League One
Tuesday 15th March 2022
Plymouth Argyle FC
Portsmouth FC
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Full Time - 99
Home Park
MATCH CENTRE DELIVERED BY
Match Details
Training

Argyle will look to take their momentum from the last three games into a vital encounter with Portsmouth at Home Park on Tuesday night.

The Greens have won their last three Sky Bet League One matches without conceding a goal and take on a Portsmouth side harbouring ambitions of the play offs.

Argyle currently occupy the final spot in the play off zone after a crucial 1-0 win over Bolton Wanderers, at the University of Bolton Stadium on Saturday.

Macaulay Gillesphey scored his first league goal, just before half time, to give the Greens the victory and stay in those top six places.

With the race for the play offs incredible tight, both Argyle and Portsmouth will know that any slip ups and there are sides in form ready to take advantage.

There is currently only six points separating Oxford United in fourth and Wycombe Wanderers in eighth, with Ipswich Town and Portsmouth not too far behind.

Argyle’s win on Saturday means they have now picked up 22 points from a possible 30 in their last 10 games.

That form has seen them stay in contention at the top of the table in what is likely to be the tightest race for promotion the league has seen for years.

The Greens are currently on 65 points and still have 10 matches to play.

The average for a sixth placed finish over the past five years has been 74 points, but it looks likely it will be higher this time around.

Games with Portsmouth have been tight affairs in recent years.

The last four meetings between the sides have ended in a draw with the last three being 2-2.

Back in September Argyle came from behind to lead 2-1 at Fratton Park, thanks to a brace from Ryan Hardie, but Sean Raggett scored in the final minute of injury time to rescue a point.

The Pilgrims have only lost twice against Pompey in their last 10 matches at Home Park, but the last four of those have been draws.

Portsmouth have also been in terrific form. They’re unbeaten in eight matches and, like Argyle, have a couple of games in hand on sides above them.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Ipswich Town kept them in touch with the play off places and means they have picked up 20 points from their last eight games, and are unbeaten in their last three away games.

Saturday’s stalemate was the first time since the end of January that Pompey have failed to score in a game.

They have been free scoring of late though, netting three or more in five of their last seven matches.

TEAM NEWS

Apart from the usual absentees, Argyle have a fully fit squad to choose from.

Dan Scarr, George Cooper, Brendan Galloway and Alfie Lewis remain out, but Steven Schumacher has plenty of options at his disposal.

Michael Jacobs could be back for the first time in a month after recovering from a knee injury.

Striker Tyler Walker has been suffering from an ankle injury of late but did feature, from the bench, on Saturday.

TICKET NEWS

Tuesday’s game is a complete sell out and no more tickets are available for purchase.

ARGYLE TV

If you cannot make the game, then it is available to watch on Argyle TV worldwide for just £10. 

Our pre-match show, hosted by Erin Black and Ian Stonebridge, will be free to watch on the clubs YouTube page from 6:45pm.

Details on packages available to you can be found here.

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Jordan Houghton fighting for every ball against Portsmouth

Argyle 1 
Hardie 65 

Portsmouth 0 

Four straight wins for Argyle, all four clean sheets and Ryan Hardie is enjoying a sparkling run of goal-scoring form. 

His latest offering, a 65th minute winner scuttled into the corner after terrific tenacity from Jordan Houghton and Panutche Camara, was enough to see off a Portsmouth side with their own hopes of mounting a play-off push. 

Argyle boss Steven Schumacher made three changes from the weekend win at Bolton, Steven Sessegnon, Luke Jephcott and Panutche Camara coming in for Conor Grant, Ryan Broom and Niall Ennis. 

In a bright opening befitting the electric atmosphere, a nice exchange involving Camara, Jordan Houghton and Danny Mayor created room for Joe Edwards to have a swing but he was unable to make proper contact. 

Pompey, who drew 0-0 at Ipswich on Saturday, were given a taste of Argyle’s slick forward movement with a delightful threaded pass from Mayor for Jephcott to fire back across goal and force a decent low save from Gavin Bazunu. 

Despite the busy recent schedule, Argyle’s tempo was outstanding in the opening quarter, although the defensive trio had to watch carefully as a wicked low ball from Denver Hume flashed across the six-yard box. 

Mayor trumped that cross with an even better delivery, curling a terrific tempter for Hardie and Jephcott. While they just failed to get a decisive touch, Bazunu was still mighty relieved to see the ball skip inches wide of his far post.  

A swerving Mayor effort was then briefly spilled by Bazunu, the Manchester City loanee grabbing the ball at the second attempt before a gentle shove on Jephcott prompted a polite (unsuccessful) penalty enquiry.  

After a quiet end to the first period, a long throw from Edwards was flicked back by Hardie for a shot deflected into the arms of Bazunu.  

A terrific passing move from the Greens eventually created room for Macaulay Gillesphey to clip in a cross from the left but Jephcott was twice denied by Sean Raggett and Hume throwing their bodies in front of the ball. 

Mike Cooper kept himself warm by racing off his line to grab a ball over the top seeking the run of Aiden O’Brien. Moments later, a heavy touch from Cooper almost presented George Hirst with a chance but Argyle’s young ‘keeper quickly rectified the problem. 

The Pilgrims responded with more patient work around the Pompey box, Mayor teasing the men in blue before Houghton whipped over a cross that Bazunu did well to hold among the sea of bodies. 

Brilliant defending from James Bolton, against his former club, thwarted Hirst at the near post. The noise levels were raising significantly, as Argyle responded with a trio of efforts from Edwards and Camara were blocked by the Pompey defence. 

The Pilgrims led two minutes later, Camara driving into the box and squaring an intelligent pass for Hardie to steer a left-foot finish back past Bazunu and into the corner of the net, sending the Green Army wild with delight. 

Portsmouth had to be more adventurous and it needed an acrobatic clearance from Houghton to clear one mini scramble. Camara restored the attacking impetus with a sizzling strike from distance that Bazunu almost spilled into the path of Jordon Garrick, who had replaced Jephcott just seconds earlier. 

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Pompey threw men forward and James Wilson was next to find a superb defensive header under heavy pressure, as Ryan Law replaced Sessegnon for the closing stages. 

Six minute of stoppage time and a succession of Pompey corners cranked up the tension, but Argyle’s imperious defensive unit remained deservedly intact.  

Last-minute substitute Adam Randell finished a top night with an audacious 50-yard effort that bounced a fraction wide with Bazunu a long way out of his goal. Bring on Accrington this weekend. 

Argyle (3-5-2): 1 Michael Cooper; 5 James Wilson, 2 James Bolton, 3 Macaulay Gillesphey; 8 Joe Edwards (capt), 28 Panutche Camara, 4 Jordan Houghton, 10 Danny Mayor, 17 Steven Sessegnon (27 Ryan Law 86); 9 Ryan Hardie (20 Adam Randell 90), 31 Luke Jephcott (14 Jordon Garrick 76). Substitutes: 25 Callum Burton (gk), 7 Ryan Broom, 11 Niall Ennis, 33 Romoney Crichlow. 

Booked: Sessegnon 43, Cooper 90 

Portsmouth (3-4-1-2): 1 Gavin Bazunu; 17 Hayden Carter, 20 Sean Raggett (capt), 16 Connor Ogilvie; 15 Mahlon Romeo, 23 Louis Thompson (8 Ryan Tunnicliffe 71), 21 Joe Morrell, 3 Denver Hume (4 Clark Robertson 64); 11 Ronan Curtis; 7 Aiden O'Brien (9 Tyler Walker 71), 19 George Hirst. Substitutes: 22 Liam Vincent, 25 Jay Mingi, 28 Ollie Webber, 38 Harry Jewitt-White. 

Booked: Romeo 33, Thompson 34 

Attendance: 15,604 (1,381 away) 

Referee: Sam Purkiss