Another brilliant night for the U18s...
All photos courtesy of Stefan Willoughby.
Stevenage U18s booked their place in the FA Youth Cup Fourth Round on Tuesday night as they brushed aside Fleetwood’s youngsters to win 5-1 away from home.
The result follows on from impressive victories over Luton and Bromley in the previous rounds and a home tie against either Bolton or Middlesbrough is the reward.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach Jorden Gibson said that it was a game they grew into.
“I was really disappointed in the first half. I don’t think we pressed anywhere near to the standards we expect at this football club but I think we managed to sort it out at half-time and in the second half they came out and did really well. I am, really, really pleased and really proud of them.
“As the game went on, we got stronger and stronger and that has been a hallmark of this team in the competition so far.”
Boro’s Man of the Competition so far has undoubtedly been Andronicos Georgiou, the talented attacker adding to his tally with a hat-trick to make it 6 goals in 3 games.
Drilon Krasniqi and U16 Liam Smyth made up the rest of the scoresheet and Gibson says the team’s success comes down to a team effort.
“There is always a lot of talk about Andronicos as he is an exceptional talent and performing well but it is the squad that wins and they win together.
“You look at the back and defensively we have been strong as of late. Nathan Harness, he has come back in today from injury and done tremendously well. Charley O’Keefe captained the side and played like a senior. Ben Wilmot was fantastic as usual.
“Then you look at us going forward you see Joe Leslie and Marcus Gouldbourne, both playing excellent and of course the U16s who are coming through. The future is bright.”
It certainly seems that way for the Stevenage Academy and Seniors going forward.
With a previously unprecedented number of scholars/youth team graduates involved in Darren Sarll’s First Team and youngsters excelling at the lower age groups, the pathway is clear and working.
Next up for the U18s in this seasons FA Youth Cup journey is a home game against either Bolton or Middlesbrough (tie to be played tonight).
“We will go up Thursday evening to have a watch. It is an exciting tie and especially with it being at the Lamex, it is our first home draw which will hopefully draw a bit of a crowd as these boys deserve it.
“Ultimately we will go into the tie believing in ourselves and aiming to get into the 5th round.
“We as a staff haven’t changed anything. We have prepared exactly the same, week in week out and we will continue to do the same as it has worked so far.”