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Portsmouth 2 v 1 AFC Wimbledon
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 1st January 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Ronan roars in to save Pompey from dropped points as Dons are downed
Tuesday, 1st Jan 2019 21:35 by staff

Pompey kicked off the new year as they ended the old one - with a win.

Where 2018 ended with a 5-2 triumph at Fleetwood, 2019 began with a 2-1 success at home to AFC Wimbledon. But it was not straightforward.

They led through Jamal Lowe's goal for most of the game but only 15 minutes remained after Kwesi Appiah's brilliant strike levelled the scores.

But the Blues stepped up their game after that and Ronan Curtis headed the winner fom Ben Thompson's cross in front of a relieved Fratton end.

With Gareth Evans and Oli Hawkins back in the side after missing the starting line-up at Fleetwood, Pompey had the best of the first half but after Lowe pounced on six minutes when Tom King could not hold Curtis's shot, they could not turn possession into a second goal.

There were lovely passing moves by the Blues, a couple of which had Wimbledon chasing shadows, but the killer instinct was lacking.

Lowe and Thompson had the best openings but at the break there was a nagging feeling that Pompey could live to regret not putting more daylight in the scoreline.

So it proved as Wimbledon stepped up their game in the second half, enjoying more of the possession and putting the home defence under not a little pressure.

At the other end Lowe sent a close-range header wide and Evans shot straight at the keeper when Curtis found him.

With 15 minutes left the Dons' pressure paid off in style when Appiah unleashed a shot from 25 yards that flew past Craig McGillivray and just inside the post.

Pompey fans feared it was going to be a case of two valuable points dropped but the Blues came on strong and had already tested King a couple more times when Thompson was set free in the box by sub Brett Pitman and sent over a lovely cross that Curtis headed down and in.

There was little chance Pompey were going to surrender another lead and helped by the late introduction of Christian Burgess as an extra defender, they held out with ease to register their 17th win out of 26 League One games to go five points clear of Luton, who could only draw with Barnsley.

Pompey: MacGillivray; Walkes, Whatmough, Clarke, Haunstrup; B.Thompson (Burgess 90+4), Naylor; Lowe, Evans (c) (Close 69), Curtis; Hawkins (Pitman 69). Subs not used: Bass, Donohue, Wheeler, Green

Referee: Antony Coggins

Attendance: 18,732 (634 away fans)


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