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Bradford City 0 v 1 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 3rd November 2018 Kick-off 15:00
Valley Parade victory is Evans-sent for Pompey
Saturday, 3rd Nov 2018 20:27 by pompey-fans.com staff

It was never likely to be as one-sided as some were wanting to believe, but Pompey justified their lofty League One position by nicking the only goal of a tough encounter at the home of bottom side Bradford.

The win, courtesy of Gareth Evans' early goal, earned three points that kept the Blues top ahead of in-form Sunderland, with Peterborough dropping out of the top two.

With Jack Whatmough, Anton Walkes and Tom Naylor back in the side, there was a well-respected minute’s silence before kick-off for the upcoming Remembrance Weekend and those who died in the Leicester helicopter tragedy.

After a couple of early half-chances for Bradford, whose start belied their lowly league position, Pompey went ahead on 12 minutes when Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis combined to set up Evans, who drilled the ball home from close range to send the 1,000-plus Pompey fans present wild.

Naylor could have made it 2-0 but headed a corner from Evans the wrong side of the post.

George Miller looked set to equalise for the Bantams until Whatmough denied him with a well-timed tackle, then at the other end Oli Hawkins and Ben Thompson both threatened a second for Pompey.

Craig MacGillivray had to be alert a couple of times, although he also had a comfortable save to make when Eoin Doyle mis-hit an effort.

After the interval, Lowe almost got on the end of a Curtis and Ryan McGowan was booked for crudely halting a Matt Clarke run.

Bradford were still performing better than their position suggested they might and skipper Anthony O’Connor wasted a good headed opportunity.

Ben Close reaplced the scorer and captain with 14 minutes left but still Bradford pressed and Adam Chicksen sent a dangerous ball across the box - before being shown a red card for a second booking when fouling Lowe.

Bradford's best chance of salvation came in stoppage time when Hope Akpan was put through on goal, but his lifting of his shot over the bar summed up the Bantams' day and perhaps their season.

Next up it's FA Cup action for Pompey as they travel to National League outfit Maidenhead next Saturday.

Pompey: MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Brown; B.Thompson, Naylor; Lowe, Evans, (Close 76), Curtis (Wheeler 87); Hawkins. Subs not used: McGee, Burgess, Haunstrup, Mason, Pitman

Referee: Geoff Eltringham

Attendance: 16,393 (1,289 Pompey fans)

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