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U18s Get Win Against Birmingham

3 September 2019

After two consecutive draws, 1-1 against Leeds and 2-2 at Hull City, the young U’s were back at Florence Park for their next fixture seven days ago. Birmingham City were the visitors, but the Championship side couldn’t prevent the hosts winning their first game of the season.

Having only won one league match last season, which took them twenty five games to finally achieve, this season they made that first win in just four matches. It could have come sooner but they were denied by late goals in those last two games against Leeds United Hull City.

On another pleasantly warm morning, the U’s began the game well as a long ball forward found the run of Donell Thomas down the right, but from the cross to the near post, City right back Nick Kinina did well to get across to block the shot by Jake Hutchinson.

Hutchinson threatened with another couple of chances, before Birmingham created their first chance. Remi Walker dispossessed Thomas, fed in striker Oumar Traore but Ted Collins excelled as he beat away the fierce drive across to his right. The ball immediately came back in from the left but Kyle Hurst pulled his shot wide of the near post.

The U’s were having the better of things, but the visitors pressed again as Josh Williams played the ball in from the left, but again Hurst placed his shot wide of the right hand post. The U’s then deservedly took the lead as a Sam Cornish pass from the midfield area found the run of Diogo Freitas-Gouveia. Keeping his cool, Freitas-Gouveia rounded the keeper and slid the left foot shot into the empty net.

That goal came on twenty one minutes, and City then had an escape as the header clear by Kade Craig hit his own team mate Kinina but unfortunately the ball did not run for Hutchinson and the danger was then cleared. The second goal came eight minutes after the first, a long ball forward found Freitas-Gouveia and from his cross, Jake Hutchinson lifted the shot over the keeper to make it 2-0.

That second goal spurred City into life, and it was 2-1 on thirty four minutes. After some good work by Hurst, he found Josh Dugmore who angled a shot from the left into the far corner of the net which gave Collins no chance. As the half came to a close, Amari Miller cut in from the right and got away a left foot shot which Collins managed to block and the rebound was put over the bar. In injury time, it could have been 2-2 but the Birmingham chance went begging and the U’s made it 3-1 as they broke quickly after regaining possession.

The first chance of the second half went the U’s way as a corner in the ball running to Hutchinson, but his effort was cleared off the line by Craig. The hosts then came under a bit of pressure, with Traore hitting the bar and Walker hitting his effort over the bar.

On the hour, the U’s then stretched the lead with another well worked goal. Hutchinson played a clever pass in behind the defence for Freitas-Gouveia to break clear and beat the City keeper low to his left. Cornish and Thomas then set up the shooting chance for sub Stagg, whose shot was blocked away for a corner.

The U’s kept the visitors at bay up to the ninety minute mark, but conceded a consolation goal in injury time. Collins got a touch to Traore’s effort but couldn’t keep it out and the game finished 4-2 to the young U’s.

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