Alty Blue reports on Pompey’s youth team exiting the FA youth cup, when this tie could finally be played.
On Monday evening at Altrincham’s Moss Lane ground, Pompey’s under 18’s looked to go one better than their senior counterparts and go through to the 4th round of their FA Cup competition. United’s under 18’s were considered to be the pre-game favourites, despite having lost 4 of their previous 5 outings in their academy league and having a number of representative players in their ranks.
The game, watched from the stands by Fergie, Sir Bobby Charlton and the United chief executive David Gill got under way in wet and windy conditions with Pompey playing attacking the goal to the left (Altrincham’s home end) with the wind behind their backs.
A bright opening by both teams saw chances at either end, with our best chance coming after 10 minutes, an attack down the right hand side being put over by Ryan Williams from 6 yards. The game at this stage was fairy even, but as the game progressed United began to enjoy more possession and the better chances. The deadlock was broken in spectacular style on the half hour with a stunning strike from Paul Pogba. The ball fell to him 25 yards out, and without hesitation he hit a shot that left Tom Fry in the Pompey goal with absolutely no chance of saving.
Half time approached with United again enjoying slightly more possession but unable to convert any of this into goal scoring opportunities. Meanwhile Pompey were being restricted to counter attacks, without really troubling Sam Johnstone in the United goal.
Man Utd Youth 1 Pompey Youth 0
United got the second half underway, with Pompey making a change, bringing on Alex Grant for Andy Higgins. Neither team was able to get a grip on the game in the early stages, but as the half continued United again began to enjoy the lions share of the ball. They extended their lead 13 minutes into the half when a corner on the United left was not dealt with and Tom Fry could only manage to punch the ball into his own net, and then just 3 minutes later it was 3-0 as a through ball to the United number 10, William Keane was able to hit as shot into the top left corner past Fry.
Five minutes later it could have been worse for Pompey, but fortunately the officials ruled out another United goal for offside. Pompey changed things again, bringing on George Colson for Elliott Wheeler, but on 28 minutes a mix up in the defence led to Keane being brought down and the referee awarding a penalty. Van Velzen took the kick and scored, but fortunately for Pompey the referee ruled that there had been encroachment by several United player and ordered a retake. This was superbly saved by Fry diving low and to his right.
This save, three United substitutions and perhaps Fergie’s departure at this stage seemed to give Pompey added impetus. Our final substitution, Ashley Harris coming on for the captain Lewis Stockford, was followed 2 minutes later by the start of the Pompey fight back. Scored by the impressive Ryan Williams he beat the keeper shooting across him to the far right hand corner, a goal greeted by celebrations from me and 4 other Pompey supporters stood behind the goal.
The second Pompey goal came on 90 minutes and was again scored by Ryan Williams. United failed to clear a corner and a perfect back heel from George Colson fell into the path of Ryan Williams who beat the United keeper at the near post.
Unfortunately, Pompey were unable to find an equaliser in the 3 minutes of added time to force extra time, but came away with their heads held high after an excellent performance against the more senior and experienced players of Manchester United’s Academy.
Man Utd Youth 3 Pompey Youth 2
Johnstone, Keane M (Lingard 75), Blackett, Thorpe, Fornasier (Messacci 75), Tunnicliffe, Cole (Fryers 75), Pogba, Cofie, Keane W, Van Velzen
Subs not used: Jacob, Hendrie
Fry, Tallack, Butler, Tsolovos, Bennett, Magri, Wheeler (Colson 67), Stock ford (Harris 81), Williams, Walshe, Higgins (Grant 46)
Subs not used: Seeley, Gledhill
Written by Alty Blue.
The views within this article are the views of the individual who wrote and submitted this piece, sometimes solely theirs. They are not necessarily shared by the Vital Pompey Site Journalists.