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Match Reports

Report | Portsmouth 1-1 Gillingham

Gills unlucky not to win at Fratton Park following dominant second half display.

27 February 2021

Portsmouth forced to hold on for 1-1 draw following late Gills pressure.

Vadaine Oliver's goal ensured Gills came away from Fratton Park with a more than deserved point.

Oliver scored just before half-time, capitalising on a mistake by Lee Brown, and his smart finish beat Craig MacGillivray from inside the box.

Gills had the majority of the chances in the second half and came close to winning the game in the closing seconds.

A long ball over the top was met by substitute John Akinde, and he got in behind the Pompey defence. However, his attempt to place his shot through the legs of the Pompey keeper was denied.

Sean Raggett had given the hosts the lead in the 33rd minute. Marcus Harness’ brilliant run down the wing allowed him the time to put a cross into the box. The oncoming Raggett met it, and he powered his header past Jack Bonham.

Steve Evans made two changes from the midweek defeat to AFC Wimbledon. Stuart O’Keefe and Jordan Graham returned to the starting XI, as John Akinde and Rob McKenzie dropped to the bench.

Henry Woods returned to the matchday squad for the first time since recovering from injury. Alex MacDonald missed out due to illness.

Gills had a penalty shout in the first minute as Connor Ogilvie’s cross appeared to hit the hand of Haji Mnoga. The referee waved away the penalty claims and awarded the corner.

Portsmouth almost took the lead moments later. They managed to hit Gills on the counter-attack following a corner, and Ronan Curtis drove towards the penalty area. He squared it to Marcus Harness, but he could not strike the ball cleanly, and it hit the base of the post before Ogilvie cleared his lines.

In the 22nd minute, Ellis Harrison forced Jack Bonham into a comfortable save. He jumped highest inside the penalty area and was first to meet the cross. However, his header was straight at Bonham.

Bonham was forced into action moments later and made a magnificent save. Harrison laid it off to Harvey White, who struck it first time on the half volley. The Gills keeper got down quickly and got a strong hand to push it away from danger.

Portsmouth took the lead through Sean Raggett in the 33rd minute. Harness did brilliantly getting down the line before putting a cross into the box. Raggett ran onto the cross and thumped his header past Bonham and into the back of the net.

Vadaine Oliver got Gills back on level terms in the 40th minute. Lee Brown tried to chest it back to Craig MacGillivray but could not make solid contact. Oliver came out of nowhere to latch onto the loose ball and prod a smart half volley past the Pompey keeper.

Right after the goal, Portsmouth came close to re-taking the lead. It took a good Bonham save at his front post to deny Ronan Curtis.

Olly Lee came close just before half-time. A ball into the box fell to the midfielder, and he smashed a shot that stung the palms of MacGillivray before Raggett headed over the bar. Unfortunately, the corner came to nothing.

 

HALF-TIME: Portsmouth 1–1 Gillingham

 

Immediately after half-time, it took a massive Jack Tucker interception to stop Portsmouth from having a big chance. Harrison got towards the box and tried to slip Curtis in on goal near the six-yard box. Fortunately, Tucker intercepted it, and Gills cleared their lines.

Portsmouth had the ball in the back of the net shortly after, but the referee gave Gills a free-kick. Graham went down inside the box, and the referee blew his whistle as Harrison was placing the ball into the back of the net.

Bonham made an incredible save in the 62nd minute. Tom Naylor flicked the ball towards goal from a corner, and Bonham did brilliantly to quickly react and push it away.

Oliver came close to giving Gillingham the lead in emphatic fashion. He did well to turn Rasmus Nicolaisen and blasted a shot from 18 yards just wide of the goal. In the 73rd minute, John Akinde replaced Olly Lee and the striker was heavily involved in the closing stages.

Oliver had another great chance in the 78th minute. Graham did well to get down the line and loft a cross towards the back post. The striker jumped highest to win the header but could not get it on target.

Tom O’Connor was the next to have a shot at the Pompey goal. Kyle Dempsey did brilliantly beating Mnoga and put a left-footed cross into the penalty area. The ball was stabbed out as far as O’Connor, but he blasted high and wide of the goal.

Dempsey hit the outside of the post in the 88th minute. A Portsmouth defensive header went as far as the Gills captain. He took a touch to create some space before shooting with his left foot. Unfortunately, it beat MacGillivray but hit the woodwork.

Deep into stoppage time, Akinde had the biggest chance to win the game. He did brilliantly getting in behind the Portsmouth defence, and as he got towards the goal, MacGillivray closed him down. He tried to place it through his legs, but the Portsmouth keeper did well to get a strong foot on it.

 

FULL-TIME: Portsmouth 1-1 Gillingham

 

Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Mnoga (Whatmough 85’), Raggett, Nicolaisen, Brown, Harness, Naylor, Cannon, White, Harrison (Marquis 58’), Curtis (Williams 79’)

Unused Substitutes: Ward, Daniels, Byers, Hiwula

 

Gillingham: Bonham, Jackson, Cundy, Tucker, Ogilvie, O’Keefe, Dempsey, Graham, Lee (Akinde 73’), O’Connor, Oliver

Unused Substitutes: Bastien, Willock, Morton, Woods, Johnson, McKenzie

 

 

Referee: Tim Robinson


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