Promotion charge firing again as Portsmouth climb back into play-offs with MK Dons victory

Pompey fired themselves back into the play-off places as they got their promotion charge back on track with a 3-1 win over MK Dons.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 9:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 10:00 pm
John Marquis celebrates
John Marquis celebrates

Two second-half goals did the damage as John Marquis grabbed his 14th goal of the season before Marcus Harness sealed it late on, as the Blues got their ninth Fratton Park win on the bounce.

Andy Cannon hit his first goal for Kenny Jackett’s men in front of a crowd of 16,577 before Alex Gilbey levelled in first-half stoppage time, firing in after Alex Bass saved his penalty.

The key moment came four minutes after the restart from Marquis on a night when Jackett made five changes to his side and brought Brett Pitman on to his bench from the cold.

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Carlton Morris was sent off with time running out before Harness slotted home as Pomey saw out the win to move to fifth in the table – five points off leaders Rotherham with a game in hand.

It took little time for Cannon to make an impression on his return to the side as the midfielder opened the scoring in the fourth minute, slotting home after Ryan Williams intercepted a pass and teed up the midfielder.

Alex Bass saved Pompey four minutes later as he kept out Alex Gilbey’s effort with the midfielder clean through.

Then Bass was equal to in-form Rhys Healey’s free-kick four minutes play before play became disjointed.

Cannon took a whack which looked like it was going to end his night, but the midfielder soldiered on before John Marquis missed a great chance for a second in the 23rd minute as Lee Nicholls saved his finish from Cannon’s threaded pass.

The game sparked to life in first-half stoppage time as Ross McCrorie chopped down Healey in the box. There was no argument over the penalty but Bass saved Gilbey’s effort before he slammed in the loose ball.

Then Marquis had a strong call for a spot-kick as he went to ground in the box under the attentions of George Williams. Ref Kevin Johnson thought otherwise though and left the field at the break with the ire of the Fratton faithful ringing in his ears.

The second half started as the first ended with a frenetic pace to proceedings, as first Burgess made a great last-ditch to deny Gilbey a clear shot at goal from 10 yards.

Pompey then restored their lead in the 49th minute as Marquis applied the finish from McCrorie’s cross, with the ball going in via a ricochet and the post.

Burgess then took a yellow for the team as he scythed down the breaking Gilbey before Jordan Moore-Taylor flashed a header wide from a free-kick.

Bass made another smart stop to keep out Healey’s volley from a deep position with 21 minutes remaining.

The action kept up to the death as Carlton Morris walked with three minutes left for a professional foul on Marquis.

Then Sean Raggett won a stoppage-time header in the box to allow Harness to apply the finish and send the Fratton faithful home happy.