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Match Reports

Report | Portsmouth 4-1 Dale

13 April 2019

Dale were beaten 4-1 by automatic promotion chasing Portsmouth at Fratton Park in Sky Bet League One.

Oli Hawkins and a Brett Pitman penalty put the home side two goals ahead at the break, but Aaron Wilbraham’s calm finish dragged Dale back into it nine minutes after the break.

Gareth Evans restored his side’s two goal lead with a close-range header, before Jamal Lowe added a fourth with 11 minutes remaining.

Brian Barry-Murphy made two changes to his starting eleven from the midweek win at Accrington Stanley, as Joe Bunney and Ethan Hamilton came in for Kgosi Ntlhe and Jimmy Keohane.

The home side had the first of the chances, with Jamal Lowe and Pitman firing efforts well over, but it was Dale had the best opening in the early stages.

Ryan McLaughlin found Matty Done down the right, whose cross was headed wide of the far post by Ian Henderson from eight yards out.

Hawkins and Ben Close sent efforts straight at Josh Lillis, before Done saw a dipping effort from distance well held by Pompey stopper Craig MacGillivray.

Portsmouth broke the deadlock in the 21st minute, when Lowe beat the Dale defence down the right and crossed for Hawkins, who headed home powerfully at the near post.

Lowe was himself denied by Lillis moments later, as the Dale goalkeeper made a strong save to his right when one-on-one, before Aaron Wilbraham almost scored a fortuitous goal when he charged down MacGillivray’s clearance, but the ball drifted narrowly wide of the upright.

Callum Camps and Hawkins exchanged efforts over, before the latter saw a first-time volley well held by Lillis.

However, the hosts doubled their lead on the stroke of half-time when Pitman converted from the spot, after Ethan Ebanks-Landell had brought down Nathan Thompson inside the area.

Dale began the second period well, with Done firing over and Jim McNulty seeing a header saved, before Wilbraham halved the deficit in the 54th minute.

A great counter attack saw McLaughlin find Done, who turned past his man with the ball falling for Wilbraham, and he converted beneath MacGillivray first time.

However, the hosts restored their lead eight minutes later, when Lowe sent a deep cross which was headed home by substitute Evans from close range.

Dale controlled possession but saw efforts on target from Ethan Hamilton and substitute Bradden Inman comfortably held, before Portsmouth added a fourth 11 minutes from time.

Matt Clarke’s first-time ball over the top of defence was latched on to by Lowe, who rounded the outrushing Lillis and slotted into the empty net.

Lillis parried substitute Omar Bogle’s curling effort, before Brown headed a glorious chance wide at the back post from Lowe’s deep cross with the final chance of the game.

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