Development squad in Pompey win

Kenan Dunwald’s first half strike was enough to wrap up the win in the first Central League Cup fixture of the season.

Chris Hargreaves named a strong squad for the game at Lodge Road for the Development Squad’s first fixture in the Central League Cup.

In a frantic opening exchange, Rhys Kavanagh twice came close to opening the scoring.

Initially, his effort was blocked well by Joe Hancott before latching onto a through ball but dragging his effort wide of the post.

Rovers continued to look the brighter side as time ticked on with Rhys Kavanagh at the heart of everything going forward. The Welshman’s neat flick allowed Kenan Dunwald to power through the middle before firing narrowly wide.

Moments later Rovers had the ball in the back of the net but it was ruled out for offside. Dunwald slipped a clever ball through to Cameron Ebbutt who calmly slotted the ball through the legs of the keeper only to see his effort ruled out by the linesman.

Chris Hargraves men did take the lead on the half-hour mark as Cameron Ebbutt’s powerful drive on the left opened up space for Kenan Dunwald who curled a powerful shot beyond Bass.

The Development Squad continued to press for a second goal but were denied superbly by Alex Bass in the Pompey goal.

Firstly, Bass was on hand to deny Dunwald from close range before watching Connor Jones drag his powerful drive wide of the post.

Rovers looked good value for their lead going into the second half with Alexis Andre Jr having to do very little in the Rovers goal.

At the opposite end of the field, Matt Casey was able to deflect a goalbound effort from Cameron Hargreaves before a cross from Rhys Kavanagh was unable to find Cameron Ebbutt at the far post.

Approaching the hour mark the visitors seemingly grew into the game but failed to threaten Andre Jr’s goal thanks to an impressive performance from Academy prospect Josh Bailey.

With just under 20 minutes remaining, Alfie Kilgour was introduced to the game for his first appearance since his horrific injury suffered against Slimbridge in the GFA Cup almost a year ago.

Straight after the substitution Rovers tested Alex Bass as Rhys Kavanagh directed a Connor Jones free-kick goalwards with Rovers unable to capitalise on the resulting corner.

Portsmouth had their first chance of the game with just five minutes of the second half remaining as Matt Hayes created some space inside the Rovers area but his low drive was turned over the crossbar by Alfie Kilgour.

Rovers Development Squad were able to sustain a late push from the visitors to wrap up their first victory of the season.

Rovers: Alexis Andre Jr, Jordan Williams, Josh Bailey (Alfie Kilgour – 73), Louis Ison, Michael Kelly, Connor Jones (Charlie Ten-Grotenhuis – 88), Cameron Hargreaves, Luke Russe, Cameron Ebbutt (Mo Bhagdadi – 73), Kenan Dunwald, Rhys Kavanagh.

Substitutes: Liam Armstrong (GK), Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist.

Portsmouth: Alex Bass, Jack Chandler, Joe Hancott, Freddie Read, Matt Casey, Joe Dandy, Oscar Johnston, Jordan Brooks, Matt Hayes, Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bradley Lethbridge.

Substitutes: Josh Flint, Jack Collins, Leon Maloney, James Whitting.