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Match Previews

Match Preview | Portsmouth (A)

6 October 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview | Portsmouth (A)

6 October 2023

The Valiants will be looking to bounce back from our midweek defeat at Bristol Rovers when we make the long trip to face Portsmouth on Saturday in Sky Bet League One.

Vale currently sit in 8th place in the table on 17 points from eleven league games and will be looking to make amends following our loss this past Tuesday night against Bristol Rovers

Ahead of Saturday’s fixture the Vale have added striker Uche Ikpeazu to their squad. Uche is no stranger to Vale Park after spending the first half of the 2015/2016 season with the Valiants on loan from Watford where he scored six goals across all competitions throughout his time with the club.

Crosby’s Comments

When reacting to Tuesday night’s fixture, Crosby said:

“It was a game that we were in absolute control of. We were really bright with the ball, beat their press numerous times in a variety of ways and got into the final third. But if you don’t track men into your own box and people run off you and you concede poor goals, you give yourself a really big mountain to climb”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s fixture, Crosby said:

“We’ll continue the same process. We’ve gone to league leaders at the start of last month and produced a really good performance and got a win. We’ve got an absolutely top group in there and as I say were working away to a new way of playing. We’re finding it difficult at this moment in time to defend in our box and create chances around the final third but the bit in-between we’ve made real progress this last month. Our results have not vindicated that, but we’ll keep working away. We’ll keep looking. We’ll keep trying to find solutions”

The Opposition

Saturday’s opposition have enjoyed a fantastic start to the season. In fact, they are yet to lose a game in the league. From their first eleven games, Pompey have picked up seven wins and four draws, scoring 19 goals and conceding eight.

In their last outing, they beat Wycombe Wanderers 2-1 at home thanks to a 98th minute Connor Shaughnessy goal. Portsmouth went a goal down after 20 minutes but they turned the game around in the second half to maintain their unbeaten record and register their fourth league win in a row. In this game, Portsmouth midfielder Marlon Pack picked up an injury which will seem him miss Saturday’s game. Portsmouth’s September player of the month Regan Poole will also be unavailable for the fixture after he picked up his fifth booking of the season, as did attacking midfielder Alex Robertson.

They are managed by John Mousinho who took over from the Cowley brothers midway through last season. The 37-year-old officially retired from football last season when he left Oxford United to join Portsmouth. Mousinho made over 450 appearances in his career, winning promotion from League Two on two separate occasions. Firstly with Stevenage in the 2010/11 season when they beat Torquay United in the Play Off final, and then with Burton Albion in the 2014/15 season when they won the league. Mousinho took over the reins at Fratton Park in January 2023 and has since been in charge for 38 games, winning 18 of them. Mousinho also used to be the Chairman of the PFA but he stood down from this role when he joined Portsmouth.

Player to Watch – Colby Bishop

Bishop has already found the back of the net six times for Pompey this season and after picking up twenty goals last season he will be looking to add to his tally on Saturday. Colby Bishop spent the early years of his career in non-league and he earned his big break after scoring 28 goals in 51 appearances for Leamington in the National League North between the 2017-2019 season. In the summer of 2019, he signed for Accrington Stanley where he spent three years in Lancashire. During his time at the WHAM Stadium, he scored 39 goals in 123 appearances. 

Bishop’s fine goal record made him a target for clubs and he made the move to the south coast in the summer of 2022 where he has excelled since, scoring 29 goals in his 64 appearances so far.

Last Time We Met

Portsmouth 2-2 Port Vale, Saturday 25th March 2023.

The last meeting between the sides ended in a draw at Fratton Park but Vale will have been disappointed to have not left with maximum points after being 2-0 up at the break.

Vale took the lead after just eight minutes when on-loan striker Matty Taylor latched onto a defensive effort to poke home from inside the box to give the Valiants an early lead. The second goal came courtesy of a 25-yard Funso Ojo strike that took a slight deflection and wrong-footed the keeper.

Just before the break the hosts had the chance to pull a goal back from the spot after Sean Raggett was fouled in the box. Colby Bishop stepped up, but Aidan Stone guessed the right way and saved the resulting penalty. After the break the hosts came out firing and were awarded their second penalty of the game when Ellis Harrison fouled Connor Ogilvie in the area. Colby Bishop stepped up and this time dispatched his penalty to halve the deficit for his side.

Just three minutes later, Pompey were level. Vale failed to clear a cross from the left side and it fell kindly for Michael Jacobs who controlled and calmy slotted home. Fortunately, Vale managed to hold onto a point. However, it would have been much more considering the explosive start to the game that we had.

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