Portsmouth 3-0 Birmingham: Ellis Harrison double fires Pompey into Carabao Cup second round
Harrison scores either side of Ben Close's volley to steer Portsmouth to victory at Fratton Park
Last Updated: 06/08/19 10:44pm
Ellis Harrison struck twice as Portsmouth cruised into the second round of the Carabao Cup with a 3-0 victory over Birmingham at Fratton Park.
The striker, making his first start for Pompey, opened the scoring after 30 minutes, while Ben Close doubled their lead just before the break.
Harrison then notched his second, and Portsmouth's third, shortly after the break to secure their passage into the second round for the first time since 2015/16.
Andy Cannon, Ben Close and Ellis Harrison all started for Portsmouth, while 16-year-old Jude Bellingham made his debut for Birmingham.
Portsmouth got their League One campaign off to a disappointing start on Saturday, as they were beaten 1-0 at Shrewsbury, so boss Kenny Jackett would have been pleased with their start against Birmingham.
They were brighter from the off and took the lead after half an hour as Harrison pounced quickest after Tom Naylor's initial header was kept out, seeing his follow-up, nodded effort clear the line.
Portsmouth: MacGillivray (7), Walkes (7), Downing (7), Burgess (7), Brown (7), Close (7), Naylor (6), Curtis (7), Cannon (6), Harness (6), Harrison (8)
Subs: Haunstrup (n/a), Pitman (n/a), Raggett (n/a)
Birmingham: Stockdale (5), Dacres-Cogley (5), Harding (5), Bajrami (5), Clarke-Salter (5), Seddon (5), C Gardner (6), Medina (5), Bellingham (5), Lakin (6), Crowley (5)
Subs: Bailey (n/a), Boyd-Munce (n/a)
Man of the match: Ellis Harrison
After 39 minutes, Pompey doubled their advantage thanks to a cracker from Close, who steered a brilliant volley into the bottom corner from 20 yards after the ball had dropped perfectly into his path.
Any hopes of a Birmingham comeback, not that they particularly threatened one, were dispelled after 54 minutes when Harrison grabbed his second, as he peeled away to the far post to latch onto Ronan Curtis' cross and head it past David Stockdale.
Man of the match - Ellis Harrison
A first start for Portsmouth and a couple of goals to boot. Harrison has plenty of competition in an attacking sense at Fratton Park, but he laid down a marker with a couple of clinical finishes.
Both sides are back in action at 3pm on Saturday. Portsmouth host Tranmere in League One and Birmingham welcome Bristol City to St Andrew's in the Championship.