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York 4 Pompey 2
by Neil Weld at Bootham Crescent
Blues disappointing in defeat at Bootham Crescent
Pompey slumped to a second successive defeat following a disastrous day in York.
They fell behind to Wes Fletcher’s early effort and were distinctly below-par throughout the first half.
But a positive result looked possible when Jed Wallace levelled with a fine individual goal after the break.
The mood quickly turned sour for the horde of travelling fans, however, as Lewis Montrose, Ryan Jarvis and Fletcher all struck in a 10-minute spell.
John Marquis came off the bench to net a late consolation, but it was nothing more than that.
Guy Whittingham made two changes from the side beaten by Fleetwood seven days earlier.
Wallace came in for Ricky Holmes in midfield, while Danny East replaced the injured Shaun Cooper at right-back.
With Joe Devera (hamstring) and Yassin Moutaouakil (suspended) also unavailable, academy defender Jack Whatmough was handed a place on the bench.
Wallace found some early joy down the right, but that was as good as it got for Pompey in the early stages.
There was less than three minutes on the clock when a free-kick found its way to Fletcher inside the Blues box.
John Sullivan managed to get behind the striker’s initial shot, but the loose ball fell kindly for Fletcher to prod home from close range.
Pompey were all at sea and conceded a couple more needless free-kicks that their hosts were unable to capitalise on.
Things then got worse for the visitors, as Simon Ferry limped off injured and was replaced by Romain Padovani.
They settled as the half wore on, though, and Bondz N’Gala was inches away from connecting with Wallace’s corner on 23 minutes.
But York poured straight down the other end of the pitch, where Josh Carson’s free-kick was just too heavy for Jarvis to race onto.
Montrose then went close to doubling the Minstermen’s advantage when – just seconds after he was booked for scything down Johnny Ertl – the midfielder let fly with a dipping long-range volley that flew narrowly over the bar.
York continued to create the best chances and Jarvis stooped to meet Ryan Brobbel’s cross only for his header to be deflected wide.
Pompey had struggled to create any clear-cut chances, with a Connolly header that flew wide just before the break the best they could muster.
Half Time: York 1 Pompey 0
It was still the hosts looking more likely to score once the second half got underway.
And the Blues back-line would have breathed a sigh of relief when Carson’s deft flick from Brobbel’s cross drifted just past the post.
But Pompey had clearly learnt from their first half display as they levelled with their first decent opportunity on 53 minutes.
It was a superb solo effort from WALLACE, who won possession and embarked on a fine run that took him past several challenge before coolly slotting the ball home.
Sullivan then kept the scores level by making a fine double save to deny both Montrose and Fletcher.
But the keeper was unable to hold on to a Carson cross on 57 minutes, allowing Montrose to restore the Minstermen’s advantage from close range.
John Marquis was immediately brought on for Patrick Agyemang, but things quickly got worse for Pompey.
First Jarvis fired neatly into the bottom corner to extend York’s lead, while Fletcher added a fourth moments later following a quick break down the right.
Sullivan limited the damage by saving smartly from Jarvis, before Wallace went close to reducing the deficit with a free-kick that was tipped over by Michael Ingham.
Pompey poured forward in an attempt to salvage some pride and MARQUIS opened his Blues account by turning home Wallace’s low cross late on.
York (4-4-2): Ingham; Oyebanjo, McGurk, Parslow (c), Davies; Carson, Whitehouse, Montrose (Platt 75), Brobbel (Puri 80); Fletcher (Bowman 80), Jarvis
Goals: Fletcher 3, 66, Montrose 57, Jarvis 64
Booked: Montrose, Oyebanjo
Subs not used: Kettings, Smith, Fyfield, Chambers
Goals: Wallace 53, Marquis 88
Booked: Wallace, Painter, N’Gala
Referee: Mark Heywood
Attendance: 4,848 (1,357 Pompey fans)
Pompey hit new low at York
Pompey’s season hit a new low today with a woeful 4-2 defeat at York.
Guy Whittingham’s side were pummelled by the Minstermen at Bootham Crescent as they served up a display riddled with errors.
It took three minutes for the Blues to fall behind to Wes Fletcher’s finish after a mistake by John Sullivan.
Jed Wallace levelled in the 53rd minute with a sensational goal-of-the-season contender – running half the length of the pitch and beating a host of players before finishing.
But another error from Sullivan four minutes later undid that work as he dropped a routine catch to allow Lewis Montrose to tap in.
Goals from the dangerous Ryan Jarvis and Fletcher then heaped further embarrassment on Pompey as they fell apart, before sub John Marquis pulled one back late on.
Pompey went into the game protecting an unbeaten away record in League Two this season.
But the display they served up in the first 45 minutes threatened to undo that run.
Whittingham’s side made a dreadful start and fell behind in the third minute with the sloppiest of goals.
Johnny Ertl gave away a free-kick 30 yards out and Josh Carson’s low delivery was spilled by Sullivan.
No blue shirt reacted to that mistake and it was Fletcher who was on hand to fire home.
York continued to dominate, with their wingers having plenty of joy, and Pompey giving away a string of free-kicks in dangerous areas.
Montrose smashed a 30-yard volley narrowly over in the 27th minute after being booked for a foul on Ertl.
Pompey were struggling for any kind of fluency but had a rare chance when David Connolly volley over from Wallace’s cross 10 minutes before the break.
Fletcher had the last chance before the break from yet another cheap free-kick, but he fired at Sullivan, who held his shot well.
Pompey desperately needed some inspiration and they got it in magical style eight minutes after the restart.
Wallace was the man to do it with a special goal as he picked the ball up on half-way and ran at the home side.
He tore into the heart of the Minstermen, with bodies being left in his wake, before coolly rolling the ball home.
Sullivan then made two great stops in quick succession to deny Montrose and Fletcher.
But that meant little when he then dropped a routine catch to allow Montrose the softest of goals.
Pompey were now reeling and York added two goals in two minutes as Jarvis had a field day.
He grabbed the third after 66 minutes, before crossing for Fletcher to head in and put the home crowd in dreamland.
Marquis was thrown on and pulled a goal back with time ticking down.
But that failed to cover up what was an inept and ultimately embarrassing performance from Pompey.
Match Preview (from truebluearmy.com)
Pompey travel to struggling York on Saturday looking to keep their good form on the road going and make up for last week's disappointing defeat at home to Fleetwood.
So far this season Pompey are unbeaten in the league away from Fratton Park, winning at Burton on their last trip and drawing at Accrington, Mansfield and Cheltenham. In addition, Pompey won on penalties at Torquay in the JPT and only Championship side Bournemouth have beaten the Blues.
Manager Guy Whittingham looks set to have to reshuffle his back line again as Shaun Cooper, who came in for the suspended Yassin Moutaouakil, looks likely to be sidelined with a groin strain. Danny East stands by. Joe Devera is also still recovering from a hamstring injury and is unlikely to be risked.
Elsewhere in the side Whittingham has decisions to make over his attacking options. Jed Wallace was unlucky to be left out last week and impressed as a second half sub against Fleetwood and he wil be pushing Ricky Holmes and Andy Barcham for a place in the starting line up.
New player coach David Connolly and Patrick Agyemang, who have started the season so well, are coming under increasing pressure from Tom Craddock, fit again after a series of niggling injuries, and John Marquis, signed on loan from Millwall last week.
York have struggled badly since winning their first home game of the season and have lost their last two home games against Wimbledon and Mansfield. However, last Saturday their fortunes imporved with a decent draw at Wycombe Wanderers and they will be looking to end a run of five matches without a clean sheet.
It is the first time Pompey have visited Bootham Crescent in 33 years, their last match there ending in a 1-0 defeat in February 1980, also in the fourth tier. Pompey's only win at this ground was in December 1976, when they won 4-1 in a third division game.
Verdict: Neither side are any good at keeping clean sheets. 0-0 it is then.