Radcliffe Borough 1
Intima (34mins, 58mins)
- Match reports
- 30 July 2013 22:51
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City u18s stepped up preparations for the 2013/14 campaign with a 2-1 victory over Radcliffe Boro at Stainton Park.
A brace from Jorge Intima was enough to secure a deserved victory for Jason Wilcox’s side in a match dampened by intermittent heavy downpours, despite Brandon Barker missing an early penalty.
After a productive preseason trip to Croatia with Patrick Vieira’s EDS squad, this fixture marked a return to relative normality for Wilcox’s young charges, who will take their place in the newly formed Northern Regional League when the U18 Premier League campaign kicks off.
A new group of scholars signed on for the Blues over the summer, but many were familiar names on u18 teamsheets last term, having impressed in the lower age groups.
Barker and Jose Angelino both chalked up appearances at this level last year, although there was a debut for Denzeil Boadu in attack.
A sprinkling of older scholars, including Jack Byrne, Wato and Intima added some more experience to the starting XI for Wilcox’s first game in charge of the side on English soil.
The young Blues were evidently a big draw for local spectators, who came in significant numbers armed with cameraphones, and included 11 very excited mascots!
It was business as usual on the pitch though, and it was Radcliffe who registered the first shot on goal with a strong header from a corner which sailed wide.
City replied with their first attempt almost immediately, Boadu’s spectacular strike going over the bar after beautiful link up play between Byrne and Barker.
Although there were few real chances in the early stages, the game certainly wasn’t short of passion or bite, with both sides putting in committed tackles.
However, the referee was right to point straight to the spot when Daniel Lema was barged over in the box after 20 minutes. Barker stepped up but blazed the ball over the top in front of the home stand.
It mattered little though, when Intima put City ahead 14 minutes later, just as the heavens well and truly opened. It was Barker himself who started the move with a strong run down the left wing, then sending in a dangerous cross for Intima to sweep into the back of the net.
The flanks were a repeated source of joy for the visitors, with Intima linking up well with Horsfield on the right, and Barker marauding down the opposite wing.
This being a pre-season friendly, the second half brought a raft of substitutions, and with the more relaxed rules both Ivan Wassi and Boadu departed the field only to return as replacements themselves later.
Within 15 minutes of the restart the game exploded into life.
First, Radcliffe grabbed an equaliser through a smart header from Simon Carden, but barely 60 seconds later the Blues were back in the lead.
Angelino surged forward from the left back berth and provided a beautiful cross which sizzled across the face of goal, leaving a gleeful Intima to pounce.
It was no more than Wilcox’s men deserved. They acquitted themselves well against a tough, physical side, and consistently looked for clever through balls.
Under faulty floodlights and rain bordering on torrential, the match could have been in danger of petering out as the final whistle approached.
However, the heavy tackles continued to fly in and both goalkeepers had more work to do. Billy O’Brien in the City goal was left scrambling after an audacious chip hit the inside of the post, then fortunately bounced back into his grateful arms.
The young Blues were also keen to exert some more pressure in front of goal, with Intima continuing his driving runs, and Brandon Barker just clipping the top of the bar with a cracking shot from long range.
Season preparations continue with a friendly at Chester on Saturday, ahead of the first league game against West Bromwich Albion on 17 August.