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11 December 2021 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Morecambe

All you need to know about League One contest

10 December 2021

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Pompey v Morecambe programme

There is often talk of a curse following the award of a ‘Manager of the Month’ prize and Danny Cowley was the latest recipient of the League One prize.

But there is some good news for Blues fans who are looking for a lucky omen following that piece of news.

The last Pompey boss to collect such an award was Paul Cook in April 2017 and he immediately guided his side to a 6-1 victory over Cheltenham to secure the fourth tier title.

There is nothing quite so important at stake this weekend, although three points against Morecambe would still provide a festive treat.

Cowley’s men are currently on an eight-match unbeaten run in the league and sit ninth in the standings.

Their next opponents, meanwhile, are down in 20th spot and just a single point above the drop zone.

Stephen Robinson’s troops are looking to bounce back from a 5-0 humbling at Sunderland earlier in the week.

The Shrimps secured the League Two title at the end of last term, by beating Newport after extra-time at Wembley

They have not won any of their four previous visits to Fratton Park, with Kal Naismith on target as the most recent clash finished 1-1.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey are continuing to be hampered by a sickness bug, with Michael Jacobs and Joe Morrell among the players struggling.

Clark Robertson is back on the grass as he steps up his recovery from a long-term hip problem and could return to action by the end of December.

Lee Brown (back), Louis Thompson (abdominal), Ryan Tunnicliffe (hamstring), Paul Downing (calf) and Jayden Reid (knee) are all still sidelined.

Morecambe midfielder Shane McLoughlin is available again after serving a one-match ban, but summer signing Jon Obika has yet to feature after injuring his hamstring.

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

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 2 wins
Morecambe: 2 wins
4 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 2 wins
Morecambe: 0 wins
2 draws

TICKETS
Tickets are available to buy online here or from the Anson Road ticket office.

Fans buying tickets on a matchday can also visit the booth behind the Fratton End, but please note that prices increase if not purchased in advanced.

Fratton Park is now a cashless stadium, with contactless payments will be required in all food kiosks and hospitality areas, as well as for the purchase of tickets.

The Victory Bar will be open for home fans from midday on Saturday.

COVID ‘PLAN B’
The EFL have asked for supporters to ‘be prepared’ ahead of the start of Covid ‘Plan B’ measures from next Wednesday, but please note that these do not affect Saturday’s game.

Portsmouth Football Club respectfully ask all supporters to adhere to the Code of Conduct to ensure an enjoyable and safe matchday experience for all.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Charles Breakspear
Assistants: Leigh Crowhurst and Garry Maskell
Fourth Official: Stuart Butler

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 the action and commentary will begin from around 10 minutes before kick-off.

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 1/2 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 5/1.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Saturday's game. 18+. Please gamble responsibly.

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
All games kick-off at 3pm

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

MEMORABLE MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 2 Morecambe 0

Harness and Ogilvie on target for Blues

11 December 2021

Marcus Harness celebrates scoring for Pompey against Morecambe at Fratton Park
Photo: Stephen Flynn

Pompey stretched their unbeaten League One run to nine games by beating Morecambe to send the Fratton faithful home full of festive cheer.

Marcus Harness took his tally for the season to 10 goals by firing home after George Hirst and Miguel Azeez had both gone close.

And while it was not exactly a Christmas cracker of a performance from the Blues, they wrapped up the points when Connor Ogilvie headed home after the break.

Danny Cowley stuck with the same side that were held to a goalless draw by Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the week.

But Michael Jacobs and Paul Downing had recovered enough – from illness and injury respectively – to be named on the bench.

After a slow start, it was Pompey who settled quickest and a fizzing effort from Ronan Curtis was not too far over.

Scott Wootton then just about got to the ball before Hirst after Azeez’s clever dummy allowed Mahlon Romeo to whip in a cross.

But the Blues did break the deadlock on 11 minutes – even if they did make harder work of it than was perhaps necessary.

It started when the hosts broke quickly up the pitch through Azeez and Curtis hit a fine first time pass over the top for Hirst.

He was forced wide, but still managed to angle in a shot that was cleared against the crossbar by Wootton.

The ball then hit Azeez and ricocheted against the post, while the midfielder’s second attempt was blocked by Liam Gibson.

It looked as if the chance had gone, but HARNESS raced in to finally slam a shot into the net and end a frenzied period of play.

Morecambe tried to hit back and Gavin Bazunu got down well to deal with a low effort from Cole Stockton.

The hosts were, in the main, looking comfortable without really getting out of third gear and continued to pass the ball around nicely.

A shot from Curtis was spilled by Kyle Letheren, but the keeper recovered to grab the loose ball before Azeez could capitalise.

And Letheren then did well to gather a dangerous delivery from Harness while under pressure from Curtis.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Morecambe 0

It was the visitors who were first to threaten when the action restarted and Hirst had to acrobatically clear a dangerous Alfie McCalmont free-kick.

Harness saw a shot blocked at the other end, but sent the ball back into the box, where a stretching Curtis could only nod straight at Letheren.

Morecambe were certainly providing more of a threat than before the break and substitute Jonah Ayunga dispossessed Kieron Freeman inside the Blues box.

The former Hawks forward sent a low ball into the mixer, but Romeo came to the rescue by clearing the danger.

Cowley decided the time was right to change his striker on 70 minutes and Hirst made way for John Marquis.

The hosts were still struggling for fluency, however, and Bazunu had to deal with a glancing header from Stockton.

But they had some breathing space when Azeez swung in a corner and OGILVIE was left unmarked to head home his first Blues goal.

A second switch soon followed, with Harness given a breather and Ellis Harrison coming on in his place.

The Shrimps came close to setting up a grandstand finale when Adam Phillips hit a long-range piledriver, only for Bazunu’s fingertips to divert the ball against the crossbar.

But the hosts saw out the closing stages to add a fourth successive league clean sheet to their three-point haul.

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett (c), Ogilvie; Romeo, Azeez, Williams, Hackett; Harness (Harrison 80); Curtis, Hirst (Marquis 70)
Goals: Harness 11, Ogilvie 77
Booked: Hackett
Subs not used: Bass, Downing, Jewitt-White, Jacobs, Gassan

Morecambe (3-4-1-2): Letheren; O’Connor (c), Wootton (Delaney 56), Gibson; McLaughlin, McLoughlin, McCalmont, Leigh; Phillips; Obika (Ayunga 59), Stockton
Booked: Gibson, McLaughlin, Delaney
Subs not used: Andrésson, Cooney, Jones, Wildig, Gnahoua

Referee: Charles Breakspear

Attendance: 15,001 (182 away fans)

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