Two goals from Jed Wallace and a third from Craig Westcarr gave Portsmouth a comfortable passage into the second round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Yeovil tonight.
Nathan Ralph’s late strike gave the Glovers a little hope with eight minutes remaining but it was too little too late for the home side who looked out of sorts all over the park and visiting keeper Paul Jones won’t have many easier games this season.
Yeovil’s boss Gary Johnson made four changes to the side that drew with Barnsley at the weekend. Coming in were Kieffer Moore, Brendan Moloney, Sam Hoskins and Nathan Ralph while sitting the game out were Jakub Sokolik, Joe Edwards, Kevin Dawson and Simon Gillett. Dawson made the bench but the others were mere spectators tonight.
Yeovil had opportunities early on to take the lead but Moore couldn’t control a low, hard cross at the near post; Sam Foley’s free kick went straight through everybody and went out for a goal kick and Ajay Leitch-Smith’s shot was deflected behind for a corner.
But the game was soon to turn into a scrappy affair as a physical Pompey side started to clock up the bookings for cynical challenges. James Dunne, Nick Awford and Adam Wynter all saw yellow before the break and Craig Westcarr needlessly caught Aaron Martin long after the ball had gone, leaving the big defender needing treatment.
Moore had the two best first half chances with a shot that Jones got down low to save and a header that he flicked narrowly wide. It was his last action though as he was pulled off at half time to be replaced by James Hayter.
Ten minutes into the second half, Portsmouth took the lead. Jed Wallace, the visitors best player by far, played a neat one two with Westcarr on the edge of the box before lining up a shot with his left foot past Chris Weale and into the net.
The hosts came back through Sam Foley but both he and Hayter had shots blocked in the same move with Foley taking a slight knock as he got his shot away.
Kevin Dawson came on for Sam Hoskins with twenty minutes to go but if his introduction was meant to breathe new life into Yeovil, it didn’t initially as Portsmouth wrapped the game up with two more goals in ninety seconds. A neat pass was played into Wallace on the edge of the penalty box and he had time to turn and pick his spot to rifle home the second.
Things then went from bad to worse as within a minute or two, it was 3-0. A ball through to Westcarr was beautifully controlled by the striker and he dinked the ball over Weale and into the net.
Yeovil then came more alive and after forcing five quick corners, they finally scored from the sixth when Nathan Ralph cut inside on to his left foot and unleashed a terrific drive that flew into the net off the underside of the bar.
The final eight minutes plus four minutes of stoppage time offered nothing but an extension of the agony for the Glovers who never really looked like scoring twice in the final moments to take the tie to penalties.