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Reserves

Reserves Win At Bristol Rovers

Downing, Maloney and Casey on target in 3-2 victory

29 October 2019

Paul Downing
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Matt Casey’s late header ensured Pompey Reserves secured a 3-2 victory at Bristol Rovers in the Central League Cup.

Goals from Paul Downing and Leon Maloney saw an experienced Blues outfit enjoy a comfortable lead at the break.

But there was a case of déjà vu, as Deon Moore and former Fratton winger Kyle Bennett brought the hosts back on level terms.

Casey’s intervention meant the three points would be coming back to the south coast, however, and keep Pompey’s chances of qualifying for the semi-finals alive.

Rovers bossed the opening stages and Bennett’s effort was deflected harmlessly into the arms of Alex Bass, before Cameron Hargreaves fired wide.

But the visitors went ahead with their first decent chance on 16 minutes, as Brandon Haunstrup sent a corner to the back post, where DOWNING had the simple chance of stabbing home.

Bennett hooked a ball over to his ex-Pompey team-mate Tareiq Holmes-Dennis at the other end, although the left-back could only smash a shot into the side netting.

It was the Blues looking more threatening, though, and Alex Andre-Jr did well to force Bradley Lethbridge wide, then kept out Haunstrup’s attempt.

And the lead was deservedly doubled before the break, as James Bolton’s shot was blocked and the ball fell for MALONEY to fire home.

Half Time: Bristol Rovers 0 Pompey 2

Andre-Jr had to be alert just after the restart to deny Lethbridge, who had raced onto a long ball up the pitch.

Pompey had looked assured in defence, but were undone by a momentarily lapse on 52 minutes, with Moore capitalising on a short back-pass, rounding Bass and slotting into the net.

And Rovers found themselves level just before the hour mark, courtesy of a beautiful Bennett free-kick from the edge of the box that was arrowed into the top corner.

Lethbridge tried to restore the lead and after dispossessing Lewis Clutton and driving forward, his long-range attend was repelled by Andre-Jr.

It was the hosts in the ascendency, however, and Moore did well to evade a couple of challenges, only for his shooting to let him down.

Bennett then took another free-kick in an almost identical position he had scored from, but this time saw his shot cannon against the post.

Instead it was Pompey celebrating the win late on, as Haunstrup delivered a corner and CASEY got the faintest touch to divert the ball past Andre-Jr and into the net.

Bristol Rovers: Andre-Jr; Little (Russe 69), Menayese, Kelly, Holmes-Dennis (Trialist 46); Mehew, Clutton; Hargreaves, Bennett, Tomlinson; Moore
Subs not used: Armstrong, Warwick

Pompey: Bass; Bolton, Downing (c), Casey, Haunstrup; Walkes, Cannon (Storey 44); Maloney, Flint, Teggart (Stanley 47); Lethbridge
Subs not used: Durin, Robb

Referee: Ross Martin


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