Academy lose 3-1 to Bournemouth
Pompey Academy were beaten for a fifth successive game after going down 3-1 to Bournemouth at Furze Lane.
They made a bright start, with Harvey Bradbury drawing a smart stop from Cherries keeper Callum Stanton before Adam May crashed an effort against the post.
But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock midway through the first half, courtesy of a fine finish from Keelan O’Connell.
And they doubled their lead just before the interval when Kyle Taylor profited from a mis-cued Jack Collins clearance.
Kaleem Haitham (above) gave the Blues hope in the second half with a fine run and finish from the edge of the box.
But that vanished when Bournemouth launched a counter-attack and Sam Surridge volleyed home their third.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We started the game very brightly and were on the front foot, creating plenty of chances.
“It was frustrating because if we’d have scored when we were on top in the first 20 minutes then it could have been a different outcome.
“The game then became a bit more stretched and Bournemouth took advantage of that.
“Their first goal was a decent finish, but the second was disappointing from our point of view.
“It was a result of us trying to play the ball out and I’m not going to criticise Jack because he’s only 15 and he’s playing in the under-18 side, while the pass back to him could have been a lot better.
“We started the second half with a lot of intensity and got ourselves back into the game thanks to a great individual goal from Kaleem.
“We pushed and pushed for an equaliser and had a goal ruled out for offside, which was a very tight decision.
“But unfortunately our opponents then caught us on the break and scored a very fine goal to wrap the points up.
“Bournemouth a very strong side and we probably lacked a bit of experience in our back-line, with our back four all aged 16.
“That’s fantastic experience for them, though, and we want to stretch them. They’ll learn from the mistakes they made and hopefully become better players because of that.
“Now we look forward to our FA Youth Cup tie at Plymouth on Wednesday. It’ll be great for the lads to play at Home Park and we should be able to go there with our strongest side.
“It will be a very tough test for us, but we want to replicate what we did there at the same stage last year and get into the next round.”
Pompey: Collins; Scutt (Smith 72), Widdrington (Casey 65), Saidy, McDowell; Oxlade-Chamberlain, May; Joseph-Buadi, Bedford, Haitham; Bradbury (Woodward 62)