Fantastic win for the U18s to win national cup.
The U’s named a side for the final that included Peterborough United youngster Tariq Moore-Azille, who had played in the final U18s game of the season against AFC Wimbledon. He lined up alongside captain Frankie Kent at centre half.
The U's have put plenty of faith in young players being the future of the club and this game shows that confidence may be well placed with a commanding display.
Macauley Bonne got the visitors off to a flier after just three minutes, but a classy hat-trick from Sammie Szmodics took the game away from the Bantams.
This season has seen a number of young players taste first team life and two of those grabbed the goals on a fantastic night for the U's.
Like the U's, City had won their division but they couldn't live with the attacking prowess that John McGreal and Wayne Brown's boys showed through the game.
Colchester United completed a memorable league and cup double on Tuesday night as they beat Bradford City in front of a good sized crowd.
The U’s got off to a dream start when they took the lead within three minutes. A weak defensive header by Pollard saw O’Donoghue nip in before keeper Barker and his low cross was turned home by Bonne.
City had chances of their own, though, with first Curtis smashing wide from long range before Mottley-Henry got in one on one with Bransgrove, but the U’s keeper stood strong to turn it away.
The home side had come strong after the U’s early goal, and midfielder Wright hit the post from a long throw, before Webb-Foster had an effort saved by Bransgrove.
The U’s settled themselves and the game down after that early response from the Bantams, before they had a shout for a penalty with 25 minutes gone.
Curtis hit a diagonal over the top of central defender King, with Bonne running in behind. The U’s man got as far as the box under pressure from the City man and looked to have been pulled back, but the referee waved away appeals.
The U’s almost got a second on 32 minutes. Curtis sent Szmodics away and he wriggled past two before sending in a cross tha Heaton almost turned into his own net before hooking clear.
At the other end, the dangerous Webb-Foster sent over a low cross that McBurnie threw himself at full length, but couldn’t quite reach the ball.
City had had their chances but the U’s doubled their advantage on 39 minutes. Bonne won the ball back by the corner flag, showed some skill to lose his man and his cross was calmly slotted home.
The goalscorer could have grabbed a third shortly afterwards. Curtis, who had had a fine first half, slid him away with a tackle on the ground.
Szmodics had three in pursuit and got as far as eight yards out, but just ran out of legs at the key moment and pulled his shot wide.
The U’s took a two goal advantage into the break but almost were pegged back within five minutes of the restart.
A dangerous free kick from Stockdill dropped into the six yard box and King’s outstretched boot lifted it over the bar.
At the other end, the U’s recycled a corner that wasn’t fully cleared and Szmodics shot across the face of goal, with defender Moore-Azille just unable to tuck home.
City did manage to get a goal back twelve minutes into the second half. Curtis beat Andrews in the box to push a low cross into the area and McBurnie tucked home from inside the six yard box.
The U’s had to make a change midway through the second half as Andrews limped off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Tyler Brampton.
The substitute hadn’t even touched the ball before they made it 3-1. Bonne helped the ball onto Szmodics, whose first touch earned him some space in the box and he kept calm once again to drill home.
The game had started to get a bit spikey as it entered its final quarter, but the U’s closed out the game with fifteen minutes remaining.
Harrison helped the ball over the top and Szmodics shook off his man and stretched his legs to bear down on goal.
The keeper came out to engage him but he rounded his man to slot home into the empty net.
City kept prompting and probing and had Bransgrove keeping them at bay, but they got a goal deep into injury time. It was McBurnie again, who headed home from a corner.
But it was too late for City and the U's grabbed the title!