Kelly: Good '“ but Pompey Academy must be more clinical

Mark Kelly toasted Pompey Academy's FA Youth Cup second-round victory against Lewes but insisted: We must be more clinical.

Saturday, 11th November 2017, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 11th December 2017, 9:08 pm
Pompey's Dan Smith in action against Lewes. Picture: Colin Farmery

A 3-1 success for the young Blues ensured they avoided a banana-skin against their non-league opponents at Fratton Park last night.

Josh Flint, Bradley Lethbridge and Matt Mayes were all on target for the hosts and set up a third-round clash against Premier League outfit Leicester City.

Pompey dominated much of the game, with Lewes keeper Dane Lewis making a number of decent stops.

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Kelly was pleased to see his troops advance to the next stage of the competition but feels they were not ruthless enough in front of goal.

The Academy boss said: ‘We had a lot of chances.

‘We want some quality in the final third – that cutting edge – and we lacked a bit of ruthlessness.

‘There were half shots, bits and pieces and at half-time we said we needed to be more clinical.

‘Over a course of time, they got into the flow of things.

‘But we would have expected a little bit more at some stages.

‘In the second half, the lads came up against adversity because Lewes scored from a free-kick – which was poor marking in the box on our behalf. However, the lads stepped up from there.

‘It is and it isn’t all about a result in a cup tie because we are trying to deliver high standards.

‘It is about results but sometimes the performance has to link with that.

‘We created enough chances and owned the pitch towards the end.

‘It’s about improving those areas over a course of time.’

Despite dominating the first period, Pompey only found themselves one goal to the good at the interval.

The hosts were slow off the mark after the restart and Alfie Headland glanced home George McCarthy’s free-kick one minute into the second half.

Lethbridge’s introduction for Flint in the 53rd minute proved key.

The Gosport talent restored Pompey’s advantage on 67 minutes before Mayes followed up Lethbridge’s saved effort one minute later.

Kelly felt the first-year scholar made the difference and lauded his performance.

He added: ‘Bradley is a strong, powerful boy. He’s built so powerfully.

‘When he drives at defenders, he’s hard to deal with. That’s his game and what he brings to the table.

‘He made the difference and I thought Oscar Johnston did when he came off the bench as well.

‘The boys had to remain focused and they’ve done that.

‘We can start looking at the Leicester tie and I’m sure they will enjoy playing against a Premier League side in the next round at Fratton Park.’