Mikey Harris spoke of his disappointment at the level of officiating after Pompey Academy were controversially denied a game-changing equaliser in their 4-2 Youth Alliance League South West division defeat to Oxford United earlier today.
With the Blues trailing 2-1 with an hour played, substitute Sam Woodward let fly with a stunning 25-yard effort that appeared to have levelled the scoreline.
But with the hosts celebrating, a late linesman’s flag caused confusion among all at Furze Lane – with the decision to disallow the goal reached after consultation with the referee.
Kaleem Haitham was adjudged to have reacted to a challenge on him, yet failed to receive so much as a yellow card for his part in proceedings – with the ref dishing out four in total.
And afterwards, coach Harris was left to rue the Blues’ apparent misfortune.
He said: ‘I must admit I was disappointed with the officiating today and I am very disappointed with the disallowed goal.
‘The linesman has reacted to something that has happened a long time before the goal is scored and from a shout (by Oxford’s bench).
‘We will have a look on the DVD but it looks like it is a foul on Kaleem (Haitham) in the build up to the goal and he has then reacted in a “Get off of me” type manner, which we had seen all over the pitch in the game and not once was play brought back.
‘There is probably another two phases before Sam scores an absolute wonder goal and the flag then goes up.
‘We are in a development environment here and he has had that goal taken away from him from what I thought was an incorrect decision.’
The Blues found themselves two goals behind at the break with Seth Humphries and the impressive Jordan Graham on target for the visitors – the latter scoring direct from a corner.
‘Pompey rallied, though, and pulled one back through Theo Widdrington’s fierce sliding strike after good work from Brandon Joseph-Buadi, before the game’s turning point arrived.
Having seen the decision go against them, though, the Blues then gifted their opponents two further goals with George Jeacock heading home from a corner before Graham capitalised on a defensive mix-up to seal the win.
Harvey Bradbury’s clever cross-cum-shot deflected in off an unfortunate U’s defender late on to complete the scoring as Pompey were left to wonder what might have been.
POMPEY ACADEMY: Collins, Davies (Chandler, 68, Saidy, Wakley, McDowell, Widdrington (Woodward, 56), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joseph-Buadi (Scutt, 68), Bedford, Haitham, Bradbury