Portsmouth 4 Gillingham 0

Pompey opened their Checkatrade Trophy campaign in cruise control with a 4-0 win over Gillingham.

Tuesday, 4th September 2018, 9:48 pm
Updated Wednesday, 5th September 2018, 7:24 am
Matt Clarke is congratulated after putting Pompey in front. Picture: Robin Jones/Digital South

First-half efforts from Matt Clarke and Ben Close were supplemented by Brett Pitman's penalty and David Wheeler's late finish after the restart.

The Blues also gave debuts to Andre Green and Joe Mason in front of a crowd of 2,011 at Fratton Park.

The win made it three clean sheets on the bounce and just four goals conceded from eight games this term.

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Kenny Jackett's side were comfortable and the strength of his starting XI, after making 10 changes from the Plymouth win, spoke of the squad depth he now possesses.

The low quality on offer in the first half was befitting of the much-maligned competition.

That was before the game sparked to life with quickfire goals from Close and Clarke.

Adam May's 41st-minute corner was headed home by Clarke after keeper Tom Hadler missed the ball.

Then Close took his shot early from the edge of the box after Nathan Thompson's cutback to beat Hadler in the 43rd minute.

Before that, Brett Pitman's' ninth-minute free-kick coming back off the bar was the only action of note.

Pitman got his goal account up and running in the 55th minute from the penalty spot, however after Andre Green was hauled down by Aaron Simpson.

Pompey were comfortable through to the final whistle with Hadler's 78th-minute save, after David Wheeler had danced into the box, the best of the late chances.

That was until Wheeler got his goal in the 90th minute, slotting in after fine play from Mason before his shot was blocked.