Pompey book their place in second round
Pompey eased into the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 5-0 victory over Eastleigh at Fratton Park.
Watched by Paul Cook and a number of first team players, they produced a clinical performance, despite playing more than half the tie with just 10 men.
Sam Woodward and Jez Bedford both bagged a brace, while Tommy Scutt netted a penalty for the impressive hosts.
Defender Ousman Saidy was sent off with the lead at just two goals, but that failed to halt the rampant Blues.
There were no clear-cut chances in the opening stages, but it was certainly a competitive encounter with plenty of meaty challenges flying in.
Eastleigh keeper Joe Whittington was forced off his line on a couple of occasions to deal with some dangerous crosses.
There was not much happening at the other end, although a fierce long-range drive from Owen Fee flew narrowly over.
Pompey soon started to find their feet and take the initiative, with Theo Widdrington’s free-kick deflected onto the roof of the net.
And they broke the deadlock on 29 minutes when WOODWARD latched onto a through ball and neatly stroked a shot off the inside of the post and into the net.
They almost had a second moments later when Scutt danced through the Spitfires defence, only to drag his effort wide.
But they were handed an excellent opportunity when the ball bounced up and hit Lewis Harvey on the arm.
Referee Michael Ryan pointed to the spot and SCUTT stepped up to calmly send Whittington the wrong way.
Pompey were coasting, but any thoughts that the game was over were quickly dispelled when they were reduced to 10 men.
Saidy flew into a reckless challenge on Nick Menning and was forced to trudge off the pitch when Ryan pulled out a red card.
Eastleigh almost made their numerical advantage count before the break, only for Nick Hall to make a superb save and deny Ben Cane from point-blank range.
Half Time: Pompey 2 Eastleigh 0
Pompey did give themselves more breathing space with a third goal just seconds after the restart.
Widdrington whipped in a free-kick from wide on the left and WOODWARD rose highest in the box to divert the ball into the net.
It was not all one-way traffic, though, and Hall was forced into action to deny both Ollie Dennett and James Parker-Trott.
But Pompey had a great chance to extend their lead on 70 minutes when Scutt sent Harvey Bradbury through on goal, only for the striker to dither over his shot and get tackled.
Eastleigh broke straight up the other end of the pitch and almost scored themselves, with Hall making another super stop to keep out Tom Bearwish’s shot.
And they were made to pay for their profligacy when the Blues grabbed a fourth goal just seconds later.
A fine passing move saw the hosts ease through the Spitfires’ back-line and BEDFORD ended it by finding the net off the underside of the crossbar.
There was still time for a fifth before the end, when substitute Matt Mayes neatly side-stepped his marker before teeing-up BEDFORD for a calm finish.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Hall; Chandler (Brooks 73), Saidy, Wakley, McDowell; Read (Smith 65), Widdrington (c); Woodward (Mayes 73), Bedford, Scutt; Bradbury
Goals: Woodward 29, 46, Scutt 31 (pen), Bedford 71, 87
Sent off: Saidy
Subs not used: Collins, Casey
Eastleigh (4-1-4-1): Whittington; Parker-Trott, Hamerston, Harvey, Cane; Griggs (c); Dennett, Fee, Kirkwood (Lobb 54), Menning (Beeke 61); Bearwish (Laptas 74)
Subs not used: Randell, Cooper
Referee: Michael Ryan