Youths Suffer Cup Exit

The U18s lost 3-1 to Hartlepool United at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium on Wednesday evening in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

The young Imps quickly took the tie to their visitors and grabbed a third minute lead when the game’s first corner saw Pools ‘keeper Mark Foden flap at the cross with Conner Robinson there to take advantage, prodding home from close range.

Hartlepool were quick to respond, however, and within four minutes had drawn level when their first corner was met by the head of Brad Walker who powered an effort past City stopper Ollie Pannell.

Will Rawdon was cautioned for a rash challenge as the visitors attached again and after soaking up a spell of pressure a City counter-attack ended with Jordan Thomas testing Foden with a curling effort from the edge of the area. Thomas came close again when he headed a Rob Taylor cross against the woodwork before the ball bounced into the grateful Foden’s gloves.

City, who were restricting Hartlepool to long-range efforts, were looking sharp on the break with Taylor’s creativity causing problems; one such through-ball from the teenager - on the bench for the first team the previous evening at Walsall - setting Thomas free only for Foden to deny the striker again.

The opening period ended with Aaron Rice bringing another save out of Foden whilst Pannell pulled off a fine save from Zak Boagey to ensure a 1-1 half-time scoreline.

As was the case in the first half, the second brought about a couple of early goals but sadly for the City fans in the crowd of 138 both came the visitors’ way.

Pools took the lead four minutes in when Walker slotted home after Pannell had palmed away a Boagey shot and although the Imps came close to levelling when Kegan Everington fired through a crowded box only to be denied by Foden, the visitors quickly added a third through Josh Nearey.

During the remainder of the game City always looked likely to reduce the deficit but found the visiting defence in resilient form, repeatedly clearing their lines as Rice, and most notably Taylor, peppered them with crosses into the box.

City U18s: Pannell, Leggett, Rawdon (Walker 81), Everington (Bowles 77), Weaver, Ward, Taylor, Cotton (Simmons 83), Thomas, Robinson, Rice. Unused subs: Burrows, Green.