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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

11 January 2022 Venue Abbey Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Cambridge v Pompey

All you need to know about Papa John’s Trophy tie

11 January 2022

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Cambridge United v Pompey

Pompey had to wait a frustrating 23 days between games over Christmas due to Covid outbreaks.

But their return to action includes a second visit to Cambridge in little over a week, with the sides meeting at Abbey Stadium in the last 16 of the Papa John’s Trophy this evening.

You only have to go back to Friday evening to find the Blues’ last game in the competition, which saw Ronan Curtis net two late goals to seal a dramatic 3-2 triumph.

Their next opponents reached this stage all the way back on November 30, courtesy of a 2-0 home success over Walsall.

Pompey’s recent history in the EFL Trophy is impressive, having reached the Wembley showpiece in two of the past three seasons and lifting the silverware in 2019.

Cambridge have made it to the final once before, losing 4-1 to Blackpool at the Millennium Stadium in 2002.

The sides drew 0-0 in that recent League One meeting, with Sam Smith getting sent off for two bookable offences in the second half.

But Mark Bonner’s men secured a 2-1 victory when the teams clashes at Fratton Park back in September.

Prior to that south coast clash, United had not celebrated victory against the Blues for an incredible 43 years.

Please note that in the event of a draw after 90 minutes, there will be no extra-time and the tie will be decided by a penalty shoot-out.

Pompey have no new injury concerns, with Clark Robertson and Ryan Tunnicliffe both in line to make their comebacks from lengthy spells on the sideline.

Cambridge are likely to rotate their squad, while Kai McKenzie-Lyle and Jensen Weir are both doubtful with knocks.

Read the thoughts of Blues boss Danny Cowley ahead of the game.

Pompey: 14 wins
Cambridge: 2 wins
4 draws

At Abbey Stadium
Pompey: 6 wins
Cambridge: 1 win
3 draws

Pompey fans can buy tickets at Abbey Stadium on the evening of the game. Click here for more details.

Travelling fans should have Covid certification as they may be asked to show this in order to enter the stadium. Click here for more details.

Referee: Ben Toner
Assistants: Stephen Brown and Lisa Rashid
Fourth Official: Sam Purkiss

Supporters at home and abroad can watch the contest live by purchasing an iFollow match pass and visiting the match centre.

Domestic iFollow subscribers can also enjoy audio commentary from Andrew Moon and Guy Whittingham as usual, but will need to purchase a match pass if they want to watch the game.

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.

Pompey are the 20/21 favourites with VBET to reach the next round, while the hosts can be backed at 23/10.

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.

Rotherham v Pompey or Cambridge
Sutton v Harrogate
Hartlepool v Charlton
Wigan v Arsenal U21 or Chelsea U21


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Match Reports

Cambridge 2 Pompey 1

Blues exit Papa John’s Trophy

11 January 2022

Ronan Curtis in action for Pompey at Cambridge in the Papa John
Photo: Simon Davies

Pompey’s eventful Papa John’s Trophy adventure finally came to an end with a narrow defeat at Cambridge.

The home side appeared to have got the job done with a brace from Harvey Knibbs early in the second half.

A Michael Jacobs header gave the Blues hope of a comeback, but there was to be no late drama at Abbey Stadium.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that dramatically beat Exeter on Friday night to reach the last 16.

There was a welcome return for skipper Clark Robertson, who made his first appearance in exactly four months after recovering from a hip injury.

Ronan Curtis started following his heroics from the bench in Devon, while there were also places for Louis Thompson, Reeco Hackett and Jacobs.

Sean Raggett, Lee Brown, Miguel Azeez, Marcus Harness and John Marquis all dropped to the bench, where they were joined by a fit-again Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Both teams showed an intent to get forward in the opening stages, with chances arriving at either end of the pitch.

Sam Smith raced in behind the defence to meet a deep Wes Hoolahan cross, but Alex Bass made a fine save to tip the ball over.

The keeper had an easier stop to make a few moments later, with Knibbs firing straight at him.

It was Pompey’s turn to attack soon after and Curtis scuffed a shot past the post after his initial attempt had been blocked.

George Hirst’s touch from a Hackett free-kick was then just too heavy, allowing Dimitar Mitov to gather.

But the quality started to wane as the action progressed, with each side cancelling the other one out.

Kieron Freeman did well to deal with the danger after Hoolahan skipped past a couple of half-hearted challenges.

Meanwhile, a spell of promising Blues pressure eventually broke down when Curtis nodded a cross wide.

And a low long-range effort from Jacobs was struck cleanly enough, only to fly straight into Mitov’s midriff.

Half Time: Cambridge 0 Pompey 0

Robertson’s work was done for the night, with the captain replaced in the centre of defence by Raggett.

It was Cambridge who made the brighter start to the second half, however, and enjoyed a period of pressure that led to their breakthrough.

The ball ricocheted kindly for Knibbs on the edge of the box and he hit a precise shot that flew past Bass and nestled in the bottom corner.

And the home side continued to dominate, with Knibbs nodding them further into the lead after Hoolahan had lifted a pass into the mixer.

Cowley’s response was to make another quartet of substitutions, as Tunnicliffe, Brown, Marquis and Harness replaced Thompson, Hackett, Hirst and Curtis.

But it was still United looking more likely to add to the scoring and Jack Lankester curled a free-kick narrowly over the bar.

Bass then made three saves in quick succession to deny Harrison Dunk and James Brophy from tight angles, and then a more central effort from Lankester.

The ball was finally put in the back of the net by Knibbs, but referee Darren Drysdale had spotted an infringement.

And the Blues suddenly found themselves back in the contest, as JACOBS rose to nod home a Brown corner, despite the best efforts of Liam Bennett to clear from the line.

That perked the visitors up and they set about trying to find another late goal in the Papa John’s Trophy.

They were not too far away when a cross from Jacobs was deflected onto the head of Marquis and the ball fizzed past the post.

Brown then saw a shot blocked after being teed-up by Jacobs, as the Blues tried to force a penalty shoot-out.

They came even closer when Harness swung the ball into the box from the left and Marquis prodded it straight into the arms of Mitov.

And Cambridge were able to see out six minutes of stoppage-time to seal a quarter-final trip to Rotherham.

Cambridge (4-2-3-1): Mitov; Bennett, Okedina, Iredale, Dunk (c); O’Neil (Worman 46), May (Digby 71); Lankester (Dickens 90+1), Hoolahan (Brophy 71), Knibbs (Ironside 83); Smith
Goals: Knibbs 50, 59
Booked: Lankester, Iredale
Sub not used: Mannion

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bass; Freeman, Robertson (c) (Raggett 46), Ogilvie; Romeo, Thompson (Tunnicliffe 60), Morrell, Hackett (Brown 60); Jacobs; Hirst (Marquis 60), Curtis (Harness 60)
Goals: Jacobs 76
Subs not used: Steward, Azeez

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 1,308 (283 Pompey fans)

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