U18s Hit Five at Fram
Tuesday, 3rd Dec 2019 23:19 by James Ager
A hat-trick from striker Zak Brown helped Town's U18s to progress to the quarter-finals of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup with a 5-1 victory over Framlingham Town on Tuesday evening.
Town's youngsters started brightly and Allan Viral blasted over from a tight angle early on, shortly before Framlingham left-back Cion Wren made two fine goal-line blocks in a matter of seconds and keeper Harry Lay-Fulcher then got back to again keep the ball out, and the scores level.
A right-sided cross from Viral then found Nyan Mesuria at the back post and he took a touch before shooting at goal, only to see Anthony Johnson throw himself in the way of his goalbound effort.
On 18 the hosts came within inches of opening the scoring when Danny Smith got the better of Louie Fehrenbach and played the ball across to Mason Ransome, who saw his left-footed shot from the edge of the box beat Antoni Bort but crash off the bar.
Nine minutes later, the young Blues finally made a deserved breakthrough when Brown won the ball in the Fram area and teed up the on-rushing Fraser Alexander, who calmly slotted the ball past Lay-Fulcher from close range.
Right-back Ben Wyss had to be substituted a few minutes later following a nasty fall from an aerial challenge, which looked to have caused some damage to his right collarbone or shoulder. Town only named two subs and both of those were attackers, so Viral moved back to right-back to accommodate Ola Bello on the right wing.
In the final minute of the first half Brown released Matt Healy who burst into the hosts' area but had to check back, only to see Brown hit a fine first-time low shot across Lay-Fulcher and into the far bottom corner of the net.
In stoppage time Healy played a good ball through to Brown who tried to lift the ball over the advancing Lay-Fulcher, but the keeper managed to get his fingertips to the ball to deny Brown a second goal before the break.
Within three minutes of the restart, the Thurlow Nunn Division One North side reduced the arrears when a deep freekick from Alex Ling was helped back across goal by Adam Horn and Max Willett slid in to convert from inside the six-yard box.
However Adem Atay's team hit back almost immediately to restore their two-goal advantage when Healy's freekick from the right was helped goalwards by centre-back Cameron Stewart, and the ball nestled in the far bottom corner.
Healy himself then saw a dipping volley from the edge of the box deflect just wide, before schoolboy Cameron Humphreys hit the bar and Mesuria the foot of a post inside a four-minute spell just after the hour mark.
On 68 Brown sealed the win for Town with a simple tap-in at the back post from Viral's right-sided ball across the six-yard box and although the home side then created a couple of opportunities at the other end, striker Smith was unable to trouble Bort and ended up rolling the ball wide of the target when he found himself through on goal.
Town were threatening to score every time they attacked a tiring home defence and Brown really should have added a fifth with 12 minutes remaining when he burst onto a neat ball from Healy and rounded Lay-Fulcher, only to pause and end up chipping the ball against the near post instead of slotting it into the unguarded net.
Brown thought he'd got his hat-trick with five minutes remaining when he met Viral's deflected cross and beat Lay-Fulcher, but he was flagged offside.
However the young striker wasn't to be denied and just three minutes later he timed his run to perfection to latch onto a good through ball from sub Yousuf Haque and this time he rounded Lay-Fulcher and found the net with ease.
In stoppage time Brown came within inches of adding a sixth and his fourth of the game when he ran onto Fehrenbach's ball over the top and although he beat Lay-Fulcher, sub Dan Smith got back to clear the ball off the line.
While Town controlled much of the game and created numerous goalscoring opportunities throughout, the match was much more of a contest during the opening period with the Framlingham defence often thwarting Town's youngsters.
However a quick reply to an early second-half goal and some tiring legs in the home defence contributed to a much more open second half, in which Town could - and probably should - have scored a few more goals.
Brown was a constant threat with his pace often troubling the home side and Healy and Alexander got the ball moving well and created plenty of openings for others in the side.
Northern Irish U17 international Stewart took his goal well and looked assured at the back alongside skipper Fehrenbach, while Viral got forward at every opportunity and delivered some dangerous crosses from the right side.
Town's youngsters have been drawn away at Macron Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division side Henley Athletic in the quarter-finals, in a game which is due to take place on Saturday 1st February 2020.
U18s: Bort, Wyss (Bello 32), Humphreys, Stewart, Fehrenbach, Baker, Healy, Alexander (Haque 60), Z Brown, Mesuria, Viral.
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