Portsmouth ease to Crawley win as Wigan target Jamal Lowe is left on the bench

Gareth Evans powers in his header today against Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans powers in his header today against Crawley. Picture: Joe Pepler
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A goal in each half gave Pompey a 2-1 warm-up win at Crawley today.

A thunderous header from Gareth Evans and strike from Tom Naylor six minutes after the restart did the damage.

Sub Mason Bloomfield’s peach of a hit from 20 yards gave the home side a consolation with 10 minutes left.

Pompey’s attacking quartet looked bright and full of vim with the new season beginning next week at Shrewsbury.

But there was no game time for Jamal Lowe, with the winger travelling but not involved amid doubt over his Pompey future.

Paul Downing was the first to threaten in the 11th minute when he glanced a header off the top of the bar from Evans’ corner.

The first real piece of quality passing from Pompey resulted in a goal nine minutes later, after Tom Naylor zipped a pass into Marcus Harness who crossed for Evans to power a header into the roof of the net.

Tom Dallison was required to clear off the line in the 31st minute, after Naylor followed up after Downing’s initial shot was blocked.

That was the last major action of a half in which Pompey’s attacking four of Harness, Evans, Ronan Curtis and Ellis Harrison looked full of energy.

Pompey doubled their lead six minutes after the restart, as the ball was recycled from a corner and Lee Brown teed up Tom Naylor who swept a first-time shot through Glenn Morris from the edge of the box.

Sub Nathan Ferguson mustered the home side’s first decent effort after 55 minutes when Craig MacGillivray kept out his low, angled drive.

David Sesay got a foot in to deny Evans a tap-in from Harrison’s pass as the striker got behind the Crawley defence after 60 minutes.

Former Hawks striker Ollie Palmer should have pulled one back three minutes later but headed Filipe Morais’ cross wide from a couple of yards out.

Palmer was then denied by MacGillivray as he pushed out the striker’s powerful header from another Morais ball in.

Curtis rashly fired over in the 67th minute after a spell of Crawley pressure, when the Irishman had time in the space in the box after positive play from Harness.

Pompey had the ball in the net with 14 minutes left from a Brown corner, but the ref spotted a foul on keeper and former Blues triallist Glenn Morris.

Sub Mason Bloomfield pulled a goal back for the home side with 10 minutes left with a peach of a clean hit from 20 yards.

But that was the last major action of the day in front of a crowd of 1,777 and 688 travelling fans.