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21 April 2015

Nilsen header secures a point

Pompey Reserves fought from behind to draw 1-1 with Cambridge in the penultimate Final Third Development League fixture of the season at Furze Lane.

Snorre Nilsen headed home the equaliser early in the second half to secure a point for a youthful Blues side.

Skipper Michael Poke, Conor Chaplin and Bradley Tarbuck were the only players with any first team experience for the hosts.

But Pompey had a chance to forge ahead on nine minutes, courtesy of a move started by Chaplin from inside his own half.

The recently-crowned League Two Apprentice of the Year burst forward and found Matt Long. He then picked out Tarbuck, who flashed a shot narrowly past the post.

Tarbuck then turned provider, sending in a cross that Brandon Haunstrup could not quite divert on target.

Instead it was Cambridge who broke the deadlock against the run of play on 17 minutes when Chad Field was dispossessed and Jake Chambers-Shaw fired the ball in off the post.

They were not far from doubling their advantage before the break, with a speculative shot from Chambers-Shaw flying over Poke and, thankfully for the hosts, over the bar.

Pompey were struggling to create any opportunities at the other end, with United keeper Craig Hill enjoying a quiet afternoon.

But they were not being helped by some rather meaty challenges from the visitors that – apart from a couple of lengthy lectures from referee Antony Foster – went unpunished.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Cambridge 1

Pompey drew level early in the second half when Elliot Wheeler’s cross from deep was headed home by NILSEN at the far post.

And they came close to taking the lead moments later, as Chaplin dragged a shot inches wide of the post.

The Blues were now looking a lot better and substitute Cameron Hough tried his luck with a long-range effort that was narrowly off target.

Tarbuck then really should have taken advantage of a gilt-edged opportunity given to him by the opposition defence on 70 minutes, but was unable to beat Hill.

Chaplin had been targeted by Cambridge all afternoon, but amazingly it was the Pompey player booked by Foster after he protested about one challenge.

The referee then waved play on after Hill had picked up a back-pass from Danny Burns, who was under pressure from Tarbuck.

And it looked like Pompey would finish empty-handed when Richard Tait found the net in the closing seconds, but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Pompey: Poke (c); Wheeler, Field, Sanders, Long; Granger, Nilsen; Rwakarambwe (Hough 15), Chaplin, Haunstrup; Tarbuck

Cambridge: Hill; Tait, Lanzoni, Burns, Austin (Joynes 61); Horne, Taylor (Lentell 61), Hunt, Pearce (Hogan 68); Bevins, Chambers-Shaw

Referee: Antony Foster

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