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16 August 2014

Taylor on target in Blues victory

Webster, Jack Whatmough, Nicky Shorey, Jed Wallace and Taylor all returned to the starting 11.

Andy Awford made five changes from the side that beat Peterborough in the cup during the week.

Tom Bonner’s freak own-goal strengthened the hosts’ lead before Kwesi Appiah netted to ensure a nervy end.

Ryan Taylor’s textbook header ensured the Blues went in ahead at the interval, although Adam Webster was sent off just before the break.

Pompey got their home league campaign off to the perfect start with a hard-fought victory over Cambridge.

Dunn was then able to smother Taylor’s drive before Whatmough headed wide from a Wallace corner.

At the other end, Wallace spotted Chris Dunn off his line and attempted an audacious effort that the back-pedalling keeper just about managed to tip over.

It was the newly-promoted visitors who were first to threaten, but Tom Elliott could not quite guide Liam Hughes’ cross on target.

And Miles Storey went even closer moments later, cutting inside and fizzing a shot against the crossbar from 30 yards.

Taylor was not too far away with a fierce effort from just outside the box that flew inches past the post.

Cambridge looked more than capable going forward, but the Blues’ attacking presence grew as the half progressed.

The keeper had to fling himself to the right to push Greg Taylor’s well-struck goalbound effort to safety before punching clear the resulting corner.

But it took a fine stop from Paul Jones to prevent United from breaking the deadlock on 32 minutes.

It was the Blues who broke the deadlock soon after, though, as TAYLOR opened his account for the season.

The striker met Storey’s fine cross with a glancing header that was perfectly placed past Dunn’s grasp and into the bottom corner.

James Dunne then tried his luck with a volley from distance, but the ball sailed high over the bar.

That forced Awford into a tactical switch, with Nigel Atangana sacrificed for Joe Devera to bolster the Blues' defence.

But Pompey were dealt a blow just before the break when Webster – earlier booked for a foul on Harrison Dunk – needlessly brought down the same player to be shown a second yellow card and subsequent red.

Pompey 1 Cambridge 0 Half Time:

Cambridge fans responded by backing their own side, as all four sides of the stadium boosted the atmosphere.

With the Fratton faithful sensing that their side needed a boost, a non-stop chant of ‘Blue Army’ began to reverberate around the ground.

Pompey looked to increase their advantage after the restart when Storey was crudely brought down by Hughes, but Wallace’s free-kick was headed clear.

Awford made his second switch on 63 minutes as Taylor made way for Ricky Holmes.

The Blues then almost grabbed a second goal, only for Dunn to keep out Whatmough’s close-range effort.

The visitors might have levelled moments later, but Jones was able to keep out Robbie Simpson’s free-kick.

Whatmough then made a goal-saving challenge on Appiah, only for the Cambridge striker to eventually head home from the resulting corner.

And Pompey were soon further ahead through a freak goal as Hughes, trying to deal with Storey's shot, smashed his clearance against BONNER, with the ball bouncing back into the net. Jones; Webster, Robinson, Whatmough, Shorey (c); Dunne, Hollands; Wallace, Atangana (Devera 45), Storey (Bird 84); Taylor (Holmes 63)Pompey (4-2-3-1):

There were a few nerves creeping into the crowd as the minutes ticked down, but Pompey held on to claim all three points.

Taylor 34, Bonner 66 (og)Goals:

Webster (two yellow cards)Sent off:

16,671 (1,180 away fans)Attendance:

Darren Sheldrake Referee:

Norris, Lennon, Whittall, Sam-Yorke Subs not used:
Appiah 69 Goals:
Dunn; Tait (Simpson 46), Bonner (Cunnington 71), Coulson, Taylor; Hughes (Chadwick 83), Champion (c); Dunk, Appiah, Donaldson; Elliott Cambridge (4-2-3-1):

Bass, Butler, Awford, Westcarr Subs not used:

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