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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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09 April 2022 Venue Jonny-Rocks Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cheltenham v Pompey

All you need to know about League One test

8 April 2022

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Cheltenham Town v Pompey

Pompey will want to make sure the season does not drift aimlessly towards a conclusion during the final few weeks of the season.

Play-off hopes have narrowed during a four-match winless run, even if there has been just a single defeat in the past 11 fixtures.

So Danny Cowley’s side will be looking to at least keep those dreams alive by beating Cheltenham on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Their hosts returned to League One following a five-year absence by claiming the fourth tier title last term.

And they have adapted effortlessly to life back at this level, currently sitting comfortably in mid-table.

Michael Duff’s men do not have either a promotion push or relegation fears to trouble them during their last five games.

The Robins have been involved in two of the most exciting contests this season, starting with Alfie May’s four-goal haul in a 5-5 draw at Wycombe in February.

Then, just last Saturday, they struck twice at the death to somehow salvage a 4-4 stalemate at Accrington.

Pompey will be looking to preserve their record of never having lost a competitive match to Cheltenham, although six of the eight previous meetings have ended all square.

Their two victories include a 6-1 rout that sealed the League Two crown in 2017 and a 3-0 success in the EFL Trophy last season.

TEAM NEWS
Kieron Freeman (ankle), Reeco Hackett (knee) and Jayden Reid (knee) are the only absentees for the visitors.

Ben Williams (hamstring) is missing for the hosts, who also have doubts over the fitness of Kion Etete (hip) and Conor Thomas (calf).

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

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 2 wins
Cheltenham: 0 wins
6 draws

At Whaddon Road
Pompey: 1 win
Cheltenham: 0 wins
3 draws

TICKETS
Pompey have sold their full allocation of tickets and no more will be made available. Please do not travel if you do not have a ticket.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Ollie Yates
Assistants: Paul Stonier and Michael Begley
Fourth Official: Thomas Harty

MATCH COVERAGE
Domestic iFollow subscribers can listen to live commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham by signing into their account and visiting the match centre from around 2pm on Saturday.

Overseas subscribers and match pass holders can watch all the action live, with accompanying commentary.

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 BBC Radio Solent or Express FM.

BETTING
Pompey are the 23/20 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the hosts can be backed at 85/40.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for this evening’s game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

We are committed to playing our part in ensuring our relationship with VBET is promoted in the right way to our supporters.

That is why VBET has partnered with BettorMind, to provide responsible gambling advice around key betting behaviours.

When it comes to betting, we advise all fans to make use of our dedicated responsible gambling site.

ALSO IN LEAGUE
All games kick-off at 3pm

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons
Bolton v Sheffield Wednesday
Burton v Plymouth
Cambridge v Morecambe
Doncaster v Crewe
Fleetwood v Accrington
Gillingham v Wycombe
Lincoln v Wigan
Oxford v Sunderland
Rotherham v Charlton
Shrewsbury v Ipswich

MEMORABLE MEETING

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Match Reports

Cheltenham 1 Pompey 0

Sercombe strike condemns Blues to defeat

9 April 2022

Ronan Curtis in action for Pompey at Cheltenham Town
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey produced a sloppy showing to lose at Cheltenham and dash any lingering hopes of making the play-offs.

It was incredible that a first half full of chances at both ends, if short on quality, did not provide any goals.

But it was the Robins who finally made the breakthrough after the break, with Liam Sercombe’s strike enough to separate the teams.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that were held to a draw at Bolton earlier in the week.

Shaun Williams – fully recovered from a back injury – was handed his first start for more than three months.

And there were also places in the line-up for Mahlon Romeo, Ryan Tunnicliffe, Ronan Curtis and Tyler Walker.

Clark Robertson, Louis Thompson, Joe Morrell, Michael Jacobs and George Hirst all dropped to the bench.

The opening 45 minutes were an action packed, end-to-end affair, with both sides having multiple chances to break the deadlock – helped by some sloppy defending.

A quick break provided the visitors’ first opportunity after just six minutes, as a fine Williams pass sent Marcus Harness racing clear.

He laid the ball off for Romeo and a slip from Reece Hutchinson appeared to give him a free sight on goal, only for a fine recovery challenge from the prostrate wing-back.

Walker soon sent a delivery into the area and Aiden O’Brien get a slight touch on his volleyed effort to send the ball narrowly past the post.

Matty Blair tried to curl home an effort at the other end of the pitch and the ball took a big deflection off Connor Ogilvie before flying into the side netting.

The resulting Alfie May corner led to a spot of pinball in the Box box, with Mattie Pollock eventually poking wide.

Pompey were soon back on the attack themselves and a low Romeo centre was met by O’Brien’s neat back-heel.

Walker tried to turn the ball home from a few yards out, but Owen Evans made the save and kept out the follow up from O’Brien.

A defensive mix-up almost provided an opener midway through the first half and Curtis was able to steal possession from Sean Long.

He then found O’Brien inside the area, only for Robins skipper Will Boyle to get back just in time and make a key challenge which the Blues were adamant was a foul.

But then it was the visitors’ turn to look shaky at the back and they lost the ball right on the edge of their own box.

Gavin Bazunu came to the rescue by making saves to deny Callum Wright and May in quick succession, while Blair’s third attempt was cleared from the line by Hayden Carter.

The action continued to switch from end to the other and Sean Raggett could not quite connect with a fine Williams delivery from the left.

It was Cheltenham who threatened just before the interval, though, and Kion Etete should have done better when he nodded over a Wright cross.

Half Time: Cheltenham 0 Pompey 0

The contest continued to be played at a frenetic pace once the action restarted, although a Curtis shot did not overly trouble Evans.

Cheltenham then enjoyed a quick break up the pitch, which led to a Blair effort that was blocked by Tunnicliffe.

Cowley made a double switch on the hour mark, with Harness and Williams replaced by Jacobs and former Robins loanee Morrell.

And the final substitution followed not too long after, as Hirst added some fresh attacking energy in place of O’Brien.

There was immediately a great chance for Pompey when Morrell lifted a pass into the box and it was flapped at by Evans.

The follow-up shot from Jacobs appeared to be heading into the net, but Pollock flung himself in its path to divert the ball over.

But it was soon Cheltenham’s chance to go close and a 30-yard Wright rocket was superbly turned around the post by a diving Bazunu.

What followed was the home side’s most sustained spell of pressure in the game and they made it count on 76 minutes.

Etete combined well with Wright on the left and the latter squared the ball for Sercombe to fire home.

And although Pompey huffed and puffed right up until the final whistle, their opponents remained resolute to claim victory in this fixture for the first time.

Cheltenham (3-5-2): Evans; Long, Pollock, Boyle (c); Blair, Sercombe (Chapman 90), Bonds, Wright, Hutchinson; Etete (Lloyd 82), May
Goals: Sercombe 76
Booked: Lloyd
Subs not used: Flinders, Raglan, Freestone, Ramsey, Brown

Pompey (4-2-2-2): Bazunu; Romeo, Carter, Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe, Williams (Morrell 60); Harness (Jacobs 60), Curtis; Walker, O’Brien (Hirst 69)
Subs not used: Webber, Robertson, Thompson, Mingi

Referee: Ollie Yates

Attendance: 5,117 (1,425 Pompey fans)

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