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Pompey 3 Stevenage 0

Mingi, Koroma and Pigott goals send Blues into Papa Johns Trophy quarter-finals

13 December 2022

Jay Mingi scores for Pompey against Stevenage in the Papa Johns Trophy at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 3 Stevenage 0

Mingi, Koroma and Pigott goals send Blues into Papa Johns Trophy quarter-finals

13 December 2022

Pompey eased into the quarter-finals of the Papa Johns Trophy with a confident victory over Stevenage at Fratton Park.

On a chilly evening, supporters could be forgiven for staying at home to watch a World Cup semi-final.

But those who ventured out of the house were treated to a performance full of attacking intent from the Blues.

A fine solo goal from Jay Mingi opened the scoring in the first half, with Josh Koroma doubling the lead after the break.

Joe Pigott then won and converted a free-kick in stoppage-time to ensure the hosts reached the last eight in style.

Danny Cowley made six changes from the side that were beaten at Wycombe in the league just over a week earlier.

Pigott led the line, while there were also starts for Josh Oluwayemi, Denver Hume, Joe Morrell, Reeco Hackett and Koroma.

Colby Bishop, Josh Griffiths, Sean Raggett, Marlon Pack, Ronan Curtis and Dane Scarlett were the sextet to make way.

There was also a welcome return to the bench for a fit-again Michael Jacobs, who was joined among the substitutes by academy keeper Bastian Smith.

Pompey looked to attack right from the start and some dangerous deliveries from Hackett and Hume caused problems in the opening stages.

A weak back-pass from Stevenage skipper Carl Piergianni then almost let in Koroma, but keeper Aaron Chapman came to the rescue and just about got to the ball first.

Koroma was involved again moments later, beating Dan Sweeney and lifting a pass into the centre that was just too high for Owen Dale.

Hackett was next to go close, drilling a low shot narrowly past the post following a spell of patient passing play.

But the visitors soon had a couple of chances of their own and Oluwayemi dived to his left to acrobatically turn an Arthur Read free-kick around the post.

Pompey then struggled to clear their lines and Jake Taylor nodded the ball through to Piergianni, who lifted a shot onto the top of the bar from just a few yards out.

But the Blues soon got back on track and a long-range Hackett drive was gathered by Chapman following good work from Dale.

And the deadlock was broken on 37 minutes, thanks to a brilliant individual goal that ensured MINGI opened his account for the club in style.

He collected a pass from Koroma and held off the challenge from Dean Campbell, then nutmegged Piegianni before coolly slotting home.

Stevenage had one opportunity to level before the interval, but Danny Rose’s header deflected off Michael Morrison and into the arms of Oluwayemi.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Stevenage 0

The visitors responded with a triple change at the break, but almost found themselves further behind seconds after the restart.

Hackett showed some neat footwork to get past Luther James-Wildin and cut the ball back into the mixer.

But Koroma’s touch allowed substitute Jordan Roberts to get a foot in and Dale’s follow-up attempt was blocked.

The hosts were indebted to Oluwayemi for keeping the tie level soon after, however, with the keeper adjusting his body quickly after Roberts’ effort had taken a wicked deflection off Connor Ogilvie.

He then showed quick reactions to also keep out Taylor’s follow-up, not knowing that the midfielder would be flagged offside.

But the Blues made their dominance count by doubling the lead with another well-worked goal just before the hour mark.

An incisive pass from Morell sent KOROMA racing through on goal and the forward calmly bent the ball into the net.

Cowley immediately freshened things up, as Clark Robertson, Mingi and Hackett made way for Sean Raggett, Marlon Pack and Jacobs.

Stevenage were struggling to contain the Blues and Pigott nodded against the post after a Jacobs corner was flicked on by Dale.

Koroma’s attempt was then deflected wide and when he had another go moments later, Chapman dived to his left to make the save.

That was his last piece of meaningful action, trooping off with Morrell on 70 minutes to be replaced by Ronan Curtis and Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Stevenage were trying to find a route back into the contest and there were a couple of regulation saves for Oluwayemi to make.

But it was still the Blues looking more likely to add to the scoring and a fierce Dale shot was beaten away by Chapman.

And there were further opportunities for Pigott and Curtis before the contest started to wind down.

PIGOTT got his name on the scoresheet with the final kick of the game, though, bending the ball past Chapman from 25 yards out after being crudely upended.

Pompey (3-5-2): Oluwayemi; Morrison, Robertson (c) (Raggett 62), Ogilvie; Dale, Morrell (Tunnicliffe 70), Mingi (Pack 62), Hackett (Jacobs 62), Hume; Koroma (Curtis 70), Pigott
Goals: Mingi 37, Koroma 59, Pigott 90+4
Booked: Dale, Oluwayemi
Subs not used: Smith, Bishop

Stevenage (3-5-2): Chapman; James-Wildin, Piergianni (c), Sweeney; Smith (Amoo 46), Taylor, Campbell, Read (Roberts 46), Clark; Reid, Rose (Norris 46)
Subs not used: Ashby-Hammond, Earley

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 2,162 (76 away fans)

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