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13 January 2015

Cherries troubled by under-strength academy side

Pompey Academy were beaten 2-0 at Bournemouth, despite a spirited display against the league leaders.

It was always likely to be a difficult test for the Blues, with all of their senior players on reserve team duty.

But they almost took the lead inside the opening 10 seconds, with Adam Grange bursting through on goal and being denied by the Cherries keeper.

Instead it was the hosts who took an early lead when Ethan Millar's through ball was calmly converted by Matt Butcher.

Pompey looked like levelling when Liam Sayers volleyed Adam May’s cross goalwards, only for the ball to hit a defender on the line and bounce out to safety.

They then piled on the pressure after the interval and created plenty of chances, including an effort from Eddie Wakley that struck the post.

But Keelan O'Connell scored on the counter-attack to double Bournemouth's advantage and they held on to secure victory.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We had to put out a very young side, so I was pleased with our efforts against a side who are top of the table.

“Adam went close to scoring straight from the kick-off and even after they scored the opener, we kept going.

“I’m not sure how Liam’s effort stayed out – the defender didn’t have a clue as the ball hit him on the back of the head.

“Eddie then fired one against the post and Brandon Joseph-Buadi, Kaleem Haitham and Adam all had other opportunities to score.

“But just as it looked like we might make our pressure count, we get caught on the counter-attack and Bournemouth grab a second.

“There were some great individual performances, however, and I was particularly pleased for Dory Yates (pictured), who came on in the second half

“He broke his leg against Bournemouth 11 months ago and this was his first game back. He even had a chance to score late on, but unfortunately the ball flew into the side netting.”

Pompey: George; Davies, May, Wakley (Yates 78), McDowell; Grange, Widdrington (Scutt 61), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joseph-Buadi; Sayers, Woodword (Haitham 46)

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