Our U18’s suffered a disappointing 6-2 defeat against Portsmouth on Saturday 7th October at Furze Lane.
County started the game strongly, forcing Portsmouth ‘keeper Jack Collins into a number of good saves early on.
Despite having the better start, Pompey were the side to break the deadlock, after a brilliant counter-attack lead to Leon Maloney’s goal in the 14th minute.
Almost a minute later, Owara Edwards picked the ball up on the left and was taken down by a Portsmouth defender in the box, giving the Young Exiles a brilliant chance to equalize.
Defender Tom Savigar took the penalty, calmly converting past Collins into the bottom-left corner from 12 yards-out, only a minute after going 1-0 down.
After grabbing the equalizer, Byron Anthony’s side continued to dominate the game with Tom Hillman’s half-volley going agonizingly close in the 18th minute.
The Young Exiles had been brilliant going forward, but they had goalkeeper Callum Brain to thank – his heroics saved two certain goals in the 25th and 28th minute respectively, keeping the scores level.
Five minutes later, Brain was called into action again making a brilliant save to his left, preventing Portsmouth from capitalizing on some poor defending.
Brain’s brilliant form wasn’t enough though, with Pompey forward Harry Kavanagh smashing the ball into the top corner; it was now 2-1 to the home side in the 39th minute.
Joe Hunt had the final chance of the half – his free-kick was tipped over the bar on the 42nd minute, meaning County went into the second-half 2-1 down despite having the majority of chances in the game.
The second-half started without any real chances in the opening minutes, but seven minutes into the half Dan Smith scored his first goal of the game, putting Portsmouth 3-1 up.
A nightmare start to the half continued, after Bradley Lethbridge scored Pompey’s second goal in as many minutes, finishing past Brain with 54 minutes gone.
Byron Anthony made two changes in the 57th minute, bringing off Owen Taylor and Josh Williams for Cole Scorey and Sam Roberts.
The changes freshened things up, and they seemed to work; Michael Cook scored his eighth goal of the season, making it only a two-goal deficit in the 62nd minute.
Two minutes later, County had given away a soft penalty which was scored by Leon Maloney – scoring his third of the game, putting his side 5-2 up.
Only two more substitutions were made during the game for the Young Exiles, with Owara Edwards coming off for Liam Warman in the 71st minute and Jay Williams coming on for Lucas Murray twelve minutes later.
Portsmouth got a sixth goal in the 89th minute, after Bradley Lethbridge scored his second goal of the game, ending off a disappointing afternoon for the Young Exiles.
Starting XI: Brain, Savigar, Murray (Williams 83’), Hunt, Williams (Roberts 57’), Foulston (C), Hillman, Taylor (Scorey 57’), Press, Cook, Edwards (Warman 71’).
Subs Not Used: Matthew Mayor.