Blues ease to friendly victory
Carl Baker bagged a brace as Pompey hit five unanswered goals past non-league neighbours Havant & Waterlooville at Westleigh Park.
The midfielder struck either side of the interval to give the Blues a commanding lead after Gary Roberts had opened the scoring.
Trialist Noel Hunt and Curtis Main then both came off the bench to cap a comfortable victory for Paul Cook’s side.
There was good news for the hosts before kick-off, as they announced the return of former Pompey midfielder Wes Fogden on a two-year deal.
But it was the visitors who had most of the joy once the action belatedly got underway, following a 15-minute delay to allow all the fans to get into the ground.
Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin went close in the opening stages, with the pair both narrowly failing to find the target.
In between was the Hawks’ only decent chance of the evening, with a crisp effort from ex-Fratton youngster Bradley Tarbuck superbly tipped around the post by Michael Crowe.
And Pompey broke the deadlock on 12 minutes when Milan Lalkovic slid a fine pass through to ROBERTS, who neatly lifted the ball over keeper Ryan Young and into the net.
The Blues continued to dominate and Baker had a hat-trick of efforts – the first clearing the ground, the second fizzing narrowly over and the third hit straight at Young.
Rose was next to go close midway through the first half, firing into the side netting following good build-up play from Michael Doyle and Lalkovic.
Baker was not afraid to try his luck from distance and another attempt from the summer signing had to be pushed to safety by Young.
And his persistence paid off just before the break with a strike that was most definitely worth the wait.
BAKER picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and hit a stunning shot that flew in off the underside of the crossbar, leaving Young rooted to the spot.
Half Time: Hawks 0 Pompey 2
Pompey picked up where they left off after the restart and Young had to come charging from his line to stop Chaplin racing onto Lalkovic’s pass.
The Hawks keeper then kept out Lalkovic’s stinging drive, but was unable to stop the Blues from grabbing a third goal.
He could only parry the ball as far as Roberts, who cut it back for BAKER to tap home from just a couple of yards out.
The usual pre-season flurry of substitutions meant that chances began to dry up and the pace started to slow.
But two of those late arrivals managed to find the net and give the scoreline an added gloss for the visitors.
First trialist HUNT slid in to convert Enda Stevens’ low cross from wide on the left after the full-back had picked up Doyle’s raking pass.
Then, after Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain had stolen possession and seen his shot parried by Young, MAIN followed-up to poke home.
He almost scored again late on, but a thunderous effort from 30-yards hit the inside of the post and flew clear.
There was a bit of needle between Main and Ben Swallow late on that would normally have received a harsher punishment than the ticking off dished out by referee Dean Treleaven.
But that was a rare moment of petulance in a good-natured contest that saw the Blues continue their preparations for the 2016/17 campaign in fine style.
Hawks (4-4-2): Young (Searle 65); Strugnell (Miller 89), Woodford (Molyneaux 54), Robinson, Williams (Medway 65); Swallow, Lewis (Ridge 65), Stock (c) (Whittingham 84), Tarbuck (Barker 54); Prior (Hayter 65), Paterson (Rutherford 54)
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Crowe; Talbot (Sessegnon 74), Whatmough (Bradbury 85), Burgess (Barton 78), Stevens (Haunstrup 76); Rose (Widdrington 74), Doyle (c) (Bedford 74); Baker (Oxlade-Chamberlain 71), Roberts (Main 69), Lalkovic (Tollitt 60); Chaplin (Hunt 57)
Goals: Roberts 12, Baker 45, 56, Hunt 69, Main 73
Referee: Dean Treleaven