Hawks 2 Portsmouth 5 - Moroccan triallist and former Norwich striker Gassan Ahadme nets hat-trick in Blues' friendly win

Moroccan triallist Gassan Ahadme hit a hat-trick as Pompey wrapped up a 5-2 pre-season friendly victory over the Hawks at Westleigh Park on Saturday.

Saturday, 10th July 2021, 4:52 pm
Updated Sunday, 11th July 2021, 1:58 pm
Pompey goalkeeper Alex Bass clears at Hawks. Picture: Kieron Louloudis
Pompey goalkeeper Alex Bass clears at Hawks. Picture: Kieron Louloudis

The free agent, most recently at Premier League side Norwich, bagged his treble in the space of 26 second-half minutes to stake his claim to Blues head coach Danny Cowley.

Ahadme, 20, was one of 10 triallists used by Pompey in the win at their non-league hosts.

Former Southampton midfielder Jake Hesketh was used in the first half, while nine others featured after the break.

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Pompey head coach Danny Cowley

The Blues had to battle back from being behind twice against the National League South Hawks, with stunning efforts from Tommy Wright and James Roberts handing the home side the advantage in the first half.

However, summer signing Ryan Tunnicliffe cancelled out Wright's opener, before Ahadme's quick-fire second-half double turned it around to 3-2.

Reeco Hackett-Fairchild struck 21 minutes from time to extend that lead, before Ahadme rounded off the scoring on 81 minutes.

A minute's applause was held prior to kick-off in memory of former Pompey striker Paul Mariner, who died, aged 68, on Friday.

The Blues made a bright start with Marcus Harness being played in behind by full-back Callum Johnson inside four minutes, although his first shot was saved by Ross Worner before then firing wide on the rebound.

But it was the Hawks who went ahead courtesy of Wright's thunderous long-range strike eight minutes later.

He picked the ball up around 25 yards out and fired a left-footed strike past Pompey keeper Alex Bass.

The Blues, still creating numerous chances, responded well and levelled after 18 minutes.

Ronan Curtis picked up the ball then found Harness, who slid in summer signing Tunnicliffe and he fired past Worner.

Striker John Marquis then had two efforts well saved in quick succession by Worner prior to the Hawks retaking the lead for a second time.

Again, it was a superb finish, with Roberts curling past Bass from outside the right corner of the box just after the half-hour mark.

Moroccan Ahadme, introduced by Cowley at the break, made an instant impression.

First, he was on hand to fire past Worner 10 minutes after the break, then he headed home from the rebound after his initial shot had been saved a minute later.

The Blues then scored for a third time in 14 minutes, with fellow substitute Hackett-Fairchild added a fourth.

He brilliantly cut inside then curled past Worner inside the area.

Ahadme got in on the act again, completing a 26-minute hat-trick, when he fired past Worner on the spin on 81 minutes.