EDS & Academy

City EDS v Bolton: Spot kick joy for Blues

David Faupala
Premier League U18 Cup
Premier League U18 Cup
Thu 14 Mar
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City EDS beat Bolton 4-3 on penalties in the Manchester Senior Cup semi-final after a hard-fought 2-2 draw.

David Faupala put City ahead early on in this repeat of last season’s final, only for Wellington Silva to fire Bolton into the lead with a quick-fire brace.

Sinan Bytyqi levelled from the spot in the second-half but the young Blues could not find the winner in normal time, meaning it went to penalties where Billy O’Brien capped off an impressive display by saving two Bolton spot-kicks to win the game for the boy Blues.

City were quick to assert dominance in possession and, despite Tom Walker squandering a promising opportunity for Bolton, the EDS went ahead after 11 minutes.

Bytyqi found Faupala with a defence-splitting ball and the striker never looked in doubt when he slotted home a composed finish.

For all the young Blues’ superiority, Bolton responded in clinical fashion eight minutes later when Silva’s brace gave the home side an unexpected lead.

The Brazilian forward, on loan from Arsenal, levelled the score when he bumbled his way into the six-yard box and rounded O’Brien to tap into an open net.

Simon Davies’ men hardly had time to regroup before Silva exerted his quality again two minutes later. The 23-year-old stole possession on the edge of the box and fired Bolton into the lead with an emphatic strike.

Lurking deep in Wanderers’ box on the stroke of half-time, Faupala was presented with the chance to draw City level by the dynamic Manu Garcia. The French striker, however, failed to convert.

O’Brien clawed a deflected Jamie Thomas effort out of the top corner to acrobatically deny Bolton extending their lead five minutes into the second-half.

City pushed hard for a second and grabbed a well-deserved equaliser from the spot with twenty minutes remaining. James Horsfield’s charge into the box was halted by a heavy push and Bytyqi duly obliged to send Harry Campbell the wrong way.

Brandon Barker’s fierce strike from a tight angle stung the Bolton goalkeeper’s palms as City bullied Wanderers onto the back foot, but could not manage to find a winner despite coming close through Bersant Celina and Faupala.

With the game going straight to a penalty shoot-out, Bytyqi, Barker, Celina and Kean Bryan fired City into the driving seat, before O’Brien’s heroics sent City through to the final.

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