Often Partisan

Blues Academy in FA Youth Cup Win

Blues u18 side progress to the next round of the FA Youth Cup after a highly enjoyable 3-1 win over neighbours West Bromwich Albion. Goals from Deqwon Ebanks, Charlee Adams and Reece Brown saw Blues through as they dominated their near-rivals.

Blues started quickly and within four minutes Reece Hales had forced a corner after chasing a quick throw-in down the right side. Albion were unable to clear the resultant flag-kick and after a bit of a scramble which saw Blues hit the post from close range Ebanks fired home through a crowd of players to give the young Blues side the lead. It was no more than Blues deserved after a very good start and the young guns threatened to over-run Albion with every attack with Hales and Ebanks bullying the centre-halves to every ball.

However as the half wore on the tempo started to slack off and after a period of sustained pressure Albion were on level terms. Albion had a free kick about 25 yards out on the left side and despite showing their intentions once false-starting before the ref made the free kick be retaken, Blues fell asleep at the back. A quick ball into the box was then cut back and Rees Wedderburn saw his shot palmed away by Nick Townsend in the Blues goal but it only reached Aaron Birch who lashed it home from close range.

In fairness it was no more than the young Baggies deserved and at half-time 1-1 was a fair reflection of the half. Whilst Blues had caused problems when going forwards too many balls had become a bit aimless and a break and a refocus was needed.

Clearly Steve Spooner got his half time team talk right because Blues came out the traps like men possessed. Joshua Dacres-Cogley showed the intent of the young Blues side almost straight off, rampaging down the right and then beating the Albion left back and getting into the box only to see his cutback go behind Ebanks and Hales.

However, the tactic of pushing on down the wings worked well and on 55 Blues took the lead. Demarai Gray, who had a very good game beat his man down the left and galloped into space before cutting a low cross into the penalty area where Charlee Adams didn’t have to break stride to lash it home past Palmer in the Albion goal.

Two minutes later Blues doubled their advantage as once again pressure on the Baggies defence caused them to lose the ball – this time in the middle and after a quick exchange of passes the impressive Reece Brown lashed home a low drive from 20 yards.
Brown had been a livewire all game, and despite his size and age (he is still only 16) he bossed the midfield with a dynamic performance. Liam Truslove was a little outshone next to him but he showed his undoubted talent with some nice touches in and around the midfield area.

The stars of the show though for Blues were on the wings and up front. Gray had an outstanding game on the left, tormenting his full back whilst Charlee Adams and Joshua Dacres-Cogley in particular on the right linked up well and gave Blues a great attacking outlet down that flank. Hales and Ebanks ran themselves into the ground in the middle, not allowing the Albion centre-halves to rest and consistently turning the defenders to face their own goal.

There was almost time for a fourth late on when subsitute George McGee burst into the area on the right but his fizzing cross-shot couldn’t find a Blues player and Albion escaped. The Baggies did have the ball in the net in injury time but it was chalked off for an offside.

The scoreline didn’t really flatter Blues; despite Albion having a better academy under the EPPP gradings their team didn’t gel as well as Blues and the best team won. The fourth round draw will be held on Friday and I’ll be hoping for another home draw to take another look at what is turning out to be another excellent crop of academy players.

Nick Townsend, Joshua Dacres-Cogley (Viv Solomon-Otabor), Bobby Moseley, Reece Brown, Jean Kalenda (Callum Thomson), James Fry, Charlee Adams, Liam Truslove, Reece Hales, Deqwon Ebanks (George McGee), Demarai Gray.
Subs not used Callum Preston, Raekwon McFarlane

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2 Responses to “Blues Academy in FA Youth Cup Win”

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Good report AJ.

    I really don’t want to criticise players, especially kids…but…ther’s got to be a BUT… :-)

    Young Adams does need to get his self-image focussed. I know he’s a kid, but he isn’t Scholes or Beckham or Lampard. He doesn’t have to be chasing back in defence making defenders stand around wondering what to do..they’re all kids, and Charlee is as well.In midfield he needs to make himself available, not hunt down every opponent with the ball…his team mates can do that.When he does go on the wing his timing and anticipation are excellent. He is where his team mates want him and need him.

    Excellent prospect, but he does need to realise he has a team around him, who can do their jobs, if he lets them. He could well force himself into the senior squad before season’s end….according to some comments, and, at his age that would be formidable.

    But please Charllee, concentrate on the team game.


  • Quokkasskip says:

    A midfielder that chases down the ball… If Specs is injured Charlee could be in the first team next week!

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