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24 April 2021 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Bristol Rovers

All you need to know about League One test

23 April 2021

Pompey v Bristol Rovers

Pompey are in desperate need of points to keep their play-off hopes alive with four fixtures remaining.

They host bottom club Bristol Rovers on Saturday (1pm kick-off), looking to end a four-match winless run.

Meanwhile, the visitors know that anything less than victory on the south coast would see their relegation confirmed before all the day’s other games have even kicked-off.

Even three points would not be enough to escape their fate should Wigan avoid defeat against Burton later in the afternoon.

Joey Barton has guided the club to just three wins since taking charge at the Memorial Stadium back in February.

He is the third permanent boss of The Gas this season, following in the footsteps of Ben Garner and Paul Tisdale.

They were beaten 2-0 on home soil by MK Dons earlier in the week and have suffered seven losses in the past nine matches.

Head of recruitment Tommy Widdrington was in caretaker charge when Rovers beat Pompey 3-1 earlier in the campaign.

There was no Fratton meeting last term because of Covid-19, with the most recent Portsea Island contest finishing 1-1 in February 2019.

TEAM NEWS

Lee Brown
Fixture News

Cowley Provides Injury Update

22 April 2021

Alex Bass (foot), Ben Close (groin), Ellis Harrison (knee), Jordy Hiwula (ankle) and Michael Jacobs (knee) are all still sidelined.

Jack Whatmough serves the second of a four-game ban, while there is a doubt over Lee Brown (hamstring) and Andy Cannon continues to be nursed through a troublesome back complaint.

Ed Upson is suspended for the visitors, while manager Joey Barton could make changes after criticising his team earlier in the week.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 23 wins
Bristol Rovers: 12 wins
10 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 15 wins
Bristol Rovers: 2 wins
4 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Thomas Bramall
Assistants: Christopher Wade and Greg Read
Fourth Official: Kevin Johnson

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with four-camera coverage, graphics, commentary and replays – by purchasing a match pass for £10.

Subscribers will, as usual, be able to listen to listen to live commentary from Andy Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 12pm.

Please note that subscribers based in the UK and Ireland will still need to purchase a match pass in order to watch the game live.

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 have updates throughout the game on Twitter and the match centre. You can also see behind-the-scenes content on our Instagram story.

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

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

iFollowBristolRoversH.jpg

BETTING
Pompey are the 11/20 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 11/2.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Saturday’s game. 18+. Be Gamble Aware.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
All games kick-off at 3pm

Blackpool v Shrewsbury
Charlton v Peterborough
Crewe v Rochdale
Doncaster v Fleetwood
Gillingham v Northampton
Ipswich v AFC Wimbledon
Lincoln v Hull
MK Dons v Swindon
Oxford v Plymouth
Sunderland v Accrington
Wigan v Burton

MEMORABLE MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Bristol Rovers 0

Curtis secures three points for Blues at Fratton Park

24 April 2021

Ronan Curtis and George Byers celebrate after scoring for Pompey against Bristol Rovers
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Ronan Curtis scored the only goal of the game as Pompey beat Bristol Rovers to revive their play-off hopes.

The result at a sunny Fratton Park also ended the visitors’ slim hopes of avoiding relegation to League Two.

It was midway through the first half when the key moment arrived, as Curtis completed a fine move with a neat finish.

Danny Cowley made a single change from the side that were beaten on the road at Swindon earlier in the week.

Charlie Daniels dropped to the bench to make way for George Byers, as Pompey switched to a 3-4-3 system.

Callum Johnson joined Sean Raggett and Rasmus Nicolaisen in the back-line, with Ryan Williams and Marcus Harness out wide.

Byers and Curtis were positioned either side of leading marksman John Marquis, who was making his 100th appearance for the club.

The game began at a frenetic pace, with both sides flying into challenges and looking to get forward when possible.

But there were few clear-cut chances to speak of and it took a while for the hosts to gain control of proceedings.

They soon began passing the ball around neatly on a carpet of a pitch, with Byers and Ben Close looking particularly pleasing in possession.

It was the visitors who were first to properly threaten, though, as Alex Rodman got past Nicolaisen and tried an angled shot that Craig MacGillivray got his fingertips to.

But Pompey broke the deadlock moments later, with a nice move that started with the keeper rolling the ball out to Close.

He then found CURTIS, who received a delightful return pass from Byers before expertly bending a shot into the bottom corner.

Nicolaisen came close to doubling the lead, rising highest to meet a Close free-kick and sending a header narrowly past the post.

Pompey were looking pretty much in control, but Rovers had a chance to level just before the interval.

A free-kick was not properly dealt and Rodman nodded the ball towards the line, with Raggett able to scramble it clear.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Bristol Rovers 0

The visitors looked to attack right from kick-off and a fierce long-range strike from Luke McCormick was gathered at the second attempt by MacGillivray.

A nice pass from Tom Naylor then found Williams on the left and Anssi Jaakkola did well to claim the Australian’s cross, with Marquis ready to pounce.

Rovers – who had nothing really to lose – were certainly posing more of a threat as the second half progressed.

But the back three were holding their own and denying the opposition forward line a clear sight of MacGillivray’s goal.

Cowley made a change just past the hour mark, with Andy Cannon – who has been nursing a back problem – replacing Close.

Pompey began to take control again, with Byers, Harness and Marquis all seeing efforts blocked in quick succession.

Another change saw the impressive Byers make way for Harvey White, with Cowley looking for some fresh energy.

Daniels and James Bolton then came on for Williams and Harness to shore up the wing-back positions.

A superb long pass from White picked out Curtis in space on 80 minutes, but the Republic of Ireland international could not find the target with a curling shot.

And Pompey saw out the closing stages with relative ease to claim the three points that boosts their hopes of a top six finish.

Pompey (3-4-3): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen; Harness (Bolton 77), Close (Cannon 63), Naylor (c), Williams (Daniels 77); Byers (White 70), Marquis, Curtis
Goals: Curtis 27
Subs not used: Ward, Downing, Stanley

Bristol Rovers (4-4-2): Jaakkola; Williams, Kilgour (Hare 84), Baldwin, Leahy (c); Rodman (Hargreaves 75), Martinez (Little 84), McCormick, Westbrooke (Oztumer 59); Hanlan, Daly (Walker 75)
Subs not used: Day, Tutonda

Referee: Thomas Bramall

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