Pompey beaten 6-2 by Swindon
Pompey Academy got 2016 off to a disappointing start with a 6-2 defeat at home to Swindon.
They were punished for a sloppy opening and found themselves four goals down with just 20 minutes on the clock.
Kaleem Haitham pulled one back with a fine solo effort, cutting inside from the right and curling a shot into the top corner.
But the visitors scored again before the break and added a sixth on the counter-attack after Liam Sayers’ strike had reduced the deficit.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “I think our players thought that it was still Christmas with the gifts we gave Swindon in the first half.
“All of their first four goals were down to poor individual errors from us and that’s extremely disappointing.
“The boys have not long returned from a two-week break and perhaps they thought they could ease themselves back in.
“But this game will kick you in the backside if you have that mentality and they soon learned that football is an unforgiving sport.
“There are no excuses, although we had to use players out of position and the weather means we haven’t been able to get out on the pitch during the week.
“It was always going to be challenging against a decent Swindon side, who deserve credit for the way they pressed us and for their clinical finishing.
“We scored a couple of good goals and were much better in the second half – we created enough to get something from the game.
“Both sides forced the other into making mistakes, but the difference was that Swindon took those opportunities and we didn’t.
“There is plenty of room for improvement, but at this level players will always learn more from their failures than from their successes.”
Pompey: Hall; Bedford, Davies, Saidy, McDowell; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Scutt (Green 72); Joseph-Buadi, Haitham, Bradbury (Smith 61); Sayers (Brooks 75)