Marcus Harness earns gutsy Portsmouth point at Accrington

Marcus Harness salvaged a point as they picked up a 2-2 draw at Accrington in an engrossing clash.

Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 4:57 pm
Updated Saturday, 23rd October 2021, 4:59 pm
Ronan Curtis celebrates his goal today. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/
Ronan Curtis celebrates his goal today. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/

It looked like the Blues would be left to rue missed chances as Denmead lad Matt Butcher put his side in front with 12 minutes left.

But Harness struck late on, after a first half finish from Ronan Curtis was cancelled out after the restart by Harry Pell.

Danny Cowley’s side racked up the chances with 19 shots on goal, but couldn’t make turn enough of those efforts into a tangible reward.

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Still, the Blues gave a risposte to those doubting their resolve as they faced Accrington’s physical challenge head on and showed resolve.

Pompey made two changes as Connor Ogilvie and Reeco Hackett came in Kieron Freeman and Ryan Tunnicliffe, as Cowley switched to a 4-2-3-1.

The Blues were quickly out of the blocks as Marcus Harness saw his early 20 yarder tipped over by Toby Savin.

A stringing Williams drive was then kept out by the Accrington keeper 10 minutes later, before he impressively smothered John Marquis’ finish.

The keeper would’ve have been disappointed with his efforts to keep out Ronan Curtis 20-yard drive after 18 minutes, which creeped through the keeper and into the net.

The home side’s best effort of the half came eight minutes later when Colby Bishop fired just wide at the near post under pressure from Sean Raggett.

Pompey were more than matching the home side’s physicality, however, and saw Harness fired not too far over before the break.

The positive play from the visitors continued after the restart, as Hackett’s drive from just inside the box was parried in the 46th minute.

The home side were level four minutes later, as Sean McConville’s corner was first met by Ross Sykes and then diverted past Bazunu by Pell’s close-range header.

The game was now switching from end to end as first Raggett produced an outstanding last-ditch tackle to deny Colby Bishop what looked a certain goal.

Then Curtis dispossessed Savin as he charged from the box. The winger’s effort from the touchline was on target but Butcher slid in and his clearance cannoned off the post and away to safety.

Harness couldn’t touch in Marquis’ cross shot before missing a one on one as the visitors clocked up the chances.

Pompey were punished for failing to take their openings with 12 minutes left, as a long ball forward was played to Butcher by McConville and he lifted his finish over Bazunu.

But the Blues were level with three minutes left as Harness prodded home Marquis’ crossshot.

That was enough to earn Pompey a point on an afternoon of entertaining football.