Pompey Reserves 2-0 Aston Villa Reserves
Goals from Ben Sahar - finally back from injury - and Jerome Thomas - who impressed apparently, which adds backing to my calls to put him into the 1st team on the right! - saw our 2nd string beat Villa 2-0 yesterday.
This is the report from the Pompey Site...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
SAHAR AND THOMAS STRIKE FOR RESERVES
Pompey Reserves 2 Aston Villa Reserves 0
Second-half goals from Ben Sahar and Jerome Thomas gave Pompey Reserves their first home win of the season against unbeaten Aston Villa, on a wet evening at Westleigh Park.
Paul Groves named a side with a mixture of youth and experience. Sahar - making his first Blues appearance since recovering from a knee injury - was among the starters, along with Thomas, John Utaka and Jamie Ashdown.
After a couple of half-chances for the visitors, Pompey had a great opportunity to open the scoring on eight minutes. Thomas fired a dangerous low cross into the area but Eric Lichaj made a great clearance to prevent the advancing Sahar from finishing.
Then, after some great work by Tom Kilbey, Utaka burst into the area before flashing a shot inches past the post.
But Villa were gifted a chance on 13 minutes when Ashdown handled Djimi Traore's back-pass. Referee Gary Jerden awarded a free-kick six yards from goal but Andreas Weimann's strike was deflected wide.
Perry Ryan was then forced to clear Zoltan Stieber's header off the line as the visitors threatened from the resulting corner.
Pompey were firmly on the back foot and Ashdown was forced to make a fine save to deny Weimann from point-blank range.
But the Blues came through the storm and the game soon settled down with neither keeper being particularly troubled.
Elliott Parish did have to make a regulation save to deny Thomas on 32 minutes however, after the winger's weaving run had turned the Villa defence inside out.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Aston Villa 0
The rain had finally stopped falling by the time the sides came out for the second half but the ball was still zipping across the wet surface.
Chances were proving to be at a premium but Stieber almost caught Ashdown out with a 30-yard lob that dipped onto the crossbar on 62 minutes.
The Blues keeper then made a smart stop to deny Nathan Delfouneso after the Villa striker had burst through on goal.
But Pompey took the lead from the penalty spot on 68 minutes. Thomas was brought down in the area by Lichaj and SAHAR stepped up to coolly stroke home the spot-kick.
They could have doubled their advantage moments later but Joe Collins stabbed the ball just wide after a quick counter-attacking move involving Thomas and Sahar.
Marlon Pack's fiercely-struck 20-yard effort was then deflected inches wide on 74 minutes, as the Blues looked to wrap up the points.
James Collins' late effort was cleared off the line as Villa pressed for an equaliser late in the game.
But instead Pompey sealed their victory when THOMAS slid the ball home after going on a mazy run through the visitors defence.
Harry Forrester did find the net for Villa on 89 minutes but his header was disallowed for a foul on Ashdown.
And their misery was complete when Ciaran Clark was sent off in stoppage time, picking up a second booking for a late challenge on Thomas.
Pompey: Ashdown; Duffy, Wilson (c), D. Traore, Ryan; Utaka (Collins 63), Kilbey, Pack, Thomas; Sahar, N'Lundulu
Goals: Sahar (pen) 68, Thomas 87
Booked: D. Traore, Duffy, N'Lundulu, Wilson
Subs not used: Stewart, Reynolds, Du Chattelier, Alors
Aston Villa: Parish; Lichaj, Lowry, Clark (c), O'Halloran; Weimann (Collins 78), Herd, Stieber, Bannan (Forrester 85); Delfouneso, Williams
Sent Off: Clark (two yellow cards)
Subs not used: Roome, Baker, Hofbauer
Referee: Gary Jerden