Burton Albion U18’s ‘v’ Notts County U18’s
Youth Alliance Cup North Round 1
Sat 30 Aug 14
Burton Albion 1 – 1 Notts County
(Burton Albion win 8-7 on penalties)
For the second time in 3 weeks the Brewers Youth team played their neighbours and rivals Notts County, this time the game was in the 1st Round of the Youth Alliance Cup, the fixture was played at Welbeck DSFC.
The cup game was a carbon copy of the league fixture, very physical and played at a very high tempo, but overall the Brewers deserved to progress through. The match began with Burton Albion lining up in an experimental 3.5.2. formation, the staff recognised that during the league fixture most of the young Brewers success came from wide areas and with this in mind we attempted to exploit these areas. Unfortunately the experiment didn’t work out and although we had most of the possession, we created very little from wide areas.
After 11mins and against the run of play, Notts County took the lead. Their centre forward cut in from the right and attempted to curl a shot into the far corner, the initial attempt was saved but the ball was forced over the line. The goal seemed to ‘spur’ the young Brewers on and on 36mins, Marcus Dinanga equalised with a sublime turn and shot into the far corner of the net.
Once again, through poor finishing and good goalkeeping, the Brewers couldn’t gain the lead and the score remained 1-1 at half time.
The second half was really a non-event, with Notts County not troubling the Burton defence and if anyone, Burton looked the more likely to score. It remained 1-1 after 90mins and so the tie went into penalties.
Burton kept their nerve and scored through Sam Austin, Charlie Gatter, Brad Smith, Jack Hallahan (U16), Michael Pearson, Mark Shelton, Charlie Hornby (GK) and Chris Richards. All the penalties were dispatched with confidence and quality, giving the Notts County keeper no chance. Skipper Matt Murfin was the only player to miss from the spot.
Charlie Hornby, in the Burton goal, saved two penalties which meant the young Brewers progressed through to the 2nd round of the Youth Alliance Cup, winning the tie 8-7.
Overall the performance was satisfactory, but as a group we know we need to show more quality and composure in the attacking third of the pitch. The pleasing aspect of the performance was the fact the young Brewers displayed masses of character, coming from 1-0 down, they kept playing their football (the Burton Albion Way) and remained calm during the penalty shoot-out.
The next Youth Team fixture is on Sat 13 Sept, where the Brewers are on their travels against Hull City, we do have a friendly arranged against Liverpool on Tues 2 Sept. This promises to be a good test and one we are all looking forward too.