West Brom 0
- Match reports
- Sat 08 Oct 2011, 1:44PM
- Posted by Emily Brobyn
City’s Under 18’s shared the spoils with West Brom in a goalless stalemate at a rain-soaked Platt Lane in the Barclays Premier Academy League.
Coach Adam Sadler made a couple of changes from the side that beat Manchester United with a comprehensive 3-1 away victory last week, bringing goalkeeper Tom Halsall and Emyr Huws into the starting line-up. Seven of the U18s named had played in the NextGen Series 3-0 defeat in Marseilles in midweek.
Top goal-scorer Jordi Hiwula looked lively from the start and almost opened the scoring after a delightful ball from the ever-impressive Denis Suarez, but his effort went just wide of the post.
The visitors responded immediately and forced a save from Halsall after a shot, but City continued to press. A further attempt from Hiwula missed the target and a shot from the entertaining Albert Rusnak on the edge of the area produced a fine save from the Baggies’ goalkeeper.
Despite a high-paced and frantic first half neither side managed to break the deadlock. After the break, it was the home side that launched themselves into a determined frenzy of attacking play.
Starlet striker Devante Cole was inches away from giving City the lead, but his thunderous shot ricocheted off the woodwork. A plethora of efforts on goal followed, but Hiwula, Suarez and midfielder Adam Drury couldn’t break the deadlock. Amidst the persistent drizzle and murky grey clouds that lingered over Platt Lane, it was beginning to look like one of those days for the U18s.
But with 76 minutes gone late hope arrived in the form of a penalty to the Blues. Slovakian Rusnak took his third spot-kick for City in as many games - and slammed his shot against the crossbar. A dominant second half from the home side ended with Courtney Meppen-Walter’s impressive effort producing another good save from the opposition goalkeeper.
The Blues remain top of the Barclays Premier Academy League but face a tricky trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers next week.