Blues lose to Gills
Pompey Reserves missed two penalties as they were beaten 3-2 by Gillingham at Furze Lane.
Liam Sayers and James Granger did find the target as a side filled with academy players failed to cement second spot in the Final Third Development League table.
But Fahad Rwakarambwe and Brandon Haunstrup were both denied from 12 yards and the visitors took advantage to claim all three points.
Adam May forced the first save in the opening stages, although Tom Hadler was not overly troubled by the midfielder’s drive.
But Gillingham should have broken the deadlock moments later when Ricardo Thompson made faint contact with an Aidan Blanchard corner and struck the underside of the crossbar.
Finn O’Mara tried to force the loose ball into the net, only for it to be hacked clear from the line.
A dangerous cross then flashed across the Blues box, but no visiting players was able to force it home.
Pompey were looking lethargic and yet were still handed an excellent opportunity to take the lead midway through the first half.
Sayers’ shot was saved by Hadler and when Haunstrup tried to pounce on the rebound, he was sent tumbling to the turf.
Referee Andrew Dine pointed straight to the spot, and although Rwakarambwe’s penalty was out of the keeper’s reach, it also flew wide of the post.
The hosts were made to pay for their profligacy soon after, with Greg Cundle firing the opening goal past Alex Bass.
It was a lead Gillingam deserved and they forged further ahead on 32 minutes when Dory Yates’ mid-judged a defensive header and sent the ball into his own net.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Gillingham 2
Pompey found themselves back in the game just after the restart with a goal that owed much to the industry of Calvin Davies.
The full-back did well to fashion an opening and when Hadler attempted to clear the danger, the ball struck SAYERS and ricocheted into the net.
The Blues were looking far more assured since the interval, no doubt spurred on by some frank views from the coaching staff.
But they received a let-off on 58 minutes when Darren Oldacre’s shot cannoned back off the crossbar.
Pompey then nearly drew level, as a teasing delivery from Rwakarambwe was hooked inches wide by Sayers.
Another opportunity soon followed, with Adam May forcing a decent save from Hadler after meeting Haunstrup’s free-kick.
But Gillingham restored their two-goal advantage on 74 minutes when Elliot Lutt was upended by Bass and Blanchard drove home the resulting penalty.
Pompey then won a spot-kick of their own after Haunstrup was fouled. The skipper took it himself and again the Blues were denied, this time thanks to a save from Hadler.
There was still time for the Blues to pull a goal back thanks to a fine free-kick from GRANGER, but it proved too little, too late.
Pompey: Bass; Davies, Yates (Widdrington 59), Field (Nilsen 46), Haunstrup (c); Rwakarambwe, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Granger, May; Sayers, Joseph-Buadi (Haitham 46)
Gillingham: Hadler; Thompson, O’Mara, Dickinson, Bent (c); Lutt (Stannard 75), Freiter, Oldacre (Nougbelle 82), Ibertson; Blanchard, Cundle (Cranleigh 79)
Sub not used: Newcombe
Referee: Andrew Dine