Loan signing Dane Scarlett scored 2 goals on his debut for Portsmouth as they had to battle from behind to beat Peterborough at a packed and sold out Fratton Park this afternoon as they won Portsmouth2 Peterbough 1.
They got off to the worse possible start, when a mistake in the Portsmouth defense gifted Peterborough’s Jack Marriott a goal to put the 0-1 up. But Dane Scarlett grabbed an equaliser for Pompey just before half time after he was assisted by another debutant for the winning goal in Josh Koroma.
Portsmouth manager Danny Cowley made just a single change to the starting 11 from the previous league game a week earlier. Connor Ogilvie after becoming a father in the early ours in the morning and was replaced by fit again Clark Robertson. Which meant deadline day signing Josh Koroma had to settle for the bench this week.
Portsmouth started off with a lot of attacking intent when ronan Curtis was brought down, Marlon Pack put the free kick narrowly over the Peterborough crossbar.
Peterborough were gifted a goal moments later by Portsmouth, when Michael Morrison was caught in possession by Jonson Clarke-Harris. He advanced forward and unselfishly squared the ball for strike partner Marriott to slot past Portsmouth Goalkeeper Josh Griffiths.
It could have even got a lot worse for Portsmouth just moments later, when Clarke-Harris’ had to have a angled shot turned around the post by Griffiths.
But the pompey players were otherwise played impressively well in the first half and after spinning sharply on the edge of the box, Curtis fizzed a shot narrowly past the post. Curtis and Owen Dale were finding plenty of joy on the wings and Peterborough were having to defend resolutely.
It was Dale who was next to go close with a low attempt that flashed narrowly wide, while a Scarlett effort was then deflected into the side netting.
There should have been a leveller on 33 minutes when Dale found Curtis in space at the back post, but the Republic of Ireland international could not find the target from just a few yards out.
It did not take much longer for the equaliser to arrive, though, as a superb Robertson cross was nodded home by SCARLETT for his third goal in as many games. Peterborough had a chance just before the break following a poor Griffiths kick, but Marriott could not make a connection with Clarke-Harris’ cross.
Half Time: Pompey 1 Peterborough 1
The hosts took a while to get going after the break, lacking some of the attacking fluency that had been so evident in the first half.
But a monster Pack throw might have led to a second goal, with the ball not quite landing right for Sean Raggett to make a clean connection.
Cowley decided to freshen things up with a double switch on 66 minutes, as Reeco Hackett and Koroma replaced Dale and Curtis.
And the debutant soon grabbed an assist to help Pompey take the lead for the first time in the game.
He found SCARLETT inside the box and the on-loan Tottenham striker continued his goal spree by sliding a shot through Frankie Kent’s legs and into the net.
The teenager was withdrawn alongside Tom Lowery on 76 minutes, with Joe Pigott and Joe Morrell adding some fresh legs.
And Cowley decided to shore things up for the closing stages, by bringing on Jay Mingi for Colby Bishop.
Peterborough were not looking too threatening, though, and when a Ricky-Jade Jones delivery was only partially cleared, Jack Taylor blazed the loose ball over.
And Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to continue their fine start to the league campaign. With a good Portsmouth 2 Peterbourgh 1 victory.