Portsmouth make unexpected Fratton Park decision ahead of Gillingham's EFL Trophy visit

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Pompey are anticipating a higher than expected crowd for their EFL Trophy game against Gillingham at Fratton Park tonight.

With just a limited number of tickets available for the South Stand – the only section of the ground that had been made available for home supporters – the club have taken the decision to open the Fratton End for the Southern Group E fixture.

The south side of the stand has been made available for use, with supporters advised to enter through turnstiles 37-40 if they decide to come to the game. Tickets are priced a £10 (adult), £7 (senior, ambulant, junior) and £3 (junior and child).

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Supporters who have already purchased tickets in the South Stand are advised that they will not be able to transfer into the Fratton End. Meanwhile, all fans in both stands will need to sit in their allocated seat.

The demand to see John Mousinho’s side in action reflects the great supporter numbers Pompey have been drawing this season. They have attracted an average home crowd of 17,867 this season to date – a number that is heavily impacted by the size of clubs’ respective away support at Fratton Park – while the average number of Blues supporters who hit the road to follow the team currently sits at 1,411. Both tallies are well above the divisional average.

The EFL Trophy continues to be a competition that most fans tend to sit out – hence the decision to limit entry points into Fratton Park on these particular match days.

Yet the 3,596 fans who took in Pompey’s last game in the competition – against Fulham under-21s in August – got their money’s worth as they were thoroughly entertained by the 3-3 draw, plus the 5-4 win on penalties that was secured by the Blues upon the final whistle.

Meanwhile, the 85,021 Pompey and Sunderland fans who witnessed Kenny Jackett’s side triumph in the 2019 final at Wembley remains a competition record.