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Whatmough Returns As Reserves Draw At Plymouth

Hackett-Fairchild on target in Devon

14 January 2020

Jack Whatmough continued his injury comeback by playing in Pompey Reserves’ 1-1 Central League Cup draw at Plymouth.

The defender – who was on the bench for the first team at the weekend – wore the captain’s armband and came through the full 90 minutes.

Argyle took the lead in the first half through Klaidi Lolos, but the Blues struck back after the break and Reeco Hackett-Fairchild secured a share of the spoils.

The January signing and Whatmough led a youthful Pompey side at Home Park, with young professionals Haji Mnoga, Matt Casey and Harvey Rew also featuring.

It was the hosts who looked more threatening in the opening 45 minutes and Conor Grant’s long-range effort dipped narrowly over.

An offside flag then spared Hackett-Fairchild when he inadvertently turned Adam Randell’s delivery into his own net.

Taylor Seymour was also called into action between the sticks and made a smart save to deny Joel Grant.

Plymouth were left frustrated by another offside flag, while Leon Maloney could not convert a decent opportunity at the other end.

But it was the Devon side who forged ahead as the interval approached, as Lolos curled home a neat finish.

There was still time for the Blues to threaten an equaliser, as Mike Cooper made a fine double stop to keep out efforts from Josh Flint and Maloney.

Half Time: Plymouth 1 Pompey 0

The wet and windy conditions made life extremely difficult for both sides once the action got back underway.

Seymour did well to stop the visitors falling further behind after Randell back-heeled Ryan Law’s cross towards the net.

But Pompey were looking a lot stronger and got themselves back on level terms just before the hour mark.

Flint found space on the right and sent a low ball into the box that was converted by the onrushing HACKETT-FAIRCHILD.

The visitors then set about trying to find a second goal and finished the group stage contest on the attack.

A long ball up the pitch was collected by Maloney, who got in behind the Pilgrims defence, but could not beat Cooper.

And the young keeper came to Plymouth’s rescue once more late on, keeping out Flint’s close-range poked attempt.

Academy manager Mark Kelly said: “We had five or six clear-cut chances and played with some good patterns in difficult conditions in the second half.

"That meant it was always going to be difficult to perform the way we wanted to, but we tried to remain disciplined.

“I think we had enough to win comfortably, but players got important minutes, so it was a useful exercise."

Pompey: Seymour; Mnoga, Casey, Whatmough (c), Rew; Bridgman (Robb 88), Storey (Brook 67); Teggart, Flint, Maloney; Hackett-Fairchild
Subs not used: Kelly, Lee, Anderson

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