Kenny Jackett and Joey Barton meet for the third time as the managers of Portsmouth and Fleetwood Town respectively. The Pompey boss came out on top in both of their previous League 1 meetings.
The game was also a first test for new loan signing Steve Seddon at left back, who starts the game next to fellow loanee Sean Raggett.
Marquis in the starting lineup for the first time in the last 5 matches, supposedly allowing rest-time for first-choice striker Ellis Harrison.
In other team news, Alex Bass preferred over Craig MacGillivray between the sticks once again. Kenny Jackett has relied on the young Pompey academy graduate in last week’s draw against Gillingham. Speculations of Gerrard’s Rangers’ interest in the Scottish keeper, as well as MacGillivray’s recent dip in form, leading to Bass’ opportunity to shine in front of the travelling Pompey fans.
The game started fairly slow, with Fleetwood controlling the majority of the possession. Andy Cannon got a chance to volley at goal in the 17th minute after a layoff from Harrison, albeit a good strike, the ball sailed over the bar.
In the 21st minute Ronan Curtis and Lewie Coyle tussled in the Portsmouth penalty area. The Fishermen demanded a penalty after Coyle went to ground however, the referee Marc Edwards pointed to the corner flag instead.
Pompey came out the stronger side in the second half and enjoyed more of the ball than the first. In the 64th minute Marcus Harness put a cross into the box. Andy Cannon’s header deflected around the box, and eventually ended up being powered in off the head of James Bolton from short range. The right-back’s attempt lacked power and sailed straight into the keeper’s hands.
The 66th minute is when Pompey’s quality finally converted. Debutant Steve Seddon attempted a cross into the box which was blocked and created a corner opportunity. Curtis delivered in from the left side straight into the path of James Bolton, who only needed a slight touch to guide the ball into the net and give The Blue’s the lead.
Corner kicks seem to have been a way to success for Portsmouth in this game. This time Marcus Harness wins the kick after showing great ball control in the box. Set-piece front-man Ronan Curtis delivers a deep cross to the back post, where it is met by Burgess who heads across goal. Falling into the path of John Marquis, the striker stamped his mark on the game by tapping it into the back of the next giving Pompey a 2-goal cushion.
With 3 minutes of added time, it looked like Bass’ debut in the FA Cup would end with a clean sheet however, a deflection on McAleny’s shot just outside the box allowed Fleetwood to pull one back in injury time.
Loanee Steve Seddon impressed at the Highbury showing a good defensive mindset, and eagerness going forward, which will definitely be welcome by Jackett and team-mates, whilst first and second choice left-backs Lee Brown and Brandon Haunstrup are out with injuries.
Portsmouth see out the game with a 2 – 1 victory and progress into the 4th round of the FA Cup. The Blues are number 27 in the draw on Monday 6th of January.
Full time. Fleetwood Town 1 – 2 Portsmouth FC