EDS & Academy

City end level despite Simmonds brace

LEVEL BEST: City shared the spoils with Newcastle
Premier League u18
Premier League u18
Sat 1 Sep
Find out how City Under-18s fared in their recent fixture against Derby County...

City were held two a 2-2 draw with Derby County, despite moving into the lead in the closing moments of the game. 

Keke Simmonds did well to cancel out Morgan Whittaker's first half strike, and progressed to take the Blues into the lead with just a few minutes left of play. However, the visitors were hungry and snatched back a final goal through James Brown to take it to deadlock once again.

What happened

City flew out of the blocks with D’Margio Wright-Phillips acting quickly to regain possession just minutes into the clash. Clever play and free-flowing football led to a superb cross from Ryan Corrigan which Lewis Fiorini pounced on the end of to head towards goal. Fiorini – who scored in all three games so far this season – was unlucky to see his effort skim inches wide of Sam French’s post.

However, Derby were a neat and organised side with Festy Ebosele’s pace and aggression causing problems in midfield.

After 12 minutes it was Derby who broke deadlock, with danger Ebosele squaring the ball to Morgan Whittaker inside the box, allowing Whittaker to tap in from close range past Louie Moulden.

City were close to responding in the best way possible. A silky pass from Keke Simmonds found oncoming Fiorini, but once again his attempt slipped just wide of the post.

Moulden’s heart was sent racing just after the hour mark when Derby goalscorer, Whittaker, sent a thunderous strike at goal from the edge of the box. Our ‘keeper launched to block the effort with his outstretched arm superbly, but Archie Brown was waiting and managed to get on the rebound. Luckily for Moulden the second attempt cannoned off the crossbar and away from danger.

City continued to enjoy a majority of the possession and finally went level on the 70th minute. D'Margio Wright-Phillips expertly-timed cross pinpointed Simmonds, who pushed the ball past French as he slid towards the net.

The equaliser spurred the Blues on and Gareth Taylor's side very nearly moved in front through Fiorini's curling free-kick taken from the corner of the box. His ball glided towards the goal and looked destined for the top corner, but French was alert and palmed away the effort to keep us at bay.

Following on from Moulden's superb save, our 'keeper was shown red after handling the ball outside of the area, which prompted Lewis Thomas to step up and take his place in goal.

City showed character to bounce back with Wright-Phillips pairing up with Simmonds once again. A sense of deja vu rang around the pitch as D'Margio's soaring cross arrived at the feet of Keke - who fired home once again into the bottom corner. 

Just moments later and it was level again, with Derby substitution, James Brown, writing his name on the scoresheet. Frustrating for City who had managed to break in front of the visitors minutes earlier.

How we lined-up

Louie Moulden took his place in goal shielded by a back four of Alpha Diounkou, Taylor Harwood-Bellis, Yeboah Amankwah and Ryan Corrigan.

Skipper Rowan McDonald took up his defensive midfield role alongside Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Lewis Fiorini.

Keke Simmonds and D’Margio Wright-Phillips flanked Henri Ogunby up front.

What’s next

The Under-18s are now on an international break, returning to action on Saturday 15 September as they take on Sunderland at the Academy of Light, kick-off is at 11am (BST).

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