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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 Luton Town 46 +48 94
2 Barnsley 46 +41 91
3 Charlton Athletic 46 +33 88
4 Portsmouth 46 +32 88
5 Sunderland 46 +33 85
6 Doncaster Rovers 46 +18 73
7 Peterborough United 46 +9 72
8 Coventry City 46 0 65
9 Burton Albion 46 +9 63
10 Blackpool 46 -2 62
11 Fleetwood Town 46 +6 61
12 Oxford United 46 -6 60
13 Gillingham 46 -11 55
14 Accrington Stanley 46 -16 55
15 Bristol Rovers 46 -3 54
16 Rochdale 46 -33 54
17 Wycombe Wanderers 46 -12 53
18 Shrewsbury Town 46 -8 52
19 Southend United 46 -13 50
20 AFC Wimbledon 46 -21 50
21 Plymouth Argyle 46 -24 50
22 Walsall 46 -22 47
23 Scunthorpe United 46 -30 46
24 Bradford City 46 -28 41