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ACADEMY BEATEN BY CHELTENHAM

23 November 2015

Bedford and Davies goals not enough for young Blues

Pompey Academy failed to convert a dominant performance into points as they lost 3-2 at home to Cheltenham.

After letting Lewis Thompson net an untidy opener, substitute Jez Bedford converted Brandon Joseph-Buadi’s cross to level the scores.

And the game was turned on its head when skipper Calvin Davies (above) waited for a ball to drop before firing home.

But the visitors took advantage of a poor back-pass to equalise through Luke Thomas, who then hit the Blues on the break to secure all three points.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “We were off the pace in the first half, possibly because of what happened in the FA Youth Cup during the week.

“We went 1-0 down to a sloppy goal, but then had a 20 minute period when we took control of the game.

“Brandon and Kaleem Haitham started to cause problems and Jez and Calvin scored to put us into the lead.

“But we then conceded from some more sloppy play and Cheltenham’s third came about because we were chasing the winner and got hit on the counter-attack.

“If we were just interested in picking up points then we might have told the lads just to get the ball into the corner.

“But we always demand that they take control of the ball and don’t change the way they try to do things.

“Of course we have to learn to win and we want them to hurt when they lose – especially when we’re in control of the game.

“But this is youth development and results come second to getting players to improve, so they can produce high standards over 90 minutes.

“We played well for periods of the game, so it’s about trying to find that level of consistency that we’re looking for.

“Some of our more senior players are out on loan – which is what we want – so this is a good learning curve for our first years.

“They’re now starting to play more games and it’s time for them to step up and reach a standard that we’re all happy with.”

Pompey: Hall; Davies, Wakley, Widdrington (Saidy 54), McDowell (Bedford 54); Scutt, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Joseph-Buadi, Woodward, Haitham; Bradbury

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