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ACADEMY DRAW WITH STEVENAGE

8 February 2015

Young Blues claim point in scrappy clash

Pompey opened their Merit League One campaign with a goalless draw against Stevenage at Furze Lane.

There were few clear-cut opportunities in an attritional encounter, although James Granger did force a save from Tyler Reading in the Boro goal.

Alex Bass (pictured) made smart stops to deny Ryan Johnson and George Casey at the other end, as the sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “Chad Field, Brandon Haunstrup and Snorre Nilsen were all rested ahead of the behind-closed-doors friendly at Woking on Monday.

“But that gave an opportunity for some of our under-16s defenders to step up and they took it well.

“It was a very scrappy game, with the pitch and conditions making things difficult for both sides and there weren’t a lot of scoring chances.

“We produced a battling performance and I was more pleased with our mentality and the defensive aspects of our game than what we did with the ball.

“It’s fair to say that we didn’t show the quality we’re capable of, but we were up against a powerful and well organised Stevenage side.

“They’re very dangerous from set-pieces and we stood up to that, while Alex Bass thoroughly deserved his clean sheet.”

Pompey: Bass; Davies (Oxlade-Chamberlain 60), Yates (Widdrington 46), May (Saidy 46), McDowell; B.Joseph-Buadi, Granger, Rwakarambwe, Haitham; Sayers, Gill

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