Cherries Win Fratton Friendly

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 23 July 2017

Bournemouth inflcted a first friendly defeat for Pompey this pre-season but the match was overshadowed by the tragic news of a fan passing away.

Medical staff were on hand to give treatment to the supporter which understandably delayed the second half of the game but unfortunately they did not pull through. The thoughts of everyone associated with Portsmouth and Bournemouth are with the friends and family of the fan at this time.

For what it's worth, Pompey gave an excellent account of themselves against their Premier League opponents although the visitors dominated the early proceedings and took the lead why Lys Mousset converted Benik Afobe's cut back from the byline.

The second half was a more entertaining affair as Brett Pitman forced ex-Pompey keeper Asmir Begovic into an excellent save when he was one-on-one. The equaliser arrived when Pitman's flicked header found Conor Chaplin in the box and his finish found the back of the net.

The lead didn't last long, however, as Afobe backheeled the winner from close range past Luke McGee after Bournemouth had got free down the left.

There could have been more goals as Chaplin struck the far post and a last-ditch challenge from Christian Burgess prevented Jermain Defoe scoring on his return to Fratton Park.

Overall, it was a good test for Kenny Jackett's side and the performances of Burgess, Tariq Holmes-Dennis and Chaplin would have been encouraging. The manager opted to play a 4-4-2 with Carl Baker in the centre of midfield and he looked bright and creative alongside the busy Danny Rose.

If there are to be no more significant signings or injuries before August 5th, then the eleven who started yesterday's match are almost certain to begin the opening game against Rochdale as it seems Jackett is settled on his selection, with only Milan Lalkovic coming on as a substitute in the second half.

The most interesting observation there is that it seems Tom Davies is the preferred choice to Jack Whatmough as Matt Clarke's replacement at centre back.

That's slightly surprising given that Jack was up to the challenge whenever he was brought on and Davies looked like he couldn't cut it at League Two level, let alone League One. He was too easily beaten by Afobe for the opening goal and doesn't inspire any confidence the rest of his team, it seems.

There is only one pre-season friendly left to go before the curtain raiser and that's away at Crawley on Saturday. It'll be interesting to see how the squad shapes up in future given that Gary Roberts and Michael Smith have been told they can leave, with Jackett unable to sign any more players until someone leaves.

However, for now, yesterday's events at half-time puts everything into perspective and football doesn't really matter when tragedy like this happens. 

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