minute before the half-time whistle, Williams grabbed his second and Pompey’s second. Curtis nodded down Naylor’s cross into the path of Williams who slotted home from eight yards out.
Pompey almost had a third on 55 minutes, Curtis’ deep free-kick was met by Marquis whose header from 12 yards out crashed against the crossbar.
Blues had the crossbar to thank again eight minutes later. Marquis turned provider this time and teed up Curtis whose curling effort had Cornell beaten, but for the crossbar to come to the rescue.
Cornell then produced a wonderful save to deny Sean Raggett’s header from six yards out, which looked destined to find the bottom corner.
Referee Tom Brammall brandished three yellow cards in quick succession with Curtis, Mark McGuinness and Brett McGavin all picking up cautions.
Town made four changes in the second-half to try and rescue something from the game, with a close range McGuinness header that looped over the crossbar the closest Town came to pulling one back.
Pompey stood strong to hold out for the three points which has seen them leapfrog Town in the table.
Town: Cornell, Chambers (C), Woolfenden, McGuinness, Ward, Dozzell, Nolan (McGavin 34), Dobra, Lankester (Hawkins 70), Jackson (Drinan 62), Judge (Bennetts 61).
Subs: Holy, Nsiala, Kenlock
Portsmouth: Macgillivray, Johnson, Brown (Pring 59), Naylor (C), Whatmough, Williams, Marquis, Curtis (Jacobs 86), Cannon, Harness, Raggett.
Subs: Bass, Close, Harrison, Nicolaisen, Hiwula.
Booked: Curtis, McGuinness, McGavin, Raggett, Whatmough.