Poole Town 3 Pompey 6

Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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A Pompey XI scrapped their way back from an early two-goal deficit to run out 6-3 winners at Poole Town.

Kenny Jackett’s side found themselves trailing 2-0 after seven minutes to their National League South hosts.

Yet they recovered from their awful start to level the scores by the half-hour mark before clinching victory with three second-half goals.

Ben Close, Curtis Main and Nicke Kabamba each grabbed two goals at a damp Black Gold Stadium during a lively affair.

Jackett had used the Poole fixture to hand starts to those players who served as substitutes in Saturday’s 6-0 win at the Hawks.

Regardless, it represented a strong Blues line up in a 4-4-2 system, with Gary Roberts named skipper and Jack Whatmough, Jamal Lowe and Milan Lalkovic also featuring.

Poole named former Blues players Shaun Cooper and Carl Pettefer in their starting side, while keeper Nick Hutchings serves as Pompey’s Academy goalkeeping coach.

It took just four minutes for the deadlock to be broken, the hosts taking the lead through Olli Balmer, finishing off Luke Burbidge’s cross from the right.

Poole doubled their advantage in the seventh minute when Balmer delivered from the left and although Ollie Davies could not connect, Burbidge was there at the far post to coolly finish.

On 15 minutes the deficit was reduced when Close cleverly lifted the ball over the heart of the defence and Kabamba popped up to collect and fire it into the far corner, with the home side appealing for an offside decision.

Pompey drew themselves level on the half-hour mark following an excellent run down the left from Lalkovic.

The winger drifted inside several tackles to drive into the box before pulling the ball back for Close to crash home a right-foot shot from the edge of the area.

The scoreline remained 2-2 at the break and when the teams returned for the second half, Jez Bedford appeared in place of Brandon Haunstrup at left-back.

Within minutes, Lowe saw his lob headed off the line by a Poole defender to keep the sides deadlocked.

But on 59 minutes, Roberts slipped a pass into the penalty area and Main swivelled to plant a shot past Hutchings.

Still the goalscoring continued and on 65 minutes substitute Luke Roberts fetched a ball wide on the right and cut inside before driving a shot through the legs of Blues keeper Jack Collins.

Pompey regained the lead on 68 minutes when Close took a touch before unleashing a right-foot shot from outside the area into the top corner of the net.

It was 5-3 to Jackett’s side in the 70th minute when Lowe was pulled down by Harvey Wright in the area.

Main stepped up to net his second of the night with a right-foot penalty finish.

Kabamba completed the scoring two minutes before full-time when he collected Lalkovic’s pass and coolly clipped the ball over the advancing keeper.

Pompey: Collins, Talbot, Whatmough, Widdrington, Haunstrup (Bedford, 46mins), Lowe, Roberts, Close (Hancott, 77mins), Lalkovic, Main, Kabamba. Subs not used: Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mayes. Att: 407