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Blues U21s 4 Vietnam U20s 2

Posted: Thu 20 Mar 2014

Blues U21s were forced to come back from a two-goal deficit to beat the Vietnam U20s side in a friendly fixture on Thursday afternoon.

Despite the incredibly windy conditions at Wast Hills, both sides managed to play some decent passing football in a highly-entertaining encounter.

The young Vietnamese team made the better start to the match and found themselves two goals to the good within half an hour.

But Blues struck back just before half-time courtesy of striker George McGee.

As the game went on Blues improved as an attacking force and found themselves level, soon after the restart through Liam Truslove.

Blues then took the lead in a slightly fortuitous fashion when one of the visitors’ defenders scuffed the ball into his own net.

Then, with five minutes to play, Reece Brown scored with an outstanding finish.

The ball dropped to him 25-yards out and the teenage midfielder finished with a rocket of an effort which flew into the back of the net to put the result beyond doubt.
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Academy development coach Karl Hooper (pictured above), who was taking charge of his third successive U21s fixture, was happy with the way his players bounced back from a disappointing opening.

“We had a fairly young side out to match up against the opposition and we wanted to see how they could compete against a national side of a similar age,” said Hooper.

“They had the advantage of the wind in the first half but with their style of play being on the floor it didn’t affect them too much.

“In the opening stages we gave the opposition too much respect and allowed them too much space to play in and as a result they scored twice.

“At half-time the lads were told by me and the gaffer (Lee Clark) that they had to put more pressure on the ball and squeeze up the pitch and they did just that.

“It was a very good turnaround in the second-half and they showed a lot of energy and enthusiasm, so credit to them for that.

“Vietnam are a very technical side and very good in possession. You can see that they’ve spent a lot of time together honing their team play because they are very well-organised, but we broke them down well in the second half and it was a very good test for us.”

Blues U21s: Trueman, Cogley, Webb, Fry, Bell (Higgins h/t), Truslove (Cooper, 82), Brown, Gray, Arthur (Hales, 86), Allan (O’Neill, 67), McGee (McFarlane, 74).

Pictures by Roy Smiljanic
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