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Pompey 1 Accrington 0

25 February 2014

Jervis goal secures vital three points

Jake Jervis scored the only goal of the game as Pompey returned to winning ways against Accrington.

The striker drilled home the winner early in the second half as the Blues provided the perfect response to their Scunthorpe mauling.

It was not a game of many clear-cut chances, but all of the best ones came courtesy of the hosts.

Richie Barker made five changes from the side that were heavily beaten at Glanford Park on Saturday.

Michael Drennan was handed his first start up front, while Bondz N’Gala, Nicky Shorey, Ricky Holmes and Romain Padovani all returned.

It was an incredibly flat opening, with both sides lacking any creative ambition as the game meandered aimlessly.

The first opening finally arrived 20 minutes when Holmes met Jervis’ cross, but the winger’s header was comfortably saved by Marcus Bettinelli in the Accrington goal.

But the Blues did come close to breaking the deadlock moments later when Daniel Alfei swung a dangerous free-kick into the box.

Ben Chorley did well to apply pressure on Bettinelli and stop the keeper from claiming the cross, but Drennan’s drive flew inches past the post.

There was not too much else to excite the crowd, although Padovani was booked by referee Christopher Sarginson following a late challenge on Peter Murphy.

However, the Fratton faithful certainly sprung to life every time Stanley boss – and former Southampton striker – James Beattie ventured into his technical area.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Accrington 0

The first half had been completely forgettable, but the second started in spectacular fashion.

There did not look much on when JERVIS received the ball 25 yards out, but his low shot crept past the dive of Bettinelli and nestled in the bottom corner.

Accrington had to increase their ambition after that, although Trevor Carson was still a virtual spectator between the sticks for Pompey.

He was finally called into action on 61 minutes, making a routine save to keep out Murphy’s close-range header.

But the Blues should have doubled the advantage moments later when Holmes cut the ball back for Padovani and the unmarked Frenchman dragged a shot wide.

It did not look like Pompey would be made to pay for their profligacy, though, as Accrington struggled going forward.

Barker gave Holmes a well-deserved rest on 82 minutes, with the tireless winger replaced by Jed Wallace wide on the left.

And the impressive Drennan made way for Thery Racon in the closing stages after the striker required treatment following a clash of heads with Tom Aldred.

It was Alfei who almost added a gloss to the scoreline, however, with the right-back’s audacious long-range effort palmed onto the crossbar by Bettenelli.

But one goal comfortably proved enough for the Blues, who showed that they still possess plenty of fight.

Pompey (4-4-2): Carson; Alfei, N’Gala, Chorley (c), Shorey; Fogden, Diagouraga, Padovani, Holmes (Wallace 82); Drennan (Racon 88), Jervis (Agyemang 90+3)
Goals: Jervis 48
Booked: Padovani, Jervis
Subs not used: Smith, Bradley, Painter, Ertl

Accrington (4-2-3-1): Bettinelli; Hunt, Winnard, Aldred, Liddle (Gray 84); Murphy, Joyce (c); Mingoia, Naismith, Molyneux; Odejayi
Booked: Joyce
Subs not used: Atkinson, Windass, Hatfield, Hazeldine, McCartan, Bowerman

Referee: Christopher Sarginson

Attendance: 13,387 (61 away fans)

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