Young Blues beaten 3-2 by Exeter
Pompey Academy surrendered a two-goal lead to slip to defeat against Exeter in their penultimate match of the season.
Brandon Joseph-Buadi (above) reacted quickest to fire the Blues ahead at Furze Lane after Kavanagh Keadell could only parry Liam Sayers’ shot.
And they doubled their advantage just before the interval when Kyle McDowell broke down the left and sent in a cross for Sayers to head home at the near post.
But the Grecians hit back after the interval and a brace from Mustafa Rehemi brought them back on level terms.
Both sides then looked to secure the victory, although it was the visitors who ultimately prevailed when Toby Down volleyed into the net from a corner.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “Both sides were trying to play some good football, but it became clear that whoever pressed better would come out on top.
“There were chances at both ends, but we took ours in the first half, with Brandon doing well to react quickly and open the scoring.
“Liam then completed a nice move to strengthen our lead, but it certainly wasn’t a one-sided contest.
“Exeter had some decent opportunities of their own and Nick Hall made a couple of fantastic saves to keep them at bay.
“We knew they would change things for the second half and tried to pre-empt that during the break.
“They switched their system, but we weren’t able to adapt to that quickly enough and soon conceded two goals.
“It was only then that we started to get to grips with the game again and it soon became an end-to-end affair – it was more like a basketball match.
“We’ve been excellent at defending set-pieces recently, so it was particularly disappointing to concede from a corner.
“We still had chances to salvage a point, but it wasn’t to be and this will be a good learning curve for the boys.
“They need to realise that a game lasts for 90 minutes and hopefully we’ll have more success the next time we find ourselves in a similar situation.”
Pompey: Hall; Widdrington, Saidy, Wakley, McDowell; May, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Haitham, Scutt, Joseph-Buadi; Sayers (Bradbury 62)