Pompey Academy continued their impressive start to Merit League 1 with a 2-0 win over 10-man Watford at Furze Lane earlier today.
Lewis Gill’s well-taken double proved the difference for the Blues in a match that was overshadowed by a sickening off-the-ball incident in the first half.
With the scores goalless, Hornets midfielder Mahlondo Martin and counterpart Calvin Davies became embroiled in a heated dispute, with the Pompey man accusing his marker of headbutting him.
What was completely indisputable, however, was the nature of Martin’s swinging elbow which caught Davies across the face and left him lying prostate on the 3G turf.
A straight red card promptly followed for the visiting offender, with Davies – who was booked for his role in proceedings – leaving the field of play with suspected concussion.
Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris, who witnessed the incident, revealed that Martin had since apologised to the Blues bench for his actions.
‘I saw it (the incident). It was a little bit of frustration on their lad’s part I think and he has lashed out,’ said Harris.
‘Credit to him, he came and apologised afterwards but he caught Calvin quite nastily.
‘Calvin is not in a great way to be honest.
‘He has got a few symptoms of concussion so we will have to make sure we check that out and make sure there is no serious damage done.
‘It is always disappointing but they are young lads and they are learning.
‘Hopefully Calvin is alright and it is all fine from there.’
The hosts made their man advantage count almost instantly when Gill struck an emphatic right-foot half-volley into the top corner to give them a half-time lead.
But Harris’ side were made to wait until five minutes from time before they could rubber-stamp their victory.
A stop-start second period, saw two further bookings for each side, with Pompey’s James Granger and Gill both following Davies into the referee’s ever-growing black book.
And with the Blues only holding a one-goal advantage, Watford refused to give up belief of returning to Hertfordshire with a share of the spoils.
Ogo Obi led the line well for the visitors and was inches away from equalising midway through the second period when he blazed narrowly wide on a counter-attack.
With Harris unhappy that his side had not dominated possession in the manner anticipated, youngster Tommy Scutt was brought into the fray.
And it was his assist that played in Gill, who made no mistake to secure the points at the death.
Harris said: ‘I thought, first half, we were excellent – we played out from the back very well.
‘At half-time we talked about the impact of playing against 10 men and how we could exploit the extra man.
‘For whatever reason the lads didn’t transfer that onto the pitch – it became a scrappy game.
‘But all in all it was another good experience for the lads and one they can take forward.’
Pompey Academy: George, Field, Yates (Scutt 60), Nilsen, Haunstrup, Davies (Rwakarambwe 38), Granger, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Haitham, May, Gill