Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Pompey 2 AFC Wimbledon 1

Harness and Marquis on target in first Fratton fixture of 2020

11 January 2020

Marcus Harness celebrates scoring for Pompey against AFC Wimbledon
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey beat AFC Wimbledon to ensure the first Fratton fixture of the new decade was one to celebrate.

They dominated for much of the contest and Marcus Harness’ fine finish ensured the Blues deservedly led at the break.

Joe Pigott levelled in the second half, but John Marquis came off the bench to put the hosts back into the lead.

And the Dons had to see out the closing stages with just 10 men after substitute Scott Wagstaff was dismissed for two bookable offences in quick succession.

Kenny Jackett made three changes from the side that drew at Gillingham in the last League One outing.

Cameron McGeehan came straight into the starting line-up after completing his loan switch from Barnsley earlier in the week.

Fellow January arrival Steve Seddon also made his Fratton bow, while Andy Cannon was the other player to return.

Ben Close and Gareth Evans both dropped to the bench, with Anton Walkes having departed for America.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for Jack Whatmough after almost a year out with a knee injury.

The first half was a pretty one-sided affair – in favour of the hosts – although it did take a bit of time to get going.

And it was actually the Dons who were first to threaten when a corner found its way through to Rod McDonald, with the defender turning sharply and firing just past the post.

Pompey soon began to hit their stride, however, and debutant McGeehan drilled a low-range effort narrowly wide.

There was concern among the Fratton faithful when Harness went down with a knock and had to receive treatment on the pitch.

But the winger was soon back up on his feet and, just a few moments later, gave the Blues a deserved lead.

It was a quick move through the middle that began with Sean Raggett stepping up confidently to win the ball.

He slipped a neat pass through to Cannon, who burst forward and laid the ball off for HARNESS to lash into the net.

Pompey continued to dominate possession and enjoy territorial advantage as the action progressed, although more clear-cut chances were eluding them.

Harness was looking the most dangerous attacking player and dragged one effort wide, then hit a dipping long-range shot over the bar.

AFC Wimbledon, meanwhile, lost one of their key men, as striker Marcus Forss pulled up while chasing the ball and limped down the tunnel.

It was the hosts still looking more likely to add to the scoring and Terell Thomas bravely blocked strikes from McGeehan and Harness in quick succession.

A Ronan Curtis corner was then weakly punched by Nathan Trott and there was panic in the Dons defence before the ball was finally cleared.

The Republic of Ireland international also delivered a free-kick from the left that was headed back across goal by Raggett, with a stretching Harness not quite able to make a firm connection.

Half Time: Pompey 1 AFC Wimbledon 0

It was the Blues who had the first opening once the action restarted, as Harrison fed the ball to Curtis.

He took the ball into space and hit a fierce effort that Trott did well to divert over the bar, with the keeper then getting to Seddon’s corner before Christian Burgess could connect.

There was also a flag-kick for the Dons that a sliding McDonald could only turn into the side netting at the far post.

But it had been a quiet afternoon for Alex Bass between the sticks, so it was somewhat of a surprise when the visitors levelled just past the hour mark.

Pompey were caught out at the back by a quick break and Mitch Pinnock delivered a fine cross for Pigott to convert from close range.

That gave the Londoners a lift and Bass had to claim Pigott’s looping header from Nesta Guinness-Walker’s centre.

Jackett responded with a double switch, as Marquis and a fit-again Brandon Haunstrup replaced Cannon and James Bolton.

And it was the former who restored the home side’s lead on 79 minutes to get Fratton rocking once more.

Harness picked out Curtis with a cross-field pass and the winger’s superb cross was deftly headed home by MARQUIS.

It soon got even worse for the Dons, as Wagstaff – who had only been on the pitch for 13 minutes – fouled Seddon to collect his second booking.

They still tried to apply some late pressure in the search of another equaliser, but Pompey saw out five minutes of stoppage-time.

And they probably should have given the scoreline a gloss, but Marquis could not beat Trott after being sent racing clear.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bass; Bolton (Haunstrup 71), Burgess, Raggett, Seddon; McGeehan, Naylor (c); Harness, Cannon (Marquis 71), Curtis; Harrison
Goals: Harness 20, Marquis 79
Booked: Cannon
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Close, Evans, Hawkins

AFC Wimbledon (3-5-2): Trott; O’Neill, Thomas, McDonald; McLoughlin (Wagstaff 71), Hartigan, Sanders, Reilly, Guinness-Walker; Pigott (c), Forss (Pinnock 36)
Goals: Pigott 62
Sent off: Wagstaff (two yellow cards)
Booked: Reilly, O'Neill
Subs not used: McDonnell, Sorensen, Biler, Osew, Wood

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 18,417 (836 away fans)


Advertisement block