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Academy

Kelly: Our Quality Shone Through

But academy boss looking for more solidity after cup win

24 October 2018

Pompey Academy
Photo: Jordan Hampton

Pompey Academy have certainly not struggled to find the target this season – and they were at it again to progress in the FA Youth Cup.

A Bristol Rovers side who they had already beaten 6-2 in the league were swept aside by the Blues’ attacking prowess at Fratton Park.

Bradley Lethbridge bagged a brace in the 5-2 first round victory, with Leon Maloney, Haji Mnoga and Alfie Stanley also on target.

And while Mark Kelly was pleased with their ruthless edge, he wants to see more solidity from his side.

Pompey’s academy manager said: “The first half was very open and we were free-flowing, with good movement and quality to get around the back.

“We scored some nice goals, but also conceded a couple when we were in control of the game. It was down to mistakes in silly areas.

"The one thing we haven’t lacked this season is the ability to score goals and now it’s about finding more solid performances."

Mark Kelly

“At half-time we knew we had to be more compact and if we did that we would go on to score more goals – and that’s exactly what happened.

“There were some really good ones that we managed to get and with our pace and mobility, we were able to hurt them.

“The one thing we haven’t lacked this season is the ability to score goals and now it’s about finding more solid performances.

“It was hard work and Bristol Rovers certainly pushed us, but once you match them for effort, then technique and quality comes into play.”

Kelly is now hoping that the second round draw will hand his under-18 troops another Fratton fixture.

He said: “You always want a home tie and we’ll have to see what we get. We’ve got a good group here when they’re all together.

“But we’ve also had lads like Brad out on loan at Bognor, which is important for their development and it’s done him the world of good.”


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