MATCH REPORT - FA County Youth Cup Quarter-Final
The match got off to a flying start for Manchester as Ogunrinde had a close-range effort in the first 5 minutes denied by a strong save from Berks & Bucks goalkeeper, Sonny Wheeler. Manchester’s attacking presence didn’t stop in the opening minutes, as they soon found themselves ahead in the first 15 minutes with a goal from Taylor Dyson making it 1-0.
Continuing to trouble the opposition goalkeeper, Manchester FA rattled the crossbar moments later, however it was Berks & Bucks who found the net next, bringing them level with a strike from Eddie Lee as a result of one of their first shots of the day.
The young Manchester FA team didn’t let conceding phase them as they kept up their attacking threat with another close effort from Ogunrinde, gliding just wide of the post. After some lively end to end action between the teams, Manchester FA were next to find the net and took the lead once again as Adam Barthram tucked the ball into the bottom right corner, making it 2-1 just before the half-time whistle.
After a great first half, Manchester FA still had a lot of work to do in the second half to secure their place into the semi-finals. Berks & Bucks immediately took their chances and George Neave pulled off a vital save to keep Manchester safely in the lead. However, it was Manchester FA’s attacking pressure payed off as Emmanuel Ogunridge made it 3-1, scoring his well-awaited goal with a towering header.
The team found their stride and continued to dominate, soon earning a three-goal cushion through a deflected shot, making it 4-1 just a few minutes later. The semi-final was in reaching distance for Manchester but Berks & Bucks FA continued to fight until the end, earning a consolation goal as James Henry countered against the run of play. This made the score-line 4-2 for the final 10 minutes before Manchester FA’s secured their spot in the semi-final at the full-time whistle.
Speaking to Manchester FA after the victory, Manchester FA Youth Team Coach Lewis Craig was pleased with the performance of his young players but still felt there was need for improvement.
Lewis said: “In patches I think we were excellent, but speaking to the lads in the changing room I think we became a bit comfortable with the score-line and ended up a bit sloppy at times but this can be expected in these types of games.”
Lewis continued to look ahead to the potential final and the experience it could bring his players: “We’re optimistic that we can push through and reach the final, that’s the reason we want to be in this competition. We want to give the lads a chance to represent Manchester and play at a league ground in the final. It’s really good for the player development and we’re looking forward to the next round against Liverpool.”
Manchester FA will now play at home to Liverpool CFA, details of which will be announced shortly.