Mikey Harris: Pompey Academy heroes must kick on

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler

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Mikey Harris has urged his Pompey heroes to kick on following their Fratton Park heroics.

The Academy last night turned in a magnificent display against Manchester City in the FA Youth Cup.

Harvey Bradbury equalises. Picture: Colin Farmery

Harvey Bradbury equalises. Picture: Colin Farmery

Last season’s finalists clinched a 2-1 victory in the 81st minute through Brahim Diaz’s wonderful solo effort.

Regardless, it was a gutsy display from the hosts, who had earlier levelled through substitute Harvey Bradbury in the 70th minute.

The encounter, which was witnessed by a crowd of 1,779, enhanced the reputation of those Blues youngsters on display.

And under-18s boss Harris is looking for them to maintain their promising development.

He said: ‘They have got to kick on from this experience and make sure they maintain that consistency throughout the rest of the season and win professional contracts.

‘Sometimes with these sorts of games you have a go for a period of time and some teams blow up and the gulf becomes big.

‘I don’t think that was the case at all last night.

‘We kept going right to the end and that is credit to the boys and the way they have applied themselves to creating the game plan.

‘They executed it to the best of their ability with great commitment, great desire, although unfortunately couldn’t turn the performance into a result.

‘But it’s a performance we can be very proud of.

‘I am delighted for Harvey but that goal was for the whole team in recognition of how they worked.

‘They deserved that little moment, you could see how much it meant to them.

‘And they will be better for this experience.’

Pompey had fallen behind to a 13th-minute goal from Lukas Nmecha but showed heart not to unravel afterwards.

Harris added: ‘At 1-0 down you are always in the game and the important thing was we stayed in it.

‘At half-time we talked about getting a little bit higher up the pitch because in the first half, as a back four, we were dropping a bit too deep and allowing them space to play.

‘It worked in the second half – catching them offside – and allowed us to press higher up the pitch and we got the goal which I think we deserved.’

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