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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 33 +38 71
2 Barnsley 33 +31 66
3 Sunderland 32 +25 62
4 Portsmouth 33 +19 61
5 Charlton Athletic 33 +15 56
6 Doncaster Rovers 32 +19 54
7 Peterborough United 33 +7 52
8 Blackpool 32 +6 48
9 Coventry City 33 -1 46
10 Fleetwood Town 33 +8 45
11 Burton Albion 33 +2 43
12 Wycombe Wanderers 33 -5 43
13 Scunthorpe United 34 -17 41
14 Southend United 33 -1 40
15 Accrington Stanley 31 -9 40
16 Plymouth Argyle 33 -13 38
17 Gillingham 33 -13 36
18 Walsall 33 -19 35
19 Bristol Rovers 32 -4 34
20 Rochdale 33 -26 34
21 Shrewsbury Town 32 -10 33
22 Oxford United 33 -12 33
23 Bradford City 33 -16 33
24 AFC Wimbledon 33 -24 29