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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 Rotherham United 26 +22 47
2 Wycombe Wanderers 27 +3 47
3 Ipswich Town 26 +15 45
4 Coventry City 25 +10 44
5 Oxford United 26 +17 41
6 Sunderland 25 +12 41
7 Portsmouth 25 +8 41
8 Peterborough United 27 +13 40
9 Burton Albion 25 +4 39
10 Doncaster Rovers 24 +12 37
11 Fleetwood Town 24 +7 37
12 Lincoln City 27 +3 37
13 Bristol Rovers 25 -5 36
14 Gillingham 26 +4 35
15 Blackpool 25 +3 34
16 Shrewsbury Town 25 -4 34
17 Accrington Stanley 26 -3 29
18 Rochdale 26 -13 28
19 AFC Wimbledon 26 -7 27
20 Milton Keynes Dons 27 -12 25
21 Tranmere Rovers 25 -17 22
22 Southend United 26 -37 13
23 Bolton Wanderers 24 -35 7