11 Goal Thriller
Cheltenham Town U18's beat Portsmouth U18's in an eleven goal thriller at home to secure a first victory in seven EFL Youth Alliance Southwest Division matches. The young Robins were 5-4 down with just three minutes remaining but netted two goals in quick succession to complete a dramatic late turnaround and seal three vital points.
Ben Hailwood scored a hat-trick, Lee Llewellyn netted twice and Joe Hance was also on target for Cheltenham at Seasons Training Ground.
Cheltenham Town manager Ashleigh Hopkins merited his sides "amazing performance" after coming back from behind four times in the game. "The boys had a great learning experience today against a strong Portsmouth team and showed great commitment and effort to get our first win for several weeks," said Hopkins.
"It was an exciting fixture and an amazing advert for the EFL Youth Alliance not to mention an amazing performance from us."
The Welshman also singled out Ben Hailwood for praise after the winger assisted both Lee Llewellyn goals as well as getting three of his own, "Ben showed lightening pace and quality to score his hat-trick," said Hopkins. "Lee also showed great composure in scoring both goals, with one smashing into the top corner.
"The Christmas period has been great for the U18's. We have been working on our fitness like a mini pre-season and the lads have only had a few days off but it paid off today with three points."
Cheltenham Town U18's move up to eighth place after completing the league double over Portsmouth and play Newport County at home in two weeks time.