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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 Portsmouth 17 +14 38
2 Sunderland 17 +19 36
3 Barnsley 17 +17 34
4 Peterborough United 18 +11 34
5 Luton Town 18 +12 32
6 Charlton Athletic 17 +6 28
7 Blackpool 17 +4 28
8 Doncaster Rovers 18 +2 28
9 Coventry City 18 +1 28
10 Accrington Stanley 18 0 28
11 Walsall 18 -5 26
12 Fleetwood Town 18 +5 24
13 Burton Albion 17 +1 24
14 Southend United 18 -2 23
15 Wycombe Wanderers 18 -1 22
16 Shrewsbury Town 18 -3 21
17 Scunthorpe United 18 -10 21
18 Rochdale 18 -10 20
19 Gillingham 18 -4 18
20 Oxford United 18 -6 18
21 Bristol Rovers 18 -1 17
22 Plymouth Argyle 18 -15 13
23 AFC Wimbledon 18 -16 11
24 Bradford City 18 -19 11