Pompey Progress After Shootout Win
Torquay United 0 Portsmouth 0 (Portsmouth win 5-3 on penalties)
Pompey have progressed to the next round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy after a penalty shootout victory over Torquay at Plainmoor.
Guy Whittingham decided to start Ryan Bird up front on his own with Ricky Holmes playing just behind him in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
Listening to the radio commentary, it seemed like Pompey dominated possession in the first half but were playing at a casual pace and didn't create too many chances. Both centre backs missed headers whilst Bird wasted a couple of semi-good chances too, but the hosts had offered nothing.
Pompey upped the tempo in the second half and won some corners but couldn't convert them. In contrast the home supporters gave an ironic cheer when they won their first corner of the match midway in the second half.
There was some good build up play from Guy Whittingham's men as Holmes whipped in a dangerous cross that nobody could get on the end of. Goalkeeper Martin Rice produced an outstanding save to deny Sonny Bradley too.
Torquay's only real chances came late on as John Sullivan saved a rasping strike from namesake Daniel Sullivan and Ben Harding's long range drive flew wide as the game went straight to a penalty shootout after the final whistle.
Bradley, Wallace and Holmes all scored with Hawley and Ball scoring for Torquay before Mansell "Quashie'ed" his spot kick over the bar to give Pompey the advantage. Craddock scored, Tonge replied and then Yassin Moutaouakil produced a cheeky Panenka chip over Rice to score the final penalty and send Pompey through.
From what it seemed, David Connolly and Patrick Agyemang were missed as neither Bird or Craddock were particularly threatening. Pompey did keep possession well and never really looked like conceding to a shot-shy Torquay side but fans will be concerned about the lack of firepower heading into Saturday's game with Cheltenham.
But still, tonight's tricky obstacle was navigated safely and now Portsmouth are only four wins away from another trip to Wembley. The draw for the next round of the JPT will take place on Soccer AM on Saturday.
Source: Fratton Faithful
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