ASFC vs Portsmouth

League Two
Score: 2 - 2

Match Report

Murphy leads the Stanley celebrations

Murphy leads the Stanley celebrations

Accrington Stanley picked up their first point of the season in a 2-2 draw against Portsmouth in the early kick off at the Store First Stadium.

Man of the Match Peter Murphy bagged a brace in an entertaining match that should have seen more than four goals.

The Reds could have been a goal up inside the first minute, with Marcus Carver heading agonisingly wide of the front post.

Former Preston striker Patrick Agyemang should have bagged a brace for the visitors in the first half. The striker missed a gilt edged chance from six yards on 25 minutes and was denied by Accrington keeper Ian Dunbavin.

Portsmouth’s Danny East saw an early yellow card for a challenge on Nicky Hunt after good link up between the right back and new boy Kal Naismith in the 25th minute, a one footed jump off the ground sent the defender flying and many inside the ground thought a different colour more appropriate.

It was goalless at the break but the Reds were in front soon after when Murphy was expertly picked out by former Pompey striker Danny Webber for his first. The unmarked midfielder buried a curling shot past a diving Phil Smith from 30 yards out to send the Reds a goal up after 47 minutes.

Accrington’s lead was short lived, Connolly capitalised on an Agyemang knockdown, poking an equaliser past Dunbavin on 57 minutes causing the Portsmouth fans to celebrate with a little too much enthusiasm.

Dunbavin and the Accrington defence managed to thwart the lively Andy Barcham and keep the towering aerial presence of centre back Joe Devera at bay, the keeper made a sublime two-handed save from a screaming Padovani shot on the hour.

All of the Sky Sports may have centred on a penalty to Portsmouth that never was, defender Rob Atkinson with his hands up in the area, but all cries of hand ball were waved away by referee Eddie Ilderton on 67 minutes.

And Portsmouth erased that perceivied injustice, and changed those headlines, in the 78th minute, the referee awarding a penalty after two challenges inside the box. The decision was awarded for the first challenge inside the box on Agyemang by Tom Aldred after a Hunt back pass. So no red card was shown to the last man Hunt who made the second challenge on Connolly.

Connolly dusted himself down to convert his second of the game and lead James Beattie’s side behind for the first time.

Naismith, who had signed hours earlier on a free transfer, looked a million dollars. The right winger tore apart the Portsmouth defence and played a key role in the second goal.

Aldred redeemed himself with an assist, heading the ball back across goal from a Naismith cross to tee up a tap in header for Murphy on 85 minutes and Beattie’s men were level.

The Reds held on in a tense finish and in front of 2531 fans achieved the manager’s goal to build upon their Capital One Cup success.

Attendance: 2531

Report by Rosie Swarbrick

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