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Match Previews

Portsmouth preview - A look at our FA Cup Round Two opponents

2 December 2021

Match Previews

Portsmouth preview - A look at our FA Cup Round Two opponents

2 December 2021

Town are in action in the Emirates FA Cup this weekend as they head south to face League One side Portsmouth at Fratton Park, with the potential to progress to round three for the first time in the club's history.

The game is of course a reversal of the first round tie from the 2019/20 season that saw Pompey narrowly defeat Town 2-1 after Mark Beck had given Simon Weaver's side an early lead.

Our opponents

Pompey reside on the fringes of the playoff picture in League One as we approach the halfway point of the season. Currently in ninth place, they are just a point off the top seven and six points from the automatic promotion spots.

Saturday's hosts are now on an impressive six-game winning streak in all competitions and have lost just once in nine outings, posting six clean sheets in the process.

They come into Saturday's clash having edged past Southern League side Harrow Borough 1-0 in round one with thanks to a first-half Marcus Harness goal.

Pompey were winners of this competition back in 1939 and most recently in 2008 under Harry Redknapp.

Ones to watch

Harness leads the way having netted eight times in all competitions this season, followed by John Marquis who has four goals along with adding three assists.

Irish midfielder Ronan Curtis, who was on the scoresheet last time the sides met, has four assists to his name as does experienced defender Ryan Tunnicliffe.

Young former Bromley forward Reeco Hackett-Fairchild has struck three times in just nine starts.

The man in charge

Danny Cowley was appointed as manager in March 2021 having previously been in charge for a season at Huddersfield Town. Cowley rose to prominence in charge of Lincoln City, where he achieved promotion back to the Football League in his first year before securing the League Two title in his third season.

Cowley, who had Jack Muldoon in his Lincoln side, also took the Imps to the FA Cup quarter-final as a non-league side, knocking out two Championship sides and Premier League Burnley in the process, and also lifted the EFL Trophy. He previously managed Concord Rangers and Braintree.


The club were originally formed back in 1898 and they have resided at Fratton Park as their home ground ever since.

They were elected to the Football League in 1920 having previously been members of both the Southern League and Western League.

Pompey progressed to the top division of English football after promotion in the 1926/27 season where they remained for over 30 years before relegation to Division Two where they then predominantly played apart from short spells in the third tier.

The club were last in the top tier of English football between 2003 and 2010 before financial difficulties saw them fall through the divisions to League Two before promotion to League One in 2016/17.

The club were consecutive Champions of England in 1948/49 and 1949/50 and lifted the FA Cup in 1939 and 2008. They are one of only five sides to be crowned Champions of each of England's top four divisions.

Team news

Town continue to be without their injured defensive trio of Rory McArdle, Will Smith and Ryan Fallowfield along with striker Aaron Martin.


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