Harris: Pompey reserves deserved more

Brandon Haunstrup, left, and Danny Rose in action for Pompey reserves against Bristol City today Picture: Colin Farmery
Brandon Haunstrup, left, and Danny Rose in action for Pompey reserves against Bristol City today Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett has been looking for the right blend of youth and experience. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss bidding for right blend

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Mikey Harris was adamant Pompey’s reserves were ‘slightly unfortunate’ after slipping to defeat against Bristol City.

A return of two goals in six minutes separated by half-time ensured the visitors won this afternoon’s Privett Park encounter 2-0.

It leaves the Blues’ reserves still seeking a first Group B point in the Central League Cup.

Nonetheless, Harris believes an improved second-half showing warranted more from the fixture.

During the final 21 minutes, Jez Bedford struck a post, while Theo Widdrington had a goal ruled out for offside as the hosts finished strongly.

Yet despite danger man Milan Lalkovic’s constant menace after the break, a Pompey team including first-team triallist Ceykan Karagozlu succumbed to defeat.

And Harris believed their play deserved a little better luck.

He said: ‘I was disappointed with the result, but pleased with the performance, certainly in the second half.

‘We were much better in the second half, I think we caused them a lot of problems and created a lot of chances.

‘We scored a goal, which I felt was legitimate but disallowed, and I think we can consider ourselves slightly unfortunate not to get something out of the game.

‘There were a few balls put into the box which their keeper probably took a little too easily and we possibly could have got on the end of a few.

‘But he made a couple of saves, from Milan and Theo’s. We definitely tested him more in the second half than first.

‘Bristol City’s opener from the set-piece was disappointing because Alex (Bass) made a great save from a header and we just didn’t clear it properly.

‘The penalty for the second was a bit of a sucker-punch after half-time, I didn’t have a great angle but it looked a little bit soft.

‘Jez (Bedford) did very well and again showed great energy and has clearly benefitted from his loan at Poole, as has Theo from his loan at the Hawks – they both looked sharp.’

City took the lead on 41 minutes when Aden Baldwin’s far-post header from a free-kick couldn’t be held by Bass, with Kel Akpobire following up to net.

Then two minutes into the second half, Karagozlu was harshly pulled up for a foul on Connor Lemonheigh-Evans following a shoulder charge, with the City man then finishing off the penalty.

Harris added: ‘We always say in these sort of games we have individuals with different needs.

‘That is whether it is a first-team player who has come back from injury like Milan or first-team players needing match minutes like Danny (Rose).

‘Then you have the younger pros trying to break into that first-team squad, the lads out on loan coming back and showing their worth and the youth-team players trying to step up.

‘It’s a bit of a mismatch of players with different reasons, but everyone got through what they needed to do in terms of their work and thankfully it appears with no injuries.’

POMPEY: Bass, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Casey, Dandy (78 mins Chandler), Haunstrup, Rose, Widdrington, Karagozlu (63 mins Smith), Bedford (78 mins Brooks), Lalkovic, Mayes (63 mins Lethbridge). Sub Not Used: Collins.