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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 31 +24 57
2 Coventry City 30 +15 57
3 Wycombe Wanderers 32 +5 56
4 Peterborough United 33 +26 55
5 Sunderland 31 +16 54
6 Portsmouth 30 +15 53
7 Ipswich Town 32 +14 52
8 Fleetwood Town 30 +11 51
9 Doncaster Rovers 31 +16 48
10 Gillingham 31 +8 46
11 Oxford United 30 +13 45
12 Burton Albion 31 0 43
13 Bristol Rovers 31 -7 42
14 Accrington Stanley 31 -1 39
15 Lincoln City 33 -3 38
16 Blackpool 30 0 37
17 Shrewsbury Town 30 -11 35
18 Milton Keynes Dons 31 -9 33
19 Rochdale 31 -16 33
20 AFC Wimbledon 31 -9 30
21 Tranmere Rovers 30 -25 23
22 Southend United 31 -45 16
23 Bolton Wanderers 29 -37 11