U18s Draw With Pompey
Saturday, 7th Jan 2012 23:37
Town’s U18s conceded a last-minute equaliser to draw 2-2 with bottom-of-the-table Portsmouth at a windswept Playford Road on Saturday morning. Goals from Lewis Acott (pictured) and Jack Marriott weren’t enough for Town’s youngsters, who were coached by Gerard Nash with Russell Osman understood to be watching Friday’s FA Youth Cup opponents Burnley in action at Accrington Stanley.
The visitors started brightly and Ashley Harris stooped to head a cross from the right just wide, before Tom Winter flashed an effort across Pompey’s goalmouth soon after.
Winter hit a tame effort at Pompey keeper Matthew Gledhill after being released by a long ball from Jide Maduako, before Marriott shot just wide after finding himself one-on-one with Gledhill.
Byron Lawrence’s cross was headed onto a post by Marriott on 24 before keeper Conor O’Donnell was forced to tip a speculative effort from Liam Trigg over the bar.
Pompey took the lead on 36 minutes when a deep freekick from Harris was headed in by captain Samuel Magri.
With the wind behind them, Town made a good start to the second period and Lawrence teed up Gunnar Thorsteinsson, whose left-foot effort from the edge of the area was destined for the top corner before Trigg diverted it over from underneath the bar.
However, from the resultant corner nine minutes after the restart, Town did get their deserved equaliser. Maduako’s header was cleared off the line but Acott turned and netted his first goal of the season.
On 57 Town took the lead when David October’s cross from the left found its way across the area to Marriott, whose initial effort was blocked but the front man followed up to tuck away the rebound.
Taking the lead seemed to encourage the young Blues to sit back and a host of substitutions from both sides disrupted the flow of the second half.
With six minutes remaining, Town looked to hit the visitors on the break and Jack Simmons broke away on the left before cutting inside and seeing his right-foot shot curl over the bar.
However, Pompey grabbed an equaliser in the 89th minute when a dangerous cross from Jack Maloney on the right was headed into the corner of the net by Dan Thompson, who had been a thorn in Town’s side all game.
A draw was probably a fair result, with both sides creating a number of good chances throughout. Marriott worked well up front and Leddy sprayed the ball around well from the centre of the park, but Town will need to improve when they face a Burnley side who have won their last 12 matches in the Youth Alliance.
U18s: O’Donnell (O’Neil 46), Jones, October, Acott (Meikle 70), Maduako, Thorsteinsson, Winter, Bennett, Marriott (Simmons 62), Lawrence, Leddy. Unused: Tiofack, Scotcher.
Report: James Ager
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