Match Report


Wed 02 Jan 13

The U's have beaten Portsmouth 3-2 at Fratton Park in a hard working display down on the south coast.

It made it two wins in a row for the U's as they looked to climb away from the bottom four of League One.  

The game started with a bang, with the U’s taking less than two minutes to open the scoring.

Freddie Sears put in a low cross and Gavin Massey was on hand to sidefoot home.

Two minutes later, it was all square though, as Wallace hooked the ball home from a corner for the home side.

Sears turned scorer on fifteen minutes, netting from the spot after being fouled himself by Sam Sodje.

The first half scoring was completed five minutes later, as Massey got his second and the U’s third with a deflected shot over the keeper.

Portsmouth were having the better of the second half and got a goal back on seventy three minutes when Keene drilled home. 

The U's held on though, having to endure six minutes of injury time at the end of the match, to record a crucial victory and ease slightly further away from the drop zone.

Dunne made two changes to his starting line up, bringing in Freddie Sears and George Porter.

Both made a positive contribution against Walsall as second half substitutes and were rewarded with a start on the South Coast.

Drey Wright and Marcus Bean made way, having to settle for a place on the U’s bench.

Dunne said before the game that he wanted his side to attack from the start and his team certainly did that.

In only the second minute, they were ahead, thanks to Gavin Massey’s finish at the far post.

Freddie Sears had got free on the right hand side and his low cross was sidefooted home by Massey.

The home side didn’t take long to retaliate though, they were level within two minutes.

A corner was pumped to the far post and Jed Wallace hooked it goalwards with the outside of his foot, with the ball going in off the crossbar.

The U’s didn’t look like the setback put them too much out of their stride and were continually looking at ways to attack a vulnerable Pompey defence.

On fifteen minutes, the U’s got their second as Freddie Sears scored from the spot.

Gavin Massey had put Sears in on goal but before he could shoot, Sam Sodje took his legs away and a penalty was given.

Sears dusted himself down and calmly stroked his spot kick home, sending Eastwood the wrong way.

Massey very almost got his second on nineteen minutes, but his clever backheel from Ibehre’s cross went narrowly wide.

A minute later, Massey did get a second for himself and a third for the U’s.

Sears caused problems on the flank again and his cross was headed out to the edge of the box, straight to Massey.

After controlling the ball onto his right foot, Massey let fly with a shot from twenty yards out that took a wicked deflection that took it over and in past Eastwood.

All the attacking was coming from the U’s at this stage and Massey set up Ibehre but the U’s striker’s effort was blocked in the six yard box.

Just before the half hour mark, George Porter got down the right and whipped in a far post cross but Massey was at full stretch and couldn’t hit the target as he slid in.

Portsmouth had a couple of half chances towards the end of the first half, with the first going wide of the U’s goal and the second being headed straight at Sam Walker.

It was a great forty five minutes work from the U’s and they thoroughly deserved their two goal advantage. 

There was a scare at the start of the second half, with a misunderstanding between Josh Thompson and Sam Walker.

Thompson headed past his own keeper as the ball bounced on the edge of the box but the U’s skipper recovered to clear from a couple of yards out.

It was the home side that were having the better of things and on fifty four minutes, Cooper shot over from just inside the area after a great knockdown from a right wing cross.

The home side were pushing for a way back into the game but the U’s were defending solidly.

A challenge in the air led to Josh Thompson and James Keene needing treatment for head injuries.

While they were off the field, Sam Sodje headed wide from a Pompey free kick.

That came on sixty eight minutes and a minute later, Portsmouth boss Guy Whittingham made a double substitution in an attempt to get his side back in contention.

On seventy two minutes, Joe Dunne made his first change, bringing on Marcus Bean for Freddie Sears.

He hadn’t touched the ball before the home side got a goal back, thanks to a good finish from James Keene.

He latched onto a deft ball over Thompson and from an angle, drilled his shot past Walker to make it 3-2.

Another U’s substitution came in the eighty second minute, with Drey Wright replacing George Porter.

It was the other Wright, David, who was next in the action, volleying over from distance as the U’s made a very welcome entry into the Pompey defensive third.

With four minutes to go, Dunne made his third and final substitution, bringing on Andy Bond for Billy Clifford. 

In the last minute of the ninety, Massey shot wide after a great break by Ibehre. 

Seconds later, the fourth official put up the board saying there would be six minutes of injury time. 

But, led by some sensational work by Ibehre in holding the ball up into those dying stages, the U's got over the finishing line and shared a fantastic afternoon's work with their fans on the final whistle.

    Recent Match Reports