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Braintree 0 Pompey 0

16 July 2013

All square in Blues' third pre-season friendly

Pompey and Braintree played out a dull goalless draw in a game of very chances at the Amlin Stadium.

Ashley Harris had the Blues’ best opportunity just before the break, while Phil Smith made a couple of key saves after it.

Pompey – missing the injured Sonny Bradley – were sloppy in possession at the start, as their non-league hosts came quickly out of the blocks.

The visitors did create a decent opening on 10 minutes, but Johnny Ertl’s shot flew out of the ground following a fine passing move involving Jed Wallace and Patrick Agyemang.

They received a let-off on soon after, though, when James Mulley sent in dangerous low cross that fortunately fell at the feet of Agyemang. 

But in truth, there was not much for either set of supporters to get excited about – although there was still a steady stream of noise coming from the travelling fans behind one of the goals.

Braintree skipper Kenny Davis did try his luck with a couple of shots from distance, but neither of them troubled Blues keeper Smith.

Pompey’s best opportunity came right at the end of the half but, after latching onto Agyemang’s incisive pass, Harris shot straight at Iron keeper Nathan McDonald.

Half Time: Braintree 0 Pompey 0

Guy Whittingham had changed his entire side at the break in each of Pompey’s first two friendlies.

But the Blues boss was now looking to get some more minutes into his squad, so Tom Craddock was the only substitution this time around, replacing Agyemang up front.

The second half started as quietly as the first, although the hosts thought they should have had a penalty on 54 minutes when Sean Marks went down in the box under pressure from Joe Devera.

There were then plenty of changes just past the hour mark, with Andy Barcham, Romain Padovani, Jack Maloney, Nick Awford, George Branford, Josh Warren and Liam Triggs all coming on.

But it was the hosts looking more likely to grab a winner and Smith did well to deny Jordan Cox just seconds after the Braintree substitute had entered the pitch.

And the Blues keeper had to get down low to his right on 81 minutes in order to palm Nicky Symons’ low drive to safety.

But neither side was able to grab a late winner, as a poor spectacle ended all square.

Braintree: McDonald (Hamann 67); Peters (Griffiths 73), Wells (Paine 62), Massey (Wassmer 73), Habergham (Carney 67); Witchelow (Symons 62), Davis (c), Isaacs (Sparkes 62), Mulley; Marks (Cox 76), Holman (Akalpele 86)
Subs not used: O’Connor

Pompey: Smith; Moutaouakil (Awford 62), Devera (Warren 62), Webster, Butler (Triggs 62); Wallace (Maloney 62), East (Padovani 62), Ertl (c) (Branford 62), Holmes (Barcham 62); Harris, Agyemang (Craddock 46)
Subs not used: Sullivan, Connolly

Referee: Mike Bull

Photo: Sarah Standing

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