Fleetwood Town 1 Portsmouth 0: First-half goal makes it five consecutive wins for Joey Barton’s players

Fleetwood Town extended their terrific run of form with a fifth straight League One victory in seeing off Portsmouth.
Fleetwood Town's Callum Connolly scoresFleetwood Town's Callum Connolly scores
Fleetwood Town's Callum Connolly scores

Callum Connolly’s early strike proved the difference, earning Town three points which lifted them above Pompey and back into the play-off places.

With Ched Evans still unavailable due to suspension, Town boss Joey Barton opted against any changes to his starting line-up following the win against Peterborough United seven days earlier.

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The only alteration came among the substitutes, Harrison Holgate stepping up in place of James Hill.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett, looking to make it seven wins in eight games, replaced Ross McCrorie and Ben Close with James Bolton and John Marquis.

However, a very late change saw substitute Ollie Hawkins replace Ellis Harrison in the moments before kick-off.

The conditions at Highbury certainly didn’t help during a cagey opening 10 minutes.

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With the wind swirling in all directions, both teams struggled to make significant inroads but Town scored in the 12th minute from the game’s first chance.

Danny Andrew found space on the left and his deflected cross popped up for Connolly to head home.

Wes Burns ought to have made it two soon after but dragged an angled effort wide with only Pompey keeper Alex Bass to beat.

Pompey almost grabbed a rather fortunate leveller in the 18th minute when Ronan Curtis’ swirling free-kick struck the bar with Alex Cairns well beaten.

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With the wind playing tricks, Paul Coutts’ curling corner at the other end almost dropped in at the far post.

Seven minutes before the break, Paddy Madden tried his luck from distance but Bass gathered comfortably.

The opening half wasn’t one for the purists but Town held sway at the interval, after which Pompey saw Marquis shoot well off target from the edge of the Town area.

A smart one-two between Madden and Andrew saw the former test Bass but, with the conditions refusing to let up, a second goal would have given the home side extra comfort.

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They plugged away with Burns’ well-struck drive beaten away by the keeper.

With time running out for Pompey, they went close as Sean Raggett’s header was cleared off the line by Lewie Coyle but Town held out for another victory.

Fleetwood Town: Cairns, Coyle, Souttar, Gibson, Andrew, Burns, Connolly (Sowerby 81), Coutts, Whelan, McKay (Morris 76), Madden 7 (Saunders 90). Subs not used: Crellin, Thorvaldsson, Biggins, Holgate.

Portsmouth: Bass, Bolton (McCrorie 57), Burgess, Raggett, Seddon, Naylor, McGeehan, Harness, Marquis, Curtis, Hawkins (Williams 56). Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Evans, Close, Haunstrup.

Referee: Matthew Donohue.

Attendance: 3,370.