Pompey reserves held to goalless draw by Wolves

POMPEY RESERVES played out a goalless draw with Wolves in their latest Premier League Cup outing.

Monday, 14th November 2016, 9:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 5:00 pm
Jack Whatmough heads clear for Pompey against Wolves at Westleigh Park. Picture: Colin Farmery

In a game of few goal-scoring opportunities, Ian Foster’s men looked more likely to score, particularly during a dominant second half.

Yet although Ben Close struck the inside of the post, the hosts failed to register against their Championship opponents.

And the outcome was a successive 0-0 scoreline at the group stage of the under-23 competition, having played Norwich previously.

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Striker Michael Smith was the notable presence among a youthful Pompey side containing six defenders.

Pompey’s desire to given match minutes to fringe players ensured Adam Buxton played in front of the back four and fellow right-back Calvin Davies operated on the left-hand side of midfield.

There was also another game for Drew Talbot, as he continues his comeback from the hamstring problem picked up earlier in the campaign.

During an uneventful opening, it wasn’t until the 23rd minute before there was a goal opportunity, Wolves’ Connor Ronan’s 25-yard free-kick taken at the second attempt by Liam O’Brien.

Other than that moment, there was little to entertain the crowd during the opening 45 minutes with both sides struggling to create.

On 53 minutes a superb diagonal pass from Buxton released Smith down the right channel and he shrugged off Regan Upton’s attempts to pull him back to fire an angled shot which was tipped around the far post.

From the resulting corner, Jack Whatmough’s header flashed past the far post for the best moments of the match so far.

Pompey made their first change on 56 minutes with Jez Bedford replacing Davies.

The inside of the far post then denied the Blues, Smith’s sublime backheel latched onto by Ben Close, whose angled drive cannoned off the woodwork.

The hosts were dominating the second half and May curled a left-foot shot wide of the far post after cutting in from the right.

As full-time approached, Ronan struck a powerful effort straight at Liam O’Brien which the keeper comfortably gathered as the match ended all square.

Pompey: O’Brien, Talbot, Whatmough, Hyam, Haunstrup (70 mins, McDowell), Buxton, Oxlade-Chamberlain, May (82 mins, Mayes), Close, C.Davies (56 mins, Bedford), Smith.

Subs not used; Bass, Widdrington.

Attendance: 250