David Fell’s brings us up to date with the latest kick from the Youth Team!
What better way to spend a Friday afternoon than in the Staffordshire countryside, in the National Forest at St Georges Park, the Football Association’s national football centre where all of England’s national football teams prepare for their games.
More relevant for today though is that for the past three seasons it has also been the home of Burton Albion’s under 18 team who today face Notts County’s youth team in a league game. The game was played on pitch number one – the Kelly Smith pitch – named after the ex Arsenal and England striker.
With their important FA Youth Cup 2nd Round game taking place on Monday evening at Accrington and with Kion Etete possibly being part of the first team squad again in their FA Cup match at Barnsley tomorrow, Notts County went with a very young team, made up of only four second year scholars, the rest being a mixture of first year scholars and under 16 players, with the front three all under 16.
Mazhi Simmons, Oscar Ramirez, Rasharn Altaf, Leo Marshall.
Jack Henchcliffe, Owen Newell, Corey Bucalossi,
Kayne McKenna, Tyreace Palmer, Cameron Smith.
Coden Duncan, Tiernan Brooks, Kieran Cummings, Charlie Wilde, Tyreece Kennedy-Williams
It took time for the young ‘Pies to settle down with Burton slightly the better of the two teams but no chances for either side in the first thirty minutes as most of the play was in the middle third of the pitch.
On 31 minutes Burton take the lead after a low cross from the left is turned into the Notts goal.
A further chance to each side before half time when a good shot from outside the area by Jack Henchcliffe is straight at the ‘keeper for a comfortable save. Moments later a good chance for Burton from well inside the Notts area was crashed against the cross-bar and over for a goal kick.
Half-time arrives with Burton ahead by the single goal – probably a fair reflection of the game.
Two changes for Notts at the start of the second half, Kieran Cummings and Coden Duncan came on for Kayne McKenna and Cameron Smith.
Ten minutes into the second half and Burton increase their lead when another low cross is turned in. Two minutes later a good effort from Kieran Cummings goes just wide of the far post.
With about fifteen minutes left there was unusual comedy moment from the referee, who had been excellent up to that point, as he showed the Notts skipper Oscar Ramirez a yellow card closely followed by a red card. This seemed particularly harsh as Oscar had not been booked previously! After much protesting by the Notts players and bench, the referee checked with his linesman who confirmed it was the first booking for the Notts skipper so the red card was rescinded and fair play to the referee who went over to explain his decision to the Notts bench.
Notts managed to pull a goal back just before the end as Tyreece Kennedy-Williams lashed a loose ball into the Burton net – only to be ‘accidentally’ knocked to the ground by the Burton keeper as he tried to retrieve the ball from the back of the net.
The whistle for full time was blown soon after with a 2-1 win for Burton.
A disappointing result for the young ‘Pies against an ordinary looking Burton team, but on the positive side some good experience for some of the younger Notts players.
Fingers crossed the team is nearer to full strength for their trip to Accrington on Monday.