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Kick off 11:30 (UK)

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09 December 2017 Venue Unavailable Attendance

Kick off 11:30 (UK)

Newport County U18
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Portsmouth U18
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Match Previews

ACADEMY| The Young Exiles look to bounce back against Portsmouth

8 December 2017

Our U18 side face Portsmouth at Lliswerry School this Saturday, looking to bounce back from their first for the first time this season and continue to move up the league table.

We preview Pompey’s last five matches, previous fixtures between the two sides and a lowdown on the backroom staff ahead of our important fixture against Mark Kelly’s side.


Previous Fixtures

Last season, County struggled against Portsmouth’s U18 side – despite this, we finished in the top-half of the Youth Alliance League South at their expense, with only goal difference separating the two sides.

The most recent fixture was a 6-2 loss at Furze Lane and despite a penalty from Tom Savigar and a brilliant finish from Michael Cook, goals from Leon Maloney, Harry Kavanagh, Dan Smith and Bradley Lethbridge lead Mark Kelly’s team to victory.

Our last home fixture against Pompey was a narrow 2-1 defeat, which helped to put pressure on Byron Anthony’s side – but it didn’t prevent the Young Exiles from finishing in the top-half of the Youth Alliance South.

Backroom Staff

Portsmouth’s academy manager is currently Mark Kelly, who was appointed in June 2014 after Andy Awford had been appointed first-team manager.

Kelly had previously played for Portsmouth, making his debut against West Ham United in February 1988.

Despite showing promise at a young age and had been compared to George Best by Pompey manager Alan Ball, he suffered with injuries and retired in 1991 after a serious knee injury.

Portsmouth’s Professional Development Phase Coach is Mikey Harris, who formerly managed Salisbury and was the youngest manager in English football at the age of 29 in 2014.

He took up the role in 2014 after Salisbury were relegated to National League south after failing to clear outstanding debt.


Last Five Fixtures

Portsmouth currently sit fourth in the EFL Youth Alliance, with three wins from their last five matches contributing to Pompey climbing the table.

November was a successful month for Portsmouth, despite a loss to league leaders Exeter City. Portsmouth picked up narrow victories against Plymouth Argyle and Bournemouth, before finishing the month with an emphatic 6-0 victory against Bristol Rovers.

December hasn’t quite gone to plan for Mark Kelly’s U18s, with his side drawing 2-2 against Cheltenham Town on December 2nd – Cheltenham currently sit bottom of the league.

The south coast based side have enjoyed a reasonable amount of success in the FA Youth Cup, but were knocked out of the competition by Leicester City on Tuesday.


Match Details

The match will take place at Lliswerry School, with the game kicking off at 11:30.

If you can, come down to support the Young Exiles against Portsmouth, as they look to pick up a vital three points in their fixture the south coast side.

Postcode – Lliswerry School (NP19 4RP)


Follow Along

You can follow match updates on the official academy Twitter @Youth_County, which will keep you updated with live updates from Lliswerry as the Young Exiles look to pick-up their first win over Portsmouth this season, good luck boys!


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Match Reports

ACADEMY REPORT| Young Exiles fall to defeat in stoppage time against Portsmouth

10 December 2017

Our U18 side fell to a heart-breaking 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth at Lliswerry School, with Mark Kelly’s side snatching all three points in added time on December 9th, 2017.

A single goal from Bradley Lethbridge sealed the win for Pompey, despite County having many chances beforehand and winger Tom Hillman hit the post with 64 minutes played.

County started the game strongly, with Lewis Collins seeing an early shot saved by Portsmouth ‘keeper Jack Collins in the 5th minute. Liam Bishop also had a few good chances early on, but the forward couldn’t beat Jack Collins, who was in inspired form.

Defender Joe Hunt made a brilliant challenge in the 14th minute to stop Leon Maloney from breaking the deadlock for Pompey, with County’s Josh Williams then pulling out a superb strike from 30 yards-out, but Portsmouth keeper Collins made another brilliant save, parrying Williams’ thunderous shot out for a corner.

County ‘keeper Matt Mayor hadn’t had much to do in the first 20 minutes, but he had to make a superb catch from a Portsmouth cross, with the box crowded full of County and Portsmouth players in the 21st minute. Mayor then produced another piece of excellent goalkeeping, making a brilliant save to his left, preventing a Portsmouth header from finding the back of the net.

Lewis Collins saw his overhead kick go just over the bar with 25 minutes played as the Young Exiles stepped up their search for the opening goal of the match.

The away side had a free-kick in the 37th minute, but Jordan Brooks blasted his effort well over Mayor’s goal.

Byron Anthony’s side ended the first-half much stronger, and Liam Bishop, who had been excellent throughout the half, had a shot inside of the box on his right foot which narrowly went over the crossbar with 43 minutes gone, meaning County went into the break level.

After the restart, several fouls made the game extremely difficult for both teams, with no real chances able to be created in the opening five minutes of the second-half.

Pompey yet again managed to survive a series of attacks, with Lewis Collins’ powerful strike heading into the top left-corner of the goal, before Jack Collins made another great save to keep the scores level.

County continued to keep the pressure on the visitors, Lewis Collins rounded Jack Collins, with his shot being blocked on the line in mid-air, after Pompey defender Mnoga made a world-class acrobatic clearance to clear the ball away in the 55th minute – with the defender getting injured in the process, but after treatment he returned into the action at Lliswerry School.

Michael Cook saw his near-post volley saved a minute later by Collins, who just couldn’t be beaten in the Portsmouth goal.

Mark Kelly made his first substitution on the hour mark, with Harry Kavanagh making way for Ethan Robb.

Five minutes later, the visitors found themselves under pressure again, with Liam Bishop having a shot saved from close-range before Tom Hillman’s rebound from a tight-angle smashed against the post in the 65th minute.

Byron Anthony made County’s first substitution of the game, with Michael Cook being replaced by Owura Edwards with 71 minutes played as the Young Exiles looked to break the deadlock.

Liam Warman came on for forward Liam Bishop in the 79th minute, with the hosts continuing to push for an all-important goal.

Jack Collins thwarted yet another chance by Lewis Collins, with the keeper making a brilliant stop in the 89th minute before the referee indicated that two additional minutes would be played at Lliswerry School.

In the 91st minute, a series of collective errors made by the Young Exiles allowed Portsmouth to find themselves one-on-one with Matt Mayor, who rushed out of his goal to prevent a Portsmouth goal, despite this, a poor clearance from Tom Savigar gifted Pompey forward Bradley Lethbridge a massive chance, with an open goal in front of him. The striker calmly finished into an empty net, leaving County bitterly disappointed at Lliswerry School, after having many major chances to take the lead.

The referee then called an end to proceedings at Lliswerry School, with the Young Exiles still yet to beat Portsmouth this season after a gut-wrenching 1-0 defeat to Mark Kelly’s team.

Next up for the Young Exiles is an away clash with Cheltenham Town – Who currently sit bottom of the Youth Alliance South.


County Starting XI: Mayor, Jay Williams, Hunt, Josh Williams, Murray, Savigar, Collins, Press (c), Bishop (Warman 79’), Cook (Edwards 71’), Hillman.

Subs Not Used: Jay Williams Jnr, Ryan George, Owen Taylor.

Portsmouth Starting XI: Collins, Mnoga, Danny, Lethbridge, Kavanagh (Robb 60’), Flint, Brooks (c), Read, Whiting, Johnson, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Stanley, Bridgeman.

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