Fofana 56mins, Cole 71mins
West Brom 0
- Match reports
- 22 December 2013 16:44
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City EDS booked their place in the quarter finals of the inaugural u21 Premier League Cup in freezing conditions at the Regional Athletics Stadium.
In this last match before Christmas, goals from Seko Fofana and Devante Cole ensured the festive spirit was not extinguished as City overcame a resilient West Brom side to extend their winning run to four games.
The young Blues were looking to go far in the competition after overcoming Stoke in extra time to reach the last 16 and end 2013 on a winning note.
This was the second time in eight days that the two sides have faced off, with a strange quirk of the fixture list meaning City played the Baggies in the league and cup in consecutive matches.
...City EDS v West Brom...
West Brom were looking for revenge after goals from Sinan Bytyqi and Jordi Hiwula condemned them to defeat and saw City leave the Midlands with all three points last time out.
For this cup clash, Patrick Vieira made three attacking changes from the side that emerged victorious from the clash with the Baggies last weekend. Hiwula replaced John Guidetti, who was on the bench for the first team on Saturday, while Fofana and Cole came in for Albert Rusnak and Bytyqi.
There were places on the bench for three members of Jason Wilcox’s high-flying under-18 squad, who have now won nine games on the trot. Billy O’Brien, Tosin Adarabioyo and Kean Bryan joined Jose Angel Pozo among the replacements.
The game started quickly, with both teams winning corners within the first two minutes. Samir Wabi had the first shot on goal for the visitors with a dipping free kick, but Ian Lawlor was able to watch the ball sail safely wide of his right hand post.
City were unlucky not to take the lead within the first ten minutes, after delightful build-up from Marcos Lopes and Adam Drury played in Fofana, but the midfielder fired wide on the volley from the edge of the area.
The hosts began to exert some dominance, and were unlucky not to open the scoring after 20 minutes. Drury and Lopes were the architects once more, but Cole couldn’t quite find the telling touch to turn Lopes’s cross home, and the England youth international blasted the ball onto the underside of the bar just minutes later.
Lopes cut inside to shoot from 20 yards out and his rocket just skimmed the bar on its way over, while at the other end Wabi’s ambitious shot from range was not far from hitting the target and Rees Wedderburn’s cross fizzed dangerously across the area.
It was all square at the break, but Seko Fofana finally found the opening City craved in the 56th minute, drilling his shot low into the corner after good work on the left by Cole.
Chances were at a premium in the second period, but Cole himself doubled the lead with just under 20 minutes left on the clock. Substitute Sinan Bytyqi jinked his way through the area amid a tangle of bodies and crossed for the forward to gleefully poke the ball home.
The game came to life after City's second goal, and Jack Rose in the Albion net was forced to pull off a great save low down from a Hiwula header, while Ian Lawlor clawed the ball out of the air to stop Andre Wright halving the deficit for the visitors and saw a powerful header bounce onto the bar and over.
The Baggies began to exert some pressure as the final whistle approached and Lawlor was again called upon to pull off a good stop from Liam O’Neill’s free kick, but the Blues calmly saw out the game to claim a clean sheet and a valuable victory.
Patrick Vieira’s men can enjoy Christmas knowing they have a quarter final to look forward to in the New Year.