MIDFIELDER Tommy Scutt was Pompey Academy’s unlikely hero after replacing knocked-out goalkeeper Nick Hall in yesterday’s 3-3 friendly draw at Reading.
With Hall suffering a concussion in a collision with an opponent on the half-hour mark and no substitute stopper to call upon, Scutt was the man who volunteered to don the gloves.
It was an interesting one, Tommy going in goal. He was saving things mostly with his feet, which was quite entertaining!Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris
What followed was an entertaining hour cameo in between the sticks that left Blues coach Mikey Harris equally amused and impressed with what he saw.
Thankfully, Harris was also able to provide an encouraging update on luckless Hall’s condition.
He said: ‘Nick Hall was on the end of a nasty late tackle and he actually ended up knocked out.
‘He is alright now but he will have to got through the concussion protocols.
‘Bless him, he is not having much luck at the moment – he keeps coming back and then picking up knocks.
‘But it was an interesting one, Tommy going in goal.
‘He was saving things mostly with his feet, which was quite entertaining!
‘He did have a couple of shots that he managed to hold and to parry and his distribution, as you would expect for a midfielder playing in goal, was excellent.
‘He was very calm on the ball and managed to Cruyff turn their striker twice.
‘Fair play to him he threw his hands up and all of the boys dug in around him.’
Pompey’s goals came from a Harvey Bradbury penalty and a superb double from Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain – the latter a goal-of-the-season contender.
Having beaten five opponents on a mazy run the midfielder was initially frustrated to see his strike parried behind for a corner.
But from the resultant flag-kick he gathered himself to smash home a loose ball on the edge of the box with a stunning effort.
Harris was delighted with the application of his side and also paid tribute to opponents Reading for agreeing to fulfil a fixture after the Blues were without a game this weekend.
He said: ‘Reading were keen to have a friendly and we have a good relationship with them.
‘That’s twice now we have gone up and had a really good game with them.
‘It is good that we can arrange games when required and really good for the boys to test themselves against a category one academy and very strong side.’
Pompey Academy return to Youth Alliance League south west division action with a trip to Plymouth (12pm) on Saturday.
POMPEY ACADEMY: Hall (Saidy, 30), Scutt, Widdrington, Wakley, McDowell, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Woodward, Bedford. Haitham, Joseph-Buadi, Bradbury
– JEFF MARSHMAN