United Youth 0-2 Aston Villa Youth

Last updated : 14 February 2008 By Thetashkentterror
United keeper Alex Mitchell
Protecting an unbeaten home record this season United went into this quarter-final, and a potential match against Port Vale or Chelsea in the last four, with a full strength line-up against the Villains. Boss Eric Kinder playing the usual 4-4-2 formation at youth level with Connor Tinnion and Stephen Hindmarch on either flank.

The Cumbrians started quite brightly in the opening nine minutes as Hindmarch fired a weak left-footed drive from 18 yards out straight at Villa keeper Elliott Parish with only two minutes on the clock. And that's pretty much were all it wrong, when, after United had showed few nerves early on, the visitors scored twice within one minute after nine minutes.

Nathan Delfouneso played the ball across to Harry Forrester out on the left, Forrester from there cutting in past Matthew Brown and curling an unstoppable right-footed across goal, past Alex Mitchell, and into the far top corner of the United net from 22 yards out. Just as the Blues were reeling from that Villa made it 2-0 just sixty seconds later.

Delfouneso and James Collins this time linked up as Dan Wordsworth managed to get a good block on Collins' left-footed drive from inside the left of the Carlisle box. The ball broke straight back to Collins though, and this time, as he ran on, the United skipper brought him down for a clear penalty. Barry Bannan stepping up to send Mitchell the wrong way from the spot, although his left-footed effort was weak if Mitchell had dived to the correct corner.

After that early action a quiet spell in the game followed with the next chance coming in the 20th minute as Collins, on the right, fired a right-footed half-volley from 20 yards out across Mitchell's goal but well wide of his far-post. Carlisle were still looking dangerous going forward though and they had one of their best moments in the match three minutes later.

Some good work by Andy Cook, then a lovely ball through the middle by Jonny Blake, saw Gary Madine have his side-footed shot from 12 yards out well blocked by the body of Parish. Hindmarch picked up on the loose ball on the right, and Madine was once more in the action as his ten-yard flicked header was parried away at the far-post by Parish, Sam Simmonds completing the Villa clearance.

Forrester tried a straight repeat of his goal with 29 minutes gone but this time his shot went well over the top. United fighting back nine minutes later as Madine fed Matthew Wood, there were no more Southend heroics from Wood though as his right-footed shot from 22 yards out was weakly hit straight into the waiting gloves of Parish.

In the 38th minute Marc Albrighton fired in a fierce drive from long range with his right boot which flew inches over Mitchell's crossbar. The final opportunity of the half coming a minute before the break when the visitors really should have made it 3-0. Delfouneso made a pacey run into the left of the box and Mitchell did well to save his left-footed effort from close range, the ball fell straight to Collins though in front of an open goal, but, fortunately for Carlisle, he sliced a desperate right-footed shot over from just six yards out.

The second period got underway pretty quietly with the first action of any note coming in the 54th minute when Blake brought down Steven Clancy 40 yards out. Ciaran Clark launched the free-kick forward quickly but Collins could only head across goal and wide from ten yards out at the back-post. The next chance for the visitors coming two minutes later when Mitchell tipped over a 25-yard right-footed drive from Delfouneso.

Just before the hour-mark Tinnion's corner in was only cleared straight to Cook in the middle of the Villa 'D', Cook's right-footed shot from there zooming straight into the arms of Parish. Moments later Forrester cut in from the right but this time Mitchell was almost able to throw his hat onto Forrester's right-footed pea-roller from 15 yards out.

Left-winger Connor Tinnion
In a similar vein to Cook two minutes earlier Hindmarch was soon on the end of a cleared Tinnion corner. This time though Hindmarch's left-footed effort disappeared over the top and into the empty Warwick Road End. Forrester made another good run forward down the middle in the 63rd minute only to poorly pull a right-footed shot across goal and well wide of the target from 22 yards out.

With 65 minutes on the clock Brown was the only player on the night to go into referee Mike Oliver's notebook as he was yellow carded for persistent infringement following a studs-up challenge on Bannan, the incident sparking a little bout of handbags between the two sides. Bannan, shortly afterwards, firing a left-footed 20-yarder over the near-angle of Mitchell's post and bar.

After 69 minutes Blues boss Eric Kinder made the only substitution of the night for either side as he surprisingly replaced my man-of-the-match in Tinnion with John Seaton. The change in personnel seeing Carlisle move to a 4-3-3 formation with Wood, Blake and Seaton across the middle and Hindmarch, Madine and Cook upfront.

Three minutes later and Mitchell made a good double save as the Villains looked for a third goal in the game. Albrighton setting Collins up for 12-yard right-footed shot which was well blocked by the Carlisle keeper before play broke to Bannan who once more saw Mitchell do well as he made another good low save from a similar distance out.

Probably United's best chance of the night came in the 79th minute when Cook and Madine combined nicely to feed the ball into the feet of Hindmarch 12 yards out. From there though the Carlisle youngster snatched at his right-footed shot and it sliced away over the far-angle of post and bar.

The referee was Villa's weapon in the 84th minute as he got in the way of a Wood shot which led to a break forward fom the visitors. The charge up the pitch eventually seeing Mitchell make a good parried save from Bannan's 18-yard left-footed half-volley. Carlisle trying to get on the scoresheet themselves three minutes later when Madine, from a Wood cross in from the right, hit a side-footed volley straight at Parish from ten yards out.

Bannan made a surging run forward in the 90th minute from a cleared United corner, the midfielder sending a lovely cross over from the left which Clancy could only dive to head across goal and wide from eight yards out at the back-post. The last effort that threatened the scorers coming a minute into stoppage time as Mitchell pushed wide a 20-yard left-footed drive from the ever-dangerous Forrester at his near-post.

So, that's the FA Youth Cup down with for another year, but what a journey it has been which the lads can be more than proud of. And with the young Blues still challenging for the league title and in the northern quarter-final of the League Cup there is plenty left to play for. They are bound to be disappointed tonight but they won't have much to chance to dwell on that as it's only 39 hours from whistle to whistle when they get back to league duty and face Port Vale on Saturday at the Sheepmount in a 12noon kick-off.

United line-up :

Alex Mitchell, Matthew Brown, Matt Duffy, Tom Aldred, Dan Wordsworth (c), Jonny Blake, Matthew Wood, Stephen Hindmarch, Andy Cook, Gary Madine, Connor Tinnion (John Seaton 69).

Unused substitutes :

John Jamieson (GK), Ged Dalton, Simon Lakeland and Michael Dowson.

Aston Villa line-up :

Elliott Parish, Sam Simmonds, Matthew Roome, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker, Steven Clancy, Marc Albrighton, Barry Bannan, James Collins, Nathan Delfouneso, Harry Forrester.

Unused substitutes :

Thomas Dau (GK), Daniel Bradley, William Ricketts, Will Grocott and Andreas Weimann.

Referee - Mike Oliver (Ashington).

Attendance - 1,744.

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