John Marquis to the rescue for Portsmouth as they close in on the play-offs with AFC Wimbledon win

Super sub John Marquis rescued victory for Pompey as they moved to within goal difference of the play-off places.

Saturday, 11th January 2020, 2:54 pm
Updated Saturday, 11th January 2020, 6:35 pm

Kenny Jackett’s second-half change paid off as the striker grabbed his eight goal of the season to help his side to a 2-1 win at Fratton Park.

Marquis’ header did the damage as he cancelled out Joe Pigott’s second-half leveller after Marcus Harness put the Blues in front in a dominant first-half display.

That kept up their unbeaten start to 2020 and ensured they maintained their unbeaten league record at Fratton Park in front of crowd of 18,417.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Pompey spent long periods of the game on top against the strugglers who had Scott Wagstaff sent off for two yellow cards.

But they still had to turn to Marquis after Pigott’s goal arrived completely out of the blue after 62 minutes.

There was a pleasant surprise as Jack Whatmough returned on the bench, as Jackett opted to start Alex Bass ahead of Craig MacGillivray.

Ben Close was the man who made way for Cameron McGeehan as he made his bow following the 24-year-old’s arrival from Barnsley this week.

John Marquis celebrates his winner

The first chance arrived for the visitors as Rod McDonald put a corner narrowly wide with a shot on the turn after five minutes.

McGeehan was a whisker away from a goal on his bow four minutes later as we whistled a 20-yard daisycutter narrowly past the post.

The deadlock was broken after 20 minutes when some good forward passing from Sean Raggett got Pompey on the front foot. Cannon then drove forward and freed Harness who rifled home an emphatic angled finish.

Harness whistled another drive just over the top before Steve Seddon whistled a free-kick from 25 yards narrowly over the top, with Pompey’s dominance increasing as the half wore on.

Pompey continued on the front foot after the restart and Curtis blitzed a 25 yarder at goal which Nathan Trott did well to tip over after 51 minutes.

McDonald then slashed a corner over at the back post in a rare chance for the visitors.

Fratton Park was stunned after 62 minutes when the visitors level against the run of play as Pigott smashed a volley home from a few yards from Mitch Pinnock’s cross.

Murmurs of discontent were soon audible after the leveller before John Marquis and Brandon Haunstrup were sent on for James Bolton and Andy Cannon.

That change paid off as Marquis restored Pompey’s lead with 11 minutes left as he glanced home Curtis’ pinpoint cross.

Sub Scott Wagstaff was sent off minutes later as he picked up a second yellow card for a lunge on Seddon.

And Pompey held on comfortably through five minutes to secure the points.