Academy coach delighted with cup display
Pompey could not quite do enough to cause an FA Youth Cup shock at Fratton Park.
But Mikey Harris was still delighted with the performance of his side against Manchester City in the third round tie.
A crowd of 1,779 – as well as the majority of the first team squad – saw substitute Harvey Bradbury cancel out Lukas Nmecha’s opener.
It looked like extra-time would be needed to separate the sides, but Brahim Diaz netted a fine solo strike to seal victory for the visitors.
Harris, however, was pleased to see that there was not a gulf in class between two sides operating on contrasting budgets.
The academy coach said: “I’m extremely proud of the boys because we’ve faced one of the best – if not the best – academy sides in the country.
“We matched them from minute one and had a right go, although unfortunately not quite got the result we wanted.
“But we have to put things into perspective – they’re a category one academy who have invested a lot of money into their youth set-up.
“They showed the talent they have by scoring two excellent goals, but we can be very proud of our performance.
“After Harvey scored we had a spell when they wobbled a bit, but couldn’t quite capitalise on that.
“I believe that Manchester City will go on to win the competition, but we’ve pushed them all the way.
“The plan was created by the boys and I just supported it, which shows their knowledge and understanding of the game.
“The commitment and desire we displayed was excellent and I think our fans appreciated that.
“To have almost 2,000 people come out for an FA Youth Cup match is incredible – especially with the traffic, the weather and the delayed kick-off.
“They really got behind the lads and to hear the Pompey Chimes ringing out will have done wonders for their confidence.
“Playing at Fratton Park against a top side can only benefit them going forward and we have to perform to that level consistently for the rest of the season.”