Date: 24th August 2008 at 9:22am
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Our academy side made a better start to their season than the seniors did last week against Chelski, but we still had to be content with a point after a 1-1 draw with Leeds. This point, which seems the least we deserved, was rescued by Matt Richie.

Below is the official match report from the Pompey Site

PLAY UP POMPEY!

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RITCHIE STRIKE EARNS ACADEMY POINT

Pompey Academy 1 Leeds Academy 1

Pompey had to be content with a point as they got their Academy League season underway with a 1-1 draw against Leeds at the Wellington Sports Ground.

It was Matt Ritchie who rescued a point for the Blues, after the visitors had taken the lead against the run of play, early in the second half.

Pompey created numerous first-half chances against a hard-working Leeds side and almost took an early lead when Ritchie threaded a ball through to Nadir Cifitci, but keeper Alex Cairns did well to keep out the shot.

From the resulting loose ball, Marlon Pack then fired just wide as the hosts began to exert considerable pressure on their opponents.

James Hurst then put in a high cross from the right that evaded the stretched fingers of Carins but was also inches too high for Paris Cowan-Hall, who was racing in at the far post.

Pompey went even closer moments later when, from Gael Nlundulu’s corner, Ryan Woodford’s goal-bound header was cleared off the line by Luke Garbutt.

Nlundulu then rolled a shot agonisingly wide of the post after going on a mazy run and cutting inside from the right.

It was Bill Hattfield who was next to come to Leeds’ rescue. Tom Kilbey’s looping header from Ritchie’s corner was headed off the line by the well-positioned midfielder.

Nlundulu was soon racing through on goal once more, but again his shot went the wrong side of the post.

Half Time: Pompey 0 Leeds 0

Despite Pompey’s dominance, it was Leeds who took the lead three minutes after the interval through their first decent chance of the match.

Ryan Woodford was unable to fully connect with a long ball pumped into the Blues area, allowing Mike Whitfield to volley home.

Leeds were looking a different side now and only the offside flag stopped them from extending their advantage when Nathan Cartman tucked the ball past Liam O’Brien.

But Pompey hauled themselves back onto level terms on 55 minutes after some clever work by Ciftci. He turned neatly on the ball and played in RITCHIE, who lashed the ball home.

The Blues were not being given the amount of chances they had enjoyed in the first half however, and the game began to drift towards its conclusion.

A threatening run from Nlundulu was halted late in the game while at the other end, Woodford did well to snuff out a Leeds attack.

Pompey: O’Brien, Blackman (Gregory 87), Pack, Woodford, Reynolds (Ryan 65), Nlundulu, Hurst, Kilbey, Ritchie, Ciftci, Cowan-Hall (Smith 80)
Goals: Ritchie 55
Subs not used: Smith, Martin

Leeds: Cairns, Darville, Garbutt, Falkingham, Williams, Milne, Cartman, Hattfield, Whitfield (McCann 65), Jones (Jerome 60), Ovington
Goals: Whitfield 48
Subs not used: Booth, Elliott, Watson

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