Plucky Pompey Academy fall to Vitesse Arnhem defeat
POMPEY ACADEMY fell toÂ a 3-1 defeat at the hands ofÂ Vitesse Arnhem under-19s during their pre-season tour of the Netherlands.
Mark Kelly's side took an early lead but were unable to hold onto their advantage at the Eredivisie outfit's training ground.
Regardless, it was a plucky performance from the Blues against a side a year their senior.
Defender Ethan Robb believes Pompey will learn a great deal from the game.
The first-year scholarÂ told tour organisers League Football Education: 'It was a good game and we played well.
'In the first period, we started off pretty well, scoring the goal early.
'˜As the game went on, we struggled to match them at times as they're obviously a bit physically stronger than us.
'But we all put in a good shift and we can all learn so much from the game.
'We conceded the goals and probably could have done more about them but they're physically ahead of us and we'll learn from that.
'Physically, they were much stronger, were very comfortable on the ball and had good attacking players with a good bit of flair which was difficult to defend against.'
The Blues made a dream start to the clash, breaking the deadlock insideÂ four minutes.
Josh Flint did well down the left wing, before putting a cross into the box which a Vitesse defender turned into his own net.
However, the hosts were level in the 25th minute when a Vitesse winger was left with a simple finish from outside the box.
Kelly's side reacted well, though, and almost regained their lead after the restart. Haji Mnoga beat two defenders before puttingÂ a cross into the box, but the resulting shot was down the home keeper's throat.
Pompey continued to press their foot on the gas and this time it was Stan Bridgman who caused the Vitesse defence problems. The first-year scholar whipped a ball in from the right whichÂ found a BluesÂ player but the hosts' stopper made a fine save.
Pompey failed to make their pressure countÂ and paid the price in the 38th minute. Following a defensive lapse, the ball fell to a Vitesse player and he struck home a crisp finish.
And the Dutch side grabbed a thirdÂ through a well-worked move which culminated in theirÂ striker heading home a cross.
Pompey defeated FC Dordrecht 3-0 in their first game in the Netherlands on Saturday. Bridgman, Bradley Lethbridge and Leon Maloney were on target.