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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

Bishop penalty cancelled out in festive stalemate

23 December 2023

Colby Bishop scores a penalty against Fleetwood Town at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

Bishop penalty cancelled out in festive stalemate

23 December 2023

A feeling of frustration replaced festive cheer at Fratton Park, as Pompey were held to a draw by Fleetwood.

Colby Bishop had fired the hosts ahead from the penalty spot just before the break, only for Josh Earl to draw the Cod Army level.

The Blues poured forward at every opportunity after that, but were unable to find a winning goal, although still remain top of the pile at Christmas.

John Mousinho made one change from the side that won at Shrewsbury in the last League One outing.

With Bishop returning to full fitness, he was restored to lead the line and Kusini Yengi dropped to the bench.

Pompey showed plenty of attacking intent in the opening stages, but were finding it hard to break down an organised defence.

There was one lovely passing move involving Joe Rafferty, Alex Robertson and Abu Kamara, but the latter’s low shot was cleared from the line by Connor Teale.

Kamara then collected a neat ball from Rafferty and slipped it across for Robertson, who scuffed past the post.

Fleetwood’s openings were arriving on the break and Joe Morrell did well to pressure the rampaging Brendan Wiredu into firing wide.

Another quick counter then saw Robertson’s clearance fly straight to Callum Dolan, who blazed wastefully over the bar.

Pompey were looking fairly comfortable, though, and the home crowd were showing plenty of patience as they tried to break down their opponents.

It almost happened on 40 minutes after Robertson had done well to keep possession and then send Morrell racing through.

He laid the ball off for Kamara, who cut inside from the right and curled a shot against the base of the post.

But the Blues were literally handed a chance to forge ahead in stoppage-time after Wiredu dived to block Kamara’s shot and the ball struck his outstretched arm.

Referee Tom Nield took a moment to make his mind up before pointing to the spot and BISHOP calmly sent Jay Lynch the wrong way.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Fleetwood 0

The visitors had to be more ambitious in the second half and Pompey immediately looked to exploit spaces at the back.

Kamara did well to get free on the right, cutting inside and into the box, but his lay-off was behind Bishop, who could only fire over.

Fleetwood soon had a chance of their own, as Wiredu’s fierce effort just about cleared the crossbar after the ball had sat up nicely for him on the edge of the area.

And they found a leveller just past the hour mark, with Phoenix Patterson’s corner nodded on by Bosun Lawal for Earl to rifle home from close range.

Christian Saydee had been waiting to come on before that goal and the change was still made, with Robertson the man to make way.

The hosts tried to hit back and Marlon Pack did well to charge into the box and send the ball into the mixer, with the visitors having to scramble it clear.

They were camping out in the Cod Army half and Paddy Lane saw a fierce shot blocked as the pressure began to mount.

That was the former Fleetwood forward’s final involvement, as he was replaced out wide by Gavin Whyte on 77 minutes.

Pompey’s two substitutes almost combined for a goal, as Saydee took a neat touch from Bishop’s flick and laid the ball off for Whyte to fire agonisingly wide of the post.

Mousinho made a last throw of the dice by replacing the lively Kamara with a fit-again Anthony Scully in his forward line.

But despite committing plenty of men forward for the closing stages, there was to be no Christmas cracker of a finale from the hosts.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy, Sparkes; Morrell, Pack (c); Kamara (Scully 85), Robertson (Saydee 63), Lane (Whyte 77); Bishop
Goals: Bishop 45+3 (pen)
Booked: Saydee, Scully, Sparkes
Subs not used: Schofield, Towler, Devlin, Yengi

Fleetwood (4-1-4-1): Lynch; Lawal, Heneghan (c), Teale (Holgate 86), Earl; Wiredu; Asamoah (Hayes 64), Johnston, Dolan (Marriott 76), Patterson; Stockley
Goals: Earl 63
Booked: Dolan
Subs not used: McMullan, Johnson, Montgomery, Tshimanga

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 18,412 (94 away fans)

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