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REPORT: Stevenage U18s 3-2 Colchester U18s

30 October 2018

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Jim Steele

Onto the next round...

Stevenage's U18s came through a tricky First Round tie in the FA Youth Cup on Tuesday Night as they saw off the challenge of Colchester United.

Boro could hardly have been handed a more difficult First Round draw and after taking a well deserved lead in the first half through Liam Smyth, the U's hit back just minutes later.

The team's collective head didn't drop though and after knocking on the door all game, the hinges finally flew off in the second half as O'Donnell and Smyth made sure of the victory.

Jorden Gibson named Arthur Iontton as Captain to lead his side with breakthrough 17 year old, Liam Smyth starting upfront alongside the rapid Marcus Gouldbourne. Jellis, O’Donnell and Smith played alongside Iontton in midfield with Field, Sackey-Mensah, Okoye and Goulbourne in defence. Chelsea loanee Ethan Wady started in goal.

Stevenage got off to a good start in the contest and took the lead in the 20th minute. Smyth felled inside the area before taking responsibility in tucking it away to make it 1-0.

The lead didn’t last long though. A rare Colchester attach saw Chilvers poke the ball home from a few yards out after latching onto a well delivered ball into the box.

That goal only seemed to reawaken Boro though, as the hosts would go onto dominate the rest of the half. Gilt edged chances from Iontton and Fernandez followed, before Smyth had two golden opportunities to extend his tally, first with his head and then with his feet as Stevenage began to turn the screw.

Ethan Wady was needed to keep the scores level with five minutes to go though as a Col U attacker broke through the lines to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Despite having nothing to do throughout the first half, the American was on-guard and ready to spring into action, pushing the shot away to maintain the 1-1 score at the half.

The second half saw a slower tempo develop as both sides struggled to keep up the same intensity as the first. Stevenage were still the team in the ascendency though, athough it took until the hour mark for the chances to start racking up.

Liam Smyth, again, at the centre of things as he profuced a mazy run across the box before forcing a superb left handed stop by Coulter who was able to get down and push away his low, powerful shot onto the post.

It was beginning to look like a night of frustration for Stevenage's impressive youngsters, the floodgates soon opened as the Colchester resistance fell away. Dylan O'Donnell making it 2-1 with a brilliant individual goal, driving towards the edge of the box before letting off a cracking strike in and off the post.

The celebations barely had time to die down before Smyth nodded in his second of the night after being found unmarked at the back-post.

Despite conceding a late consolation that made a few nerves jangle inside the Lamex Stadium, Stevenage were able to see out the result which takes them to the Second Round of the competition once again.

Wady, Field, Sackey-Mensah, Fernandez, Okoye, Smith (70'), Iontton, O’Donnell (80'), Smyth, Jellis (55'), Gouldbourne

Subs: Conteh (80'), Berman, Draper (55'), Krasniqi, Simms (70')

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