It’s back to the drawing board for Pompey Academy after they were thrashed 6-1 at MK Dons Academy in the Football League Youth Alliance today.
Despite dominating for long periods, the young Blues presented their hosts with a series of chances side that they didn’t waste to run out easy winners in Buckinghamshire.
Coach Paul Hardyman was forced to make changes to his side with several senior players either suffering knocks or bouts of sickness , plus Nick Awford who - following several inspired performances at Academy level - found himself in the first-team squad for the visit of Stevenage.
MK Dons, meanwhile, were at full strength and their overall experience earned them a two-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes, the first coming in the opening exchanges as the run of Will Summerfield was not checked and his cross fell into the path of Mo Ahmed who finished in style at the far post.
The response by Pompey was immediate and it took two quality saves from keeper Charlie Burns to deny Conor Chaplin - before Ben Close fired a shot just wide.
As play broke to the other end, Pompey defender Chad Field lost possession of the ball to Dons striker Kelvin Osei-Addo who promptly went clear to blast a second.
Despite being two goals behind, Pompey continued to look the better side and were unlucky not to have pulled a goal back before the interval when Bradley Tarbuck sent Chaplin clear for a shot that came back into play off an upright.
As the second half got under way, Tarbuck showed his marker a clean pair of heels only to shoot wide of the target from close range - before Jae Heon Kim’s tame header was scooped up by keeper Charlie Burns.
Even then, Pompey failed defensively yet again as a cross wasn’t cleared and Summerfield was in to roll the ball into an empty net - followed by England youth international Brendon Galloway strolling through to ram home a fourth from close range.
As confidence levels dropped, Pompey’s defence couldn’t deal with the pace of Ahmed other than to bring him down in the area. And after dusting himself down, he stepped up to blast a fifth from the penalty spot.
The best Pompey could muster was a late consolation from Tarbuck who made the most of a chance created by substitute Lewis Gill, although any thoughts of a comeback were scuppered by Delli Alli who helped himself to a sixth.
MK Dons Academy: Burns, Grant, Osae, Alli, Galloway, Hickford, Summerfield, Wiltshire, Grant, Osei-Addo, Spence, Ahmed. Subs: Taylor, Tingey, Forrester, Weston, Daffern.
Pompey Academy: Colquhoun, Medway, Triggs, Close, Field, Whatmough, Chaplin, Branford, Tarbuck, Kim, Haunstrap. Subs: Rwakaramble, Granger, Gill.