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This Week's Opposition: Accrington Stanley

Photo Credit: Accrington Stanley

Pompey are now into their 4th consecutive league stalemate, as the battle for Play-Offs sails further into the distance.

Tuesday evening’s draw at Oxford United keeps the Blues 5 points adrift of the top 6 and with only 3 matches until the end of the season, these games are crucial if they want to reach a Play-Off position.

Pompey need to get back to winning ways as we take on Accrington Stanley on home turf this Saturday.


Accrington are currently managed by John Coleman.

The ex-forward was one of the most prolific non-league goalscorers in history with over 500 goals to his name in a career spanning almost 2 decades.

Coleman joined Accrington back in 1999 in the Northern Premier League First Division. Over his first 12-and-a-half year stint, he saw the club win 3 promotions as champions, resulting in entry to the Football League in 2006.

At the time of his departure in 2012, John Coleman was the third longest serving manager in England behind Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger.

After short managerial roles at Rochdale, Southport and Sligo Rovers. He made the return to Stanley in September 2014 for his second spell with the club.


Our one to watch this week is 34-year-old Sean McConville.

The midfielder joined Accrington back in 2009 for 2 years when the side was in League Two.

He then signed for Stockport County, Barrow, Stalybridge Celtic and Chester before returning to Stanley in 2015, where he has made 293 appearances with 51 goals.

McConville, who wears the number 11 shirt, has 5 goals and 4 assists this campaign.


Midfielder Tommy Leigh, who wears the number 18 shirt, is the top goalscorer this term.

Leigh is a local Pompey lad and came through the youth ranks at Portsmouth before being released at the age of 16.

He moved on to semi-professional side Baffins Milton Rovers where his father Steve Leigh was manager and his brother Ashton Leigh also played for the side.

He later joined Bognor Regis Town in 2019, before joining Accrington in 2021 - Making his debut against Cambridge United.

Leigh has 12 goals this campaign, 7 in the league, 4 in the Papa Johns Trophy and 1 in The FA Cup.


John Coleman’s side have only secured 1 win in their last 10 matches, with 1 draw and 8 defeats. In these last 10 matches, 6 red cards have been shown with 4 given to Accy players.

Accrington have spent the last 4 seasons finishing in the middle of the table, following automatic promotion success from League Two at the end of the 2017/18 season.

However with their recent form and a defeat to Peterborough on Tuesday night they currently sit in 23rd with 38 points, leaving them 3 points from safety.

John Coleman’s side have the same amount of points as Morecambe in 22nd with only goal difference separating the sides.

Can the Blues get back to winning ways and revive their Play-Off hopes, or will their chances be confirmed to be mathematically over?

It is all to play for for the Blues…

Join Express FM for all of the unmissable action when Pompey Live returns this Saturday (April 22nd) from 2pm - Jake Smith, Kirsty Roxanne and Jay Sadler will be on hand to provide full coverage of the Blues' League One encounter with Accrington Stanley at Fratton Park.

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