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11 December 2023 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

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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

11 December 2023

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Pompey v Bolton Wanderers

It is the time of year when you struggle to sleep because of all the anticipation, but the big day has finally arrived.

No, forget about Christmas – it’s first versus second in League One as Pompey welcome Bolton to Fratton Park (8pm kick-off).

The magnitude of the occasion can be experienced by the rest of the nation, with the Sky Sports cameras broadcasting the contest live.

John Mousinho’s men briefly relinquished top spot after losing to Blackpool in their last south coast outing, only to return to the summit with victory at Northampton nine days ago.

Their opponents are currently three points behind, but with a better goal difference and are enjoying a fine run of form.

A goalless draw at Oxford in their most recent league fixture is the only time that Wanderers have failed to win in the past 11 matches.

It is a run that as well as seeing them apply pressure on Pompey, has taken Ian Evatt’s side into the third round of the FA Cup and last 16 of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

You have to go all the way back to October 7 to find their last defeat – a 3-1 home reverse against Carlisle.

And Pompey fought from behind to win by the same scoreline in the most recent meeting between the teams back in February, courtesy of Ryley Towler’s brace and a Colby Bishop goal at Fratton Park.

Pompey are missing Tino Anjorin (hamstring), Colby Bishop (ankle), Josh Dockerill (knee), Connor Ogilvie (ankle), Regan Poole (knee) and Anthony Scully (knee).

But Joe Morrell is available again after completing a two-match ban for collecting his second red card of the season against Blackpool.

Bolton are close to having a fully-fit squad to choose from, with George Johnston (knee) and Dan Nlundulu (hamstring) the only absentees.

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

Pompey: 37 wins
Bolton: 44 wins
23 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 27 wins
Bolton: 9 wins
15 draws

Seats have almost completely sold out in the home areas of the ground.

If you are coming to the game, click here to read our matchday guide and find out what is happening around the ground.

Referee: Paul Howard
Assistants: Robert Hyde and Matthew Smith
Fourth Official: Alan Young

Supporters based in the UK can watch the match live on Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event.

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 7pm.

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 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 Tuesday.

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


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Match Reports

Pompey 2 Bolton 0

Shaughnessy and Yengi on target at Fratton Park

11 December 2023

Conor Shaughnessy scores for Pompey against Bolton Wanderers at Fratton Park
Photo: Graham Hunt/Pro Sports Images

Pompey kept their position at the League One summit after scoring late in each half to beat in-form Bolton at Fratton Park.

The visitors had not tasted defeat for more than two months, but fell behind to Conor Shaughnessy’s glancing header.

And the Blues made sure of a deserved victory in front of the Sky Sports cameras when Kusini Yengi struck at the death.

John Mousinho made a single change from the side won on the road at Northampton nine days earlier.

Joe Morrell returned following a two-match ban and replaced Christian Saydee, with Alex Robertson moving further forward.

Backed by the soundtrack of a vociferous crowd, there was plenty of grit and determination on show in the opening stages, even if real quality was lacking slightly.

Bolton started to enjoy a few forays forward, but there was little to trouble either keeper in the opening stages.

The hosts did survive one scramble in their box, with bodies thrown in front of the ball to repel it away from Will Norris.

And the chances started to increase as the first half progressed, with one Blues move splitting their opponents open.

A pass from the lively Abu Kamara sent Yengi away and he tried to unselfishly square for Robertson, but the ball would not land for the Australian midfielder.

Wanderers were then left wondering just how they failed to break the deadlock on 28 minutes after Paris Maghoma swung in a teasing cross.

Jón Daði Böðvarsson got on the end of it and drew a fine save from Norris, but the ball ran loose for Dion Charles, who somehow screwed it wide with the goal gaping.

The hosts were soon on the attack themselves and a nice passing move ended with Nathan Baxter getting down to deal with Robertson’s low drive.

And it was then Pompey’s turn to wonder just how the had not managed to score after Kamara’s header sent Yengi racing away.

He did brilliantly to beat Ricardo Almeida Santos and get a shot away that Baxter did well to get something on.

The ball was still trickling towards the net, however, and Gethin Jones had to clear it before Kamara could bundle home.

It was only a brief respite for Bolton, however, and the goal arrived just before the break, as a corner from Jack Sparkes was glanced home by SHAUGHNESSY.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Bolton 0

The hosts looked to increase their advantage when the action restarted and they were soon causing plenty of problems.

And there was a chance when Paddy Lane drilled in a low shot that Baxter could not hold, but the keeper grabbed the loose ball before Yengi could reach it.

Mousinho was forced to make a change when Kamara picked up a knock and tried to continue before eventually being replaced by Gavin Whyte on 67 minutes.

They were still looking to attack their opponents and got into some dangerous positions, but the ball would not quite land.

Bolton were not given a moment to settle, with Pompey pressing their opponents high up the pitch and keeping the tempo high.

The visitors did have a chance to level when Böðvarsson tried to sneak a shot inside the near post that Norris managed to grab.

It began to feel tense inside Fratton Park as the seconds ticked down and Terry Devlin offered some fresh legs in place of Lane.

Yengi had a chance to wrap the points up on 88 minutes, though, glancing a header wide after meeting a Sparkes corner.

But the Australian did get the goal his tireless play deserved moments later after some great work from Whyte.

The winger swapped passes with fellow substitute Devlin and sent in a fine low pass that was gobbled up by YENGI to put any thoughts of a Wanderers comeback to bed.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy, Sparkes (Swanson 90+3); Morrell, Pack (c); Kamara (Whyte 67), Robertson, Lane (Devlin 82); Yengi (Saydee 90+3)
Goals: Shaughnessy 45, Yengi 88
Booked: Robertson, Sparkes, Rafferty
Subs not used: Schofield, Towler, Martin

Bolton (3-1-4-2): Baxter; Dacres-Cogley (Mendes Gomes 81), Almeida Santos (c), Toal; Sheehan; Jones, Maghoma (Dempsey 67), Thomason (Morley 67), Williams (Iredale 67); Böðvarsson, Charles (Adeboyejo 81)
Booked: Thomason, Sheehan, Mendes Gomes, Jones
Subs not used: Forrester, Jerome

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 19,052 (742 away fans)

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Ticket News

Milton End Tickets Available For Bolton Match

Secure your spot at Fratton Park

29 November 2023

Pompey fans in the Milton End

Pompey fans can purchase tickets in the Milton End for the next League One fixture at Fratton Park.

John Mousinho’s men welcome Bolton for a televised clash between the top two sides on Monday, December 11 (8pm kick-off).

Around 1,000 tickets are available for home supporters and these can be purchased online here from 3pm today (November 29).

Pompey supporters who purchase tickets in the Milton End should enter the ground through turnstiles 19-22.

Please be aware that as the building phase continues, those with accessibility requirements should note there is no low-level access to seats in this area. All tickets sold are rail seats.

Temporary toilets will be in place to allow the sale of additional spaces to home supporters and the catering kiosks will be fully operational.

Click here for a full list of prices for 2023/24 league matches at Fratton Park, including booking fees.

Please note that fans with match tickets or season tickets in other parts of the ground are unable to transfer into the Milton End for this game.

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