Blues Under-18s 3 Burnley Under-18s 2

Mitchell Roberts.

With the squad of players we’ve got now, we’re always going to score goals.

Steve Spooner

Blues Under-18s recorded a welcome win over Burnley at a windy Wast Hills on Saturday.

Mitchell Roberts opening the scoring on 10 minutes – the defender’s first goal of the season, poking the ball over the line from close range after fellow centre-half Geraldo Bajrami had done well to stretch and make connection with a corner.

Tai-Reece Chisholm got forward from midfield to latch onto a cut back into the box and fire Blues into a two-goal lead six minutes before the break. But the visitors reduced the deficit when Steve Spooner’s side struggled to clear the danger with the wind blowing in their faces.

Leo Brown restored Blues’ two-goal advantage midway through the second period, crashing the ball into the net after a penalty box melee. Although the Clarets scored again towards the end, Spooner’s charges saw out the victory – their first in six PDL2 outings.  

“We were a little bit disjointed early on but once we’d got the message onto them we tidied it up midway through the first-half and with the squad of players we’ve got now, we’re always going to score goals,” said Spooner, Blues’ Lead Professional Development Coach.

“One of the goals came from a set-play – our third in four games – which was very pleasing.

“And another goal came from work that Sam Meek and Karl Hooper (Academy Coaches) had done with the players during the week. It was nice for them, and the players, that they saw the rewards of the work they’d on the training ground; that they’d taken on board their learning and applied it.”

First-year scholars Kane Thompson-Sommers and Christ Mayuba both came in for their first appearances of the season for the Under-18s, whilst Keiron Dawes made only his second start of the campaign.

“It was their chance and you could see that they were lacking the match fitness and the tempo of playing in the Under-18s regularly, so we had to make one or two subs which upset the rhythm a little bit. And with the conditions as well, it made for more of a scrappy second-half.

“The players came under a little bit of pressure in the final 10 minutes but they dealt with it very well. Adam Siviter (Blues’ goalkeeper) dealt admirably with some very testing corners delivered right under the crossbar.”

Blues Under-18s: Siviter, Dawes (Moore 58), Burke, Concannon, Roberts, Bajrami, Chisholm, Mayuba (Hamilton 72), Brown, Clarke, Thompson-Sommers (Forrest 65)
Subs (not used): Okoro, Landers