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Academy Draw At Bournemouth

Blues pick up a point in Merit League opener

23 February 2020

Liam Kelly

Pompey Academy got their Merit League One campaign started with a goalless draw against Bournemouth at Canford Arena.

The blustery conditions in Dorset were not particularly conducive to free-flowing football, but the Blues more than held their own against the Youth Alliance League South-West champions.

There were chances for the visitors to snatch all three points and a long-range effort from Liam Kelly (pictured) was tipped over the bar by Billy Terrell.

Haji Mnoga’s header was then cleared off the line by Nathan Moriah-Welsh, while Terrell saved at the feet of Eoin Teggart.

Bournemouth’s best opportunity came when a fierce drive from Euan Pollock was bravely blocked by Ethan Robb.

Pompey won a succession of corners in the second half, but could not force a way through and Harrison Brook’s late effort was superbly kept out by Terrell.

Professional development phase coach Liam Daish said: “The boys organised themselves well and we looked incredibly disciplined out of possession.

"There were a few occasions when we went through one-on-one with their keeper, who ultimately kept them in the game."

Liam Daish

“We asked them to concentrate on their roles and responsibilities against one of the best sides that we’ve faced this season – and that’s exactly what they did.

“As the game progressed, we grew in confidence and over the course of 90 minutes, created more – and better – opportunities than our opponents.

“There were a few occasions when we went through one-on-one with their keeper, who ultimately kept them in the game.

“The conditions did make life difficult for both sides. It was wet and windy, although certainly not farcical. We adapted to that and just got on with it.

“Bournemouth did cause us some problems in wide areas and you expect that from a side of their quality, but we handled it well.

“Our defending was strong throughout and we opened them up numerous times, so the only frustrating thing was that we couldn’t find a goal.”

Pompey: Seymour; Mnoga, Robb, Kelly (Bruce 69), Rew; Storey, Bell; Teggart (Anderson 75), Jewitt-White (Lee 64), Brook; Stanley

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