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23 December 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 Fleetwood

All you need to know about League One contest

22 December 2023

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Pompey v Fleetwood Town

Pompey already know they will be top of the League One tree at Christmas, but are looking to provide more festive cheer by beating Fleetwood on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

John Mousinho is keen for his side to at least have maintained the seven-point gap to second-placed Peterborough as they tuck into their turkey.

Their opponents, meanwhile, are not exactly full of Christmas spirit at the moment, as they battle to climb out of the drop zone.

The Cod Army are currently in 22nd position and make the long trip south on the back of six successive defeats.

It is an unwanted run that as well as heightening relegation fears, has seen them exit both the FA Cup and Bristol Street Motors Trophy.

Perhaps even more concerning for boss Lee Johnson is that his team have failed to score a single goal in that time.

He will be eager to restore a winning feeling that has not been experienced since fellow strugglers Exeter were beaten 3-0 six weeks ago.

Goals from Colby Bishop and Joe Pigott secured a 2-0 Blues victory in the last meeting between the clubs on the Fylde coast back in January.

But each of the four most recent Fratton contests have ended all square, something that Pompey will want to improve on as they aim to provide supporters with the perfect present.

Pompey are still missing Tino Anjorin (hamstring), Josh Dockerill (knee), Connor Ogilvie (ankle) and Regan Poole (knee).

There are also doubts over the fitness of Tom Lowery (calf), Christian Saydee (foot) and Zak Swanson (groin).

Fleetwood will be without influential midfielder Josh Vela, who starts a two-match after picking up his 10th league booking of the season last weekend.

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

Pompey: 8 wins
Fleetwood: 3 wins
4 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 2 wins
Fleetwood: 1 win
4 draws

Seats have sold out in the home areas of the ground, including those that were made available in the Milton End.

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

Referee: Tom Nield
Assistants: Ian Cooper and James Wilson
Fourth Official: David Rock

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 four-camera coverage, replays and 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 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

Cambridge v Exeter (7.45pm)

Barnsley v Stevenage
Blackpool v Bristol Rovers
Bolton v Leyton Orient
Carlisle v Cheltenham
Charlton v Burton
Northampton v Oxford
Reading v Wigan
Shrewsbury v Peterborough
Wycombe v Port Vale


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Match Reports

Pompey 1 Fleetwood 1

Bishop penalty cancelled out in festive stalemate

23 December 2023

Colby Bishop scores a penalty against Fleetwood Town at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

A feeling of frustration replaced festive cheer at Fratton Park, as Pompey were held to a draw by Fleetwood.

Colby Bishop had fired the hosts ahead from the penalty spot just before the break, only for Josh Earl to draw the Cod Army level.

The Blues poured forward at every opportunity after that, but were unable to find a winning goal, although still remain top of the pile at Christmas.

John Mousinho made one change from the side that won at Shrewsbury in the last League One outing.

With Bishop returning to full fitness, he was restored to lead the line and Kusini Yengi dropped to the bench.

Pompey showed plenty of attacking intent in the opening stages, but were finding it hard to break down an organised defence.

There was one lovely passing move involving Joe Rafferty, Alex Robertson and Abu Kamara, but the latter’s low shot was cleared from the line by Connor Teale.

Kamara then collected a neat ball from Rafferty and slipped it across for Robertson, who scuffed past the post.

Fleetwood’s openings were arriving on the break and Joe Morrell did well to pressure the rampaging Brendan Wiredu into firing wide.

Another quick counter then saw Robertson’s clearance fly straight to Callum Dolan, who blazed wastefully over the bar.

Pompey were looking fairly comfortable, though, and the home crowd were showing plenty of patience as they tried to break down their opponents.

It almost happened on 40 minutes after Robertson had done well to keep possession and then send Morrell racing through.

He laid the ball off for Kamara, who cut inside from the right and curled a shot against the base of the post.

But the Blues were literally handed a chance to forge ahead in stoppage-time after Wiredu dived to block Kamara’s shot and the ball struck his outstretched arm.

Referee Tom Nield took a moment to make his mind up before pointing to the spot and BISHOP calmly sent Jay Lynch the wrong way.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Fleetwood 0

The visitors had to be more ambitious in the second half and Pompey immediately looked to exploit spaces at the back.

Kamara did well to get free on the right, cutting inside and into the box, but his lay-off was behind Bishop, who could only fire over.

Fleetwood soon had a chance of their own, as Wiredu’s fierce effort just about cleared the crossbar after the ball had sat up nicely for him on the edge of the area.

And they found a leveller just past the hour mark, with Phoenix Patterson’s corner nodded on by Bosun Lawal for Earl to rifle home from close range.

Christian Saydee had been waiting to come on before that goal and the change was still made, with Robertson the man to make way.

The hosts tried to hit back and Marlon Pack did well to charge into the box and send the ball into the mixer, with the visitors having to scramble it clear.

They were camping out in the Cod Army half and Paddy Lane saw a fierce shot blocked as the pressure began to mount.

That was the former Fleetwood forward’s final involvement, as he was replaced out wide by Gavin Whyte on 77 minutes.

Pompey’s two substitutes almost combined for a goal, as Saydee took a neat touch from Bishop’s flick and laid the ball off for Whyte to fire agonisingly wide of the post.

Mousinho made a last throw of the dice by replacing the lively Kamara with a fit-again Anthony Scully in his forward line.

But despite committing plenty of men forward for the closing stages, there was to be no Christmas cracker of a finale from the hosts.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy, Sparkes; Morrell, Pack (c); Kamara (Scully 85), Robertson (Saydee 63), Lane (Whyte 77); Bishop
Goals: Bishop 45+3 (pen)
Booked: Saydee, Scully, Sparkes
Subs not used: Schofield, Towler, Devlin, Yengi

Fleetwood (4-1-4-1): Lynch; Lawal, Heneghan (c), Teale (Holgate 86), Earl; Wiredu; Asamoah (Hayes 64), Johnston, Dolan (Marriott 76), Patterson; Stockley
Goals: Earl 63
Booked: Dolan
Subs not used: McMullan, Johnson, Montgomery, Tshimanga

Referee: Tom Nield

Attendance: 18,412 (94 away fans)

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