Blues U18s came back down to earth with a bump following their nine-goal mauling of Sheffield Wednesday as they fell to a narrow home defeat to Bristol City this weekend.
The game started well enough for Steve Spooner’s charges as Edji Mbunga fired the hosts into an early lead following a good team move. Dominic Bernard won possession for his side and teed up Wes McDonald and he in turn slid an equally good ball through to Mbunga. The 16-year-old first-year scholar finished clinically to open his account for the season.
However, the visitors draw level midway through the first-half and then grabbed what proved to the decisive goal soon after the restart.
Spooner was disappointed by the manner of his side’s first reversal of a campaign that had started so promisingly with back-to-back away wins.
“In some ways we started too well by scoring inside the opening five minutes,” commented the Blues U18 coach. “Looking at our body language I think some of our players thought we’d cracked it and it was going to be a repeat of the week before. It certainly wasn’t that because we didn’t press as well as we do, we didn’t pass with any tempo and we lacked movement.
“They responded positively to the half-time team-talk and there was an improvement, but we still weren’t as good as we have been in terms of the passing. In fairness to Bristol City, they did well in defending against us but we carved out four or five chances and could have quite easily scored a couple more goals. That said, Bristol had a couple of other chances and hit the post themselves, so possibly a draw may have been a fairer result.
“This just went to show us that you can’t come off your game and you still have to work hard. It was hopefully a lesson learned for the players.”
Like their senior counterparts, Blues U18s have the forthcoming weekend off and will have to wait until the trip to Brentford in 12 days time for a chance to bounce back.