Portsmouth triallist player ratings: how Gassan Ahadme, Jake Hesketh and Co. fared in 5-2 pre-season win
Pompey got their first win of the pre-season programme under their belt on Saturday against the Hawks.
The Blues ran out 5-2 winners at Westleigh Park ahead of their training camp at St George’s Park tomorrow.
And the talk of the clash was the number of triallists on display.
In total, there were nine players not under contract at PO4 who featured for Danny Cowley’s side.
All bar one – Jake Hesketh – came on at half-time when Pompey found themselves 2-1 down.
However, they stepped up to the plate to deliver the Blues a success.
We’ve identified some of those on display, while eagle-eyed fans also think they’ve managed to name some others.
Here’s how we rated each triallists’ performance out of 10.
Triallist A (No14) – 6
Identified as Jake Hesketh before kick-off, he was the only triallist to start the clash alongside the likes of Ronan Curtis, John Marquis and the rest of players tied down.
The midfielder featured in the number-10 role and was lively for the first 30 minutes before fading.
Hesketh played with plenty of energy and enthusiasm and always looked to play positively.
A decent-enough impression from a player who Cowley signed at Lincoln.
Triallist B (No1) – 6
The man who replaced Alex Bass for the second half is believed to be former Barnsley keeper Corey Addai.
A towering presence, he had relatively little to do throughout the half.
However, when called into action, he did well and with confidence. There were a couple of long-range efforts that he held cleanly.
With Cowley wanting a third keeper who's played fewer than five league games (for emergency loan purposes), he's put himself in the reckoning.
Triallist C (No22) – 6
Identified as Ryan Leak, who came through Wolves' academy and has spent the past two years playing in Spain.
The centre-back didn't have an awful lot to do but looked useful on the ball when in possession.
Leak is left-footed and that's an attribute that plenty of managers covet when it comes to central defenders.
Triallist D (No21) – 6
Identified as Sam Habergham, who has been training with Pompey since the opening day of pre-season.
He looked to get forward down the flank as often as possible and had a decent relationship with Triallist I (more on him later).
Habergham was part of Cowley's squad that delivered the National League title at Lincoln in 2017, as well as working together at Braintree.
However, given he's 29 and never played in League One, it's likely that the ex-Grimsby man is with Pompey to help out the numbers in pre-season, while he can get fit ahead of his next move.
Triallist E (No17) – 8
Entering the fray in the second half, he sat the deepest of a three-man midfield.
He showed superb control on the ball throughout and excellent vision.
Overall, he played with real authority and grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck to put Pompey on the front foot after a disappointing first half.
One of the more impressive triallists and one who should be sticking around a little longer.
Triallist F (No15) – 6
Identified as Madger Gomes, who we reported was set to link up with Pompey.
The left-footed midfielder displayed some decent moments in the second period and had an effort pushed onto the crossbar by Hawks keeper Ross Werner.
However, for someone who played 55 games for Doncaster in the past two seasons, a little more was expected.
Triallist G (No15) – 7
Also featured in the three-man midfield and some fans believe him to be ex-Leicester midfielder and former England youth international Layton Ndukwu.
It's a name that would make sense given he displayed the sort of composure on the ball you associate with players who come through Category One academies.
He also almost got himself on the scoresheet when his teasing free-kick was just pushed around the post by the Hawks keeper.
An intelligent performance.
Triallist H (No16) – 9
He's been identified as Gassan Ahadme - and what an effort he delivered.
The striker was lauded by Danny Cowley at full-time for what he described as a 'complete number-nine performance'.
Ahadme notched himself a 26-minute second-half hat-trick, with plenty of fans calling for him to be signed up already.
The ex-Norwich forward was in the right place to swivel and finish to equalise before he increased his tally a minute later.
It was Ahadme's third strike that was most impressive. Spotted in space by Reeco Hackett-Fairchild, he took the ball down on his chest before spinning and applying a composed finish.
Given he only linked up with Pompey the previous day, there should be more to come.
Triallist I (No25) – 8
Featuring in a left-wing role, he too caught the eye.
He had plenty of pace and power and persistently looked to test the opposition with his menacing runs down the flank.
He got himself an assist when he set up Reeco Hackett-Fairhchild's strike, while he also notched himself when he spotted the Hawks keeper off his line but dinked over.