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Academy Hit Forest Green For Six

Pompey secure Merit League victory

6 August 2023

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Harry Clout
Photo: Colin Farmery

Pompey Academy fought from three goals down to win 6-3 at Forest Green in an incredible opening to the new Youth Alliance League campaign.

Trailing 2-0 at the break and then conceding again shortly after the interval, the hosts appeared on course for a comfortable victory.

But the Blues soon found themselves back on level terms, with a brace from Maxwell Hurst sandwiching Connor May’s finish.

Harry Clout (pictured) then fired them into the lead for the first time before Jack Fox converted a corner to provide a cushion.

And good work from Koby Mottoh on the right allowed Jayden Keteku to deliver a cross that was finished by Clout to wrap things up.

Lead professional development phase coach Sam Hudson said: “It was a bit of a crazy game to welcome us back and we found ourselves three goals down, despite having started the game well.

“But we didn’t get any rewards for that and missed a couple of clear-cut chances, then before you know it, we concede twice from set-pieces.

“We were then quite poor on the ball, whether that was in midfield or trying to play out from the back. We wouldn’t quite connect.

“At the break we spoke about the number of opportunities we were creating and that if we scored the next one, we backed them to turn things around.

"The floodgates opened after we got that first and we went from missing loads of chances to being incredibly clinical."

Sam Hudson

“So it was disappointing to then concede again and it was the first time in the game when we didn’t get our press right.

“The lads could quite easily have crumbled at the point, but we scored quickly and then didn’t look back from that point. We were totally ruthless.

“Michael and I made the point at half-time that we wanted one more runner to join the attack and that was Brian Quarm from the back more often than not.

“He complemented the 1v1 play of Koby on the right, who was fantastic right the way through the game.

“The floodgates opened after we got that first and we went from missing loads of chances to being incredibly clinical.

“We had 23 penalty area entries in the second half and Forest Green only went into our box once, which was for their goal.

“There were six scored by us in the space of about 40 minutes and if you include the chances we didn’t take in the first half, we could have hit double figures.

“It was also great to see Spencer Spurway back in action for the first time since recovering from different injuries.

“On the face of it, we’ve enjoyed a good start to the season, but there are things to work on for us going forward.”

Pompey: Smith; Quarm, Spurway (Bosaka 75), Fox; Mottoh, Staight (May 46), Murray (Keteku 46), Aston, Mullins (Howard 84); Clout, Hurst
Sub not used: Glover

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