The deafening Portsmouth Academy silence after Liverpool were crowned FA Youth Cup champions 

Pompey Academy dejected after Liverpool's Bobby Duncan nets a late winner in the FA Youth Cup third-round tie. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey Academy dejected after Liverpool's Bobby Duncan nets a late winner in the FA Youth Cup third-round tie. Picture: Colin Farmery
Share this article

Mark Kelly admitted there was a deafening silence around the training ground following Liverpool’s FA Youth Cup triumph. 

Pompey Academy went agonisingly close to knocking the eventual champions out in the third round of the competition. 

The young Blues fell to a 3-2 defeat against the Premier League outfit’s Category One set-up in December. 

Despite trailing 2-0 at half-time, Bradley Lethbridge and Joe Hancott got Kelly’s troops back of level terms, before they missed a number of opportunities to win the tie.

Reds striker Bobby Duncan then struck in stoppage-time to break Pompey’s hearts.

Liverpool went on to lift the silverware, defeating Manchester City on penalties in the final last month. 

And Kelly told how there was a quiet atmosphere the club’s Roko base the following day. 

Pompey’s youth chief said: ‘It was hard to take the first time (the young Blues losing to Liverpool) but watching the final was probably harder.

‘We saw the pathway. If we’d won then we’d have played Accrington in the next round. 

‘They’re all individual games and you can say it is easier but had we beat Liverpool you’d think we could have went quite far.

‘Fair play to Liverpool. It was good to see them go and upset the apple cart by beating Man City and Bobby Duncan did it again, the goalscorer he is.

‘It was reflective the next day. It was interesting because the mood was pretty quiet and then someone piped up and we had all watched it.

‘We still feel it but, as I said that night, it’s the best education you can get sometimes.

‘Almost knocking the eventual winners out, I think the boys sat there and reflected on the four or five chances, while the concentration levels for Liverpool’s winner should never have happened.’