Second-half super show sees Portsmouth topple league leaders and close in on top six

Two second-half goals saw Pompey put league leaders Wycombe to the sword.

Thursday, 26th December 2019, 1:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 26th December 2019, 5:26 pm
Ronan Curtis and Ben Close celebrate on the way to victory over leaders Wycombe today
Ronan Curtis and Ben Close celebrate on the way to victory over leaders Wycombe today

Ben Close and Ronan Curtis did the damage for Kenny Jackett’s men as they moved to the cusp of the top play-offs places.

The Blues had to keep their heads to come through a scrappy first-half as Gareth Ainsworth’s side slowed the game down at every opportunity.

But they maintained their composure, kept their nerve and were rewarded after the break as they inflicted the visitor’s third league defeat of the season.

Ellis Harrison

The result makes it one defeat in 13 for Pompey as they picked up their 10th clean sheet of the season.

Pompey made the one enforced change from the side who beat Ipswich, as James Bolton replaced the injured Ross McCrorie.

The first-half proved a scrappy, disjointed affair as Wycombe tried their best to break the game up.

Ryan Williams fired a decent, early chance wide from 20 yards before picking up an injury and being replaced by Marcus Harness.

There was little in the way of clear chances, though, although Ben Close whipped a shot just past the far post in the ninth minute.

Wycombe were forced into a change themselves as Curtis Thompson was taken off injured for Alex Pattison in the 27th minute.

Alex Samuel glanced a corner across the face of goal 10 minutes before the break, before Harrison fired a 20 yarder which stung the palms of ex-Blues loanee Ryan Allsop in six minutes of first-half stoppage time.

Pompey were attacking the Fratton End after the restart and had a good sight of goal in the 49th minute when Bolton put a free head over from six yards.

Then Close drove forward and forced a save from Allsop with a 20-yard drive.

The midfielder wasn’t to be denied his goal, though, as he opened the scoring in the 66th minute.

It came from a succession of quick-fire Pompey shots which ended with Close side-stepping a challenge and calmly planting the ball into the net, after Harrison had hit the post.

It got better for the Blues in the 73rd minute as Curtis doubled their lead with a deft finish six yards out after Harness had cross from the right touchline.

Joe Jacobson’s late free-kick came off the post and it was only late goals elsewhere which denied Pompey a spot in the play-offs. with a festive feelgood factor evident at Fratton Park.