Kelly: Some great Portsmouth Academy goals – but we shouldn’t have conceded twice

Pompey Academy boss Mark Kelly. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey Academy boss Mark Kelly. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Mark Kelly toasted Pompey Academy’s victory in the FA Youth Cup but insisted: We shouldn’t have conceded twice.

The young Blues delivered a 5-2 victory over Bristol Rovers in the first round of the competition on Wednesday night. 

Bradley Lethbridge returned from his loan spell from Bognor to fire in a double, while Leon Maloney, Haji Mnoga and Alfie Stanley were also on the scoresheet.

The Blues thoroughly deserved to win the tie, although they made it more difficult than it needed to be at times.

Harry Warwick cancelled out Maloney’s opener, before the Pirates forward netted a second just before half-time to make it 3-2.

Kelly rued the defending that led to Rovers’ goals – but was delighted with Pompey’s response to put the tie to bed in the second half.

The Blues’ youth boss said: ‘There was no reason for the two goals conceded – the second one especially.

‘We were in total control of the game, got caught napping a little bit and their man got the wrong side of us, so I was a little bit frustrated with that.

‘That’s their bag at the moment and it’s what they have to learn to develop a little bit.

‘Football is won in both boxes – what happens in your area and what happens in their area, so we’ve got to make sure we’re solid and don’t make those mistakes.

‘I was pleased they weren’t rocked, though. I’ve seen them be rocked before when they’ve made a mistake like that but they didn’t this time. 

‘We spoke about it at half-time, they came out, didn’t concede and did their job.

‘There were some really good goals and some quality movement.

‘The one thing we haven’t lacked is the ability to score goals.’