Bristol Rovers opponents Portsmouth to be without key player after being handed ban

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Pompey are waiting the outcome of a red card appeal - after going down to ten against Accrington

Portsmouth will be without striker Joe Pigott for their trip to Bristol Rovers on Saturday after they opted not to appeal against the red card he was shown against Accrington Stanley in midweek.

Pompey boss John Mousinho initially admitted that the Hampshire club would look to appeal the decision, but have now decided against doing so, and will be without one of the star players for the next three matches. They have matches against Darrell Clarke’s Port Vale and Forest Green Rovers after their visit to the Memorial Stadium on Saturday (March 18).

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The on-loan Ipswich Town man was dismissed after colliding with goalkeeper Toby Savin when running in at goal in a one-on-one. A pass was played forward and as he knocked the ball forward, he lost possession and caught the replacement goalkeeper following Jensen’s dismissal. Despite the protestations of the Portsmouth players who surrounded the referee Ben Toner, he brandished a straight red, but despite going down to ten, they still won after Colby Bishop wrapped things up.

“The first one looks like a stonewaller because Paddy was through on goal and there were no covering defenders,” Mousinho said to the club’s official website.

“Joe’s red was incredibly harsh and we’ll have [to] look at appealing that. I just feel sorry for him because he’s done well over the past couple of games and got his goal.”

According to website The News however, they have backtracked, and have accepted the referee’s decision. Pompey had only one camera angle of the decision, and that has swayed their thinking.

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He said: ‘With one camera angle we were worried about the possibility of it being seen as a spurious appeal’.

The 29-year-old has six goals in 37 matches across all competitions and Portsmouth are considering signing him on a permanent basis from promotion rivals Ipswich. Pigott was on target against Rovers at Fratton Park in August, and also scored against Rovers on Boxing Day in 2019 for AFC Wimbledon, in a mixed record against the Pirates.

The Gas themselves will be without a player due to suspension as James Gibbons serves the second of his two-game ban after being found guilty by the English FA of improper conduct against MK Dons in February, despite Rovers lodging an appeal. Luca Hoole, Paul Coutts and Sam Finley remain doubts with Coutts nursing a knee injury, whilst Finley and Hoole both struck down by illness.

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