The five Portsmouth players who'll be frustrated reserve clash at Doncaster has been axed

There’ll be no trek up the M1 for Pompey Reserves tonight.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 9:31 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 5:10 pm
Pompey striker Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues were due to travel to Doncaster for a place in the Premier League Cup group stage.

However, with Leicester dropping out of the competition, both sides have received a bye into the opening round of the competition.

While Pompey have been saved a 450-mile round trip, several members of Kenny Jackett's set-up would have been frustrated the game was scrapped.

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It have been a useful exercise to not only get minutes under the belt but an opportunity to impress.

Here are the five players who’ll be most frustrated the clash is off…

Ryan Williams

Sean Raggett in on a season-long loan from Norwich. Picture: Robin Jones

However, Ryan Williams will have to wait a little longer until he dons the star & crescent again.

The Australian has been sidelined since the early stages of pre-season, with a quad injury denying him a place on the trip to Dublin.

Williams’ set-back has kept him on the treatment table for a longer period than expected and Kenny Jackett will be desperate to have him back.

With Ronan Curtis starting the season out of sorts, the ex-Fulham wide man will bolster competition for places and Pompey’s attacking options when back fit.

Oli Hawkins

The striker is also still to make an appearance this campaign.

Firstly a back problem sustained in Ireland kept Oli Hawkins out until the final summer friendly at Woking, before a foot complaint sent him back to the physio room.

With the additions of John Marquis and Ellis Harrison this summer, Hawkins has been nudged down the pecking order.

Nevertheless, despite interest in the ex-Dagenham man over the summer, he was kept at PO4 because his attributes will be required in certain scenarios during the promotion push.

But Hawkins crucially needs to get up to speed if he’s to thrust his way into Jackett’s League One plans.

Sean Raggett

The on-loan Norwich centre-back has endured a stuttered start to his Blues career.

An elbow injury in the behind-closed-doors game at Brighton put him behind the rest of his team-mates and he's still not up to speed.

After a recurring ankle problem at Rotherham last season, Raggett has got 90 minutes under his belt only three times in 2019.

To his credit, the defender performed well in the 1-0 Trophy victory over Crawley last week.

The best way to do so will be game environments.

Matt Casey

The academy graduate is held in high regard at Pompey, penning his first professional deal in the summer.

Whenever the defender has played, he’s always delivered high-quality performances and never let himself down.

But because the League One game against Southend was postponed, Jackett opted for a strong side against Crawley last week, playing Paul Downing alongside Raggett in central defence.

It meant Casey was denied an outing he'd probably been expecting.

With the centre-back still to go out on loan, with Eastbourne one non-league club interested, the Botley defender be wanting to keep himself ticking over in the meantime.

James Meredith

The triallist has been denied an opportunity to showcase his talent in pursuit of a Pompey contract.

The left-back has been training with the Blues since the back end of August, after Lee Brown suffered an Achilles problem in the 3-3 draw with Coventry.

Of the free agents Jackett has run the rule over during his time in charge, the ex-Millwall left-back is undoubtedly the most high-profile name and looks the likeliest to earn a deal.

An established Championship performer, the Aussie departed the Den in unusual circumstances just a week before the beginning of the campaign.

Left-footers are players Jackett regards as a rarity but he will want to survey Meredith in a match scenario before making a decision.