Portsmouth 1-0 Bolton Wanderers

  • September 28, 2019 | By Chris Mann
  • URL Short URL: http://b-ac.es/6cd73

Brett Pitman scored the only goal as Portsmouth eased the pressure on manager Kenny Jackett with victory over Bolton at Fratton Park.

Pitman, who had earlier struck a post from the penalty spot, headed home with 66 minutes on the clock to give the hosts a first league win since August 10.

Wanderers, meanwhile, will end the weekend 18 points from safety at the foot of the League One table, with the prospect of an additional points deduction looming following the non-fulfilment of a league fixture against Doncaster Rovers earlier in the season.

Keith Hill made two changes to the Bolton side that drew at home with Sunderland last time out, as Yoan Zouma and a debuting Daryl Murphy took the places of an injured Jake Wright and rested Dennis Politic - who dropped to the substitutes' bench.

Pompey, whose manager had come in for fierce criticism in recent weeks, registered the first effort on target with less than two minutes on the clock, as Pitman headed straight at Remi Matthews after Brandon Haunstrup's free-kick was only partially cleared.

Ali Crawford sent a free-kick wide of Craig MacGillivray's target with five minutes on the clock, moments before Murphy headed the ball into the path of Will Buckley, whose strike was well held by the Portsmouth goalkeeper.

Thibaud Verlinden has won many admirers with his performances in a Wanderers shirt thus far and he tried his luck on 17 minutes, cutting inside before seeing a shot blocked by a defender.

Matthews saved from Ronan Curtis soon thereafter, and it wasn't until the half-hour that the next opportunity arrived as Curtis saw another attempt blocked by a backtracking Josh Emmanuel.

Verlinden was back on the ball with 10 minutes of the half to play, ending a move with a shot that was parried by MacGillivray, who reacted quickly to deny Murphy from the follow-up.

Emmanuel shot over from the edge of the box shortly afterwards, before an excellent charge forward from Zouma almost brought the opening goal. After laying off possession to Murphy, his cross was volleyed inches wide of the post by Buckley.

Pompey had the final chance of the half, with a stoppage-time free-kick from Pitman bringing Matthews into action, as he made a save that ensured the sides went in goalless at the interval.

There was one change as the players took to the field for the start of the second period, as the home side brought Marcus Harness on in place of Ryan Williams.

Portsmouth made the brighter opening after the restart, with John Marquis surging forward before going to ground under a challenge from Matthews. Referee Darren Drysdale signalled for a goal-kick, before halting play momentarily to allow the Bolton goalkeeper to receive treatment for a minor injury.

MacGillivray was then called into serious action for the first time as Murphy, who had latched on to a ball from Crawford, drilled in a low effort from a narrow angle.

Pompey were awarded a penalty on the hour as Marquis went down under a challenge from Jack Hobbs, but their chance to break the deadlock went begging as Pitman's spot-kick came back off the post.

Marquis and Harness both failed to hit the target in the immediate aftermath of that miss, but the goal the hosts had threatened did finally arrive on 66 minutes as James Bolton's cross to the far post was headed back across goal and into the far corner by Pitman.

The Trotters struggled to find a route back into the game from that point on, with Zouma shooting way over from distance, before a stoppage-time free-kick from Crawford flashed wide of the post.

Portsmouth saw out five minutes of added time comfortably to move five points clear of the relegation zone, while Bolton remain at the foot of the table - 12 points behind AFC Wimbledon, and 18 from safety after their deduction at the beginnning of the campaign.

Hill's side return to action with a trip to Rochdale in the Leasing.com Trophy on Tuesday evening.

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Haunstrup, Naylor, Close, Williams (Harness 45), Pitman, Curtis (Evans 62), Marquis
Subs Not Used: Bass, Walkes, Cannon, McCrorie, Harrison
Booked: Curtis, Close
Goals: Pitman 66

Bolton Wanderers: Matthews, Chicksen, Hobbs, Zouma, Emmanuel (L Murphy 67), Lowe, Bridcutt, Crawford, Buckley, Verlinden (Politic 61), D Murphy
Subs Not Used: Alexander, Weir, Boon, Senior, Graham
Booked: Hobbs, Lowe

Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 18,382

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Sky Bet League One Standings

Pos Team Pld Pts
19 Milton Keynes Dons 12 12
20 Accrington Stanley 12 11
21 AFC Wimbledon 13 9
22 Southend United 12 4
23 Bolton Wanderers 10 -8
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Poll

Who is Bolton's 2018/19 Player of the Year?
34.62% Gary O'Neil
19.38% David Wheater
18.92% Pawel Olkowski
9.27% Joe Williams
5.33% Jason Lowe
4.13% Sammy Ameobi
2.85% Josh Magennis
2.75% Mark Beevers
1.19% Jack Hobbs
1.01% Ben Alnwick
0.28% Andrew Taylor
0.28% Craig Noone