Two key moments see AFA shade London FA in the FA County Youth Cup
The first cold afternoon of the season welcomed our Under-18 team on Saturday 27 October, as they started their FA County Youth Cup campaign against a strong London side they beat by one goal at under-16 level last season.
Once again it was a very tight and competitive game, refereed very well by Mr Conway. It started like a cagey boxing match with both sides testing each other out, but no significant blows were landed.
London had an early chance when a free-kick was headed wide and, although there was not a lot to choose between the teams in the first half, they enjoyed the better of the chances but were not able to test the AFA goalkeeper.
Mid-way through the half a cross into the penalty box was headed down to Kormaz, but he shot over from about eight yards. Then, just before half time, they attacked down the right and knocked the ball towards the back post but the cross was headed over the bar.
The AFA were working hard and competing for every ball but were unable to find the key to unlock the London defence, with the final ball often going astray or being over ambitious. Thus we got to half time with the game goalless.
The AFA introduced Miekal Williams on the left wing in the second half and he soon impressed with his control and dribbling skills. However, London had the first break, when a good run by their left back was thwarted by a tackle in the penalty box. This was to be the last time London got close until late in the game.
There was concerted pressure now being exerted on the London defence, with a last-ditch tackle stopping Fabio Ramirez just as he was about to shoot after a break down the right.
This pressure continued to build and eventually was rewarded. The London ‘keeper saved from Danny O'Leary, shortly after a long-range shot from Max Brassington went just over. Then, the first key moment happened. Good pressing by Ekow Coker on the London defence saw the ball fall to Fabio Ramirez, who drove it home from the edge of the penalty area to put AFA ahead.
The second key moment arrived eight minutes later, when the London centre forward, Belazregue, was through on goal but Harry Hauserman threw himself to his left to make a good low save.
This seemed to deflate London, whose only other threat was a header from a corner that was deflected wide.
The game was still tight in midfield but AFA were able to see out the final minutes and shade a deserved win to go through. They will now travel to Nottingham FA in December
AFA team manager, Pat Folan, said “I was quite pleased with the performance, seeing as it was our first game of the season. The attendance at the trials was disappointing, but it looks as though we have a good squad to work with. We are looking forward to our trip to Nottingham.”
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