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Walsall 2 v 3 Portsmouth
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 12th March 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Pompey's attacking shake-up gets its reward
Wednesday, 13th Mar 2019 12:36 by staff

Kenny Jackett shook things up in attack as Pompey looked to put defeat at Charlton behind them at Walsall - and it paid dividends.

As well as losing Ronan Curtis to a freak finger injury the boss also dropped Gareth Evans and Oli Hawkins, with Brett Pitman, Omar Bogle and Viv Solomon-Otabor all coming into the starting line-up.

It worked a treat with the three who came in all scoring, and Pitman in particular outstanding in earning Pompey their first away win in League One in 2019.

Pitman fired Pompey ahead from the spot on 13 minutes after Nathan Thompson was shoved in the box, and it was 2-0 on 25 minutes when Bogle latched on to a goal kick by Craig MacGillivray and lifted it over Liam Roberts and - just - in.

Pitman was involved again in Pompey's third with a pass to Jamal Lowe that allowed him to cross low for Solomon-Otabor to convert.

Jon Guthrie made the Blues sweat, if only briefly, by heading in one corner then deflecting in another - but the second strike was almost the last touch of the game and the points were Pompey's.

Boss Jackett told the club website: 'I really did think that our attacking players were a real threat and they got us the goals that won the game. I’d been looking for the right combinations in those number nine and 10 positions. Brett has worked hard to get back into the team in a slightly deeper role.

'When you’ve got a pacier forward – and we saw that from Omar with the second goal – he can use his experience to link play, while there was nobody better to take that penalty. It was a competitive game on a tricky pitch and a totally different encounter to the Charlton one at the weekend.'

Pompey: MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Close; Lowe, Pitman (Walkes 86), Solomon-Otabor; Bogle (Vaughan 74). Subs not used: Bass, Haunstrup, Donohue, Evans, Hawkins

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 4,097 (598 Pompey fans)


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