Oseni 48mins, Ntcham 89mins
Crooks 17mins, 31mins, Robinson 24mins, Lewis 35mins, Strain 78mins
- Match reports
- Sat 09 Feb 2013, 3:06PM
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City U18s lost 5-2 to Aston Villa in a chilly lunchtime kickoff at Platt Lane.
They faced a strong, well-organised Villa side, while the City team included a youthful feel and a backline unfamiliar with playing together.
This was only the second league fixture for Adam Sadler’s side in 2013, with games against Middlesbrough and Norwich City falling victim to the British winter weather.
The match was slow to get going, with few chances falling for either team in the opening quarter of an hour.
But once the visitors seized their first opportunity after 17 minutes, four Villa goals flew in before halftime.
The opener arrived after a free kick from the far right wasn’t quite cleared, and the ball was fired back into the box for striker Alfie Crooks to head home. The visitors doubled their advantage just seven minutes later, again from close range.
Two goals in five minutes just after the half hour mark left the Blues with a mountain to climb. Villa’s right winger, Jordan Graham, who enjoyed an excellent first half, sent the ball over from the right hand side for Crooks to seize on a simple header for Villa’s third. Captain Brad Lewis added a fourth five minutes later.
City’s best chance of the half fell to Brandon Barker, who jinked the ball just over the bar after good link up play down the left with Sinan Bytyqi.
Fired-up and energised after the break, the Blues grabbed a goal back just three minutes after the restart. Nathaniel Oseni towered above the rest at a corner to send a powerful header into the net.
A committed, feisty approach resulted in a good period of attacking pressure, but the task became more difficult when young striker Barker was sent off with 50 minutes gone for a crunching tackle on the right wing.
At 4-1 down, there might have been an air of defeatism for the Blues, but they showed good character to continue fighting in both attack and defence. Dominic McHale was unlucky not to score after the ball fell to him in the box with the defence scrambling, but in the end the ball was blocked. The visitors raced down the other end but found Oseni strong and imposing, who flung himself at the ball to deny another Villa goal.
There were more chances for City too, including a good strong run down the centre from Bytyqi, who skewed his shot into the sidenetting.
A fifth did arrive for the visitors through substitute Thomas Strain ten minutes from the end, who ran straight down the middle before smacking the ball into the net.
But City were not to be deterred and continued to strive forward in search of more goals themselves. They were rewarded as the final whistle approach, as the ball fell to Olivier Ntcham outside the box, who blasted his long range effort with pace and accuracy to beat the goalkeeper.
The young City side can take positives from a battling second half performance, and will be keen to put things right in the next league encounter with Arsenal next week.