Young Blues romp to victory
Pompey Academy stretched their unbeaten run to five games with a thumping 5-1 victory at Cheltenham.
It was Tommy Scutt who opened the scoring, showing a neat touch to control Jez Bedford’s clever pass before smashing a shot into the bottom corner.
And Adam May (above) then netted from the second phase of a set-piece to give the visitors a comfortable advantage at the break.
There was no let-up in the second half, however, and Scutt was quick to convert a loose ball after his first effort had been blocked.
Centre-back Eddie Wakley was next to find the target when he headed home from a Theo Widdrington corner.
The hosts had barely threatened Pompey’s goal, but Kyle McDowell inadvertently diverted a cross into his own net to reduce their deficit.
It was still the Blues doing most of the attacking, though, and substitute Dan Smith turned the ball in at the back post to complete the rout.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We created plenty of chances in the first half and Brandon Joseph-Buadi had a nailed on penalty turned down.
“But we scored some really good goals and were in total control of the game from start to finish.
“It was disappointing not to keep a clean sheet. We were so dominant that the boys switched off from a ball over the top and that’s something to learn from.
“If I’m being super critical then we probably should have scored even more goals, but I’m very pleased with the overall performance.”
Harris also explained why under-16s goalkeeper Nick Hall played was brought on in an outfield role for the final 30 minutes.
He said: “It’s something that we’ve spoken about with goalkeeping coach Scott Bevan because both our keepers are good with their feet.
“We want guys who are able to start attacks from the back and are not just there to catch the ball and kick it.
“It’s also important to fully understand the relationship between them and the outfield players.
“Nick’s a very good football and used to play as a striker at county level. He’s been out on the pitch in some of our training sessions and the first team lads can’t believe he’s a keeper”
Pompey: Bass; Widdrington, Saidy, Wakley, McDowell (Smith 80); May, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Bedford (Mayes 54), Scutt, Haitham; Joseph-Buadi (Hall 61)