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14 November 2016

Premier League Cup stalemate

Pompey collected the second point of their Premier League Cup campaign with a goalless draw against Wolves.

A side containing a mixture of youth and experience created some decent openings, but were unable to find a Westleigh Park winner.

The opening 15 minutes of the contest were devoid of any excitement at either end of the pitch.

Ben Close did attempt an audacious strike from just inside the opposition half which Wolves keeper Harry Burgoyne had no problem collecting.

Donovan Wilson then embarked on a run for the visitors and ended up firing past Liam O’Brien’s far post.

Both sides tried to inject some attacking impetus as the first half progressed, but the game was still lacking many clear-cut openings.

Adam Buxton – playing in a holding midfield role – tried his luck with a 25-yard effort that comfortably cleared the crossbar.

Then, at the other end, Connor Ronan fired in a free-kick and although it was fumbled by O’Brien, the keeper gathered at the second attempt.

Michael Smith did have the ball in the back of the net before the break, but referee Adrian Quelch had already blown for a foul by the Blues striker.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Wolves 0

Despite being held back by Ross Finnie, Smith managed to shake off his man and force Burgoyne to tip his shot around the post.

The Wolves midfielder was shown a yellow card, while from the resulting corner, Jack Whatmough headed narrowly wide.

Pompey had stepped up a gear since the restart and another attempt from Buxton again flew over the bar.

And they created the best chance of the match when a neat back-flick from Smith led to Close firing against the inside of the post.

There was a worrying moment for the hosts, however, when Buxton was on the end of a meaty challenge.

But thankfully for the Blues he was able to continue after receiving treatment and was soon embarking on a marauding run.

Pompey had completely dominated the second half, although they were unable to find a breakthrough.

And Wolves almost snatched a late victory against the run of play, only for O’Brien to get down sharply and keep out Ronan’s drive.

Pompey: O’Brien; Talbot, Whatmough, Hyam, Haunstrup (McDowell 71); Buxton; Oxlade-Chamberlain, May (Mayes 82), Close (c), C.Davies (Bedford 55); Smith
Subs not used: Bass, Widdrington

Wolves: Burgoyne, Simpson, Upton (Odoffin 80), Johnson, Deslandes, Wilson, Finnie (Delacoe 55), Ronan, Randall (Levingston 80), Herc, Gibbs-White
Subs not used: Breslin, Carnat

Referee: Adrian Quelch

Attendance: 250

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