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Academy

Academy Reach Cup Final

Young Blues strike in stoppage-time to see off Plymouth

28 January 2024

Pompey Academy
Academy

Academy Reach Cup Final

Young Blues strike in stoppage-time to see off Plymouth

28 January 2024

Pompey Academy battled from behind to win at Plymouth and reach the national final of the Youth Alliance Cup.

The hosts took the lead when Cole Gibbings was denied by Malachi Osei-Owusu and Joel Sullivan tucked away the loose ball.

However, the Blues grew stronger as the contest progressed and Kevin Bosaka converted a corner to draw them level on 73 minutes.

A penalty shoot-out was looming, but in stoppage-time, Koby Mottoh collected Mitch Aston’s pass and beat two players before cutting the ball back for Sam Folarin to finish.

Lead professional development phase coach Sam Hudson said: “I’m really pleased for the lads to get through to a national cup final and we said that we wanted to start the game well.

“Our pressing was good and we were able to force our opponents on the back foot, but that final touch was just missing from us.

“We had a lot of territory without posing a massive threat and Plymouth were a little bit more creative in the final third.

“They took the lead from a set-piece and Malachi then made a few excellent saves – you wondered how he managed to keep them out.

“That proved crucial because if we’d gone in two goals down at the break, it would have been a real challenge to fight back.

“We told the boys that we needed to work better openings, although again those shots weren’t really there straight after the restart.

"The two strongest performers for both teams were the keepers, although credit to all our lads for coming through a tense and entertaining contest."

Sam Hudson

“Malachi again made some key stops and from around 65 minutes onwards, we were totally dominant.

“We looked so strong and it’s probably the best spell I’ve seen from us during my two years at this club. We were relentless.

“It was the turn of their keeper to make some brilliant saves, while we also missed some opportunities that we should have finished.

“We created a lot through one-v-one moments with Harry Clout on the left and Koby on the right, who were excellent.

“We’d had eight corners and not won the first contact on any of them, but the ninth was the one that Kev scored from.

“It gave us such a lift and from then on, there was only one side who appeared like they were going to go on and get the victory.

“Sam timed his run perfectly after some great work from Koby to smash the ball home and give us the lead.

“Plymouth threw everything at us for the final few minutes, but we never really looked like we were going to concede again.

“The two strongest performers for both teams were the keepers, although credit to all our lads for coming through a tense and entertaining contest.”

Pompey: Osei-Owusu; Quarm, Bosaka, Fox, Laidlaw; Aston, Murray; Mottoh, May (Hurst 63), Clout; Folarin


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