EDS & Academy

Young Blues stunned by Boro comeback

YOUNG BLUES: Taylor Richards in action for City U18s
U18 Premier League
U18 Premier League
Sat 23 Mar
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City returned to Under-18s Premier League action with a 4-2 defeat at Middlesbrough.

Early goals from Taylor Richards and Henri Ogunby inside seven minutes had given the Blues a two-goal advantage, but an instant response from Hayden Hackney and second half strikes from Gabriel McGill, Jack Robinson and Alberto Balde Almanzar completed the turnaround for the hosts.

What happened

Buoyed by our U18 Premier League Cup Final triumph last time out – at Boro’s expense – City raced into the perfect start at Rockcliffe Park, as Richards embarked on a superb solo run, before firing into the bottom corner.

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Three minutes later, the lead was doubled – this time, Ogunby was the one to produce some individual brilliance, driving forward before cutting inside and curling home.

The third goal of the game arrived just a minute later, as Hackney halved the deficit.

After the initial flurry of activity, the game petered out somewhat until the break, with City holding onto our slender advantage.

The lead would not last long however, as Boro levelled the score two minutes after the restart from the penalty spot.

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McGill stepped up to convert, despite Tom Scott’s best attempts to save.

The comeback was completed inside ten minutes, when Robinson rose to divert a free-kick past Scott, clinching victory for the home side.

Almanzar sealed the three points in the dying embers, latching onto a long ball, rounding Scott and tucking into an empty net.

What it means

City stay seventh in the U18 Premier League – five points behind sixth-placed Stoke and 11 behind Boro.

How we lined up

City operated in a 4-3-3 formation, as Scott took his place in goal, shielded by a backline of Alpha Diounkou, Yeboah Amankwah, Nathanael Ogbeta and debutant Finley Burns.

James McAtee, Fisayo Dele-Bashiru and Richards were employed in midfield, while Noah Ohio led the line upfront, flanked by Ogunby and D'Margio Wright-Phillips.

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The clash marked a welcome return to action for Keke Simmonds, who had been sidelined with injury and was introduced from the bench in the second period.

What’s next

City are in FA Youth Cup semi-final action next, hosting West Brom at the Academy Stadium on Monday 1 April in a 7pm BST kick-off.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the Etihad Stadium Ticket Office.

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