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 39 +45 83
2 Barnsley 39 +37 78
3 Portsmouth 39 +27 74
4 Sunderland 37 +30 73
5 Charlton Athletic 38 +18 67
6 Peterborough United 39 +6 58
7 Doncaster Rovers 38 +11 57
8 Blackpool 39 +2 56
9 Coventry City 39 0 56
10 Burton Albion 39 +7 53
11 Fleetwood Town 38 +8 52
12 Gillingham 39 -10 47
13 Oxford United 39 -9 46
14 Plymouth Argyle 39 -12 46
15 Bristol Rovers 38 0 45
16 Wycombe Wanderers 38 -11 44
17 Accrington Stanley 37 -14 44
18 Scunthorpe United 39 -20 44
19 Shrewsbury Town 39 -10 43
20 Southend United 39 -10 42
21 Walsall 39 -19 42
22 Rochdale 38 -29 41
23 AFC Wimbledon 39 -23 39
24 Bradford City 39 -24 36