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In opposition: Portsmouth v Hartlepool United

23 January 2013

There's a relegation battle in npower League 1 this weekend as the two sides sitting side-by-side at the foot of the table - Portsmouth and Hartlepool United - meet at Fratton Park

Here, we preview the match with the help of a supporter from each club.


Name: Mark Kane.

Club: Portsmouth.

Number of years as a supporter: 25 or so.

Favourite moment as a fan: The FA Cup final win against Cardiff City.

How many games a season do you attend? I'm a season ticket holder, so all home games. The odd away match, too.

Where do you sit? Fratton End.

Name: Harry Willis.

Club: Hartlepool United.

Number of years as a supporter: Nearly 15 years.

Favourite moment as a fan: Bouncing straight back to npower League 1 in 2007 after the heart-break of relegation the season before.

How many games a season do you attend? All home, and as many away games as possible.

Where do you sit? I stand in the Town End.


What happened in your last match?

MK: Our last game feels like years ago, we've only played two games this year! We lost 2-0 to Walsall last time out.

HW: We lost 2-1 against Bournemouth. Jack Baldwin scored his first career goal to level the game early in the second half but Sam Collins gave away a penalty which cost us the points.

Why is this game important?

MK: Every game is now vital for us, particularly this one as Hartlepool are the only side below us.

HW: Simple, we need three points. Portsmouth are the first side we need to leapfrog, and they haven't won since October, I think, so this is a real chance to close the gap and give the squad a confidence lift.

How do you see this game going?

MK: I think it's going to be open, with both sides going for the win. Hopefully we have enough about us to see them off.

HW: Without doubt it is going to be cagey to start with, neither team can afford to go behind early, but as the game goes on I can see both sides chasing the three points.

Who should we keep our eye on?

MK: It shouldn't be, but this is a hard question as our squad is changing game-by-game. I like Ashley Harris and Gabor Gyepes.

Scott Flinders between the sticks has put in some outstanding performances to keep games within touch. And Steve Howard remains a threat up top.HW:

Any memories of previous encounters?

MK: Not really as we haven't played them since the late 70s when I was in nappies.

HW: The last time we played Portsmouth [November 1979] I wasn't born but I've seen the record. We've played them four times, all in the old Division 4, and have only taken a point from them.

Score prediction?

MK: I'm not that confident but, given as I'm a Pompey fan, I'll say 2-1 Portsmouth.

HW: Both sides are in poor form but we seem to grab at least a goal a game most of the time, I'm going with a 1-0 win.

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