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.
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.
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.
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)
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!