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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

27 March 2021 Venue Montgomery Waters Meadow Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Shrewsbury v Pompey

All you need to know about League One test

26 March 2021

Shrewsbury Town v Pompey

By 2020/21 standards, it has been a long wait between games for Pompey following last week’s victory over Ipswich.

And the Fratton faithful will be hoping the Danny Cowley era continues its winning start at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

The Blues are currently sitting in eighth position and are just a point outside the League One play-off spots with 11 games remaining.

Their next opponents, meanwhile, are down in 17th and seem to be out of the woods in terms of avoiding the drop.

That is despite the Shrews being just one point off the foot of the table when Steve Cotterill replaced Sam Ricketts as manager back in November.

They have suffered only four league defeats since, despite the former Pompey boss having to spend two spells in hospital after contracting Covid-19.

Thankfully, he is now on the mend and no doubt eager to make a return to the dug-out when fully recovered.

Cotterill was still able to inspire his troops to a 2-1 victory at Burton earlier in the week, courtesy of goals from Curtis Main and Harry Chapman.

It finished goalless when the sides met at Fratton Park on the opening day of the season, although Aaron Pierre was sent off for the visitors in the closing stages.

Callum Johnson has returned to training following a calf problem, but John Marquis (ankle) is a major doubt.

Ronan Curtis is away on Republic of Ireland international duty, while Alex Bass (foot) and Ellis Harrison (knee) are both sidelined.

Curtis Main could feature for Shrewsbury against his former club, but they will be without suspended skipper Ollie Norburn after he accumulated 10 yellow cards.

Donald Love (groin) and Aaron Pierre (calf) are also missing, alongside goalkeeper Matija Sarkic, who is currently with the Montenegro national team.

Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and James Bolton ahead of the game.

Pompey: 14 wins
Shrewsbury: 10 wins
4 draws

At Shrewsbury
Pompey: 3 wins
Shrewsbury: 8 wins
2 draws

Referee: Benjamin Speedie
Assistants: Kenwyn Hughes and Lisa Rashid
Fourth Official: Steven Plane

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 2pm.

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.

Please note that current BBC guidelines mean commentators are not allowed to travel outside of their regions for games.

The BBC Radio Solent team will still be providing remote commentary from Portsmouth, but there might be a slight delay between the pictures and the audio.

Supporters can use the settings cog to switch to local Shrewsbury commentary if they prefer.


Pompey are the 6/5 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 5/2.

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

Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

Oxford v Lincoln (7.45pm)

AFC Wimbledon v Northampton
Blackpool v Plymouth
Bristol Rovers v Sunderland
Hull v Gillingham
MK Dons v Doncaster
Peterborough v Accrington
Wigan v Ipswich


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Match Reports

Shrewsbury 1 Pompey 2

Harness and Marquis on target in Blues victory

27 March 2021

John Marquis celebrates scoring for Pompey at Shrewsbury
Photo: Daniel Chesterton

Pompey climbed back into the play-off places after securing a deserved League One victory at Shrewsbury – despite playing a quarter of the contest with just 10 men.

They controlled possession, with goals from Marcus Harness and John Marqus securing a commanding lead at the break.

But Nathanael Ogbeta reduced the hosts’ deficit early in the second half and the Shrews were then given an extra boost.

Marquis was shown a controversial red card for a challenge on Harry Chapman, but the Blues saw the game out with relative ease to ensure the points would be heading back to the south coast.

Danny Cowley made four changes from the side that beat Ipswich on home soil in his first game in charge the previous week.

There were returns from injury for Marquis and Callum Johnson, while Michael Jacobs and Ben Close also started.

James Bolton and Andy Cannon dropped to the bench, with the injured Jordy Hiwula missing out completely and Ronan Curtis away on international duty.

Former Pompey striker Curtis Main was in the hosts’ line-up, although manager Steve Cotterill was still missing from the dug-out, as he continues his recovery from a Covid-enforced stay in hospital.

In a slow opening to proceedings it was the Shrews who were first to threaten, with Dan Udoh spinning on the edge of the box and firing in a low show that was saved by Craig MacGillivray.

But the Blues soon settled and began to dominate possession, while asking questions of their opponents’ back three.

Close lifted a pass into the mixer, where Ryan Williams rose to deftly flick the ball inches past the post.

Tom Naylor then tried to glance home a corner from Jacobs, but could not get enough on his header to guide it on target.

And the deadlock was broken on 25 minutes after Johnson had played a neat one-two with Williams down the right.

He then laid the ball off for HARNESS, who neatly bent the ball into the side of the net to make the pressure count.

They almost had a second when the ball pinged dangerously around the Shrewsbury box, but Harry Burgoyne denied Williams from point-blank range.

The Blues were on top, though, and unsurprisingly doubled their advantage on 36 minutes, with the impressive Close involved.

He lifted a pass towards Lee Brown at the far post and the left-back sent the ball across the face of goal, with MARQUIS on hand to find the net from a yard out.

Even when the hosts were able to get into Pompey’s area in stoppage-time, Naylor was back to dispossess Ogbeta.

Half Time: Shrewsbury 0 Pompey 2

The visitors appeared to be cruising, but conceded a soft goal soon after the restart to allow their opponents back into the contest.

Ogbeta collected the ball on the left and was given far too much space to race towards the edge of the box and stroke a shot into the bottom corner.

Pompey tried to hit back and a dangerous Harness delivery was turned behind, while Marquis was tackled before he could get a strike away.

Harness then cut the ball back from the right and there was another spot of pinball before the hosts was able to clear.

Shrewsbury then threatened at the other end, although Main flicked a Chapman cross straight into MacGillivray’s arms.

But Pompey were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half, with Marquis the man to be sent off.

He slid in on Chapman and appeared to win the ball, but also caught the Shrews substitute and referee Benjamin Speedie deemed it dangerous enough to issue a red card.

Cowley made a change shortly afterwards, with Jacobs making way for Cannon to shore up the midfield.

And the lively Close was then replaced by former Shrews defender Charlie Daniels for the closing stages.

Pompey were not being put under too much pressure from their hosts as they attempted to see the contest out.

A display of seven additional minutes might have caused nerves to rise among the visiting ranks, but they held on to celebrate another vital victory.

Shrewsbury (3-4-1-2): Burgoyne; Pennington (Pyke 82), Ebanks-Landell (c), Williams; Sears (Chapman 46), Davis, Vela, Ogbeta; Goss (Whalley 69); Udoh (Edwards 69), Main
Goals: Ogbeta 52
Subs not used: Bevan, Bloxham, Caton

Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Johnson, Whatmough, Raggett, Brown; Naylor (c), Close (Daniels 84); Harness, Williams (Nicolaisen 90+5), Jacobs (Cannon 75); Marquis
Goals: Harness 25, Marquis 36
Sent off: Marquis
Subs not used: Ward, Bolton, Byers, White

Referee: Benjamin Speedie

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