Portsmouth have sent a message to their fans ahead of tonight’s EFL Trophy semi-final clash with Exeter City at Fratton Park.
The club are just one game away from playing at Wembley for the second season in a row, after dramatically beating Sunderland in the capital last season in the same match, but they have felt compelled to send a warning to their fans ahead of this one.
Writing via a Twitter account dedicated to the Fratton Park ground staff, the head groundsman said: “I would appeal to all fans to kindly refrain from entering the pitch. Aside from all the laws and regulations a mass trampling of grass at such a critical time of year will be far more damaging than can be imagined. It would not be an exaggeration to say this would impact our home form and promotion chances”.
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With 30 matches played, Kenny Jackett’s side sit in sixth place in the League One table, four points off automatic promotion pace, and also boast games in hand on all but one of the teams above them.
Last weekend saw them bounce back to winning ways after defeat to Coventry City, beating Shrewsbury Town 2-0 at home thanks to goals from Ellis Harrison and John Marquis.
Next up in the league is a tough away trip to Fleetwood Town, with Joey Barton’s side still pushing for a play-off place, although for now attentions remain on the cup.
I think this is meant with good intentions from the ground staff although it did come across a bit stern.
The part about threatening the team’s home form seemed uncessary on the whole. It is unlikely that fans would even bother pitch invading over this match anyway.
That’s meant as no disrespect to Exeter, but an EFL Trophy semi-final… really? I don’t think the groundstaff will have much to worry about.
Having said that, it will not reflect well on the fans if they do now pitch invade, despite being asked not to.