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Match Reports

Gutsy Under 18s defeated in Youth Cup

6 November 2019

Our Under 18s' FA Youth Cup campaign came to an end at the hands of Scunthorpe United, who progressed with a 1-0 win after extra time.

A thrilling, action-packed encounter somehow remained goalless after 90 minutes following a host of excellent chances at either end.

Both sides went close in extra time, too, before the breakthrough eventually came with 109 minutes played, when Raynner Silva's corner went straight in to break the hearts of Craig Gordon's young players.

After a tentative start to proceedings, the game burst into action in the fourth minute, when a Scunthorpe corner was brought down well on the edge of the area and worked to Charles Barks. He struck a fine effort, which Tiernan Brooks did excellently to turn onto his post before the flag was raised against Levi Gallimore on the follow-up.

Our youngsters went straight down the other end and visiting keeper Thomas Collins was forced to make a great stop of his own to deny Syme Mulvany's fierce drive nestling in the top corner. The resultant set piece was knocked down to Kieran Cummings just outside the box but he couldn't get hold of his effort and the Iron cleared. 

The winger was presented with another opportunity after good work from Kayne McKenna on the opposite flank, but fired narrowly over after twisting and turning well to work space for a right-footed shot 20 yards from goal.

Tyreace Palmer got involved as the front three combined to win a corner, which broke for James Snedden who shot narrowly wide, and, shortly afterwards, Cummings' low strike went just past the near post as Gordon's side probed for an opener. 

Scunthorpe's retort came through Harry Jessop, who headed narrowly over from Finley Shrimpton's cross, and Silva's low effort was well held by Brooks as the chances came more frequently. 

Jessop looked to turn provider for Shrimpton after getting in behind on 31 minutes but Corey Bucalossi threw his body in the way of the ball in the 31st minute.

A fantastic block at the other end kept our youngsters out a matter of moments later, when Cummings low cross found its way to McKenna on the right-hand side of the box. He caught his first-time shot brilliantly, but Oliver Lobley's diving intervention meant Collins could breathe a sigh of relief between the sticks.

Mulvany drove at the heart of the defence before checking back inside onto his right foot with 34 on the clock, and he bent the ball towards the top corner, only to see his effort drift agonisingly wide of the post.

As half-time approached, Leo Marshall made an excellent recovering challenge on Jessop when he looked to be clean through on goal and Silva shot wide from 20 yards.

Yet more chances were to come before the break, however. In the final moments of the half, McKenna was denied by another fantastic block - this time it was Shrimpton stretching to stop his effort troubling the keeper after Mulvany had driven to the byline to cut the ball back.

The Iron went straight down the other end and the dangerous Jessop found space in the inside left channel before striking across goal. His shot went beyond Brooks and kissed the outside of the post in the final opportunity before the sides returned to their dressing rooms goalless.

The second period was slower to get going, with the first chance not coming until the 54th minute, but it was the clearest of the game.

Lobley's deflected shot from 20 yards was well stopped by Brooks, but he could only push it as far as Joey Dawson six yards from goal. The Scunthorpe man was off-balance, however, and miscued his effort over the bar.

McKenna shot wide after receiving the ball in space just outside the area before Mulvany went within a whisker of giving our youngsters the lead.

Bucalossi wiggled his way to the byline before sending a low cross along the six-yard box. The forward slid in and looked to apply the finishing touch, but he was crowded out and the Iron smuggled the ball clear.

Cameron Smith, who scored in both rounds of qualifying, replaced McKenna after 61 minutes and almost turned provider for Palmer within moments when he crossed into his feet - the striker's shot was well blocked en route to goal, however.

A loose passs from Bucalossi allowed Cameron Wilson to drive forwards and shoot, and Brooks had to make a good stop to turn his effort over the bar.

He was called into more simple more work on 74 minutes when Shrimpton skipped past a couple of challenges before striking from range, but the keeper held onto the ball.

Morgan Mellors' header was well held by Collins after he met Marshall's deep free-kick and a dangerous delivery flashed along our six-yard box as Scunthorpe looked to catch us on the break.

With so much at stake, nerves were setting in as extra time loomed and Brooks did well to react to Jessop's deflected cross and turn it over the bar with just six minutes to play.

That was one of several corners the young Magpies were forced to defend as the minutes ticked away but Gordon's side rode their luck as the clock ticked past 90.

A low ball in caused havoc and Jessop received it with his back to goal from just two yards out. He shot on the turn but hte keepr ived at his feet to divert it clear.

He had only a moment's respite and was forced to get down well to his right to keep out Shrimpton in the 91st minute, and the Iron man shot wide on the rebound.

The dying seconds were chaotic and, shortly after Silva's stretching effort went just wide, Palmer could have won it at the death when Cummings fed him inside the area. Collins rushed out to meet him and won the battle one-on-one, with the ball ricocheting back off the striker and inches past the post.

That was to be the final action of the 90 as the game moved into extra time, with penalties on the agenda if the scores remained level 30 minutes later.

Iron ubsitute Patrick Virgo went close to stopping that eventuality on 94, when a training-ground corner was worked to him 12 yards out. He shot just wide, with his effort cannoning back off the stanchion.

Scunthorpe were getting plenty of opportunities to put the ball into the area from set pieces, but Gordon's side were standing up to the test and fashioned an opening on 99 minutes, when Bucalossi picked out Palmer with a through ball. The striker seemed to be tiring, though, and dragged his effort wide of the left-hand post.

That was a theme throughout the players of both teams and the first half of extra time turned scrappy, something which was epitomised when a throw in was miscontrolled behind in the dying seconds.

Snedden whipped it in and Stern Irvine headed goalwards, taking a boot to the face in the process, but his effort was cleared off the line before the sides changed ends.

Four minutes into the second additional period, the breakthrough finally came - and in unfortunate fashion. The contentious award of a corner led to Silva standing over the set piece, and he bent it into the area left-footed and the ball beat everyone, including Brooks to find the net.

Substitute Elroy Chikuza had an immediate impact, causing all kinds of problems for the Iron defence, and must have thought he'd levelled in the 116th minute when he struck sweetly from 10 yards. He was denied by an excellent block but the ball fell for Mulvany who fired low, only to see his effort cleared off the line. That wasn't the danger over, though, and Irvine was next to strike, but his effort beat the post as Scunthorpe counted their lucky stars.

Just before an extra two minutes were added on, Chikuza had another sighter when he was played in by skipper Marshall but his effort from a difficult angle went narrowly over the bar.

That was as close as the young Magpies would come before the referee called time on a phenomenal affair, in which the players gave absolutely everything. 

Notts: Brooks, Simmons (Conway 77'), Irvine, Mellors, Marshall (C), Bucalossi, Snedden (Chikuza 111'), McKenna (Smith 61'), Mulvany, Cummings, Palmer.

Subs not used: Harrison, Stavrou, Fearon, Wallace. 


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