EDS & Academy

Oboavwoduo brace fires City to historic third straight Under-18 Premier League National title

Oboavwoduo brace fires City to historic third straight Under-18 Premier League National title
Premier League u18
Premier League u18
Wed 10 May
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A Justin Oboavwoduo brace sealed a dramatic extra time comeback win for City over West Ham at the Etihad to see us crowned Under-18 Premier League National champions for a third year in succession.

The Hammers had drawn first blood in a compelling and fiercely fought final, Gideon Kodua firing home from close range.

Ben Wilkinson’s side dug deep though and claimed a deserved second half equaliser when Oboavwoduo’s header squirmed through West Ham keeper Finlay Herrick’s grasp 16 minutes from time.

That led to the drama of extra time.

And with the rain lashing down at a spellbound Etihad, Oboavwoduo struck again on 102 minutes to compete a stunning turnaround and seal a historic third successive National title for the Club.

What happened

The Etihad was a fitting and majestic backdrop for an eagerly awaited clash between the two top Under-18 sides in the country.

Both had won their respective regional divisions with a haul of 57 points with the Hammers having also won the FA Youth Cup final for good measure.

There was almost the perfect start for City on two minutes as skipper Nico O’Reilly superbly swivelled his way up field through several challenges only to miscue his shot from close range.

READY TO RUMBLE: The City team prior to kick-off
READY TO RUMBLE: The City team prior to kick-off

West Ham then served up a huge opportunity of their own on seven minutes, with City indebted to keeper George Murray-Jones who produced a smart save to deny Divin Mubama’s crisp drive after a fine Hammers move inside the Blues box.

In an action-packed opening 10 minutes, Hammers keeper Herrick then earned his spurs diving acrobatically to his right to palm a stinging Will Dickson shot.

There was another scare for City when a misplaced header in our box fell invitingly to Gideon Kodua but, fortunately, he blazed his effort over the bar before Herrick was called into action once to smother a Justin Oboavwoduo drive.

It was gripping and end to end stuff from two high calibre sides with Murray-Jones alert to tip over a goal bound Mubama shot on 23 minutes.

But it was the Hammers who struck first on the half hour.

A pinpoint through ball from Kelly found Kodua ghosting into the box and from 12 yards out he made no mistake, sending a low drive into the corner of the net.

Ben Wilkinson’s side almost conjured up a superb response six minutes from the break.

LEADING MAN: Nico O'Reilly looks to get City motoring.
LEADING MAN: Nico O'Reilly looks to get City motoring.

A neat backheel from Dickson sent Oboavwoduo sprinting clear into the West Ham box and only another fine save from Herrick prevented a leveller.

Murray-Jones then performed even greater heroics at the other end to keep out Earthy’s seemingly goal bound effort as the Hammers broke at pace once more.

And right on half time City had a golden opportunity to level as a mistake afforded Dickson a fraction of space.

However, his low drive from the right side of the box whistled just the wrong side of the target.

City sought to up the tempo and urgency after the break but chances were at a premium with both sides fighting tooth and nail for space and time.

Murray-Jones needed to be alert on the hour to keep out another Kodua effort.

City then carved out our best opening of the half as a perfectly weighted Oboavwoduo pass allowed Dickson the chance to rifle in a low drive from 15 yards that just whistled wide.

MOTORING: Justin Oboavwoduo looks to turn up the pressure.
MOTORING: Justin Oboavwoduo looks to turn up the pressure.

City then made two changes, bring on Ashton Muir and Lakyle Samuel for Jacob Wright and Jaden Heskey.

Muir almost made an instant impact only to see his close range effort saved but, on 74 minutes City at last got the breakthrough we had been striving for.

A curling Kane Taylor free kick found the head of Oboavwoduo and his effort squirmed through Herrick’s grasp and over the line to draw us level.

Suddenly the City players and fans were filled with a renewed sense of vigour and purpose.

The tension was palpable as the minutes ticked by, and at the other end of the field Samuel made a crucial block to deny a goal bound Earthy shot.

With the prospect of extra time looming another vital tackle from Samuel denied Hammers dangerman Kodua before referee Alex Sawden blew to signal the onset of extra time.

The drama continued four minutes after the restart as Herrick foiled Dickson for the third time on the night as he latched onto a rebound from an Isaiah Dada-Mascoll free-kick.

LEVEL BEST: Justin Oboavwoduo celebrates after his header.
LEVEL BEST: Justin Oboavwoduo celebrates after his header.

Herrick was then there again, producing a stunning diving save to deny Muir on 97 minutes.

City though were not to be denied though and that man Oboavwoduo was there again on 102 minutes as we took the lead in dramatic fashion.

Tom Galvez was the architect driving at the Hammers defence before letting fly.

Though Herrick parried his initial effort, Oboavwoduo was there to follow up and force the ball home in emphatic fashion.

What a team and what a season!

How we lined up

George Murray-Jones was in goal for City and shielded by a back four of Jacob Wright, Jahmai Simpson-Pusey, Max Alleyne and Kane Taylor.

Isaiah Dada-Mascoll was the holding midfielder with Justin Oboavwoduo and skipper Nico O’Reilly alongside in the engine room.

Tom Galvez, Will Dickson and Jaden Heskey carried the forward attacking threat.

SEEING THE LIGHT: Tom Galvez powers upfield at the Etihad.
SEEING THE LIGHT: Tom Galvez powers upfield at the Etihad.

CITY XI: Murray-Jones, Wright (Samuel 70), Simpson-Pusey, Alleyne, Taylor, Dada-Mascoll, Oboavwoduo (Alpha-Ruprecht 115), O’Reilly (Okeke 90) Dickson, Heskey (Muir 70)

Subs: Grant.

WEST HAM XI: Herrick, Tarima (Battrun 70), Scarles, Orford, Clayton, Casey, Kelly, Earthy, Marshall, Kodula, Mubama

Subs: Terry, Rigge, Uwandji, Jones

What it means

City are Under-18 Premier League national champions for the third year in succession.

The success caps another magnificent season for Ben Wilkinson’s side following our fourth consecutive Under-18 North title success clinched last month.

And it sets the seal on another season to savour for City’s Academy following our Elite Development Squad’s third straight PL2 title triumph.

JUMP TO IT: Justin Oboavwoduo's expression says it all
JUMP TO IT: Justin Oboavwoduo's expression says it all

News about Man City v West Ham

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