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22 August 2023 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League Trophy

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Pompey v Fulham U21

All you need to know about EFL Trophy clash

22 August 2023

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Pompey start their EFL Trophy campaign when they welcome Fulham U21s to Fratton Park this evening (7.45pm kick-off).

It is the first of three fixtures for John Mousinho’s men in Southern Group E, with Gillingham visiting in October before a trip to Leyton Orient the following month.

The Blues made it all the way through to the quarter-finals last season before narrowly being beaten at Bolton under the caretaker charge of Simon Bassey.

Their opponents have not been involved in the competition since the 2020/21 campaign, when they failed to get out of their group.

In fact, the Cottagers are still looking to reach the knockout stages for the first time since academy teams were invited in 2016.

The sides did meet in an EFL Trophy group contest in August 2017, with the Londoners claiming a bonus point by winning on penalties following a 3-3 draw.

Fulham’s youngsters are currently led by Hayden Mullins, who made 129 appearances for Pompey, appearing in the 2010 FA Cup final and being named ‘Player of the Season’ a year later.

His side currently sit fifth in Premier League 2 after winning both of their opening matches, including Friday’s 2-1 success against reigning champions Manchester City.

In the event of a draw after 90 minutes, both sides will collect a point. A penalty shoot-out will then be held, with the winners earning a bonus point.

Pompey are expected to ring the changes and members of the academy could be involved in the matchday squad.

Josh Dockerill (knee), Tom Lowery (knee) and Kusini Yengi (ankle) are all currently sidelined for the Blues.

As per the competition rules, Fulham's side must contain a minimum of six players in the starting line-up aged 21 or under.

Read the thoughts of John Mousinho and Ryan Schofield ahead of the game.

Pompey: 23 wins
Fulham 14 wins
18 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 12 wins
Fulham: 6 wins
9 draws

*Matches against Fulham’s first team

Pompey fans can still secure seats in the South Stand and are advised to buy online to avoid booking fees.

The Anson Road ticket office is also open, while the booth behind the Fratton End will be selling tickets from 4.30pm.

A larger proportion of supporters pay on the day for cup games and fans are advised that if there are queues for tickets, they can purchase on their phone.

Season ticket holders are advised that they will need a match ticket for this game and cannot use their season card.

Please note that the Victory Bar will be closed this evening and that no programme has been produced for this fixture, but the new retail kiosk in the South Stand will be open.

Referee: Carl Brook
Assistants: Samuel Fudge and Andrew Hickman
Fourth Official: Huge Gilroy

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 Mark Kelly 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 key updates throughout the game on Twitter and a detailed blog via the match centre.

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).


Swindon v Arsenal U21 (7pm)
Walsall v Brighton U21 (7pm)
Stockport v Manchester United (7.30pm)


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Match Reports

Pompey 3 Fulham U21 3

Blues win shoot-out to earn EFL Trophy bonus point

22 August 2023

Sean Raggett scores for Pompey against Fulham U21 at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Pompey collected two points from a thrilling opening EFL Trophy group stage fixture against Fulham U21s at Fratton Park

It finished 3-3 after 90 minutes, but the Blues won a penalty shoot-out 5-4 to claim the additional spoils.

They fought back from falling behind to Chris Donnell’s close-range finish in the opening minute, as Sean Raggett and Terry Devlin turned the contest around.

But Martial Godo levelled for the visitors, who had George Okkas sent off for a second bookable offence just before the break.

A superb strike from Raggett restored the lead in the second half, but the Cottagers hit back through Delano McCoy-Splatt and the Blues missed a host of chances to wrap up the win.

It meant that penalties would be needed to gain an extra point and both sides missed one of the initial five before Ryan Schofield made the decisive save in sudden death.

John Mousinho changed his entire starting line-up from the League One draw with Cheltenham at the weekend.

Koby Mottoh came in for his full debut at the age of just 16, with Paddy Lane on the opposite flank and Abu Kamara slotting in just behind Christian Saydee.

Ben Stevenson and Devlin filled the midfield berths, while there were places for Jack Sparkes and Zak Swanson at full-back.

The defence was completed by Ryley Towler and stand-in skipper Raggett, stationed in front of home debutant Schofield.

Pompey got off to the worst possible start and found themselves trailing with just 56 seconds on the clock.

McCoy-Splatt sent the ball in from the right and Oliver Sanderson turned it towards goal, with Donnell making sure that it would cross the line.

But the Blues soon settled and Saydee played a quick free-kick to Lane, whose drilled effort was well saved by Alex Borto.

And they were level on 17 minutes, as Sparkes swung a dangerous corner into the box, with RAGGETT sliding in at the far post to score.

Mottoh was seeing plenty of the ball wide on the left, but after finding space to burst forward, his effort lacked the power to trouble Borto.

The hosts were soon ahead, however, as another fine cross, this time from Swanson, was met by a firm DEVLIN header to convert it.

Pompey were looking to put their foot down, but Boro raced from his box to beat Lane to the ball before the Northern Ireland international was unable to find the target from an acute angle.

And the visitors were handed an equaliser on 39 minutes, with Schofield not dealing with Stevenson’s back-pass and Godo sliding in to bundle the ball over the line.

The Blues looked for another response and Kamara volleyed narrowly over after being picked out by Lane.

Their opponents were then reduced to 10 men just before the break when Okkas received a second booking of the night.

Earlier penalised for a clumsy challenge on Lane, he prevented Pompey taking a quick throw and was shown a red card by referee Carl Brook.

Half Time: Pompey 2 Fulham U21 2

The hosts immediately got on the front foot when the action restarted and tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.

But it would have been very hard to predict just how they did manage to retake the lead on 51 minutes.

There was a cry of ‘shoooot’ from the Fratton faithful when RAGGETT received the ball from Towler and he obliged, sending a 35-yard rocket into the top corner.

The advantage was almost strengthened when Swanson’s centre was parried out by Borto, but the follow-up shot from Saydee was deflected behind.

Schofield then had to show quick reactions at the other end after a cross ricocheted towards the net off the chest of Sparkes.

It was breathless stuff and Pompey soon went close again, with a Saydee meeting Swanson’s corner and seeing his header rattle the crossbar.

The move was still alive, though, and when the ball fell for Raggett, he missed the chance to complete a hat-trick by firing over.

Mousinho freshened things up with a double switch just past the hour mark, as Anthony Scully and Alex Robertson replaced Saydee and Lane.

Pompey were proving wasteful in their attempts to wrap the points up and after taking a brilliant first touch, Robertson mis-cued his shot and Scully blazed the loose ball over.

Kamara then rose to get on the end of a teasing delivery from Sparkes, but could not keep his header down.

And they were made to pay for their profligacy on 73 minutes, when McCoy-Splatt swapped passes with Sanderson and slipped the ball past Schofield.

But the keeper then prevented the Cottagers going ahead, coming off his line to block a shot from Sanderson.

Pompey looked to get back in the ascendency and Borto soon came to Fulham’s rescue, first using his leg to deny Swanson and then keeping out Stevenson’s follow-up.

The keeper was soon at it again, this time diving his right to turn Robertson’s effort around the post after the midfielder had beaten a defender with some neat footwork.

And when Robertson did manage to beat Borto with a long-range drive on 88 minutes, the ball struck the base of the post.

After 90 Minutes: Pompey 3 Fulham U21 3

There were some excellent penalties in the shoot-out, with Raggett, Robertson, Scully and Kamara all finding the target with ease.

And although Swanson’s effort was well saved by Borto, Harvey Araujo immediately blazed over to keep the scores level.

Sparkes edged the Blues back into the lead and Schofield then flung himself to the left to keep out Devan Tanton’s effort and ensure the extra point remained at Fratton Park.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Schofield; Swanson, Raggett (c), Towler, Sparkes; Devlin, Stevenson; Lane (Robertson 62), Kamara, Mottoh; Saydee (Scully 62)
Goals: Raggett 17, 51, Devlin 28
Booked: Stevenson, Robertson, Raggett
Subs not used: Smith, Quarm, Poole, Aston, Folarin

Fulham U21 (4-3-3): Borto; Tanton, Araujo, Esenga, Okkas; McCoy-Splatt (de Jesus 73), Dibley-Dias (c), Donnell; Works (Šekularac 83), Sanderson (McFarlane 90+1), Godo (Gofford 90+1)
Goals: Donnell 1, Godo 39, McCoy-Splatt 73
Sent off: Okkas (two yellow cards)
Booked: Tanton
Subs not used: McNally, Park, Gordon

Referee: Carl Brook

Attendance: 3,596 (109 away fans)

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