Brett Pitman gives Portsmouth a hard-fought warm-up win over Hawks

Action from today's game at Westleigh Park
Action from today's game at Westleigh Park
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Brett Pitman finish 10 minutes from time gave Pompey a 2-1 pre-season victory at Hawks.

Sub Pitman produced a typical piece of poaching after decent play from Brandon Haunstrup to edge the Blues home in a competitive afternoon in the sunshine at Westleigh Park in front of a bumper crowd of 3,500.

Gareth Evans’ penalty just before the break was cancelled out by an excellent finish from former Pompey triallist Roarie Deacon 11 minutes after the restart.

It was a much harder challenge for Kenny Jackett’s men after their 11-0 romp against UCD on Wednesday night.

And there was enough seen from a Hawks side with a healthy smattering of league experience to suggest they have much to look forward to next season under new boss Paul Doswell.

The opening was a tale of Pompey pressure but the Blues failed to create a clear openings from their play.

Hawks were having their moments, however, and won a succession of corners as well as Wes Fogden having a looped effort saved by Craig MacGillivray in the 36th minute.

That came seconds after Louis Dennis’ flying header was kept out by Ross Worner, before Ellis Harrison opted for a cutback which was cleared after rounding the Hawks keeper and being forced wide.

The only goal of the half arrived just before the break as Harrison was pulled down in the box by a tug on the shoulder from Dean Beckwith, allowing Evans to thump home his spot-kick.

The home side were level in the 56th minute as sub Chris Paul drove forward and fed Deacon who produced a piece of trickery before burying a low drive beyond MacGillivray.

Hawks should’ve been in front nine minutes later when Wes Fogden danced into the box and beat two blue shirts before MacGillivray smothered his finish.

It was sub Pitman who did the damage 10 minutes from time as he pushed his finish past Worner after fine work and perseverance from Brandon Haunstrup.

That was the last major action of an afternoon which proved a useful test for Pompey while encouraging the Hawks fans for the season ahead.