NOTTINGHAMSHIRE FA U’18s 1-3 AMATEUR FA U’18s
FA County FA Youth Cup 3rd Round
Referee: Dean Steatham (Birmingham)
Venue: Mansfield Town Training Ground
Attendance: 94 (15 AFA)
Ekow Coker secured the AFA a Quarter Final tie against neighbours Middlesex FA of Liverpool FA with a fine win against a strongly fancied Notts FA at Mansfield on Saturday.
In the opening stages the AFA had to defend as Notts applied early pressure with keeper Harry Hauserman called into action early on by his near post as Notts Josh Randell found his way through the AFA defence on a number of occasions.
With the AFA under repeated pressure for the first quarter of an hour, it proved difficult to mount an attack with Notts much quicker to the ball and passing well. A series of fine saves by Harry Hauserman and last ditch defending kept the AFA in the game.
It was only a matter of time before Notts broke the deadlock in the 30th minute with Ryan Ingram and Callum Ingram combining well for Ryan Ingram to slot home for a deserved lead.
The remainder of the half saw the AFA come more into the game with Notts conceding several free kicks outside the box putting pressure on the Notts defence. In the 42nd minute the AFA came close to an equaliser when Max Brassington hit the post following another free kick.
Half Time: Notts CFA U’18s 1-0 AFA U’18s
The AFA made a tactical change for the second half with Jaden Madimba coming on for Yili Flezi and Ekow Coker moving up front.
The AFA now took control of the game. Justin Dumfeh did really will to find space for a shot in the Notts penalty area but keeper Harrison Kissane would not be beaten producing a fine stop.
In the 60th minute Mekael Williams came on for Justin Dumfeh with the AFA now the dominant force with Notts giving away free kicks to stem the flow of attacking football.
It was Notts who were now being forced into making errors and in the 65th minute Jeremy Elebe intercepted a pass in the their half and crossed for Fabio Ramirez to strike low into the net for the equaliser.
Minutes later Danny O’Leary sped down the right wing to cross for Ekow Coker to strike left foot to see the ball fly into the top corner from 35 yards out putting the AFA in front.
The game became a little ragged as Notts tried to stem the flow of attacking football from the AFA. The home side attacked when they could and in the 80th minute Harry Hauserman made the save of the match with a point blank save from 6 yards out to tip the ball over the bar.
The AFA were now creating problems every time we got the ball and went further ahead on 81 minutes when Coker grabbed a second following good work along the right flank involving Ryan Murphy and Danny O’leary to allow Coker to slam in his second goal high into the net.
With little time left the AFA made their final substitution with Ekow Coker coming off to well-deserved applause for Cameron McAdam.
This was, to use the well-known cliché, a game of two halves. The AFA coaching team deserve credit for their tactical change at half time which turned the tie around completely. The AFA will now play the winners of Liverpool CFA U’18s v Middlesex CFA U’18s (away) in the Quarter Finals.
Graham Hall (Nottingham FA) and Tony Julien (Amateur FA) exchanging mementos following the FA county Youth Cup game on Saturday.
AFA Representative Team- U18s