HALF TIME: Portsmouth 0 Accrington Stanley 0

First published in Sport

ACCRINGTON Stanley are level at half time in tonight's League Two fixture at Portsmouth.

James Beattie made one change from the 2-1 win at Torquay on the English Riviera, with two-goal hero Kal Naismith starting in place of George Bowerman, who had to settle for a place among the substitutes.

Cautious build-up was at a premium as both sides looked to make their mark in the opening minutes, and Pompey nearly capitalised from Peter Murphy's slip as Jake Jervis looked set to go one-on-one with Stanley stopper Marcus Bettinelli.

However, Stanley rode their luck after just two minutes of play, as the ground looked to swallow up Jervis' left boot and diffuse the hosts' chance of an early lead.

Kayode Odejayi had Stanley's best chance of the opening period, after excellent work from Naismith set Peter Liddle free down the left wing, and the defender's cross looked to find the head of Odejayi – only for Bondz N'Gala to clear at the last minute.

Piero Mingoia saw plenty of the ball down the right wing, with a couple of half-decent crosses into the box but with little attacking support to match the midfielder's work-rate.

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Murphy then looked to make amends from his earlier mistake as he tried his luck with a 30-yard thunderbolt after half an hour, but his shot flew agonisingly wide of Trevor Carson's upright.

Stanley boss James Beattie suffered plenty of abuse from the home supporters throughout the first half, but the ex-Southampton man will be the happier of the two managers as both sides receive their half-time instructions.

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