Dominant Portsmouth held to goalless draw with Gillingham

Sean Raggett (struck the post for Pompey against Gillingham. Picture: Graham Hunt
Sean Raggett (struck the post for Pompey against Gillingham. Picture: Graham Hunt
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Pompey were unable to make their dominance count as they were held to a goalless League One draw with Gillingham at Fratton Park. 

Sean Raggett struck the post while Lee Brown missed a gilt-edged opportunity at the death for the Blues. 

Yet despite having the majority of possession and Alex Bass scarcely tested, the Blues couldn't find the breakthrough. 

Kenny Jackett made two changes from last Saturday’s win at Doncaster.

Keepmoat match-winner Ellis Harrison replaced John Marquis up front, while Bass came in for his second Football League appearance due to Craig MacGillivray being away on international duty with Scotland. 

Pompey almost took the lead in the second minute when Gareth Evans’ low right-foot shot was tipped around the post by Jack Bonham.

The visiting keeper was forced to make another fine save on 12 minutes when Ben Close tried his luck from outside the box but had his effort kept out.

It was the Blues who were monopolising possession and asking all the questions.

In the 24th minute, Evans’ dangerous free-kick was dipping into the top corner – only for Bonham to push over the bar.

Gillingham failed to test Bass, with Tom O’Connor and Mikael Ndjoi both firing off target from long range.

The hosts must have thought they’d finally broken the deadlock with 11 minutes of the first half remaining. Another inviting Evans free-kick was met powerfully by Sean Raggett but his header crashes off the post.

And five minutes later it was Harrison who met an Evans delivery but headed over the bar.

Pompey again started on the front foot in the second half, with Harrison digging out a 25-yard shot that Bonham could only parry.

On 54 minutes, Brett Pitman was forced to come off after picking up an injury and replaced by Marquis.

The big-money summer signing went through on goal in the 66th minute when he latched onto Tom Naylor’s pass but was adjudged to have fouled Connor Ogilvie. 

And four minutes later Lee Brown did well to skip past his man but shot wide at the near post when he had options inside the both.

Jackett made a double substitution in attempt to find a breakthrough, with Andy Cannon and Ryan Williams replacing Close and Evans. 

Bass had a quiet afternoon between the posts and was called into action when Brandon Hanlan’s tame shot was down his throat. 

With two minutes remaining, Harrison and Naylor both had shots charged down.

The fourth official indicated five minutes added-time – and Pompey missed a golden chance at the death.

Williams’ cross found it's way to Brown at the back stick but he flashed his shot narrowly wide. 

The Blues will undoubtedly see it as two points dropped, although they extended their unbeaten streak in League One to three matches. 

Pompey: Bass, Bolton, Burgess, Raggett, Brown, Harness, Naylor, Close (Cannon 75), Evans (Williams 75), Pitman (Marquis 54), Harrison

Subs not used: McGee, Downing, Haunstrup, Curtis.

Gillingham: Bonham, Tucker, Ehmer, Ogilvie, O'Connor, Jones, Byrne, O'Keefe, Jakubiak (Marshall 76), Ndjoli, Hanlan (Hodson 90+5).

Subs not used: Walsh, Mandron, Charles-Cook, Pringle, Lee.