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3 November 2015

Blues beat Crawley at the training ground

Pompey chalked up a 4-2 victory over Crawley at their Copnor training base in an entertaining friendly that saw both sides use a number of senior players.

Conor Chaplin grabbed a brace, while Adam Barton and Matt Tubbs were also on target for the hosts.

But, in an end-to-end encounter, the final outcome was on a knife-edge until the last minute, when Chaplin turned on a sixpence to grab his second of an absorbing contest.

The Blues should have taken an early lead after Tubbs was sent clear, but with just keeper Callum Preston to beat, the striker uncharacteristically shot wide from a few yards out.

Instead it was the visitors who forged ahead on 16 minutes, as Luke Rooney’s in-swinging corner was glanced home by Christian Scales.

Pompey were level soon after, however, courtesy of a spectacular 30-yard effort from BARTON that flew into the bottom corner.

Ian Foster’s side then took control on 34 minutes when a Brandon Haunstrup cross was helped on by Kal Naismith, allowing Tubbs to tee-up CHAPLIN for an instinctive finish on the half-volley. 

As the Blues looked to put daylight between themselves and their Sussex visitors, Tubbs was denied by a last-gasp defensive block, while Haunstrup’s looping cross came back off the bar.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Crawley 1

The visitors were back in the contest early in the second half when Rooney found Gavin Tomlin, whose shot took a deflection off a defender to beat Alex Bass.

But it took just three minutes for Pompey to restore their advantage, as Ben Tollitt and Chaplin combined for TUBBS to fire past Preston.

The keeper went on to make great saves from Ben Close and Adam McGurk, while the latter also saw a shot shave the post as the hosts looked to wrap up the victory.

However, it was Crawley who came even closer to scoring when Conor Henderson’s drive across goal crashed against the woodwork and somehow failed to cross the line.

As full-time loomed with no apparent danger, CHAPLIN evaded his marker, turned sharply and curled a fine finish into the bottom corner.

Pompey: Murphy (Bass 46); Triallist (Field 71), Clarke, Triallist (Nilsen 71), Haunstrup; Atangana (Close 60), Barton; Tollitt (Evans 71), Chaplin, Naismith (Bennett 60); Tubbs (McGurk 60)

Crawley: Preston, Bawling, Pickford, Scales, McNerney (Donnolly 23), Jenkins, Rooney, Deacon, Barnard, Tomlin, Henderson

Referee: Alex James

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