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7 May 2017

Mayes and Smith on target

Pompey Academy twice fought from behind to end the Merit League season with a 2-2 draw against Barnet at Furze Lane.

The visitors took an early lead when a ball into the Blues box failed to be dealt with and was swept into the net.

But Pompey capitalised on some confusion in the opposition defence to grab an equaliser just before the break.

Barnet’s players stopped expecting a handball decision to be awarded, but an alert Jack Chandler played a pass through for Matt Mayes (pictured) to slot home.

The game swung back in favour of the Bees early in the second half, however, as Joe Dandy conceded a penalty that was converted.

And Jack Collins ensured the hosts did not fall further behind by getting down well to make a superb save.

That allowed Pompey to snatch another leveller, with Dan Smith forcing home after Jez Bedford’s cross led to some pinball in the box.

Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “I don’t think we did enough to win the game, but we certainly didn’t deserve to lose it either.

“It was an open, entertaining contest on a pitch that wasn’t great and a draw was probably the fair result.

“We scored two good goals which was pleasing, but we conceded twice and that obviously wasn’t so pleasing.

“The boys will be in on Monday for a debrief and they’ll have fitness programmes to work on over the summer.

“However, it’s also important that they get some rest – physically and mentally – ahead of next season.

“But it’s going to be a great summer for everyone at the club after a fantastic achievement for the first team.

“From myself, Mark Kelly and all of us at the academy, massive congratulations to the gaffer and the lads on winning the League Two title.”

Pompey: Collins; Chandler, Dandy, Casey, Hancott; Brooks (Flint 77), Widdrington; Smith, Mayes, Bedford (c); Lethbridge
Subs not used: Pitman, Stanley, Flint, Johnston

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