Portsmouth see League One rivals Accrington move in on their territory to snap up Bognor midfielder Tommy Leigh

Pompey are set to see another promising non-league player snapped up by an EFL rival from right under their noses.

By Mark McMahon
Thursday, 10th June 2021, 11:31 am

Promising Bognor midfielder Tommy Leigh is on the verge of joining League One Accrington – the side that ended the Blues’ hopes of claiming a play-off spot on the final day of the season.

A deal has been agreed for the 19-year-old to make the move to the Crown Ground, with personal terms the final details to be ironed out.

But once agreed, former Baffins Milton Rovers midfielder will become the latest player lured away from the Blues’ own doorstep.

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Jonah Ayunga left the Hawks for former third-tier rivals Bristol Rovers last year – and scored twice as the Gas beat Kenny Jackett’s then side 3-1 in February.

Meanwhile, Ethan Robb, who was released by Pompey at the end of the 2019-20 season, is now at Brentford after also being spotted in action for Bognor.

New Blues boss Danny Cowley is looking to utilise the non-league scene to help supplement his squad and fill the void left by the departure of Academy youngsters following the season’s end.

Tommy Leigh celebrates scoring for. Baffins Milton Rovers in the Wessex League

Bromley youngster Liam Vincent has already joined and penned a three-year deal at Fratton Park

When Leigh completes his move – a switch which will see the Rocks paid compensation because of his age – he will link up with another Portsmouth-born midfielder, Matt Butcher, who has been at Accy since last summer following his AFC Bournemouth departure.

He joined Bognor from Baffins in 2019 – along with his brother Ashton.

Both impressed, although their appearances have been limited by the 2019-20 and 20-21 seasons being cut short by Covid restrictions and lockdowns.

Tommy Leigh, right, with Priory School team-mate Harvey Tanner after they won the U-13 Schools' Cup at Fratton Park in 2013.

Bognor boss Jack Pearce told the Chichester Observer: said: ‘Tommy’s done very well in the relatively short time he’s been with us and deserves his chance.

‘The two clubs have agreed a deal but I believe the terms they are offering him have yet to be agreed.’