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RESERVES EASE TO NEWPORT WIN

20 September 2016

Smith, Chaplin and Naismith all on target

Michael Smith came off the bench to bag a brace as Pompey Reserves continued their winning run with a 4-1 victory over Newport in the Central League Cup.

Conor Chaplin and Kal Naismith had already netted for the Blues at their Copnor training base.

It was a comfortable victory for Ian Foster’s side in the group stage clash, with away games at Exeter and Bristol City to follow in November.

Newport struggled to contain their hosts, but almost opened the scoring early on, with Liam O’Brien tearing from his line to deny Rhys Healey.

Pompey soon moved through the gears, however, and broke the deadlock when Brandon Haunstrup’s cross was headed home by CHAPLIN.

And they doubled their advantage with just eight minutes on the clock, as Chaplin took advantage of a poor clearance and teed-up NAISMITH, who found the net with a neat curling finish.

The same player almost scored again soon after, but he could not quite reach a teasing cross from Noel Hunt.

Hunt was forced to limp off moments later – although it appeared to be just a precaution – with Milan Lalkovic taking his place.

Newport then reduced the deficit against the run of play before the break when Healy latched onto Josh Sheehan’s pass and slotted into the bottom corner.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Newport 1

That goal might have given the Welsh visitors hope, but they were unable to build on it, with the Blues completely dominant throughout the second half.

Amine Linganzi should have increased the lead seconds after the restart, but was denied by James Bittner.

The County keeper was in inspired form and twice denied Naismith following good work down the left by Lalkovic.

The same duo combined again moments later, with Naismith inches away from connecting with a dangerous cross into the box.

He finally did convert a delivery from Lalkovic on 52 minutes – but was this time denied by an offside flag.

Foster made a double switch just past the hour mark, replacing Chaplin and Haunstrup with Smith and Adam May.

And it was SMITH who scored with only his second touch, expertly bringing down Ben Close’s free-kick before firing into the net.

He might have had a second on 64 minutes, but was brilliantly denied at the far-post by the over-worked Bittner.

Then, after the keeper had also kept a shot from May, Naismith wasted a glorious opportunity by firing over from close range.

He made up for that by providing the assist for Pompey’s fourth and final goal, however, whipping in a free-kick that was touched home by SMITH.

Pompey (3-5-2): O’Brien; Hyam, Whatmough (Oxlade-Chamberlain 67), Clarke; Buxton, Naismith, Close (c), Linganzi, Haunstrup (May 61); Hunt (Lalkovic 24), Chaplin (Smith 61)
Sub not used: Bass

Newport (4-4-2): Bittner (Davies 80); Parselle, Cameron, Angel, Barnum-Bobb; Green, Sheehan (Wood 80), Owen-Evans (c), Myrie-Williams; Jackson (Kavanagh 63), Healey (Meechan 63)
Sub not used: Hunt

Referee: Martin Bloor

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