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Pompey are up and running after an Izale McLeod goal gave them their first victory of a disrupted pre-season away to their old Hampshire rivals Aldershot on Wednesday evening.
The Blues side was an unfamiliar one to the superb following of more than 1,000 Pompey fans who made the short journey to north Hampshire for the game. Keeper Glen Morris, Ago Sallaj, Kieron Djilali, Josh Thompson and Jack Compton were all on the teamsheet, joining the trialists who featured for Pompey on their pre-season Spanish tour.
Liam Lawrence and Tal Ben Haim - two of the remaining 'gang of three' who the Blues need to shift in the next eight days - were both present as were Adam Webster and Ashley Harris. Ben Haim was booed by Pompey fans who see him as a symbol of all the reasons their club is on the brink of liquidation - while Lawrence drew no such reaction.
Pompey took the lead just seven minutes into the match. Luke Rodgers opened up defence with a perfectly-weighted pass to McLeod, who calmly lifted the ball over the advancing home keeper Jamie Young.
The away fans must have hoped at that stage it was going to be a comfortable night but it didn't turn into a stroll. Pompey forced a series of corners before Aldershot soon settled and Morris spilled Josh Payne's free-kick on 14 minutes but Craig Reid was unable to convert the loose ball.
Morris kept out a Craig Stanley effort and the sides cancelled each other out over the remainder of the half.
After the break, Shots sub Danny Hylton sent a shot just wide before home defender Ollie Lancashire denied Lawrence.
Morris had to spare Ben Haim's blushes, saving after the defender put hi in trouble with a poor back-pass.
Sub Liam Walker came off the bench for Pompey and forced Young into a good save with a fiercely-struck effort.
After a rash of changes from both sides which ruined any fluency the game had had, Guy Madjoshot well but Morris was equal to it.
Tougher tests await this embryonic Blues side - starting with Bolton's visit to Fratton on Saturday - but this performance and victory will at least have given Michael Appleton a few indicators about who can do a job for him - and who can't.
Pompey: Morris; Webster, Sallaj (J.Thompson 65), Ben Haim, Harley; Djilali (Walker 61), Lawrence (c), Howard (Wallace 76), Harris (Compton 61); Rodgers, McLeod (D.Thompson 76). Subs not used: Butler, Magri.Attendance: 2,094 (1,053 Pompey fans).
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