Cole 37, Bytyqi 55
Crystal Palace 0
- Match reports
- Sat 29 Sep 2012, 1:05PM
- Posted by Mark Booth
Goals from Devante Cole and Sinan Bytyqi either side of half-time set up a convincing 2-0 win for City under-18s over Crystal Palace.
With holding midfielder Jack Byrne away on international duty with Ireland u17s, Sadler opted to bring James Horsfield into his midfield, while there was also a place for 15-year old Aaron Nemane whose goalscoring debut last time out against Fulham put his name in lights.
Progressive, possession-based football and evenly matched contests have been encouraging features of the u18s league campaign so far, with matches tending to be settled by moments of great individual skill.
This match was no different with both teams seeking to gain the midfield advantage at a gusty Platt Lane.
The conditions made it all the more admirable that spectators were treated to an attractive encounter between two teams determined to play the game in the right manner.
A frenetic pace to the opening 15 minutes almost culminated in City taking the lead – Cole won the ball himself inside in his own half before driving past three defenders and pulling the trigger. Unfortunately, his shot was deflected wide or we’d have been talking about one of the goals of the season.
Horsfield was a tower of strength in that first half, giving the archetypal all-round midfield performance – breaking up play, spotting gaps and ultimately providing Cole with the chance to put City ahead.
Cole made an intelligent run and the pass from the outside of Horsfield’s boot was perfectly measured to find it and the striker was never going to pass up the opportunity, finishing clinically across the goalkeeper with an instinctive side foot.
City’s second goal arrived 10 minutes after the break and it was Austrian midfielder Bytyqi who got the goal after neat work from Brandon Barker on the left wing.
It was testament to the organisation and the tactical discipline of Sadler’s team that the rally from Palace never really materialised in the remaining 35 minutes and, if anything, it was the team in blue that looked likeliest to score again.
They thought they had when Barker finished cutely with 10 minutes to go but he adjudged to be offside and the Blues were content with their two goal winning margin.
City are next in action next Saturday away at Wolves.