Pompey beaten by Dagenham
Pompey Academy exited the Youth Alliance Cup with a 4-3 second round defeat to Dagenham at Furze Lane.
Mikey Harris handed an opportunity to several under-16 players, but the hosts found themselves three goals down inside the opening 30 minutes.
They did reduce the deficit before the interval when Dan Smith’s shot was parried clear and Sam Woodward (pictured) converted the loose ball.
Their hopes were dashed early in the second half, though, with Dagenham stealing possession to score a fourth.
The Blues did not give in and a long throw from Kyle McDowell was headed home by Harvey Bradbury.
Woodward then grabbed his second of the game following good build-up from skipper Jez Bedford and Smith, but Pompey were unable to find an equaliser.
Academy coach Harris said: “We couldn’t have got off to a worse start and conceded some very disappointing goals.
“There was a lifeline when Sam was in the right place to pull one back and we made four changes at the break because we wanted to have a right go.
“The substitutes had a positive effect on the game, but unfortunately we got caught in possession and Dagenham scored again.
“That was a killer blow, but we kept going and got two goals to find ourselves in with a shout again.
“We threw the kitchen sink at them and had chances, but weren’t quite able to take the tie to penalties.
“Because we’d committed so many players forward, there were chances for our opponents on the break and Jack Collins made some key saves.
“Credit must go to Dagenham and we wish them well in the next stage, but we have to be better defensively.
“A lot of the younger lads came into the team because we have to give everyone opportunities and they will understand the challenges of stepping up to under-18 level.”
Pompey: Collins; Brooks (Chandler 46), Casey (Wakley 46), Saidy, Hancott (McDowell 46); Read, Bedford, Scutt (Bradbury 46), Smith; Mayes, Woodward
Sub not used: Hall