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Academy Draw With Forest Green

Johnston and Maloney on target for young Blues

25 November 2018

Oscar Johnston
Photo: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy stretched their unbeaten run to four games with a 2-2 draw against Forest Green at Copnor Road.

But the hosts would have been left feeling frustrated after letting a two-goal lead slip in the Youth Alliance League.

They broke the deadlock after just 14 minutes when Oscar Johnston (pictured) cut inside from the wing and bent a fine finish into the top corner.

Alfie Stanley then won the Blues a penalty following the interval, drawing a foul in the box after playing a neat one-two with Leon Maloney.

It was Maloney who picked himself up to take the spot-kick and coolly fired the ball into the net to double the advantage.

But Rovers struck twice in the space of just a couple of minutes to level the scores and ensure a frantic finale.

Pompey almost snatched a winner late on, but Josh Flint was denied by the keeper’s legs after racing through on goal.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “We started very brightly and took control early on. It was a clever finish from Oscar to give us the lead and we kept pressing.

“There were plenty more opportunities created and we should have had a penalty for a clear handball – everyone’s seen it except for the officials.

"We should really have won the game comfortably, but it’s come at the end of a hard week."

Mark Kelly

“But we were still dominating after the break, got the second goal and continued to send dangerous deliveries into the box.

“Forest Green pulled one back after we failed to stop a cross coming in and a slip at the back post then allowed them to equalise.

“We’ve suddenly gone from being on top to the scores being level, but we soon got our mindset right and went back on the attack.

“Josh had a chance when he was sent one-on-one, although he delayed his shot and then hit another effort wide with Alfie in a better position.

“We should really have won the game comfortably, but it’s come at the end of a hard week with only a couple of days for recovery, so I can’t be too disappointed.”

Pompey: Pitman; Kelly, Bruce, Mnoga, Hancott (Robb 65); Bridgman, Whiting; Maloney (Flint 65), Johnston, Teggart (Kavanagh 65); Stanley

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