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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

Koroma opener cancelled out at Fratton Park

8 October 2022

Michael Morrison in action for Pompey against Fleetwood Town at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

Koroma opener cancelled out at Fratton Park

8 October 2022

Pompey endured a frustrating afternoon on the south coast as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Fleetwood.

A fine strike from the in-form Josh Koroma gave them an early lead and the hosts showed plenty of attacking intent throughout.

But Carlos Mendes Gomes levelled for the Cod Army, who lived up to their billing as the division’s draw specialists by claiming a point.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that were narrowly beaten at Ipswich to lose their unbeaten league record the previous week.

It meant that Sean Raggett was the only starter from the midweek Papa Johns Trophy thrashing of Aston Villa U21s to keep his place.

After a cagey start, it was the home side who took the lead on seven minutes after a poor clearance from keeper Jay Lynch.

The ball flew straight to Marlon Pack and was picked up by Owen Dale, who squared for KOROMA to bend home a fine 20-yard strike.

It looked like the lead had been doubled soon after, when a free-kick was played to Colby Bishop and he squared for Dane Scarlett to slot home.

But referee James Oldham decided it had been taken too quickly – one of a number of decisions from the officials that angered the home faithful.

Another arrived when Scarlett got the better of Josh Earl and burst into the box before hitting the turf, with the decision going against the striker.

And Fleetwood soon drew level, as Toto Nsiala was left in far too much space to meet Danny Andrew’s cross and head the ball into the mixer for Mendes Gomes to convert.

It was pretty much all Pompey for the remainder of the first half, although the hosts struggled to get the final ball just right.

Their best chance to retake the lead came when Koroma hit a shot that deflected off Shaun Rooney and forced a fine save from Lynch.

The visitors broke up the pitch from the resulting corner and Harvey Macadam tried to square for Admiral Muskwe, but Michael Morrison did just enough to deny the striker.

Morrison also went close at the other end, with his header from Dale’s delivery flicking the outside of the post.

Then, just before the break, Koroma’s deflected centre was nodded over from close range by a diving Dale.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

The hosts continued to dominate when the action restarted and Koroma bent a low free-kick narrowly past the post.

They went even closer when Morrison nodded Clark Robertson’s free-kick back into the centre and the ball was only partially cleared.

It landed for Pack and the midfielder hit a ferocious 30-yard strike that cannoned against the crossbar.

But Fleetwood came close to scoring themselves just past the hour mark after a corner made its way through to the far post.

Rooney was waiting to meet the ball, but his shot was superbly kept out at point-blank range by Josh Griffiths.

Cowley freshened things up by making a change on 65 minutes, as Reeco Hackett replaced Dale wide on the right.

The hosts then broke following a spell of Cod Army pressure, but Koroma’s intended pass for Scarlett in the box was intercepted.

A double switch for the hosts soon followed, with Bishop and Koroma withdrawn for Joe Pigott and Ronan Curtis.

The referee continued to draw the ire of the Fratton faithful, first for a soft booking for Raggett and then for again not allowing the Blues to take a quick free-kick.

Pompey were pushing for a winner and Curtis had a shot blocked following a sustained spell of pressure.

They continued to throw men forward as game entered five minutes of stoppage-time, but late drama was not forthcoming.

Pompey (4-4-2): Griffiths; Ogilvie (Swanson 88), Morrison, Raggett, Robertson (c); Dale (Hackett 65), Pack, Morrell (Mingi 88), Koroma (Curtis 75); Scarlett, Bishop (Pigott 75)
Goals: Koroma 7
Booked: Morrell, Raggett
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Jacobs

Fleetwood (4-2-3-1): Lynch; Rooney, Nsiala (Baker 50), Earl, Andrew; Warrington (Wiredu 84), Vela (c); Macadam (Batty 67), Lane, Mendes Gomes (Garner 84); Muskwe (Morton 67)
Goals: Mendes Gomes 15
Booked: Rooney, Mendes Gomes, Earl, Batty, Vela
Subs not used: Stolarczyk, Johnston

Referee: James Oldham

Attendance: 18,271 (91 away fans)

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