Weakened Academy fall to derby defeat

Jed Wallace started on the bench for Pompey Academy, as boss Andy Awford had one eye on the FA Youth Cup clash on Wednesday night
Jed Wallace started on the bench for Pompey Academy, as boss Andy Awford had one eye on the FA Youth Cup clash on Wednesday night
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Pompey Academy failed to match their recent quality performances as they slipped to derby defeat at Eastleigh this morning.

Academy boss Andy Awford included Lewis Tallack, Lewis Stockford and Carl Walshe in his side.

But, with Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup clash against Swansea at Fratton Park in mind, he rested several of his squad, with skipper Sam Magri, Jed Wallace and Ashley Harris among the substitutes.

Meanwhile, new signing Dan Thompson, who scored on his debut last weekend, was away on loan to the Hawks.

Both sides took time to settle and the nearest the large band of supporters were treated to by way of a goal was on 20 minutes when Saints’ Dan Bowman’s left-footed effort cannoned back into play off keeper Matt Gledhill’s crossbar.

The response by the young Blues was less convincing, with Stockford firing well over from long distance, before Jack Maloney’s drive from the edge of the area was saved by keeper Chris Johns.

Early in the second half, the match finally came to life as Pompey’s Dan Butler fired in a free-kick that Johns did well to claim under his crossbar.

Johns then kept his side in the match with a fine save to keep out Maloney’s goalbound effort – before play broke quickly to the other end where Bowman lifted a finish high over with the goal at his mercy.

Magri came off the bench to go close to opening the scoring when he met a cross from Andy Higgins at the far post, only for Johns to turn the shot behind.

Finally, on 70 minutes, Saints broke the deadlock, Jordan Turnbull heading in Jack Sinclair’s cross.

And as chances dried up for the hosts, one more was created in Southampton’s favour and Dominic Gape took full advantage by going clear and beating Gledhill.

Late on, Alex Grant was inches away from a consolation but, after beating Saints earlier in the season, the Fratton hopefuls were second best this time.

Pompey Academy: Gledhill, Tallack, Butler, Awford, Warren, Grant, Maloney, Colson, Walshe, Stockford, Higgins. Substitutes: Magri, Wheeler, Triggs, Wallace, Harris.

Southampton Academy: Johns, Young, O’Sullivan, McCarthy, Mugabi, Turnbull, Bowman, Gape, Ward-Preece, Reed, Rowe. Substitutes: Sinclair, Curtis, Colmar, Arimibi.