Youth Alliance Cup
Team: Lumley, McDonnell, Walker, Champion, Browne, Monthe, Simmonds, Webb, Gibbons, Daly, Fitzpatrick
Subs: Comley, Hubble, Young, Koeris, Adekunle
Last Saturday the U18’s recorded their fifth win of the season with a 1-0 victory at Northampton courtesy of a superb strike from Jordan Gibbons. During the week an U17’s side beat Charlton 7-0 at Harlington and Marcel Henry-Francis had gone out on loan to Hampton & Richmond. Next up were Southend and the start of our Youth Alliance Cup campaign. Joe Lumley continued in goal, but Frankie Sutherland wasn’t involved and he spent some time jogging around the touchline. Jordan Gibbons captained the side.
After a fairly even start, it was the visitors who had the ball in the net first, but it was ruled offside. Rangers continued to probe the Southend defence, but it wasn’t until around the half-hour mark that they took the lead. Freddy Champion’s shot was handled by a defender in the box and the referee pointed to the spot. Up stepped Bradley Simmonds who made no mistake with a well taken penalty.
A Callum Webb corner was met by a very low header rather than a boot which ended up just over the bar. Apart from Emmanuel Monthe’s solid defending, the other feature of the half was the industrious work rate of James Daly who covered so much ground, up and down and flank to flank. Half-time: 1-0.
Joe Lumley went down to make a superb save after the interval and at the other end a looping cross was met by David Fitzpatrick who did well to get his head to the ball, but unfortunately his effort went wide. He was involved again when he managed to win the ball close to the bye-line after some great perseverance. His ball into the box nutmegged a defender, but it all came to nothing. Callum Webb forced the Southend keeper into making a superb fingertip save.
The Shrimpers had a good chance of their own and went close with a header that just cleared the post. James Daly went down for quite some time and he eventually required assistance to come off. Steve Gallen then brought on Tobi Adekunle. He soon got himself into a good position to put a ball across the face of the goal. The referee then booked one of the Southend defenders presumably for something he had said ?
The visitors really should of equalised when one of their players was put through on goal, but he wasted the opportunity by shooting wide. With minutes remaining, Brandon Comley replaced Bradley Simmonds. However, it looked like Jordan Gibbons was going to double our lead at the end, but his shot was blocked by a defender and the ball then came off the woodwork.
Rob Bennett informed the rest of us that the U16’s had won 3-0 on an adjacent pitch as somehow he had managed to watch both games ! Apart from Robbie and I, the rest of the Saturday Morning Crew included Alan Barnes, Roger Stokes, Clive Kingham, Joe English plus Pat and Tom Harrison.