Harris hails Pompey Academy’s cup hero

Pompey Academy striker Matt Mayes
Pompey Academy striker Matt Mayes
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Mikey Harris lauded goal-hero Matt Mayes after he sent Pompey Academy into the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

The striker netted a double in the Blues’ victory at Gillingham at the Prestfield Stadium on Tuesday.

Mayes bagged Pompey’s equaliser on 26 minutes before scoring the winner with a smart finish in the first half of extra-time.

The Fratton-born talent set up a second-round tie against Lewes and coach Harris was delighted with his captain’s performance.

He said: ‘Mayesy wasn’t born that far away from Fratton Park and is originally a Pompey lad.

‘His second goal was a fantastic finish but he’s been doing that all season, to be fair to him.

‘In him, Brad (Lethbridge) and Leon (Maloney) we have three dangerous goal threats in our team.

‘They have all scored a lot of goals this season.

‘Matt’s two on Tuesday were both very different.

‘The first one was very brave, he threw himself into the area where it hurts and got a bloody nose for his trouble.

‘The goalkeeper made a save from him that hit the bar at the end of normal time.

‘Then he scored the winner, which was a fantastic finish.

‘I’m delighted for Matt and it was a real squad performance.

‘He leads by example, he’s a very good professional who works hard in the gym and training.’

Mayes has recently joined Poole Town on a work experience loan.

Harris feels the fledging talent has the attributes to meet the demands of the National League South.

He added: ‘We feel it is a good opportunity for him to play senior football at a decent level.

‘He will take his opportunities to get match minutes and I am sure he will step up, score goals and put in good performances.

‘Physically, he is a proper athlete and is outstanding in that area. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.’