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Tanner's Pilgrims set for play-off journey

11 May 2016

A preview of our loanee's play-off semi-final...

Thursday evening will see Portsmouth host Craig Tanner’s Plymouth in their League Two play-off semi-final first leg in a 19:45 kick-off at Fratton Park. The return leg is due to be played at Home Park on Sunday the 15th of May.

Tanner has enjoyed a productive season on-loan at Argyle, with the 21-year-old Royals forward making 47 appearances in all competitions to date for the West Country club, finding the net on six occasions.

These goals included a memorable solo effort in a 2-0 win over Exeter City in the Devon Derby, as-well-as a header in a draw with high-flying Oxford and netting home and away against Stevenage.

Plymouth, who had been the early pace setters in League Two, ended the regular season in fifth with 81 points, three clear of sixth placed Portsmouth. 

The two league meetings between the clubs in 2015/16 have both ended 2-1, with the away teams taking the spoils on both occasions, setting up what will be an interesting tie as the clubs battle for a place at Wembley.

On the 15th of August Pompey travelled to Tanner's Argyle, managing to take all three points on the road. After taking a two-goal lead the result seemed assured for the visitors, before a late strike from Plymouth made for a nervy final few minutes.
 
Matt Tubbs gave Pompey a first half lead, firing home from the penalty spot, with Gary Roberts doubling Portsmouth’s tally when he netted with four minutes left to play. A late rally from Plymouth saw Gregg Wilde put the home side back in the game, but in the end it wasn’t enough as Pompey saw out the victory. 

The most recent meeting between the clubs was at Fratton Park on the 16th of April in a close affair on the south coast. The hosts took the lead through Michael Smith’s diving header, and this looked to be enough to seal the points, until two late goals turned the game on its head.

On the 86th minute Jamille Matt headed home from a corner to level the scores, before substitute Wilde swept in from close range to win the game for Plymouth a minute later in a thrilling finale.

You can watch Tanner and the Pilgrims take on Portsmouth as they look to book a place at Wembley on Sky Sports 2 tomorrow evening.

Royals forward Tariqe Fosu is also involved in League Two play-off action on Saturday for Accrington Stanley. A preview of their clash with AFC Wimbledon at Kingsmeadow will come later in the week.

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