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26 January 2021 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Lincoln

All you need to know about League One test

26 January 2021

Pompey v Lincoln City

Pompey have an immediate chance to bounce back from their heavy Hull defeat, when fellow promotion hopefuls Lincoln visit Fratton Park this evening (7pm kick-off).

The visitors have defied expectations by mounting a Championship challenge this season, having finished the truncated 2019/20 campaign in 16th position.

Michael Appleton’s men have never dropped outside the top six and have spent most of the time in either first or second position.

Dreams of Wembley may also be growing after a recent victory over Accrington took them into the quarter-finals of the Papa John’s Trophy.

There is no doubt, however, that reaching the second tier for the first time in 60 years will be the priority for Imps fans.

It would be quite some achievement for a side that were playing non-league football as recently as 2017.

Lincoln have won seven times on the road in League One this term, but have not tasted success against Pompey since 1980.

And the Blues won 3-1 at Sincil Bank back in November, courtesy of John Marquis’ brace and a Ronan Curtis strike.

TEAM NEWS
Alex Bass (calf) and Paul Downing (hamstring) are both still sidelined, but Pompey have no new injury concerns.

The hosts could hand debuts to left-back Charlie Daniels and midfielder George Byers, who both signed on Saturday.

Lincoln are likely to be without defender Lewis Montsma, who has just finished self-isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, while there is a minor doubt over Brennan Johnson (ankle).

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of assistant manager Joe Gallen ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 11 wins
Lincoln: 5 wins
5 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 6 wins
Lincoln: 2 wins
3 draws

OFFICIALS
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Assistants: Greg Read and Paul Kelly
Fourth Official: Sam Allison

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.

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BETTING
Pompey are the 23/20 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 5/2.

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

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

Accrington v Hull (5.30pm)
Gillingham v Crewe (6pm)
Doncaster v AFC Wimbledon
MK Dons v Charlton
Peterborough v Bristol Rovers
Rochdale v Oxford
Swindon v Plymouth
Wigan v Blackpool
Fleetwood v Northampton (7.45pm)
Ipswich v Sunderland (7.45pm)

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 0 Lincoln 1

Whatmough controversially dismissed in narrow Fratton defeat

26 January 2021

Ronan Curtis in action for Pompey against Lincoln at Fratton Park
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey were left cursing a controversial red card for Jack Whatmough as they were narrowly beaten by Lincoln at Fratton Park.

The defender was sent off for a challenge on Jorge Grant in the first half, despite appearing to win the ball cleanly.

It looked like the Blues would still hold on for a point, but Morgan Rogers came off the bench to grab a late winner for the visitors.

Kenny Jackett – in his 200th game in charge of Pompey – kept faith with the same side that were beaten by Hull at the weekend.

It meant that new signings George Byers and Charlie Daniels had to be content with a place among the substitutes.

The game started at an electric pace and a threaded Grant pass was just too heavy for Anthony Scully to get a vital touch on.

Ronan Curtis tried to get on the end of a teasing Callum Johnson’s delivery at the other end, but TJ Eyoma nodded clear.

Both sides were looking to launch quick attacks, although neither keeper was being particularly troubled by the end product.

That was until Craig MacGillivray had to get down to make a smart stop to deny Anthony Scully midway through the first half.

But the big talking point arrived on 29 minutes when Whatmough made a firm challenge on Grant and yet emerged with the ball.

The defender was miffed that referee Sam Purkiss blew for a foul and his look changed to one of incredulity when a red card was brandished.

Lincoln almost took immediate advantage when the free-kick was lofted forward and Conor McGrandles’ header had to be parried away by MacGillivray.

Skipper Tom Naylor had dropped back alongside Sean Raggett in defence, as Pompey fielded a 4-4-1 system.

It was, unsurprisingly, the visitors who finished the half on top and Pompey were fortunate to see McGrandles’ goal-bound header ricochet off Lee Brown’s leg and loop over.

And Tayo Edun was then inches away from breaking the deadlock just before the break, courtesy of a fizzing effort that rattled the crossbar.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Lincoln 0

Marcus Harness was the man sacrificed to shore up the back-line after the break, as Rasmus Nicolaisen replaced him.

Purkiss continued to frustrate the home side when Scully clearly tugged down Johnson and, this time, kept his cards in his pocket.

Pompey were being forced back, as their opponents tried to find a breakthrough, but were making sure to get their bodies in between the ball and their goal.

Alex Palmer then dwelled far too long with the ball at his feet at the other end, with a sliding Curtis not quite able to make him pay.

But the keeper did better just past the hour mark to get a hand on Williams’ cross, taking the ball away from the waiting John Marquis and Curtis.

The hosts felt that a Curtis free-kick was blocked by the hand of Eyoma on 67 minutes, but their appeals were ignored by Purkiss.

MacGillivray was being well protected, but had to beat away an effort from McGrandles, with Nicolaisen hooking the loose ball over his own bar.

Marquis had worked hard up front without much reward and was replaced by the fresh legs of Ellis Harrison.

There were then penalty appeals at the other end when Rogers felt he was tripped by Nicolaisen, but again the referee was unmoved.

Williams was given a rest following his tireless display, as Michael Jacobs entered the fray on 76 minutes.

But the Blues’ resolve was finally broken on 79 minutes when McGrandles teed-up Rogers to slot the ball home.

Jackett immediately threw on Daniels and Byers for their debuts and the former almost set-up an equaliser.

He swung in a fine corner that was met by the head of Curtis, although a defender was able to head from the line.

Pompey tried their best to get men forward and find a last gap leveller, but the Imps held on to secure top spot in League One.

Pompey (4-4-1-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown (Daniels 81); Harness (Nicolaisen 46), Naylor (c), Cannon (Byers 81), Curtis; Williams (Jacobs 76); Marquis (Harrison 70)
Sent off: Whatmough
Booked: Harness, Raggett
Subs not used: Turnbull, White

Lincoln (4-1-4-1): Palmer; Eyoma, Jackson, Walsh, Edun (Melbourne 86); Bridcutt (c); Scully (Rogers 70), McGrandles, Grant, Johnson (Anderson 89); Hopper
Goals: Rogers 79
Booked: Edun, Jackson, McGrandles
Subs not used: Long, Montsma, Jones, Howarth

Referee: Sam Purkiss

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