Smith-Brown 17mins, Ambrose 19mins, Intima 48mins, Boadu 82mins
C Duffus 31mins
- Match reports
- 30 November 2013 14:51
- Posted by @porter_mcfc / pics by @VHaydn_MCFC
City u18s saw off a tough Everton side in style to make it six wins a in a row in bright sunshine at Platt Lane.
Goals from Ash Smith-Brown, Thierry Ambrose, Jorge Intima and Denzeil Boadu gave the young Blues a deserved victory against the table-topping Toffees, and saw them leapfrog rivals Manchester United into second place in the North Division.
Jason Wilcox made just three changes for this vital league clash from the side that put Blackburn to the sword so impressively last time out. It was all change in the centre of defence, where Tosin Adarabioyo partnered EDS regular Matthias Bossaerts, who was making his return from an injury lay-off.
Kean Bryan regained his place in the starting XI after midweek exploits in the u19 UEFA Youth League, and last week’s hat-trick hero, Ambrose, was chosen to lead the line once more. Spanish duo Angelino and Pablo Maffeo, who starred alongside Bryan for the EDS against Plzen, reprised their roles at full-back.
As soon as the whistle sounded it became clear this was to be a feisty encounter between two teams desperate to secure all three points. City were quick to assert their pressing game but there was little action in either penalty box until the 10th minute, when Smith-Brown fired narrowly over after excellent link-up play from Intima and Ambrose on the right hand side.
City had to wait another seven minutes for their next real sight of goal and it again fell to Smith-Brown, who made no mistake this time. The England youth international was following up to tuck the ball home after Ambrose had his shot blocked in a packed six yard box.
It appeared the floodgates had opened when Ambrose himself doubled the advantage almost immediately, giving the keeper no chance with his well-placed header at the far post from Angelino’s inch-perfect cross.
The visitors were limited to trying their luck from a free kick some distance from the goal, with chances at a premium in the opening stages, but halved the deficit just after the half hour mark from another set piece. Billy O’Brien fumbled his attempted clearance of a well-taken corner, and Courtney Duffus was on hand to flick the ball past him and into the back of the net.
Keen to restore a two-goal cushion, Brandon Barker might have given the young Blues an immediate reply with his low shot, and the winger put in a promising cross minutes later which Ambrose and Smith-Brown both swung a foot at before the whistle was blown for a foul.
Everton might have had the equaliser via a good combination between Duffus and George Green, but City held onto a narrow lead at the break.
Revitalised, the visitors restarted the game quickest, and Calum Dyson had a good chance to level the scores with a header but conceded the free kick for climbing on Adarabioyo.
Wilcox’s boy Blues were stirred into life again and Intima extended the lead in bizarre cicrumstances. The Portuguese’s low shot across goal squirmed over the line but was hauled out of the net by Everton keeper Russell Griffiths, and the visitors played on as Intima and Ambrose ran away to celebrate.
Confusion reigned on the pitch and on the sidelines for 30 seconds before the referee finally signalled for the goal.
Everton began to exert greater pressure, and O’Brien did well to tip a goal-bound shot over the bar, while a long range effort was deflected over and Adarabioyo was forced to head a dangerous ball behind for a corner.
Still City had the better of possession and were rewarded eight minutes from time with a beautifully-worked goal. Ambrose did brilliantly on the left-hand side to reach the byline and provide an excellent ball for Boadu, who took his time and steadied himself under pressure from three defenders, before confidently striking the ball into the roof of the net.
Not yet satisfied, the young Blues continually drove forward as full-time approached, with Angelino and Barker heavily involved on the left, but had to be content with a 4-1 victory which sees them move to within a point of Everton at the summit with a game in hand.
The high-flying boy Blues are next in action away to Middlesbrough on Saturday.