Academy thrash Thamesmead in second round clash
Conor Chaplin (pictured) hit a hat-trick as Pompey Academy hammered Thamesmead 7-3 in the FA Youth Cup.
Brandon Joseph-Buadi, Adam May, Brandon Haunstrup and Fahad Rwakarambwe were also on target for the Blues.
The comprehensive victory sets up a third round clash with Bolton at Fratton Park.
Pompey got off to the perfect start just two minutes in when, with the opposition defence appealing for offside, CHAPLIN sneaked in to slot the ball home.
James Sutherland nearly levelled the tie with Thamesmead’s first attack, firing a shot inches past the post.
But Chaplin was causing plenty of problems at the other end and, after playing a neat one-two with Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, he saw his effort tipped behind by Max Bradley.
Then, from the resulting corner, he collected a clearance and struck a fierce volley that dipped narrowly over.
It was Chaplin who should have doubled the Blues’ advantage on 20 minutes after being played through by Joseph-Buadi, but the forward was just unable to find the target.
The visitors did strengthen their hold on the match seconds later, however, when JOSEPH-BUADI ghosted past a defender and fired the ball into the roof of the net.
And CHAPLIN soon made it 3-0, collecting Oxlade-Chamberlain’s threaded pass and finishing with aplomb.
Pompey were in complete control and James Granger went close with an effort that whistled over the crossbar.
Oxlade-Chamberlain then chested the ball down near the halfway line and showed exquisite skill to see off two challenges before Bradley pushed away his shot.
Blues keeper Alex Bass caused a moment of anxiety when he spilled a corner, but quickly recovered to claim the ball at the second attempt.
And the action soon switched to the opposite end of the pitch, where Chaplin teed-up MAY to slam home the visitors’ fourth.
But Thamesmead reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time when Jack Keaveney’s shot slipped through Bass’ hands and into the net.
Half Time: Thamesmead 1 Pompey 4
Chaplin should have completed his treble moments after the restart when May was tripped in the box, only to send the spot-kick over the crossbar.
But CHAPLIN did not have long to wait for a hat-trick goal, collecting Calvin Davies’ pass and nonchalantly lifting the ball over Bradley.
He then just failed to connect with a James Granger cross as Pompey went in for the kill.
The hosts scored against the run of play when Kieran Mulkerring’s shot from out wide drifted over Bass and into the net.
But the Blues’ response was immediate and skipper HAUNSTRUP netted a similar effort from a free-kick.
Keaveney reduced the arrears for Thamesmead again, but Pompey substitute RWAKARAMBWE gave Bradley no chance when he hammered home a seventh on 81 minutes.
The margin of victory might have been even higher, as Bradley made a couple of fine saves to deny Kaleem Haitham, while Granger’s effort flew the wrong side of the post.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: "It was a very professional performance and I'm delighted with the way the lads applied themselves.
"We're playing with plenty of confidence at the moment and to score seven goals away from home is a fantastic achievement.
"The boys will be buzzing about the opportunity to play at Fratton Park and hopefully a lot of fans will turn out to support us.
"We'll look forward to taking on Bolton, but we've got a league match against Oxford at the weekend and every game is an important part of the players' development."
Thamesmead: Bradley; Try, Gledall, Bradford, McGarrigle; Keaveney, Armstrong, Sutherland, Cray; Chidley (Mills 62), Mulkerring (Usher 77)
Subs not used: Thompson, Mole, Orisatcki
Pompey: Bass; Davies, Field, Nilsen, Haunstrup (c); Granger, May; Oxlade-Chamberlain (Rwakarambwe 46), Chaplin (Sayers 72), Joseph-Buadi (Haitham 55); Gill
Subs not used: George, Widdrington
Referee: Peter Conn