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RESERVES WIN AT WOLVES

7 February 2017

Premier League Cup victory for Blues

Pompey Reserves moved closer to qualifying for the Premier League Cup knockout stages with a 4-2 win at Wolves.

The result moved the Blues into top spot in the Group D table ahead of their final fixture against Everton.

They recovered from falling behind early on, with efforts from Nicke Kabamba and Kal Naismith securing an interval advantage.

An own-goal increased Pompey’s lead further and although Wolves pulled one back, Dan Smith wrapped up the points late on.

It was the hosts who made the brighter start at Telford’s New Bucks Head and Liam O’Brien denied both Daniel Armstrong and Nicu Carnat in the opening stages.

But the keeper could not prevent Wolves from breaking the deadlock on 10 minutes, with Connor Ronan bending a 25-yard free-kick over the wall and into the bottom corner.

The Blues were not behind for long, however, and KABAMBA restored parity when he rose to head home Conor Chaplin’s cross.

They were starting to look increasingly dangerous as the first half progressed and forged ahead before the break.

Harry Burgoyne did brilliantly to deny NAISMITH, but the Scottish winger reacted quickly to tap the loose ball into an empty net.

Wolves tried to fight back and find a leveller, with Carnat and Armstrong both going close for the hosts.

Instead, Pompey increased their advantage early in the second half when Brandon Haunstrup’s cross was turned into his own net by Connor Johnson.

But they were not content to sit on a two-goal lead and Chaplin fired a shot narrowly wide just past the hour mark.

Wolves then ensured a tense finale, as substitute Donovan Wilson reduced the deficit with a drilled finish under O’Brien.

And the same player soon sent the ball flying agonisingly off target after Dan McKenna had laid it into his path on the edge of the box.

But substitute SMITH relieved the tension late on, collecting Chaplin’s pass and firing past Burgoyne to secure three points for Pompey.

Coach Mikey Harris said: “I’m very pleased with the lads – from the academy boys to the professionals, everyone put in a shift against a strong Wolves side.

“We had to respond to the disappointment of falling behind, but showed resilience and character to fight back.

“At half-time we spoke about the importance of the next goal and that if we got it, we could be confident about going on to win the game.

“That’s exactly what happened, although we made it a bit harder than it might have been by allowing Wolves to score their second.

“Thankfully Dan got a fourth for us and I was delighted that he made such a positive impression on his debut at this level.

“It was a thoroughly professional performance and the result gives us a great chance of qualifying from our group, which would be a fantastic achievement for this club.” 

Wolves: Burgoyne, Breslin, Johnson, Look, Borthwick-Jackson, Ronan (c) (Finnie 46), Gibbs-White, Carnat, Nazon (Wilson 46), Armstrong, Gladon (McKenna 60)
Subs not used: Upton, Delacoe

Pompey: O’Brien; Talbot, Whatmough (c), T.Davies, Haunstrup; Oxlade-Chamberlain (McDowell 88), Widdrington, Nasimith, Bedford (Smith 80); Kabamba, Chaplin
Sub not used: Hall

Referee: Simon Barrow

Attendance: 149

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