Pompey debut for Aborah

Jamal Lowe taking on Everton. Picture: Colin Farmery
Jamal Lowe taking on Everton. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Stanley Aborah marked his Pompey bow by helping the reserves progress in the Premier League Cup.

The recent recruit was handed a maiden appearance in tonight’s Westleigh Park clash with Everton under-23s.

Mikey Harris’ side subsequently ran out 2-1 winners through second-half goals from Ben Close and Nicke Kabamba.

It ensured the reserves topped Group D to reach the last 16 of the competition.

Playing as a deep-lying midfielder in a 4-1-4-1, Aborah featured for 78 minutes before replaced by Jack Whatmough.

And Harris was impressed with the former Notts County man’s display.

He said: ‘Stan did fantastic, especially given the fact he hasn’t played since November.

‘The plan was for him to play a little less than he did, but obviously the game situation developed and he was feeling good.

‘It was great for him to get minutes and I’m sure he will be a very, very useful addition to the squad going into a really important time of the season.

‘Certainly in the second half he got much more involved in the game in terms of possession and showed his qualities on the ball.

‘The 4-1-4-1 system wasn’t specifically to get Stan into the team, we looked at the personnel we had available and worked it accordingly. That was the thought process and it paid off.

‘We started the game really well and lost our way a little bit when they scored. Then in the second half came out on the front foot with a real purpose about what we were doing with and without the ball.

‘It was a great strike from Ben Close, while Nicke keeps up his great run in this competition with three in three.’

The fixture survived a late scare when a fault cut off power to one of the Westleigh Park floodlights.

However, referee Carl Brook ruled the game could still take place as Pompey aimed for the point they needed for qualification.

Everton took the lead on 29 minutes when Bassala Sambou received a long ball from defence and cleverly clipped it over Liam O’Brien from the angle.

But Close levelled on 47 minutes with a ferocious right-foot shot from the edge of the area following Drew Talbot’s cross.

The winner arrived on 77 minutes, Kabamba sliding home a finish eight yards out after another Talbot cross from the right.

Pompey: O’Brien, Talbot, T.Davies, Widdrington, Haunstrup, Aborah (Whatmough 78mins), Bedford (Oxlade-Chamberlain 58mins), May, Close, Lowe (Chaplin 75mins), Kabamba. Subs not used; Bass, C.Davies.

Everton: Hilton, Yates, Foulds, Williams (Donohue 55mins), Feeney, Yarney (Denney 46mins), Henen, Kiersey, Sambou, Broadhead, Byrne. Subs not used; Hunt, Bramall.

Attendance: 378