FA Youth Cup Academy Stadium Att: Friday, January 18, 2019 7:00:00 PM
Touaizi 25', 55'
- Aaron Bannister
- Frimpong Diounkou 69’
- Garcia (C)
- Richards McDonald 59’
- Touaizi Wright-Phillips 59’
- F Nmecha
- Unused subs
- Trafford, Ogunby
- Harbottle (c)
- Unused subs
- Liburd-Hines, Greenwood, Boland, Hammond, Mutoti.
A polished performance against Nottingham Forest Under-18s saw City cruise through to the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup in style.
A Nabil Touaizi brace, plus fine goals from Taylor Richards and Taylor Harwood-Bellis saw City progress to the next stage.
From the wet and muddy surroundings of Clevedon in the previous round to the snowy Academy Stadium, City started brightly despite the challenging conditions.
We didn’t have to wait long for our opener as, with six minutes on the clock, 16-year-old Taylor Harwood-Bellis slalomed through the Forest defence and drilled home Tommy Doyle’s superb cross – the assist showing us just how much we have really missed the young midfielder in recent months.
City were relentless – nearly as much as the thick Manchester snow which showered down around the stadium – and the Blues were rewarded just 10 minutes after our first.
This time, Taylor Richards wrote his name on the scoresheet, as he took aim and fired, which he then saw to be deflected over Michael Statham’s head and into the top corner.
Felix Nmecha stunned in midfield, looking mature and incredibly skilful throughout and although he had two brilliant chances he was unlucky not to add to the tally.
Not content with two, Gareth Taylor’s side pushed on for a third.
Nabil Touaizi - another youngster who has been on the sidelines due to injury and missed a chunk of recent fixtures - returned to make an impact when he made a swift turn, sprinted forward and stabbed the ball past Statham.
Returning from the break and hungry for another, Touaizi sealed his second of the evening.
An excellent piece of link-up play saw Ben Knight whip down the right wing before squaring to the oncoming striker, who tapped in from close range.
With four goals in the bag City refused to take their foot off the gas, and instead continued to dominate both on and off the ball, leaving Louie Moulden rarely called upon until Forest’s penalty in the final moments of the game.
Referee, Aaron Bannister pointed straight to the spot following Eric Garcia’s challenge on Brennan Johnson. Johnson stepped up and converted from the spot – tarnishing what would’ve been a well-deserved clean-sheet.
Overall, it was a fine performance, and sees City move into the Fifth Round of the FA Youth Cup where the Blues will Face Derby County away.
How we lined-up
Louie Moulden took his place in goal shielded by a back four of Jeremie Frimpong, skipper Eric Garcia, Taylor Harwood-Bellis and Nathanael Ogbeta.
Tommy Doyle, Taylor Richards and Felix Nmecha were employed in midfield while Jayden Braaf and Ben Knight flanked Nabil Touaizi up front.