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Match Reports


20 April 2021

Match Reports


20 April 2021

Swindon town earned a vital three points in the fight against the drop, winning 3-1 against play-off chasing Portsmouth at The County Ground.

Brett Pitman had the home side in front at the break when he finished emphatically after great build up play from Jack Payne.

Pitman then doubled his tally on the hour mark from the Penalty spot after Tyler Smith was fouled by Charlie Daniels in the box.

Portsmouth replied through Ronan Curtis as he lifted the ball over Lee Camp with ten minutes left to play before Smith finished off the tie in stoppage time, thanks to great work from Hallam Hope.

First Half:

Swindon started the better of the two sides, dominating the ball in Portsmouth territory.

Anthony Grant had the first chance of the game. It came from a Matty Palmer corner on the left-hand side, Portsmouth failed to deal with the initial cross, the ball then fell to Grant but he could only direct his effort wide of the post.

Lee Camp was forced into action soon after, Callum Johnson found himself deep in the Swindon half and his ball in found the head of Marcus Harness. Camp was able to deal with the effort comfortably tipping over the bar.

Town’s early pressure finally prevailed, 17 minutes into the game. Jack Payne found himself in a pocket of space on the right side of the 18-yard box, his slick pass found Pitman who took his time before firing the ball into the top corner, giving Craig MacGillivray no chance in the Portsmouth goal.

Pompey rallied instantly, a ball into the box flew over everyone’s head and into the path of Ronan Curtis, he brought it down before volleying goalward, but Camp was equal to it, saving smartly with his feet, the ball comically ricocheting off the head of onrushing John Marquis.

The twenty minutes that followed were quiet in terms of goalmouth action. However, Scott Twine looked to provide some inspiration, he calmly gained control of the ball before turning and hitting an early strike 30-yards from goal, his effort whistling inches past the far post.

The game then sprung back into life and it was the away side’s turn to carve out an opening.  Ryan Williams rushing down the left flank before laying the ball infield for Curtis, he wiggled his way into the box before Matty Palmer flung himself at the Irishman’s shot to block.

Curtis then turned provider shortly after, he rose highest to head the ball down for Marquis but his snapshot did little to trouble the Town goal.

Second Half:

It was a case of role reversals in the opening stages of the second period, Portsmouth looked to get on the front foot, the away team harrying Town into giving the ball away, before Curtis curled the ball wide from 20-yards.

The pressure on the backline was then cranked up a few notches, Ben Close playing an incisive ball from deep that released Marquis through on goal, his shot was blocked but fell to Harness who was denied through a combination of Camp and Grant.

An almost identical chance then fell to Pitman down the other end, it was Smith who was released In behind, he squared the ball to Pitman but MacGillivray was quick off his line to smother the shot at the feet of the striker.

Pitman then atoned for his missed chance just moments after, on the hour mark he plucked the ball out the air acrobatically from a long ball by Camp, he then cutely played in Tyler Smith who was brought down by Daniels for a penalty. Pitman coolly dispatched into the bottom left-hand corner sending the Pompey keeper the wrong way, doubling his tally for the day.

The next opportunity came the way of Curtis once again, he looked to beat Camp at his near post from range, but the experienced shot stopper rolled back the years to fly across goal and tip the ball round the post for a corner.

Smith with his pace and clever movement never gave the Pompey defence a moment of rest, he again was played in behind, this time from Twine, the number 9s striker was tame and did little to trouble MacGillivray.

Seemingly out of nothing Portsmouth pulled a goal back in the 82nd minute, Marquis winning possession and playing a perfectly weighted pass into Curtis, he finally got the goal he had threatened all game lifting the ball over Camp into the net.

Swindon saw the following minutes of the game out with relative comfort, before Smith put the cherry on top of the winning cake. Hallam Hope dispossessed Pompey in midfield, he then released Smith who stayed strong and more importantly on his feet before smashing the ball across goal and into the bottom corner, deservedly adding his name to the scoresheet.

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