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02 March 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 Oxford

All you need to know about League One contest

1 March 2024

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With the finishing line starting to come into view, Pompey still have quite a few hurdles to negotiate in the race for promotion.

Their next test sees Oxford make the relatively short trip down to Fratton Park on Saturday (3pm kick-off).

The visitors have plenty to play for themselves after dropping out of the play-off places when Stevenage won earlier in the week.

They were tucked in just behind the table-topping Blues when boss Liam Manning departed to take charge of Bristol City back in November.

His replacement Des Buckingham – a former United coach and youth team player – has found wins harder to come by.

The man who led Mumbai City to Indian Super League glory has overseen just five league victories so far, while their last outing was a home defeat to Leyton Orient.

That result ended a six-match unbeaten run which included five draws – beginning with a 2-2 stalemate against Pompey in January.

It was the eighth contest in the past 11 meetings between the sides to end all square, with Colby Bishop and debutant Callum Lang on target that night.

Pompey are waiting for an independent assessment on Connor Ogilvie, who took a blow to the head at Charlton last week.

Defender Zak Swanson is not ready to feature after only recently returning to training following a groin injury.

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 still sidelined.

Marcus Browne (hamstring) and Kyle Edwards (hamstring) are the only players missing for Oxford, who are likely to include former Blues loanee Owen Dale in their matchday squad.

Read the thoughts of John Mousinho and Kusini Yengi ahead of the game.

Pompey: 27 wins
Oxford: 24 wins
24 draws

At Fratton Park
Pompey: 18 wins
Oxford: 4 wins
13 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 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).

All games kick-off at 3pm

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


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Match Reports

Pompey 2 Oxford 1

Saydee comes off the bench to grab Blues winner

2 March 2024

Christian Saydee scores for Pompey against Oxford United at Fratton Park
Photo: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Christian Saydee came off the bench to grab a precious winning goal for Pompey against Oxford at Fratton Park.

That came after Callum Lang’s early opener was almost immediately cancelled out by a Cameron Brannagan penalty.

Both sides played their part in an absorbing contest that contained plenty of chances, but it was the Blues who held on to claim a valuable victory in the race for promotion.

John Mousinho made one change from the side that were held to a draw at Charlton the previous week.

Myles Peart-Harris was restored to the starting line-up, occupying a deeper role than usual in place of Owen Moxon.

There was a familiar face in the opposition team, with former Blues loanee Owen Dale included – having already scored at Fratton Park for Blackpool earlier in the campaign.

The ground was rocking from the off and only got louder when the hosts broke the deadlock with just 88 seconds on the clock.

A quick Joe Rafferty throw was chested by Colby Bishop into the path of Abu Kamara, who then laid the ball off for LANG.

The January signing took a nice first touch to beat Elliott Moore and then hit a shot that Jamie Cumming could only fumble into the net.

It might have got even better when Marlon Pack swung a free-kick into the mixer, but Conor Shaughnessy could not keep his header down.

Pompey were not ahead for long, however, and when Mark Harris found Dale in the box, he was brought down by Sean Raggett.

Referee Ben Toner pointed straight to the spot and Brannagan stepped up calmly slot home the penalty.

The chances kept coming at both ends of the pitch and when Bishop collected Pack’s threaded pass, his shot was prevented from finding the top corner by a fine Cumming save.

There was soon a switch in action, with Harris curling a shot against the post before Fin Stevens’ effort was punched away by Will Norris.

A low Kamara drive was saved by Cumming, with the contest starting to resemble a basketball game as it switched from one side to the other.

The home team, meanwhile, were growing increasingly frustrated by a series of soft free-kicks being awarded against them by Toner.

One of which came when Lang was clearly being fouled himself right in front of the assistant referee, with the Pompey forward booked for dissent.

There was one more chance just before the break, when a Peart-Harris drive was crudely ended by Rúben Rodrigues right on the edge of the box.

Paddy Lane laid the free-kick off for Pack, whose low effort flew under the wall, but also into the arms of Cumming.

Half Time: Pompey 1 Oxford 1

It was the visitors who were first to threaten following the restart after Josh Murphy’s initial effort was blocked by Rafferty.

The ball landed straight back at the feet of the United winger, who lashed a fierce shot against the crossbar.

Pompey soon had an opening of their own after Bishop and Lang combined to find Lane, only for Moore to make a superb challenge inside the box just as he shaped to shoot.

Mousinho freshened things up with a change just past the hour mark, as Lang – on a yellow card – made way for Saydee.

It was soon Oxford’s turn to threaten again, with Shaughnessy and Rafferty making key blocks in quick succession to keep them at bay.

Pompey were left cursing Toner once more when a soft free-kick was awarded against the home side – although the referee was soon being hailed.

He played an advantage after Bishop was fouled in the middle of the pitch, allowing Pack to launch a fine pass forward.

SAYDEE raced onto it and rode the challenge of Ciaron Brown before calmly tucking away his first league goal for the club.

Oxford were still looking dangerous, though, and soon had a series of chances one after the other, starting with a Murphy effort that was finely saved by Norris.

Dale’s strike was then blocked by Shaughnessy, while from the resulting corner, Saydee did brilliantly to turn Brown’s header over.

There was another change for Pompey on 79 minutes, as Peart-Harris made way for Moxon in the middle of the park.

And another two followed in the closing stages, with Josh Martin and Kusini Yengi replacing Kamara and Bishop.

Oxford were showing plenty of urgency as the seconds ticked down, but backed by a raucous home support, the Blues held on for the win.

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Norris; Rafferty, Raggett, Shaughnessy Ogilvie; Pack (c), Peart-Harris (Moxon 79); Kamara (Martin 88), Lang (Saydee 64), Lane; Bishop (Yengi 88)
Goals: Lang 2, Saydee 67
Booked: Lang, Ogilvie, Kamara, Bishop
Subs not used: Macey, Towler, Sparkes

Oxford (4-2-3-1): Cumming; Stevens, Moore (c), Brown, Leigh; McGuane (Henry 83), Brannagan; Dale, Rodrigues (Bodin 75), Murphy; Harris (Goodwin 75)
Goals: Brannagan 6 (pen)
Booked: Harris, Rodrigues, Henry
Subs not used: Eastwood, Bennett, Thorniley, Matete

Referee: Ben Toner

Attendance: 20,303 (1,382 away fans)

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