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Academy Win At Bristol Rovers

Maloney hits treble in Youth Alliance League victory

17 November 2018

Leon Maloney in action for Pompey Academy
Photo: Keith Woodland

Leon Maloney (pictured) hit a hat-trick as Pompey Academy secured a 4-2 victory over Bristol Rovers at Lodge Road.

He broke the deadlock before the break, burying the ball into the net after Alfie Stanley played a neat one-two with Stan Bridgman to tee him up.

Zain Walker equalised for the hosts early in the second half, only for Maloney to drive into the box and smash home his second of the afternoon.

Again Rovers hit back, however, and Jamie Bremner’s deflected finish saw them draw level for a second time.

But the Blues kept battling, with Eoin Teggart and Liam Kelly combining well down the left to find Maloney, who cut the ball back for Oscar Johnston to score.

And Maloney made sure of the points late on by bending a free-kick into the top corner to complete his treble.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “We played some excellent football in open play and looked really creative throughout the game.

“Leon got a hat-trick, although we were caught out from a long ball for the first goal we conceded, while the second came from a corner.

"We played some excellent football in open play and looked really creative throughout the game."

Mark Kelly

“That’s been a real problem for us this season and we didn’t deal with the second phase, although there was nothing the keeper could do, as the ball ricocheted off a few players before going in.

“Overall, though, I was pleased with our mentality and we did look a lot more stable as a group compared to some of our recent matches.

“There were a few bits that we could have done better, but we were, as usual, extremely effective going forward.

“It’s a pleasing result at the start of a big week, with the FA Youth Cup tie at Cray on Wednesday. Lots of people are getting minutes at the moment and that’s what we want to see.”

Pompey: Pitman; Bruce (Kavanagh 55), Robb, Mnoga, Flint (Kelly 55); Read, Whiting (Teggart 55); Johnston, Bridgman, Maloney; Stanley

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