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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 Ipswich Town 12 +14 27
2 Wycombe Wanderers 13 +9 26
3 Peterborough United 13 +14 24
4 Fleetwood Town 12 +9 23
5 Oxford United 14 +11 22
6 Coventry City 13 +1 21
7 Bristol Rovers 13 +1 21
8 Blackpool 13 +2 20
9 Doncaster Rovers 12 +2 19
10 Sunderland 12 +1 19
11 Rotherham United 12 +7 18
12 Lincoln City 14 -2 17
13 Shrewsbury Town 12 -3 17
14 Rochdale 13 -5 16
15 Burton Albion 11 +2 15
16 Gillingham 13 +2 14
17 Accrington Stanley 13 -4 14
18 Portsmouth 11 0 13
19 Tranmere Rovers 13 -5 13
20 Milton Keynes Dons 13 -7 13
21 AFC Wimbledon 14 -5 12
22 Southend United 13 -19 5
23 Bolton Wanderers 11 -25 -8