Taylor set for Pompey reserves return

Pompey striker Ryan Taylor Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey striker Ryan Taylor Picture: Joe Pepler

Ryan Taylor will make his Pompey comeback in today’s reserve fixture at Cheltenham (2pm).

The striker has been absent from the first team for the past four matches because of a groin problem.

It is a recurrence of the complaint which hampered the 26-year-old towards the end of pre-season.

However, he has now hit the comeback trail after returning to training last Thursday.

And Taylor will line up for Alan McLoughlin’s side in the their Final Third Development League Cup clash with the Robins.

He will be given at least 45 minutes, with Bradley Tarbuck earmarked to replace him from the substitutes’ bench.

It also represents a return to action for Tarbuck, who damaged ankle ligaments in pre-season and was left on crutches.

The Emsworth youngster was held back a further week after being pencilled in to feature for the reserves against Luton last week.

Now he has made the squad for the trip to Cheltenham’s Seasons training ground, located in the Swindon Village area.

Nick Awford will make his second start following a shoulder injury, while Adam Webster and Michael Poke are named once again.

Interestingly, the Blues will field an unnamed triallist in attack to partner Taylor.

The fixture marks the first stage of the group section of this season’s Final Third Development League Cup.

The competition involves two groups, with the top two in each progressing to the semi-finals.

Aside from Cheltenham, the Blues’ Southern Group B also contains Newport County, Plymouth and Bristol City.

The Newport and Bristol City fixtures will take place at the University of Portsmouth’s Langstone Campus, Furze Lane, while Plymouth is away.

Southern Group A consists of AFC Wimbledon, Brighton, Cambridge, Gillingham, Luton and Mk Dons.

In league competition, Pompey have defeated Peterborough 3-2 and drawn 2-2 to Luton.

Pompey reserves: Poke, Davis, Webster, Field, Haunstrup, Maloney, Awford, Close, Chaplin, Taylor, Triallist. Subs: Bass, Tarbuck, Rwakarambwe, Nilsen