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Kick off 13:00 (UK)

24 April 2021 Venue Fratton Park Attendance

Kick off 13:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Match Preview: Portsmouth v Bristol Rovers

23 April 2021

We take a look at the upcoming game against Portsmouth...

Tuesday evening's loss looks to be the fatal blow in the Gas' survival hopes, with many sides winning around them, the points gap and goal difference seems to insurmountable at this stage. Despite this, the Gas must now search for optimism to take into the next campaign, and Joey Barton will be asking his players to earn their place in his plans next season.

Manager's Preview...

Joey Barton spoke to the media on Friday morning ahead of his side's early trip down to the south coast, check out what he had to say below...

Media Talk...

The Cowley brothers welcome the Gas to Fratton Park this weekend, and Danny Cowley caught up with, discussing how his side will approach the game. On the Gas, Cowley said, “Both teams have got to win and the reality is that it’s now very difficult for them to stay in the division.

“But they’re a really good club and I loved seeing their journey back up from the National League with successive promotions.

“It’s been a tough season with three managers and that never bodes well, although Joey Barton is an incredible competitor.”

Form Guide

After an initial upturn in form under the Cowley brothers, Portsmouth have hit a bit of a speed bump in their hunt for a play-off place this season. Four wins from four looked to set a promising tone for the Cowley's stewardship on the South Coast, but a loss to Burton Albion prompted a downturn in results.

Since then, Pompey have drawn against Crewe before losing to MK Dons and Swindon Town most recently.

Team news...

Ellis Harrison, Michael Jacobs and Jordy Hiwula have been ruled out by Portsmouth Manager Danny Cowley for the fixture.

Lee Brown is a possibility for the weekend after returning from injury, alongside Alex Bass.

For Rovers, Josh Grant has been ruled out for the remainder of the season. Sam Nicholson, who had successful surgery on Tuesday, will also not feature for Rovers again this term. Joey Barton also revealed in his press conference that Jonah Ayunga would be out for the rest of the campaign too.

Stat Pack

Both teams have scored in the past 5 meetings between the two sides.

Rovers are without a clean sheet in 10 games against Portsmouth, with Portsmouth scoring first in 9 of the last 10 meetings of the two teams.

The Gas are unbeaten in their last three games against Saturday's opponents, winning the reverse fixture between the sides back in January at the Mem.

Portsmouth are without a win in their last four games, that same run for Rovers stretches to three matches.

Pompey have gained 29 points at home this term, a tally that ranks them 15th in the division for points picked up on home soil and have scored 28 goals at Fratton Park.

Former Rovers striker Ellis Harrison has 4 goals for Portsmouth this season.

Referee Watch

Thomas Bramall is the man in charge of Saturday's early KO. Bramall has officiated 30 games this season, handing out 71 yellow cards and 4 red cards. He was the referee earlier this season in our 1-0 loss away at Swindon. Back in the 2018/19 season, he was in charge of our 3-1 home win over Coventry, as well as our 2-1 defeat to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. Bramall will be assisted by Christopher Wade and Greg Read, with Kevin Johnson taking up 4th Official responsibilities.

Previous Encounters

Rovers picked up all three points in their earlier clash with Pompey this season. In a game that showed great promise from Jonah Ayunga, the Gas were dominant against a Portsmouth side managed by Kenny Jackett at the time.

Jonah Ayunga notched two superb goals to take full points, you can watch the full recap below...


You can back the Gas to win with both teams to score at 12/1 odds, whilst Luke Leahy is priced at 8/1 to score at any time against Pompey.

To bet with Sky Bet please click HERE.

How to Watch

You can watch the Gas in action against Pompey from 1pm on Saturday with a £10 iFollow match pass, find details on how to purchase yours below...

Around the Grounds

Rovers' fixture at Fratton Park is the only early KO across the division on Saturday. Keen interest will be in the fate of the trio of Rochdale, Northampton and Wigan. The Dale head to Crewe on Saturday, while Northampton are on the road at Gillingham, Wigan play host to Burton. Rovers will be looking for a positive result at Fratton Park and hope that the mentioned trio all fail to pick up points to keep their faint hopes of survival alive. At the top of the table, Hull head to Lincoln and Peterborough make the trip to the Valley.

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Match Reports

Match Report: Portsmouth 1-0 Bristol Rovers

24 April 2021

Rovers narrowly beaten at Fratton Park.

Ronan Curtis’ goal in the 27th minute separated the sides, as the defeat ended Rovers’ five-year spell in Sky Bet League One.

Curtis curled home the only goal of the contest after the winger was set free down the left by George Byers’ flick.

Rovers went close in the first half through Alex Rodman, as the winger saw an effort from inside the area deflected wide.

During the second half, Luke McCormick tested MacGillivray from range, as Portsmouth preserved their lead.

The loss at Fratton Park confirms Rovers’ relegation to Sky Bet League Two – with a nine gap between the Gas and safety, with only two games remaining.


In the build-up to kick-off at Fratton Park, the Rovers teamsheet included three changes to the side that started Tuesday’s encounter with MK Dons.

James Daly, Zain Westbrooke and Jack Baldwin all returned to the starting XI, replacing Cian Harries, Zain Walker and Jonah Ayunga.

Portsmouth in turn made just the one change, with both former Rovers players, Lee Brown and Ellis Harrison missing out through injury.


Both teams have been on the scoresheet in the previous 5 encounters between the sides and the start of the game at Fratton Park saw both sides have plausible opportunities.

An early ball into the host’s area from a McCormick set-piece was recycled back into the mix by Luke Leahy. The defender’s ball aimed at the congested six-area found Hanlan, who connected with a header but was penalised for a foul.

The home side first opening came via a deflected free-kick from Byers that Jaakkola was able to track all the way into his gloves.

Rovers again threatened from a free-kick, as a routine on the edge of the area saw Martinez coax a delivery into the Portsmouth area. The ball eventually dropped for James Daly, who connected with a volley on the turn that looked set to find the target but was blocked by a defender.

The Gas’ energy saw them deploy a high press, which was effective in rattling the home side in possession on a number of occasions.

Alex Rodman, who was making his second start after a return from injury, went close for Rovers midway through the first-half. The move started down the right, as Williams released the winger with a quickly taken throw. Rodman was able to jinx past his man to break into the area, firing an effort across goal that took a slight deflection that saw the attempt creep wide.

For all Rovers’ work, it was the home side that went ahead, just prior to the half-hour mark. Byers' flick from MacGillivray's quick distribution set Ronan Curtis free down the left, where he was able to advance to the fringes of the Rovers penalty area, where the winger flashed a curling finish into the bottom beyond Jaakkola to give Portsmouth the lead.


Shortly after Curtis’ opening goal, Nicolaisen glanced a towering header wide of the target, after being picked out from a free-kick as the host’s held the lead at the halfway stage.

Early on in the second half, Rovers were able to test MacGillivray, as McCormick’s effort from range forced the Portsmouth ‘keeper into action.

Oztumer was introduced from the bench on the hour mark, replacing Zain Westbrooke.

Rovers possessed a favourable share of the play inside the Portsmouth half as the second half progressed, but couldn’t create any clear cut chances. A George Williams throw from the right shaped a half-chance for the Gas, with James Daly narrowly missing out on a flick at the near post to glance the ball home, as MacGillivray clutched at the delivery.

With 20-minutes to go, McCormick saw a twisting free-kick held by MacGillivray, as Rovers fought to find an equalising goal.


A double switch saw Cam Hargreaves and Zain Walker introduced, with a little over 15 minutes remaining on the clock.

Curtis went close for the home side, nearly doubling both his and Portsmouth’s tally, as a ball over the top swung into the path of the winger. Kilgour was in pursuit of Curtis and held him up, before the Portsmouth man blasted his low effort wide.

Mark Little and Josh Hare were the final substitutes introduced for Rovers, as the pair replaced Alife Kilgour and Pablo Martinez, but Rovers were unable to break level as Portsmouth managed the remaining minutes to secure the win.

Portsmouth: Craig MacGillivray (G), Callum Johnson, Sean Raggett, Rasmus Nicolaisen, Tom Naylor, Ben Close (62’ Andy Cannon), John Marquis, Marcus Harness (78’ James Bolton), Ryan Williams (78’ Charlie Daniels), Ronan Curtis, George Byers (69’ Harvey White).

Subs: Lewis Ward, Charlie Daniels, Harvey White, Alfie Stanley, Andy Cannon, Paul Downing.

Bristol Rovers: Anssi Jaakkola (G), Luke Leahy, Zain Westbrooke (58’ Erhun Oztumer), Brandon Hanlan, Luke McCormick, Alfie Kilgour (83’ Josh Hare), James Daly (73’ Zain Walker), Jack Baldwin, Alex Rodman (73’ Cam Hargreaves), Pablo Martinez (82’ Mark Little), George Williams.

Subs: Joe Day, Mark Little, Cam Hargreaves, Josh Hare, David Tutonda, Zain Walker, Erhun Oztumer. 

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