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17 February 2024 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 Reading

All you need to know about League One contest

16 February 2024

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Pompey will look to make it six wins from their past seven matches when they host Reading on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

John Mousinho’s men have got a six-point lead at the summit – seven over third spot – although the sides immediately below have at least one game in hand.

Their next opponents are also enjoying some good form, which has helped them pull away from the drop zone.

The Royals are unbeaten in six games to move up to 16th position in League One and are four points ahead of the bottom four.

It might have been an even rosier picture, but they conceded a stoppage-time equaliser at Fleetwood earlier in the week.

The recent upturn for Rubén Sellés’ men has come amidst a sea of protests from supporters, who are upset about the club ownership.

A points deduction last season saw them relegated from the Championship, while four more have been taken off this term.

Pompey overturned a two-goal deficit to win in Berkshire back in October, courtesy of strikes from Tino Anjorin, Colby Bishop and Terry Devlin.

You have to go back to the summer of 2011 to find the last league contest at Fratton Park, when Dave Kitson netted the Blues winner against his former club.

Tom Lowery is the latest player to book a spot in the treatment room after injuring his hamstring on Tuesday night.

Tino Anjorin (hamstring), Terry Devlin (shoulder), Josh Dockerill (knee), Tom McIntyre (ankle), Joe Morrell (knee), Regan Poole (knee), Alex Robertson (hamstring) and Ben Stevenson (knee) are also sidelined.

Sam Smith and Andy Yiadom should be fit enough for the visitors, but Jeriel Dorsett (ankle) and Tom Holmes (back) are expected to miss out.

Read the thoughts of John Mousinho and Marlon Pack ahead of the game.

Pompey: 22 wins
Reading: 12 wins
14 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 13 wins
Reading: 4 wins
7 draws

Seats have sold out, but the ticket exchange remains open until 11.59pm on Friday, so keep checking to see if any become available.

If you are coming to the game, click here to find out what is happening around the ground ahead of kick-off.

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 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).

All games kick-off at 3pm

Bolton v Charlton
Carlisle v Cambridge
Cheltenham v Port Vale
Derby v Stevenage
Fleetwood v Barnsley
Leyton Orient v Burton
Lincoln v Exeter
Northampton v Bristol Rovers
Peterborough v Blackpool
Shrewsbury v Wigan
Wycombe v Oxford


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Match Reports

Pompey 4 Reading 1

Lane, Pack, Lang and Bishop all on target at Fratton Park

17 February 2024

Marlon Pack scores for Pompey against Reading at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Abu Kamara provided a hat-trick of assists to help Pompey secure another comfortable League One home win.

The were more than 20,000 inside Fratton Park to witness it – the highest crowd for a league game since Arsenal came to town in a top-flight contest at the end of 2009.

It was the Royals who made the brighter start, but Paddy Lane opened the scoring towards the end of the first half and it was smooth sailing from there.

Marlon Pack fired the hosts further in front shortly after the interval before Callum Lang made sure of the points.

There was still time for Colby Bishop to tuck away his 16th goal of the season, while Charlie Savage grabbed a late consolation for the visitors.

John Mousinho made three changes from the side that beat Cambridge on home soil earlier in the week.

January signing Owen Moxon was handed a full debut in place of the injured Tom Lowery in the middle of the pitch.

Bishop and Lang also returned to the starting line-up, with Kusini Yengi dropping to the bench and Myles Peart-Harris missing out with a knock.

It was the visitors looking more like the table toppers in the opening stages and they caused Pompey plenty of problems.

Femi Azeez was first to go close, being afforded space to drive forward and hit a low shot that Will Norris got down to save.

The keeper also dealt with Paul Mukairu’s tame follow-up before dealing with a curling attempt from Lewis Wing.

But the hosts soon had a chance of their own, as Andy Yiadom could only clear Sean Raggett’s long pass straight to Bishop, whose shot was saved low down by David Button.

It was still the Royals looking more likely to break the deadlock, though, and Mukairu should have done better than flick Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan’s delivery over the bar from just a few yards out.

Wing then played a clever threaded pass through to Ehibhatiomhan, with Norris quickly off his line to deal with the danger.

Meanwhile, the Blues were left furious when referee Josh Smith allowed Reading to attack while one of their players was down injured, only to blow as soon as a counter-attack was launched.

They slowly started to settle into the contest as the first half progressed and began to look dangerous themselves.

Fratton Park had been noisy throughout, but it really came alive when the hosts opened the scoring on 36 minutes.

Kamara got past Michael Craig in the middle of the pitch and surged forward before laying the ball off for LANE.

He took a touch before drilling in a low shot that beat Button at his near post, with the keeper only able to help the ball into the net.

It might have got even better just before the break when Lane intercepted a wayward Mukairu pass and fired a shot narrowly past the post.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Reading 0

Pompey were looking to give their advantage a cushion – and it arrived within four minutes of the restart.

Kamara was the architect again, surging down the right and finding PACK, who dropped a shoulder to beat Amadou Mbengue and fired the ball home.

Reading brought on Sam Smith in an attempt to fight their way back and he immediately hit a long-range strike that was gathered by Norris.

But it soon got even better for the Blues after Moxon had done well to steal possession and find Kamara.

He played the ball across to LANG, who moved it onto his right foot before hitting a precise finish into the bottom corner.

Joe Rafferty then did well to pick out the same player inside the box, but the header from Lang lacked enough power to trouble Button.

And when Pack swung a teasing free-kick into the mixer, Conor Shaughnessy could only glance the ball wide.

Reading almost hit back at the other end, as Wing’s 20-yard free-kick cannoned down off the underside of the bar and was grabbed by Norris.

Mousinho introduced some fresh legs on 73 minutes, with Lane receiving a rapturous reception as he made way for Christian Saydee.

Norris was still looking sharp and even though he was beaten to the ball by Smith on the edge of the box, the keeper showed excellent reactions to keep out the substitute’s shot.

But Pompey were not done attacking themselves and Rafferty’s delivery into the box from deep could not be held by Button.

BISHOP calmly tucked the ball into the net, with referee Smith ignoring the keeper’s desperate pleas that he had been fouled.

That was not quite it for all the scoring, however, as when a Reading corner was only partially cleared, Savage slotted into the net.

It failed to dampen the raucous mood among the Fratton faithful, though, as Pompey strengthened their advantage over the chasing pack.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy, Ogilvie; Moxon, Pack (c); Kamara (Whyte 84), Lang (Martin 84), Lane (Saydee 73); Bishop (Yengi 84)
Goals: Lane 36, Pack 49, Lang 59, Bishop 84
Booked: Shaughnessy, Pack, Rafferty, Martin
Subs not used: Macey, Towler, Sparkes

Reading (4-2-3-1): Button; Yiadom (c) (Abrefa 74), Mbengue, Bindon, Mola; Wing (Savage 74), Craig; Azeez, Knibbs, Mukairu (Smith 53); Ehibhatiomhan (Elliott 74)
Goals: Savage 89
Booked: Wing, Mola, Azeez
Subs not used: Pereira, Monlouis, Wareham

Referee: Josh Smith

Attendance: 20,113 (1,987 away fans)

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