Academy beaten at Plymouth
Pompey Academy suffered a second successive heavy defeat as they went down 6-0 at Merit League One leaders Plymouth.
It was always going to be a tough ask for the young Blues, many of whom had also featured in two reserves games during the week.
And they were unable to add to their two previous comfortable wins over the Pilgrims earlier in the campaign.
A hat-trick from Louis Rooney helped the hosts secure a resounding victory and move one step closer to the title.
But Mikey Harris believes his players are paying the price for a hectic schedule of development and youth fixtures.
Pompey’s academy coach said: “It was just one match too many for them at this stage of the season.
“A lot of the lads played reserve matches on Tuesday and Thursday before getting up early on Saturday to make the long trip to Plymouth for an 11.30am kick-off.
“They tried their best to do the right things, but were unable to show the qualities they’ve displayed for much of the campaign.
“It was a tough challenge for them and I know they were disappointed, although we’re not going to criticise them too much.
“We worked out that some of the boys have played almost 60 games, which is a big ask for young people who are still developing physically.
“We’ve also got Snorre Nilsen and Chad Field currently out on loan and doing well for Bognor, so that leaves us two guys light.
“A few of our under-16s have stepped up and they actually all performed well – probably because they’re a bit fresher.
“I know it sounds ridiculous after a 6-0 defeat, but there were some positives to take, with some decent individual displays.”
Pompey: Bass; Rwakarambwe (Davies 46), Granger, Yates (Joseph-Buadi 46), Haunstrup; Widdrington (McDowell 46), May, Scutt, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Haitham; Sayers