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Match Reports

Pompey 0 Cheltenham 0

8 March 2014

Pompey 0 Cheltenham 0

Pompey played out a second goalless draw in a week, sharing the spoils with Cheltenham at a sunny Fratton Park.

The hosts took some time to get into gear, although Jake Jervis and Wes Fogden both had decent chances to break the deadlock.

Ashley Vincent struck the post at the other end, although neither side arguably did enough to deserve a victory.

Richie Barker made one change from the side that drew at Chesterfield on Monday night.

Michael Drennan returned from international duty to replace Romain Padovani as the Blues reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.

It was the visitors who were first to threaten when Terry Gornell broke into the box and lashed a shot into the side netting.

But neither goalkeeper was being tested in the opening stages and, at the other end, Ricky Holmes saw his low cross cut out before it could reach a blue-shirted player.

Jervis should have done better on 14 minutes, though, dragging his shot past the post after surging into the Cheltenham area.

But Pompey received a let-off soon after as first Trevor Carson did well to deny Jermaine McGlashan.

Ben Chorley was able to get the ball clear for a corner, which resulted in Vincent driving a shot against the woodwork.

The game was crying out for a touch of quality and it almost arrived on 31 minutes with a flowing Blues move.

Holmes sent in a cross from the left that was headed down by Jed Wallace for Jervis, who could not quite make a clean connection as he tried to turn and shoot and the ball bobbled wide.

But, in truth, it was a flat first half performance from both sides that was in serious need of an injection of energy.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Cheltenham 0

Pompey looked a lot brighter at the start of the second half as they controlled possession around the edge of the Robins area.

And they had a decent opportunity on 52 minutes when Wallace’s cross was headed narrowly over by Jervis.

Drennan then sent in a cross from deep that was just out of reach for the onrushing Holmes after the Blues had broken quickly.

Fogden was next to have a crack and his shot rolled through a defender’s legs and straight into the arms of Cheltenham keeper Scott Brown.

Despite having more chances, Pompey were still not really looking like scoring, so Ryan Taylor was brought on to replace Jervis on 68 minutes.

The striker almost made an instant impact but, after collecting Toumani Diagouraga’s pass, he saw his shot blocked.

Fogden’s shot was then saved at the near post as the Fratton faithful started to crank up the noise and try to inspire their side.

It was Holmes who came closest to breaking the deadlock on 75 minutes, though, with an angled shot that bobbled agonisingly past the post.

Patrick Agyemang was then given a chance to impress up front for the closing stages as Drennan made way.

It looked like the hosts would grab a late winner after Scott Brown could only punch clear Holmes’ free-kick.

The ball bounced around the Cheltenham box before finding its way to Fogden, whose goalbound effort was cleared off the line as Pompey had to settle for a point.

Pompey (4-4-2): Carson; Devera, N’Gala, Chorley (c), Shorey; Wallace, Diagouraga, Fogden, Holmes; Jervis (Taylor 68), Drennan (Agyemang 83)
Booked: Fogden, Diagouraga
Subs not used: Smith, Bradley, Painter, Racon, Padovani

Cheltenham (4-2-3-1): S.Brown; Ihiekwe, T.Brown, Elliott (c), Jombati; Deering (Taylor 90), Richards; McGlashan, Gornell, Vincent (Kotwica 79); Harrison
Subs not used: Roberts, Braham-Barrett, Brundle, Noble, Cureton

Referee: Michael Bull

Attendance: 17,254 (440 away fans)

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