Portsmouth’s FA Cup campaign came to an end at the hands of Championship side Bristol City, despite a battling effort from the blues. Even though Jackett’s men will travel home without a win, there was plenty to be positive about in regards to the team performance.
Here are my player ratings for Pompey this afternoon:
Pompey Starting XI
Craig MacGillivray: 6.5
Pompey’s number one wasn’t called upon a whole lot today but still managed to pull off a few decent stops. He was a commanding presence at the back, organising at set-pieces well and claiming the ball efficiently in the air. There wasn’t much he could do about the second goal and he came close to stopping the first, getting a hand on it. An overall decent showing.
Callum Johnson: 8
A good showing defensively and his first goal for Pompey earns Johnson an eight. He contained Hakeeb Adelakun down the right-hand side for the most part and offered support for Harness when attacking. In the first half his crossing let him down a bit however as the game progressed the balls into the box were improving. Finally, a well finished chance at a perfect time, putting Portsmouth right back into contention for the game going into the break.
Sean Raggett: 6.5
A bit of a hit and miss performance from Raggett for me. He certainly looks a lot more comfortable with the ball at his feet than a couple of months ago, but quite a few wayward passes capped him below a seven. He did however put in a couple of good challenges, one in particular in the second half to stop a fast paced attack.
Rasmus Nicolaisen (Off 45′): 5
Nicolaisen was only involved in the first 45, before being subbed off for Whatmough, and that was probably the right decision. Much like Raggett there was a lot of long-range hoofing, not really targeted at anyone. He gave away a couple of free-kicks in dangerous positions, picking up a yellow card. Not his best showing.
Lee Brown: 7.5
On his first start since getting injured in mid-December, Brown was solid at left-back. Given the challenging task of defending youngster Antoine Semenyo, Brown didn’t make it easy for him to attack that left-hand side. His crossing wasn’t the best throughout the game but a reassuring performance, seeming as of last week he is the only natural Left Back in the squad.
Tom Naylor: 7.5
It’s hard to ever pick out a bad game the captains had with him always fighting hard in the centre of midfield. What he does so well is controlling the game from deep in midfield. He wins the ball back, then looks to play out wide to the flanks, allowing attacks to form. Fans may have also been hoping for a recreation of his screamer from the previous round but it wasn’t to be. He did come close however to scoring, linking up well with Andy Cannon, but a good save from Bentley denied him.
Andy Cannon: 8
Cannon felt like a number 10 at times, posing a strong attacking threat to City. He was creative with the ball, dribbling well and involving himself in most attacking movements. He also linked up well with the wingers and his midfield partner Naylor, stringing together some good passing passages. Finally, it was his ball into the area that teed up Johnson for his equaliser. It was a nice driven ball, that cut back across the box to catch out the defence, A really good effort from Cannon.
Marcus Harness: 7
Harness is probably one of, if not the best, on the ball player in the squad, always able to create something out of seemingly nothing. At times today, it felt he held onto the ball a little too long, most notably during a great chance in the second half when it was still 1-1. In that instance, an early strike would have been a better option and given a chance of going ahead. He displayed creativity out wide, delivering a brilliant cross in injury time that Harrison was just beaten to.
Michael Jacobs (Off 86′): 6.5
Nothing really bad to say about Jacobs but neither anything too highlight-worthy. He did his job well, combining with brown at down the left flank. He was brought off late for Hiwula, a change that possibly should have come sooner as I will get onto later.
Ryan Williams: 7.5
Much like Cannon, Williams offered a lot going forward and was involved in many of attacking moves. He played his role well, sitting deeper than Marquis to drive forward with the ball, and getting himself in the box to try and get on the end of one of the many Pompey crosses. At one point he ran from pretty much the halfway line to City’s six-yard box with the ball, but couldn’t finish off the moment of inspiration. Good stuff from Williams.
John Marquis (Off 65′): 5.5
Marquis struggle to get involved in this game, going missing for a lot of it. That isn’t entirely his fault, with him not getting the quality of service he should have been. He did have a good opportunity to score in the first half, but he took to long to get his shot away resulting in a strong block. He struggled to win battles in the air so the decision to swap him for Harrison in the 65th minute was a logical one. You do have to praise his work rate however, always putting constant pressure on the centre half’s and goalkeeper with his high pace pressing.
Jack Whatmough (On 45′): 7
Whatmough played the entirety of the second half, replacing Nicolaisen at centre half. He played out from the back very well, looking happy to have the ball at his feet, as well as defending well in the air. There’s always something reassuring knowing Whatmough is in the backline, something his excellent performances this season have created.
Ellis Harrison (On 65′): 7
The introduction of Harrison had a big impact on the last 25 of the game. He was winning many battles in the air. This allowed Portsmouth to utilize crosses and some long balls better, with teammates running onto his flick-ons. His performance was similar to the first round against Ipswich, where he was also brought on for Marquis and offered that dominant aerial ability again
Jordy Hiwula (On 86′): N/A
Now Hiwula was only on the pitch for about eight minutes, making it hard to give him a rating, but he had an instant impact with plenty of positives to take from it. He offered an injection of pace down the left-hand side that Jacobs didn’t, helping with the sense of urgency to work for a late equaliser. In fact, he almost scored the late equaliser with the last kick of the game following a corner. Bentley rushing out to pull off a crucial stop to keep City in front. It is surely not long before we see him getting a longer run out in the league, rather than just playing that last few minutes of a game because he has a lot to offer the team.