Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris has seen most things in football.
But his side’s 5-5 draw at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday was a pretty unusual occurrence – by his own admission.
I think I have seen most things in my footballing career. But that was a pretty unusual occurrencePompey Academy coach Mikey Harris
The Blues’ under-18s boss, though, was keen to stress the lessons learnt from a memorable, if hard to swallow, Merit League One campaign curtain raiser.
The visitors led in the opening minute thanks to Harvey Bradbury’s strike.
But the Dons hit back with a bang to go 3-1 ahead, largely aided by the conversion of two penalties.
To their credit, however, Pompey showed anything their opponents could do, they could do better.
And four unanswered Blues goals later, the visitors were eyeing victory with 10 minutes remaining.
Sam Woodward, Bradbury, Tommy Scutt and Kaleem Haitham were all on target as a welcome three-point haul appeared a formality.
But the hosts struck twice late on to claim a share of the spoils in an incredible game.
‘I think I have seen most things in my footballing career,’ said Harris.
‘But that was a pretty unusual occurrence.
‘I have never been to a game where the scoring has gone that way – we were 1-0 up after 35 seconds!
‘Then to go 3-1 down and score four consecutive goals ourselves, I have never seen anything like that.
‘I don’t tend to get too wrapped up in it.
‘But, on reflection, I was a little more emotional than I normally am, due to the situation of the game and the frustration at the end.
‘It is a frustration for the boys, though, not with them.
‘I know they are so desperate to do well and you want them to do well.’
Harris believes his side will be richer for their experience, with the lessons learnt from the game analysed in detail this week.
‘From my point of view, there are a lot of lessons learnt,’ he added.
‘We will go through the DVD and show them certain situations this week.
‘That is development and it is the business we are in.
‘The boys make mistakes.
‘Hopefully, they learn from their mistakes and progress.
‘The cruel crux of it is that, if they don’t learn from them they won’t progress
‘For them to go through their entire developmental years without making any mistakes is an impossibility.
‘And all in all, it was a very good experience for the boys.’
Pompey Academy: Hall; Widdrington, Saidy, Casey (Wakley 60), McDowell; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Scutt; Haitham, Woodward, Bedford (Smith 85); Bradbury