Joseph-Buadi, May, Chaplin and Rwakarambwe on target for young Blues
Pompey Academy returned to winning ways with a comfortable 4-2 victory at Plymouth.
Brandon Joseph-Buadi opened the scoring with an effort that took a big deflection off a Pilgrims defender to divert the ball into the net.
The hosts then equalised, but Adam May (pictured) restored the Blues’ advantage just before the break with a fine 25-yard strike into the top corner.
Substitute Conor Chaplin then added a third early in the second half, bending the ball home after playing a neat one-two with Lewis Gill.
And Fahad Rwakarambwe then converted Calvin Davies’ cross to increase the lead before Plymouth grabbed a late consolation.
Academy manager Mark Kelly was in charge of the game, but revealed that he had little influence on the performance.
He said: “We’re coming to a time of year now when we’re looking at who’s going to turn professional.
“So our focus was on self-regulating – we let the senior players discuss what needed to be done. Conor took the team-talk and I stepped back to let them get on with it.
“We took an early lead, but then started to do some stupid things and cause ourselves problems.
“We got caught in possession in areas that shouldn’t happen and Plymouth had a few one-on-ones, so the warning signs were there.
“The shape was all wrong, as was the organisation – too many people were dispersing too early to leave big gaps and we conceded.
“But then we started to gain a bit of control, the lads worked out what they needed to do and Adam scored just before the break.
“At half-time I stopped the self-regulating and had a conversation with them. We spoke about what was going wrong and how we could put that right.
“Conor came on and had scored within a couple of minutes and from then on we dominated the game.
“We used the ball well in the right areas and got it moving quickly to cause our opponents plenty of problems.
“Fahad then made it 4-0 and we probably should have gone on to win even more convincingly before Plymouth pulled one back late on.
“The match was a useful exercise for us because we wanted the players to understand the decisions we make and why we make them.
“At the start they really didn’t and I just let them get on with it, but that’s part of the learning process of youth development.
“If they’re going in at half-time after being given the run-around then the manager’s going to change shape and they need to know what that it is and how it affects you.
“But there’s a big tick in the box for them in the second half because they took everything on board and did well.
“Now we want the second years are trying to become professionals to try to get as much development time with Paul Hardyman as possible.
“And we need to get the under-16s into our environment because we need to make decisions about them as well.
“We might be giving a bit of pace and power away in our matches, but I’ve always said that results aren’t as vital at this level.”
Pompey: Bass; Davies, Nilsen (Yates 75), Field, Haunstrup; Rwakarambwe, Granger, May, Haitham (Chaplin 46); Joseph-Buadi (Oxlade-Chamberlain 75), Gill
Subs not used: George, Sayers