Slick Academy turn on the style

Pompey youngster Adam Webster
Pompey youngster Adam Webster

Pompey’s academy youngsters continued their winning ways with a 3-0 win over Aldershot at Guildford University Sports Arena.

Jack Whatmough, Jae Heon Kim and George Branford got the goals to seal victory yesterday afternoon.

Adam Webster returned to the side following his involvement at youth level with England.

He was quickly called into defensive duty to repel some early attacks from the hosts.

But on 10 minutes, after gradually winning the battle for midfield control, Pompey took the lead.

Bradley Tarbuck’s swirling corner was met by Whatmough who powered home a header from close range.

Nick Awford then created an opportunity for Branford, who fired inches wide.

On 25 minutes, the young Blues went two goals ahead.

Lewis Horsburgh fed Kim who found the net from inside the box.

The lively Horsburgh then outpaced the Shots defence but saw his well-struck shot saved at full stretch by keeper Luke Williams.

Aldershot took control for the rest of the half but were denied by some outstanding Pompey defending from Liam Triggs and Harry Medway.

The handling of keeper Luke Colquhoun also caught the eye as the loanee from Brighton ensured Pompey a comfortable interval lead.

As the wind continued to make playing conditions difficult for both sides, Pompey quickly set their stall out again for the start of the second half.

Tarbuck was desperately unlucky to see his shot fall the wrong side of a post.

But Pompey added a third when Medway created a superb opportunity for Horsburgh to send Branford clear as keeper Williams raced out to narrow the angle.

With the match effectively won, coach Paul Hardyman sent on his three 16-year-old substitutes.

And to their credit, Conor Chaplin, Brandon Haunstrap and Chad Field all slotted in well.

Andy Awford was pleased with the display.

He said: ‘It was a very good team performance by the lads and it also gave Adam Webster a 90-minute run out he really needed.

‘For me, it shows that we are on the right track by persevering with young players who are willing to learn and hopefully reach a standard that will benefit this club.

‘Importantly, it wasn’t just about the victory.

‘In-fact, they could have won by four or five but key to it was to have come away from home and because we defended well, managed to keep a clean sheet.’

Aldershot Academy: Williams, Howard, Douglas, Grosvenor, Gerrard, Richards, McDonald, Webbe, Blair, Cooksley, Halliday. Subs: Rudolph, O’Kelly, Kennedy, Metcalfe, Anderson.

Pompey Academy (from): Colquhoun, Medway, Triggs, Awford, Webster, Whatmough, Kim, Branford, Horsburgh, Close, Tarbuck. Subs: Chaplin, Haunstrup, Tarasenko, Field.