Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Pompey 4 Cheltenham 0

Tunnicliffe, Jacobs, Curtis and Thompson on target for rampant Blues

25 February 2023

Pompey celebrate after Ronan Curtis scores against Cheltenham Town at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 4 Cheltenham 0

Tunnicliffe, Jacobs, Curtis and Thompson on target for rampant Blues

25 February 2023

Pompey stormed to victory over Cheltenham at Fratton Park after stunning their opponents with three early goals.

Ryan Tunnicliffe, Michael Jacobs and Ronan Curtis all struck inside the opening 26 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

And there were plenty of chances to extend the advantage further – with the woodwork struck twice – before substitute Louis Thompson added the cherry on the cake late on.

John Mousinho made two changes from the side that were held to a goalless draw at Lincoln the previous week.

Curtis was handed a first start since recovering from an ankle problem, while there was also a spot for Jacobs, as Paddy Lane and Reeco Hackett made way.

A minute's applause was held before the game to remember legendary commentator John Motson, who passed away earlier in the week at the age of 77.

Pompey showed their intentions by attacking straight from kick-off and almost took the lead with 35 seconds on the clock.

A slip from Charlie Raglan sent Colby Bishop racing through on goal, but Caleb Taylor caught up him to make a fine challenge.

The home faithful did not have long to wait to celebrate a goal, however, with Bishop providing the assist.

He collected a pass from Joe Rafferty and held the ball up before laying it off for TUNNICLIFFE to neatly slot into the net from the edge of the box.

It was pretty much one-way traffic throughout the first half, although Ryley Towler made a great sliding challenge to dispossess Taylor Perry following a quick Cheltenham counter.

And the Blues soon doubled their advantage after Owen Dale had done well to keep the danger alive when Connor Ogilvie’s cross evaded everyone in the area.

Rafferty then found Bishop and his excellent pass released JACOBS, who took a couple of touches before firing into the net.

Dale then came close to scoring with a superb strike, beating two men and cutting onto his left-foot before leaving the crossbar rattling.

A third goal did arrive on 26 minutes as Dale found Tunnicliffe and he squared the ball for CURTIS to beat Luke Southwood from close range.

Bishop clearly wanted to get in on the act and he shot narrowly over from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Rafferty.

The action relented slightly for the remainder of the half, although the Robins managed to rack up five bookings to at least keep referee Lee Swabey busy.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Cheltenham 0

Perry rightly had his penalty appeals turned down by Swabey after going down far too easily under Towler’s challenge straight after the restart.

But the Robins were already looking more of a threat than before the break, as substitute Glen Rea fired wide before Aidan Keena’s effort looped comfortably into Matt Macey’s arms.

Most of the action was still happening at the other end of the pitch, though, and Bishop could not keep his shot down after using his chest to control a superb Jacobs delivery.

The striker had another great chance just past the hour mark after Long’s slip had sent Jacobs racing clear.

He had a man either side of him to play the ball to and opted for Bishop rather than Dale, only for a poor first touch to allow Cheltenham to clear.

Mousinho freshened things up with a double change on 68 minutes, as Tunnicliffe and Curtis made way for Thompson and Dane Scarlett.

The visitors had not given up and Keena lashed wildly over the bar after Alfie May’s initial effort had been blocked.

But the Blues then had an excellent chance of their own when Joe Morrell slid in to win the ball and Dale then played it across to Jacobs.

The midfielder tried his luck from the edge of the box with a clean strike that left the crossbar wobbling.

Another double switch followed, with warm applause for both Bishop and Jacobs as they were replaced by Joe Pigott and Lane.

Denver Hume was another late entry for Dale, as the hosts were seeing out the closing stages with ease.

But they were able to celebrate another goal in stoppage-time, as THOMPSON collected Morrell’s pass and smashed the ball home from 25 yards.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett (c), Towler, Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe (Thompson 68), Morrell; Dale (Hume 85), Jacobs (Lane 76), Curtis (Scarlett 68); Bishop (Pigott 76)
Goals: Tunnicliffe 5, Jacobs 20, Curtis 26, Thompson 90+1
Booked: Ogilvie
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Bernard

Cheltenham (3-5-2): Southwood; Long (c), Taylor, Raglan; Jackson, Broom, Bonds (Rea 46), Perry (Olayinka 82), Ferry (Sercombe 46); May, Keena (Norton 82)
Booked: Bonds, Long, Keena, Raglan, Taylor
Subs not used: MacDonald, Barkers, Brown

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 17,504 (366 away fans)

Advertisement block

iFollow Next Match Tickets Account