Latics fall to first defeat in eight Sky Bet League One matches.
- Match Report: Portsmouth 2 – 1 Wigan Athletic
- Goals from Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe earn Kenny Jackett’s side the win.
- Will Grigg got a late goal back for Latics, who lost for first time in eight Sky Bet League One matches.
Pitman (pen) 40
WIGAN ATHLETIC 1
Attendance: 17,842 (461 away)
Wigan Athletic fell to their first defeat in eight Sky Bet League One matches as goals either side of half-time from Brett Pitman and Jamal Lowe earned Portsmouth a 2-1 win at Fratton Park.
Substitute Grigg got a late goal back for Latics but it wasn’t to be enough despite a spirited fightback which saw Pompey goalkeeper Luke McGee make two incredible saves to deny Nick Powell and Grigg.
Paul Cook made two changes from our Good Friday win against Oldham Athletic as Gavin Massey and James Vaughan started in place of Ryan Colclough and Grigg, who were both on the bench.
Portsmouth were the first to attack, breaking down the right side and crossing for Pitman, who saw his effort at the near post well blocked by Chey Dunkley.
Latics then forced the first action for either goalkeeper as Max Power struck well from 25 yards only to be denied by Pompey stopper McGee, who pushed wide of his left post.
As the half-hour approached, a game played out mainly in midfield came to life as Michael Jacobs’ acrobatic effort wasn’t quite diverted towards goal before Massey’s cross from the right-hand side just evaded Vaughan, who was coming in at the back post.
Chey Dunkley then headed narrowly wide after rising well from a Power cross before the midfielder was again provider for a great chance for Vaughan, who scuffed wide when well-placed in the centre of the Pompey penalty area.
Five minutes before the break and, largely against the run of play, Pompey took the lead as Dan Burn was controversially penalised for a foul on Ben Close by referee Tim Robinson, who gave the hosts a penalty. Portsmouth’s top goal-scorer Pitman made no mistake from the spot.
Christian Walton came to Latics’ rescue soon after as Callum Elder’s header back to the goalkeeper fell short and Pitman nipped in one-on-one only to be denied by the brave Brighton & Hove Albion loanee.
Early in the second-half Latics were presented with a quick chance to level as Powell stepped up for a free-kick 25 yards from goal, though his effort was blocked before Kal Naismith was denied at the other end by Walton.
After ten second-half minutes, though, Portsmouth doubled their advantage as Lowe finished well inside the area after receiving the ball from a Nathan Thompson cross.
Just after the hour mark Latics had a chance to get a goal back as Power’s delivery was headed away into the path of Morsy, who shot over from the edge on the volley.
Latics pushed hard for a way back into the game and soon after substitute Ryan Colclough had a good chance after positive play from Nathan Byrne but the winger couldn’t sort his feet in time to get an effort as goal as Pompey diverted behind.
A minute later and McGee produced the first of two game-defining saves as he denied Powell with a superb stop that saw the forward’s effort parried onto the crossbar after he had weaved a way in behind.
Ten minutes later and the hosts’ goalkeeper was at it again as he acrobatically denied Grigg at close range as the striker fired towards goal following a Jacobs flick-on from a Byrne cross.
Two minutes from time and Latics did get one back as substitute Grigg headed home from a cross from fellow substitute Gary Roberts.
It wasn’t to be enough for Latics, though, and despite a late barrage of crosses into the Pompey area, for which goalkeeper Walton joined the attack, Cook’s side suffered a first league defeat in eight matches.
Portsmouth: McGee, Whatmough, Clarke, Walkers, Thompson, Evans, Naismith, Close, Lowe, Pitman (Capt), Haunstrup
Subs: Bass, Burgess, Ronan, Kennedy, Hawkins, O'Keefe, Chaplin
Wigan Athletic: Walton; Byrne, Dunkley, Burn, Elder; Morsy (Capt), Power; Massey (Grigg 65), Powell, Jacobs (Roberts 81); Vaughan (Colclough 65)
Subs: Jones, Perkins, Walker, Bruce.