U18s Defeat Swindon in FA Youth Cup
Saturday, 27th Mar 2021 21:50 by James Ager
Town's U18s progressed to the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-1 victory against Swindon Town at Portman Road on Saturday afternoon.
George Cowmeadow gave the visitors an early lead but Edwin Agbaje equalised and then second-half headers from Ola Bello (pictured) and Albie Armin secured the victory for Adem Atay's side.
The young Blues started well and Swindon keeper Kai Storr did well to smother an early effort from Liam Gibbs, shortly before Zanda Siziba shot just wide on 14.
However, the Wiltshire side were gifted the lead a minute later when Cowmeadow's corner ended up in the back of the Town net. Keeper Antoni Bort, who has only just returned to action after a number of months out with a spinal injury, appeared to get caught underneath the ball and could do nothing to prevent it from nestling in the far corner.
Town looked to hit straight back and the visitors' defence did well to clear crosses from Tawanda Chirewa and Cameron Humphreys after they had both beaten Storr to loose balls, but the mounting pressure paid off on 24 when attacking right-back Agbaje got the better of Callum Winchcombe and then Oliver Case before calmly slotting the ball beyond the keeper.
Ten minutes before the interval, Storr parried a shot from Siziba away from immediate danger but a follow-up cross from Humphreys led to Fraser Alexander heading the ball to Siziba who finished with ease from close range, only to see the assistant referee's flag raised for offside.
Atay was forced to replace the influential Siziba at the break after the ex-Spurs youngster appeared to pick up a hamstring injury late on in the half but his replacement, Bello, made an almost-instant impact when his flicked header from a Liam Gibbs cross found the far corner of the net on 49.
The striker looked to take the full impact of the defender's attempt to head the ball clear but was soon cleared to carry on, although he picked up a different injury later in the half and had to be replaced.
The Blues were pretty comfortable for much of the rest of the second half with neither side creating many clear-cut chances, although sub Jack Manly hit a speculative effort from distance which was deflected just wide of the target.
With three minutes remaining, Humphreys' in-swinging corner from the right was met by the head of Armin, who directed the ball into the roof of the net to set up a fifth round tie away at Middlesbrough or Swansea City. The winner of that tie will then take on Peterborough, Sheffield United or Bristol City at home in the quarter-finals.
U18s: Bort, Agbaje, Bradshaw, Cutbush, Stewart, Armin, Alexander, Humphreys, Chirewa (Manly 74), Gibbs, Siziba (Bello 46 (Osbourne 77)). Unused: Ridd, Stephenson, Nwabueze, H Barbrook.
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