EDS & Academy

City through to last 16 of FA Youth Cup

DOUBLE DELIGHT: Morgan Rogers is all smiles after putting City 2-0 ahead
FA Youth Cup
FA Youth Cup
Wed 15 Jan
Lewis Fiorini 
Morgan Rogers 
Tyreik Wright 
City booked our place in the last 16 of the FA Youth Cup with a solid 2-1 fourth round win over Aston Villa.

A two-goal salvo inside the opening 15 minutes from Lewis Fiorini and Morgan Rogers was enough to seal the deal for Gareth Taylor’s young charges.

And it could have been more with Villa keeper Viljami Sinisalo producing a string of fine saves to deny the City youngsters before Tyreik Wright pulled a late goal back for Villa.

City held firm however and our reward for a solid night’s work is a fifth round home tie against Fulham.

What happened

After a cagey opening, City soon seized control of the contest as our slick passing and movement yielded both two goals in an impressive opening 15 minutes as well as a flurry of other chances.

There was a portent of what was to come on six minutes when Rogers threaded a deft through ball behind the Villa defence for the waiting Lewis Fiorini with visiting keeper Sinisalo rushing out to just beat the City man to the ball.

But within 90 seconds, Fiorini had made his mark as he put City ahead in clinical fashion.

The midfielder latched onto Jayden Braaf’s precision weighted pass before drilling a crisp finish into the far corner of the net to give Taylor’s side the perfect start.

The early strike gave City all the encouragement we needed despite playing against an icy breeze and central defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis then launched a bold 11th minute forward foray before fizzing in a low 20-yard drive which was inches wide.

With City dominating, Morgan Rogers was the next to pepper the Villa goalmouth, his snapshot from Fiorni’s pass also coming within an ace of finding the target.

The striker didn’t have to wait long to gain his reward through.

Within 60 seconds, Rogers latched onto Sinisalo’s parried save from Braaf’s drive to fire home from six yards and put City in complete control.

STRIKE ONE : Lewis Fiorini wheels away in celebration after his opening goal
STRIKE ONE : Lewis Fiorini wheels away in celebration after his opening goal

Only a wonderful low save from the Villa stopper prevented Cole Palmer from claiming a third after the midfielder had weaved his way past three defenders.

And it needed a desperate defensive block to then deny Braaf after the flying Dutch winger had also turned the Villa defence inside out with a twisting run.

Sinisalo then performed more heroics to block both Fiorini and Palmer as City looked to further press home our advantage before yet more Palmer trickery saw Knight’s 15-yard shot fly a whisker too high.

Villa looked to summon up a response and appealed for a penalty on 45 minutes when Tyerik Wright’s cross was blocked by Taylor Harwood-Bellis.

Referee Jon Kenny however was unimpressed by claims that the ball had struck the defender’s arm.

Villa proved much of a threat after the break as their intensity and probing asked City questions and keeper Gavin Bazunu had to be alert to keep out a whipped goal bound corner from Wright.

City though possessed a razor-sharp cutting edge going forward and Sinisalo produced the save of the night on 57 minutes leaping to his right to somehow palm away Palmer’s stinging shot.

Palmer was a constant thorn in Villa’s side and only another last-ditch block denied him the goal his display deserved after yet more fine build-up play with Knight.

But there was a scare for Taylor’s side when Villa sub Aaron Pressley saw his 66th minute header hit the post after fine work by Kesler on the right wing.

And City were forced into a reshuffle at the back when Harwood-Bellis was forced off on 70 minutes with a leg injury, Kwaku Oduroh replacing the defender.

And Villa set up a nervy finish when the dangerous Wright slotted home a low shot with five minutes left.

However, City kept our nerve to see out time and move another step closer towards a second successive final appearance.

How we lined up

Gavin Bazunu was in goal shielded by a back four of right-back CJ Egan-Riley, centre-halves Rowan McDonald and Taylor Harwood-Bellis and left-back Josh Wilson-Esbrand.

Skipper Tommy Doyle was the midfield anchor with Lewis Fiorini and Cole Palmer alongside the captain in the City engine room.

Morgan Rogers was the central striker with Jayden Braaf and Ben Knight also deployed up-front.

What it means

City now look forward to a fifth-round tie where we will play host to Fulham. A date for the tie will be announced in due course.

What’s up next

We are back in Premier League Under 18 North action on Saturday when we travel to Merseyside to take on Everton.

Kick-off at Everton’s Finch Farm complex is 11am.

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