United 3 Bristol City 1 - FA Youth Cup report

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Deadbat

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Bonus report!

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Watched the u18s earlier so some quick thoughts on that...

Played at the Lane, this was the 5th Rd tie against Bristol City.

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The Blades started with Jebbison and Hackford up front supported by the Tunisian Ayari who is the leading scorer this season. Seriki started at right back after some impressive performances for the 18s and 23s. Frankie Maguire who had been in the first team squad this season started alongside skipper Arblaster.

Bristol City started well and dominated the first 5 minutes. Indeed only a few minutes in and an angled cross seemed to nick a defender and came off the far post. The visitors continued to look threatening and penned the Blades back but on 10 minutes almost with their first attack took the lead.

A ball from Anderson down the left channel saw Brooks do superbly to go around his man tight to the touchline and sent over a cross which AYARI controlled and smashed into the far corner. Real quality in the set up and final execution. The goal though had come against the run of play.

Bristol City tried to respond but Cullinan made a good tackle in a really open game.

United were now growing into the game and some decent pockets of football involving the front players and Brooks also was looking a real threat.

Good work by Jebbison and Hackford saw a chance for Ayari to net his second but he shot just wide. The same man took a knock soon after but was fit enough to carry on.

Hiddleston was well placed to save a driven shot after a spell of City pressure.
Bristol City won quite a few corners and then Hackford gave a foul away in a dangerous area.
Scott took the free kick and whipped it wide of the near post.

United started to see more of the ball but Anderson was booked for a bad tackle. The header from the free kick went wide.
United won a free kick 30 yards out. Ayari took it and a great effort went narrowly over despite a defender only being around 5 or 6 yards from the kick when it was taken.

Anderson the shot tamely wide from a corner.
Ayari gave the ball away and Henry crossed and Scott had a great chance but his finish lacked power and Hiddleston saved.

Ayari then showed lovely skill to find Seriki and his inviting cross was cut out by the keeper as Hackford closed in.

Hiddleston then had to be alert to push away another low shot and head certainly been the busier keeper.

The half time whistle came with Bristol City on the attack in a relatively even contest.


The second half saw the Blades double their lead early on. Oliver Ablaster's deep cross was a good one (Norwood-esque at his best) and JEBBISON took it first time to guide the volley into the far corner. Jebbison has scored in every round of the competition.

Cullinan had to be alert to make a tackle as Bristol City looked to respond.

Soon after a deep cross saw the Blades fail to clear and the City man got in and looped his header goalwards and Hiddleston made a spectacular save as the ball looked set to drop in, tipping it onto the bar. The visitors hit the woodwork for the 2nd time.

United then broke after good work from Williams to block a chance and then a crunching challenge from Arblaster. The Blades were on the run as Seriki sprinted away and was felled, the advantage was played but Ayari ‘s final ball was behind Hackford.

Bristol City had a spell of possession but Hiddleston's handling was sound but United were unable to clear and Brooks poor tackle was completely unnecessary as there was no immediate danger. On the hour mark SCOTT took it and sent Hiddleston the wrong way and it was game on.

Osula replaced Hackford for the Blades not long after the City goal up front.

It was mainly City now dominating on the ball and one flicked finish went wide before another header drifted wide at the far post. United were struggling to get hold of it as the game entered the final 20 minutes but Ayari's tenacity won a free kick to give the Blades a breather.

Brooks free kick was straight at the keeper but the vital two goal cushion came soon after this. Nice patient build up saw the ball moved around. Seriki got away down the right and put over an inviting cross and JEBBISON could not miss, to net his 2nd of the game.

Jebbison nearly got his hat trick but he blazed well over after good initial work in the build up.

The third goal seemed to have took the wind out of Bristol City who made a few changes as United took control again.

Seriki shot wide at the near post after a free kick was not cleared properly. Osula then showed quick feet but the attack broke down.

The game entered the final 10 minutes and Josh Smith came on for Ayari. Cullinan's header from Maguire’s free kick drifted wide after the sub Smith had kept it alive.

Jebbison then took a heavy touch when well placed. Bristol City looked a beaten side as the game entered stoppage time with United looking more likely to score again at this stage. Brooks lung bursting run saw him gain yards and waste valuable time but his cross was over hit.

The game entered 5 minutes of additional time. There had been a few niggle challenges both way and another at the end saw treatment for a Bristol City player. Then from a free kick, Bell caught Huddleston late with a dangerous tackle on the keeper as he spread himself to make the save.

Jebbison could not get enough purchase on his shot but it was blocked for a corner and that proved to be the final chance. The final whistle came after a scrappy end to the game as the Blades deservedly advanced.

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Players (4-3-3)...not done ratings but there are three...Seriki, Arblaster and Jebbison the three who showed the most promise.

Hiddleston – Goalkeeper. Saw one hit his post snd a fair bit of early pressure. Saved one low down holding it and then pushed another away before half time. He made a superb save getting to a looping header to tip on the bar after we had just gone 2-0 up. His handling was sound overall. Penalty no chance. After we went 3-1 he was protected well. One late bad tackle on him as he saved from a low ball through saw him recover after treatment.

Seriki – Right back. Was looking forward to seeing him play. Certainly, can motor and loves to attack. A few times we saw this but he was not secure defensively. He went on one great run early in the 2nd half and then made the 3rd with a superb cross. Something we have seen sadly lacking from the first team. One to watch I would say.

Anderson – Left back. Helped set up the first goal but he looked the weak link first half as Bristol City had a fair few attacks down this side. He shanked a shot and then was booked for a poor tackle. 2nd half he was a bit more secure and got a few tackles in but felt he was the weakest defender.

Cullinan – Centre back. He was the bigger or more dominant centre back who was attacking the ball. Made s few good tackles/blocks but a few clumsy clearances too. Won a number of important headers.

Williams – Centre back. Thought both centre backs were a bit deep at times and also not tight enough. He looks quite quick and decent on the ball. Put under more pressure as the game went on. Stood up well though and was quite composed.

Arblaster – Central midfield. Centre of Three. Got stuck in. Certainly, likes a tackle and won a few loose things. Seemed to be the one driving things forward when he could. Made a good tackle in the lead up to the 2nd. Took a whack from a poor tackle with 5 mins to play but carried on. Just looked a good all round midfielder. Another to keep an eye on.

Maguire – Right hand side of midfield. Not sure either team played through the middle much and he was not on the ball that much. I thought we were a bit careless at times with give-aways but he was also neat and tidy on occasions. Put in a few decent free kicks.

Brooks – Left hand side of midfield. Our main threat to begin with. Direct with the ball and his driving run/skill and cross made the first goal. On the ball and on the front foot a fair bit. Athletic and quick. Defensively like a few of our players struggled going the other way. Silly tackle on the penalty and no need. Not as invoked 2nd half but then one mazy run at the end saw him run 30 yards but his cross went awry.

Ayari – Number 10 role behind the front two. Certainly always involved! Some lovely skill and bits of individual play mixed with some frustrating stuff. Scored a lovely taken goal, shot just wide snd had a great free kick that was just over. He also nearly set them up a few times! As the game went on his influence lessened but sort of a luxury player you feel but one that can do things out of nothing. Replaced with just under 10 to go.

Hackford – Centre forward. Not really in the game to begin with and gave a few silly fouls away but started to link with above and below. Not sure he has quite kicked on from early season and maybe Ayari/Jebbison have done better in recent months but only 17 so still has time. He was relatively quiet and was subbed after it became 2-1.

Jebbison – Centre forward. Very tall. Must be 6’5’’ or 6’6’’. Very rangy runner. One or two neat touches but also looks a bit clumsy at times. Scored a superb finish at the far post which was only a half chance really. It was really well taken. Then tapped in the third. He worked really hard. Few finishes went awry but he kept chasing and being an outlet. Probably the Man of the Match. Raw but there is something there as an athlete, quick and tall. Another one to watch.

Subs:

Osula – Replaced Hackford on 65 mins. Showed a few decent bits of running/skill.

Smith – Replaced Ayari on 82 mins. Involved instantly in a half chance.

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The Blades now go to Ipswich Town on the 1st May for the Quarter Finals. The only two teams left who are not Category One Academies.

The other QFs are:

Newcastle v Villa
Liverpool v Arsenal
West Brom v Everton
 

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