Granger free-kick not enough for young Blues
Pompey Academy’s inconsistent start to the season continued as they lost 2-1 to Cheltenham at Furze Lane.
The hosts fell behind in the first half when Danny Reynolds converted a controversial spot-kick.
“There were changes in both positions and personnel, so that might have had an impact.
“At half-time we spoke about going on to win the game, but didn’t really get going, which was a bit disappointing and Cheltenham scored again.
“It didn’t matter, though, because James stepped up to take a fine free-kick. He’s come close to doing that before this season, so it was nice to see this one come off.
“The equaliser came about after a great run from Kaleem Haitham. He was fouled outside the box and then inside, but for some reason the referee decided to pull it back for the first challenge.
“Cheltenham had gone ahead through a dubious penalty. It was given for handball, but it looked the ball struck one of their players.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We played well in the first half and I thought we were controlling the game.
Pompey pushed forward in search of a winner, but were caught on the break and Jamal Lawrence’s shot flew in off the post to secure victory for the Robins.
But James Granger (pictured) then curled a free-kick into the top corner to ensure the Blues went in level at the interval. Bass; Davis, Nilsen, Field, Haunstrup; Granger, Rwakarambwe (May 70); Joseph-Buadi (Gill 63), Chaplin, Haitham; SayersPompey:
“But it’s a steep learning curve for the lads and you expect inconsistency in performances at this level.”