- Birmingham City
- Current Squad
- Development Squad
- Out on Loan
- Former Players
- The Board
- Chinese Connections
- Appearance Data
- Website Information
- Media Mentions
- Contact Me
Close Win for Blues u18 in FA Youth Cup
Blues u18s made it through to the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup with a tight 1-0 win over Bristol Rovers at Damson Parkway last night. A Reece Hales penalty was all that separated the sides in an even encounter with chances at a premium.
On a crisply cold evening in Solihull Steve Spooner’s charges never really looked like losing but clear cut chances were few and far between and neither keeper was called upon to make many real saves. However, a 64th minute penalty after Rovers keeper Macey failed to collect a high ball and ended up pulling back Demarai Gray gave Reece Hales the chance to win it from the spot and he made no mistake.
Blues were industrious in midfield, trying to get a good passing game going but in the first half too many passes were short and intercepted with Liam Truslove one of the major offenders. Demarai Gray was a box of tricks on the left though and he kept the right back tied up, probing down the flank and looking to try to get the ball in.
Chances were few and far between in the first period with Reece Hales probably having the best, making a jinking run into the box on ten minutes which saw him one on one with the keeper but Macey (who penalty aside looked a very good prospect) blocked him efficiently.
Bristol went up the other end almost straight afterwards and carved out one of their best openings only to see the ball bounce over the onrushing strikers head.
Late in the first half Gray had another half-chance as he made room for himself in the box with a neat piece of skill but he slipped as he looked to pull the trigger. There were some half-hearted calls for a penalty but no contact was made.
The second half was much the same as the first but Blues started to get their passing game into gear and Reece Brown in particular was impressive, marshalling the midfield and playing some excellent balls.
Ten minutes into the second half Deqwon Ebanks set Charlee Adams free down the right but Adams pushed the ball a bit too far wide and thus he could only tamely hit it into the keeper’s arms.
Gray saw a good effort blocked and from the resultant corner, was bundled over by Macey for the penalty. It wasn’t very clear cut and up on the press balcony there was some discussion as to what the award was for. Hales didn’t worry about that, slotting the ball home from 12 yards, sending the keeper the wrong way.
Blues closed the game out and indeed could have got the second late on after an absolutely sublime ball by Brown set Deqwon Ebanks free but Ebanks was caught a bit on his heels and the defence managed to clear.
All in all a decent encounter and a few of the youngsters did much to impress the watching Lee Clark along with the rest of his coaching staff. Blues will now face Norwich City away and will play at Carrow Road, potentially in the next fortnight.
MOTM – Reece Brown. A really tough call as both Gray and Hales were excellent but I thought Brown grew into the game and it was him marshalling the ball and moving it around the midfield that pushed Blues on to win it.
Nick Townsend, Dominic Bernard, Bobby Moseley, Reece Brown, James Fry, Callum Thomson, Charlee Adams, Liam Truslove, Reece Hales (George McGee 90), Deqwon Ebanks, Demarai Gray.
Subs not used: Koby Arthur, Callum Preston (GK), Jean Kalenda, Fisayo Adarabioyo