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Cheltenham U18s 1 Blues U18s 2

Posted: Tue 17 Dec 2013

Nat Kelly

Blues U18s have earned themselves an FA Youth Cup fourth round tie away at Everton after beating Cheltenham Town 2-1 in their third round tie.

Steve Spooner’s side were forced to come from behind to claim the victory after the Robins took a seventh minute lead.

Blues found themselves level just before half-time when the ball deflected off Nat Kelly and into back of the net, before substitute Kyle McFarlane scored a goal that was fit to win any match with ten minutes to play.

The hosts started well and Blues were given a major scare after just 45 seconds when Cheltenham forward Harry Williams put the ball in the back of their net, but thankfully the referee’s assistant had flagged for offside.

But they were not to be denied for too much longer as they took the lead minutes after being awarded a penalty. Nat Kelly tangled with Williams and referee Mark Russell immediately pointed to the spot and also booked the defender for the challenge.

Blues stopper Callum Preston produced a brilliant diving save to initially deny Williams, but he was only able to push it back into the Cheltenham player’s path, who made no mistake as he headed it home past the despairing keeper.

Blues looked to get back into the contest as soon as possible and were denied an equaliser by goalkeeper Harvey Rivers who produced a diving save to turn Demarai Gray’s powerful goal-bound shot behind for a corner.

In the lead up to half-time, Reece Brown was presented with two excellent scoring opportunities.

The first he created himself as he ran on  30 yards with the ball before seeing it snatched away by the goalkeeper after slightly over running it. The second came from a corner, when he headed over from close-range. 

With 44 minutes on the clock Blues found themselves level under slightly fortunate circumstances. 

Bobby Moseley’s shot took a wicked deflection off Kelly and the ball flew past Rivers who was already diving the other way.

Blues started the second period of the match extremely brightly and it took a last-gasp tackle by Callum McFarlane to stop George McGee as he bore down on goal. Viv Solomon then tested Rivers with a firm shot, but saw it kept out by Rivers.

Although Blues were enjoying the better of the play, the hosts were looking threatening on the break because of their pace.

However, it was Blues who fashioned a host of good chances in a five minute spell. Koby Arthur and Demarai Gray saw their efforts well-saved, before Gray and Josh Cogley were just off target with their attempts

Kyle McFarlane was sent on for George McGee after 72 minutes and it took him less than ten minutes to make an impact as he curled home a peach of a shot from some 25 yards out right into the top corner.

Blues held firm for the remainder of the game and returned to the second city with a deserved win.

Blues U18s: Preston, Cogley, Moseley, Brown, Webb, Kelly, Gray (Cooper), Truslove, McGee (Kyle McFarlane, 72), Arthur, Solomon.
Subs not used: Harding, Trueman, McDonald. 

20131209 Blues v Nottm Forest