Dennis shines as Pompey XI beat Gosport

Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Marshall
Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Louis Dennis struck twice in four minutes to light up a low-key Privett Park encounter.

The summer signing from Bromley was not called upon from Kenny Jackett’s bench in Saturday’s loss at Stevenage.

Yet he was handed a start in a youthful Pompey XI against Gosport - and responded with his maiden Blues goals.

There was also an assist from Dennis, setting up substitute Oscar Johnston for a powerful 88th-minute finish to secure a 3-0 victory.

Dennis’ opening strike took 63 minute to arrive, finally handing many of those present at Privett Park something to cheer about.

The encounter was largely even until that point, with Craig McAllister’s team looking organised and creating their own threat on occasions.

Despite some young faces in Pompey’s side, there were still some familiar faces as those who appeared off the bench in Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Stevenage featured.

That included Christian Burgess, Danny Rose and Brandon Haunstrup, in addition to unused keeper Luke McGee and, of course, Dennis.

However, Coventry-target Conor Chaplin and Oli Hawkins were not present, despite also having substitute outings at the Lamex Stadium.

Otherwise the line-up overseen by Academy manager Mark Kelly was brimming with youth, including first-year professionals Dan Smith and Matt Casey.

When the match kicked off, on 30 minutes Pompey failed to clear a cross and Ashton Leigh managed to squeeze in a shot through a ruck of players which was saved low down by McGee.

At the break, the Blues introduced Hajo Mnoga and Bradley Lethbridge for Harry Kavanagh and Josh Flint, while Gosport made three changes.

The visitors had a scare shortly after the restart when Freddie Reid’s under-hit pass was intercepted by Dave Jerrard, whose angled low shot was smothered by McGee.

At the other end, Dan Smith found himself with an opportunity down the right, but disappointingly shot into the side-netting.

The deadlock was broken on 63 minutes, with Dennis involved.

His left-foot shot struck from inside the area somehow found its way through keeper Mark Childs and rolled into the net.

In contrast, Dennis’ second was brilliantly clinical, arriving four minutes later.

Burgess pushed through a wonderful long pass from defence into the winger’s path, who then cut inside on his left foot to curl a shot into the far bottom corner.

The scoreline was completed on 88 minutes when Dennis slipped a ball into substitute Johnston, who took a touch and lashed a fierce right-foot finish into the far top corner.

Pompey: McGee, Kavanagh (46 mins Mnoga), Burgess, Casey, Haunstrup, Rose, Read (87 mins Whiting), Maloney (75 mins Johnston), Dennis, Flint (46 mins Lethbridge), Smith.

Subs: L.Pitman, Hancott, Bruce, Robb, Bridgman, Stanley.

Gosport: Childs, Walters, Lafleur, Wakley, Flooks, Leigh, Jerrard, Harper (46 mins Hoare), Tubbs (68 mins Morris), McAllister (46 mins Pennery), Brooks (46 mins Lea).

Sub: Parker.