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Academy Hit Newport For Six

Maloney scores treble in convincing victory

7 October 2017

Pompey Academy

Leon Maloney hit a hat-trick as Pompey Academy roared back to winning ways with a 6-2 victory over Newport at Furze Lane.

They took an early lead when Matt Mayes’ effort was parried by keeper Callum Brain and Maloney (pictured) slotted home the loose ball.

But Tom Savigar almost immediately levelled from the penalty spot after Joe Dandy had brought down Owara Edwards in the box.

An impressive solo effort from Maloney then restored the hosts’ lead before the break, as he drove forward and found the net with a fierce strike.

Dan Smith was one of four players brought on at the start of the second half and he added a third for Pompey when Oscar Johnston’s shot was parried into his path.

And it was fellow substitute Bradley Lethbridge who grabbed the fourth with a first time finish into the bottom corner.

Tom Hillman reduced County’s deficit, only for Maloney to complete his treble from the spot after being brought down by Brain.

And Lethbridge wrapped up a resounding win late on when he was teed-up by James Whiting and hit a shot that went in off the post.

Lead professional development phase coach Mikey Harris said: “It was a solid display from our point of view – as the scoreline probably suggests.

"We have plenty of goals in our forward players and it’s just about finding the net on a more consistent basis."

Mikey Harris

“It’s similar to how we have performed in recent weeks, but the big difference on this occasion was how clinical we were in front of goal.

“We’ve been working on playing Leon in a more advanced position and that clearly worked, as he responded by grabbing a hat-trick.

“He and Matt were a constant menace during the first half and then Bradley came on and scored two after the break.

“It just shows that we have plenty of goals in our forward players and it’s just about finding the net on a more consistent basis.

“I was pleased with the overall team performance and there was a lot of togetherness and mental strength from us.

“Hopefully it will give them a lot of confidence, especially as some will be used in the under-23 match against Everton on Monday night.”

Pompey: Collins (Birchnall 78); Kavanagh, Casey (Mnoga 46), Dandy, Hancott; Chandler (Johnston 46), Read (Smith 46), Whiting, Flint; Maloney, Mayes (c) (Lethbridge 46)

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