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26 February 2022 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Fleetwood

All you need to know about League One test

25 February 2022

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Pompey v Fleetwood Town

Pompey begin a trio of home games in the space of just eight days when they welcome Fleetwood to Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

And Danny Cowley’s side will be looking to build on their three-match winning run following victories over Burton, Doncaster and Shrewsbury.

Their opponents are sitting 19th in the League One standings and just two points above the relegation places.

But, like the Blues, they have played the joint fewest fixtures in the division – just 31 – and have games in hand on all their rivals to beat the drop.

Both of the Cod Army’s past two fixtures were postponed, with snow causing last Saturday’s scheduled home clash with Lincoln to be called off.

Storm damage to the Highbury Stadium roof then meant a midweek meeting with Sheffield Wednesday had to be rescheduled.

Stephen Crainey’s side are looking to an end a six-match winless run, which has seen defeats to Charlton and Cheltenham sandwich four successive stalemates.

Lee Brown netted in the second half to secure all three points for Pompey when they visited the Fylde coast on the opening day of the season.

But last term’s Fratton meeting – one of just two home games that fans were able to attend – finished goalless.

TEAM NEWS
Pompey are without Kieron Freeman (ankle) and Shaun Williams (back), while Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin) remain sidelined.

But Joe Morrell is available for selection again after completing his three-match suspension for a harsh red card at Oxford.

Former Blues striker Ellis Harrison is likely to lead the line for Fleetwood, but Callum Johnson cannot play against his parent club.

Brad Halliday (knee) and Darnell Johnson (Achille) are both long-term injury absentees, although Joe Garner could return from a shoulder problem.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Denver Hume ahead of the game.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 7 wins
Fleetwood: 2 wins
3 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 2 wins
Fleetwood: 1 win
2 draws

TICKETS
Tickets have sold out for this match, with the final few seats snapped up on Saturday morning.

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.

Covid certification is no longer required to attend, but Portsmouth Football Club respectfully ask all supporters to adhere to the Code of Conduct to ensure an enjoyable and safe matchday experience for all.

A matchday magazine is available to purchase from sellers around the ground, online from the memorabilia store, in the club shop, the Victory Bar and selected kiosks.

The Victory Bar will be open for home fans from 12pm, while young supporters can pay a visit to the Junior Fanzone, which is open behind the North Stand from 1pm.

Supporters in the North Stand can also enjoy a delicious Piglet’s beef burger with Monterey Jack cheese for only £6 (subject to availability).

OFFICIALS
Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Marc Wilson and Michael Begley
Fourth Official: Paul Yates

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 8/13 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 15/4.

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

Fans can also enter the free VBET quiz for the chance to win a signed shirt and other great prizes.

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 ONE
Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

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

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 3 Fleetwood 3

Blues battle from three goals down to secure a point

26 February 2022

Pompey score against Fleetwood at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown

Pompey produced a Jekyll and Hyde performance as they fought from three goals down to secure a point against Fleetwood at Fratton Park.

They were punished for a poor first half, with goals from Anthony Pilkington, Harrison Biggins and Paddy Lane giving the visitors a commanding lead.

But Ronan Curtis converted a penalty just before the interval and the Blues looked a different side following a talking to from Danny Cowley.

They peppered the opposition goal with crosses and shots, with Marcus Harness scrambling home before Aiden O’Brien came off the bench to grab a stoppage-time equaliser.

Cowley made four changes from the side that dramatically won on the road at Shrewsbury earlier in the week.

Joe Morrell made an immediate return after completing his three-match ban, while there were also starts for Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett and Harness.

Louis Thompson, O’Brien, George Hirst and Mahlon Romeo were the men to make way, with the quartet dropping to the bench.

There was also a switch of system, with Hayden Carter moving to a right-back role in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

The early signs were positive, with Walker hitting an early shot wide before Curtis’ knock-back flew just behind the striker.

But what followed was a pretty chastening experience for the home faithful, who allowed the visitors to score three times from their four shots on target in the first half.

Former Pompey striker Ellis Harrison provided the first, getting down the right and driving into the box before cutting the ball back for Pilkington to slam home.

A second goal soon followed for the Cod Army, with nobody picking up Biggins to meet Carl Johnston’s pass across the box and fire into the net.

The Blues tried to hit back and Denver Hume drilled a shot wide following a spell of patient passing play.

But the visitors were getting plenty of men behind the ball to protect their lead and it was proving difficult to find a way through.

And instead Pompey went further behind late in the half, as Lane cut inside from the right and hit a left-footed screamer that Gavin Bazunu was unable to keep out.

There was, however, time for a lifeline to arrive just before the break, when Morrell’s pass was handled by Callum Camps.

Referee Alan Young immediately pointed to the spot and CURTIS stepped up to smash the penalty straight down the middle.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Fleetwood 3

Curtis was certainly trying to drag Pompey back into the contest and his delivery led to the ball pinging around the Fleetwood box before eventually being cleared behind.

He then did well to get on the end of a deep Morrell pass into the box, with his header landing on the roof of the net.

But the Republic of Ireland international saw penalty appeals turned away when he went down in the box soon after and was instead harshly booked for simulation.

Hackett soon had a great chance to score for the hosts, but got his shot all wrong after being teed-up by Carter.

It looked like a second goal had arrived just before the hour mark, when Curtis sent a superb ball into the area from the left.

But Walker’s header struck Zak Jules on the back and was prevented from crossing the line by Alex Cairns, who then kept out the striker’s follow-up effort.

And the Fratton faithful screamed for a penalty when the ball bounced up and struck Danny Andrew on the arm, but Young deemed it to be accidental.

Walker then thought he had netted his first Pompey goal after turning home a low Curtis cross, only to have his celebrations cut short by an offside flag.

O’Brien was brought on for Hume and went close with his first touch, but Cairns was able to keep out his header from a Ryan Tunnicliffe centre.

Cowley made an attacking switch on 78 minutes, taking off Carter and bringing on an extra striker in Hirst.

And the Blues did have a second goal when Cairns made a mess of dealing with a Curtis corner and the ball struck HARNESS before crossing the line.

There was a worrying moment soon after when Sean Raggett disappeared over the advertising boards and into the area of the North Lower currently being redeveloped.

Thankfully he emerged unhurt, with one wag commenting that the concreate had probably come off worse.

Fleetwood’s constant time wasting throughout the second half meant eight minutes were added on by the officials.

And Hirst almost levelled in the first of them, beating his man inside the box before drilling a low shot inches past the post.

Raggett then spun sharply and hit a shot that was gathered by Cairns, as the visitors continued to hold onto their lead by their fingernails.

But Fratton Park erupted soon after when a Curtis pass was helped on by both Walker and Hirst, and O’BRIEN raced clear before coolly slotting past Cairns.

Pompey sensed they could score again, but there was not quite enough time remaining and the spoils were ultimately shared.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Bazunu; Carter (Hirst 78), Raggett, Robertson (c), Hume (O’Brien 69); Tunnicliffe, Morrell; Harness, Hackett, Curtis; Walker
Goals: Curtis 45 (pen), Harness 80, O’Brien 90+5
Booked: Curtis
Subs not used: Webber, Ogilvie, Romeo, Thompson, Mingi

Fleetwood (3-5-2): Cairns; Nsiala, Clarke, Jules; Johnston, Camps, Lane (Baggley 90), Biggins, Andrew (c); Pilkington (Butterworth 23), Harrison (Garner 86)
Goals: Pilkington 7, Biggins 15, Lane 41
Booked: Lane, Cairns, Harrison
Subs not used: O’Hara, Morris, Boyle, Hayes

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 15,224 (106 away fans)

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