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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

26 December 2022 Venue St James Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Exeter v Pompey

All you need to know about League One contest

24 December 2022

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Exeter City v Pompey

The fixture computer could have been kinder when it handed Pompey a trip to Devon at a time when many could be forgiven for wanting to lie on the sofa with a tin of Quality Street and a James Bond marathon.

But Danny Cowley’s side will hope to provide some festive cheer for the travelling faithful when they visit Exeter on Boxing Day (3pm kick-off).

The Blues are looking to bounce back from suffering successive league defeats as they prepare for the start of the busy Christmas schedule.

There will also be a desire to ensure the 13th-placed Grecians do not leapfrog them in the League One standings.

City have two fewer points at present, although have played three matches more in their first campaign at this level for 10 years.

Matt Taylor led them to the fourth tier runners-up spot last term, but left for Rotherham in October and has been replaced in the dug-out by Gary Caldwell.

The former Scotland international defender will be trying to get his side back on track following a five-match winless run in all competitions.

Pompey have enjoyed their previous two meetings with Exeter, which both took place in the EFL Trophy.

On both occasions they netted two late goals to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, with a Fratton success in 2020 booking a place at Wembley.

Pompey are waiting to see whether Tom Lowery (hamstring), Zak Swanson (stomach) and Louis Thompson (leg) will be fit enough to feature after returning to training.

Kieron Feeman (calf), Joe Rafferty (stomach) and Jayden Reid (knee) all remain sidelined for the visitors.

Defender Pierce Sweeney is missing for Exeter after fracturing a bone in his hand, while Sam Stubbs (knee) and Kyle Taylor (knee) are also not in contention.

Read the thoughts of Danny Cowley ahead of the game.

Pompey: 15 wins
Exeter: 6 wins
8 draws

On the road
Pompey: 6 wins
Exeter: 2 wins
7 draws

Referee: Alan Young
Assistants: Simon Shaw and Mark Derrien
Fourth Official: Daniel Flynn

Pompey have sold their full allocation of tickets, so please do not travel if you have not bought one in advance.

Click here to read a guide for away fans that has been produced by Exeter.

The game is also being used to raise awareness for Motor Neurone Disease after former Grecians striker Marcus Stewart and Exeter Community Trust member Peter Eveleigh were both diagnosed with the disease.

Players will warm-up in special t-shirts, a bucket collection is being held for Motor Neurone Disease Association and Darby Rimmer Foundation and pin badges are being sold for a small donation.

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 Tuesday.

Local listeners can hear commentary by tuning in to either Express FM or BBC Radio Solent (not available online).

Exeter are the 31/20 favourites with VBET to secure all three points, while Pompey can be backed at 13/8.

Click here to find a comprehensive list of odds for Monday’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.

VBET are committed to endorsing safer gambling among its customers, as well as promoting the awareness of problem gambling and improving prevention, intervention and treatment. Click here to read about VBET’s responsible gambling policy.

All games kick-off at 3pm

Boxing Day
Accrington v Barnsley
Burton v Lincoln
Cambridge v Shrewsbury
Charlton v Peterborough
Cheltenham v Plymouth
Fleetwood v Sheffield Wednesday
Ipswich v Oxford
MK Dons v Forest Green
Port Vale v Morecambe
Wycombe v Bristol Rovers

Bolton v Derby


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Match Reports

Exeter 0 Pompey 0

Blues held to a Boxing Day stalemate

26 December 2022

Reeco Hackett in action for Pompey at Exeter Ci
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Pompey collected a League One point after playing out an entertaining goalless draw at Exeter on Boxing Day.

Both sides had chances to walk away with a maximum haul in Devon, although it was the visitors who arguably created the better ones.

Denver Hume struck the crossbar, while Grecians stopper Jamal Blackman – who was named man-of-the-match – made some fine saves to ensure a clean sheet.

Danny Cowley made three changes from the side that were beaten by MK Dons on home soil before Christmas.

Joe Pigott was handed a first league start in just over two months, while there were also returns for Sean Raggett and Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Connor Ogilvie and Josh Koroma dropped to the bench, but Jay Mingi missed out through illness, along with Dane Scarlett.

After a slow start it was the home side who had the first chance, with Harry Kite’s fierce strike beaten away by Josh Griffiths.

But the Blues soon began to move through the gears and looked the more likely side to break the deadlock in the first half.

Hume’s dangerous pass into the mixer had to be cleared behind and the resulting corner from Clark Robertson was glanced past the post by Michael Morrison.

A long throw from Marlon Pack was then spilled by Blackman, with the keeper having to leap on the loose ball.

But the keeper’s clearance was deflected straight into the path of Hume and his placed effort came back off the crossbar.

Blackman made up for his error just moments later, though, getting down to his right to keep out Tunnicliffe’s low drive.

The chances kept coming and a Robertson corner was nodded back by Colby Bishop, with Owen Dale’s shot bouncing down into the turf and being deflected over.

Griffiths was not being overly troubled at the other end and a Jay Stansfield attempt was blocked by Morrison, while Matt Jay’s free-kick flew off target.

Most of the action was taking place in the Grecians half and it took a fine sliding challenge inside the area from Archie Collins to stop Tunnicliffe getting a shot away.

Pompey finished the half with a flourish, winning a series of corners that Exeter were struggling to cope with.

It looked like Morrison was going to convert one of the deliveries from Pack, but Blackman made another fine save to deny the defender.

And when another flag-kick was only partially cleared, Pack’s long-range effort was bent not too far over the bar.

Half Time: Exeter 0 Pompey 0

The visitors were almost caught cold straight after the restart, as a drifting Jack Sparkes cross was kept out by Griffiths.

But the action soon switched to the other end of the pitch, with Dale and Reeco Hackett both seeing shots blocked in quick succession.

And Pompey did have the ball in the back of the net moments later, as Pack’s long throw was cleared as far as Dale, who lashed a shot home.

Referee Alan Young immediately blew his whistle, however, deciding that Kite had been impeded by Morrison.

The hosts might have rubbed salt into the wound, but Griffiths did well to prevent Jay from turning home a teasing Sparkes delivery from the left.

It was then Blackman’s chance to make a fine save, getting down to his left after Hackett had done well to dig out a shot on the edge of the box.

The Pompey fans and bench were growing frustrated by some strange decisions by referee Alan Young, including ignoring a blatant foul on Pigott in the middle of the pitch.

Cowley made an attacking switch with 15 minutes of the contest remaining, as Koroma was brought on for Hume.

It was Exeter who were next to threaten, though, and Griffiths kept his composure to keep out Jay’s shot.

Hackett then fired a difficult chance narrowly over after Blackman had flapped at a free-kick from Pack.

Cowley responded with a treble substitution, with Zak Swanson, Joe Morrell and Michael Jacobs on for Dale, Tunnicliffe and Pigott.

But despite some dangerous balls being swung into the Grecians box, the Blues were unable to force a winner.

Exeter (3-4-1-2): Blackman; Sweeney, Diabate, Hartridge; Caprice, Kite, Collins, Sparkes; Jay (c) (Dieng 88); Brown, Stansfield (Nombe 64)
Booked: Stansfield, Sparkes, Collins
Subs not used: Lee, Grounds, James, Harper, Beardmore

Pompey (3-4-1-2): Griffiths; Morrison, Raggett, Robertson (c); Dale (Swanson 80), Tunnicliffe (Morrell 80), Pack, Hume (Koroma 75); Hackett; Bishop, Pigott (Jacobs 80)
Booked: Dale, Morrison, Morrell
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Ogilvie, Curtis

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 7,779 (1,143 Pompey fans)

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