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Hurst Watches 10-Man U18s Beat AFC Sudbury
Thursday, 19th Jul 2018 22:15 by James Ager

A Town U18 side secured an impressive 2-0 victory in a friendly at AFC Sudbury on Thursday evening, despite being reduced to 10 men just before half-time. Armando Dobra scored a goal in each half in front of watching first-team boss Paul Hurst and his assistant Chris Doig, while Idris El Mizouni was the man to see red.

Dobra had the first real chance of the game on 11 but his low shot from the edge of the box was kept out by Sudbury keeper Paul Walker. Kai Brown's initial follow-up was blocked before Matt Paine hacked Lounes Foudil's effort off the line.

However the diminutive second-year scholar opened the scoring 10 minutes later with a fine right-foot shot across Walker which nestled in the far corner of the net.

A couple of minutes later Walker was called into action again when Thomas Hughes's corner wasn't cleared and El Mizouni drove a low shot from the edge of the box towards goal. Brown again reacted quickest to the loose ball but his effort rebounded off the woodwork.

Walker frustrated Brown, who joined the Blues from Grays Athletic in January, again with a good block at his near post soon after, before Town were reduced to 10 men four minutes before the break. 

French midfielder El Mizouni was fairly innocuously fouled in the middle of the pitch but reacted by raising his hands and attempting to headbutt a Sudbury player. Referee Abi Marriott had no choice but to display a straight red card and there were no complaints from the young Blues. 

Despite playing the second half a man short, Town doubled their advantage on 55. Brown did well to win possession on the halfway line before bursting forward and playing Dobra in on goal. Walker got a hand to his attempted chip but the keeper was powerless to prevent Dobra rolling the loose ball into the unguarded net. 

Both teams made a number of substitutions and while possession was fairly even, Mitchell Ware in the Town goal was rarely troubled and in truth the Blues will feel they probably should have added to their lead with Tyreece Simpson squandering two good chances towards the end. 

Dobra was the standout performer and looked dangerous throughout, and took both his goals well. Brown worked hard up front and also caught the eye, but it was a good team performance which was even more notable after the first half red card. 

U18s: Ware, Ronan (Healey 69), Clements (Smith 56), Scott (Baker 84), Henry, Vega, Foudil (Simpson 65), El Mizouni, K Brown (Ruffles 65), Dobra (Clifford 76), Hughes (Reed 84). Unused: Egan. 

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leftie1972 added 22:20 - Jul 19
I wonder how much the antics of a lot of world class professional players seen in the World Cup is seen as being’acceptable’ by young players nowadays. The sooner refs take the approach taken in rugby, the better. No backchat, no dissent, just respect.

itfcjoe added 22:39 - Jul 19
Really good win tonight, Hurst will have been very impressed with Dobra in the middle and if he carries on his pre season form will be straight into the U23s

Pezzer added 22:40 - Jul 19
Very enjoyable game- was Dobra No14? No 14 looked very good as did No 4 and No 5. Great to see Hurst and Doig there tonight as well.

MrTown added 22:42 - Jul 19
Watched Armando Dobra a dozen or so times now, still to comnfirm his position yet as I’ve seen him play wide left, wide right, as a number 10, a number 8 and he played deeper central midfielder against Lowestoft yesterday, but certainly a very gifted player.

itfcjoe added 22:51 - Jul 19
@Pezzer Yes, he was 14.

4 was Ryley Scott, 5 was Ashton Henry

Pezzer added 23:56 - Jul 19
Thanks for that itfcjoe!

PJewellisaGod added 03:03 - Jul 20
Having reflected on the game I think there are a few players who could be moved into the U23 squad: Dobra, Vega, Brown, Henry and Foudil could all make the step up especially as the U23 squad looks so light on numbers. In turn that will allow us to add to the U18 squad. First win over AFC Sudbury in 5 years.

I'm not looking forward to this season but if we can ride the wave this year I think we could have a good season season after next. Need to give Hurst time to gel with the squad, sign players and change things tactically.

JimBaxter added 08:41 - Jul 20
Who was the number 14 he looked very good unfortunately they didn’t announce either team at the start which was a shame...

whosroundisitanyway added 09:01 - Jul 20
The clues in, he scored the two goals!!??

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