A victory by 2 goals to 1 over Stevenage on Monday ensured Pompey began 2024 with maximum points, whilst maintaining their status at the top of the League One table. Next up their first away match of the New Year.
2 points still separate Portsmouth in 1st and Bolton Wanderers in 2nd after the New Year’s Day results.
Whaddon Road is the venue for the Blues’ next fixture and it’s struggling Cheltenham Town who are the hosts.
There is a new man in the dugout since our last encounter with The Robins.
Darrell Clarke is at the helm of the club now.
Clarke began his career with Mansfield Town, where he spent the first 6 years of his career, making 73 league and cup appearances.
Clarke then transferred to Hartlepool United where he also spent 6 years, making a further 136 appearances. In his time at Hartlepool he went on loan to Stockport County, Port Vale and Rochdale.
Clarke finished his career at Salisbury City before taking up the management position there. He led the club to promotion into the Conference Premier from the Southern League with 2 Play-Off final victories in 3 seasons.
He was then appointed manager of Bristol Rovers and he successfully guided the club back into the Football League via the Conference Premier Play-Offs in 2015, he then took the club into League One with promotion out of League Two in 2016.
Clarke also managed Walsall and fellow League Two rivals Port Vale. He led the club to promotion with victory in the 2022 Play-Off Final.
Clarke was also linked with the vacant management position at Portsmouth last year but stated “I am really happy here at Port Vale.” He was sacked in Burslem following a poor run of 2 wins in 18 games.
Clarke signed with Cheltenham on a 2-year deal at the end of September.
ONE TO WATCH
Rob Street is our one to watch on this occasion.
Street began his career with Crystal Palace and spent time out on loan to Torquay United, Newport County and Shrewsbury Town.
He joined Cheltenham in the summer of 2023 as a striker but tends to play more as a mid-striker.
Street, who wears the number 11 shirt, has scored 2 goals and made 2 assists so far this season.
The current top scorer for The Robins is 21-year old William Goodwin.
Goodwin began his career with Chester at the age of 9, making his first team debut in 2020 aged 17. He went out on loan to Stalybridge Celtic before he then signed for Championship outfit Stoke City.
Whilst at Stoke, he was loaned out to Hartlepool United and Torquay United before signing for Cheltenham Town on a 2-and-a-half year deal last January.
The number 9 has scored 6 league goals so far this campaign.
The Robins currently sit 23rd in the table with a 2 point cushion ahead of bottom of the table Fleetwood, however Cheltenham are 33 points below the Blues as things stand.
Cheltenham spent their first 11 league games without scoring a single goal and their first strike came from a 1-1 draw with Derby County in October.
Since then they have collectively scored 16 goals and won 5 out of a total of 24 games played.
Cheltenham are on a run of their best form this season, picking up 2 victories, 1 draw and 2 defeats from their last 5 matches.
In the reverse of this fixture at Fratton Park, the game ended in a 0-0 draw.
Will it be back-to-back wins for the Blues or will they struggle once more against a side at the bottom end of the division?
Tune in for all of the unmissable action as Portsmouth take on Cheltenham Town away from home in League One - Pompey Live returns at 2pm this Saturday afternoon (January 6th).