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31 March 2018 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Walsall v Pompey

All you need to know about League One clash

30 March 2018

Walsall v Pompey

Pompey will look to build on successive victories when they make an Easter visit to Walsall on Saturday.

Kenny Jackett’s side have beaten Oldham and Oxford to improve their chances of snatching a play-off place.

Now they face a Saddlers side who are more concerned with events at the opposite end of the League One table.

A home defeat to Wigan meant they sat just four points above the drop zone going into the bank holiday weekend.

It was their third successive loss and a fifth from the past six games – a run of form that led to the dismissal of Jon Whitney as manager.

Dean Keates was appointed from Wrexham to replace him and will be in the dug-out for the first time on Saturday after watching the Latics reverse from the stands.

It was a 1-1 draw when the sides met at Fratton Park earlier in the season, with Luke Leahy’s opener cancelled out by a Brett Pitman penalty.

The Blues were beaten on their most recent visit to the Bescot Stadium in January 2013, although goals from Kevin Harper and Svetoslav Todorov secured a win en route to promotion 10 years earlier.

TEAM NEWS
Oli Hawkins and Stuart O’Keefe are available for Pompey again after recovering from hamstring and groin injuries respectively.

But the Blues are still without goalkeeper Stephen Henderson (thigh) and midfielder Danny Rose (leg).

On-loan Walsall defender Krystian Bielik has returned to Arsenal with a hamstring problem, while Joe Edwards (knee) also missed out.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett and Dion Donohue or register for a free iFollow account to watch the below videos.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 10 wins
Walsall: 7 wins
9 draws

At Walsall
Pompey: 3 wins
Walsall: 4 wins
5 draws

TICKETS
Seats can be secured at the Bescot Stadium on the day of the game. Click here for more details.

MATCH COVERAGE
Domestic iFollow subscribers can listen to live commentary of the game by signing into their account and visiting the match centre.

Overseas subscribers can watch the match live by following the same instructions.

Click here for more information about using iFollow on a matchday and click here for information on downloading the app, so you can access content on your mobile device.

We will also have updates on Twitter and via the match centre.

There will be post-match reaction on the website, iFollow and our official YouTube channel, with highlights to follow on Sunday.

Local listeners can hear commentary on Express FM or BBC Radio Solent (not online), while The News will also have extensive coverage.

BETTING
Pompey are the 6/5 favourites with Sky Bet to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 12/5.

Click here to read our full betting guide and visit www.skybet.com/pompey for great offers and promotions. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Easter Monday
Bradford v Walsall
Charlton v Rotherham
Doncaster v AFC Wimbledon
Fleetwood v Bristol Rovers
MK Dons v Blackburn
Oldham v Blackpool
Peterborough v Northampton
Scunthorpe v Plymouth
Shrewsbury v Oxford
Southend v Gillingham

Tuesday
Bury v Rochdale (7.45pm)

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Walsall 0 Pompey 1

Evans goal ensures Easter delight for Blues

31 March 2018

Gareth Evans celebrates scoring for Pompey at Walsall

Gareth Evans found the target as a dominant Pompey won at Walsall to keep alive their play-off hopes.

The Blues took charge following a scrappy first half, although it seemed as though they would not be able to find a way past the struggling Saddlers.

But their patience was rewarded 11 minutes of time when Evans stroked home to seal a third successive victory.

Kenny Jackett made one change from the side that beat Oxford on home soil the previous week.

Evans returned to the starting line-up in place of Connor Ronan, while the fit-again pair of Stuart O’Keefe and Oli Hawkins were both named on the bench.

There was a slight reshuffle, however, as Nathan Thompson switched to right-back, with Anton Walkes handed the holding midfield role.

With every other League One match played the previous day, there was no-one else to take the attention away from Pompey and Walsall.

Unfortunately, the first half failed to make the most of the spotlight, with no clear-cut opportunities arriving at either end of the pitch.

There were half-chances peppered throughout, though, with most of them falling the way of the visitors.

Jamal Lowe saw an early effort blocked, while Dion Donohue and Luke McGee both acted quickly to beat opposition players to the ball.

Brett Pitman did well to get a shot away after a Naismith flick, although there was not enough pace behind it to trouble Liam Roberts in the Saddlers goal.

Arguably the best Blues chance arrived on 12 minutes when Ben Close made a clean connection with Evans’ delivery, only to send the ball straight at Roberts.

A couple more Pompey chances went off target as the half progressed, as Jack Whatmough was unable to make the most of space afforded to him at the far post.

Pitman then met another Evans cross with a deft header – although it was slightly too deft and the ball flashed past the post.

Close also fired into the side netting, while Kieron Morris dragged wide in a rare opening at the other end.

But the biggest reaction from the stands came when Nicky Devlin was booked for a foul on Naismith, with some irate home supporters believing it was a soft decision.

Half Time: Walsall 0 Pompey 0

It was Pompey who looked the more attack-minded side once the second half resumed and they launched several quick forays forward.

One of them led to a chance for Donohue, whose thunderous effort from the left side of the box narrowly cleared the crossbar.

Naismith – still getting booed for having the temerity to be fouled earlier – was next to go close and his shot took a slight deflection to divert the ball wide.

It was the visitors on top and Roberts had to grab Pitman’s looping header underneath his own bar after the skipper had met Close’s cross.

The lively Naismith was then afforded space to surge forward on 65 minutes and drive the ball just wide.

He then turned provider, sending in a teasing low cross that a lunging Pitman was agonisingly unable to reach at the far post.

But Walsall appeared to have weathered the storm and soon had their own chance to break the deadlock.

Luke Leahy sent in a teasing delivery from wide on the left and Amadou Bakayoko came charging in to meet it, but could not keep his shot down.

But the Blues almost scored themselves when Jamal Lowe was brought down and Pitman’s free-kick had to be turned over by Roberts.

A goal did arrive on 79 minutes, however, as the visitors finally made their second half dominance count.

Lowe laid the ball into the path of EVANS on the edge of the box and he hit a sweet first-time shot past Roberts’ grasp and into the net.

Walsall tried to find a way back into the contest, but the Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to ensure a fine opening to their Easter double-bill.

Walsall (4-2-3-1): Roberts; Devlin, Fitzwater, Guthrie, Leahy; Cuvelier (Dobson 72), Chambers (c); Morris, Oztumer (Shaibu 84), Ngoy (Kouhyar 67); Bakayoko
Booked: Devlin, Bakayoko, Guthrie, Morris
Subs not used: Gillespie, Roberts, Kinsella, Flanagan

Pompey (4-1-4-1): McGee; Thompson, Whatmough, Clarke, Donohue; Walkes; Lowe, Evans, Close (Ronan 77), Naismith; Pitman (c)
Goals: Evans 79
Booked: Donohue, Walkes
Subs not used: Bass, Burgess, Haunstrup, O’Keefe, Kennedy, Hawkins

Referee: Darren Handley

Attendance: 5,159 (1,458 Pompey fans)

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Ticket News

Walsall (A): Ticket Update

Pay on the day for League One clash

29 March 2018

Walsall

Pompey fans can buy tickets for Saturday’s clash with Walsall (3pm kick-off) on the day of the game.

More than 1,400 supporters have already secured seats for the League One contest, which kick-off at 3pm.

They can be purchased (cash only) from the Bescot Stadium turnstiles, although family tickets are only available from the ticket office.

Category University of
Wolverhampton Stand
St Francis
Group Stand*
Adult £23.50 £25.50
Senior (60+) £19 £19.50
Junior (U18) £19 £17.50
Family Ticket** £25.50 £27.50

*Please note that seats in the St Francis Group Stand will only be made available once all seats in the University of Wolverhampton Stand have been sold.

**A family ticket is for one junior with an adult parent or guardian, with extra junior tickets available for £12.50.

Supporters buying concession tickets are advised to bring proof of age identification with them to the game.

Please note that the ticket office is now closed until Easter Monday. Supporters can buy tickets for the Wigan game online here.

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