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08 December 2020 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cheltenham v Pompey

All you need to know about Papa John’s Trophy tie

8 December 2020

Cheltenham Town v Pompey

The relentless run of league fixtures takes a breather, as the Papa John’s Trophy takes centre stage this evening.

Pompey head to Whaddon Road to face League Two side Cheltenham (7pm kick-off) for a place in the third round.

It is the hosts who were seeded for the draw, however, after topping Southern Group F, ahead of Norwich’s youngsters.

They won all three of their fixtures – which also included games against Plymouth and Newport – and did not concede a single goal in the process.

Like the Blues, however, their priority will be promotion, with the Robins currently sitting second in the fourth tier standings following a thrilling 5-3 victory over Exeter at the weekend.

Fans will be hoping for a better finish than last term, when they let slip a two-goal lead from the first leg of the play-offs to suffer an aggregate defeat to Northampton.

Cheltenham have never previously lifted the EFL Trophy – in any of its guises – while Pompey are, of course, the current holders and are still waiting to play last term’s final.

The hosts are also yet to enjoy a competitive win against the Blues, although five of the previous six meetings finished all square.

And the exception to that was certainly a memorable affair, with a 6-1 triumph at Fratton Park on the final day of the 2016/17 campaign sealing the League Two title for Paul Cook’s men.

In the event of a draw after 90 minutes this evening, the tie will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey will make 11 changes from the side that beat Peterborough in the league on Saturday, with some youngsters set to be given a chance to impress.

Michael Jacobs has returned to training following a knee ligament injury, but this evening’s game comes too soon for the midfielder.

Cheltenham are also likely to freshen things up, with their manager Michael Duff revealing that several members of his squad are carrying knocks.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Kenny Jackett ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 1 win
Cheltenham: 0 wins
5 draws

At Whaddon Road
Pompey: 0 wins
Cheltenham: 0 wins
3 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Kevin Johnson
Assistants: John Flynn and Christopher Husband
Fourth Official: Christopher Kidd

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 Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from 6pm.

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 8/11 favourites with Sky Bet to progress to round three, while the hosts can be backed at evens.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening's game. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN PAPA JOHN’S TROPHY
Games kick-off at 7pm unless stated

Hull v Crewe (5.30pm)
AFC Wimbledon v Arsenal U21 (6pm)
Oldham v Sunderland (6pm)
Accrington v Manchester United U21
Exeter v Northampton
Leyton Orient v Bristol Rovers
Peterborough v West Ham U21
Port Vale v Wolves U21
Salford v Leicester U21
Shrewsbury v Lincoln
Cambridge v Gillingham U21 (7.45pm)
Fleetwood v Blackpool (7.45pm)
MK Dons v Norwich U21 (7.45pm)
Oxford v Forest Green (7.45pm)
Tranmere v Manchester City U21 (7.45pm)

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Cheltenham 0 Pompey 3

Hiwula and Mnoga seal Papa John’s Trophy progress

8 December 2020

Jordy Hiwula scores for Pompey at Cheltenham in the Papa John's Trophy
Photo: Nigel Keene

Jordy Hiwula bagged a brace as Pompey cruised to victory at Cheltenham to reach the third round of the Papa John’s Trophy.

Haji Mnoga broke the deadlock with his first goal for the club early in the contest against the League Two high-flyers

Hiwula then took charge by scoring in each half, as the Blues continued their fine record in the competition.

Kenny Jackett made 11 changes from the side that impressively saw off Peterborough in the league at the weekend.

In fact, nobody who set foot on the Fratton turf for that fixture even made the trip to Whaddon Road.

Alex Bass returned between the sticks, behind a back three of James Bolton, Rasmus Nicolaisen and skipper Paul Downing.

Academy midfielder Charlie Bell was joined by Ben Close and Bryn Morris in the centre of the park, with Mnoga and Cam Pring out wide.

Young striker Alfie Stanley partnered Hiwula up front, with a host of teenage prospects on the bench.

The hosts threatened in the opening stages, with Downing having to head behind a dangerous cross and from the resulting corner, Ben Tozer hooked over.

But it was the Blues who broke the deadlock on 15 minutes, as Close picked out MNOGA at the back post.

The teenage wing-back cut onto his left foot and drilled a shot into the bottom corner to open his account for the club.

Hiwula might have doubled the lead soon after, but his effort took a deflection to divert the ball over the bar.

Pompey did score again on 29 minutes, though, with Pring’s delivery nodded down by Stanley for HIWULA to fire into the net.

The visitors were, as usual, looking threatening on the break and caused more problems for their opponents before the interval.

But the Robins almost reduced their deficit late in the half, as Andy Williams collected Dan Bowry’s delivery and drilled a shot narrowly past the post.

Half Time: Cheltenham 0 Pompey 2

Any hopes of a Cheltenham comeback were dashed shortly after the restart when HIWULA raced onto a Morris free-kick down the line and fired in a shot that Scott Flinders was unable to keep out.

The keeper did much better moments later, though, to prevent the striker completing his hat-trick by converting Pring’s cross.

Then, from the resulting corner that was whipped into the box by Bell, a close-range Bolton header went over.

Jackett made a first change just past the hour mark and brought on Gerard Storey for his senior debut in place of Bell.

Pring then went close to increasing the visitors’ lead further with an angled volley from Mnoga’s cross that Flinders gathered at his near post.

The Robins almost pulled once back from a corner and Bolton was well placed to head the ball off the line.

But most of the action was taking place at the other end of the pitch and Flinders made a fine save to deny Downing after the skipper met Pring’s free-kick.

Seok Jae Lee replaced Stanley for his second Blues appearance, but it was a Cheltenham substitute who almost scored seconds after coming on.

The midfielder was sent haring through on goal, but wasted the opportunity by firing straight at Bass.

Hiwula was still working hard to complete his treble, although was not able to force his shot through a sea of bodies following a spot of pinball in the box.

But the Blues had already done more than enough to seal their progress and maintain their grip on the silverware.

Cheltenham (3-4-3): Flinders; Bowry, Tozer (c) (Lloyd 46), Freestone; Sang, Azaz (Miles 77), Chamberlain, Chapman; Williams, Reid, May (Blair 46)
Booked: Tozer
Subs not used: Griffiths, Hussey, Jakeways, Ebanks

Pompey (3-5-2): Bass; Bolton, Downing (c), Nicolaisen; Mnoga, Bell (Storey 62), Close, Morris, Pring; Stanley (Lee 77), Hiwula
Goals: Mnoga 15, Hiwula 29, 50
Booked: Mnoga
Subs not used: Seymour, Kavanagh, Rew, Jewitt-White, Brook

Referee: Kevin Johnson

Attendance: 718

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