Portsmouth one win away from Wembley return after 2-1 victory over Scunthorpe in EFL Trophy

Pompey are just one victory from a Wembley return after moving into the EFL Trophy semi-finals following their triumph against Scunthorpe.

Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:39 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st January 2020, 9:52 pm
Quarter Final Football League Trophy - Portsmouth vs Scunthorpe United - 21/01/2020 Portsmouth's John Marquis celebrates scoring his first goal of the match

Goals from John Marquis and Cameron McGeehan either side of half-time delivered the Blues a 2-1 win in the last-eight tie at Fratton Park.

It means Kenny Jackett's men are on the cusp of another outing at the national stadium, following success in the final last year against Sunderland.

Pompey made seven changes from Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Bolton.

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The standout was Jack Whatmough coming in for his first start for almost a year, having recovered from a serious knee injury.

There was also a recall for Craig MacGillivray in goal in the place of Alex Bass.

Scunthorpe mustered the first chance on goal in just the first minute but Abo Eisa's shot was partially blocked by Whatmough, before MacGillivray gathered with ease.

The Blues then started to get on the front foot and Gareth Evans, named skipper for the night, stung the palms of Iron keeper Rory Watson after being played in by Marcus Harness on eight minutes.

The deadlock was broken just four minutes later - and it went the way of Pompey.

Ryan Williams’ fizzing pass was well controlled by Marquis, who spun wonderfully before finishing into the far corner.

Whatmough was looking assured on his comeback and displayed his passing prowess with a superb cross-field ball that picked out Brandon Haunstrup.

Jackett’s men continued to enjoy the better opportunities and in the 27th minute McGeehan almost had his maiden goal for the club.

However, his effort trickled just the wrong side of the post.

Then with six minutes before half-time Evans' lobbed pass set Marquis on his way, although Watson was equal to the striker’s half-volley.

Scunthorpe finally tested MacGillivray on 42 minutes when he made a fine save to thwart James Perch's curling effort.

There was a disappointing moment for the hosts just four minutes into the second half when James Bolton limped off with an injury and was replaced by Christian Burgess.

And Pompey struggled to get hold of the ball as Paul Hurst’s men searched for an equaliser.

In the 57th minute Eisa tried his luck from 30 yards but his effort flew just wide of the top left-hand corner.

Yet it would be Eisa who'd net the Iron’s leveller on 62 minutes, when he cut back on the edge of the box before bending a right-footed shot into the far corner.

The Blues would quickly regain their lead just four minutes later, though.

Harness broke with pace and fed in McGeehan, who took one touch before drilling an angled effort home.

Then moments later Marquis should have increased the hosts' advantage.

Harness got to the right-hand byline and pulled the ball back, but the ex-Doncaster man’s shot was down the keeper’s throat.

The League Two side looked to get back into the game by introducing Kevin van Veen, and with 10 minutes remaining he almost conjured the equaliser.

The Dutchman got to the byline and pulled back a cross, yet two green shirts were unable to get on the end of it.

And on 85 minutes Junior Brown was lurking in the box to meet a deep cross, although his effort ran harmlessly into the arms of MacGillivray.

There were four nervy minutes of added-time for Pompey to hold on - and that they did.

The full-time whistle was met with joyous scenes as the Fratton faithful dream of another memorable day out to Wembley.

Pompey: MacGillivray, Bolton (Burgess 49), Whatmough, Raggett, Haunstrup, Close, McGeehan, Harness (Naylor 88), Evans, Williams, Marquis.

Subs not used: Seddon, Cannon, Hawkins, Hackett-Fairchild.

Scunthorpe: Watson, Lund, Perch, Novak (van Veen 78), Gilliead, Sutton (Miller 89), McGahey, Brown, Eisa, Bedeau, McAtee (Beesin 79)

Subs not used: Collins, Butler, Miller, Rowe, Hornshaw.