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Academy

Academy Beaten By Forest Green

Maloney goal not enough for young Blues

22 October 2017

Pompey Academy's Leon Maloney

Leon Maloney’s goal was not enough to prevent Pompey Academy from suffering a 2-1 defeat to Forest Green at a blustery Furze Lane.

They started brightly, but fell behind midway through the first half when Matt Casey inadvertently turned the ball into his own net.

The hosts pushed forward in search of a leveller, with Freddie Read and Maloney firing efforts narrowly off target.

But the Blues did score after the interval, as Maloney (pictured) converted a dangerous delivery from the left by Joe Hancott.

It was Rovers who secured the points, however, when Jack Collins failed to hold the ball following a fine save and Will Davidson took advantage.

Lead professional development phase coach Mikey Harris said: “Like every other game in the country on Saturday, the conditions were pretty horrendous.

“The wind made it difficult for both sides to find any kind of flow, but although it was against us in the first half, we still played some nice stuff on the ground.

"The boys have highlighted themselves that they don’t always recover well enough when things go against them."

Mikey Harris

“We created chances that we were unfortunately unable to take and that seemed to affect us, as we conceded a disappointing goal to trail at the break.

“It wasn’t the worst position to find ourselves in, though, and I was confident that we could go out for the second half and turn things around.

“The boys have highlighted themselves that they don’t always recover well enough when things go against them, so they need to get to grips with that.

“But we did level when Joe sent the ball in, with Leon and Bradley Lethbridge both going for it. I think Leon got the final touch, but will let them fight about that.

“I felt for Jack because he made a superb save from point-blank range and just couldn’t gather the loose ball. It’s difficult to criticise him.

“From that point on we needed someone to take charge of the situation and it didn’t happen. The lads know their weaknesses and what we need to work on.”

Pompey were without their top scorer Matt Mayes, who has joined National League South side Poole on loan.

Harris said: “It’s a great opportunity for him. Jez Bedford has played a lot there and you can see how it’s benefitted him when he comes back to train with us.

“Matt has a good record at youth team level, so now he will be able to test himself in a first team environment.”

There was better news for Pompey’s under-16 side, who triumphed 1-0 in a friendly at Chelsea.

Pompey: Collins; Dandy, Brooks, Casey, Hancott; Chandler, Read, Smith (c), Johnston (Whiting 72); Maloney, Lethbridge (Flint 72)
Sub not used: Birchnall


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