Bristol Rovers 3-3 PortsmouthBristol Rovers 3
Saidy (og, 6) Corp (8), Green (90)
Davies (77 & 80) Bradbury (86)
After extra time Portsmouth win 3-1 on penalties
Bristol Rovers were beaten in a penalty shootout by Portsmouth in this FA Youth Cup second round tie at The Memorial Stadium this evening.
At one point it looked as though they would go through to face Manchester City in the next round as they led 2-0 from the eighth minute until being hit by a three goal salvo from their visitors in nine second half minutes. A last gasp equaliser took the game into extra time and then a penalty shootout.
George Corp converted his spot kick, but Sam Blake, Connor Jones and Bradley Confrey all missed allowing Portsmouth, who scored their first three kicks, to go through to round three.
Manager Alan Walsh made one change to his starting lineup to the team that lost to Swindon last Saturday.
Alfie Kilgour, who was on the bench for the first team for the match against Carlisle, returned in place of Sam Iles and skippered the side.
Rovers played with a strong wind at their backs in the opening period and took full advantage of the conditions to race into a two goal lead early on.
Six minutes had elapsed when the first goal arrived. A free kick out on the left, taken by Corp, saw central defender Oseman Saidy rise unchallenged to clear. However he misjudged the flight of the ball which skimmed off the top of his head and looped up and over goalkeeper Alex Bass before nestling in the back of the net.
Two minutes later another free kick out on the left saw Corp’s long range effort fly past a startled Bass to give Rovers a two goal advantage.
Portsmouth’s first goal attempt arrived on 15 minutes but Jez Bedford’s effort cleared the crossbar.
Rovers, though, continued to monopolise possession without really threatening to score another goal, though as the half hour mark approached Tyrone Tucker-Dixon did hit one effort wide of the target and was then foiled by a good save from Bass after being played in by Olly Mehew.
There was almost a third goal on 32 minutes when Eliot Green nipped in between two Portsmouth defenders as they dithered over a clearance and ran on before hitting a shot with the outside of his right foot that came back into play off the post.
When the ball was played back into the box Green saw another attempt blocked by a packed Pompey defence.
The visitors then forced three corners in quick succession but could find no way through a well organised Rovers back line.
Brandon Joseph-Baudi saw a shoot blocked as Portsmouth attempted to pull a goal back before the break, but it was Rovers who went closest to scoring again through another Corp free kick which, on this occasion, was safely gathered by Bass.
Corp fired wide as a one sided first half came to a close with Rovers deservedly in front.
The early second half skirmishes saw Bedford fire a shot over the bar at one end and Corp do the same, from another free kick, at the other while Mehew shot wide at the end of a flowing Rovers move.
As Rovers continued to press, Green saw a shot headed clear by Saidy and Mehew was thwarted after a run into the box by a last ditch challenge.
Visiting skipper Calvin Davies was just wide with a 25 yard effort while Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain hit a shot over the bar while at the other end Mehew fired just over and Tucker-Dixon saw Bass make a point blank save from his close range effort.
Portsmouth then pulled a goal back on 77 minutes, inevitably from a free kick as Calvin Davies used the wind to his advantage to beat goalkeeper Charlie Phillips.
Three minutes later the scores were level after Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the cross bar and the rebound fell to Davies who beat Phillips from close range.
Things went from bad to worse for Rovers as with just four minutes remaining the two Pompey substitutes combined, Sam Woodward playing in the unmarked Harvey Bradbury who easily beat Phillips to put his side ahead for the first time in the game.
However there was a dramatic end to the ninety minutes as Eliot Green headed over Bass following a free kick to take the game into extra time.
Neither side created anything of note in the first period of extra time, and honours were even in terms of possession.
It was a similar story in the second period though Davies did fire a free kick straight at Phillips midway through the half and a long range Corp effort was comfortably fielded by Bass.
However neither side could break the deadlock and we moved into a penalty shootout.
Corp netted the first Rovers panalty but the next three Rovers players either missed the target or saw their efforts saved, while Portssmouth scored from their opening three spot kicks and went through to the next round.
Bristol Rovers: Charlie Phillips, Sam Blake, Tom Fry, Alfie Kilgour, Bradley Confrey, Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist (Connor jones), Eliot Green, George Corp, Olly Mehew (Sam Hedges, Tyrone Tucker-Dixon, Lewis Ellington (Dan Lammiman)
Substitutes: Sam Iles, Liam Armstrong
Portsmouth: Alex Bass, Calvin Davies, Kyle McDowell, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jez Bedford (Sam Woodward, 67), Alex May, Liam Sayers (Harvey Bradbury, 61), Brandon Joseph-Buadi, Kaleem Haitham,
Theo Widdrington, Dusman Saidy
Substitutes: Nick Hall, Eddie Wakely, Tommy Scutt