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RESERVES DRAW SIX-GOAL THRILLER

13 January 2015

Tarbuck and Gill on target for Blues

Tom Craddock continued his quest for fitness by helping Pompey Reserves secure a 3-3 draw at Plymouth in the group stages of the Final Third Development League Cup.

But it was the younger members of the Blues side that grabbed the spotlight as they fought from behind on three occasions to snatch a point.

Bradley Tarbuck grabbed a brace, while substitute Lewis Gill was also on target in an entertaining encounter at Home Park.

Craddock had an early chance to break the deadlock in a hectic opening, but his shot took a deflection which meant a comfortable save for James Bittner.

Argyle’s keeper denied the striker again moments later, with Conor Chaplin just unable to connect with the loose ball.

Nathan Thomas’ header at the other end then looked to be sneaking in, only for Michael Poke to get across his goal and make a fine save.

And he soon made another brilliant stop, this time to tip a 25-yard effort from Thomas around the post.

But the hosts were ahead on 13 minutes as Tyler Harvey latched onto a long ball and calmly beat Poke.

Pompey immediately hit back, however, with Bittner making a quick double save, only for TARBUCK to tuck away the loose ball.

They immediately went in search of another goal and Dan Butler fired a free-kick over the bar before Bittner again frustrated Craddock.

The Blues then thought they should have been awarded a penalty when Chaplin went down under Will Sargent’s challenge, but referee Lee Roberts waved away their appeals.

Instead it was Plymouth who forged ahead just before the break when Butler was adjudged to have fouled Marvin Morgan on the edge of the box and Harvey stepped up to curl home the free-kick.

Half Time: Plymouth 2 Pompey 1

Pompey started the second half brightly as they went in search of an equaliser and Jack Whatmough headed over before Chaplin fired narrowly past the post.

Craddock was next to try his luck, although his effort did not overly trouble the busy Bittner.

But the Blues were level just past the hour mark as TARBUCK embarked on a fine run that saw him evade two challenges before confidently finding the net.

Plymouth soon applied some pressure at the other end, though, and Poke kept out shots from both Billy Palfrey and Ryan Lane, while also watching anxiously as a Thomas strike dipped inches over.

The game had become stretched as both sides went in search of a winner and it was the hosts who forged ahead on 75 minutes.

They broke quickly down the right and despite the best efforts of Whatmough to clear, Morgan was on hand to slam the ball home.

It took two brilliant saves from Bittner to preserve their lead, with Tarbuck twice frustrated in his search for a hat-trick.

Instead it was GILL who ensured a share of the spoils late on when he was found in space and planted a shot into the far corner.

Chaplin might even have snatched a winner at the death, but could only fire into the side netting after being teed-up by Butler.

Plymouth: Bittner; Palfrey, Richards, Sargent, Purrington; Harvey, Allen, Norburn (Lane 21), Blizzard; Thomas, Morgan
Subs not used: Jones, Hall, Vincent, Rooney

Pompey: Poke; Field, Nilsen, Whatmough (c), Butler; Awford (Granger 71), Close; Haunstrup (Gill 76), Tarbuck, Chaplin; Craddock (Rwakarambwe 88)
Sub not used: Bass

Referee: Lee Roberts

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