Tonight: Portsmouth v Arsenal in the Checkatrade Trophy. All you need to know.

By Tony Attwood

We don’t actually have an under 21 team as such, but the under 21s play in the Football League Trophy.  So we invent one just for the occasion.

You may recall the excited reportage from Untold of the first game in the series: Coventry v Arsenal in which Ian and I met and shook hands with Per Mertesacker and Tony Adams.  That game (rather overshadowed by the handshaking) was won 3-0 and a very jolly evening it was in front of a mass crowd of 1500 or so – with the Arsenal supporters segregated into our own end.   There were as many stewards and catering peoples as there were fans.    Well, ok not quite, but still.  A bit dopey.

Anyway here is our progress thus far…

Date Game Res Score Round
12 Sep 2018 Coventry City v Arsenal W 0-3 Group round 1
30 Oct 2018 Cheltenham Town v Arsenal L 6-2 Group round 2
07 Nov 2018 Forest Green Rovers v Arsenal W 1-3 Group round 3

Cheltenham Town won the group on goal difference from us, and Coventry City lived to fight another day, or in the case of their parlous situation, maybe not.  One can only hope that the machinations of idiot owners don’t lead to another club vanishing.

The Cheltenham result was largely influenced by an early red card (“that’s what you get playing for Arsenal son” as the ref allegedly muttered) for Robbie Burton, but we won the last game to make it into the dizzy heights of the last 32.

Joe Willock scored three of the eight goals we have and Tyreece John-Jules got two.  Now we play Portsmouth of League One – very much the team in form.   First their three Checkatrade games…

Date Game Res Score Round
04 Sep 2018 Portsmouth v Gillingham W 4-0 Group round 1
09 Oct 2018 Crawley Town v Portsmouth W 0-1 Group round 2
13 Nov 2018 Portsmouth v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-2 Group round 3

Here we can see that Portsmouth beat the mighty Tiny Totts 3-2 – the Totts also managing just a draw with Crawley to go out of the competition at the first hurdle.

As for Portsmouth tonight they are on a terrific run…

Date Game Res Score Competition
03 Nov 2018 Bradford City v Portsmouth W 0-1 League One
10 Nov 2018 Maidenhead United v Portsmouth W 0-4 FA Cup 1
13 Nov 2018 Portsmouth v Tottenham Hotspur W 3-2 Football League Trophy
24 Nov 2018 Scunthorpe United v Portsmouth W 1-2 League One
27 Nov 2018 Portsmouth v Walsall W 2-0 League One
02 Dec 2018 Rochdale v Portsmouth W 0-1 FA Cup 2

and with that last win got into the third round of the FA Cup, which every third division team wants to do.  They will be away to Norwich.

As for our team we might also see another game from Bukayo Saka who played in the Europa Frozen match last week. Eddie Nketiah and John-Jules should be playing again.   Given the way the kiddies dealt with matters in foreign parts they ought to be able to put on a good show tonight.   Smith-Rowe again maybe?

Overall since losing to Gillingham on 6 October Portsmouth have played 11 games, winning nine and drawing two and not surprisingly they are now top of the league:

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Portsmouth 19 13 5 1 32 15 17 44
2 Sunderland 19 11 7 1 39 18 21 40
3 Luton Town 20 11 5 4 39 21 18 38
4 Peterborough United 20 11 5 4 36 24 12 38
5 Barnsley 19 10 5 4 34 19 15 35

However their prime strength is away from home.  At Fratton Park they have won five, drawn three and lost one, so there is a vulnerability there.

As for games between Portsmouth and Arsenal this can’t be added to the full list as we can only put out our under 21 team, but we can perhaps note that in the last 21 games between the two, Portsmouth have not won a single match.   They did however get a draw in eight of those 21 games.

If this game in the round of 32 ends in a draw there will be no extra time (remembering that some of our lads are quite young and need to be tucked up in bed at a reasonable hour).  There will however be penalties.

As far as I know, no semi-skimmed newspaper website editor has been crass enough to put up an “All you need to know” and “What channel is it on” piece.

So I thought I would instead.  It’s not on TV but I suspect Sky might keep us in touch with the score.  And hopefully will do the honours.



20 Replies to “Tonight: Portsmouth v Arsenal in the Checkatrade Trophy. All you need to know.”

  1. Line up from the twit feed:
    > Here’s how #AFCU21 line up against @officialPompey in the @CheckatradeTrpy this evening… 🏆
    >_ Starting XI: Iliev, Osei-Tutu, Ballard, Koscielny, Medley, Bramall, Omole, Gilmour, Olayinka, Saka, John-Jules
    >_ Subs: Hein, Bola, Olowu, Thompson, Tormey, Zelalem, Coyle


    we night get a minute-by-minute report there
    well … let’s say a time-and-again report, but jeorge bird does an amazing job informing us about our amazingly talented young hobbits (under the watch of Gandalf/The Kos, tonight)
    i find it interesting that this XI should have been asked play as the first team, with a back-3, (Ballard-Kos-Medley), probably a sign of Unai’s much-praised meticulosity …
    coyyg indeed

  3. Early shot from Saka but straight at the Pompey keeper. Good save by a Iliev in Min 10 but the resulting corner is headed back across goal and Pitman flicked home from close range.

    Dennis booked for a foul on Toby Omole in min14., Olayinka tumbles on the edge of the penalty area but the ref says no foul.

    Min29 May shoots against the post from 25 yards.

    There is text coverage on

  4. Blimey Nitram how do you get your information so fast. I thought I’d just do an update and you are so way ahead of me. 1-1 it is. Great stuff.

  5. We lost 2-1 unfortunately. Ah well. I was hoping for another chance to watch the kids.

    Mind you it was funny – in the early days of our winning run I included the Checkatrade game at Coventry in the list – but people started complaining so I cut the checka out of the list – good job I did as otherwise the run would have been over twice.

  6. No second equaliser I’m afraid. Portsmouth proceed to the next round

    On the positive side Kos successfully completed 85 minutes in his quest for match fitness.

  7. One major decision that Emery has to make and gets it right ahead of Arsenal match away to Man Utd tomorrow night in the PL is to find a suitable Gunner within his first team squad that can successfully and temporarily replaces the one match banned Granit Xhaka to sit infront of the Arsenal defense-line in conjunction with of course Torreira at the base of the Arsenal midfield. This is important. Is Guendouzi the Gunner Emery will call upon to temporarily replaced Xhaka for the Man Utd big game at Old Trafford tomorrow in the PL match encounter between Man U and Arsenal? But will Guendouzi step it up in his game away to Man Utd tomorrow night to convince he can adequately fill the big gap that is temporarily left behind by the imperious ball passer and hard tackler Xhaka? I hope he will be more than fill the gap in the game for Arsenal if Emery decided to start him.

  8. Wow! Samuel you are truly ahead of the game. Is there a place for Mourinho in our squad?

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