Goals from Chad Field, Liam Triggs and Bradley Tarbuck saw Pompey Academy get back to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Southend United at Bognor’s Nyewood Lane this morning.
From the start of their Football League Youth Alliance tussle, Paul Hardyman’s young Blues quickly set about making an early breakthrough with a couple of tidy moves that were dealt with by the Southend defence.
But on 15 minutes, and after soaking up much of what Pompey had created, the visitors found themselves a goal behind when debut-making Field got forward to meet Tarbuck’s inswinging corner and head an opener.
Field’s inexperience then so nearly cost the hosts when he lost possession on the edge of his area, fouled Mitch Pinnock in an effort to retrieve the ball and breathed a sigh of relief as Aaron Tatham’s free-kick cleared the crossbar.
More pressure followed and Pompey’s loan signing keeper Luke Colquhoun needed to be at his best to keep out a well-struck efforts from both Pinnock and striker Seedy Njie.
Just before the interval, though, and with the Blues back calling the shots, Triggs met a Tarbuck corner at the near post to knee the ball past Southend keeper Ted Smith and double the advantage.
To their credit, Southend came flying back into contention when Bob Hyams headed in at the far post to pull a goal back on 55 minutes.
Fortunately, Pompey regained their composure quickly and after Lewis Horsburgh had missed two glorious chances that he usually gobbles up, another quality move that must have impressed the watching Andy Awford let in Tarbuck to ram home a third - and the match was won.
Pompey Academy: Colquhoun, Medway, Triggs, Awford, Field, Whatmough, Kim, Branford, Horsburgh, Close, Tarbuck. Subs: Chaplin, Haunstrup, Tarasenko.
Southend United Academy: Smith, Jeffrey, Hyams, Edwards, Banton, Tatham, Agyakwa, Coker, Njie, Prhye, Pinnock. Subs: Snook, King, Williams, Barlow, Kenton.