Friendly finishes in stalemate
Pompey played out a goalless draw with League One side Gillingham in their final friendly before the 2015/16 campaign.
Chances were scarce throughout the Priestfield Stadium clash, although Ben Davies did strike the crossbar before the break.
Gareth Evans was handed a start wide on the right after completing his Pompey switch earlier in the week.
There were also appearances for triallists Davies and Matt Clarke in the visitors’ back-line.
Neither side created much in the opening stages, although Gillingham were forced to make an early change when Aaron Morris limped off after just four minutes.
His namesake – keeper Glenn Morris – then waited for a ball to roll into his area before claiming it and only just got there before the rampaging Evans.
There were a few half-chances, with Bradley Dack curling narrowly wide for the hosts, while Pompey’s Gary Roberts saw his free-kick punched clear by Morris.
But it took until 27 minutes for the first real moment of magic after Davies had been felled by Bradley Garmston just outside the box.
The right-back stepped up to take the free-kick himself and sent a thunderbolt smashing against the crossbar.
That failed to spark a period of goalmouth action, however, and Jake Hessenthaler’s 20-yard drive that flew over the top was as close as the Gills came to beating Paul Jones before the break.
Half Time: Gillingham 0 Pompey 0
There might not have been too much excitement in the first half, but both sides came close to scoring just after the interval.
First Roberts saw his low drilled effort kept out by a brave block from Gills centre-back Adedeji Oshilaja.
The hosts then broke straight up the other end of the pitch and Emmanuel Osadebe’s angled drive drew a smart stop from Jones.
A break in play followed after Matt Tubbs suffered a cut elbow and, despite there not being too much blood visible, the striker was forced to change both shirt and shorts on the sidelines.
When the action resumed Oshilaja came close to breaking the deadlock, but could only head over from a corner.
Paul Cook made a couple of changes just past the hour mark, as Tubbs and Kyle Bennett made way for Jayden Stockley and Conor Chaplin.
A deluge of substitutions then followed from both sides as the game began to peter towards a stalemate.
Pompey did have a chance on the break when referee Fred Graham waved play on following a foul by Osadebe on Evans.
Roberts took control of the ball, burst down the right and sent it into the box, but Stockley was unable to guide it on target and the game finished all square.
Gillingham (4-1-4-1): G.Morris (Nelson 46); Jackson, Egan (Ehmer 46), Oshilaja, Garmston; A.Morris (Hessenthaler 4); Donnelly (Williamson 68), Dack (McGlashan 76), Osadebe, Dickenson (Wright 46); Norris
Sub not used: Davies
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Bass 81); Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Haunstrup (Webster 68); Atangana (Close 73), Doyle (c) (Hollands 73); Evans, Roberts (Tollitt 81), Bennett (Chaplin 62); Tubbs (Stockley 62)
Referee: Fred Graham