Report: Millwall Under-18s 3-4 Blues Under-18s
Blues Under-18s beat Millwall in the Premier League Cup on Saturday.
A seven-goal thriller went the way of the visitors as they made a winning start to their exploits in this season’s competition, which will see them complete the preliminary stages with matches against Reading and AFC Bournemouth in October and November respectively.
Morgan Dance struck the decisive goal late on in the conclusion to a topsy-turvy encounter that saw both teams let slip leads in their first Group G outing.
This started well for Birmingham City and they took the lead after nine minutes in the capital. Pharell Williams scored and it was all his own work, beating the full-back in a one-on-one situation and firing the ball in across the goalkeeper.
The Lions levelled shortly after the interval but relinquished parity around the hour, as they could do nothing to stop Williams scoring his second from a direct free kick. However, two goals in as many minutes turned the match on its head and Blues were left staring at defeat.
Instead, a point was guaranteed when centre-back Taylor Dodd pounced on a knockdown at a corner and this was converted into a maximum when a wide free kick was headed across the box, with Dance on hand during injury time to make it a happy journey home.
Speaking post-match, Under-18s Lead Coach, Martyn Olorenshaw, praised the character of his team in taking the victory.
“I thought we showed some real guts to go from in front, to behind and then to winning it. The players kept playing, doing the right things and took their chances when they came. That I was very pleased with.
“The game was a bit like basketball, they were very direct and good with what they did. We stood up well to what they did. The backline and goalkeeper, who are all first years, stood up well to what they threw at them. They are all doing a very good job.”
Olorenshaw also identified areas for improvement in future matches, starting with the visit of Reading in the Professional Development League on Saturday 24 September, kick-off 12pm.
“We have defended well in the first two games. A couple of the goals we could have defended a little bit better, just individual errors. We would like to get more control of games, dominating the ball a bit more than what we did.
“In the final third we looked dangerous and scored four, but could have hit six or seven. We do look very threatening.
“With Reading at home, we want to get our first league points of the season.”
Blues: O’Sullivan, Pendleton, Willis, Dodd, Mazwi, Oduka (Ellis 60), Home, Rushton, Dance, Beresford (Ruiz Rente 60), Williams.
Substitutes not used: Sayer, Boyake, Pergelov.