The Sky Blues are on the wrong end of a 3-1 scoreline as visiting side Crewe deliver an impressive first-half performance...
Coventry City U18’s lose out to play-off hopefuls Crewe at the Alan Higgs Centre, as the visitors stunned the Sky Blues with three first-half goals.
Dan Smith grabbed a consolation goal for City, but the deficit proved too much to overcome as Crewe claimed a 3-1 victory.
Crewe were out the traps quickly in the first 45 and were moving the ball through the thirds particularly well. A quick succession of shooting opportunities during the 15th and 16th minutes were a prelude to mounting pressure from the visitors and they soon capitalised on a horde of scoring chances.
Lewis Rielly opened the scoring for Crewe, with a well executed free-kick that rippled the top right corner of City’s net. Three minutes later Owen Dale doubled the scoreline, as Crewe were frighteningly quick in their transition from defence to attack. The winger held his run well to beat the offside trap and nipped in behind the City backline to finish low beneath Konrad Skuza in goal.
Crewe continued back-to-back attacks before hitting the post, with a well directed glancing header from Harry Pickering. The visitors were gaining fierce momentum and made it a hat-trick of first-half goals just before the referee blew for the interval. City were caught on the break as Luke Wally was sent through one on one with Skuza, he disguised the shot well and finished beneath the City keeper to end a thoroughly forgettable half for the young Sky Blues.
Jason Farndon's U18s side emerged from changing rooms intent on remedying the first 45, as they began to force their way on to the ball. Tom Bayliss carried the ball well in the early stages of the second-half, as Jak Hickman also looked brighter in possession.
City carved an opening in the 56th minute as Jacob Whitmore collected a wonderfully accurate crossfield pass from Chris Camwell. He took the ball in his stride and fired a driven cross in to the path of Kyle Finn. The wideman couldn’t make a telling connection on the ball, but signs were looking more positive for City.
With 73 minutes on the clock, Kyle Finn tried a speculative effort from range as he noticed the Crewe keeper off his line. The shot beat Scott Wardley for height but unfortunately didn’t quite have the direction to send it goalward.
Two minutes later, City were rewarded for their attacking desire as subs Green and Dan Smith combined to create a tap in from two yards for striker Smith. Scrambling Crewe defenders couldn’t prevent the ball from crossing the line, as City pulled a deserved goal back 15 minutes from time.
A final goal scoring chance was afforded to City in the 88th minute, as Green was involved once again. Hickman was the eventual provider, as he whipped a searching ball in to the area of indecision between Crewe’s goalkeeper and defence. Finn was quick to pounce on the opportunity but couldn’t keep his effort on target.
That was to be the final action of the game as Crewe saw off the second-half threat of the Sky Blues and ensured it finished 3-1 in their favour.
Coventry City U18s: Skuza (GK), Whitmore, Thompson, Challis, Camwell, Maycock (C), Bayliss, Mantsounga, Finn, Hickmann, Trialist.
Crewe Alexandra U18s: Wardley (GK), Morgan, Neal, Lundstrum, Wilkinson, Quinn, Dale, Lowry (C), Wally, Rielly, Pickering.