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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 Hull City 23 +20 45
2 Lincoln City 22 +15 45
3 Peterborough United 22 +15 42
4 Portsmouth 22 +18 41
5 Doncaster Rovers 20 +14 39
6 Charlton Athletic 24 +5 37
7 Sunderland 22 +12 36
8 Crewe Alexandra 24 +5 36
9 Ipswich Town 21 +3 35
10 Accrington Stanley 19 +4 33
11 Oxford United 21 +5 31
12 Fleetwood Town 23 +7 30
13 Gillingham 23 -3 30
14 Plymouth Argyle 23 -8 30
15 Milton Keynes Dons 23 0 28
16 Blackpool 21 -3 28
17 Shrewsbury Town 21 -5 24
18 Rochdale 23 -8 23
19 Bristol Rovers 21 -11 22
20 AFC Wimbledon 23 -15 22
21 Northampton Town 22 -18 22
22 Wigan Athletic 22 -14 21
23 Swindon Town 23 -16 21
24 Burton Albion 24 -22 16