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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