Conor Chaplin struck a hat-trick as Pompey Academy cruised to a 4-1 victory over MK Dons in Merit League 1 division earlier today.
The Blues striker was a surprise inclusion in Mikey Harris’ side’s starting line-up, having been named on the bench for the first-team in their 2-2 draw with Cheltenham Town on Tuesday night.
But, having scored a double in Wednesday’s 6-1 reserve-team thrashing of Gillingham, the 18-year-old was at his prolific best at youth-team level as the hosts ran out deserved winners at Furze Lane.
Brandon Joseph-Buadi completed the scoring late on for Pompey, who had earlier seen Chaplin’s opener cancelled out by Dons skipper Gedeon Okito.
Academy coach Harris praised his side’s high-pressing game.
He said: ‘As we always do, we pressed high from the front, trying to win the ball back as early as we could.
Credit to Conor, he slotted straight back in and took his goals wellPompey Academy coach Mikey Harris
‘We did that on a couple of occasions and managed to score from them.
‘We were also able to score a couple of good goals from good play from ourselves in possession as well.
‘So I’m really pleased with the way the lads worked – their work-rate was excellent from start to finish.’
Pompey led midway through the first half when Chaplin fired home from Joseph-Buadi’s inviting cutback.
But the visitors responded immediately, with Okito’s curling effort dipping under goalkeeper Alex Bass’ crossbar.
The Blues restored their lead before the break, though, when Chaplin linked up well with Liam Sayers before slotting home a low right-footed half volley.
Chaplin completed his hat-trick midway through the second period following good work from Kaleem Haitham to charge down a Dons goal-kick.
And Joseph-Baudi rounded off the scoring late on with an emphatic close-range finish.
Harris added: ‘Credit to Conor, he slotted straight back in and took his goals well.
‘His attitude is spot on and he gets on well with all of the boys.’
POMPEY ACADEMY: Bass, Widdrington, May, Haunstrup (Saidy, 82), Rwakarambwe, Granger, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Davies (Scutt, 77), Chaplin, Sayers (Haitham, 50), Joseph-Buadi