Pompey strike late to earn second Wembley trip in 12 months

POMPEY booked a return trip to Wembley on April 5 with a hard-fought and thrilling 3-2 win over Exeter City in the Leasing.com Trophy semi-final at Fratton Park on Tuesday night.

Kenny Jackett’s side had to come from behind twice before John Marquis settled the game deep into injury time against the Grecians.

There seemed little indication of the dramatic finale to the game with no goals until the 79th minute; Jake Taylor’s strike triggering an explosive last 15 minutes of action.

The League Two side proved worthy opposition going ahead with 11 minutes left before Marcus Harness equalised in the 86th minute after Ronan Curtis’s effort was blocked on the line. The visitors went ahead again through an own goal from Christian Burgess and as the game entered injury time it looked all over for Pompey until Cameron McGeehan’s effort was deflected over Lewis Ward in the Exeter goal to bring the scores level again.

But Portsmouth weren’t finished there with Curtis the provider again, superbly bringing the ball down before delivering a cross in the fourth minute of injury time that Marquis headed home to send the Fratton faithful wild with delight.

Pompey would be the first team to successfully retain the EFL Trophy if they triumph at Wembley in April, with Newport County or Salford City their opponents.