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01 April 2023 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 Forest Green

All you need to know about League One contest

31 March 2023

Pompey v Forest Green Rovers

Pompey will look to keep their play-off hopes alive when they welcome Forest Green to Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Their opponents are desperate for points for an altogether different reason, as they are currently rooted to the foot of the League One table.

A 17-match winless run finally came to an end last weekend, courtesy of a shock success over high-flying Sheffield Wednesday.

Jordon Garrick struck the only goal in the first half of a televised contest at The New Lawn, with keeper Ross Doohan denying Lee Greogry and Marvin Johnson.

But despite recording a first victory since Duncan Ferguson was appointed head coach in January, survival looks an unlikely prospect.

Rovers remain 11 points adrift of safety – although their goal difference means it is effectively 12 – with eight games remaining.

The Gloucestershire outfit are competing at this level of English football after securing the fourth tier title last term.

And their 2017 rise from the National League saw Nailsworth – with a population of under 6,000 – become the smallest settlement ever to have host an EFL club.

Pompey came out on top in the first competitive meeting between the sides back in October, courtesy of a Sean Raggett header.

Ronan Curtis (knee), Jayden Reid (knee) and Zak Swanson (groin) are all injured, while Joe Pigott serves the final game of a three-match ban.

Marlon Pack could feature after returning to training following a knee problem, while Joe Morrell and Dane Scarlett are back from international duty.

Corey O’Keeffe is still banned for the visitors after recently collecting his 10th booking of the season, while Dylan McGeouch (calf) is a doubt.

Baily Cargill, Jahmari Clarke, Charlie McCann, Tyler Onyango and Ben Stevenson are also in the Forest Green treatment room.

Read the thoughts of John Mousinho and Sean Raggett ahead of the game.

Pompey: 1 win
Forest Green: 0 wins
0 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 0 wins
Forest Green: 0 wins
0 draws

There are a limited number of seats still available to buy, so click here to secure your seat before they are all gone.

Click here to read our matchday guide and find out what is happening around the ground as the 125th anniversary celebrations get started on Saturday.

Referee: Paul Howard
Assistants: Marc Wilson and Johnathon Bickerdike
Fourth Official: Scott Williams

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 (not available online).

All games kick-off at 3pm

Barnsley v Morecambe
Charlton v Shrewsbury
Cheltenham v Burton
Derby v Ipswich
Fleetwood v Exeter
Peterborough v Oxford
Port Vale v Cambridge
Sheffield Wednesday v Lincoln
Wycombe v MK Dons


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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Forest Green 0

Dale grabs winner to keep play-off hopes alive

1 April 2023

Owen Dale scores for Pompey against Forest Green Rovers at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Owen Dale was on target as Pompey saw off a stubborn Forest Green side to close the gap on the League One play-off places.

It was always going to be a difficult afternoon against a side who were happy to sit back and let the Blues have the ball.

But Dale nodded home a Joe Rafferty cross early in the second half to ensure a happy outcome to the start of the 125th anniversary celebrations.

John Mousinho made four changes from the side that were held to a draw by Port Vale the previous week.

A fully-fit Clark Robertson made his first start of 2023 and took the captain’s armband, while Joe Morrell returned from international duty and there were spots for Tom Lowery and Michael Jacobs.

Ryley Towler and Louis Thompson dropped to the bench, with Paddy Lane and Reeco Hackett missing out through injury.

There was also a place among the substitutes for Marlon Pack, who had been sidelined for seven weeks with a knee injury.

The first half followed a familiar pattern, with Pompey dominating possession and being frustrated by their organised opponents.

Jacobs was looking most likely to make something happen and after his tricky footwork left two defenders on the turf, Jamie Robson did well to get in front of his low shot.

It was going to take a bit of magic to get through the Rovers back-line and the Blues certainly kept searching for a gap to exploit.

There was more good work from Jacobs on 30 minutes and his angled shot was pushed wide by Ross Doohan.

The frustration was clear late in the half when Dale got into an altercation with Jordon Garrick, leading to both players receiving a yellow card.

And despite seeing more than 77 per cent of the ball, Pompey could not find a breakthrough before the break.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Forest Green 0

The crowd certainly livened up at the interval, when a host of former Fratton stars were introduced onto the pitch as part of the birthday celebrations.

And the good mood continued within six minutes of the restart, as Pompey got that all-important opener.

It was an excellent cross from Rafferty on the right and DALE managed to climb above Udoka Godwin-Malife to head home.

The lead might have been increased soon after, but Sean Raggett could not guide his header on target after meeting a Jacobs free-kick.

Falling behind did not encourage Forest Green to show more attacking intent and Pompey continued to be in control.

They should have been further ahead after a fine Ryan Tunnicliffe pass found Jacobs inside the box and his effort was parried away by Doohan.

The ball fell for Dale just a few yards out, but he was unable to wrap his foot around the ball and sent it wide.

That was the final piece of action for Tunnicliffe, who then made way for the returning Pack in the centre of the pitch.

Rovers, meanwhile, did not seem in any hurry, with Dylan McGeouch trudging off the pitch to be replaced by Tyrese Omotoye and Godwin-Malife then booked for wasting time.

And there were ironic cheers from a home side when Myles Peart-Harris finally had their first shot, which flew harmlessly wide.

There was a blow for the home side when Robertson went down with cramp on 81 minutes, with Jacobs also brought off for Towler and Dane Scarlett.

With the lead at just one goal there was always a danger of getting caught by a sucker punch, but the Blues saw out the closing stages with relative ease.

Dale missed an excellent opportunity to make sure of the win in stoppage-time after good work from Joe Morrell, but could only fire wide.

It mattered not, though, as Pompey had already done enough to wrap up all three points and keep their promotion hopes alive.

Pompey (4-3-3): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett, Robertson (c) (Towler 81), Ogilvie; Lowery, Tunnicliffe (Pack 71), Morrell; Dale, Bishop, Jacobs (Scarlett 81)
Goals: Dale 51
Booked: Lowery, Dale, Towler
Subs not used: Steward, Bernard, Hume, Thompson

Forest Green (4-4-2): Doohan; Godwin-Malife, Casey, Cooper, Robson; McAllister, McGeouch (c) (Omotoye 72), Bunker, Garrick (Bakayoko 86); Peart-Harris (O’Brien 86), Savage
Booked: Garrick, Godwin-Malife
Subs not used: Thomas, Bernard, Moore-Taylor, Brown

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 17,968 (346 away fans)

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