Portsmouth resist hardworking Gillingham as final pre-season friendly ends in a draw

Gillingham drew a blank in their final pre-season friendly with a 0-0 draw being played out with Portsmouth on Saturday.

The visitors struck the crossbar in the first half courtesy of a Ben Davies free kick, with the Gills best chances falling to Emmanuel Osadebe and Adedeji Oshilaja following the interval.

Justin Edinburgh recalled Glenn Morris to play in goal with Bradley Garmston and Emmanuel Osadebe also included in the starting XI.

Luke Norris, following his impressive showing against Brighton, continued up front with Ben Williamson available from the bench. Josh Wright, a former midfielder with the club, was also named as one of the subs after a week’s training with the first team.

Portsmouth named former Crawley striker Matt Tubbs in their team with Danny Hollands, who had a brief loan spell with the Gills during the 2012/13 season, named as one of the substitutes.

The game was only four minutes old and Gills were forced into a change – Aaron  Morris came off worse in a 50/50 challenge, physio Gary Hemens quickly ran on to assist him but it became apparent quickly he would be unable to continue and Jake Hessenthaler came on to replace him.

Four minutes later and Gills had the first meaningful effort on target, Dack tried his luck from the edge of the penalty area and attempted to find the far corner but it whistled past the right hand post.

Gills enjoyed more of the ball but Paul Jones remained untroubled in the Portsmouth goal as his defence thwarted any attempt to open the scoring.

And on 27 minutes the visitors nearly took a surprise lead, a free kick was given just outside the penalty area on the right hand side – Davies took it and struck the bar with a powerful effort which looked to have Morris beaten.

On 35 minutes Hessenthaler nearly produced the opener, Norris had got around the goalkeeper but the narrowed angle made it impossible to take a shot.

He drove into the box, managed to find Rory Donnelly who was able to guide the ball back towards the 20-yard range where the midfielder shaped up, only to see his effort clear the frame of the goal.

Dickenson also missed the target shortly after following his initial corner, with the scores remaining level at the break.

H/T: 0-0

Three changes were made during the interval with Stuart Nelson, Josh Wright and Max Ehmer coming on for Glenn Morris, John Egan and Brennan Dickenson.

However it was Osadebe who nearly sealed a breakthrough, a loose ball was pounced upon by the midfielder and he used his pace to drive into the box but Jones made himself big and blocked the shot.

Gills bossed possession but Pompey proved stubborn in defence and chances were few and far between. Substitute Conor Chaplin attempted to curl an effort into the top left hand corner on 84 minutes but Nelson wasn’t needed as the ball missed the target.

The hosts tried to force a winner in the closing stages but Portsmouth resisted any late threat to secure a draw.

F/T: 0-0

Gills: G Morris (Nelson 46), Jackson, Egan (Ehmer 46), Oshilaja, Garmston, Dickenson (Wright 46), Dack (McGlashan 76), A Morris (Hessenthaler 5), Osadebe, Donnelly (Williamson 68), Norris.
Unused subs: Davies

Portsmouth: Jones (Bass 81), Burgess, Doyle, Roberts (Tollitt 81), Clarke, Bennett (Stockley 61), Atangana, Evans, Haundstrup, Davies, Tubbs (Chaplin 61).
Unused subs: Webster

Referee: Mr F Graham