<
>
2017-18 English League One, Regular Season
  • Gareth Evans (79')

Portsmouth snatch win at Walsall to close in on play-off places

Portsmouth moved to within two points of the play-off places with a third successive win as they beat struggling Walsall 1-0 to consign new boss Dean Keates to a second straight loss in charge.
The visitors controlled the first half and Ben Close should have done better than scuff a close-range volley straight at Walsall goalkeeper Liam Roberts from Gareth Evans' 12th-minute cross.
Pompey's 18-goal top scorer Brett Pitman twice glanced headers wide while Close volleyed off-target when Dion Donohue's long throw found him free inside the area.
Portsmouth continued to dominate after the break, Kal Naismith whipping a vicious effort inches wide from 20 yards and seeing another shot flash across goal and just past the post.
Walsall took until the 73rd minute to threaten as Luke Leahy's cross was met by a first-time Amadou Bakayoko volley that flew just over.
But Pompey deservedly won it six minutes later as Jamal Lowe teed-up Evans to fizz a fine strike into the bottom corner from 18 yards and condemn Walsall to a sixth defeat in their last seven.

English League One Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS
1 Plymouth Argyle 20 +15 43
2 Ipswich Town 20 +19 42
3 Sheffield Wednesday 20 +19 41
4 Barnsley 19 +9 33
5 Bolton Wanderers 19 +6 32
6 Peterborough United 20 +10 31
7 Derby County 19 +7 30
8 Portsmouth 18 +6 29
9 Port Vale 20 -5 29
10 Wycombe Wanderers 20 +3 28
11 Exeter City 20 +2 26
12 Lincoln City 19 -2 26
13 Shrewsbury Town 20 -2 26
14 Oxford United 20 +4 25
15 Bristol Rovers 20 -3 25
16 Cheltenham Town 19 -5 25
17 Charlton Athletic 20 +2 24
18 Fleetwood Town 20 +1 23
19 Accrington Stanley 20 -11 21
20 Cambridge United 20 -13 20
21 Forest Green Rovers 20 -21 17
22 Milton Keynes Dons 19 -11 15
23 Burton Albion 20 -15 15
24 Morecambe 20 -15 15