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25 February 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 Cheltenham

All you need to know about League One contest

24 February 2023

Pompey v Cheltenham Town

Cheltenham will have to brush off their cup heartache when they make the trip down to Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

Wade Elliott’s side were beaten on penalties at Plymouth earlier in the week, missing out on a trip to Wembley for the Papa Johns Trophy final.

Now they can fully focus on trying to maintain their League One status by increasing the three-point gap to the relegation places.

The Robins have secured just one victory since the turn of the year, although that was in their last away game at struggling Cambridge on Valentine’s Day.

They were soundly beaten on home soil by Barnsley a week ago, ensuring Michael Duff enjoyed a fruitful return to Whaddon Road.

He had made more than 300 appearances for the Gloucestershire outfit as a player, then guided them to the League Two title as manager, but departed for Oakwell last summer.

Former Bournemouth and Burnley midfielder Elliott stepped up from his role as first team coach to replace Duff in the hot-seat.

Pompey have won just one of their previous four home contests with Cheltenham – the 6-1 thumping that secured the League Two title in 2017 – with the others finishing as draws.

But they were 2-0 victors in this season’s reverse fixture on a roasting August afternoon, courtesy of a brace from Colby Bishop.

Pompey have several injured players back in training, although none of them are expected to be available this weekend.

The game will likely come too soon for Tom Lowery (hamstring), Jay Mingi (knee), Clark Robertson (hip) and Zak Swanson (groin).

And the hosts are definitely still missing Marlon Pack (knee) and Jayden Reid (knee) against Cheltenham.

The Robins are without Tom Bradbury (ankle), Lewis Freestone (knee), Will Goodwin (groin) and Ben Williams (hamstring).

But Luton loanee Glen Rea could make his first appearance for the side after completing his rehabilitation following a serious knee injury

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

Pompey: 3 wins
Cheltenham: 1 win
6 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 1 win
Cheltenham: 0 wins
3 draws

Pompey fans can secure tickets online here or by visiting the Anson Road ticket office, although these are selling fast.

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

The Victory Bar and external North Stand concourse are open from midday, while there is a DJ in the Fanzone. Click here to read a full list of matchday activities.

Referee: Lee Swabey
Assistants: Garry Maskell and Helen Edwards
Fourth Official: Aji Ajibola

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).

Games kick-off at 3pm unless stated

Oxford v Bristol Rovers (12.30pm)
Barnsley v Derby
Bolton v Port Vale
Burton v Accrington
Charlton v Sheffield Wednesday
Exeter v Cambridge
Fleetwood v Morecambe
Forest Green v Lincoln
MK Dons v Ipswich
Peterborough v Plymouth
Shrewsbury v Wycombe


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Match Reports

Pompey 4 Cheltenham 0

Tunnicliffe, Jacobs, Curtis and Thompson on target for rampant Blues

25 February 2023

Pompey celebrate after Ronan Curtis scores against Cheltenham Town at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Pompey stormed to victory over Cheltenham at Fratton Park after stunning their opponents with three early goals.

Ryan Tunnicliffe, Michael Jacobs and Ronan Curtis all struck inside the opening 26 minutes to put the result beyond doubt.

And there were plenty of chances to extend the advantage further – with the woodwork struck twice – before substitute Louis Thompson added the cherry on the cake late on.

John Mousinho made two changes from the side that were held to a goalless draw at Lincoln the previous week.

Curtis was handed a first start since recovering from an ankle problem, while there was also a spot for Jacobs, as Paddy Lane and Reeco Hackett made way.

A minute's applause was held before the game to remember legendary commentator John Motson, who passed away earlier in the week at the age of 77.

Pompey showed their intentions by attacking straight from kick-off and almost took the lead with 35 seconds on the clock.

A slip from Charlie Raglan sent Colby Bishop racing through on goal, but Caleb Taylor caught up him to make a fine challenge.

The home faithful did not have long to wait to celebrate a goal, however, with Bishop providing the assist.

He collected a pass from Joe Rafferty and held the ball up before laying it off for TUNNICLIFFE to neatly slot into the net from the edge of the box.

It was pretty much one-way traffic throughout the first half, although Ryley Towler made a great sliding challenge to dispossess Taylor Perry following a quick Cheltenham counter.

And the Blues soon doubled their advantage after Owen Dale had done well to keep the danger alive when Connor Ogilvie’s cross evaded everyone in the area.

Rafferty then found Bishop and his excellent pass released JACOBS, who took a couple of touches before firing into the net.

Dale then came close to scoring with a superb strike, beating two men and cutting onto his left-foot before leaving the crossbar rattling.

A third goal did arrive on 26 minutes as Dale found Tunnicliffe and he squared the ball for CURTIS to beat Luke Southwood from close range.

Bishop clearly wanted to get in on the act and he shot narrowly over from the edge of the box after being teed-up by Rafferty.

The action relented slightly for the remainder of the half, although the Robins managed to rack up five bookings to at least keep referee Lee Swabey busy.

Half Time: Pompey 3 Cheltenham 0

Perry rightly had his penalty appeals turned down by Swabey after going down far too easily under Towler’s challenge straight after the restart.

But the Robins were already looking more of a threat than before the break, as substitute Glen Rea fired wide before Aidan Keena’s effort looped comfortably into Matt Macey’s arms.

Most of the action was still happening at the other end of the pitch, though, and Bishop could not keep his shot down after using his chest to control a superb Jacobs delivery.

The striker had another great chance just past the hour mark after Long’s slip had sent Jacobs racing clear.

He had a man either side of him to play the ball to and opted for Bishop rather than Dale, only for a poor first touch to allow Cheltenham to clear.

Mousinho freshened things up with a double change on 68 minutes, as Tunnicliffe and Curtis made way for Thompson and Dane Scarlett.

The visitors had not given up and Keena lashed wildly over the bar after Alfie May’s initial effort had been blocked.

But the Blues then had an excellent chance of their own when Joe Morrell slid in to win the ball and Dale then played it across to Jacobs.

The midfielder tried his luck from the edge of the box with a clean strike that left the crossbar wobbling.

Another double switch followed, with warm applause for both Bishop and Jacobs as they were replaced by Joe Pigott and Lane.

Denver Hume was another late entry for Dale, as the hosts were seeing out the closing stages with ease.

But they were able to celebrate another goal in stoppage-time, as THOMPSON collected Morrell’s pass and smashed the ball home from 25 yards.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett (c), Towler, Ogilvie; Tunnicliffe (Thompson 68), Morrell; Dale (Hume 85), Jacobs (Lane 76), Curtis (Scarlett 68); Bishop (Pigott 76)
Goals: Tunnicliffe 5, Jacobs 20, Curtis 26, Thompson 90+1
Booked: Ogilvie
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Bernard

Cheltenham (3-5-2): Southwood; Long (c), Taylor, Raglan; Jackson, Broom, Bonds (Rea 46), Perry (Olayinka 82), Ferry (Sercombe 46); May, Keena (Norton 82)
Booked: Bonds, Long, Keena, Raglan, Taylor
Subs not used: MacDonald, Barkers, Brown

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 17,504 (366 away fans)

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