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Late Heartache For Young Blues

Academy beaten 3-2 by Plymouth

18 November 2023

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Koby Mottoh
Photos: Jason Brown/Pro Sports Images

Pompey Academy snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after conceding two late goals against Plymouth.

A long-range Koby Mottoh (pictured) strike gave the hosts an interval lead at Furze Lane, with the same player then being teed-up by Harry Clout to double the advantage.

But Joe Hatch reduced the Pilgrims’ deficit before Jensen Ireland and Tegan Finn both struck at the death to leave the Blues with nothing to show for an otherwise fine display.

Lead professional development phase coach Sam Hudson said: “We played really well for a lot of the game and it was an incredibly strong team performance.

“The opening 15 minutes if one of the best periods I’ve seen in my time at the club – it was dominant in all areas against good opposition.

“We were just missing a goal, but Koby then cut inside and put the ball in the top corner with his left foot. It was a lovely individual strike.

“We’d worked on that with him on Friday and so to take that instantly into a game was particularly pleasing.

“Plymouth had a decent spell late in the half, but didn’t really look like scoring. Our duelling and pressing were excellent.

“Zac Whitelock unfortunately had to go off injured just before the break, so we didn’t really have a centre-forward.

"You can hold your hands up if you haven’t performed to the right level, although on this occasion we were outstanding at times."

Sam Hudson

“But Harry put a delicate ball in behind for Koby to head over the keeper. They were both playing out of position, but combining well.

“We conceded cheaply from a free-kick almost straight away, though, and that swung the momentum back in Plymouth’s favour.

“They then scored again from a corner and, after playing well for 80 minutes, it was so disappointing to be level again because of a couple of set-pieces.

“So it summed things up when a couple of our guys get in each other’s way a bit, there’s a bobbling ball and it lands nicely for their guy to score with the last kick of the game.

“Plymouth had three proper moments in our box and were very clinical to take them to end up with all three points.

“It’s been a bit of a feature for us that we’ve played well, but not come away with the result. Learning to win is just as important as anything else.

“You can hold your hands up if you haven’t performed to the right level, although on this occasion we were outstanding at times.

“It’s a tough one to take, but we’ve got a cup game a Baffins on Tuesday night and the lads need to dust themselves down quickly.”

Pompey: Smith; Quarm, Buckland, Fox, Laidlaw; Aston; Murray, Staight; Keteku; Mottoh, Whitelock (Clout 45)

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