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ACADEMY END SEASON WITH A DRAW

24 April 2016

Luton stalemate for young Blues

Pompey Academy finished the season with a goalless draw against Luton at their Copnor training base.

Both sides had chances to secure all three points in an entertaining contest, but the best arguably fell to the hosts late on.

Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (above) surged through on goal, but was denied by a fine stop from Hatters keeper Liam Gooch.

There big positive to come from the game was the introduction of Dory Yates from the bench – his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury against Yeovil in October.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We started the game very well, pressed high and created plenty of chances.

“Unfortunately, though, we couldn’t take any of them. Adam May and Liam Sayers had a couple of good openings and their keeper was in great form.

“But Nick Hall also performed well at the other end of the pitch – and that’s probably why it ended goalless.

“Christian played in a more advanced role than usual and that’s something we’re looking at for the future – he probably should have won the game for us late on.

“But Luton are effectively the best team in the region – they won the South-East League, they won the Youth Alliance Cup and they got to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.

“They came here with their best team, while we had our strongest line-up on the pitch as well and overall it was a good way to finish the season because everyone did themselves justice.

“It was nice to play at the training ground and credit must go to the groundsmen because the surface was excellent.

“For a 0-0 draw it was very entertaining for anyone watching, with both sides trying to play the right way.

“It was also great for Dory to get half an hour under his belt and he came through it with no adverse reaction.

“I’m delighted for him because of the way he’s applied himself to his rehab. He’s been a model pro.”

Pompey: Hall; Widdrington, Saidy, Wakley, McDowell; Scutt, May; Joseph-Buadi (Yates 62), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Haitham (Brooks 67); Sayers (Bradbury 55)

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