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Academy Draw With Stevenage

Maloney on target as young Blues pick up a point

23 April 2018

Pompey Academy

Leon Maloney scored late on as Pompey Academy battled from a behind to secure a 1-1 draw with Stevenage at Copnor Road.

Both sides had chances to break the deadlock in an even first half, but it remained all square as they went in for the interval.

The Blues began to dominate after the break, only for Joe Leslie to fire home from the edge of the box following a quick break from the visitors.

An equaliser arrived with just nine minutes remaining, however, when Maloney (pictured) converted Josh Flint’s delivery.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “It was a really good game of football. Stevenage had plenty of pace and power, but also a few creative players.

“It was a useful challenge for us because you’re usually up against teams with one or the other of those, rather than both.

“We weren’t tight enough in the first half and gave our opponents too much space in certain areas, but had a few decent chances.

"It was a great learning experience for us because there was a lot for our players to overcome."

Mark Kelly

“I’d probably say that Stevenage edged it, though, and we told the boys that we had to shift the ball a bit quicker.

“They responded to that and we took control of the game, although didn’t take the opportunities that came our way and then fell behind.

“We should have defended the edge of the box better and it was disappointing to concede at a stage when it was all us going forward.

“Once we got back level, however, we the only team pushing and Joe Dandy should have scored a close range header, while Matt Mayes hit the bar and Dan Smith put a couple wide.

“Overall, it was a great learning experience for us because there was a lot for our players to overcome and it’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t finish the game off.”

Pompey: Tombs; Dandy, Casey, Hancott; Maloney, Brooks (Whiting 72), Read, Flint; Smith, Mayes (Stanley 72), Lethbridge (Johnston 61)
Sub not used: Robb

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