Portsmouth bolstered their hopes of securing a play-off finish at the very least this season as they secured a 1-0 victory over fellow promotion hopefuls Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium.
A solitary goal from Harvey White on his full debut for Pompey sealed the win for the visitors in the 47th minute, which ends the south coast club’s two game losing streak in the league.
In what was a blustery Kassam Stadium, it was the home side who had the first chance after just four minutes as Olamide Shodipo found James Henry in some space, and he fired a high shot from outside the area but it blazed just over the Pompey goal.
Ten minutes later, there were two chances within two minutes of eachother for both sides, firstly a great attacking move by the U’s saw Sam Long play a superb ball to Shodipo who was in a good position in the 18-yard box, but his shot on goal was snuffed out.
Moments later, Pompey went up the other end and carved out their first real opportunity of the half.
Ellis Harrison picked up the ball outside the box and struck the ball fiercely and it deflected off strike partner Ronan Curtis which brought out an impressive save by Jack Stevens, but ultimately, Curtis strayed offside and the flag was raised.
In what was an entertaining, relatively end-to-end first-half, it was Oxford who had another opportunity to take the lead.
A fantastic flick by the lively Elliot Lee from an Elliott Moore pass fell perfectly for James Henry who was marauding down the right-hand side of the pitch, he took it on and shot on goal from outside the box, but Portsmouth keeper Craig MacGillivray produced a stunning reflex save to deny the U’s man.
Two minutes after the second half whistle was blown, it was Portsmouth who opened the scoring.
A sublime first-time cross was whipped in from the right from Callum Johnson and it was met expertly by Tottenham loanee Harvey White who headed it past Jack Stevens’ out-stretched palms into the top-left hand corner.
Pompey continued to look like the team more likely to score in the second half and they nearly struck a second when Ronan Curtis played in Ellis Harrison who turned in the area and got a shot away, but it was brilliantly blocked by Elliott Moore.
A handful of half-chances followed for the away side, Ryan Williams cut in from the right and fired a low shot towards goal but it was saved comfortably by Stevens, whilst a chance fell for the goalscorer Harvey White in the middle of the box who worked the ball onto his left foot, but his shot was blocked.
Five minutes from time, a real chance to claw back the deficit fell to Oxford as Long got his head to an Anthony Forde delivery but he couldn’t direct it on target.
Oxford looked to find an equaliser in the remaining minutes, and they so nearly did, as right at the death they had two huge chances to level the scores.
Stevens played a long ball forward which was flicked on by Matty Taylor and Shodipo raced onto it but MacGillivray rushed out to make a great block.
Whilst, seconds later, MacGillivray pulled off a cracking save to deny Elliott Moore’s header, so near, yet so far for the U’s.