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Academy

Cray 0 Pompey Academy 4

Liverpool up next in FA Youth Cup for young Blues

21 November 2018

Pompey celebrate scoring at Cray in the FA Youth Cup
Photo: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy eased into the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a 4-0 victory over Cray at Hayes Lane.

They got the job done on a freezing evening in Bromley to set-up a mouth-watering away tie with Liverpool.

Bradley Lethbridge took advantage of a goalkeeping howler to open the scoring, while Leon Maloney doubled the lead from the penalty spot.

James Whiting secured safe passage for Mark Kelly’s side after the break, with the Blues surviving some late pressure from Wanderers before Oscar Johnston wrapped things up.

The hosts were first threaten when Kwame Poku was sent clear, but Haji Mnoga was quickly across to calmly shepherd the ball out of play.

Pompey soon took control of proceedings, however, and dominated possession without managing to create many clear-cut chances in the opening stages.

Not that it mattered, as they were given a helping hand by Tiwa Fujamade to break the deadlock on 11 minutes.

Maloney’s shot did take a deflection, but the keeper should still have stopped the ball from slipping through his fingers, allowing LETHBRIDGE to slot home from close range.

Leon Pitman was more assured at the other end, diving on a dangerous delivery across the box by Poku.

Cray made a hash of clearing Josh Flint’s corner at the other end, but the otherwise impressive Mnoga headed well wide.

Stan Bridgman then came close to doubling the hosts’ advantage, only to see his angled drive cleared from the line by Adam Bambofree.

It mattered not, though, as Maloney picked up the loose ball and was promptly fouled in the box by Joe Barber.

MALONEY picked himself up to take the spot-kick and sent his shot into the bottom corner, despite Fujamade diving the right way.

Cray almost reduced their deficit soon after when Bambofree met a corner and sent a header looping just over the bar.

It was the Blues that finished the half on top, however, and when Fujamade spilled the ball again, Bridgman’s effort was deflected safely back into his arms.

Lethbridge then did brilliantly to beat Frankie Morgan to a long clearance, but found himself all alone and drilled narrowly past the post from an acute angle.

And Bridgman showed some superb close control in the area, beating two opponents before eventually being crowded out.

Half Time: Cray 0 Pompey 2

Pompey began the second half as they had ended the first – in complete control and looking to attack.

Bridgman sent one attempt just past the post, while an unmarked Lethbridge was unable to turn Harry Kavanagh’s cross on target.

A third goal did arrive on 55 minutes, however, as the ball fell for WHITING on the edge of the box and he swivelled neatly before firing home.

Kelly made a double switch on the hour mark, with Bridgman and Maloney making way for Eoin Teggart and Alfie Stanley.

Still the chances kept coming for the visitors, with Johnston and Stanley both sending the ball just wide.

But Cray – to their credit – kept fighting and both sides had opportunities to add to the scoring in the closing stages.

Cameron Grant glanced a header inches past the post for the hosts, while Lethbridge was unable to beat Fujamade from an acute angle at the other end.

Wanderers then had three excellent chances to get on the scoresheet themselves in the space of just a few seconds.

Pitman had made a mess of a cross to concede a corner, only to redeem himself with a superb save from point-blank range to deny Deshon Carty.

The ball fell to David Showemimo on the edge of the box and his fierce strike rattled against the crossbar.

Still the danger was not over, though, and Pitman was on top form again, diving to his right to keep out Ronnie Payne’s drive.

But it was the Blues that had the final say and JOHNSTON found the net from a tight angle after combining well with Stanley.

Cray (4-1-4-1): Fujamade; Bambofree (Showemimo 69), Barber, Hullet, Morgan; Garvey-Williams (c); Spencer, Lewis (Grant 46), Poku, Payne; Daye (Carty 46)
Sub not used: Gyabi Junior

Pompey (4-2-3-1): Pitman; Kavanagh, Robb (Kelly 75), Mnoga, Flint; Whiting, Read (c); Maloney (Stanley 60), Bridgman (Teggart 60), Johnston; Lethbridge
Goals: Lethbridge 11, Maloney 29 (pen), Whiting 55, Johnston 87
Subs not used: Ridley, Bruce

Referee: Ivan Gelov

Attendance: 270


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