Lichfield City Academy-FA YOUTH CUP WINNERS

Sporting Khalsa 2v3 Lichfield City Academy

The FA Youth Cup is a wonderful competition for all aspiring football academy players to perform in and with a tough away trip at Sporting Khalsa from the midland premier division, Lichfield City had to be prepared. The night before the tie, Lichfield City Academy players were rewarded with a trip to Wembley watching the England National team play in a world cup qualify.

A great night for everyone but with a 2am return the squad were concerned with potential tiredness. Sporting Khalsa have several physically strong players and are rewarded with 4 county u18 players including their star player Karin, who is county captain. Lichfield started the game on the frontfoot and with the speed of Max & Jordan, created three great chances on the conter attack with the sporting keeper making good saves.

Lichfield City had control of the game with Benton heading over after delightful skill outwide from Addy and a super cross. The Jones brothers and Jake were solid in defence and maintained great organising qualities. Alex and whitehouse were always looking to engage and support forward which was pleasing to see.

Jordan and Max kept the 52 supporters on their feet with fantastic speed and dribbiling skill, Jordan running from his own half passing 5 players before a smart combination finishing in another shot. Max went clear in the box and was fouled, penalty. Benton calmly putting in the bottom corner. maintaining his excellent scoring record this season. Sporting from set pieces offered creative danger and just before half time had two close attempts cleared off the line. On the stroke of half time Lichfield City made a defensive error and Sportings star player Karin finished with power. A good learning lesson for the young lads. A calm half time talk on how we could improve and a desire to treat the second half like a cup final allowed the team to create some urgency to take the lead.

Alex Jones with desire and commitment attacked from full back and had an outstanding game. Ben & Joe were fantastic in midfield with energy, leadership and desire to cover every piece of grass and with a delightful passing move they started ending in Addy on the right wing he dribbled past 2 players before shooting in to the top of the net from 20 yards, the team celebrated in style. Whitehouse maintained a solid performance considering not had a full pres season. Fresh legs were needed and though it was a tough decision to use 3 of the 5 lads, Todd came on and produced a disciplined performance with his strength and on the edge of the box beat his marker to smash into the bottom corner to delight his team mates. Lichfield City maintained a solid shape but Sporting went forward with direct play and Fellows in goal pulled off two marvellous saves at an important time with great hands.

Sporting put Lichfield under pressure and in the 88th minute scored a second from a scrabble in the box. D Certi Roberts and Wes started winning the ball in midfield for the team and with their fresh legs advanced the team forward with some smart passing and movement. Lewis again looking dangerous on the counter attack was unlucky not to get his goal with another dribble in the box. 5 minutes were added however, Lichfield showed maturity to see out the game with professional play and advance to the next round away at AFC Telford.