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Academy Draw With Bournemouth

Rew and Stanley on target for young Blues

12 November 2018

Alfie Stanley
Photo: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy twice battled from behind to secure a 2-2 draw with Bournemouth at Copnor Road.

The visitors took the lead after just two minutes when Brennan Camp was left unmarked to head home a Tom Hanfrey corner.

They came close to extending their advantage, but an effort from Connor Kurran-Browne was cleared from the line.

Pompey looked much brighter after the break and Harvey Rew glanced a Freddie Read free-kick into the net to draw them level.

But the Cherries were soon back in front, as Camp was again left alone inside the box to convert a Hanfrey corner.

Alfie Stanley (pictured) cancelled that out, however, when he collected the ball from Leon Maloney and found the net with a deflected finish.

And the Blues had chances to claim all three points, with Oscar Johnston clipping the top of the crossbar and Read having a shot saved by Cameron Plain.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “We were off the pace a little bit in the first half, although it was a fairly open contest and there were chances at both ends.

“But Bournemouth were a big, strong team and we were undone by a set-piece again, which meant we went in behind at the break.

"You don’t get praised for winning leagues at this level – it’s about developing players."

Mark Kelly

“It was a lot more vibrant for us in the second half and we were able to keep the ball moving well. We took control.

“We got level through a well-worked free-kick and the ball was sent into a dangerous area, with Harvey getting a good touch.

“Then we fell behind from another set-piece, although we’re playing some under-16s, so knew we would be giving a bit away in terms of pace and power.

“Out in open play, though, we were really impressive and Alfie deservedly got us level for a second time.

“It was like the Alamo in the final 15 minutes – there were chances cleared off the line and we probably should have finished things off.

“We want to be able to deal with balls into the box a bit better, but there are things I can accept and we’ve got more experienced players out on loan at the moment.

“So it’s all about giving people opportunities. You don’t get praised for winning leagues at this level – it’s about developing players.

“If it gives some of our younger lads the chance to step up and play then that’s great. They’ll learn the physical side of things as they grow.

“We lost 7-0 at Bournemouth earlier this season, but we were actually disappointed with the draw this time around because the possession we had probably should have led to a victory.”

Pompey: Pitman; Bruce (Flint 62), Robb, Rew, Kavanagh; Read, Whiting; Maloney, Bridgman, Johnston; Stanley (Kerton 65)

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