Granger free-kick enough to beat Barnet
Pompey Academy continued their unbeaten start to the Merit League One campaign with a 1-0 victory over Barnet at Furze Lane.
Calvin Davies, Theo Widdrington and Liam Sayers were all denied by Kai McKenzie-Lyle as the hosts edged a scrappy opening 45 minutes.
But the Bees keeper was beaten early in the second half when a free-kick from James Granger (pictured) bobbled over his arm and into the corner.
Barnet pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but some resolute defending meant it was Pompey who secured all three points.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We started very well and showed plenty of energy, pressing high up the pitch to win a lot of balls.
“But the surface was difficult and although both sides tried to play the right way, the conditions didn’t really lend themselves to that.
“Instead it became a very competitive contest, with all the players battling hard for their respective teams.
“Thankfully we were able to get the winner after the break thanks to another free-kick from James.
“Barnet threw everything at us following the goal, but we were able to hold them off thanks to some decent defending and a bit of luck.
“Joe Hunt also made some good saves and deserved his clean sheet. We brought him in from Havant & Waterlooville because Alex Bass was on first team duty.
“The overall performance levels weren’t as high as we would have liked, but we did have a lot of players unavailable.
“I was pleased to see the lads dig in and hold on for the win, while showing plenty of resilience.”
Pompey: Hunt; Nilsen, Field, Haunstrup; Rwakarambwe, Granger, Widdrington (Bradbury 87), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Davies; Sayers (Joseph-Buadi 70), Haitham