Late goals not enough for Blues
Pompey Academy could not quite complete an epic fightback, as they lost a seven-goal thriller at Northampton.
The visitors found themselves four down by the hour mark, only to stage a revival and come close to snatching a point.
Lewis Irwin bagged a hat-trick, while Josh McCammon was also on target, as the Cobblers appeared to be cruising to victory.
But a fine delivery from Sam Woodward was volleyed home by Jack Chandler to reduce the deficit on 65 minutes.
And they grabbed another goal moments later when Woodward’s corner was converted by the head of Theo Widdrington (pictured).
Harvey Bradbury then also had the ball in the back of the net, only for it to be ruled out by the linesman’s flag.
Tommy Scutt did score from the penalty spot in stoppage-time following a foul on Ousman Saidy, but there was not enough time for the Blues to find another.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “We saw the best and worst of our players over the course of the 90 minutes.
“We started very poorly and although we weren’t too bad with the ball, our defending was not good enough – it’s as simple as that.
“You have to give Northampton credit because they put us under pressure, played with energy and looked extremely vibrant.
“But despite working hard, we just crumbled and two of the goals we conceded were down to individual errors.
“We were three down at the break and looked to regroup, only to then let in a fourth. But from that point on, it was all Pompey.
“We were able to get it back to 4-3 and had a great chance to snatch a point with the last kick of the game – Harvey will be disappointed that he didn’t score.
“But when you start as bad as we did and are trailing by four goals, then you don’t really deserve to get anything from the game.
“It’s a word I constantly use and I make no apologies for that, but consistency is key if you want to progress as a footballer.
“You can’t just be outstanding for 30 minutes like we were – you have to be able to perform for the full 90. On this occasion it was simply too little, too late.”
Pompey: Hall; Saidy, Wakley (c), Casey; Chandler, Scutt, Widdrington, Bedford, Brooks (Read 87); Woodward, Bradbury
Subs not used: Collins, Flint, Lethbridge, Dandy