Portsmouth 1 Crawley Town 0…

Portsmouth made heavy work of beating League 2 Crawley, at a sparce Fratton Park last night in the Leasing.com Trophy group match.

Just under 4,000 fans were at Fratton Park for the match.

Portsmouth, fielded a strong starting 11, which included a recall for summer signing James Bolton and a debut for home grown youngster, Luke Maloney. Alex Bass, enjoyed a rare start in goal, due to regular keeper, Craig MacGillivray’s Scotland call up.

Crawley for their part, fielded a strong side which has enjoyed a good start in League 2.

Portsmouth, enjoyed the majority of possession and created some good chances against a resolute and strong Crawley defending.

Crawley for their part, were happy to soak up the pressure, hitting Pompey on the counter attack and indeed it was they who had more chances to threaten the Portsmouth goal, with Alex Bass called upon to make a couple of good saves, which made nervy watching for the Fratton faithful.

Gareth Evans, who was a substitute for Portsmouth on the road in their previous match at Blackpool, was recalled to the side for this match and started on the left side of the midfield 4 Portsmouth started with, compared to their usual 4-2-3-1 formation.

In fact, it might have been this slight tweak to their formation, which made Pompey at times, slightly unsure with some of their passing and attack play in the final third.

Just before half-time, Evans was clattered hard from behind, as he jumped for a header and appeared to be knocked out, as he fell to the floor face down and apparently motionless, requiring several minutes of treatment, before rising to his feet to continue

Half Time: Portsmouth 0 Crawley Town 0

The second-half started with an immediate substitution for Portsmouth with Brett Pitman replacing Evans, as Portsmouth reverted to their more familiar and trusted 4-2-3-1 formation.

Almost immediately the tempo was upped with Portsmouth mounting attacks down the Crawley left flank, and Crawleys keeper was tested several times.

Crawley for their part were penned in their own half for the majority of the second-half, as Portsmouth, cut through the ranks time and again, but without creating any real chances.

That changed however, in the 80th minute when from a corner, Pitman lost his marker and found the back of the net with one of his trademark strikes.

Portsmouth 1 Crawley Town 0

Both teams carried on with the remaining minutes in much the same way, that the previous 30 minutes had gone and the attacks that Crawley did manage, came to nothing.

The final score was Portsmouth 1-0 Crawley Town.

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