Pompey Chimes Too Loud For City

‎PORTSMOUTH FC 2-1 COVENTRY CITY
 
City: Burge, Willis (Devon Kelly-Evans 73), Ricketts (Finch 79, Johnson, (Martin 55),Dion Kelly-Evans, O'Brien (Stevenson 68), Fleck (Harries 79), Vincelot (Lawton 69) G.Thomas , Maddison (Swanson 55) Tudgay (Lameiras 46). SNU Charles-Cook, Sambou, Shipley
 
Portsmouth: Jones (Poke 82). Van der Ruijk (Davies 68), Paul Robinson (Webster 57), Clarke (Burgess) Stevens (Haunstrup), Hollands (Close 68) .Atangana (Doyle 68), Naismith, Chaplin (Bennett 68) Evans, T. Robinson (Stockley 63) SNU Tubbs
 
HT PFC 2-0 CCFC FT PFC 2-1 CCFC
Goals Conor Chaplain 4, Gareth Evans 44, George Thomas 53
 
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Coventry City scored a cracking goal but that was all the fifty or so City supporters had to cheer as the Sky Blues went down to a 2-1 defeat at Portsmouth.
 
A midweek pre-season game not on a club's proper ground was for many not an option so it was a hardcore support that made it down to West Leigh Park to see the Sky Blues take on Portsmouth managed by former City midfielder Paul Cook, a man, quite a few City supporters would not mind having as manager.
 
City with manager Tony Mowbray, tonight, in a red polo shirt, started with Reda Johnson back in defence, whilst Paul Cook left former Sky Blue midfielder Michael Doyle on the bench.
 
There was no segregation at all in place and this was a proper football day out, with supporters drinking together before the game and standing together watching the match.
 
The City fans, probably twenty of whom had travelled from Cov by car or train, behind the goal were just being advised how poor the team was when Portsmouth were awarded a corner.
 
The flag kick came over and the City defence stood as Conor Chaplain bundled in from close range to give Portsmouth the lead in the fourth minute.
 
Eight minutes later and City managed their first meaningful shot on target when George Thomas, got in a right footed volley which Jones had to dive high to his left to save.
 
As the banter between the City and Portsmouth fans continued, Pompey won a corner as did the Sky Blues did in the 23rd minute.
 
Six minutes later and a free kick was harmlessly headed at Jones by Johnson, who was under pressure from a defender. Things changed on the terrace behind the goal and what was banter started turning into abuse.
 
It was getting quite heated and not helped by the actions of an individual who is known by many regulars at away games. 
 
But enter Jon Westwood, the celebrity Portsmouth fan, who was called in by two police officers. Jon, in his outrageous costume, with comical shoes, dreadlocks and tattoos, rang his bell and pretty soon both sets of fans were back having a community sing song and two sets of football supporters got back on with supporting their teams, something which was appreciated by a number of City players on the final whistle.
 
Tudgay got in a header for a City team which was able to get down the left flank and hold the midfield through Fleck and Vincelot but not cause Jones in the Pompey goal too much concern.
 
Paul Cook's side always looked capable of a second and after Reda Johnson cleared two attacks and on the stroke of half time, there was an attack down City's left and Gareth Evans calmly stroked the ball past Lee Burge to send City in at the break two goals down.
 
The concern amongst the City supporters in the adjacent pub at half-time was how lightweight City were up front and that Tony Mowbray should as a matter of urgency be looking to bring in one maybe two strikers.
 
Mowbray, who thanked the City supporters who had travelled to Havant, must have been thinking along the same lines and for the second half, Marcus Tudgay was replaced by trialist Ruben Lameiras.
 
James Maddison, playing in a more left sided role, fired wide and Dion Kelly-Evans won City a 48th minute corner and in their next attack, City were on the scoresheet in the 53rd minute when George Thomas got through and sent an audacious lob over Jones and into the net, delighting those who had travelled.
 
Mowbray, was clearly minded to give his players minutes and Danny Swanson and Arron Martin were sent on in the 55th minute, two minutes after Thomas had scored.
 
Jordan Willis got his timing right for once to make a brave tackle, which kept City in it before Lee Burge had to make a great save diving to his right in the 64th minute to thwart another Pompey raid on the City goal.
 
With the tannoy announcer starting to earn his fee as both sides made changes for the last twenty or so minutes, with Michael Doyle getting twenty minutes and good applause from the City support behind the goal City were defending as did the City players who were introduced.
 
City won a 77th minute corner, through Lameiras who again showed plenty of promise. Enough to be what City need, the jury is undecided as the Portuguese forward was not being as raved about as he was at Nuneaton by the City support.
 
When the corner kick finally came over, Arron Martin got in a header and the substitute keeper made a great save to somehow push his header over the bar.
 
Mowbray replaced Ricketts and John Fleck who had worked hard making some good tackles which was enough for me to name him as my man of the match, and Devon Kelly-Evans got a run out as City went down to defeat.
 
Unfortunately, as we made our way out of the ground, one Portsmouth fan was lying on the ground outside looking like he had a seizure. An ambulance was called and we hope that he makes a speedy recovery.