Blues ease to convincing victory
Pompey Reserves’ ran riot by smashing six goals past Gillingham in the Final Third Development League.
A side containing a mixture of youth and experience eased to victory at the Kent side’s Beechings training base.
Paul McCallum, Craig Westcarr, Adam May and Bradley Tarbuck were all on target in the 6-1 triumph, while Conor Chaplin added a late brace.
It was McCallum who was first to test Tom Hadler, with a header from Chad Field’s cross that the keeper safely claimed.
Teenage stopper Alex Bass then pulled off a great stop to deny Mahlon Romeo at the other end after eight minutes.
But it was the Blues looking more threatening and they almost broke the deadlock through a neat Tarbuck chip.
The ball sailed over Hadler and landed on the bar, with McCallum then unable to force home the rebound.
And it was the same combination who combined again moments later, but this time the latter sent a shot dipping narrowly over.
But they finally clicked to open the scoring on 19 minutes when Tarbuck’s ball into the box was hit home by McCALLUM.
It then took a fine save from Hadler to prevent Westcarr from doubling the advantage as Pompey looked to make their pressure count.
But the visitors did extend their lead on 34 minutes, with WESTCARR sending Hadler the wrong way from the spot after Chaplin had been upended in the box.
There was a moment of comedy soon after, with Ben Close managing to nutmeg referee Chris Myatt.
And Gillingham almost pulled a goal back with their best chance of the half just before the break, only for Adam Mitchell’s effort to cannon back off the bar.
Half Time: Gillingham 0 Pompey 2
Pompey started the second half brightly and Hadler got down quickly to stop Chaplin’s effort sneaking inside the post.
But there were opportunities at both ends of the pitch and it took a last-gasp challenge from Ben Chorley to deny Kojo Anojui.
Hadler then produced two smart stops, making a brave block from Westcarr before pushing away Brandon Joseph-Buadi’s follow-up effort.
However, the Blues put the result beyond doubt with two goals in the space of just two minutes.
First MAY rose to head home Close’s corner at the far post and then TARBUCK raced clear to tuck away the fourth.
The goals kept coming and Greg Cundle reduced Gillingham’s deficit, only for CHAPLIN to then convert another corner from Close.
And it was CHAPLIN who wrapped up an emphatic victory just before the final whistle with a shot that nestled in the far corner.
Gillingham: Hadler; Romeo, Staunton (c), Dickinson, Bent (Stewart 67); Mithcell, Webster, Blanchard, Anojui (Thompson 80); Cundle, List
Subs not used: Haigh, Adams, Stannard
Pompey: Bass; Haunstrup, Chorley (c) (Davies 71), Field; Tarbuck, Close (Oxlade-Chamberlain 76), Chaplin, May, Shorey; Westcarr, McCallum (Joseph-Buadi 46)
Referee: Chris Myatt