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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: PORTSMOUTH (AWAY)

17 September 2019

TEN-man Burton Albion were denied a victory by a late penalty converted by Brett Pitman. It lost the Brewers the three points after they had taken a 2-0 lead only to lose John-Joe O'Toole for two bookable offences.

Burton Albion went into the game on the back of a six-game unbeaten run and were looking to avenge the 2-1 defeat at the Pirelli Stadium in April – when a controversial late goal was awarded to the visitors.

The Brewers made two changes from the team that drew 0-0 with Coventry.

Liam Boyce dropped to the bench due to a hamstring niggle that saw him withdrawn against the Sky Blues. Scott Fraser also came off with a dead leg and was also only fit for the bench

Nathan Broadhead and Joe Sbarra came into the starting line-up to replace them.

Former Brewer Tom Naylor captained Pompey but Marcus Harness who moved to Fratton Park in the summer missed the game through injury.

Portsmouth hadn’t played a League One game since August 31 and had only played five games going into the fixture.

They certainly looked sluggish in the opening ten minutes as Albion flew out of the traps and grabbed two early goals.

First Joe Sbarra got on the scoresheet after only three minutes slotting home expertly with his left foot. Lucas Akins ran powerfully at the Portsmouth backline and passed to Kieran Wallace who pulled the ball back for Sbarra to finish.

Wallace doubled the lead on six minutes when he tried his luck from 25 yards – the ball taking a deflection off Paul Downing before finding the bottom corner of the net.

Portsmouth rolled up their sleeves and tried to work their way back into the game and John-Joe O’Toole was booked when he held back John Marquis. That booking was to prove crucial when O’Toole received a second yellow as he was again left stranded and forced to foul Marquis again.

Down to ten men, the Brewers brought on Colin Daniel for Sbarra and were then forced to go on the defensive.

Portsmouth grabbed a lifeline on 38 minutes when Ronan Curtis turned the ball in after Kieran O’Hara could not hold a Marquis header.

Half-time: 1-2

Pompey were quickly back on the attack after the break with O’Hara brilliantly tipping over a Curtis header on 50 minutes.

Albion had to battle manfully but still managed to push forward at times with Akins ploughing a loan furrow up front.

There was a further worry for Albion when Daniel suffered a head injury on the hour and had to be patched up with a bandage.

Stephen Quinn came close for Albion with a super strike on the volley from 25 yards that whistled wide.

O’Hara pulled off a brilliant one-handed save to deny Curtis whose header looked certain to go in.

And Marquis wasted a golden chance with four minutes left blasting wide after finding acres of space in the box.

But Pompey snatched a draw after added time seemed to be up after being awarded a penalty from a corner after Jake Buxton was judged to have pushed Ellis Harrison. The spot kick was converted by Pitman.

Cruel for the Brewers who had seemed to have seen the game out.


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