- Match reports
- Sat 25 Aug 2012, 8:49PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
City u18s registered their first three points of the season on Saturday afternoon, winning 1-0 away at Middlesbrough.
Jose Angel Pozo’s eye-catching solo goal at the half way point of the second half was the difference between the teams in an even, engaging battle between two talented sides.
City edged this encounter on the strength of an excellent second half performance which saw Adam Sadler’s men retaining possession and carving out a series of good chances which Middlesbrough did well to repel until the 70th minute.
Sadler was boosted by the return of second year scholars Ellis Plummer and Shay Facey who bolstered the City defence, giving the Blues an added degree of protection from their previous encounter with Chelsea.
Both teams took some time to grow into the game in the first half, with possession changing hands on a more regular basis than either manager will have been satisfied with. There were few chances in the period, only long range efforts at both ends which universally failed to find the target.
Despite it being the first shot on target in the match, Pozo’s fate was the same as Silva’s as he watched his spot kick come back off the goalkeeper, although Jose had earned the penalty himself with some neat footwork granting him a yard of space before Boro defender Priestly Griffiths took his legs just as he was about to pull the trigger.
In the second half, City began to mount some pressure on their hosts, creating a flurry of chances thanks to the increased intensity of their pressing and the crispness and accuracy of their passing.
Pozo was again involved in the best of City’s work, shrugging off his penalty miss in the 48th minute by getting to the byline and crossing for Devante Cole but Weledji cleared Cole’s shot off the line.
Young Brandon Barker also shone in the second half with his driving runs providing headaches for the opposition defence with his powerful, direct running, however, it was City’s former Real Madrid forward who was to have the final say with 20 minutes to go.
It was a special goal from Pozo, who did so well to arrive onto Louis Hutton’s through ball on the half-way line, muscle his way between two hulking defenders, and to fire a measured finish across the goalkeeper for the game’s only goal.
The Blues played out time with their only scare arriving in the 87th minute through Boro’s dangerman Jones, who weaved his way through the City backline before being denied by a brilliant save by Ian Lawlor.
It was a save made even more remarkable by the fact Lawlor been untroubled until this late stage in the game and it sealed a hard earned and deserved three points for Sadler’s men.
City under-18s are next in action against Liverpool on Saturday morning.