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Match Reports

Portsmouth 0-4 Hull City: Match Report

23 January 2021

League One leaders Hull City produced a stunning performance to thrash promotion rivals Portsmouth at Fratton Park.

Two own goals from Jack Whatmough, either side of a George Honeyman tap-in, and a stoppage-time drive from Josh Magennis earned the Tigers their biggest win of the season.

There were outstanding performances across the park, with man-of-the-match Honeyman providing a league-high ninth assist and Keane Lewis-Potter a thorn in Pompey’s side.

Grant McCann kept faith with the same starting XI that brushed aside Accrington for the 516-mile round trip to the south coast – the Tigers’ second-longest journey of the campaign.

The substitutes’ bench showed two alternations, with Reece Burke – back available after serving a one-match suspension – and Billy Chadwick coming in for Jordan Flores and Sean McLoughlin.

Hull City started the day top of League One, a point clear of third-placed Pompey, who won the reverse fixture 2-0 a month ago, thanks to two own goals.

Kenny Jackett’s men scored after six minutes that night but there was no early goal on this occasion, with nothing between the sides in a cagey opening quarter.

Gavin Whyte traded passes with Greg Docherty and surged into the area before falling under the challenge of Callum Johnson, but City’s penalty appeals were ignored by referee Ben Toner.

The Blues were largely kept at arm’s length; John Marquis had a goal disallowed for a shove on Jacob Greaves and Marcus Harness curled a 25-yard free-kick harmlessly over the bar.

Own goals from set-pieces proved Hull City’s undoing back in December, but this time it was the visitors who profited from one midway through the first half.

Lewis-Potter met Honeyman’s inviting free-kick with a downward header which home keeper Craig MacGillivray pushed onto Whatmough, with the ball bouncing in off the unfortunate defender.

The Tigers were playing with real confidence and could have doubled their advantage on the half-hour.

The same combination as before looked to do the damage, Honeyman swinging in a corner from the left which Lewis-Potter, running in unmarked, could only divert wide via a deflection.

With Jacob Greaves and Alfie Jones imperious at the heart of defence, Hull City were rarely troubled by a Portsmouth team unbeaten in their previous six matches.

Ryan Williams linked up with Harness before shooting over on the stroke of half-time as McCann’s men deservedly entered the interval a goal to the good.

Dead-ball situations continued to be where Hull City looked most dangerous at the start of the second half.

Callum Elder’s corner dropped for Lewis-Potter, who created some space amid a crowd of bodies, before sending in a deflected effort which MacGillivray pounced upon.

Lewis-Potter was a constant threat, turning and dragging one shot wide before hitting a well-struck 20-yard free-kick inches past the post, with MacGillivray stranded.

The second goal Hull City had threatened since the restart arrived just past the hour.

Lewis-Potter was again heavily involved, playing the ball across to Mallik Wilks, whose shot was blocked on the line by Sean Raggett, but Honeyman was on hand to fire home from close range.

It was no less than the Tigers deserved and 2-0 quickly became 3-0 as the visitors struck again two minutes later.

A patient, probing move saw Docherty dissect the Pompey defence with a penetrative pass through to the overlapping Lewie Coyle.

The right-back delivered a peach of a cross, low and first time into the corridor of uncertainty, where Whatmough, facing his own goal, slid the ball into his own net.

Shell-shocked Portsmouth had kept six consecutive clean sheets heading into the game but were being ripped apart by a scintillating Hull City display.

The Blues, whose last home defeat to the Tigers came in January 2011, looked to reduce the arrears when Ellis Harrison's venomous strike was parried by George Long.

Substitute Harvey White sent two free-kicks off target, the second flying narrowly over the bar, as the hosts pushed in vain for a route back into a contest that appeared beyond them.

A great day for City got even better in added time as Honeyman fed Magennis, who thundered a precise right-footed drive into the bottom corner from 20 yards to complete the rout.

 

Portsmouth: Craig MacGillivray, Callum Johnson, Lee Brown, Tom Naylor ©, Jack Whatmough, Ryan Williams (Harvey White 45’), John Marquis, Ronan Curtis (Ellis Harrison 64’), Andy Cannon (Ben Close 45’), Marcus Harness, Sean Raggett.

Subs not used: Duncan Turnbull, James Bolton, Rasmus Nicolaisen, Michael Jacobs.

 

Hull City: George Long; Lewie Coyle, Alfie Jones, Jacob Greaves, Callum Elder; Richie Smallwood ©, George Honeyman, Greg Docherty (Regan Slater 84’); Gavin Whyte (Dan Crowley 72’), Keane Lewis-Potter (Billy Chadwick 85’), Mallik Wilks (Josh Magennis 72’).

Subs not used: Matt Ingram, Reece Burke, Josh Emmanuel.


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