Granger strike secures point for Pompey
Pompey fought from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Oxford at Furze Lane.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “It was a pretty scrappy affair and a draw was probably the fair result.
But a stunning 25-yard free-kick from James Granger (pictured) on the hour mark salvaged a point for the Blues.
The hosts struggled to break their opponents down before the break and were caught on the counter-attack.
“Oxford are one of the better sides we’ve come up against this season. They’re a physical side who defended deep and were very well organised.
“We had a lot of possession – particularly in the first half – but made some bad decisions in the final third and didn’t show enough movement or creativity.
“They scored against the run of play when we allowed our concentration to drop, which was disappointing.
“But our boys didn’t allow their heads to drop and responded extremely well. It was a Granger special for our equaliser – you’re always confident when he’s standing over a free-kick.
“We had a great chance to win the match, but unfortunately Calvin Davis headed over from close range and we had to settle for the draw.
“But I was still pleased that we were able to match Oxford’s physicality, especially as we had two under-16 players and several first year lads in the side. Bass; Nilsen (c), Saidy, May; Davis, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Chaplin, Granger (Rwakarambwe 66), McDowell (Field 80); Sayers (Haunstrup 54), GillPompey:
“Ousman Saidy was making his first appearance for the under-18 side and was excellent in the back three. It bodes well for the academy to see so many guys making the step up.”