May 18, Chaplin 55, 87, Field 63
ARGYLE’S youngsters lost their mini Dockyard Derby – two weeks before the real thing – to exit the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle.
Hopes of emulating last season’s run to the third round of the competition, where the Argyle Academy gave Premier League Aston Villa a run for their money, took a hit in the 18th minute when Pompey midfielder Adam May swept home a low right-wing cross and they never recovered.
Kevin Hodges’ young team, which included four first-year apprentices, responded well, but failed to create any outstanding scoring opportunities before the interval. Two long-range shots from Callum Hall that failed to trouble Portsmouth goalkeeper Alex Bass were possibly scant reward for some effortful attempts to gain parity.
The Pilgrims emerged for the second half with purpose and, straightway, Jake Miller’s powerful shot forced Bass into a full-length save.
It proved to be a false dawn, however, as Portsmouth scored twice in quick succession to kill off home hopes of a revival. First, midfielder Conor Chaplin strode into a crowded penalty area before firing past Pilgrims’ goalkeeper Andrew Hannah; then Chad Field headed home a corner at the far post.
Argyle showed spirit to keep plugging away and nearly achieved a measure of success for their gameness when substitute Jason Vincent sent Louis Rooney away for a shot that Bass saved well.
Rooney then fired into the side netting after a slick Pilgrims’ move before Chaplin emphatically put down their resurgence with his second of the match.
Argyle (4-1-4-1): 1 Andrew Hannah; 2 Mason Hughes, 5 Owen Jones, 6 Tom Moxham, 3 Jamil Roberts; 4 Will Sargent (c, 15 Josh Richards); 7 Billy Palfrey (14 Jason Vincent), 10 Jake Miller (16 Alex Fletcher), 8 Callum Hall, 11 Ryan Lane; 9 Louis Rooney. Substitutes (not used): 12 Liam Knowles, 13 Corey Harvey (gk).
Portsmouth (4-5-1): 1 Alex Bass; 16 Calvin Davies, 6 Snorre Nilsen, 5 Chad Field, 3 Brandon Haunstrup (c); 8 Adam May, 4 James Granger, 7 Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain (14 Fahad Rwakarambwe), 10 Conor Chaplin, 11 Kaleem Haitham (12 Brandon Joseph-Buadi); 9 Lewis Gill (15 Liam Sayers). Substitutes (not used): 2 Ousman Saidy, 13 Monty George (gk).
Referee: Mark Derrien.