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Match Reports

Pompey 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Narrow defeat for Blues against league leaders

11 March 2023

Ryan Tunnicliffe in action for Pompey against Sheffield Wednesday at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

Narrow defeat for Blues against league leaders

11 March 2023

John Mousinho experienced his first Fratton defeat with a narrow loss to table-topping Sheffield Wednesday.

An early finish from Josh Windass proved enough for the visitors to maintain their fine form in a game that was full of incident, if a little short on goalmouth action.

The Owls had to finish the contest with 10 men after Dominic Iorfa collected a couple of bookings, but Pompey could not find a late leveller.

Mousinho made a couple of changes from the side that had been beaten at Barnsley earlier in the week.

Joe Pigott was handed a first league start since New Year’s Day, while there was also a place for January signing Paddy Lane.

Dane Scarlett and Tom Lowery both dropped to the bench, where they were joined by Josh Oluwayemi, with the keeper having recovered from an illness.

There were familiar faces in the visitors’ line-up, with former Blues players George Byers and Michael Smith both starting.

The game began at a high tempo, although there were no clear-cut chances in the opening stages to excite the capacity crowd.

There was, however, a bizarre moment when referee Ben Toner had to come over to the dug-outs due to an disagreement about towels being used for throws!

But the Owls then went ahead from nowhere, with Cameron Dawson’s long ball flicked on by Smith and Windass drilling an angled shot into the bottom corner.

They then did a good job of slowing the game down and frustrating Pompey in their search for a leveller.

The mood of most inside Fratton Park was not helped by Toner missing a couple of clear fouls and failing to punish opposition players when they prevented the hosts taking quick free-kicks.

There was no lack of effort from the Blues and Pigott’s effort was deflected behind, while Will Vaulks did well to block a Connor Ogilvie shot.

Amidst a flurry of bookings, the game suddenly livened up as the interval approached, with Pompey looking dangerous.

Some nice build-up play led to Ogilvie’s delivery being nodded back by Colby Bishop, but the ball was just behind Pigott, who could not get a clean shot away.

Ryan Tunnicliffe then swapped passes with Joe Morrell from a free-kick and found Pigott, who saw his attempt hacked away by Aden Flint.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Sheffield Wednesday 1

The equaliser almost arrived straight after the restart, as Bishop met Tunnicliffe’s corner with a back-flick and Dawson showed quick reactions to keep the ball out of the net.

Pompey’s leading marksman could then not quite charge down Dawson, although the keeper’s clearance flew straight to Pigott.

He was bundled over by Vaulks, but the striker’s free-kick was blocked by Barry Bannan and the resulting corner came to nothing.

Mousinho made a change on 65 minutes, with Owen Dale the man withdrawn so Reeco Hackett could provide some fresh attacking legs.

The newcomer quickly linked up well with Morrell on the left and sent in a cross that was just too high for Lane.

Sean Raggett then rose highest in the box to meet a Joe Rafferty free-kick and send the ball towards the back post, where it was headed behind by Lee Gregory.

Wednesday were trying to use up as much time as possible and it hurt them when Iorfa bundled over Ogilvie.

The defender had already been booked for wasting time earlier in the half and so was sent trudging off the pitch by Toner.

Lowery and Michael Jacobs were both brought on for the closing stages, as the Blues tried desperately to find a goal.

Their best chance to snatch a point arrived in stoppage-time, but Ryley Towler could not turn home Rafferty’s cross from an acute angle.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett (c), Towler, Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe (Lowery 80), Morrell; Lane (Jacobs 85), Pigott, Dale (Hackett 65); Bishop
Booked: Morrell, Raggett
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Bernard, Thompson, Scarlett

Sheffield Wednesday (3-5-2): Dawson; Iorfa, Flint, Famewo; Palmer, Byers (Dele-Bashiru 35), Vaulks, Bannan (c), Brown (James 46); Smith (Gregory 72), Windass (Hunt 82)
Goals: Windass 11
Sent off: Iorfa (two yellow cards)
Booked: Windass, Brown
Subs not used: Stockdale, Bakinson, Adeniran

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 18,910 (1,594 away fans)

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