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Match Reports

Poole 3 Pompey 6

11 July 2017

Two goals apiece for Close, Main and Kabamba

Pompey continued their winning start to pre-season – but they did not have it all their own way against Poole at the Black Gold Stadium.

The non-league hosts roared into a two-goal lead before the Blues woke up and started to take control.

Ben Close, Curtis Main and Nicke Kabamba all bagged a brace, in an entertaining – and extremely wet – contest.

It was billed as a ‘Pompey XI’ fixture, but goalkeeper Jack Collins was the only academy player named in the starting line-up.

There was a wide range of experience on show, however, with first-year pro Theo Widdrington at the back and Gary Roberts skippering the side.

It certainly did not feel like a pre-season encounter, with the heat and sunshine of the past few days making way for steady rain throughout.

Perhaps that affected the spirit of the visitors, who found themselves two goals down inside the opening seven minutes.

First Luke Burbidge squared the ball for Olli Balmer to slot home for the National League South hosts.

And Balmer soon returned the favour, as he teed-up Burbidge to double Poole’s advantage and leave the visitors stunned.

Pompey soon got their act together, though, and Roberts curled a free-kick narrowly wide after Main had been felled 25 yards out.

The deficit was reduced on 15 minutes, as Close lifted a clever pass over the top for KABAMBA to latch onto and coolly finish.

Milan Lalkovic then drew a smart stop from Dolphins stopper Nick Hutchings, who is also the Blues’ academy goalkeeping coach.

But the equaliser did arrive on the half-hour mark, with Lalkovic tricking his way inside from the left and cutting back for CLOSE to arrow into the bottom corner.

It was the hosts who finished the half stronger, however, and Tony Lee sent an angled effort narrowly over.

And he should really have scored just before the break, clearing the crossbar from close range after being gifted the ball by Matt Neale.

Half Time: Poole 2 Pompey 2

Pompey almost forged ahead for the first time in the game early in the second half following a misjudgement from Hutchings.

Jamal Lowe turned smartly and lobbed the ball towards goal, but it was headed from the line by a well-placed defender.

Substitute Jez Bedford then surged half the length of the pitch, although his pass was just behind Main and the striker’s awkward shot was saved.

They did take the lead just before the hour mark, though, as Roberts slipped a pass through to MAIN, who neatly swivelled and slotted home.

That sparked a hectic period when three goals were scored in five minutes, as Poole drew level before Pompey pulled clear.

First Luke Roberts managed to cut inside from the right and slot the ball under the diving Collins to make it 3-3.

But the Blues were almost immediately back in front, with CLOSE grabbing his second of the evening with a crashing finish into the top corner.

MAIN then also secured his brace from the penalty spot after Lowe had been brought down in the box by Harvey Wright.

And the goal-fest was completed just before the end, as Lalkovic found KABAMBA to notch Pompey’s sixth and wrap up a hectic contest.

Poole (4-4-2): Hutchings; Moore, Cooper, Spetch (c), Smeeton; Burbidge, Richardson, Pettefer, Neale; Lee, Balmer
Goals: Balmer 4, Burbidge 7, Roberts 65
Subs: Rees, Lindsay, Sanchese, Whisken, Leslie-Smith, Devlin, Ismajli, White, Roberts, Mitchell, Herrington, Wright, Davis

Pompey (4-4-2): Collins; Talbot, Whatmough, Widdrington, Haunstrup (Bedford 46); Lowe, Close (Hancott 77), Roberts (c), Lalkovic; Kabamba, Main
Goals: Kabamba 15, 89, Close 30, 68, Main 59, 70 (pen)
Subs not used: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mayes

Referee: Gary Parsons

Attendance: 407

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