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Battling Academy See Off Cherries

Lethbridge, Maloney and Smith on target

15 November 2017

Pompey Academy in action against Bournemouth

Pompey Academy battled to a deserved 3-2 victory over Bournemouth at Copnor Road.

But they had to it the hard way by twice coming from behind, with goals from Bradley Lethbridge, Leon Maloney and Dan Smith securing the points.

The visitors took the lead after just five minutes when Ash Pope’s effort caught a deflection to beat Jack Collins.

Having controlled most of the early stages, though, it came as no surprise when the scores were soon brought level.

A fine ball from Smith found Lethbridge wide on the right and the striker cut inside before his shot also took a deflection on its way into the net.

And Pompey almost took the lead just before the break when Oscar Johnston’s cross was fired against the crossbar by Jack Chandler.

But they were left fighting an uphill battle following a slow start to the second half and a snap-shot from Pope sailed over Collins.

Again the hosts fought back, with Lethbridge and Johnston both going close before Maloney took advantage of some sloppy defending, stealing possession from Brennan Camp to race through and plant the ball home.

They then went ahead for the first time in the contest when good build-up play from Matt Mayes and Johnston provided an opportunity for Smith to calmly finish.

Bournemouth applied plenty of late pressure in the hunt for an equaliser, but the Blues held on to secure victory.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “Apart from the start to each half, I thought we were generally in control throughout the 90 minutes and got the job done in the end.”

Pompey: Collins; Brooks, Dandy, Hancott; Chandler (Whiting 49), Read, Maloney, Smith, Johnston (Casey 84); Lethbridge (Flint 70), Mayes (c)

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