Pompey lose 4-2 in Youth Alliance League
Pompey Academy were beaten 4-2 by Oxford in an eventful encounter at Furze Lane.
Seth Humphries opened the scoring for the visitors before the windy conditions helped Jordan Graham find the net directly from a corner.
But the Blues reduced the deficit after the interval, with Calvin Davies and Brandon Joseph-Buadi combining well to tee-up Theo Widdrington.
Sam Woodward’s fine strike looked to have levelled the scores, only for the referee to pull play back for an earlier foul.
Pompey failed to deal with that decision and George Jeacock headed home from a corner before Graham capitalised on a defensive mix-up.
Harvey Bradbury’s shot was deflected into the net in the closing stages, but it proved to be no more than a consolation.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We set the lads a bit of a challenge that we’d worked on during the week. We defended deep and then tried to counter-attack.
“Out of possession they did really well, but it was with the ball that we let ourselves down.
“The first goal was a disappointing one in terms of our defending – it was far too easy for Oxford – and you can’t really legislate for what happened with the second.
“We spoke about what had gone well and where we could improve at half-time and the lads applied themselves very well after the restart.
“Theo scored after a good counter-attacking move and we were back in the game, but then there was the turning point.
“Sam smashed one into the corner – it was a great finish. But the linesman flagged, called the referee over and the goal was disallowed because of something that happened around 15 seconds earlier.
“We were a bit perplexed by the decision and really disappointed for Sam because it was such a good strike.
“That left us a bit shell-shocked for a few minutes and we have to learn to deal with things like that better.
“We conceded from a set-piece and then Oxford got a fourth following a defensive error.
“We tried to play the ball out, but we encourage the lads to do that and we won’t crucify them for making a mistake. We don’t want them to feel they can’t play the right way.
“There were a lot of lessons for us to learn and fair play to the lads for trying something a bit different, but now we look forward to facing Bristol Rovers in the cup.”
Pompey: Collins; Davies (c) (Scutt 65), Saidy, Wakley, McDowell; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Widdrington (Woodward 59); Joseph-Buadi (Chandler 65), Bedford, Haitham; Bradbury