- Match reports
- 20 April 2013 15:10
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City U18s were unlucky to go down 2-0 to Blackburn on Saturday after having an equaliser incorrectly ruled out.
The young Blues played some eye-catching football at Brockhall and will feel extremely disappointed to leave without at least a point, and to surrender their unbeaten run.
Adam Sadler’s men entered the game in good form, having not lost in the league since early February and chalking up a 2-0 away win last time out against Arsenal.
Last time the two teams met City emerged 2-1 victors under grey skies at Platt Lane in February.
City EDS played twice in the two days leading up to this fixture, which was reflected in the four changes from the starting XI that faced the Gunners last week.
Tosin Adarabioyo and Sinan Bytyqi dropped to the bench after representing Attilio Lombardo’s side against Bolton, although James Horsfield kept his starting place after coming on as a sub to score City’s goal in the same game.
It was the visitors who started the brighter in terms of possession, although Rovers did force Angus Gunn into two good saves early on.
Jack Byrne, Olivier Ntcham and George Glendon linked up impressively, leading to some great build up play in the first half with just the final ball lacking. Dominic McHale and Brandon Barker always looked threatening on the wings.
Ntcham went close to opening the scoring with a powerful drive from outside the box which required a good stop by the Blackburn keeper.
But it was the hosts who took the lead shortly after with a counter-attacking move down the right side. The ball was cut back across the box and after a few deflections Rovers bundled the ball in from six yards.
City’s search for an equaliser intensified after the break with Byrne pulling the strings from midfield. He could have had two assists in the space of 10 minutes but the keeper once more pulled off two good stops.
The game’s most controversial decision, and defining moment, came when City had an equaliser ruled out with 25 minutes still to play.
Sadler’s boy Blues had really begun to crank up the pressure on their opponents when McHale ran clear after timing his run perfectly to finish coolly past the keeper. Replays showed the young winger was onside when the ball was struck, and he will feel especially aggrieved at the flagging linesman.
Unfortunately, Rovers doubled their advantage shortly afterwards. The home side’s forward cut inside from the right after a quick throw-in and unleashed a powerful drive into the top corner, leaving Gunn with no chance.
City continued to respond positively, dominating possession and searching for opportunities. Substitute Joe Nuttall could have scored inside the box after a quick break and pull-back by Barker, and on another day the ball would probably have nestled in the back of the net.
City will be hoping to build on the effort and quality of performance shown here when they take on Norwich next week.