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16 October 2021 Venue AESSEAL New York Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Rotherham v Pompey

All you need to know about League One contest

15 October 2021

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Rotherham United v Pompey

Pompey will look to put their Papa John’s Trophy frustrations to one side when they return to League One action this weekend.

Danny Cowley’s side head north to face a Rotherham side who were relegated from the Championship last term.

In fact, the men from New York Stadium have become a bit of a yo-yo outfit in recent years, moving either up or down in each of the past five seasons.

A 1-1 draw against Cardiff in Wales on the final day sealed the 2020/21 fate in heart-breaking fashion.

The Millers were staying up until a curling effort from former Blues midfielder Marlon Pack with two minutes remaining condemned them to the drop.

However, Paul Warne – who has been in charge since replacing Kenny Jackett in November 2016 – has got the side off to a positive start in their bid to make a swift return.

United currently sit in fifth position and are just three points off top spot, with Michael Smith – a familiar name to the Fratton faithful – netting seven times in the league.

Goals from Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and Ben Close secured a 3-2 victory when the sides last met at Fratton Park in November 2019.

But the Blues were beaten on their only previous visit to New York Stadium a year earlier, as Smith teed-up Joe Mattock to score a stoppage-time header.

TEAM NEWS
Paul Downing (hamstring) and Ellis Harrison (ankle) are both expected to miss out after limping off injured during Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Sutton.

Former Rotherham defender Clark Robertson (hip) is also absent, along with Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin).

Ronan Curtis will serve a one-match ban after collecting his fifth booking of the season against Sunderland a fortnight ago.

Former Blues loanee Mattock is likely to be available for the hosts after recovering from an Achilles problem, but Jamie Lindsay (hamstring) is injured.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley and Joe Morrell or watch the video below.

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 12 wins
Rotherham: 10 wins
10 draws

At Rotherham
Pompey: 3 wins
Rotherham: 8 wins
5 draws

TICKETS
Pompey sold more than 1,100 tickets for the game and collections can be made from the away ticket office.

Please note that away fans cannot buy tickets at New York Stadium, so please do not travel to the ground if you have not bought a ticket.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Assistants: Richard Wigglesworth and Mark Cunliffe
Fourth Official: Matthew Smith

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 2.45pm 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
Rotherham are the 77/100 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while Pompey can be backed at 7/2.

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

ALSO IN LEAGUE ONE
Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

Friday
Burton v Morecambe (7.45pm)

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

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Rotherham 4 Pompey 1

Harness goal not enough for Blues at New York Stadium

16 October 2021

Mahlon Romeo in action for Pompey at Rotherham
Photo: Daniel Chesterton

Pompey suffered a second half capitulation as they were beaten heavily by promotion hopefuls Rotherham at New York Stadium.

The visitors were arguably the better side before the break, only for Michael Smith to haunt his former club by breaking the deadlock.

Marcus Harness levelled quicky after the break and suddenly the Blues sensed they could claim all three points.

Their hope did not last long, however, as the Millers netted three times in the space of seven minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

Smith was handed his second goal of the afternoon on a plate, with Richard Wood and Ben Wiles soon piling on the misery.

Danny Cowley made one change from the side that thrashed Sunderland on home soil a fortnight earlier.

Defender Connor Ogilvie came in for his first appearance in more than a month after picking up a quad injury.

He replaced the suspended Ronan Curtis in a three-man back-line, while Shaun Williams returned to the midfield.

Meanwhile, injured Pompey skipper Clark Robertson – who used to play for the Millers – was sat with the travelling fans.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start and they enjoyed more possession and greater territorial advantage in the opening stages.

Williams had an early chance with a fierce long-range effort that kept awkwardly and was just about diverted over by Viktor Johansson.

There were plenty of forays forward from the Blues and balls into the box that were either intercepted or would not quite land right.

Michael Ihiekwe did particularly well to prevent a cross from Harness finding John Marquis in the centre.

Rotherham had offered little, but almost took the lead on 17 minutes when a Dan Barlaser free-kick was headed on by Ihiekwe.

It looked like being a simple finish for Rarmani Edmonds-Green at the back post, only for Gavin Bazunu to somehow claw the ball away.

Pompey, meanwhile, were showcasing plenty of energy, without being able to penetrate their opponents’ back-line.

And the hosts made them pay on 29 minutes, as Smith was left unmarked to head home a fine Wes Harding cross.

There was a quick chance to level when Williams was fouled just outside the box, but Harness curled the free-kick wide.

And Johansson did well to clear the danger before Marquis could charge him down just before the break.

Half Time: Rotherham 1 Pompey 0

Cowley’s message at the interval seemed to do the trick, as Pompey were level within five minutes of the restart.

Joe Morrell can take some of the credit, making a well-timed sliding challenge to halt a dangerous Will Grigg surge.

And the visitors went up the other end to score, with HARNESS collecting a pass from Ryan Tunnicliffe and arrowing a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.

But just as they started to get on top in the contest once again, the Millers were gifted back their advantage.

A shot from Ollie Rathbone flew straight at Bazunu, but the keeper failed to hold on and Smith capitalised.

His initial attempt was brilliantly blocked by Kieron Freeman, only for the loose ball to fall back to the striker, who found the net with a neat back-heel.

And Rotherham went further ahead on the hour mark, with nobody picking up Wood as he raced in to head home a Barlaser free-kick.

Pompey had collapsed and it soon got even worse, as Wiles collected Mickel Miller’s pass, turned neatly and fired in a fourth goal for the hosts.

Bazunu then managed to stop the rot by diving to his right and pushing behind a fierce free-kick from Barlaser.

Cowley tried to freshen things up by making a substitution on 70 minutes, as George Hirst came on to face his former club in place of Marquis.

And two more quickly followed, with Reeco Hackett and Louis Thompson replacing Tunnicliffe and Williams.

Bazunu then had to be at his best to keep out another Barlaser free-kick, courtesy of an acrobatic dive to his right.

Rotherham then saw out the final few moments with relative ease to ensure the Blues would make the long trip home on the back of a heavy defeat.

Rotherham (3-1-4-2): Johansson; Edmonds-Green, Wood (c), Ihiekwe (Ogbene 54); Barlaser; Harding, Rathbone, Wiles, Miller; Smith (Kayode 81), Grigg (Ladapo 68)
Goals: Smith 29, 55, Wood 60, Wiles 62
Booked: Ihiekwe, Rathbone
Subs not used: Vickers, Ferguson, Odoffin, Sadlier

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Bazunu; Freeman, Raggett, Ogilvie; Romeo, Morrell, Williams (Thompson 73), Brown (c); Tunnicliffe (Hackett 72); Harness, Marquis (Hirst 70)
Goals: Harness 49
Booked: Romeo, Freeman
Subs not used: Bass, Jacobs, Azeez, Gassan

Referee: Anthony Backhouse

Attendance: 9,684 (1,242 Pompey fans)

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