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FRIENDLY DEFEAT FOR ACADEMY

7 April 2016

Blues beaten at Reading

A superb Kaleem Haitham strike could not prevent Pompey Academy from losing 2-1 in a friendly at Reading on Tuesday.

The visitors trailed 2-0 at the break, despite controlling possession for long periods of the first half.

But they did grab an impressive consolation goal, with Haitham beating several players before firing into the bottom corner from 25 yards.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “It was an extremely open game with both sides playing some very attacking football.

“We dominated the early stages and probably should have taken some of our chances. There were a few decent shots and we also got into some promising positions.

“But we conceded a goal on the counter-attack and then went two down because of a mixture of poor defending and a great strike from the Reading lad.

“We continued to pass the ball around nicely and keep possession, though, and it was more of the same after the break.

“Kaleem’s goal was superb and we pushed forward in search of an equaliser, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.

“It was hard for the boys, as we’ve been training hard and they had the game at Cheltenham on Saturday. We also had a few injuries, so were only able to use 13 players.

“But I was really pleased with the way we kept going and that’s testament to them and their mentality. We kept to our principles and produced an impressive performance, despite the result.

“It was also great to see Fahad Rwakarambwe (above) come on for the final 15 minutes. He’s been here since finishing his apprenticeship after damaging his cruciate ligament in the last game he played for us.

“He had an operation and has been working hard to get back to fitness – and this was his first appearance back on a football pitch.

“It was a big moment for Fahad and a credit to the hard work that our staff – especially Lucas McArdle and Ben Spong – have done with him.

“It was nice to see him back out there again and especially pleasing that he came through it with no problems.”

Pompey: Bass; Chandler (Rwakarambwe 75), Saidy, Wakley, McDowell; May, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Sayers, Scutt (Hall 61), Haitham; Bradbury

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