Portsmouth reserves held to draw against Exeter

Pompey reserves picked up their first point of the Premier League Cup campaign as they drew 2-2 with Exeter.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 7:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th January 2020, 8:55 pm
Brad Lethbridge was on target for Pompey reserves against Exeter. Picture: Colin Farmery

Bradley Lethbridge and Matt Casey twice but the Blues in front in the second half of the Group D clash at Nyewood Lane.

But the home side were pegged back twice and the game ended a stalemate.

Mark Kelly named a youthful line-up, with Casey named as captain and the likes of Leon Maloney, Lethbridge and Josh Flint also featuring.

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Pompey went close to opening the scoring in the seventh minute when Lethbridge’s cross was headed back across goal by Maloney but Alfie Stanley couldn’t quite get on the end of it.

On 14 minutes Blues keeper Taylor Seymour – on trial from Lewes – made a smart save to push a wide a cross-cum-shot.

It was proving a cagey affair but the best chance of the half fell to Exeter when a ball was cut back from the byline by Seymour made an excellent stop with his feet to keep the scores level.

Four minutes before the break, Kelly’s side mustered half a chance when the visitors failed to clear a corner but Harvey Rew nodded over the crossbar.

Pompey started the second half the better team and Maloney’s lofted pass intended for Stanley was almost turned into his own net by a Grecian defender.

When the breakthrough did arrive in the 52nd minute, it went to the home side. Harvey Rew displayed excellent vision to find the run of Lethbridge and he kept his cool to slot beyond the keeper.

Then Bridgman almost doubled the advantage two minutes later when his long-range effort went just over.

Exeter started to grow back into the game and in the 55th minute Seymour made a good stop to his left before Casey's sliding challenge denied a Grecian forward a tap-in.

But the visitors levelled parity eight minutes later when a forward burst into the box before curling into the top corner.

Yet the Blues soon regained their lead in the 66th minute. Maloney’s corner was headed in the air and Casey towered above everyone to glance into the far corner.

The skipper almost gifted the Grecians an equaliser moments later, though, when his clearance ricocheted off a visiting forward and left him with an open goal, but his shot trickled the wrong side of the post.

With 15 minutes remaining, Seymour made another fine stop in a one-v-one scenario.

And Pompey again were indebited to the keeper when he thwarted a powerful effort with three minutes left.

But just a matter of seconds later, Exeter got back on level terms when a neat move was rounded off by a shot that slid under Seymour.

The Blues were penned in their own half during four minutes of stoppage-time but they held on doggedly for a share of the spoils.

Pompey: Seymour, Kavanagh, Casey, Rew, Kelly (Robb 65), Bridgman, Storey, Maloney, Flint, Lethbridge (Teggart 59), Stanley (Brook 83)

Subs not used: Bruce, Bell.