Portsmouth vs Aldershot Preview

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 08 November 2014

The home of the Royal Navy will host the home of the Royal Army on Remembrance Sunday tomorrow for what should be a poignant FA Cup tie at Fratton Park.

Team News

Pompey have been rocked by the news that James Dunne has a torn cartilage and had on operation on Tuesday having played through the pain barrier against Carlisle. He could be out for a while but Ben Chorley should return to the squad after missing Saturday's match with illness.

Phil Smith returns to Fratton Park with the visitors having joined Aldershot after being released from Pompey. He is likely to start but captain Glenn Wilson and midfielder Manny Oyeleke are doubtful.

The Match

This FA Cup draw threw up a fair bit of interest when it was made given that the fixture is a Hampshire derby and although there have been protests from fans due to the BBC moving the fixture to Remembrance Sunday and Pompey not reducing the standard ticket prices, a good crowd will still be expected.

That is partly due to the excitement this tie has generated around Aldershot with their fans having sold out the Milton End and the belief that they could cause an upset at Fratton Park tomorrow.

Indeed, Pompey should not take the Shots lightly as the FA Cup has already claimed some scalps this weekend.

Warrington Town of the Northern Premier League Division One North (tier eight in the football league pyramid) knocked out Exeter City last night whilst Southend were beaten at home by Conference side Chester, Dover beat League Two Morecambe and Cheltenham hammered League One Swindon 5-0 today.

Therefore, Andy Awford has stated that there will be no resting any players tomorrow and he will pick his strongest team available. With Dunne injured, his place is likely to go to Nigel Atangana or Johnny Ertl with the former being favoured due to his greater mobility being more effective in a 4-4-2 formation.

Joe Oastler has arguably been the most impressive performer for the Shots this season. The Pompey-born defender will be one to keep an eye on and striker Brett Williams also knows where the goal is having scored 30 goals in 61 appearances for Aldershot but he seems to have fallen out with manager Andy Scott so may not play tomorrow.

Aldershot should be more difficult opposition than woeful Carlisle were last week but there should still be enough quality in the Pompey side to get through the tie.

There were signs on Saturday that the midfield was beginning to click with Ricky Holmes and Danny Hollands finally stepping up. Miles Storey and Craig Westcarr also worked well together up front and in Jed Wallace Pompey have a player who is always going to be a threat.

It should be a good match and an occasion to remember on Remembrance Sunday but it should also be a game that goes down in history for Pompey for the right reasons with a potential cup upset avoided.

Predicted Starting Line-Ups

Pompey

GK: Paul JONES

RB: Alex WYNTER

CB: Joe DEVERA

CB: Paul ROBINSON

LB: Nicky SHOREY

RM: Jed WALLACE

CM: Danny HOLLANDS

CM: Nigel ATANGANA

LM: Ricky HOLMES

CF: Miles STOREY

CF: Craig WESTCARR

Aldershot

GK: Phil SMITH

RB: Jayden GIBBS

CB: Glenn WILSON

CB: Joe OASTLER

LB: Chris BARKER

RM: Joseph N'GUESSAN

CM: Mark MOLESLEY

CM: Kieron FORBES

LM: Jordan ROBERTS

CF: Dan HOLMAN

CF: Brett WILLIAMS

Last Time: Portsmouth 1 Aldershot 3 (FA Cup Second Round - 11/12/1982)

Pompey may have won Division Three this season but they crashed out of the FA Cup to Fourth Division Aldershot as two goals from Dale Banton and one from Les Briley sent the Shots through as Neil Webb's goal wasn't enough on the day.

My Prediction

Despite that 1982 tie being a stark reminder of what can happen in the FA Cup, Pompey should have too much for the non-league side and should win this game fairly comfortably.

Portsmouth 2 Aldershot Town 0

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