Our under-18s continue their FA Youth Cup campaign with the visit of Portsmouth to Evesham United’s Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium this evening (kick-off: 7pm).
The winners will progress through to the third round and face Rugby Town away at the stage in which the club took Arsenal to penalties in 2019. It’s a repeat of 2019’s second round that saw Pete Hayne’s side defeat our opponents by eight goals to four. The two sides have also met this season in the EFL Youth Alliance with Pompey leaving Seasons with a 2-1 win.
A win would see Haynes’ side play Rugby in what could be the club’s best chance of reaching the fourth round of the competition and the chance to emulate the senior side in last season’s FA Cup.
The away side saw a close affair bring them to the second round stage with a 1-0 win over Erith Town courtesy of a first half strike from Alfie Bridgman. Portsmouth struggled to deal with the pressure from the non-league outfit with a self described ‘heart in mouth’ performance leaving them lucky to go through to Thursday’s tie.
The Robins had an easier passage through, overcoming North Leigh 3-0 at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium at the start of the month. Two goals from Zac Guinan and one from Cheltenham’s youngest ever first team player Will Armitage meant a comfortable passage into round two.
Since the last round, Portsmouth have picked up a draw against Swindon Town and a 3-2 win away to Forest Green Rovers whereas Cheltenham have fallen to a 3-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers before a 0-0 draw in the last game versus Oxford United.
It’s likely to be a far closer affair than the 8-4 win in 2019 in what is sure to be an entertaining game for all involved.
Ongoing pitch work at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium means the tie will be played at Evesham United’s Spiers and Hartwell Jubilee Stadium with tickets costing £5 and concessions £2.
Kick-off is at 7pm and you can pay on the turnstiles for entry.