Portsmouth 1-1 FC Utrecht

Pompey ended their pre-season campaign with a 1-1 draw against FC Utrecht at Fratton Park.

Saturday, 28th July 2018, 5:36 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th July 2018, 6:29 pm
Anton Walkes scored for Pompey on his return to Fratton Park Picture: Ben Queenborough
Anton Walkes scored for Pompey on his return to Fratton Park Picture: Ben Queenborough

Anton Walkes netted a superb goal for Kenny Jackett's troops in the first half, cancelling out Sean Klailber's thunderbolt for the Dutch visitors.

It was an encouraging performance from the Blues, who were better than their Eredivisie opponents for the majority.

After a slow start to the friendly, the visitors took the lead on 15 minutes through an unstoppable stop strike from Klaiber.

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The Utrecht right-back's thunderous shot from 30 yards flew into the far corner of the neth, leaving home keeper Craig MacGillivray with no chance.

Pompey responded well, though, with Curtis Ronan missing a gilt-edged header, after meeting Tom Naylor's free-kick at the back post on the half-an-hour mark.

MacGillivray made a decent stop to his left to deny Sander van de Streek three minutes later, before Matt Clarke headed over Brandon Haunstrup's free-kick with the goal at his mercy.

However, Jackett's troops got their reward for their pressure a minute before half-time.

Brett Pitman laid the ball off for Walkes on the outside of the box box and his right-footed shot found the top corner of the visitors' net.

The Blues started the second period in the manner they finished the first half.

Two minutes after the break Clarke yet again headed a good opportunity from a corner over the bar.

And Curtis was left blushing in the 51st minute when he failed to make contact with his head from Haunstrup's cross at the back post.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international missed yet another golden opportunity in the 67th minute, when he was one-on-one with keeper David Jensen.

However, Curtis' angled right-footed shot was tipped around the post by the Utrecht No1.

Utrecht thought they'd won the game in the 82nd minute when substitute Laks Gortler headed home from a corner, but he was penalised for a foul in the process.

The clash represented a sound performance from Jackett's men against an outfit who finished fifth in the Dutch top flight last season.

It sets Pompey up well for the League One curtain-raiser against Luton next week.

The one negative for the Blues was Jamal Lowe limped off midway through the second period. 

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