Sunderland book League One final spot after cagey draw with Portsmouth – The Guardian

Sunderland book League One final spot after cagey draw with Portsmouth - The Guardian

Luke ONien: Sunderland player punched in back by Portsmouth fan

Faced with a vociferous Portsmouth crowd baying for blood with one fan ejected after appearing to aim a kick and a punch at the defender Luke ONien when he fell into the crowd in the first half, Jack Rosss side stood firm to seal their place in the League One play-off final against Charlton or Doncaster with a performance of real maturity.

Read more It was no less than they deserved against opponents who never really offered enough of a threat going forward in a performance that was most uncharacteristic of a side managed by Kenny Jackett.

This was the fifth time these two sides have met this season, with Portsmouths victory in the Checkatrade Trophy final still fresh in the memory of the 30,000 Sunderland supporters who made the trip to Wembley at the end of March.

A 22-YEAR-OLD man from Northallerton has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill fans at tonights Portsmouth v Sunderland match at Fratton Park.

A fractious affair in the first leg, when Chris Maguire scored the only goal of the game, added to the needle on a sunny spring evening on the south coast and the home supporters were out in numbers in the hope of sealing a swift return to the site of their previous triumph. Indeed Sunderlands win last week was their first over these opponents since they beat them 2-0 at the Stadium of Light back in 2008 thanks to two goals from Kieran Richardson. Yet with several players who suffered the pain of successive relegations from the Premier League and then the Championship still on their books, they certainly had plenty of experience in their line-up as they sought revenge for the penalty shoot-out defeat at Wembley.

Portsmouth Football Club have stepped up security following the threat to “kill fans” was made on social media.

A crunching challenge from Gareth Evans within the first five minutes that left Lee Cattermole writhing in agony set the tone for a frantic first half when neither side held anything back. When Tom Naylor launched the ball at Maguire after a scuffle it was another sign that this would be a long evening for the referee, Peter Bankes.

A threat to “kill 150 fans” at the Portsmouth v Sunderland match has been made on Twitter. Picture: Pixabay.com

Northallerton man arrested on suspicion of threat to “kill fans” at tonights Portsmouth v Sunderland match

One supporter seemed to take things too far when he clashed with ONien following a challenge from Tom Naylor. Cattermole had to be held back after he tried to confront the fan, who was later ejected by stewards having attempted at one stage to get on to the pitch.

BREAKING: Man, 22, from North Allerton in North Yorkshire arrested in early hours after threats made on social media about tonights Portsmouth V Sunderland game at Fratton Park.Now-deleted posts made reference to killing 150 Portsmouth fans setting off bombs.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Luke ONien falls into the crowd, where he appeared to be attacked by a fan. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/REX/Shutterstock It was just a bit of handbags, nothing to worry about, said ONien, who declined to press charges after being asked whether he would like to by local police. Its happened and its something silly. Ive seen my little cousin hit harder than that.

The two posts, issued by Twitter handle @Kieran30971361, read: I wonder how many Portsmouth fans I can shoot everyone remember the Manchester arena bombing just imagine Fratton Park going bang well lets find out tomorrow.

Rather than fighting in the stands plenty of goals have been a feature of this years play-offs and it seemed likely that this match could follow suit when George Honeyman headed wide inside the first 10 minutes.

Grant Leadbitter and Chris Maguire start for Sunderland

Despite dominating possession, Portsmouth struggled to create much in the final third up against a defence led by Alim Ozturk, who had his red card ban from the first leg overturned on appeal. Evans finally tested Jon McLaughlin on the stroke of half-time when Oli Hawkins picked him out in front of goal, but the goalkeeper made a brilliant save to deny his header from point blank range.

The club would like to reassure fans that there will be enhanced security checks in place for Thursdays play-off match against Sunderland at Fratton Park (7.45pm kick-off).

Read more Portsmouths revival under Jackett has been building steadily and they finished three points ahead of Sunderland in fourth place in the regular season. He threw on his top scorer, Jamal Lowe, seven minutes after the break when the towering Hawkins called McLaughlin into action again with a header from Lee Browns deep cross.

Share Share Starting XI: ONE CHANGE? Is this Sunderlands team for tonights Play-Off second-leg semi-final? tweet share Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email Whos crown is this then? Goalkeeper: Jon McLaughlin Jon McLaughlin will have left the Stadium of Light pitch with a huge grin on his face on Saturday evening. The last home game of a successful year for the former Hearts stopper had ended with a clean-sheet against the leagues best performing away side. Throw in the fact this was Portsmouth and perhaps some sense of order had been restored following the Wembley shoot-out drama.

Sunderland, for their part, looked comfortable on the ball as they attempted to keep possession high up the field, although there was always a sense that they could be vulnerable on the break. That proved to be the case when Lowe wriggled free of his marker on the right and picked out Brett Pitman, whose high ball in was headed down by former Sunderland striker James Vaughans first touch and saved by McLoughlin with his feet.

In the central role Id hope Chris Maguire has done enough to start tonight. His goal was top-class and his guile and ability could be a huge factor in tonights game. Would Ross drop his skipper to accommodate the former Bury man? Or will Maguire be seen as an impact sub, much like the other evening? Certainly his duel with Christian Burgess may add a bit more spice to the second leg but Sunderland can ill afford to get involved with anything that allows the referee to brandish more cards tonight.

That, however, was the last real chance Portsmouth created in normal time as they were pressed back, with a lack of discipline also letting them down when it mattered most.

There is a case for bringing Grant Leadbitter in for his passing range or Dylan McGeough for his defensive game, but unless Ross will want to keep changes to a minimum knowing his side has the beating of Portsmouth already. In all the games these two sides have played the contest has been largely an even one, but last Saturday Sunderland clearly had the edge at crucial times in the contest. Ross will hope his side maintain that approach this evening.

The majority of the six minutes added time were spent defending a series of throw-ins in their own half as their opponents wound the clock down. We got up a good end of steam but we couldnt take our chances, said a disappointed Jackett.

Ross is playing a waiting and watching game with Aiden McGeady. The return of Sunderlands Player of the Year would be a huge boost for the Wearsiders and no doubt put a huge dent into Kenny Jacketts optimistic outlook on tonights game. The Irishman will not be risked unless its clear that both he and the management team are comfortable with his fitness levels. The chances are Lewis Morgan will play if McGeady fails to make it.

It was not a pretty spectacle, though the travelling supporters behind McLoughlins goal did not seem to care as they celebrated long after the final whistle.

Leadbitter returns to the starting line-up after he was an unused substitute in the first leg, while Maguire steps up to the starting side after coming off the bench to score the only goal of the game at the Stadium of Light.

Sunderland defender Luke ONien was “punched” by a Portsmouth supporter during Thursdays League One play-off semi-final second leg at Fratton Park, according to team-mate Lee Cattermole.

Lewis Morgan and Lynden Gooch have dropped out of the starting side, so it remains to be seen whether Ross sticks with the same 4-2-3-1 formation he fielded in the first leg.

Stewart Donald makes generous offer to Sunderland fans ahead of play-off showdown

The incident, which happened after ONien tumbled over the advertising hoardings chasing the ball, led to a fan being escorted from the stand.

GRANT LEADBITTER and Chris Maguire return to Sunderlands starting line-up for this evenings play-off decider at Portsmouth.

Sunderland set for Wembley return after game management masterclass against Portsmouth

Sunderland manager Jack Ross said the incident during the goalless draw “wasnt great” but that he “wouldnt make a big deal of it”.

The Black Cats are defending a 1-0 lead from the first leg, and Jack Ross has opted to make two changes at Fratton Park.

However, Cattermole told BBC Radio 5 Live: “He was punched in the back – I was very disappointed and very surprised that people think they can do that when they come to watch a game.

“It was a tense atmosphere, Ive played here a few times. Its a great ground with a cracking support and its a shame sometimes one lets them down.”

@deeth11: “The supporters will roar as always the players will have to use every bit of strength in their body defend well and Jack Ross just do what you do. The champion league looms for us all xxxxx”

More news:

Queen joins world leaders to mark courage of D-Day veterans in Portsmouth – Sky News
Queen joins world leaders to mark courage of D-Day veterans in Portsmouth – Sky News
Trump to join Queen for D-Day anniversary – BBC News
Trump to join Queen for D-Day anniversary – BBC News
Heads of state and government to remember in Portsmouth on D-Day – The Crypto Coin Discovery
Heads of state and government to remember in Portsmouth on D-Day – The Crypto Coin Discovery
Calls for D-day event to focus on veterans rather than Trump – The Guardian
Calls for D-day event to focus on veterans rather than Trump – The Guardian
When are the D-Day 75 commemorative events in Portsmouth and how to attend? – Metro.co.uk
When are the D-Day 75 commemorative events in Portsmouth and how to attend? – Metro.co.uk
Donald Trumps Portsmouth visit: When is he coming to Portsmouth? Why is he coming to the city? What security will be in place? – Chichester Observer
Donald Trumps Portsmouth visit: When is he coming to Portsmouth? Why is he coming to the city? What security will be in place? – Chichester Observer
Portsmouth cat slap suspect, 15, arrested – BBC News
Portsmouth cat slap suspect, 15, arrested – BBC News
Babyface teen Scott Gerrick named as Vile Portsmouth cat attacker – UK News in Pictures
Babyface teen Scott Gerrick named as Vile Portsmouth cat attacker – UK News in Pictures
Kenny Jackett: Portsmouth boss confident club can challenge at top of League One – BBC Sport
Kenny Jackett: Portsmouth boss confident club can challenge at top of League One – BBC Sport
Sunderland star Luke ONien speaks out after appearing to get kicked by Portsmouth fan – Metro.co.uk
Sunderland star Luke ONien speaks out after appearing to get kicked by Portsmouth fan – Metro.co.uk
Portsmouth v Sunderland live in the League One play-off semi-finals – Live – BBC Sport
Portsmouth v Sunderland live in the League One play-off semi-finals – Live – BBC Sport
Match Preview – Portsmth vs Sland | 16 May 2019 – SkySports
Match Preview – Portsmth vs Sland | 16 May 2019 – SkySports