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18 September 2021 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 Cambridge

All you need to know about League One test

17 September 2021

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Pompey v Cambridge United

It is fair to say that both sides competing at Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off) will be keen to move on from last weekend.

Pompey suffered a narrow reverse at MK Dons, ensuring their run of three successive league games on the road yielded a single point.

Cambridge, meanwhile, were thrashed 5-1 on their own patch by Lincoln, with Joe Ironside’s strike proving no more than a consolation.

It has, however, not been all bad for Mark Bonner’s men since finishing second in League Two to secure automatic promotion last term.

They currently sit 16th in the standings, with two wins, two draws and two defeats from their opening six fixtures.

Both of those successes came on home soil at the Abbey Stadium, as Burton were dispatched 3-0 and Bolton edged out by a 1-0 scoreline.

A big loss for United was the summer departure of Paul Mullin to ambitious Wrexham after the striker hit 32 goals to finish as the fourth tier’s 2020/21 leading marksman.

Pompey’s last meeting with Cambridge came at Fratton Park in April 2017 – just a few days after promotion had been claimed at Notts County.

Goals from Carl Baker and Kal Naismith ensured the party continued and kept the Blues’ title hopes alive.

TEAM NEWS
Miguel Azeez could make his debut after sitting on the bench at MK Dons last week, but Jayden Reid (knee) and Liam Vincent (shin) remain sidelined.

Greg Taylor (ankle) is missing for the visitors, who could include Pompey academy graduate Adam May in their ranks.

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

HEAD TO HEAD
Overall
Pompey: 14 wins
Cambridge: 1 win
3 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 8 wins
Cambridge: 0 wins
1 draw

TICKETS
Pompey fans can purchase tickets online here or by visiting the booth behind the Fratton End on the day of the game. Please note that ticket prices rise if bought on a matchday.

OFFICIALS
Referee: Gavin Ward
Assistants: Graham Kane and Damith Bandara
Fourth Official: Stephen Brown

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 Express FM or BBC Radio Solent.

BETTING
Pompey are the 5/8 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while the visitors can be backed at 9/2.

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

LAST MEETING

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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Cambridge 2

Curtis strike not enough for Blues at Fratton Park

18 September 2021

Ellis Harrison in action for Pompey against Cambridge United at Fratton Park
Photo: Joe Pepler/PinPep

Pompey’s Fratton homecoming ended in disappointment, as they slipped to a third successive League One defeat by losing to Cambridge.

The home side were unable to make the most of their overall control of proceedings and trailed at the break to Joe Ironside’s header.

Liam O’Neil doubled United’s advantage after the break and a fine strike from Ronan Curtis was not enough for the Blues.

Danny Cowley made five changes from the side that were narrowly beaten at MK Dons the previous week.

Miguel Azeez was handed his debut, while Mahlon Romeo made his Fratton bow and there were also starts for Ellis Harrison, Ronan Curtis and Paul Downing.

The latter replaced injured skipper Clark Robertson – with Lee Brown taking the armband – while Reeco-Hackett Fairchild, John Marquis, Joe Morrell and Kieron Freeman dropped to the bench.

There was a familiar face in the opposition line-up, with Fratton academy graduate Adam May starting in midfield.

It was a familiar story once the action got underway, as Pompey dominated possession without really testing Dimitar Mitov between the sticks.

In fairness, the visitors defended resolutely and the keeper did come off his line to collect some dangerous deliveries.

One dangerous move saw the Blues break quickly forward from a Cambridge corner, but Harrison was tackled inside the box after good work from Azeez and Marcus Harness.

Conor Masterson also made a key headed clearance when Brown tried to pick out Harrison at the back post.

It was one-way traffic, with Pompey showcasing some neat passing play as they sought a breakthrough.

But Cambridge went ahead against the run of play on 38 minutes, as Ironside hung in the air to meet George Williams’ cross, sending a header looping over Gavin Bazunu and into the net.

And they might have had a second before the break, with Bazunu getting down to deal with a long-range drive from May.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Cambridge 1

The visitors appeared more than happy to sit back deep inside their own half when the action restarted.

It meant that Pompey had the freedom of most of the pitch, but getting inside the final third continued to prove problematic.

One break did provide an opening, as Harness found Harrison who slid the ball across goal for the advancing Ryan Tunnicliffe, only for Mitov to get there first.

Cowley made a double switch just before the hour mark, with Harrison and Azeez withdrawn for Marquis and Louis Thompson.

But United were next to threaten when a May corner was met by Ironside and his header deflected behind off Romeo.

Pompey’s third and final switch saw George Hirst replace Downing, meaning Shaun Williams dropped back into defence.

Their hopes of taking something from the game were dealt a huge blow on 69 minutes, however, as Cambridge doubled their lead.

May’s corner was only cleared as far as O’Neil on the edge of the box and he hit a half-volley into the top corner.

Hirst went down in the box under pressure from two defenders moments later, but his penalty cries were ignored by referee Gavin Ward.

And the striker then saw a shot blocked inside the box, only for the Blues to score just a few seconds later.

The ball ran loose for CURTIS, who hit a fine strike into the net from a tight angle to give the home faithful renewed hope.

Now the search was on for an equaliser, but Hirst’s shot lacked power after a neat turn on the edge of the area and Mitov made a comfortable stop.

Tempers flared in the closing stages and a bout of shoving in front of the Milton End led to Brown and George Williams both being booked.

The crowd were also growing frustrated by some apparent play-acting from the visitors to use up time, with seven minutes added on by the officials.

Pompey tried to snatch a point, but the closest they came was when Sean Raggett headed over from a Harness free-kick.

Pompey (4-1-4-1): Bazunu; Romeo, Downing (Hirst 67), Raggett, Brown (c); Williams; Harness, Tunnicliffe, Azeez (Thompson 59), Curtis; Harrison (Marquis 59)
Goals: Curtis 76
Booked: Williams, Brown, Curtis
Subs not used: Bass, Freeman, Morrell, Hackett-Fairchild

Cambridge (4-1-4-1): Mitov; Williams, Jones, Masterson, Iredale; Digby (c); Tracey (Dunk 87), May, O’Neil, Brophy; Ironside (Smith 74)
Goals: Ironside 38, O’Neil 69
Booked: Tracey, Digby, Williams
Subs not used: McKenzie-Lyle, Okedina, Weir, Lankester, Knibbs

Referee: Gavin Ward

Attendance: 15,330 (544 away fans)

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