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Fixture News

Marquis Recalls Magic Moment

Striker looks back on semi-final drama

12 March 2021

It was the sixth minute of stoppage-time when Ronan Curtis swung in a cross and John Marquis headed home the unlikeliest of winners.

More than 14,000 Pompey fans inside Fratton Park were on their feet to celebrate a dramatic victory over Exeter that secured a Wembley return.

Marcus Harness had earlier cancelled out a goal for the Grecians, only for Christian Burgess to inadvertently find his own net in the Papa John’s Trophy semi-final tie.

The Blues were trailing as the fourth official held up his board, only for Cameron McGeehan to level and then Marquis to provide a moment of magic.

Now the striker is finally looking forward to running out at the national stadium a year after their clash with Salford was supposed to have taken place.

He said: “It feels like a long time and we’ve played a lot of football since, but we’re pleased to have the opportunity to contest a final we worked so hard to get into.

“It must have been a great game for neutrals to watch, although most might have switched off after about 70 minutes!

“Neither side would give the other an inch and it was pretty uneventful, then the first goal just kick-started the game.

"I said to him before that I thought we’d get another chance and we just had to make sure we took it."

John Marquis

“Marcus equalised, then we conceded and levelled again. The game was so open and thankfully when the opportunity fell to me, I put it in.

“I said to him before that I thought we’d get another chance and we just had to make sure we took it.

“Now we’re finally going to be able to play Salford and hopefully become the first team to retain the trophy.”

The game has to take place behind closed doors due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but it will still be a special occasion for Marquis.

He said: “You want to play in cup finals and it’s just unfortunate that we won’t have 50,000 Pompey fans there to experience it.

“It will be the first opportunity of me to be in the matchday squad at Wembley and if you get the chance to appear there, it’s a big moment in your career.

“I want to make sure it’s one that I can remember for good reasons – hopefully by scoring and winning.

“It will be tough against Salford and we can’t underestimate them. We’re not in the best form at the moment, but it’s a break from the league and hopefully we can find some confidence.”

Click here to secure a commemorarive ticket for the game and help raise funds for Pompey in the Community's Covid response service.

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