City served up a stunning late comeback to seal a dramatic 2-1 FA Youth Cup quarter final win over Spurs and book our place in the semi-finals.

It had looked like the visitors were set fair for victory when Tyrese Hall opened the scoring on 61 minutes.

But with four minutes left substitute Luca Fletcher struck from close range to put Ben Wilkinson‘s side right back in the tie.

And an amazing finale was then sealed when Jacob Wright fired home a stunning 89th minute free kick to seal a famous win and send us into the last four.

What happened 

The game pitted the second-placed sides in both Under-18 Premier League North and South against each other and kicked off under a glorious bright blue Manchester sky.

And from the off it was a contest of high calibre with Spurs impressive both in possession, movement and their threat going forward.

Both sides sought to test each other out in a cagey opening spell before City’s Emilio Lawrence carved out the first opportunity on 20 minutes.

LEADING MAN : Skipper Jahmai Simpson-Pusey drives forward.
LEADING MAN : Skipper Jahmai Simpson-Pusey drives forward.

The winger burst down the left channel before cutting inside and drilling a low short on goal which was kept out by the legs of Spurs keeper Carey Bloedom.

Lawrence then carved out another inviting opportunity three minutes later, teeing up Jaden Heskey in the middle of the visitors’ box, the City man, however, couldn’t keep his shot down.

And City came within a fraction of taking the lead on 31 minutes. Matty Henderson-Hall put in Farid Alfa-Ruprecht behind the Spurs defence and the right winger turned inwards before feeding the onrushing Justin Oboavwodou.

However, the striker’s close range shot agonisingly fired the wrong side of the post.

Next it was Lawrence’s turn to cause havoc in the Spurs backline only for another inviting cross to evade his team-mates.

PRESSURE POINT : Stephen Mfuni weighs up the options.
PRESSURE POINT : Stephen Mfuni weighs up the options.

Spurs’ keeper Bloedom was then called into action once more, diving to turn away a low Simpson-Pusey effort.

And the keeper produced an even better block on 35 minutes to deny Stephen Mfuni after the defender was sent clear by Jacob Wright’s pinpoint pass.

Spurs though remained a threat going forward and on the stroke of half-time there was a huge scare at the other end as visiting striker Ellis Lehane saw a powerful header cannon back off the post from a corner – much to City’s relief.

With City sending Matty Warhurst on in place of Justin Oboavwodou at the start of the second half, Wilkinson’s side looked to up the tempo and Alfa-Ruprecht saw a 47th minute 18-yard shot fizz just over.

City were then relieved to see Spurs’ Oliver Irow blaze over from just outside the box as both sides pressed for that crucial opener.

MIDDLE MARCH : Jacob Wright powers forward for City.
MIDDLE MARCH : Jacob Wright powers forward for City.

The visitors came even closer on the hour when Yusuf Akhamrich’s initial effort was only partially parried by True Grant and Callum Olusesi fired the rebound wide.

The momentum was with Spurs though and it was the visitors who struck the opener on 61 minutes.

Damola Ajayi ran at the City back line before feeding the onrushing Tyrese Hall who powered into the area before beating Grant with a 12-yard shot inside the near post.

City sought an immediate response and Heskey came close with a rasping 66th minute shot which forced a fine save out of Bloedom.

Grant then had to be alert at the other end to deny Han Willhoft-King as City pushed more bodies further forward.

But on 83 minutes City at last found a way through the Spurs backline thanks to the combination of substitutes Christian Dunbar-McDonald and Luca Fletcher.

TWIST IN THE TALE : Jaden Heskey takes the fight to Spurs.
TWIST IN THE TALE : Jaden Heskey takes the fight to Spurs.

The former’s initial drive was parried by Bloedom and Fletcher was there to force home the rebound to level affairs.

And a dramatic comeback was then sealed when Jacob Wright fired home a stunning 89th minute free kick from just outside the box.

His right effort curled past the wall, off the inside of the right post and into the top corner to lift the roof off the Joie Stadium.

How we lined up

True Grant was in goal for the City youngsters and shielded by a back four of Matty Henderson-Hall, Kian Noble, skipper Jahmai Simpson-Pusey and Stephen Mfuni.

Jacob Wright was the holding midfielder with Jaden Heskey and Joel Ndala also in the engine room.

Farid Alfa-Ruprecht and Emilio Lawrence carried the wide threat further forward with Justin Oboavwoduo also deployed an attacking threat.

CITY XI: Grant, Henderson-Hall, Noble, Simpson-Pusey, Mfuni, Wright, Heskey, Ndala, Alfa-Ruprecht (Fletcher 70), Lawrence (Dunbar-McDonald 70), Oboavwodou (Warhurst 45)

Subs: Naylor, Brits, Fapetu, Batty

SPURS XI: Bloedom, Black, Akhamrich, King, Chaplin, Hall, Ajayi, Willhoft-King, Lehane (Adewole 60), Olusesi, Irow

Subs: Logan, Archer, Morgan, Egan-Riley, Byrne, Arganese-McDermott

SPECIAL K : Kian Nobles looks for an opening.
SPECIAL K : Kian Nobles looks for an opening.

What it means

Victory means City now have a home semi-final to look forward to.

Ben Wilkinson’s youngsters will play host to either Swindon Town or Bristol City in the last four here at the Joie Stadium with the draw also providing us with home advantage should we then progress to the final.

Bristol City play host to Swindon on March 7.

A date and time for the semi-final will be confirmed in due course with details provided on and our official App.

What’s next

The City youngsters are back in action next Saturday when we take part in another important cup clash.

Our Under-18s travel to tackle Leicester in an Premier League Under-18 Cup semi-final clash.

Kick-off is set for 15.00pm (UK).

THE BOSS : Ben Wilkinson yells instructions across the Joie Stadium pitch.
THE BOSS : Ben Wilkinson yells instructions across the Joie Stadium pitch.

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