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28 February 2023 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Bolton

All you need to know about League One contest

28 February 2023

Pompey v Bolton Wanderers

Pompey produced their most convincing display of the season to ease past Cheltenham at the weekend.

But they will likely face a sterner test when high-flying Bolton make the trip down to the south coast this evening (7.45pm kick-off).

The visitors sit fourth in the table and have won seven of their past eight games to move to within six points of the automatic promotion places.

And a 2-0 victory at 10-man Accrington six nights ago means they are heading off to Wembley for April’s Papa Johns Trophy final.

Perhaps the excitement generated by that was behind their slow start against Port Vale on home soil at the weekend.

They fell behind to Ellis Harrison’s strike, only for goals from Victor Adeboyejo and Josh Sheehan to ensure the points remained in the north-west.

Pompey visited Wanderers twice in the space of just four days last month – and suffered defeats in both the Papa Johns Trophy and the league.

But that was just before John Mousinho took charge and form has improved since, with 10 points collected from the last 12 available at Fratton Park.

And the Blues emerged 1-0 winners when the sides met on the south coast during the 2021/22 campaign, with John Marquis netting the only goal early in the second half.

This evening’s game likely comes too soon for Tom Lowery (hamstring) and Reeco Hackett (back), while Jay Mingi (knee), Clark Robertson (hip) and Zak Swanson (groin) are building towards being available for selection again.

But Marlon Pack (knee) and Jayden Reid (knee) are now the only two players still in the treatment room.

Jón Daði Böðvarsson (ankle), George Johnston (ankle), George Thomason (knee) and MJ Williams (knee) are all missing for the visitors.

Bolton also have doubts over Cameron Jerome (back), but Victor Adeboyejo is expected to shake off a knock picked up at the weekend.

Read the thoughts of John Mousinho and Joe Morrell ahead of the game.

Pompey: 36 wins
Bolton: 44 wins
23 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 26 wins
Bolton: 9 wins
15 draws

Pompey fans can secure their seat online here or by visiting the Anson Road ticket office.

Subject to availability, they can also be bought from the ticket booth behind the Fratton End this evening.

Please note that half-season tickets are not valid for this rearranged fixture. All half-season ticket holders will need to purchase a match ticket.

Click here to read about what is happening around the ground this evening, including details on the bucket collection for the Jimmy Dickinson statue fund.

Referee: Stephen Martin
Assistants: Ian Cooper and Rob Smith
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 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 (not available online).

All games kick-off at 7.45pm

Derby v Cheltenham
Lincoln v MK Dons
Peterborough v Charlton


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Match Reports

Pompey 3 Bolton 1

Blues battle from behind to secure victory

28 February 2023

Ryley Towler celebrates scoring for Pompey against Bolton Wanderers at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Pompey continued their fine Fratton form by coming from behind to beat Bolton thanks to three late goals.

They had created chances in an entertaining first half, but were then left trailing to Dion Charles’ close-range finish just after the restart.

Ryley Towler was the unlikely scoring hero, however, opening his account for the club with a brace to turn the game on its head.

A nervy finish might have been in store, but the home faithful could relax when Colby Bishop immediately found the net with an impressive finish.

John Mousinho unsurprisingly stuck with the same side that had secured a thumping victory over Cheltenham at the weekend.

But there was a welcome return for Tom Lowery among the substitutes, with the midfielder having recovered from a long-term hamstring problem.

The first half was a full throttle affair, with both sides looking to charge forward and the action rarely relenting to allow the crowd to draw breath.

It was the hosts who were first to threaten and Gethin Jones made a key interception to stop Ronan Curtis converting a low Owen Dale delivery at the back post.

Connor Ogilvie’s shot from the edge of the box was then blocked and when the ball ran for Curtis, he could only lift it over the bar.

Bolton had openings of their own, although Matt Macey was being well protected by a defence marshalled by the impressive Sean Raggett.

There were plenty of firm – but mostly fair – challenges flying in and referee Stephen Martin was happy to let the game flow.

Wanderers boss Ian Evatt grew increasingly incensed on the sidelines, though, and his constant berating of the fourth official eventually earned a yellow card.

Pompey were still creating the better chances and when Raggett nodded down a Michael Jacobs free-kick, Ryan Tunnicliffe was unable to keep his shot down.

They were then almost handed a goal when James Trafford gave the ball straight to Dale, who tried to work space rather than shooting straight away.

He ended up being left crumpled on the turf by Jones and appealed for a penalty, but had to settle for the award of a corner.

And there was one more opportunity just before the break, with a wide Jacobs free-kick somehow evading everyone as it crept past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Bolton 0

The hosts could perhaps feel frustrated not to have gone in for the interval with a lead to show for their efforts.

But they found themselves behind shortly after the restart, with Charles finally able to force the ball over the line when an Aaron Morley corner led to an almighty scramble.

Pompey struggled to brush off that setback and gave possession straight back to their opponents from a free-kick, with Kyle Dempsey letting them off the hook by blazing over.

They eventually started to move through the gears again, but were finding it tough to get through the defence to test Trafford.

Mousinho decided the time was right for a change on 66 minutes, with Dane Scarlett coming on to replace Jacobs.

The Blues were suddenly applying pressure as the rain poured down and they were eventually rewarded for it.

Dale won a free-kick wide on the right and Joe Rafferty swung in a superb cross that was nodded home by TOWLER at the far post.

And the home side were in no mood to sit back after that, with Ogilvie and Tunnicliffe both sending in dangerous deliveries that were just about dealt with.

Curtis limped off after picking up a knock on 81 minutes, with Joe Pigott brought on as the search continued for a winner.

And Fratton Park soon exploded with joy as Pompey netted twice in quick succession to stun the in-form Wanderers.

They took the lead when Joe Morrell delivered the ball from wide on the left and TOWLER slid in to double his goal tally for the Blues.

Things had barely settled down before Tunnicliffe sent in a corner from the opposite side and BISHOP converted it with a sublime flicked finish.

There were five additional minutes for the Blues to see out, but Macey remained untroubled as Pompey closed the gap on the sides above them in the League One standings.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett (c), Towler, Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe, Morrell; Dale, Jacobs (Scarlett 66), Curtis (Pigott 81); Bishop
Goals: Towler 73, 84, Bishop 87
Booked: Curtis, Rafferty
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Bernard, Thompson, Lowery, Lane

Bolton (3-4-1-2): Trafford; Jones, Almeida Santos (c), Toal; Bradley, Lee (Sheehan 86), Morley, John; Dempsey; Charles (Nlundulu 79), Shoretire (Kachunga 72)
Goals: Charles 48
Booked: Santos, Bradley, Lee, Toal
Subs not used: Williams, Mbete, Isgrove, Adeboyejo

Referee: Stephen Martin

Attendance: 17,132 (592 away fans)

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