EDS & Academy

EDS begin year with victory over Liverpool

BATTLE: Ogbeta is challenged for the ball at the Academy Stadium.
Premier League 2
Premier League 2
Sun 5 Jan
1
0
Jayden Braaf 
(25’)
Manchester City’s EDS side began the new year in perfect fashion as we sealed a 1-0 Premier League 2 victory over Liverpool at the Academy Stadium

Jayden Braaf scored the only goal of an entertaining encounter in the 25th minute, latching onto Adrian Bernabe’s through ball before calmly finding the net.

What happened

Paul Harsley’s youngsters began their first match of 2020 brightly and immediately forced Liverpool goalkeeper Ben Winterbottom into action.

Brilliant work from captain Tommy Doyle sent Ben Knight through on the right flank in the third minute, but his powerful shot towards the far corner was tipped around the post for a corner.

READ: Date confirmed for EFL Trophy third round tie

The visitors survived the early scare and began to pass the ball around confidently, before coming inches from scoring the opener. 

Winger Jack Bearne pounced on a loose City pass in defence and attempted an audacious chip from 25 yards, but the ball cannoned back off the crossbar.

City launched their next attack immediately, with Knight racing forward again but his near-post effort from just inside the 18-yard box sailed just over.

Ten minutes later, it was Knight again who was causing problems for the Liverpool defence. The winger sprinted from inside our own half to the edge of the box before letting fly, but he dragged his shot wide of the right-hand post. 

With the next attack, we broke the deadlock. 

Bernabe spotted Braaf and played a wonderfully weighted through ball to the winger, who raced through on goal and finished beyond Winterbottom expertly.

The Dutchman’s confidence was sky high and he almost doubled the lead ten minutes after the opener. Great work by Nathanael Ogbeta on the left flank resulted in Braaf finding some space, but his shot was easily gathered by Winterbottom.

The visitors looked dangerous on the counter-attack and were extremely unlucky not to level the scores seven minutes before the interval.

The ball fell invitingly for Elijah Dixon-Bonner, who unleashed a rasping volley from the edge of the 18-yard box which crashed off the inside of Bazunu’s post and trickled to safety.

City emerged from the interval with a spring in their step and five minutes after the restart, Keke Simmonds found some room and tried his luck, but his effort was well blocked.

We kept the ball well, but the visitors remained rigid and organised, allowing Harsley’s youngsters little room in the final third.

With 15 minutes remaining, we came agonisingly close to adding a second goal. Sensational footwork by Braaf saw him evade the defender inside the box and then his powerful shot hit the inside of the post and bounced straight into the hands of the grateful Winterbottom.

Five minutes later, Braaf looked certain to double his tally as he skilfully rounded Winterbottom but with the goal gaping, he blazed over.

With two minutes remaining, Bazunu had to be at his sparkling best to deny the visitors an equaliser. Substitute Joe Hardy was sent through on goal and his powerful shot was spectacularly palmed out for a corner by Bazunu. 

We survived the scare and held on to claim all three points.

What it means

The victory takes our EDS side into ninth place with 15 points from 14 matches, leapfrogging Blackburn Rovers, who play on Monday. Liverpool remain seventh, two points ahead of City.

How we lined up

Gavin Bazunu started as the goalkeeper, shielded by a back four of Alpha Diounkou, Rowan McDonald, Yeboah Amankwah and Nathanael Ogbeta. Iker Pozo, skipper Tommy Doyle and Adrian Bernabe operated in midfield, whilst Ben Knight and Jayden Braaf provided the width for frontman Keke Simmonds.

What next

It is a quick return to action for our EDS side, who take on Scunthorpe United in the Leasing.com Trophy third round on Wednesday 8 January at Sands Venue Stadium. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:45pm UK. 

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