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Academy

Penalty Joy For Young Blues

Academy reach Youth Alliance Cup southern final

4 December 2023

Bastian Smith
Academy

Penalty Joy For Young Blues

Academy reach Youth Alliance Cup southern final

4 December 2023

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Bastian Smith was the shoot-out hero as Pompey Academy battled from behind against Swindon to reach the southern final of the Youth Alliance Cup.

After the south coast contest had finished 2-2, the keeper saved two penalties to secure a 4-2 victory.

Koby Mottoh struck from the spot to cancel out Jaxon Brown’s opener, only for Miles Obodo’s centre to then be deflected into the net off a Blues defender.

The hosts did not give up, though, and levelled deep into stoppage-time when Connor May and Luke Staight combined and Harry Clout crossed for Mottoh to score.

Mitch Aston, Harvey Laidlaw, Clout and Mottoh all converted their penalties, with Smith (pictured) making two fine stops from Robins players to send Pompey through.

Lead professional development phase coach Sam Hudson said: “We started the game well and created a good amount of chances throughout – we were just missing that final touch.

“We were dominant in the first two-thirds of the pitch and needed to be a bit more clinical, but weren’t really troubled before the break.

“Swindon then took the lead with their first shot on target, which has happened a few times for us this season.

"It was pleasing that rather than lumping the ball forward and relying on luck, we instead levelled through quality and composure."

Sam Hudson

“We kept plugging away and got the equaliser, only to concede again because of not dealing with a basic ball and making some individual errors.

“The lads kept going, though, and we felt that with the way we were playing, we deserved at least an equaliser.

“Our opponents had only eight penalty box entries during the entire game, while we had 25 and three times as many attempts on target.

“It was a stop-start contest, so there was a lot of time added on and Swindon naturally tried to slow things down and disrupt our rhythm.

“But we maintained our focus and equalised again with a really good team goal – one of our best of the season.

“It was pleasing that rather than lumping the ball forward and relying on luck, we instead levelled through quality and composure.

“When we do that, we get the rewards we deserve. It was another cup tie where we’ve come from behind and Bastian did well to save two and send us through.”

Pompey: Smith; Quarm, Bosaka, Fox, Laidlaw; Aston, Murray; Mottoh, Clout, Keteku (Staight 68); May


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