Ex-Premier League ace salutes potential of young Portsmouth pair

Robbie Blake has saluted the promise of Bognor's young Pompey loanees.

Wednesday, 15th August 2018, 6:28 pm
Updated Sunday, 2nd September 2018, 10:07 pm
Pompey youngster Bradley Lethbridge was on the mark for Bognor on Tuesday night. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Both Bradley Lethbridge and Dan Smith have linked up with the former Blues first-team coach who moved to the Rocks during the summer.

The attacking pair were both on the scoresheet on Tuesday night as their side picked up a 3-1 success over Merst ham.

Second-year talent Lethbridge opened the scoring before Smith rounded off the win.

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Blake praised the 17-year-old's potential and coolness in front of goal.  He feels  Lethbridge will benefit from a period playing senior football.

And the former Premier League ace can see his club reaping the benefit of having a teenage talent with an eye for goal within their ranks.

Blake explained he's been impressed with prospect's steely eye for goal

He told bognor.co.uk: '˜Brad's got real quality. He has that and this is the progression he needs.

'˜Portsmouth's academy and youth set-up is very good but for Brad to be playing against men in good side s at this time of his career will only benefit him.

'˜We've seen how composed he is. When Brad gets put in those situations I have got no doubt he will score goals.'

Smith caught the eye for the Bostik League premier division outfit with the quality of his chipped finish impressing those present at Nyewood Lane.

The 18-year-old is one of two third-year scholars at Pompey along with Matt Casey as they both move towards senior contention.

But, like Lethbridge, the Warsash striker is making an impact away from Fratton Park at present as he learns his trade.

Blake felt the quality of Smith's finish reflects the potential he possesses.

That was seen when he was on the scoresheet in Pompey colours when they travelled to Sussex to face Bognor in pre-season.

Smith bagged the final goal in the Pompey XI side's 5-1 victory.

Lethbridge turned provider for one of Adam May's three goals in the same game while going close with two of his own long-range efforts.

Blake added: '˜Smudger has scored a good goal for us as well. He's got another goal and it was a special goal. Brilliant. It was a brilliant finish.

'˜My first impression was he could take it in. But to chip the keeper from where he was is brilliant and it's a goal I'm sure he'll go away very happy about.'