Michael Appleton's reign as Portsmouth manager got off to a disappointing start with defeat at Watford.

The former West Bromwich Albion coach, who took over at Fratton Park nine days ago, could not lead Pompey to a first away win of the season.

It was a deserved victory for Watford, who opened the scoring when on-loan Michael Kightly fired in his first goal in two-and-a-half years from 25 yards.

Marvin Sordell's superb volley from a Mark Yeates corner sealed victory.

Appleton's side went a goal down inside two minutes.

Former England Under-21 international Kightly, on loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, found space on the left flank and put the home side ahead with a speculative drive that beat Stephen Henderson from long range.

The winger had a further chance to score when his effort hit the side netting, but Pompey were starting to impress in possession - and only a last-ditch challenge from Nyron Nosworthy thwarted visiting striker Luke Varney when clear on goal.

It was a chance Portsmouth were left to rue as they soon went two goals down, Sordell connecting exquisitely with Yeates' corner.

Sean Dyche's men continued in the ascendancy after the break, Sordell missing a clear-cut chance for the game's third goal in the 69th minute when he flicked a header over from close range.

With 10 minutes remaining, Varney's header forced Scott Loach into his first save of the match.

The keeper was again called into action to thwart a Erik Huseklepp free-kick in the 90th minute, but that was as good as it got for the 1,727 visiting fans.

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (3)

Watford

  • 01 Loach
  • 02 Hodson
  • 03 Dickinson
  • 06 Mariappa
  • 33 Nosworthy
  • 07 Yeates
  • 18 Kightly (Deeney - 83' )
  • 19 Buaben
  • 32 Hogg Booked
  • 10 Iwelumo
  • 20 Sordell

Substitutes

  • 13 Gilmartin
  • 21 Mirfin
  • 04 Eustace
  • 09 Deeney
  • 37 Beattie

Portsmouth

  • 13 Henderson
  • 02 Ward
  • 03 Rocha
  • 05 Pearce
  • 15 Halford
  • 26 Ben-Haim (Mwaruwari - 46' )
  • 08 Mullins
  • 10 Huseklepp
  • 19 Norris (Razak - 71' )
  • 11 Varney
  • 18 Kitson Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Ashdown
  • 04 Mokoena
  • 14 Razak
  • 25 Mwaruwari
  • 27 Kanu
Ref: Scott
Att: 12,864

Match Stats

Shots

13 8

On target

6 3

Corners

7 3

Fouls

19 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:02

Abdul Razak gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Troy Deeney. Mark Yeates produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, blocked by Dave Kitson. Mark Yeates takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by Benjani Mwaruwari.

90:00 +2:06

The ball is swung over by Mark Yeates, Greg Halford makes a clearance.

90:00 +1:26

Mark Yeates produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.

89:55 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

88:49

Nyron Nosworthy gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dave Kitson. Shot on goal comes in from Erik Huseklepp from the free kick, save made by Scott Loach.

86:37

Jonathan Hogg concedes a free kick for a foul on Hayden Mullins. Hayden Mullins takes the direct free kick. Unfair challenge on Erik Huseklepp by Jonathan Hogg results in a free kick. Erik Huseklepp sends in a cross, Close range header by Dave Kitson goes wide of the left-hand upright.

83:56

Benjani Mwaruwari challenges Mark Yeates unfairly and gives away a free kick. Lee Hodson restarts play with the free kick.

83:24

Benjani Mwaruwari handles the ball and concedes a free kick. Scott Loach takes the free kick.

82:15 Substitution

Substitution Troy Deeney replaces Michael Kightly.

81:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Carl Dickinson on Luke Varney. Ricardo Rocha takes the direct free kick.

80:42

The offside flag is raised against Benjani Mwaruwari. Free kick taken by Scott Loach.

79:40

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Erik Huseklepp played to the near post, Luke Varney takes a shot. Save by Scott Loach.

78:18

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Marvin Sordell by Abdul Razak. Mark Yeates restarts play with the free kick.

76:32

Joel Ward crosses the ball, Nyron Nosworthy manages to make a clearance.

75:32

The referee penalises Mark Yeates for handball. Abdul Razak takes the free kick.

74:10

Free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.

74:10 Booking

Booking The referee shows Jonathan Hogg a yellow card.

74:02

Jonathan Hogg challenges Abdul Razak unfairly and gives away a free kick.

71:16

Corner taken right-footed by Carl Dickinson from the right by-line, Joel Ward fouled by Chris Iwelumo, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

70:21 Substitution

Substitution Abdul Razak comes on in place of David Norris.

68:52

The ball is delivered by Mark Yeates, Jason Pearce gets a block in. Inswinging corner taken by Mark Yeates from the right by-line, Dave Kitson makes a clearance. The ball is crossed by Lee Hodson, Marvin Sordell produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.

67:56

Centre by Erik Huseklepp.

66:07

The referee blows for offside. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick. Chris Iwelumo gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ricardo Rocha. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

65:08

The ball is delivered by Greg Halford.

64:09

Marvin Sordell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joel Ward. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

62:08

Ricardo Rocha gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Chris Iwelumo. Mark Yeates delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, save by Stephen Henderson.

60:31

Michael Kightly concedes a free kick for a foul on David Norris. Greg Halford shoots direct from the free kick.

58:29

Centre by Mark Yeates, Ricardo Rocha gets a block in. Corner taken by Mark Yeates from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Benjani Mwaruwari.

56:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dave Kitson on Lee Hodson. Lee Hodson takes the direct free kick.

56:51 Booking

Booking Dave Kitson receives a caution for unsporting behaviour.

56:12

Effort on goal by Marvin Sordell from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the target.

55:00

The ball is swung over by Luke Varney, clearance made by Adrian Mariappa. Free kick awarded for a foul by Michael Kightly on Greg Halford. Free kick crossed right-footed by Erik Huseklepp, Jonathan Hogg makes a clearance.

53:23

Mark Yeates takes a shot. Jason Pearce gets a block in.

51:13

Michael Kightly fouled by Greg Halford, the ref awards a free kick. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick.

49:46

The assistant referee signals for offside against Benjani Mwaruwari. Direct free kick taken by Scott Loach.

48:30

Prince Buaben takes a shot. Jason Pearce gets a block in. Corner taken by Mark Yeates from the right by-line. Carl Dickinson crosses the ball, Stephen Henderson makes a save.

47:43

Chris Iwelumo concedes a free kick for a foul on Luke Varney. Stephen Henderson takes the direct free kick.

46:33

Effort on goal by Dave Kitson from outside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

45:10

Marvin Sordell produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari is brought on as a substitute for Tal Ben-Haim.

45:00 +2:29 Half time

Half Time The match has reached half-time.

45:00 +1:52

Dave Kitson produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.

44:32

The assist for the goal came from Mark Yeates.

44:32 Goal scored

Goal! - Marvin Sordell - Watford 2 - 0 Portsmouth A goal is scored by Marvin Sordell from deep inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Watford 2-0 Portsmouth.

44:04

Corner taken right-footed by Mark Yeates,

43:55

Lee Hodson crosses the ball, Tal Ben-Haim makes a clearance.

42:21

Jonathan Hogg gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Joel Ward. Greg Halford restarts play with the free kick.

41:37

Jonathan Hogg gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Dave Kitson. Greg Halford takes the free kick.

40:00

Inswinging corner taken by Erik Huseklepp from the left by-line.

39:18

Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Iwelumo on Tal Ben-Haim. Erik Huseklepp crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance made by Adrian Mariappa.

39:03

A cross is delivered by Erik Huseklepp, clearance by Carl Dickinson.

37:17

Luke Varney is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Nyron Nosworthy.

35:57

David Norris is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Scott Loach.

34:52

Inswinging corner taken by Erik Huseklepp from the left by-line, Chris Iwelumo manages to make a clearance.

34:24

Unfair challenge on Tal Ben-Haim by Chris Iwelumo results in a free kick. Jason Pearce takes the direct free kick.

31:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Pearce on Chris Iwelumo. Free kick crossed right-footed by Mark Yeates. Free kick awarded for a foul by Chris Iwelumo on Jason Pearce. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.

30:45

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mark Yeates played to the near post, clearance made by Luke Varney.

30:14

Tal Ben-Haim challenges Lee Hodson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Yeates restarts play with the free kick. The ball is sent over by Mark Yeates, save made by Stephen Henderson.

27:45

The assistant referee flags for offside against Luke Varney. Indirect free kick taken by Scott Loach.

25:43

Lee Hodson sends in a cross, Effort on goal by Marvin Sordell from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.

23:34

The ball is swung over by Jonathan Hogg, Ricardo Rocha makes a clearance. The ball is delivered by Michael Kightly.

21:47

Hayden Mullins fouled by Jonathan Hogg, the ref awards a free kick. Erik Huseklepp crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from right channel.

21:30

A cross is delivered by Luke Varney, Carl Dickinson makes a clearance.

18:29

Dave Kitson fouled by Carl Dickinson, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Henderson takes the direct free kick.

18:00

The ball is sent over by Lee Hodson, clearance made by Jason Pearce.

17:19

Centre by Marvin Sordell.

16:36

The ball is sent over by Michael Kightly, clearance by Jason Pearce.

16:25

Michael Kightly delivers the ball, clearance by Greg Halford.

16:06

Marvin Sordell crosses the ball, clearance by Jason Pearce.

15:22

Marvin Sordell takes a shot. Stephen Henderson makes a save.

13:49

Effort from deep inside the area by Michael Kightly misses to the left of the target.

13:20

Lee Hodson crosses the ball, Jason Pearce makes a clearance.

9:18

Effort on goal by Prince Buaben from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar. A cross is delivered by Stephen Henderson. Unfair challenge on Adrian Mariappa by David Norris results in a free kick. Scott Loach restarts play with the free kick.

7:21

The ball is crossed by Luke Varney, clearance by Nyron Nosworthy.

7:00

Michael Kightly crosses the ball, save made by Stephen Henderson.

6:45

The ball is delivered by Erik Huseklepp, Jonathan Hogg makes a clearance.

5:30

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Greg Halford by Michael Kightly. Stephen Henderson takes the free kick.

4:53

Luke Varney takes a shot. Save made by Scott Loach.

3:41

Effort on goal by Luke Varney from inside the penalty box misses to the right of the target.

2:34

Free kick awarded for a foul by Dave Kitson on Adrian Mariappa. Scott Loach takes the direct free kick.

1:15 Goal scored

Goal! - Michael Kightly - Watford 1 - 0 Portsmouth Goal scored by Michael Kightly from outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Watford 1-0 Portsmouth.

1:00

A cross is delivered by Michael Kightly, clearance by Tal Ben-Haim.

0:00

The game kicks-off.

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