Pompey pain as Notts County deliver first blow on road

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Pompey suffered their first league defeat on the road as they went down 2-1 at Notts County.

Alan Sheehan’s 77th-minute deep free-kick went in without a touch to condemn Paul Cook’s side to the loss.

Kyle Bennett is sent sprawling during today's game at Meadow Lane Picture: Joe Pepler

Kyle Bennett is sent sprawling during today's game at Meadow Lane Picture: Joe Pepler

It was an outcome the Blues didn’t deserve in an entertaining clash between two attacking sides at Meadow Lane.

Caolan Lavery put Pompey in front after 20 minutes before Graham Burke levelled two minutes later.

Kyle Bennnett should have had a second-half penalty after he was fouled by Stanley Aborah, but the decision wasn’t given to the disbelief of 2,000-plus travelling fans.

Then Sheehan’s long free-kick settled it - a goal Pompey will be disappointed to concede.

Pompey created two good chances in the first 10 minutes.

First Adam Webster headed inches wide from Ben Davies’ corner.

Then Adam McGurk’s lovely through ball freed Gareth Evans, but Roy Carroll was equal to his effort.

The home side replied with Izale McLeod and Graham Burke forcing Brian Murphy into two quick-fire stops.

But it was the Blues who took the lead through Lavery after 20 minutes, who guided home Stevens’ cross from a couple of yards after Kyle Bennett’s foray forward.

County’s reply came a couple of minutes later with the defence slow to complete Webster’s headed clearance, allowing Burke to superbly fire home from the edge of the box.

Webster was the width of a post from scoring a phenomenal second after 34 minutes, as he charged half the length of the pitch and beat two challenges before firing off the woodwork.

Edwards then had to be alert to glance Davies’ cross away from the lurking Lavery at the end of a breathless 45 minutes.

The second half didn’t quite match the intensity of the first, but there was still plenty of attacking intent from both sides.

Pompey should have had a penalty after 61 minutes when Aborah took out Bennett in the box, but referee Andy Haines incredibly failed to point to the spot.

Sixteen minutes later County gained the advantage as long free-kick from Alan Sheehan was not dealt with and went straight past Murphy.

Sub Ben Tollitt then had a penalty appeal turned down as Pompey pushed for a leveller.

The goal wouldn’t arrive, however, as the Blues dropped to third in the table.