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Under-18s knocked out of Youth Cup

11 November 2013

City Under-18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup thanks to a first-half brace by Callum Saunders....

Coventry City Under-18s were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after a difficult night at Gresty Road.

The Alex secured a 2-0 win thanks to a first-half brace from Callum Saunders and City struggled to find the break-through in the second half. 

The Sky Blues were boosted as Ryan Haynes started at Gresty Road having spent most of the season training with the first team.

Courtney Baker-Richardson and George Thomas, both recently handed a first-team squad number, started brightly against the Alex as City piled on early pressure. 

After a couple of early corners, Haynes had City's first effort when he got down the left-side, past two defenders, but fired his long-range effort wide of the left-hand post.

City continued to push forward as Baker-Richardson's low drive tested the Crewe goalkeeper Robbie Johnson, but he produced a solid save.

Against the run of play, the home side went ahead in the 22nd minute. James Ballie pumped a long ball forward which bounced over the City defence and Callum Saunders finished past Alex Gott. 

Just past the half-hour mark, Crewe doubled their lead. Neat combination play down the left from Perry Ng and Christopher Speed made space for Saunders to score his second with a well-taken drive. 

City continued to push forward and should have pulled one back five minutes before half-time. Ben Stevenson's long diagonal ball found Ryan Smith in the area, but he dragged his shot wide. 

Callum Saunders could have claimed his hat-trick straight after half-time when George Cooper slid him in behind but Gott produced a fantastic save to deny him.

Coventry dominated large periods of the second-half, but struggled to break Crewe. Baker-Richardson found space on the edge of the area but his curling effort was well saved in the 58th minute. 

Devon Kelly-Evans came on for Jordan Shipley with 25 minutes remaining and he almost found a breakthrough. He got past two defenders on the left side, turned inside but his shot was blocked inside the area in the 68th minute. 

Haynes and Thomas both had efforts to get City back in the game late on but the Crewe keeper saved both efforts as City go out of the FA Youth Cup.

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