Gillingham 0 Pompey 1

Pompey picked up their second away win of the season as they saw off managerless Gillingham 1-0 at Priestfield Stadium.

Sunday, 8th October 2017, 5:29 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:18 am
Pompey's Matty Kennedy celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

Matty Kennedy’s strike 26 seconds into the second half settled matters in front of the Sky cameras, with the on-loan Cardiff City winger doubling his goal tally for the Blues.

It was hardly a game that would have had those sat at home on the edge of their seats.

But it’s the points that would have been at the centre of Blues boss Kenny Jackett’s mind as he saw his side climb to 13th in the League One table and three points off the play-offs.

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The first half proved a drab affair but it still would have given Pompey confidence following last weekend’s defeat at home to Oldham Athletic.

As the away team they looked comfortable, with Kennedy testing keeper Tomas Holy with the game’s opening effort on 16 minutes.

That was followed by a Ben Close shot that was saved by Holy before Kyle Bennett fired a ball across the six-yard box that was begging for a Blues foot to get on the end of it.

The Gills only came to life on 26 minutes when Oli Hawkins, who was once again playing at centre-back, appeared to bring down Sean Clare in the box.

But the referee dismissed the appeals for a penalty and waved play on.

A Matt Clarke stooping header saw Pompey threaten again on 37 minutes.

But neither side looked like breaking the deadlock and the half-time whistle came without either keeper being further tested.

It didn’t take the Blues long to change that statistic in the second half, though.

There was only 26 seconds on the clock following the restart when Kennedy gave Jackett’s side the lead.

Nathan Thompson’s inch-perfect cross was headed against the woodwork by Curtis Main.

The ball rebounded into play and there was the Scot to fire into the net from 10 yards.

Gillingham thought they had equalised on 65 minutes when Josh Parker headed home from close range.

But the referee’s assistant was quick to raise his flag to rule out the effort for offside.

Pompey should have put the game to bed seven minutes later when Main won possession and set Bennett free.

But the forward dallied too much on the ball and when he eventually found Lowe in space, the home side had regrouped to deal with the danger.

Clarke then came within inches of doubling the Blues’ lead but his header from Kennedy’s cross failed to find the target with Holy well beaten.

Second-half injuries to Dion Donohue and Close will be a concern for Jackett.

But those are matters for another day as Pompey celebrated a rare win on the roaad this season.