Harris upbeat despite two losses for Pompey Academy

Mikey Harris. Picture: Joe Pepler
Mikey Harris. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Mikey Harris is remaining upbeat despite two losses for Pompey Academy this week.

The fledging Blues suffered a 2-1 defeat to Gillingham in the cup at Furze Lane on Tuesday before they were beaten by the same scoreline at Plymouth in the Youth Alliance League yesterday.

The youngsters had been in solid form beforehand and racked up a three-match winning streak, culminating in a 5-1 romp against Yeovil.

Luke Jephcott and Billy Craske were on target for Plymouth in between Joe Dandy’s first-half header at the Pilgrims’ Home Park.

Despite the two losses, Academy coach Harris is taking the positives from the two matches.

He said: ‘It’s obviously been a disappointing week in terms of results for the lads.

‘However, there are plenty of positives to take from the two games.

‘It is important we learn from them in the next few weeks.

‘It’s been a big ask for them having played last Saturday, Tuesday and Friday, while some of them also played in the Premier League Cup game (against Southend).

‘It was a great experience for the boys to play at Home Park and we’re pleased they got that opportunity.

‘For many of the first years, it would have been the first time got the chance to play in that sort of arena and it was good for them.’

Plymouth opened the scoring in the first half when Jack Chandler mistimed a header.

Jephcott took advantage and the Pilgrims man and finished past Jack Collins.

However, Pompey fought back resiliently and went into the break on level terms when Dandy rose with intent to meet Josh Flint’s corner and guided his effort home.

The hosts grabbed a winner through Craske in the second period and ensured Pompey suffered second defeat in the league this campaign.

Harris admitted his entire side need to make improvements defensively.

And Pompey are currently ironing out when they will play their Premier League Cup fixtures this term.

‘A lot of times this season we have taken the lead and then scored another,’ Harris added.

‘But we recognise we need to improve defensively and that is not just the defence and goalkeeper – we need to do better as a whole group.

‘There’s been positive performances and it is important the lads stick to the programme.

‘We haven’t yet got the fixtures for the Premier League Cup and are in the process of sorting them out.’

Pompey Academy next travel to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday (11am).