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15 January 2017

Academy fight back to beat Newport

Pompey Academy recovered from a run of three successive defeats to win 2-1 at Newport.

The result boosts their hopes of finishing in the top half of the Youth Alliance League and competing in Merit League One during the second half of the season.

But the Blues had to battle from behind against their Welsh hosts, who took the lead from the penalty spot following a foul by Jordan Brooks.

They drew level early in the second half when Kyle McDowell teed-up Harvey Bradbury to curl home from long-range.

And the turnaround was complete on 53 minutes, as Dan Smith (pictured) latched onto Brooks’ incisive pass and calmly slotted the ball into the net.

Pompey had to dig deep to keep hold of the points, however, with Nick Hall making a fine save and Newport having a late goal disallowed.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We dominated the ball in the first half, but let ourselves down with our quality in the final third.

“That’s why we went in behind at the break, so we spoke to the lads about the need for more patience and composure.

“And that’s exactly what we showed just after the break, creating two chances and taking both of them.

“The only disappointing thing was that we had more opportunities and the win should really have been more comfortable.

“That ensured we had to endure a nervy last 15 minutes, but it provided a new challenge for the boys.

“We had to be strong defensively and I’m pleased that we were able to do what we couldn’t manage at Cheltenham the previous week.

“Credit to Nick, who made an incredible save, despite having not had much to do beforehand. Jack Chandler also made a brave clearance at the far post, taking a whack and having to go off.

“There were lots of positive aspects for us, but now it’s about bringing all of that together for the full 90 minutes.”

Pompey: Hall; Smith, Saidy, Wakley (c), McDowell (Chandler 65 (Lethbridge 90)); Brooks (Whiting 84); Widdrington, Scutt; Bedford; Woodward (Mayes 56), Bradbury
Sub not used: Collins

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