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ACADEMY SUFFER DONS DEFEAT

2 April 2017

Mayes goal not enough for Blues

Pompey Academy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after conceding two late goals at AFC Wimbledon in Merit League Two.

The visitors broke the deadlock before the break when Matt Casey scooped Sam Woodward’s pass into the path of Matt Mayes (pictured), who slotted home from close range.

Dan Smith then had a chance to double the advantage just past the hour mark, but his header was turned narrowly past the post.

And fellow substitute Bradley Lethbridge was later denied by the Dons keeper after being sent through on goal.

The Blues were made to pay for their profligacy late on, as Valentino Carpene and Paul Kalambayi both netted in the final seconds to turn the match on its head.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “It’s always going to be disappointing when you’re leading 1-0 after 87 minutes and go on to lose the game.

“We played some good stuff at times and our decision making was pretty good for the majority of the contest.

“There were threats from Wimbledon that we dealt with, while we also caused problems at the other end of the pitch.

“We took the lead and had chances to extend it. If we’d have taken one of them then the outcome would likely have been different.

“But our opponents had nothing to lose and chucked a centre-back up front, putting us under a lot of pressure.

“We ultimately weren’t able to withstand that and the equaliser really knocked the stuffing out of us. 

“Wimbledon carried on pushing forward and they got the winner, so we have to give them plenty of credit.

“But it’s a massive learning curve for our lads – they have to be able to sense that the game is changing and adapt their mindset accordingly.”

Pompey: Hall; Casey, Wakley (c), Dandy; Chandler (Johnston 85), Scutt, Read, Bedford (Smith 46), McDowell; Woodward, Mayes (Lethbridge 77)
Subs not used: Collins, Flint

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