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Youth: Pompey prove too strong

19 November 2013

Portsmouth Under-18's 2-0 Southend United Under-18's

Southend United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey felt that poor decision-making in the final third of the pitch cost his side dearly as they lost 2-0 at Portsmouth in their latest Football League Youth Alliance South East Conference fixture.
 
Blues went behind inside the first sixty seconds when Jae Heon Kim fired home and a second goal, by Fahad Rwakarambwe, a quarter-of-an-hour from the end put paid to the visitors’ hopes of getting back on level terms. “I was happy with the performance today but disappointed with the result. Our choices in the final third played a big part in the game.” remarked Huzzey.
 
“We created loads of chances to score, but sometimes our decision-making in the final third has got to be better. If we weren’t creating those chances, I’d be more worried, but we are making lots of entries into that part of the pitch. However, it’s what we do when we get there that, at the moment, needs to be better, whether it’s the last pass, the last touch or the last shot.”
 
Southend made one change to the team that were defeated 4-2 by Leyton Orient a week previously as Daniel King returned in place of Harry Norman in midfield. Blues had slipped to a three-goal deficit by half-time in east London and, momentarily, it appeared that this fixture could follow a similar path as Portsmouth took the lead in the first minute.
 
Kim made the initial surge down the left-hand side for the hosts, breaking clear of the Southend midfield before offloading to Brandon Joseph Buadi and, when he was apprehended on the edge of the penalty area, the ball ran kindly for Kim to steer his shot out of Ted Smith’s reach and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
 
Huzzey conceded that he was surprised by the poor start: “I think it was one of the best warm-ups we’ve done all year! The boys were buzzing, the warm-up was fluid and worked really well, and then we went out and conceded in the first minute. That’s hard because you come with a game-plan, and you set yourselves up nicely, and then they go and score and you have to get at them a bit more.”
 
Blues did respond well, although Smith was twice called upon to make smart stops in the opening ten minutes, first standing tall at his near post to collect a Rwakarambwe effort when the winger cut in from the right flank before managing to get down low to beat away another goalbound Kim strike. When play switched to the other end, Nico Cotton was left bemused as his penalty claims were waved away after he appeared to be tripped by James Granger.
 
Jason Williams warmed the gloves of Pompey custodian Alex Ross in the 17th minute with a 25-yard shot before successive Cotton corners almost led to an equaliser. The first-year scholar’s initial inswinging delivery was spilled by Ross just inches over the crossbar, whilst the second was met by Josh Banton, who nodded narrowly over.
 
Portsmouth full-back Jordan Haunstrup sent a searing shot whistling past the angle of left-hand post and crossbar in an increasingly irregular foray forwards for the hosts, and when the Shrimpers next attacked, they were brilliantly denied by Ross, who put his previous problems behind him to turn Jason Williams’ snapshot wide following a marauding run by namesake Jordan.
 
“I don’t think the early goal affected us at all; after that we had loads of possession and knocked it around really well. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and watching the video of the game because I think both myself and the boys will get a lot out of it. We did do well, we looked really good in possession, but the story is that we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” Huzzey lamented.
 
That theme continued as the match approached half-time, with King sweeping Charlie Barlow’s pass straight at Ross, Cotton searching out the ‘keeper’s gloves again with a drilled attempt and Jason Williams failing to direct his cross away from the gloveman following another well-judged Barlow pass. In between, Harry Medway nodded a Granger corner straight at Smith.
 
Southend initially carried their momentum forward into the second period and Cotton was again prominent with a 25-yard effort that bounced agonisingly wide straight from the restart. Brandon Scott was then presented with an opportunity to add to his five-goal tally this season at the end of Jack Bridge’s purposeful run, but he sliced his shot over after the ball took a nasty bobble.
 
Having weathered the storm, Pompey began to edge back into the game and a fine tracking run by Daniel Matsuzaka brought Kim’s attacking burst to a conclusion with three blue shirts threatening to outnumber the Blues backline. Two minutes later, and still in just the 51st minute of the match, Cotton was positioned expertly besides the left-hand upright to clear Chad Field’s attempt from a corner off the goal-line.
 
Banton did well to get back and block a Lewis Gill shot shortly afterwards, before Smith proved again why he is in the England U18s squad. Harry Medway met a corner and cut the ball back to Rwakarambwe, who saw the shotstopper push the strike out at point-blank range. Just after the hour mark, Smith repeated the feat as the same combination set up a chance, this time making an outstanding parried stop from Rwakarambwe’s thumping finish.
 
There remained signs that Blues may restore parity, and Scott’s cross just eluded Jason Williams with 20 minutes remaining, butRwakarambwe’s goal made it an uphill task. Buadi made progress down the left-hand side and, when his centre wasn’t cleared, the flanker hit a rasping shot into the net to make it 2-0. Even then, Southend didn’t lose hope, and Scott slashed wide from Jason Williams’ lofted pass.
 
Huzzey sent on Harry Norman and Kojo Apenteng to join Freddie Gard as substitutes, and the pair almost linked up for a goal in the last minute, Norman’s looping header from an Apenteng corner being clawed away by Ross, who also denied Jason Williams when he attempted to flick Scott’s cross home. Another late Apenteng flag-kick was met by Matsuzaka, who saw his aerial effort scrambled to safety, but in the end Blues were happy not to see Rwakarambwe score again as he fired over from the edge of the penalty area.
 
A third goal would certainly have been unjust, and Huzzey had some positive thoughts ahead of Southend’s next fixture, against Oxford United at Roots Hall on Monday 25th November: “There has been a reaction from everyone. We made it quite clear to the boys that the last four games, starting with Stevenage, weren’t good enough, so we had to make sure that this performance, going into The FA Youth Cup, was. I think we played well without getting the result.”
 
Southend United: Ted Smith, Jordan Williams, Emmanuel Adeyeye, Daniel King (Harry Norman, 83), Josh Banton, Daniel Matsuzaka, Brandon Scott, Charlie Barlow (Freddie Gard, 73), Jason Williams, Jack Bridge, Nico Cotton (Kojo Apenteng, 83). Substitutes not used:Ross Johnson, Macauley Keating.
Southend United’s youth team coach Dave Huzzey felt that poor decision-making in the final third of the pitch cost his side dearly as they lost 2-0 at Portsmouth in their latest Football League Youth Alliance South East Conference fixture.
 
Blues went behind inside the first sixty seconds when Jae Heon Kim fired home and a second goal, by Fahad Rwakarambwe, a quarter-of-an-hour from the end put paid to the visitors’ hopes of getting back on level terms. “I was happy with the performance today but disappointed with the result. Our choices in the final third played a big part in the game.” remarked Huzzey.
 
“We created loads of chances to score, but sometimes our decision-making in the final third has got to be better. If we weren’t creating those chances, I’d be more worried, but we are making lots of entries into that part of the pitch. However, it’s what we do when we get there that, at the moment, needs to be better, whether it’s the last pass, the last touch or the last shot.”
 
Southend made one change to the team that were defeated 4-2 by Leyton Orient a week previously as Daniel King returned in place of Harry Norman in midfield. Blues had slipped to a three-goal deficit by half-time in east London and, momentarily, it appeared that this fixture could follow a similar path as Portsmouth took the lead in the first minute.
 
Kim made the initial surge down the left-hand side for the hosts, breaking clear of the Southend midfield before offloading to Brandon Joseph Buadi and, when he was apprehended on the edge of the penalty area, the ball ran kindly for Kim to steer his shot out of Ted Smith’s reach and into the bottom right-hand corner of the net.
 
Huzzey conceded that he was surprised by the poor start: “I think it was one of the best warm-ups we’ve done all year! The boys were buzzing, the warm-up was fluid and worked really well, and then we went out and conceded in the first minute. That’s hard because you come with a game-plan, and you set yourselves up nicely, and then they go and score and you have to get at them a bit more.”
 
Blues did respond well, although Smith was twice called upon to make smart stops in the opening ten minutes, first standing tall at his near post to collect a Rwakarambwe effort when the winger cut in from the right flank before managing to get down low to beat away another goalbound Kim strike. When play switched to the other end, Nico Cotton was left bemused as his penalty claims were waved away after he appeared to be tripped by James Granger.
 
Jason Williams warmed the gloves of Pompey custodian Alex Ross in the 17th minute with a 25-yard shot before successive Cotton corners almost led to an equaliser. The first-year scholar’s initial inswinging delivery was spilled by Ross just inches over the crossbar, whilst the second was met by Josh Banton, who nodded narrowly over.
 
Portsmouth full-back Jordan Haunstrup sent a searing shot whistling past the angle of left-hand post and crossbar in an increasingly irregular foray forwards for the hosts, and when the Shrimpers next attacked, they were brilliantly denied by Ross, who put his previous problems behind him to turn Jason Williams’ snapshot wide following a marauding run by namesake Jordan.
 
“I don’t think the early goal affected us at all; after that we had loads of possession and knocked it around really well. I’m really looking forward to sitting down and watching the video of the game because I think both myself and the boys will get a lot out of it. We did do well, we looked really good in possession, but the story is that we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net,” Huzzey lamented.
 
That theme continued as the match approached half-time, with King sweeping Charlie Barlow’s pass straight at Ross, Cotton searching out the ‘keeper’s gloves again with a drilled attempt and Jason Williams failing to direct his cross away from the gloveman following another well-judged Barlow pass. In between, Harry Medway nodded a Granger corner straight at Smith.
 
Southend initially carried their momentum forward into the second period and Cotton was again prominent with a 25-yard effort that bounced agonisingly wide straight from the restart. Brandon Scott was then presented with an opportunity to add to his five-goal tally this season at the end of Jack Bridge’s purposeful run, but he sliced his shot over after the ball took a nasty bobble.
 
Having weathered the storm, Pompey began to edge back into the game and a fine tracking run by Daniel Matsuzaka brought Kim’s attacking burst to a conclusion with three blue shirts threatening to outnumber the Blues backline. Two minutes later, and still in just the 51st minute of the match, Cotton was positioned expertly besides the left-hand upright to clear Chad Field’s attempt from a corner off the goal-line.
 
Banton did well to get back and block a Lewis Gill shot shortly afterwards, before Smith proved again why he is in the England U18s squad. Harry Medway met a corner and cut the ball back to Rwakarambwe, who saw the shotstopper push the strike out at point-blank range. Just after the hour mark, Smith repeated the feat as the same combination set up a chance, this time making an outstanding parried stop from Rwakarambwe’s thumping finish.
 
There remained signs that Blues may restore parity, and Scott’s cross just eluded Jason Williams with 20 minutes remaining, butRwakarambwe’s goal made it an uphill task. Buadi made progress down the left-hand side and, when his centre wasn’t cleared, the flanker hit a rasping shot into the net to make it 2-0. Even then, Southend didn’t lose hope, and Scott slashed wide from Jason Williams’ lofted pass.
 
Huzzey sent on Harry Norman and Kojo Apenteng to join Freddie Gard as substitutes, and the pair almost linked up for a goal in the last minute, Norman’s looping header from an Apenteng corner being clawed away by Ross, who also denied Jason Williams when he attempted to flick Scott’s cross home. Another late Apenteng flag-kick was met by Matsuzaka, who saw his aerial effort scrambled to safety, but in the end Blues were happy not to see Rwakarambwe score again as he fired over from the edge of the penalty area.
 
A third goal would certainly have been unjust, and Huzzey had some positive thoughts ahead of Southend’s next fixture, against Oxford United at Roots Hall on Monday 25th November: “There has been a reaction from everyone. We made it quite clear to the boys that the last four games, starting with Stevenage, weren’t good enough, so we had to make sure that this performance, going into The FA Youth Cup, was. I think we played well without getting the result.”
 
Southend United: Ted Smith, Jordan Williams, Emmanuel Adeyeye, Daniel King (Harry Norman, 83), Josh Banton, Daniel Matsuzaka, Brandon Scott, Charlie Barlow (Freddie Gard, 73), Jason Williams, Jack Bridge, Nico Cotton (Kojo Apenteng, 83). Substitutes not used:Ross Johnson, Macauley Keating.

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