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Academy Crowned Champions

20 April 2013

Young Blues win league title

Pompey Academy were crowned Youth Alliance South-East champions following a 4-2 victory over Luton at Furze Lane.

They finished a point behind Leyton Orient – who were beaten by Watford in their final match – in the table.

But because some teams play more games than others, the championship was decided on a points per game basis.

Things did not get off to a great start against Luton, with the visitors taking the lead after just two minutes.

But the Blues were level when Conor Chaplin bravely beat the opposition goalkeeper to a though ball and found the net.

And a corner then fell kindly for Brandon Haunstrup to poke home midway through the first half.

Jae Heon Kim extended the advantage when he met Lewis Horsburgh’s fine cross with a diving header.

And Kim added a second on the stroke of half-time with a superb strike from 25-yards that left the Luton goalkeeper helpless.

The Hatters pulled a goal back after the interval, but Pompey held on to claim the title.

Academy coach Paul Hardyman said: “I’m really pleased for the lads because they’ve worked hard all season.

“A lot of things had to come together over the last few weeks for us to win the league, but we’ve done it.

“When we conceded so early, we began to wonder if it was going to be our day, but we then scored four really good goals to turn things around.

“Jae’s second goal in particular was fantastic and the goalkeeper had no chance of stopping it.

“Luton came at us in the second half and caused a few problems, but we stayed tight and only conceded one.

“The result was particularly pleasing because so many of our under-18 players were unavailable. We had a really young side out, but they did a great job.”

Pompey: Searle; Medway, Whatmough, Triggs (Granger 90), Haunstrup (Field 43); Close, Branford (c); Chaplin, Kim, Tarbuck; Horsburgh (Irvine 48)
Sub not used: Colquhoun

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