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Kick off 18:00 (UK)

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20 April 2021 Venue The County Ground Attendance

Kick off 18:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Swindon v Pompey

All you need to know about League One test

20 April 2021

Swindon Town v Pompey

There is plenty at stake at both ends of the League One table when visit Swindon this evening (6pm kick-off).

A run of three games without a win has seen the Blues drop just outside of the play-off places with five fixtures remaining.

Their hosts, meanwhile, are desperate to remain in the division, although time is running out to preserve their third tier status.

In fact, the Robins – who are bottom of the table – could be relegated tonight if they lose and both AFC Wimbledon and Wigan win their matches.

The Wiltshire outfit have lost each of their past five games to leave them seven points adrift of safety.

And a 4-1 defeat at Plough Lane on Saturday led to John Sheridan stepping down as manager, having only replaced Richie Wellens in November.

His assistant Tommy Wright has been placed in charge for the remainder of the campaign, working alongside Lee Peacock from the academy.

Relegation would ensure an immediate return to League Two, with Swindon claiming the title – pipping Crewe on the points-per-game method – last term.

Pompey do not have fond memories of their last competitive trip to the County Ground, with a 5-0 defeat ensuring a miserable first day of 2013.

But goals from Ronan Curtis and Ellis Harrison ensured a 2-0 victory when the sides met on the south coast a couple of months ago.

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

Jack Whatmough starts a four-match ban following his second red card of the season at MK Dons on Saturday, while there are doubts over the fitness of Lee Brown (hamstring) and Andy Cannon (back).

Mathieu Baudry, Zeki Fryers, Rob Hunt, Ellis Iandolo (all hamstring), Dion Conroy (Achilles) and Akin Odimayo (knee) are all in the Swindon treatment room.

Paul Caddis (hamstring) could also miss out, but Brett Pitman is likely to feature against his former club.

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

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 24 wins
Swindon: 28 wins
18 draws

At County Ground
Pompey: 9 wins
Swindon: 18 wins
8 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Ben Toner
Assistants: Stephen Brown and Garry Maskell
Fourth Official: Michael Chard

MATCH COVERAGE
Supporters in the UK can watch the action live – with 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 David Connolly by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 5.30pm.

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 Wednesday.

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

BETTING
Pompey are the 3/4 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 7/2.

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

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated

Accrington v Doncaster
AFC Wimbledon v Oxford
Bristol Rovers v MK Dons
Burton v Lincoln
Northampton v Ipswich
Rochdale v Blackpool
Shrewsbury v Wigan
Fleetwood v Crewe (7.45pm)
Hull v Sunderland (7.45pm)
Peterborough v Gillingham (7.45pm)
Plymouth v Charlton (7.45pm)

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Swindon 3 Pompey 1

Curtis on target, but Blues are beaten by struggling Robins

20 April 2021

John Marquis in action for Pompey at Swindon
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey stumbled again in their hunt for a play-off spot, losing to bottom side Swindon at the County Ground.

Brett Pitman came back to haunt his former club with a goal in each half, the second coming from the penalty spot.

Ronan Curtis reduced the deficit and the Blues pressed for a leveller, only for Tyer Smith to wrap things up for the struggling Robins at the death.

Danny Cowley made two changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at MK Dons at the weekend.

Ben Close recovered from a groin problem to replace Harvey White in the centre of midfield, while Rasmus Nicolaisen came in for Jack Whatmough – who begins a four-match ban – at the back.

It was a nervy start from the visitors, who looked nervy at the back and sloppy in possession during the opening stages.

But they had the first decent chance of the contest on 13 minutes, as Marcus Harness met Callum Johnson’s corner with a fine header that was turned over by Lee Camp.

Craig MacGillivray was soon called into action at the other end, getting down to his right to push clear a Scott Twine free-kick.

He could do nothing to prevent Swindon from breaking the deadlock moments later, though, after the Blues had lost possession.

Their opponents took advantage in clinical fashion, as Jack Payne laid the ball off for Pitman to lash into the net.

Pompey began to enjoy more possession as the half progressed, without really threatening to equalise.

One fine Johnson pass over the top played Marquis through and although the striker made a nice first touch, his second saw the ball run wastefully out of play.

A low Harness ball towards the striker at the back post was cut out by Anthony Grant, as the visitors finished the half on top.

But the Robins dealt with a couple of Charlie Daniels corners to ensure they would go in ahead at the interval.

Half Time: Swindon 1 Pompey 0

Pompey showed plenty of attacking intent once the action restarted, but were continuing to struggle in the final third.

Curtis – who was the most dangerous player going forward – flashed a shot wide, while another Daniels corner came to nothing.

They almost levelled on 55 minutes after Tom Naylor sent a perfectly timed lofted pass over the Robins back-line.

Marquis collected it well, but his shot was blocked by Dominic Thompson and Camp saved the follow-up from Harness.

Swindon went straight up the other end and came close to doubling their advantage, with MacGillivray coming to the rescue after Smith had squared the ball to Pitman.

And the home side did go further ahead just past the hour mark, with Daniels conceding a penalty for the second time in as many games.

He was booked for bundling over Smith, who had taken a heavy touch following fine work from Pitman.

Referee Ben Toner pointed to the spot and Pitman made no mistake, slamming the ball right into the bottom corner.

Pompey were trying to fight back and a fizzing strike from Curtis had to be palmed behind by Camp after Ben Close had laid the ball into his path.

George Byers then came on for Daniels, with skipper Naylor dropping into a three-man defensive line, while Sean Raggett soon made way for James Bolton.

Andy Cannon also replaced Ben Close for the closing stages, as the visitors continued to control possession.

And they had a lifeline on 82 minutes, as CURTIS controlled a threaded Marquis pass and bundled the ball home.

They came close to a leveller seconds later, with Byers playing a neat one-two with Curtis and drawing a smart stop from Camp.

Cannon was next to go close, with a low drive that crept inches past the post, as the Blues increased the pressure.

But Swindon wrapped things up in stoppage-time, as Smith stole possession, advanced forwards and neatly found the bottom corner.

Swindon (4-4-2): Camp; Garrick, A.Grant, Grounds, Thompson; Payne, Palmer, Missilou (Hope 79), Twine; Pitman (c) (Broadbent 90), Smith
Goals: Pitman 17, 61 (pen), Smith 90+1
Booked: Thompson
Subs not used: Matthews, Baudry, Curran, Omotoye, J.Grant

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Raggett (Bolton 74), Nicolaisen, Daniels (Byers 70); Naylor (c), Close (Cannon 81); Harness, Williams, Curtis; Marquis
Goals: Curtis 82
Booked: Daniels, Nicolaisen, Cannon
Subs not used: Ward, Downing, White, Stanley

Referee: Ben Toner

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