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Portsmouth 0 Town 2 - Report and pictures

Shrewsbury | Sport | Published:

Bobby Grant was the two-goal hero as Shrewsbury Town record their first-ever win at Portsmouth's Fratton Park.

The midfielder smashed home two 20-yard strikes - one in each half – to give Micky Mellon's side a commanding 2-0 victory.

The result means Shrewsbury have now won five out of their last seven away games with Portsmouth booed off at the final whistle after being out played.

Boss Mellon made one change to the side that secured the 2-0 home victory over Oxford, with Mickey Demetriou returning at left wing-back in the absence of the suspended Rhys Sharpe.

In form skipper Liam Lawrence also started in midfield against the side he made 41 appearances for in the 2011/12 season.

On a cold and windy day on the south coast, Portsmouth started on the front foot but a well wide Danny East strike was the best they could muster in the opening 15 minutes.

Slowly but surely, Shrewsbury began to take control and they forced a succession of corners which saw Jermaine Grandison come inches away from giving them the lead.

A Bobby Grant delivery was knocked back across goal by Mark Ellis, with Grandison hitting a lovely shot in the spin that was blocked on the goal line by Cole Kpekawa.

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Buoyed by the move, Town began to pile forward and they should have taken the lead mid-way through the half.

Good link-up play between Cameron Gayle and Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro saw the ball fall kindly for the French striker who sent a powerful low drive whistling past the post.

Mellon's side were now controlling proceedings and they took a deserved lead just before the half-hour mark through a brilliant Grant strike.

After a neat one-two with James Collins, the Blackpool loanee picked up the ball 20-yards from goal and curled an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner and beyond the outstretched arms of Jones.

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With the home side visibly deflated, Town continued to press and they came close to doubling their advantage just before the break.

A whipped in Grant corner seemed destined to be headed home by Connor Goldson but East nipped in to clear the danger with the Town defender stood poised.

The half-time whistle followed seconds later and was greeted with a series of boos from the home crowd who, who after a positive start, had seen their team comfortably outplayed.

Town continued their dominance at the start of the second half and came a whisker away from extending their lead inside the first minute.

A brilliant ball over the top from Grandison sent Akpa Akpro racing clear with the striker taking the ball into the box and curling a low strike against the base of the post.

Portsmouth hit back with Nyron Nosworthy sending in a teasing cross which Goldson acrobatically cleared inside the six-yard box with Matt Tubbs lurking.

Andy Awford had used the interval to shuffle his pack, with the Pompey now playing with a midfield diamond rather than his preferred 3-5-2 system.

And the changes were proving effective with Town having Grandison to thank for maintaining their lead on 55 minutes.

After a bit of head tennis in the Salop box, the ball fell kindly for Jed Wallace who smashed what looked to be an unstoppable strike at goal.

But Grandison bravely flung himself in front of the ball to deflect it up and into the air – allowing Jayson Leutwiler to comfortably claim.

Town responded immediately with Grant coming inches away from scoring what would have been goal of the season.

The creative schemer brilliantly lifted the ball over two defenders – Paul Gascoigne style – before sending a wonderful half volley inches past the post.

But with just over 20 minutes remaining, Grant did grab his and Town's second goal of the game.

After receiving the ball from Lawrence, the midfielder took a touch 20 yards from goal before firing an unstoppable strike into the far right corner and beyond the sprawling Jones.

It was another brilliant goal from the creative schemer who decided to celebrate his sixth goal of the season right in front of the Portsmouth fans behind the goal.

With their tails in the air, Town went looking for a third with Collins hitting a sharp strike on the turn which Jones did well to push over the bar.

Mellon decided to make two quick fire changes with the clock ticking towards the 90 minute mark.

First Tyrone Barnett was introduced for Akpa Akpro. Then Andy Mangan came on for James Collins.

But Town saw out the remaining minutes comfortably to record their third straight victory which sees them remain second in League Two.

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