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Match Reports

Report | Dale 1-3 Portsmouth

29 September 2018

Aaron Wilbraham’s wonder strike couldn’t prevent table-topping Portsmouth claiming a 3-1 victory over Dale at the Crown Oil Arena.

Wilbraham put Dale in front inside four minutes with a stunning half-volley from 30-yards, but the visitors equalised through Jamal Lowe midway through the first-half.

Goals from Brett Pitman and Matt Clarke after the break secured the three points for Kenny Jackett’s side, who moved to the summit of Sky Bet League One.

Keith Hill made three changes to the starting eleven from last week’s game at Sunderland, with Jimmy McNulty, Jordan Williams and David Perkins coming in.

Dale got off to the perfect start when Wilbraham opened his account for the club in fine style.

He latched on to a bouncing ball 30-yards from goal, sending an exquisite half-volley over the Portsmouth goalkeeper into the far top corner.

Jack Whatmough saw an overhead kick attempt fly well wide for the visitors, before they struck the bar through Nathan Thompson’s fierce effort.

Ollie Rathbone’s attempt to emulate Wilbraham’s goal dropped wide from 40-yards, before Callum Camps well struck free-kick was well held by Craig MacGillivray.

The visitors grabbed their equaliser in the 25th minute when Brett Pitman squared from the left side of the area to Lowe, who converted home from inside the six-yard box.

Dale goalkeeper Josh Lillis denied Ronan Curtis on two occasions as Portsmouth looked to add to their tally before the break, holding a back-post effort comfortably before denying him well from close range.

Sam Hart was forced off with an injury on the stroke of half-time, with Andy Cannon replacing him.

His first action came shortly after the interval, when he saw a drilled cross beaten away by MacGillivray before Rathbone’s follow up effort was high and wide.

Calvin Andrew replaced Williams five minutes in the second period with Dale’s second change, before Ian Henderson’s turn and strike flew narrowly over the bar.

Rathbone saw a shot beaten away at the near post after Cannon’s lay-off from a free-kick on a tight angle, but it was the visitors who grabbed the next goal.

Lee Brown’s deflected cross from the left byline was met Pitman, who stole in at the near post to flick the ball beyond Lillis.

And Pompey grabbed a third inside the final ten minutes. Dale couldn’t clear a Portsmouth corner which ended up falling to Clarke, who smashed home from the corner of the six-yard area.

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