QPR U18 (2) – Birmingham City U18 (8)

U18 Professional Development League 2

Team: Houston, Lee, Ward, Street, Park, Sutton, Coomes, Neill, Fuller, Tarbotton, West

Subs: Hammond-Ayres, Hassan, Sanyaolu, Strachan, Kennedy

When the team sheets arrived there were seven names that I didn’t recognise. It turned out that they were in fact all trialists.

On a warm afternoon (around 20-degrees Fahrenheit) at the TSG Training Centre, it was the visitors who took the lead after 90 seconds. Briar Batemen’s strike from 25 yards flew into the top-left corner.

Seven minutes in and Fraser Neill was fouled in the box. The R’s No.9 then stepped up to take the spot-kick, but his shot towards the bottom corner was pushed round the post by Ty Warmington.

From the resulting corner, Charlie Street’s header was kept out by the keeper’s boot at the far post.

Blues doubled their lead on 15 minutes after Ben Wodskov had won the ball on the left-flank. As he headed towards goal, Damon Park slipped and Wodskov got himself into the box before shooting through the R’s keeper.

As Rangers looked to pull a goal back, good work by Jake Coomes resulted in Jaydon Fuller firing the ball directly at the keeper.

The home side got the goal they deserved after 24 minutes following Jake Coomes’ cross into the box. Jaydon Fuller’s initial effort was stopped, but Fraser Neill was well-placed to smash the ball into the roof of the net.

It was good to see both full-backs and wingers on each flank combining well together.

Harry Lee floated over a dangerous cross, which then dipped and ended up on top of the net.

City went further ahead when the bounce from a long ball caught out both keeper and defender. All Ben Wodskov then had to do was slot the ball home. Birmingham’s three shots had resulted in three goals!

Teddy Tarbotton was pulled down 25 yards out and Jaydon Fuller’s quickly taken free kick was fired straight at the keeper.

Following a swift Birmingham counter-attack, Emmerson Sutton’s superb interception nullified the danger.

A minute from the break, Lester Ward’s brilliant sliding tackle in the penalty area denied the visitors a possible fourth goal. Half-time: 1-3.

Minutes into the second-half, and Ben Houston did well to turn a close range, first time shot, behind for a corner.

Birmingham added a fourth goal in the 50th minute despite the lino initially having his flag up! The ball then went for a corner and Ben Wodskov completed his hat-trick with a header at the far post.

Cameron Eubank’s reckless challenge on Senan West led to just a brief lecture from Mr Nixon! The free kick was then floated in, and Ty Warmington did well to tip the ball behind.

On 56 minutes Mr Nixon booked Alvaro Ruiz Rente.

Jake Coomes pulled the trigger from 20 yards, and Ty Warmington successfully grabbed the ball.

On the hour mark, just before a Blues free kick, Micah Hyde brought on Lorenzo Strachan and Rico Kennedy. From which, O’Shea Ellis scored a fifth goal.

For the R’s, Lester Ward bombed down the left-wing before entering the box. He chipped the ball over the keeper and then watched it bounce off the far post and into Ty Warmington’s gloves.

On 67 minutes, Philip Sanyaolu and Ridwan Hassan replaced Senan West and Jake Coomes respectively.

Eight minutes later, substitute Alessandro Da Silva scored the sixth goal for the visitors.

After Emmerson Sutton was booked, Philip Sanyaolu, who had tried to continue after receiving a knock, he was eventually taken off.

After changing his socks and shirt, substitute goalkeeper Alfie Hammond-Ayres also donned the No.10 shirt in the 83rd minute.

Three minutes later, Alessandro Da Silva set up Cameron Eubank to notch up a seventh goal for his side.

Within a minute, Birmingham scored again when Zaid Betteka volleyed the ball home from close range.

Rangers continued to fight on and just before the end of the four added minutes, Lorenzo Strachan took control of the ball, and with his back to the goal, he turned and belted it into the net.

Although it was a heavy defeat, the score-line certainly flattered the visitors and there were a number of good performances from amongst the Rangers side.

Also looking on were Paul Furlong, Andy Impey and a number of other coaches.

Steve Russell

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