Match Reports

Manchester City prove too strong for Albion in FA Youth Cup

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Three-time winners progress despite Luca Barrington’s first-half equaliser.

By Matt Bishop • 17 January 2023

By MCFC/Tom Flathers
Luca Barrington scored from the spot against his former club.

Albion exited the FA Youth Cup at the fourth-round stage after a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City. 

Luca Barrington equalised for our under-18s just before half-time but goals from Will Dickson, Joel Ndala, Nico O’Reilly and Ashton Muir sealed City victory.

The hosts could have scored twice in the first six minutes, but Dickson shot straight at Tommy Reid after 90 seconds before Ndala clipped the crossbar four minutes later.

At the other end, City goalkeeper George Murray-Jones was relieved to see Jack Hinshelwood’s speculative effort from the halfway line deflect behind for a corner after his poor clearance fell to the Albion midfielder.

But despite that scare, it was the hosts who opened the scoring when Dickson thumped home O’Reilly’s cross after 13 minutes, and the dangerous Ndala nearly made it two moments later when his curling shot from the edge of the area was saved by Reid.

By MCFC/Tom Flathers
Jack Hinshelwood played after recent involvement with our first team.

City were well on top after their opener and Reid was called into action again after 33 minutes, diving low at his near post to smartly deny Emilio Lawrence, before the winger poked the rebound just wide with the Albion goalkeeper stranded. 

With the hosts in control, Arthur Brammer’s team had struggled to create anything since Hinshelwood’s early effort, but Bailey Smith was bright up front and after his cross led to Jamie Mullins having a shot well blocked, the striker won Albion a penalty on the stroke of half-time. 

City captain Jadel Katongo was the player to bring Smith down, and Luca Barrington made no mistake from the spot, scoring against his former club just as he had done against City’s under-21s over the weekend

It looked likely to be level at the break, but Ndala restored City’s lead in stoppage time when he worked the ball onto his left foot and fired a strike into the roof of the net. 

Joshua Duffus replaced Mullins at half-time and he nearly made an immediate impact five minutes after the interval, but shot into the side netting before Murray-Jones did brilliantly to save the Albion winger’s curling shot six minutes later.

By MCFC/Tom Flathers
Jamie Mullins made his Albion debut after joining from Bohemians.

Katongo headed a great chance over for City after being found by Matthew Whittingham’s wonderful free-kick, but Albion remained the more dangerous side and Max Alleyne had to be alert to divert Eliot Jenks’s cross behind with Smith lurking at the back post. 

But the increased pressure failed to bring Brammer’s team a leveller and instead they found themselves 3-1 down in the 75th minute when O’Reilly pounced on a loose ball in the box and tapped the ball under Reid. 

It was harsh on Albion’s second half performance and things got worse ten minutes from time when Ashton Muir raced clear to score City’s fourth and set up a fifth round tie against Fleetwood or Middlesbrough. 

Albion: Reid, Tasker (Lee, 90), Penman, McConville, Moulton, Hinshelwood, Jenks, Mills, Barrington (Bashir, 76), Mullins (Duffus, 46), Smith. 

Subs not used: Fisher, Ryan, Albarus, Knight.