Luckless Portsmouth summer recruit handed surprise debut - 10 months after arriving at Fratton Park

Liam Vincent has finally made his Pompey debut – 10 months after arriving at Fratton Park.

Sunday, 27th March 2022, 11:00 am

Although it would be Academy football which staged his Blues bow, rather than Danny Cowley’s first-team.

The 19-year-old turned out for Liam Daish’s side in Saturday’s Merit League fixture against Cambridge United at Pompey’s Hilsea training ground.

Although classed as an attacking left-back or left winger, Vincent slotted in at centre-half for a young Blues side devastated by injury and unavailability.

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He featured for 60 minutes in their 1-0 victory, before replaced by first-year scholar Kaden Traynor.

It represented a long-awaited maiden competitive outing for Vincent, whose Pompey entrance has been blighted by injury since his June 2021 arrival from Bromley.

He finally returned to full fitness in February and was subsequently named on Cowley’s bench for five successive matches, without being called upon.

However, with the Blues without a first-team fixture for 16 days and the Academy desperately short on numbers, it was decided to blood him on Saturday.

Liam Vincent made is long-awaited Pompey debut on Saturday - albeit for the Academy. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

Daish’s side had six players missing, with David Setters injured, Harry Jewitt-White on Wales under-18 duty and Dan Gifford, Harvey Hughes, Alfie Bridgman and Izzy Kaba out on loan.

It’s a group already reduced following the departure of three youngsters in July after racist Snapchat messages.

In addition, first-year scholars Josh Dockerill, Spencer Spurway, Jamie Howell, Adam Payce and Elliott Simpson are presently sidelined through injury.

As a result, Vincent partnered skipper Jack Fox in the centre of defence, while four under-16 players also featured.

Furthermore, Pompey included three triallists – Destiny Ojo, Koby Mottoh and Dan Murray.

Regardless, Daish’s youngsters claimed victory over the U’s through Maxwell Hurst’s second-half goal.

It represents a third win in five outings in their Merit League One campaign, which has four fixtures remaining.

Meanwhile, Daish is to step down from his role as lead professional development phase (PDP) coach at the season’s end, following five years at Fratton Park.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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