Young guns continue quest for cup glory

Dan Thompson
Dan Thompson

Pompey Academy take another step in their quest for FA Youth Cup glory when they entertain Swansea City at Fratton Park tonight (7pm).

After beating Bristol City 5-1 before a packed south stand to reach the fourth round of the competition, a similar display against the fledgling Swans would take Andy Awford’s under-18s one stage short of the quarter-finals.

But the Welsh visitors are in fine form and plan another upset similar to their third-round victory over Liverpool.

Goals from Scott Tancock, James Loveridge and Jandir Zola helped them to a 3-1 win at the Liberty Stadium.

Swansea compete in the Football League Youth Alliance and strengthened their grip on a top-three finish with a 0-0 draw at AFC Bournemouth at the weekend.

Pompey’s youngsters were beaten 2-0 by Southampton in an Academy League clash at Eastleigh.

A previous clash between Pompey and Swansea at youth level was in 2003/2004.

With Asmir Begovic, Marc Wilson and Jason Pearce in their side, the young Blues won 3-0 in a Football League merit division clash.

But the most recent time the sides met was in the Youth Alliance Cup in 2006/2007.

Swansea defeated a Pompey side who included Joel Ward and Marlon Pack 3-1.

Since beating Bristol City, Pompey have added 17-year-old Dan Thompson to the ranks from Blue Square Bet South outfit Hampton & Richmond – and although currently on loan at Havant & Waterlooville, the striker is included in the squad.

Now with the Fratton Park stage set, it’s left to Awford’s youngsters to display the same determination they did against the Robins and earn their fifth round spot.

The reward is another home tie against Manchester United or Derby County – who also play tonight.

Pompey Academy: (From) Gledhill, Butler, Awford, Warren, Grant, Maloney, Colson, Higgins, Magri, Wheeler, Triggs, Wallace, Harris, Williams, Branford, Antelmi, Thompson, Jennings.

Swansea City: (From) Davies, Shephard, Pike, Tancock, Atyeo, Jones, Zola, Sheehan, Loveridge, Williams, Bray, Evans, Elsey, Clark, Waters, Hurrell.