Birmingham see off Liverpool in FA Youth Cup five-goal thriller

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January 31, 2015 by bluenosebible

Liverpool U18s 2-3 Birmingham City U18s (A.E.T)

Written by: Oliver Osborn

Birmingham City U18s have reached the FA Youth Cup Quarter-Finals after knocking out Liverpool in extra time.

Goals from George O’Neill, Sam Deadfield and Kieran Dunbar see Blues through to the last eight of the competition where they will visit either Leicester City or Southampton.

It was the home side, however, who took the lead in the first half after Jerome Sinclair capitalised on a mistake in the Birmingham defence.

The 18-year-old took advantage of Wes Harding poor touch and raced through on goal from the half-way line.

Sinclair, who made his senior team debut in 2012, kept his composure and cooly finished at the near post past Jake Weaver.

Blues held strong at the back and kept there discipline well to deny Liverpool a second. They were rewarded for their efforts on the stroke of half-time.

A swift counter attack saw Jordan Potter break free down the left hand side before the attacking midfielder crossed to George O’Neill.

The striker hit a first time shot through Andrew Firth’s legs to bring Blues back level with their first real chance of the game.

That ruthless streak continued as Sam Deadfield gave the underdogs the lead straight after the restart.

O’Neill found the midfielder just to the left of the penalty spot and the 18-year-old finished well, sending Firth the wrong way as his shot rolled into the bottom corner.

As the half went on, Blues began to sit deeper and deeper, hoping to catch Liverpool on the break when the chance came their way.

Highly rated Sheyi Ojo was looking dangerous as the home side pressed for an equaliser.

With 13 minutes left of normal time, substitute Ovie Ejaria fired home from close range after an interception in the Blues’ area.

Kyle MacFarlane had a great chance to find a winner in stoppage time, but his shot was dragged wide and extra time followed.

The early stages were nervy with neither side wanting to make a mistake, but as half time approached in the additional half hour, Blues found a third through another quality counter attacking move.

Right back Perry Cotton raced down the right touchline before finding Khaellem Bailey with a pinpoint cross.

The substitute couldn’t quite find a finish and Firth made a well timed tackle. The ball fell into Kieran Dunbar’s path and the midfielder made no mistake as he smashed in what would prove to be the winning goal.

Liverpool threw everything they had at Birmingham to take the match to penalties, but Steve Spooner’s boys held strong and progress to the next round.

Say it quietly, but it looks like Blues may have a few more exciting young players coming through the academy!

Starting line up: Weaver; Cotton, Harding, Martin, Bernard; Dunbar, Cooper, Deadfield (Bailey 69′); Potter (Seddon 102′), O’Neil, MacFarlane

Subs not used: Smith, Lubala, Challis


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