Simpson and Folami on Target as U23s Beat Coventry
Monday, 28th Oct 2019 21:05 by James Ager
Town's U23s extended their unbeaten run to four matches with a 2-1 victory against Coventry City at Portman Road on Monday evening with strikers Tyreece Simpson and Ben Folami (pictured) on target before Josh Eccles pulled a goal back late on for the visitors.
As he has done in a number of recent fixtures, coach Gerard Nash fielded a trialist with Gabriel Osho wearing the number five shirt at the heart of the Blues' backline.
The 21-year-old, who lined up alongside Corrie Ndaba, has played three times for Reading but has also had brief loan spells with Maidenhead United, Aldershot Town, and most recently Bristol Rovers.
After a quiet opening period, Idris El Mizouni drove forward from midfield and played a ball out to Simpson on the right, who cut in and curled a shot over the bar on 12.
Left-back Bailey Clements then played a neat one-two with Folami on the edge of the Sky Blues' box but his right-footed effort drifted just wide of the far top corner, shortly before Osho did well to get in the way of Jonny Ngandu's long-range drive at the other end.
Town took the lead after 26 minutes when Simpson showed good strength to hold off his marker from Fehrenbach's throw into the area, before the young striker turned and hit a low left-foot shot which nestled in the far bottom corner of the net.
In the final minute of the first half, Coventry came close to grabbing an equaliser but centre-back Declan Drysdale diverted the ball just over the bar after a left-sided corner had evaded all of the other players in the Town box.
Six minutes after the restart Ndaba headed just wide from a Brett McGavin freekick, moments before Dexter Walters fired into the side-netting following a deep cross from visitors' left-back Brandon Mason.
From the resultant goal-kick, Ndaba needlessly conceded possession on the edge of his own box but Gervane Kastaneer somehow put his shot wide of Adam Przybek's far post when it looked easier to score.
However on 55, the young Blues made the visitors pay when they doubled their lead. Folami picked up the ball on the right and cut inside before bending a left-foot shot around a defender and into the bottom corner from the edge of the box, despite keeper Ben Wilson getting a hand to it.
Just after the hour mark Simpson played a good ball through to release Folami, who in turn fed the on-rushing El Mizouni, but Wilson got out quickly to block the Tunisian's effort at his near post.
On 82 El Mizouni carried the ball forward on the left and linked well with Folami before cutting in and striking a right-foot shot which cannoned off the inside of the far post before being cleared to safety.
As the final whistle approached, Przybek made a fine one-handed save to keep out an effort from a Coventry sub but Ndaba didn't clear the loose ball when he had the opportunity to do so, and Eccles fired a volley into the top corner.
The visitors pressed for a late equaliser and keeper Wilson was pushed forward for a few late corners, but the Town defence just about held firm to claim all three points.
Trialist Osho impressed in what his first game for Town with a number of important blocks and the centre-back won most of his aerial battles, and seemed comfortable playing out from the back too.
McGavin ran the show in midfield and broke up numerous attacks from the visitors, while Simpson and Folami both took their goals well and worked hard up front.
U23s: Przybek, Fehrenbach, Clements, McGavin, Osho, Ndaba, Foudil (K Brown 80), El Mizouni, Simpson, Folami, Hughes. Unused: Henderson, Gibbs, Scott.
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