Portsmouth facing spectre of fixture pile-up as they prepare to enter gruelling Christmas period

Pompey are facing a potential fixture pile-up as they head towards the new year.

And continued cup success for Danny Cowley’s men could make for a draining schedule for his players as they enter 2022.

The Blues have announced their Papa John’s Trophy match at Exeter has been put back to December 21 (7.45pm).

That means a new date for the long-delayed Hampshire Cup tie with AFC Stoneham, due to be played on the same day, will have to be found once again.

Pompey are aiming to progress to the third round of the FA Cup against Harrogate this weekend.

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Victory there would mean the Wigan league game on January 8 shifted to accommodate obligations in the famous, old competition, while a replay would likely have to slot in on the original date for the Exeter game on December 14.

Cowley’s men find themselves in the draw for the round of 16 in the Trophy, which takes place tomorrow, with the trip to St James Park still to come.

Danny Cowley could be facing a fixture pile-up. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

A win over the Grecians would see Pompey three successes from a Wembley return, but having to accommodate another game with the next round commencing at the start of 2022.

The trip to AFC Wimbledon on December 18 marks the start of 5 games in 17 days across the busy Christmas period, running until the visit to Cambridge on January 3.

The Stoneham fixture will include experienced players, with Cowley fielding a mix of youngsters and senior pros in the previous round against Basingstoke.

That draw for the third round match took place at the start of October, with a clash at Fratton Park now agreed after venue switches.

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