Chaplin and Rwakarambwe on target against Southend
Pompey booked their place in the southern semi-finals of the Youth Alliance Cup with a 2-1 victory at Southend.
Conor Chaplin (pictured) gave them an early lead, following up to finish after Lewis Horsburgh’s effort had been parried clear.
But the hosts ensured they would go in level at the interval when a goalmouth scramble ended with Nico Cotton firing home.
Pompey booked their place in the last four on 77 minutes, however. The Southend keeper failed to hold Bradley Tarbuck’s long-range strike, leaving Fahad Rwakarambwe to slot in the loose ball.
Academy coach Paul Hardyman said: “It was an awkward game for us coming just a few days before we go to Southampton in the FA Youth Cup.
“We had three aims – to win the match, to do that inside 90 minutes and to not pick up any injuries. Thankfully we were able to achieve all three.
“We named a side that we felt could do a good job and get us through to the next stage of the competition.
“Southend actually looked the better side after they equalised, but we got back into the game after the break. In the second half we defended better and looked more resolute.
“Then we went ahead again and it turned into a proper cup tie. They threw men forward and the keeper started to come up for corners, but we held on for the win.
“But it’s certainly not the best we’ve played this season and a few people might have had Tuesday’s match in their minds.”
Pompey: Bass; Haunstrup (Medway 60), Smart, Field, Davis; Rwakarambwe, Nilsen, Granger, Gill; Chaplin (Kim 46), Horsburgh (Tarbuck 60)