• Carling Cup

Pompey avoid upset

ESPN staff
August 9, 2010
Darren Murphy equalised for Stevenage © Getty Images

Portsmouth avoided being the victims of a Carling Cup shock as they recorded a victory over League Two new boys Stevenage at the Lamex Stadium.

Competing in the first round of the League Cup since 2002, newly-relegated Portsmouth got off to a flier with an eighth-minute goal from 18-year-old Nadir Ciftci to silence the home fans.

Ciftci got on the end of a Matt Ritchie cross to direct a neat header home from just inside the six-yard box.

Pompey's lead, however, lasted just 10 minutes as Darren Murphy fired a 35-yard drive into the bottom corner to send the home fans into raptures.

The Carling Cup was new territory for Stevenage altogether following their elevation from the Conference last season.

But in an action-packed first half, it was Steve Cotterill's side that regained the lead in the 36th minute before the break when Joel Ward crossed for Michael Brown to head home from just inside the Stevenage penalty area.

The second period was an often tense and tight affair and the gulf in status between both sides was not very evident.

But following a losing start to their Championship campaign at the weekend, Cotterill will be happy that his side got a positive result in one of the trickiest ties of the first-round.

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