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Awford: A Fantastic Tie

19 November 2013

Academy boss looks forward to Southampton clash

Pompey have enjoyed a couple of memorable matches at St Mary’s in recent years.

And now the young Blues will have their chance to savour a south coast derby.

Lewis Horsburgh scored the only goal of the game against Barton Rovers at Fratton Park to set up a clash with Southampton in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

Andy Awford does not want his players getting carried away, but is looking forward to the clash.

Pompey’s academy manager said: “It’s a fantastic tie. I spoke to Jason Dodd who’s the Southampton under-18 coach and they wanted us to get through because we don’t have a derby against them anymore. It will be a fantastic occasion for both sets of boys.

“Southampton have a great academy and have produced some good players over the years.

“They’ve got great resources and we’ll go there as massive underdogs, but I’m sure we’ll give a good account of ourselves and see what we can do on the night.

“But we now have to concentrate on our next game. We’ve got a hard fixture away at Crawley on Saturday and we have to prepare properly for that.

“We haven’t got a date for the Southampton tie yet, but there will be a few matches before then so it’s important that we concentrate in training and our matches and continue to improve.”

Pompey beat Moneyfields 12-0 in the first round, but were given a sterner test against Barton.

Awford said: “I thought we played well for long spells, but just couldn’t get that second goal to kill the game off.

“We got the first one early, although I didn’t think the floodgates would open like they did in the last round.

“When we passed the ball around and played at a high tempo we opened them up. But we missed a few chances that we probably should have taken.

“Barton put in a really gutsy display. Their boys kept going right until the end and credit to them for that.

“But, overall, I’m really pleased for our lads. We asked them to get a result and that’s exactly what they did.”

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