Mikey Harris admitted his Pompey Academy side were ‘flattered’ to beat Exeter City 4-1 today at Furze Lane as the hosts extended their unbeaten start to the Youth Alliance League south west division season.
An uncharacteristically sloppy first-half saw the Blues fortunate to go in at the break on level terms as opponents Exeter dictated play, without finding the all-important breakthrough.
A minute after the interval, however, a much-improved Pompey broke the deadlock when Tommy Scutt rose highest to head the Blues into the lead.
Exeter hit back immediately, though, when a quickly-taken free-kick undid Harris’ side for the second time in two weeks – with Ben Seymour profiting from some lapse marking.
For the Blues it represented an unwanted carbon copy of the goal they conceded in their 6-1 thrashing of Newport.
But, as in Wales last weekend, Pompey responded well and were ahead before the hour mark – thanks to a goalkeeping error from Grecians stopper Kavanagh Keadell.
Under pressure from Blues striker Liam Sayers, Keadell somehow failed to gather a hopeful ball over the top, with Sayers tapping into an empty net.
The lively Blues frontman then collected a second five minutes later, with the goal of the game – collecting Kaleem Haitham’s long free-kick in his stride before clinically firing beyond Keadell.
With Exeter throwing men forward in a bid to reduce the arrears, the hosts again profited from a moment of indecision from Keadell as his hurried clearance fell to the feat of Theo Widdrington.
The Blues midfielder’s effort was parried into the path of substitute Sam Woodward, who rounded off the scoring late on.
Coach Harris said: ‘It was the old cliché of a game of two halves.
‘Give Exeter massive credit for the way they played in the first-half, they outperformed us in all areas.
‘At half-time we regrouped and talked tactics and how we felt we could hurt them and where they were causing us problems.
‘Credit the lads, in recent times we have played well and not taking our chances, today was a role reversal as we made up for not being at our best in open play with some clinical finishing.
‘Overall, 4-1 flattered us but we were much improved in the second half.’
POMPEY ACADEMY: Bass (Hall, 74); Haitham, Saidy, Yates, McDowell; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Widdrington; Scutt, Bedford, Joseph-Buadi (Tumber, 63); Sayers (Woodward, 70)