Tom Craddock’s first Pompey goal was not enough to earn his
side any points as managerless Scunthorpe came from behind to secure
The striker lifted a lacklustre first
half by heading home Ricky Holmes’ cross, but David Syers almost
immediately grabbed an equaliser.
looked a lot brighter after the break, but it was the Iron celebrating
when Syers converted the winner from close range.
Guy Whittingham made three changes from the side that lost at AFC Wimbledon the previous week.
Dan Potts made his debut having arrived on loan from West Ham, while there were also starts for Craddock and Holmes.
Agyemang missed out with a thigh injury, while David Connolly and Danny
East both dropped to the bench. Thery Racon (groin) and Romain Padovani
(calf) were also on the sidelines.
Deon Burton – part of the Pompey side that won promotion to the Premier League in 2003 – started for the visitors.
looked lively up front in the opening stages, although he slipped on
the edge of the box after latching onto Jed Wallace’s incisive through
There was not too much to trouble Trevor
Carson at the other end of the pitch, although Burton did attempt a
couple of long-range efforts that flew wide.
the Iron came close to breaking the deadlock on 16 minutes, with Sam
Winnall dragging a shot wide after the Blues defence had been breached
far too easily.
The atmosphere inside Fratton
Park was unusually flat, but the decibels did go up when Pompey won a
succession of corners midway through the first half.
then took a great touch to leave Syers swinging at thin air, but
Scunthorpe keeper Sam Slocombe came tearing off his line to clear the
It was the visitors who were looking
slightly more dangerous going forward, though, and Sonny Bradley made a
fine clearance before Terry Hawkridge’s 30-yard strike drew a super stop
Winnall also tried his luck from distance on 33 minutes and saw the ball fly inches past the post.
But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock moments later thanks to a fine move.
Ferry picked out Holmes with an intelligent pass and the latter’s first
time cross was perfect for an unmarked CRADDOCK to head home from close
lead did not last long, however, as Andy Dawson’s corner was flicked on
by Niall Canavan and Syers bundled the ball over the line at the far
Half Time: Pompey 1 Scunthorpe 1
Pompey were almost caught napping at the start of the second half, with Carson called into action to deny both Burton and Syers.
Andy Barcham had an opening at the other end, but was denied by a brave Sean McAllister block inside the Iron area.
was Scunthorpe providing a greater threat, though, and an unmarked
Burton would have put them ahead if he had managed to get more than the
tip of his boot onto the ball.
But Pompey were
looking lively in patches and Potts’ dangerous cross had to be turned
behind following good work from Ferry and Barcham.
The Blues almost retook the lead from the resulting corner, but Holmes’ effort clipped the top of the crossbar.
were suddenly on the back foot and only a superb save from Slocombe
stopped them falling behind, the keeper somehow clawing the ball from
the line after Johnny Ertl had met Joe Devera’s cross.
were looking much more vibrant than the first half and Craddock went
close on 70 minutes, firing against the post after latching onto Holmes’
pass over the top.
But the Iron went ahead in
the very same minute. Winnall beat Bradley inside the box and although
his shot was kept out by Carson, the ball fell kindly for Syers to
The hosts tried to hit back immediately, but Ferry could not connect with Holmes’ dangerous ball into the box.
Whittingham then made the decision to throw on an extra attacker, with Ertl making way for Connolly.
it was Scunthorpe who almost netted again soon after, as Carson just
about managed to push Winnall’s drive onto the post before keeping out
an effort from Hakeeb Adelakun.
The keeper was being kept busy as made another fine stop to prevent Syers from completing his hat-trick on 78 minutes.
Bird was thrown on for the closing stages, but Pompey were unable to
find an equaliser as they slipped to a fourth successive defeat.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Carson; Devera (East 77), N’Gala, Bradley, Potts; Ertl (c) (Connolly 73), Ferry; Wallace, Holmes (Bird 86), Barcham; Craddock
Goals: Craddock 36
Booked: N’Gala, Wallace
Subs not used: Sullivan, Moutaouakil, Painter, Cooper
Slocombe; Ribeiro, Mirfin, Canavan, Dawson (c); Hawkridge (Waterfall
90+3), McAllister, Syers, Noble-Lazarus (Adelakun 62); Burton (Nolan
Goals: Syers 40, 70
Subs not used: Severn, Byrne, Spencer, Iwelumo
Referee: Trevor Kettle
Attendance: 14,550 (174 away fans)