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Match Reports

Stevenage 0 Pompey 1

Curtis nets the only goal at Broadhall Way

20 July 2019

Ellis Harrison in action for Pompey at Stevenage
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey continued their 100 per cent winning start to pre-season with a low-key victory over Stevenage at Broadhall Way.

It was a pretty flat contest throughout, although the visitors started to dominate towards the end of the encounter.

Ronan Curtis scored the only goal with a stooping header and Anton Walkes later chipped against the woodwork.

The first half was typical friendly fare, with the game moving along at a slow pace and offering little to excite the relatively sparse crowd.

It was the hosts who looked marginally more dangerous in the opening stages, but Emmanuel Sonupe fired into the side netting after charging into the box.

Ben Close met a delivery from Walkes at the other end, although the midfielder’s header lacked the required power to test Paul Farman.

There were also a couple of free-kicks, with one from Lee Brown deflected wide and Brett Pitman curling another over the bar.

In truth, though, there was nothing to really trouble either goalkeeper on a warm – but cloudy – afternoon in Hertfordshire.

The Blues finally started to provide more of a threat towards the end of the half and had a couple of decent opportunities to break the deadlock.

A Brown free-kick from wide on the right was flashed dangerously across the face of goal, with Curtis not quite able to make a connection at the far post.

Ross McCrorie’s purposeful run was then crudely halted outside the box to ensure another set-piece for the visitors.

It was Curtis wo launched the ball into the box for Ellis Harrison, but the summer signing could only nod wide.

Half Time: Stevenage 0 Pompey 0

The action failed to heat up following the restart, with chances still very much at a premium at both ends.

Curtis did collect the ball from Brown on the overlap, but his cross went over the head of Harrison and was nodded clear.

And Curtis tried a shot from long-range on the hour mark, only for the ball to cannon into a Stevenage triallist.

A goal was not looking likely, but one arrived for Pompey on 65 minutes after they won a free-kick on the right.

Brown played the ball across to Jamal Lowe, who lifted it towards the back post, where CURTIS arrived to head home.

An immediate substitution followed, with Pitman making way and fans getting a first glimpse of new signing Marcus Harness.

There were more chances to follow and Harrison was unble to guide his header on target after meeting a delivery from Walkes.

Walkes then attempted a cheeky lob of the keeper from just outside the box, with the ball looping over Farman and against the crossbar.

The Blues somehow failed to double their lead on 78 minutes after Harrison had done well to bring the ball under control on the byline.

He squared it for Lowe, but the forward was unable to force home and neither was Harrison at the second attempt.

Stevenage searched for an equaliser, although they never really looked like beating Craig MacGillivray, as the Blues comfortably held on for victory.

Stevenage (3-5-1-1): Farman; Vancooten, Cuthbert (c), Stokes (Triallist 80); James-Wildin (Triallist 55), Sonupe (Iontton 81), Triallist (Byrom 65), Parrett (Triallist 65 (Denton 76)), Triallist (Fernandez 80); Carter (Smith 65); Newton (Smyth 86)
Subs not used: Triallist, Triallist, Triallist, Ashton

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing, Naylor, Brown; McCrorie, Close; Lowe, Pitman (c) (Harness 65), Curtis (Cannon 84); Harrison
Goals: Curtis 64
Subs not used: Bass, Raggett, Burgess, Haunstrup, Dennis, Evans

Referee: Will Finnie


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