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REPORT | Pompey Prosper

PUBLISHED

00:18 8th February 2017

Cup setback for Under 23s.

Wolves 2 (Ronan 10, Wilson 76)

Portsmouth 4 (Kabamba 13, Naismith 30, Johnson-og 50, Smith 87)

On a disappointing night at the Bucks Head, the Wolves Under 23s slipped to a 4-2 Premier League Cup defeat against a battling Portsmouth side - this after having taken an early lead.

In only the second minute Dan Armstrong tested Pompey keeper Liam O’Brien with a shot from the edge of the box before Duckens Nazon took the ball from the halfway line into the visitors box where his shot was blocked by Tom Davies.

Portsmouth’s first attack almost saw them taking the lead with Harry Burgoyne making a fine reflex save from Conor Chaplin’s close-range effort.

Wolves move ahead in the tenth minute after being awarded a free-kick 25-yards out. Dead ball specialist Connor Ronan took the kick and curled a beauty past the wall and then the despairing dive of O’Brien.

It took Portsmouth just three minutes to pull level and again it was a free-kick that led to the goal with Nicke Kabamba running in to head home after Theo Widdrington had lifted the kick over from wide on the left.

Paul Gladon’s penalty appeal when he went down under a challenge was ignored by the referee who, seconds later, awarded Portsmouth a free-kick 22-yards out from which Kal Naismith fired narrowly over the bar.

Pompey took the lead on the half-hour. Brandon Haunstrup slipped a short pass into the path of Naismith whose low shot again saw Burgoyne at his best although he stood little chance of holding onto the ball and Naismith had the easiest of tasks in converting.

Nicu Carnat shot into the side netting from 20-yards and then good play between Ronan and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson set up a chance for Armstrong who was a fraction too high with his angled drive. 

Ronan went into the book for kicking the ball away after conceding a free-kick, and on the stroke of half-time Ryan Leak came to the rescue throwing himself in the way of a goalbound effort from Kabamba.

Half-Time: Wolves 1 Portsmouth 2

Wolves made a double switch at the start of the new half with Ross Finnie and Donovan Wilson taking over from Nazon and Ronan.

Burgoyne did well to block Chaplin’s low shot after the Portsmouth man had burst into the area but the home side was dealt a further blow in the 50th minute when Connor Johnson, in attempting to clear Haunstrup’s cross, turned the ball into his own net.

After an hour Dan McKenna replaced Gladon and he had only been on the field for a couple of minutes when Chaplin fired inches wide of the far post.

Drew Talbot’s foul on Wilson, to the right of the Portsmouth box, was cleared for the first of three consecutive corners before O’Brien finally claimed the ball.

Some of the referee’s decisions were getting to the home players and Morgan Gibbs-White became the third player to be yellow carded for dissent following on from Ronan and Anthony Breslin.

Wolves pulled one back in the 76th minute when McKenna and Armstrong combined to set up Wilson who netted from ten-yards.

Five minutes later Wilson was inches away from a leveller after McKenna had nodded the ball down to him. 

But hopes of a late revival were dashed in the 87th minute when Chaplin set up substitute Dan Smith to seal the south coast club’s victory.

Wolves: Burgoyne, Breslin, Borthwick-Jackson, Ronan (capt) (Wilson 45), Johnson, Leak, Carnat, Gibbs-White, Gladon (McKenna 60), Nazon (Finnie 45), Armstrong.

Unused subs; Upton, Delacoe.

Bookings: Ronan (42 – dissent), Breslin (67 – dissent) Gibbs-White (74 – dissent).

Pompey: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough (capt), Haunstrup, Davies, Bedford (Smith 82), Naismith, Kabamba, Chaplin Oxlade Chamberlain (McDowell 89), Widdrington

Unused subs: Hall.

Referee: S. Barrow.

Attendance: 149

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