Mikey Harris spoke of his delight after Pompey Academy booked their place in the second round of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-0 win at Plymouth tonight.
But the under-18s coach also saw room for improvement from his young side after a testing encounter at Home Park.
I am delighted for them to be through to the next round and to keep a clean sheet is a bonus.Mikey Harris, Pompey Academy coach
‘I am pleased that we are through to the next round,’ said Harris.
‘In the first half we were very good, dominated the ball, had a good shape and created chances.
‘We should have been a couple of goals to the good.
‘But then massive credit to Plymouth in the second half – they put us under pressure and asked questions of us.
‘I was not happy with our performance with the ball in the second half.
‘The boys know that but obviously I am delighted for them to be through to the next round and to keep a clean sheet is a bonus.’
Adam May set the Blues on their way with a goal on the stroke of half-time before Kaleem Haitham and Calvin Davies – from the penalty spot – struck late on to confirm the visitors’ passage into the next round.
Pompey made the brighter start to proceedings with Davies, recalled from his loan spell at the Hawks, seeing his overhit cross come back into play off the crossbar after Brandon Joseph-Buadi had curled wide moments earlier.
The hosts showed their intent when Aaron Taylor let fly from 25 yards out, only to see his effort fly harmlessly over Alex Bass’ goal.
The Blues were by far the brighter team, though, and after Ousman Saidy headed wide from another Davies cross, Jez Bedford called Pilgrims stopper Cory Harvey into action for the first time in the game – the home keeper doing well to parry his close-range effort.
But on the stroke of half-time, the visitors’ pressure told when they broke the deadlock in impressive fashion.
The lively Davies fashioned an inviting outside-of-the-boot cross which May emphatically finished from close range.
An improved Argyle did their best to hit back after the break with Alex Fletcher and Billy Palfrey both seeing efforts flash wide of goal.
To their credit, though, Pompey stood up to a barrage of home pressure after surrendering the dominance they had shown in the opening period.
And with 10 minutes left on the clock, Haitham struck on the counter attack to effectively end to the tie.
Having taken a pass in his stride, the tricky winger rounded a Pilgrims defender before firing beyond Harvey.
The Blues sealed the win in the last minute when Haitham was felled in the area and Davies coolly slotted home from 12 yards for a 3-0 winning margin.
Harris’ side will be away to either Gloucester, Cirencester or Bristol Rovers in the next round.
Pompey Academy: Bass; Davies, Saidy, Widdrington, McDowell; May, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Haitham, Bedford, Joseph-Buadi; Sayers. Subs: Hall, Scutt, Wakley, Bradbury, Woodward