Craddock continues Pompey comeback

Tom Craddock, right, is congratuled by his Pompey team-mates after scoring against Scunthorpe in November 2013
Tom Craddock, right, is congratuled by his Pompey team-mates after scoring against Scunthorpe in November 2013
Oli Hawkins. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Tom Craddock will lead Pompey’s attack for today’s reserve fixture at Plymouth.

The striker is to make his second appearance as he continues a comeback from a career-threatening knee injury.

He will be joined by triallist John Irving, who is a former Everton apprentice.

The 26-year-old right-back featured in the 3-1 friendly defeat to Fulham under-21s last week and will be given another opportunity to impress.

Danny East is also to feature in an otherwise youthful reserve side for the Home Park clash (2pm).

This despite an Academy fixture at Bournemouth taking place on the same afternoon (1pm).

First-team coach Paul Hardyman said: ‘We’re looking to give Tom and Danny a full 90 minutes at Plymouth.

‘We’ve been easing them in and that is the next step of their progress. They are both doing really well at the moment.

‘This week we’ve decided to put out a team which is a mixture of the first team and young lads.

‘That will allow the likes of Ben Chorley, Andy Barcham and James Dunne – who were substitutes on Saturday – to train.

‘Then we’ve picked Jack Whatmough and Dan Butler to play as it gives them an extra bit of football, having also been on the bench at Newport.

‘Chad Field and Brandon Haunstrup have been on-loan at Bognor so this will be a bit more men’s football to play in.

‘Obviously, we’ve taken some players from the Academy, so under-16s will step up into their squad for the match at Bournemouth.

‘Jack Maloney will not feature, though, as he is currently at Poole, where they have played a lot of Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday games of late.

‘So he is getting plenty of match action at the moment.’

Field, Haunstrup, James Granger, Lewis Gill, Conor Chaplin and Alex Bass have all moved up from the Academy to make today’s squad.

Bradley Tarbuck is back having returned from a loan spell at Dartford, where he played four games without making an impression.

Pompey (from): Poke, Irving, Field, Whatmough, Butler, Haunstrup, Granger, Close, Awford, Gill, East, Tarbuck, Chaplin, Craddock, Bass