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This Week's Opposition: Stevenage

Photo Credit: Stevenage FC

A goalless draw on the road at St James Park means the Blues go into the New Year with 50 points and a 2 point cushion at the top of League One.

After a run of 3 league games that came around in quick succession, only 2 points were accumulated out of a possible 9.

John Moushino’s side now head back to Fratton Park to take on newly promoted side Stevenage, who the Pompey boss used to play for.

MANAGER

Scottish manager Steve Evans is at the helm for The Boro.

The 61-year-old played professional football for the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Clyde, Hamilton Academical and St Johnstone until a knee ligament injury ended his playing career at the age of 24.

After his retirement he became a manager and has since represented Stamford, Boston United, Crawley Town, Rotherham United, Leeds United, Mansfield Town, Peterborough United, Gillingham and now Stevenage from the dugout.

Evans has achieved success with Crawley, getting them promoted to League Two, as well as leading Rotherham United to 2 successive promotions from League Two to the Championship.

He was appointed manager of Stevenage in March 2022 when they were playing in League Two and was able to guarantee the club’s survival from the drop with 3 matches remaining after collecting 10 points across his first 6 games.

Steve Evans secured the club’s return to the 3rd division with a 2-0 win over Grimsby Town on the 29th of April.

ONE TO WATCH

The Thompson trio are undoubtedly players to look out for in this one.

Brothers Nathan and Louis signed for The Boro back in the summer, alongside midfielder Ben Thompson, who has no relation.

All 3 of these players once plied their trades for Portsmouth and Blues fans will know exactly what these guys are capable of.

In Stevenage’s Boxing Day clash with Northampton Town, defender Nathan was an unused sub, while midfielder Louis started and was replaced in the 92nd minute by Ben, who plays in the same position at the heart of the midfield.

TOP SCORERJ_Reid_2024

Jamie Reid is the top goalscorer for The Boro so far this campaign.

Reid graduated from Exeter City’s youth team and made his senior debut in a 3-1 defeat to Oxford United in December 2012.

He had loan spells at Dorchester Town, Truro City and Torquay United and, after spending 10 years at Exeter, he signed an 18-month contract with Torquay, where he scored 32 goals in the 2018/19 season. Reid received the club’s Player of the Year award and the golden boot along with the National League's Player of the Year accolade too.

After a 2 year spell at Mansfield Town, he signed for fellow League Two side Stevenage in July 2021.

Reid has scored 14 league goals and 3 FA Cup goals this season and wears the number 14 shirt.

CURRENT FORM

After being promoted to League One last season, Steve Evans' side currently occupy 5th position, accumulating 43 points out of a possible 72 so far this campaign.

The last time these 2 teams met was back in August at the Lamex Stadium - The game ended in a goalless draw with red cards being shown to both Joe Raffery and Jake Forster-Caskey following a challenge, which sparked an altercation on the ground.

Boro's last 5 games have provided them with 2 victories, 2 draws and 1 defeat. Their most recent game was a 3-0 win over Northampton on Boxing Day.

Their most recent match was supposed to have taken place on Friday night against Cambridge United, however that was postponed after a power failure at the Lamex Stadium left the ground in complete darkness - The game never got going.

So can the Blues start 2024 with 3 points under their belt and get back to winning ways after 3 league matches without victory?

Pompey Live has all of the unmissable action from 2pm on New Year's Day with Jake Smith, Henry Deacon and Jay Sadler reporting live from Fratton Park.

Kick-off: 3pm!

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