Pompey Advance To Round Three

Last updated : 06 December 2015 By Jim Bonner

Pompey earned their pace in the third round of the FA Cup for the first time since 2012 with a fairly comfortable single goal victory over Accrington Stanley at Fratton Park.

The game started slowly but the hosts were always in control as both Marc McNulty and Michael Doyle narrowly missed the target early on following some fluid attacking moves despite the windy conditions.

The only goal of the game arrived soon after as McNulty's cut back into the box was missed by Kyle Bennett in the centre only for the unmarked Adam McGurk to arrive at the far post and strike the ball past Jason Mooney.

McNulty had chances to get himself on the scoresheet as he fired a shot wide when sent through by Bennett and then he hit the crossbar with a header from Ben Davies' free kick.

Accrington offered little up front bar a couple of half-chances towards the end of the half but Paul Cook would have been satisfied with the first half performance.

The second half wasn't quite as bright as the first despite many Pompey fans waving their lit mobile phones around Fratton Park as if they were at a One Direction concert. (Seriously, what was with that? These ridiculous things should be expected from Scummers but not Pompey fans!)

Pompey really should have wrapped the tie up when McNulty cut the ball across the box for McGurk but Mooney was equal to his strike this time and the Accrington keeper also saved yet another effort from McNulty.

The visitors had barely offered a credible threat all game but they should have snatched a replay in the seven minutes of stoppage time when a free kick was flicked on to the back post but Terry Gornell rose to head the ball straight at Brian Murphy.

The Pompey goalkeeper was then somewhat fortunate to get away with racing out of his goal to claim a ball he was never going to get but thankfully referee Brett Huxtable, on for the injured Kevin Johnson, ruled against the Accrington player who challenged him for the ball when it could have resulted in something much worse.

Pompey saw out the remaining minutes of the lengthy stoppage time to book their place in tomorrow's third round draw of the FA Cup.

It was a deserved victory where nobody really stood out with the win being down to a solid team performance more than anything else. The defence was solid despite Christian Burgess being swapped for Matt Clarke whilst McNulty did everything but score. It certainly bodes well for the visit of Hartlepool next week.

For now, Pompey fans can look ahead with some excitement to tomorrow's FA Cup draw although in honesty the possibility of a naff draw is greater than a plum one. Whilst it would be great to pull out one of the big clubs it's more likely that Portsmouth could be paired with someone uninspiring like Burnley or Stoke.

Still, as long as ball 48 doesn't meet ball 36 then all will be fine!

Pompey Player Ratings

Brian Murphy: 6 - Little to do despite nervy moment at the end.

Ben Davies: 7 - Typically good showing.

Matt Clarke: 7 - Solid return to the side.

Adam Webster: 7 - Continues to look accomplished.

Enda Stevens: 7 - Well-balanced performance.

Michael Doyle: 7 - Battled well.

Danny Hollands: 6 - Still fails to stand out.

Gareth Evans: 6 - Average.

Kyle Bennett: 6 - Lively at times.

Adam McGurk: 7 - Got the crucial goal but should have had another.

Marc McNulty: 7 - Goal only thing missing from his game.


Alex Bass

Brandan Haunstrup

Christian Burgess (Bennett 90): N/A - Change to ensure no late goal conceded.

Rommy Boco

Adam Barton

Conor Chaplin (McNulty 90): N/A - No time.

Jayden Stockley (McGurk 75): N/A - Good to see him back after so long out.