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Match Reports

Pompey 0 Blackpool 4

Blues suffer first league defeat of the season

25 November 2023

Paddy Lane in action for Pompey against Blackpool at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images
Match Reports

Pompey 0 Blackpool 4

Blues suffer first league defeat of the season

25 November 2023

Pompey’s long unbeaten league run finally came to an end as they were beaten by Blackpool on a controversial afternoon at Fratton Park.

Owen Dale scored against his former club to open the scoring, but the hosts were incandescent with rage when a seemingly offside Jake Beesley doubled the visitors’ lead.

Abu Kamara then had appeals for what looked like a stonewall penalty turned down, just moments before Joe Morrell was sent off.

And CJ Hamilton and Albie Morgan both struck to ensure the Seasiders made the most of their numerical advantage.

John Mousinho made one change from the side that drew with Charlton on home soil before the international break.

Josh Martin was handed a debut after completing a short-term switch, with Terry Devlin dropping to the bench, where he was joined by a fit-again Marlon Pack.

It meant that Paddy Lane was able to feature, despite pulling out of the Northern Ireland squad with a calf problem.

The visitors made a fast start and took the lead with just nine minutes on the clock after Hamilton beat Jack Sparkes down the left.

He cut the ball back for Dale, who did not hit his shot cleanly, but there was enough on the ball to prevent a diving Will Norris from keeping it out of the net.

Pompey soon found their attacking groove, however, and set about applying pressure in their attempts to find an equaliser.

One sweeping move ended with Kamara getting in a shot that both James Husband and Marvin Ekpiteta threw themselves in the path of.

Colby Bishop did manage to nod home the resulting Sparkes corner, but referee Ollie Yates had blown for a foul before the ball entered the net.

Sparkes then played a one-two with Lane from another flag-kick and hit a dipping shot that a back-pedalling Dan Grimshaw managed to tip over the bar.

Martin was next to go close after collecting a fine threaded pass from Kamara, but Grimshaw was quickly off his line to deny the debutant.

There was plenty of neat passing football being showcased by the Blues and when Lane flashed a dangerous delivery across the face of goal, nobody could get the crucial touch.

Blackpool were indebted to Grimshaw once more on 34 minutes, with the keeper doing brilliantly to stop Ekpiteta slicing a Sparkes centre into his own net.

The hosts kept pushing forward as the half drew to a close, but the Seasiders held on to take a slender lead into the interval.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Blackpool 1

Pompey were searching for a quick start when the action began again, but it was instead a sluggish opening to the second period.

It was not helped by their opponents taking their time over everything, with Grimshaw finally punished.

Mousinho freshened things up on 56 minutes, with Martin withdrawn and Christian Saydee coming on to replace him.

But the hosts almost immediately found themselves further behind – and the Blues were furious that the goal was allowed to stand.

Karamoko Dembélé’s curler clearly deflected in off an offside Beesley, but the officials ignored Pompey’s desperate appeals.

The Fratton faithful’s mood did not improve when Kenny Dougall fouled Kamara in the box and Yates told the forward to get back on his feet.

And it soured further moments later, as Morrell’s foul on Dembélé was deemed worthy of a second booking, leaving the Blues with just men.

Mousinho still looked to attack, though, with Terry Devlin and Kusini Yengi brought on for Kamara and Lane.

Pompey kept battling away in search of a consolation, but Blackpool Hamilton's curler took a big deflection off Conor Shaughnessy to beat Norris.

And substitute Morgan drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to compound their misery late on.

It left the Blues experiencing a first league loss since the middle of March and saw their reign at the top of the table come to an end.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy, Sparkes; Robertson (Pack 80), Morrell (c); Lane (Yengi 69), Kamara (Devlin 69), Martin (Saydee 56); Bishop (Stevenson 80)
Sent off: Morrell (two yellow cards)
Booked: Lane, Raggett, Norris, Saydee
Subs not used: Schofield, Towler

Blackpool (3-4-3): Grimshaw; Pennington, Ekpiteta, Husband (c); Hamilton, Dougall, Carey, Dale; Dembélé (Connolly 76), Rhodes (Morgan 85), Beesley (Joseph 66)
Goals: Dale 9, Beesley 56, Hamilton 74, Morgan 87
Booked: Dougall, Rhodes, Grimshaw
Subs not used: O’Donnell, Casey, Lyons, Weir

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 18,697 (618 away fans)

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