U18s game off

Academy Director Tony Carr has expressed his disappointment after Saturday's FA Premier Academy League trip to Portsmouth was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Heavy rain left the playing surface Pompey's Stoneham Lane Academy complex unplayable. The south coast side offered to switch the U18 and U16 matches to Little Heath, but the pitches there will be required for Sunday's junior fixtures, so the request was turned down.

Carr said he and his players had been looking forward to the game, having ended a five-match losing run by defeating Chelsea 3-2 last weekend.

"We're really disappointed that the game is off. After our losing streak, we wanted to start a winning one. After our terrific win against Chelsea, we wanted to carry that on into the Portsmouth game, so having a postponement is not ideal for us.

"They did ask us to switch the game to Little Heath but our pitches are wet at the moment and with our Academy matches on Sunday, we decided against doing that. The boys will train in the morning and then watch the first team match against Blackpool in the afternoon.

"We go into the next game, which is against Arsenal and will be a really tough call. At least we will go there with a win behind us and full of confidence."

The Academy Director is also looking forward to a potential FA Youth Cup third-round meeting with either Aldershot Town or AFC Wimbledon, who meet in the second round on Wednesday evening.

"It's obviously the premier youth cup competition and all you can hope for is a home draw. Aldershot and AFC Wimbledon are teams I know nothing about, but at least I'll have the opportunity to go and watch them next Wednesday and cast my eye over the eventual winners.

"We'll take nothing for granted at this level. Anything can happen, so we'll certainly not take them lightly."

The third-round tie will be played on or before Saturday 11 December 2010.