Football: Wimbledon profit from Ekoku double
Wimbledon 4 Portsmouth 1 aet; score at 90min 2-1; agg 5-3
Wednesday 23 September 1998
Wimbledon went into this second round, second leg with a one-goal deficit having lost 2-1 at Fratton Park last week. They were taken to extra time last night by a tenacious Pompey side, who had held the scoreline to 2- 1 at 90 minutes, but in the end they ran out comfortable winners, with Carl Leaburn and Ekoku scoring with headers to secure the victory.
"If we'd been more comfortable in front of goal we could have come away with a win tonight," Alan Ball, Portsmouth's manager, said. As it was it was the home side who dominated both in confidence and in physical presence. The Dons took charge of the opening 15 minutes, with their aerial superiority provided by their three lanky front men, one or more of Leaburn, Cort and Ekoku always in a dangerous position.
Portsmouth soaked up the pressure to take the lead in the 19th minute after a well-worked corner. Sammy Igoe played a deft one-two with Alan McLoughlin and then lofted the ball into the box. Pompey's captain, Adrian Whitbread, was on hand to sidefoot into the net.
Six minutes later the home side pulled a goal back. After being awarded a free-kick 25 yards from the visitors goal, Ekoku tapped the ball to Neal Ardley and the midfielder's fierce shot gave the goalkeeper no chance.
After 55 minutes, the Dons breached Portsmouth's defence again. Russell Perrett mis-headed the ball while trying to clear the visitors' line, Ekoku nipped in and stole it, and sidestepped Aaron Flahaven and scored.
The remainder of the regular 90 minutes was played out in fairly chaotic style with Wimbledon continuing to bombard the Portsmouth box and only some fine saves by Flahaven preventing the visitors from being eliminated during normal time.
Portsmouth fans, possibly forming a slight majority in a pitiful 3,756 crowd were nearly treated to a goal by Martin Phillips eight minutes into extra time, but his effort shook the bar and bounced away. Five minutes later a Wimbledon corner was directed home by Leaburn and midway through the second half of the extra period, Ekoku ensured a 4-1 win on the night and 5-3 aggregate victory by heading in after meeting a cross from Alan Kimble.
Wimbledon (4-3-3): Heald; Jupp (Kimble, h-t), Cunningham, Perry, Thatcher; Ardley, Francis (Roberts, 63), Kennedy; Leaburn, Cort (Euell, h-t), Ekoku. Substitutes not used: Sullivan, Gayle.
Portsmouth (5-3-2): Flahavan; Thorgersen, Whitbread, Perrett, Awford, Simpson (Phillips, 65); McLoughlin, Igoe, Peron; Aloisi, Claridge. Substitutes not used: Knight, Durnin, Soley, Kyzeridis.
Referee: M Riley (Leeds).
Latest in Sport
Chelsea injury news: Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic could join Diego Costa on the sidelines for crucial Manchester City clash
Australian Open 2015: Thanks to Amelie Mauresmo, it's no longer Andy Murray against the world
Manchester United sign former Manchester City prospect Sadiq El Fitouri on advice from Phil Neville and Paul Scholes
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Game of Thrones season 5 trailer: The first full-length look is here
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
King Abdullah dead: We can't afford not to hold Saudi Arabia's royals to account
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is a two form entry primary schoo...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...