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10 October 2016

Harris reflects on league loss

Pompey Academy were unable to halt their losing run as they were beaten 3-0 by Cheltenham at Furze Lane.

It might have turned out differently if Harvey Bradbury’s early effort had not flashed narrowly wide of the post.

But the visitors took control following the interval, with Taylor Cordell smashing the opener into the top corner following a surging run.

And the Blues fell further behind just a few seconds later, losing the ball straight from the kick-off to allow Ben Hailwood to score.

Cheltenham’s third arrived just past the hour mark thanks to some more sloppy defending, with James Hancocks the beneficiary.

Pompey even wasted the chance to grab a late consolation when Tommy Scutt’s penalty was saved by Lewis Clayton following a foul on Eddie Wakley.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We dominated the first half and created several chances, while I can’t remember Jack Collins having a save to make.

“We looked good on the ball and I was pleased to see us putting into practice what had been worked on during the week.

“At half-time we spoke about continuing that, while also being more clinical in the final third and respecting our opponents.

“But instead they let themselves down as a group, perhaps believing that they would have all that joy again without having to work for it.

“We took liberties, had far too many touches of the ball and generally just overcomplicated everything.

“Cheltenham scored two goals very quickly and they both came from us giving up possession far too easily. It was bitterly disappointing.

“The lads showed good character to keep on fighting, but the third we conceded ended any realistic hopes of getting something from the game and the penalty miss just summed up our day.

“We showed everything that was encouraging about us in the first half and then all our deficiencies in the second.

“So now we’re really looking for a positive reaction going forward and a lot more cohesion as a team.

“Our players certainly have the qualities required to be successful and are currently being let down by what’s between the ears.”

Pompey: Collins; Chandler (Lethbridge 76), Saidy (Casey 65), Wakley, McDowell; Brooks, Scutt, Bedford (c), Woodward; Smith, Bradbury (Mayes 61)
Subs not used: Kitcher, Hancott

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