Chaplin goal rescues Youth Alliance Cup point
Pompey Academy came from behind to draw 2-2 with Watford in their opening Youth Alliance Cup group stage fixture at Furze Lane.
The Blues took the lead when Lewis Horsburgh got in front of his marker to convert Bradley Tarbuck’s cross.
But the Hornets equalised from a Josh Doherty free-kick just before the break and then forged ahead through Alex Jakubiak in the second half.
Pompey snatched a point, however, after substitute Conor Chaplin challenged for the ball with the Watford keeper and kept his composure to poke home.
Academy coach Paul Hardyman said: “I was really pleased with our performance and felt it was a deserved point.
“We went ahead following some good combination from Lewis and Bradley, but then gave away a silly free-kick and it was disappointing to see the ball go straight through the wall.
“We felt we should have had a penalty after Watford scored their second, but the referee adjudged the challenge to have taken place outside the box. Then, from the resulting free-kick, Jack Whatmough headed just past the post.
“Jack was also involved in another good move with Chad Field, but again the ball flew narrowly wide.
“But we eventually got our goal and it was brave play from Conor. He and the keeper both ended up in a heap on the floor, but Conor did well to stick out a leg and put the ball in the net.
“I thought the final score was a fair one. It was a competitive game between two sides who try to play football the right way.”
Pompey: Raine; Haunstrup, Smart, Whatmough (c), Medway; Rwakarambwe (Chaplin 60), Granger (Field 60), Close, Kim; Tarbuck (Joseph-Buadi 86), Horsburgh