Bristol Rovers 1-1 PortsmouthSat 8th August 2015
Elliott Green’s second half goal wasn’t quite enough to give our U-18 side victory in their opening match against Portsmouth.
A timekeeping error by the referee, who later apologised for his mistake, saw the game extended to 98 minutes with the Pompey equaliser arriving with almost the last kick of the game.
“It was an unfortunate mistake”, said Youth Team Manager Alan Walsh, but at least the referee was man enough to admit to his error.”
While the visitors enjoyed the best of the first half, they faced a much improved Rovers side after the break.
“Portsmouth certainly had the better goalscoring opportunities in the opening 45 minutes, while we were limited to a few long range efforts which really didn’t trouble their goalkeeper.
“The Portsmouth chances came from us giving away possession in bad areas and they really should have scored at least twice as one effort hit the post and another drifted across the face of goal with no one able to apply the finishing touch.
“At half time I asked the boys if they could improve on their first half performance and they went out and did just that. In fact, we were on top for long spells and created a number of chances.
“Our goal arrived some twenty minutes into the second half when we broke down the left and a cross found Elliott Green. He feinted to shoot, which took him past one defender, and then hit a left foot shot into far top corner of the net.
“As Portsmouth searched for an equaliser, they left gaps at the back which we were unable to exploit. Still, with 93 minutes on the clock, I expected us to see the game out. Only then did the referee indicate there would be an additional five minutes.
“Their equaliser was frustrating rather than disappointing, as we should never have let them back into the game. That said, I couldn’t fault any of my players for their effort, work rate and commitment and overall I was pleased with the way we played.”
Rovers: Callum Buckley, Sam Blake, Sam Iles, Alfie Kilgour, Bradley Confrey, Connor Jones (Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist, 70), Elliott Green, George Corp, Blake Davies (Lewis Ellington, 60), Tyrone Tucker-Dixon, Luke Russe
Substitutes: Charlie Phillips, Reagan Sollars