10-man Blues beaten at Bournemouth
Pompey Academy suffered their first Youth Alliance League defeat of the season with a 2-0 reverse at Bournemouth.
The table-toppers fell behind after just 13 minutes and it was always going to be an uphill struggle when they were reduced to 10 men midway through the first half.
Goalkeeper Nick Hall was adjudged to have handled the ball outside of his area and was shown a straight red card.
That meant Freddie Read had to be withdrawn so Jack Collins (pictured) could take over between the sticks.
He made a key save to stop the Blues from falling further behind before the break, while, at the other end, Jez Bedford fired against the post.
But the Cherries made sure of victory with a second goal late on, despite Theo Widdrington appearing to be fouled as he tried to clear the ball.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “The big talking point was obviously the red card for Nick, who made a positive decision to come for the ball, but got his timing slightly off.
“He was back-pedalling into the box when the attacker tried to lob him and he made the save. The linesman felt he was outside the area, although it was very tight.
“Even then we felt there were a couple of covering defenders in the box, but the referee has decided that it was denying a goalscoring opportunity.
“We were already 1-0 down at that point after conceding what was a poor goal from our point of view.
“Jack was thrust into the action and he almost immediately made a fantastic save before acquitting himself well for the rest of the contest.
“From a development point of view it was a useful experience for our lads to take on a decent team with only 10 men.
“We didn’t want them to use that as an excuse to go into their shells, so it was pleasing to see that we dug in and created chances.
“There was a shot that hit the post and plenty of dangerous set-pieces, but we unfortunately couldn’t get on the end of any of them.
“Of course, when you’re chasing a game you always run the risk of being caught out at the other end and Bournemouth were able to score a second – even if there was a clear foul on our player.
“We kept going, though, and I thought that the application and desire we showed throughout the game was excellent.”
Pompey: Hall; Chandler (Smith 69), Saidy, Wakley (Casey 69), McDowell; Read (Collins 27), Widdrington (c), Scutt, Bedford; Mayes, Bradbury