U23 Professional Development League
A very young Under-23 Professional Development side lost 3-1 to Bristol City at a rain drenched Harlington this afternoon. Four of our side were new to me but I haven’t seen a reserve game since early November.
We fell behind within 90 seconds of the start. Bristol City had a free kick on the left touch line. The ball was curled into the six-yard box and the City No.4 got the touch to score from about 4 yards. It appeared that there were three players unmarked which was down to bad defending!
But on 5 minutes we were level. Crichlow put a lovely through ball into the box, which found Brandon Adams racing past his marker. As he was about to shoot, a defender clumsily clattered him from behind for a penalty. Adams then sent the keeper the wrong way.
On 15 minutes, Adams almost got a second goal that his lone exploits deserved. Once again, he ran onto a through ball, past two defenders and as the ball sat up he lofted it over the on-rushing keeper but another defender had read the situation and managed to clear the ball about a yard from the goal-line.
We conceded from another free kick into the box on 36 minutes. A cross from the right touch line was headed up in the air by the penalty spot. It hung in the air for ages before coming down. As it did the City No.9, with his back to goal, hooked it over his shoulder and into the bottom corner. Bad defending again I’m afraid. Half-time: 1-2.
For the second-half Axel Prohouly replaced the impressive Brandon Adams upfront.
On the hour came about 5 minutes of excitement, which had been missing previously. City had a corner on the right. The ball went to the back post where a City defender headed it over Joe Lumley’s dive, but Jack Williams had stayed in position and headed it off the line.
The ball went to El Khayati about 30 yards from his own goal. Looking up he saw Prohouly racing down the middle. He was found with a great ball and Prohouly collected the pass, leaving a defender in his wake. As he bore down on goal, it was a one-on-one. As a defender closed in and the keeper narrowed the angle, he smashed the ball against the bar when it was easier to score.
Crichlow collected the ball, cut it back and Chris Paul hit an 18-yard shot that the City keeper did well to even get a hand to, let alone save it. The ball was palmed up in the air and with Wollacott lying on his back, the ball landed safely in his outstretched hand.
Within a minute we attacked again and Crichlow had a 20-yard effort saved down by the right-hand post. From the short corner, a cross skimmed-across the face of goal but no one could get the vital touch.
For the last 25 minutes it was a really decent game but both defences were winning the battles.
Ten minutes from the end, City had claims for a penalty turned down when the ref judges that the foul to be just outside the box on the far side from where I was stood. The fact that the lino was 10 yards away tells me that the officials got it right.
On 85 minutes the ref again gave the correct decision when he did award a penalty to City. In a heading duel the City forward was clattered on the corner of the box. While the City No’s 9 and 17 had a wrestle with the ball, the captain took it from them and sent Lumley the wrong way. Full-time: 1-3.
Team: 1. Joe Lumley, 2. Osman Kakay (capt), 3. Jack Williams, 4. Chris Paul, 5. Jeremy Arthur, 6. Kosovar Sadiki, 7. Nasser El Khayati, 8. Danny Rowe, 9. Brandon Adams, 10. Ruddi Clarke, 11. Gianni Crichlow
Subs: Alex Finney for Arthur (66 mins), Joshua Wallen for Clarke (66 mins), Axel Prohouly for Adams (46 mins).
Unused Sub: Martin Herdman