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ACADEMY START SEASON WITH A DRAW

9 August 2015

Oxlade-Chamberlain on target against Rovers

A last-gasp goal from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (above) ensured Pompey Academy salvaged a point from their opening game of the season at Bristol Rovers.

The Blues missed some good openings before the break and were made to pay when they fell behind early in the second half.

It was a superb strike from the hosts, with a cross from the left volleyed in at the far post.

But there was drama deep into stoppage-time when a fine delivery from Calvin Davies was sent back by Adam May for Oxlade-Chamberlain to smash home.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “Unfortunately, we didn’t reach the performance levels that the boys have shown throughout pre-season.

“We just couldn’t seem to get going and I know that we are capable of much more, so it was disappointing.

“Bristol Rovers are a strong, physical and experienced outfit and the fact is they out-battled us.

“We want to play nice football, but we also have to match the physicality of other sides. We were able to do that against senior teams in our friendly matches, so I’m not quite sure why we couldn’t do it this time.

“It’s a big learning curve for the players at this level and they’re still adapting to the new system we’re using to mirror the first team.

“There were still positives to take, though – I saw some good individual performances and the boys deserve credit for digging in and not giving up.

“The important things is that there is still a long way to go this season and plenty of time for them all to progress.”

Pompey: Bass; Widdrington, Saidy, Yates, Davies (c); May, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Scutt (McDowell 65), Joseph-Buadi (Bedford 54), Sayers; Bradbury (Woodward 65)
Subs not used: Hall, Wakley

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