Chaplin and Evans on target at Westleigh Park
Pompey’s pre-season preparations stepped up a gear with a 2-1 victory over League One Coventry at Westleigh Park.
Conor Chaplin grabbed an early opener to take his goal tally to three in the space of just four days.
And triallist Gareth Evans added a second just before the break, while George Thomas pulled one back for City after it.
Evans was not the only player trying to win a contract at Fratton Park, with new faces Frank van der Struijk and Matt Clarke also on show.
The ‘home’ side did not take long to find their feet, with CHAPLIN opening the scoring after just four minutes.
The teenager was on hand to drill home after a far-post header from skipper Paul Robinson had been well saved by Lee Burge.
There was not an abundance of chances throughout the rest of the half, although it was Pompey who looked the most threatening.
Coventry’s best opportunity came on 12 minutes when a 20-yard volley from Thomas was plucked from the air by a diving Paul Jones.
At the other end, Burge comfortably dealt with a deflected Theo Robinson drive, while Chaplin curled a shot over the bar.
The Blues were dominating possession, but it looked like they would have just a one-goal advantage at the break.
However, on the stroke of half-time, Chaplin’s precise pass was seized upon by EVANS, who calmly stroked the ball into the bottom corner.
Half Time: Pompey 2 Coventry 0
Coventry might not have troubled Pompey before the break, but they came charging out of the blocks after the restart.
First Jones had to be alert to beat away a shot from Thomas and then Paul Robinson made a sliding challenge to deny James Maddison.
And City reduced the deficit on 53 minutes, courtesy of a superb effort from Thomas, who expertly brought down Reda Johnson’s pass before chipping the onrushing Jones.
Pompey immediately tried to hit back and an Evans free-kick from out wide crept through a host of bodies before being nervously dealt with by Burge.
They had recovered from a shaky start and were suddenly looking the more dangerous side again.
It took a brave challenge from Jordan Willis to prevent Kal Naismith from converting an Evans pass at the far post.
The impressive Evans than had an opportunity of his own, with a fierce drive that was well saved by Burge.
A deluge of substitutions interrupted the flow of the game, with Paul Cook utilising the opportunity to look at the rest of his squad.
Poke was one of them and he denied City an equaliser by tipping Aaron Martin’s bullet header onto the crossbar.
And Pompey saw out the remaining few minutes to secure their second friendly victory in succession.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones (Poke 76); van der Struijk (Davies 69), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 58), Clarke (Burgess 74), Stevens (Haunstrup 74); Atangana (Doyle 69), Hollands (Close 68); Evans (Nilsen 82), Chaplin (Bennett 68), Naismith (Field 89); T.Robinson (Stockley 64)
Goals: Chaplin 4, Evans 45
Sub not used: Tubbs
Coventry (4-2-3-1): Burge; Willis (Devon Kelly-Evans 74), Ricketts (Finch 80), Johnson (Martin 56), Dion Kelly-Evans; Vincelot (Lawton 68), Fleck (c) (Harries 80); Maddison (Swanson 56), Tudgay (Lameiras 46), O’Brien (Stevenson 68); Thomas
Goals: Thomas 53
Subs not used: Charles-Cook, Sambou, Shipley
Referee: Constantine Hatzidakis