Pompey 3 Fulham under-21s 3: Neil Allen’s match report

Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Weld/Portsmouth FC

Jackett throws down challenge to Pompey new boys

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SUSPENDED Jamal Lowe struck twice to steer Pompey to an opening Checkatrade Trophy draw Fulham under-21s.

The winger is currently serving a three-match ban following his dismissal during the League One curtain-raiser against Rochdale.

However, in accordance to competition rules, Lowe was available to feature against the Cottagers last night.

And he responded with two goals, while Kal Naismith grabbed the other, during an enthralling second half for the crowd of 1,520 as the match finished deadlocked at 3-3.

Afterwards there was a penalty shoot-out to decide a bonus point and, using the ABBA format, Fulham won 4-2 on penalties.

Jackett had made seven changes to the side which suffered defeat at Oxford United and there was a first-team debut for first-year scholar Joe Hancott.

A left-footed defender from the Isle of Wight, he was making his bow at 16 years 161 days – establishing him the youngest first-team player in the club’s history.

When the match got underway, the deadlock was broken on 21 minutes through Fulham’s midfielder Humphrys.

He popped up on the right-hand side of the penalty area and took a touch before driving a right-footed shot into the far corner past Bass.

Pompey remained behind at the break, but should have levelled five minutes after the restart.

May threaded through a pass to Naismith down the left and, with just the keeper to beat, the winger took too many touches and disappointingly fired straight at Norman.

The Blues were, however, all square on 54 minutes following excellent work from Main.

The striker held up a pass played into him before, with back to goal, backheeling the ball through to Lowe, who made no mistake with an angled right-foot finish.

Barely three minutes later and Pompey had the lead, Evans’ deep cross from the right slammed home first-time by Naismith at the far post.

On 62 minutes it was Fulham’s turn to equalise after Alex Bass had carelessly brought down George Williams in the box as the ball was running out of play.

The Welshman took the penalty himself and drove it down the middle to make it 2-2.

Still the goals flowed and on 66 minutes it was 3-2 to Pompey when Evans’ shot was blocked by Fulham body and fell loose inside the box.

The alert Lowe was there to swivel and fire a brilliant first-time left-foot shot into the far corner of the net.

It was an enthralling second half and next Bennett rattled the crossbar with a fierce curling right-foot shot from 22 yards and Normal well beaten.

Yet eight minutes from time Elijah Adebayo squeezed home a far-post finish to make it 3-3, a scoreline which remained until the final whistle.

Pompey: Bass, Evans, Davies, Whatmough, Hancott, Baker (60 mins Bennett), May, Close (76 mins Talbot), Lowe, Main (68 mins Chaplin), Naismith. Subs Not Used: McGee, Burgess, Kabamba, Haunstrup.

Fulham Under-21s: Norman, Sessegnon, Davies, Kavanagh, Humphrys, O’Riley, Kait (79 mins Kwietniewski), Thorsteinsson, Williams, Adebayo, Opoku (76 mins Harris)

Subs Not Used: Ashby-Hammond, Nabay, Harris, Andrason, Elstone, Pearce.

Attendance; 1,520 (62 away)

Pens: Chaplin (goal), Williams (goal), Humphrys (goal), Naismith (saved), Bennett (goal), Thorsteinsson (goal), Kavanagh (goal), Evans (saved).