Portsmouth U18s 3 Brentford U18s 2

Portsmouth U18s 3 Brentford U18s 2

Brentford U18s were narrowly defeated 3-2 against Portsmouth in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup at Pompey Health and Fitness Club.

Three first half goals from Portsmouth ensured the home side claimed the win despite a positive second half performance from Brentford, which saw the side push the game right to the wire.

Lydia Bedford made five changes to the side that faced Leyton Orient in their previous game with Kerron Samuels, Omaru King, Beaux Booth, Josh Djoro and Brentford B’s Byron Wilson all introduced to the starting line-up.

Portsmouth got off to a flying start and got themselves ahead inside five minutes when Brentford’s backline was unlocked by a long ball before Koby Mottort slotted past Connor Wolfheimer.

Ollie Shield had a great opportunity to find an instant reply when Freddie Taylor found the youngster with an excellent pass through Portsmouth’s defence.

Shield was denied by Bastan Smith, who made an excellent close-range save ensuring Portsmouth’s lead.

The away side made it 2-0 a few minutes later when Jayden Keteku latched on to a loose ball inside the Brentford box with his smashed shot finding the top corner.

The young Bees eventually settled into the game and looked like a threat on the break as the side looked to get in behind Portsmouth’s high line.

Just after the half-hour mark, Brentford halved the deficit when Shield slipped through Kaya Halil who showed composure to slot home from 10 yards.

Pompey extended their lead to two goals moments later though, when Keteku met a deep cross and managed to squeeze the ball in at the near post.

Wolfheimer kept Brentford in the game just before half-time when the keeper made a brilliant save to stop Keteku’s shot from close range.

Bedford made three changes are the break as, Emeka Peters, Trae Payet and Mikel Francis made a difference upon their arrival into the game.

The Bees came close five minutes after the interval with Shield and Halil linking up again.

Similar to Brentford’s first goal, it was Shield who found Halil inside the Portsmouth box but the midfielder this time saw his strike saved comfortably by Smith.

The visitors began to enjoy more possession as Portsmouth sat deeper in attempts to see out their lead.

Brentford made it 3-2 on 68 minutes following a brilliant move with saw Beaux Booth switch the play to the left flank finding Omaru King, the winger crossed a pinpoint ball into Shield who flicked his header into the far corner.

The away side threw bodies forward in hopes of taking the game to penalties, but the side were unable to create any goal scoring opportunities as Portsmouth clinched the victory.

Brentford U18s: Wolfheimer, Grey, Taylor (Payet,45’), Samuels (Francis, 45’), Wilson, King, Agyei (Peters,45’), Halil, Booth, Shield (Asemokhai, 85’), Djoro (Ivanov, 68’)

Portsmouth U18s: Smith, Mottort, Quarm, Fox, Bosaka, Grant, Aston, Murray, Keteku, Clout, Folanin

Subs: Glover, Howard, Mullins, Staight, May

Lydia Bedford reacts

In a game which saw Brentford find themselves two goals down in the opening 10 minutes, Bedford felt her side put themselves up against it right from the off but was pleased with the reaction she saw from her players.

She said: “I think the biggest difference between the two sides was who started well, I don’t think we began the game badly, but Portsmouth had two chances and took them clinically which was tough to take.

“I’ve mentioned before once you have to chase a game at this level it’s never easy but we did well to almost turn it around, once we spoke to the players after the first water break we scored immediately.”

Portsmouth scored instantly following Brentford’s first goal of the game, as Bedford went on to talk about the effect that goal had on her team and how she was pleased with what she saw in the second half.

“If you go into half-time 2-1 down then the momentum would have been with us,” said Bedford. When you give teams a two goal lead it’s always challenging and that’s what caught us out today but everyone who came on in the second half had a real impact.

“We put the pressure on in the second half and scored a great goal, we showed when we move the ball quickly, we can cause problems so it’s just about trying to do that more regularly.”

Video LIVE: Brentford U18 vs Portsmouth U18 – Youth Alliance Cup | Sep 9-2023