All you need to know ahead of Fratton Park clash
Portsmouth v Luton Town
Sky Bet League 2
Saturday 14th March 2015, kick-off 3pm
Live commentary on Hatters Player, DiverseFM, BBC3CR and lutontown.co.uk
• Town fifth; Pompey 14th
• Hatters lost last three away; Portsmouth one defeat in nine
• First Town trip to Fratton Park since 1995
• Almost 2,700 Hatters fans making the journey
WHO? Portsmouth, aka Pompey, arguably the biggest club in League 2, who lifted the FA Cup as recently as 2008. The Fratton Park outfit suffered relegation from the top flight in 2010 before suffering consecutive relegations in 2012 and 2013 to put them in the basement division. Last season Pompey finished in 14th place in League 2.
HOW THEY DOING? For as long as Pompey are in League 2, anything less than a top seven berth is a disappointment so with Andy Awford’s side in 14th place, things aren’t going that well. Their inconsistent results have dogged their season and, although they’ve lost just once in the last 11 they’ve only won four in that spell, their most recent defeat was a 1-0 defeat at Northampton and last weekend they came from behind to draw 1-1 at Accrington.
HOW TO GET THERE? To get to Portsmouth, take the M1, M25 and then M27. Go along the M27 and at the junction with the A2030 turn right towards Southsea/Fratton and continue straight along the A2030. Eventually you will see the ground in front of you, just slightly to your left. There is a large car park behind the TY Europe Stand, but this is for home supporters only. So it is mostly street parking for away fans. There are few parking restrictions in places close to the ground, so if you arrive early enough, you can park only a few minutes’ walk away. The postcode for the ground is PO4 8RA.
TICKETS PLEASE! All 2,689 tickets for the away sold out over a week ago and Hatters fans without tickets are advised not to travel to Fratton Park. Town supporters will be in the Milton End – a covered stand and former terrace. There’s a pretty low roof so MAKE PLENTY OF NOISE!
HOME COMFORTS. Pompey’s home form has been significantly better than their terrible away form, which has seen them win just twice and score just 12 goals on their travels. At home, however, they have won nine of their 17 matches, losing to Southend, Wimbledon, Accrington and Newport.
AWAY DAY BLUES. The Town have won just five of their previous 37 visits to Fratton Park, with Pompey successful in… of those. Saturday’s visit will be the Hatters’ first visit since a 4-0 defeat in 1995 – a game which ended the reign of manager Terry Westley. The Town’s last victory came courtesy of a 2-0 win in September 1975 with Andy King and Adrian Alston on target before a crowd of 9,835.
CLUB CONNECTIONS. A whole host of recognisable names have played for both the Town and Portsmouth down the years. The Hatters have three senior players who have been on the books at Fratton Park in the past, including Paul Benson and Paul Connolly who have both spent time on loan with the South Coast club. Furthermore, Luke Wilkinson started his professional career with Pompey when they were in the Premier League – although he failed to make a senior appearance. His next stop was Dagenham.
Allan Brown, Brian Lewis, Chris Kamara, Albert McCann, Roy Lunniss, Keith Allen, Rory Allen, Ray Daniel, Alan Garner, Vince Hilaire, Ceri Hughes, Dean Kiely, Richard Money, Jason Rees, Paul Walsh, Marc Wilson, Sammy Igoe, Ron Davies, Chris Kamara, Russell Perrett and Matthew Taylor all served both clubs.
You can read more about Matthew Taylor’s career at both clubs here
REF WATCH. Darren Drysdale takes charge of his second Hatters fixture of the season having already overseen the home win over Newport in December. In the 22 matches he has officiated so far this term he has shown 75 yellow cards and six reds.
TOWN TEAM NEWS. Town boss John Still explained in his Thursday press conference that Paul Benson could be involved against a former club of his, four months after breaking his leg in the win over Mansfield. Mark Tyler remains out but is nearing a return while Nathan Doyle is making good progress from his knee injury. Still did, however, admit that Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu has suffered a set-back in his recovery from a hamstring injury, and that Scott Griffiths needs a hernia operation.
LIVE AND ONLINE.Hatters Player is the only place to listen to online commentary of the Hatters this season and once again the DiverseFM team will be bringing subscribers all the action from Fratton Park. What’s more there will be a full report, reaction and photographs post-match and live text updates during the match itself on the official website.