The Reds U18 side comfortably beat Middlesboro at the academy this morning. Goals from Ngoo, Ince and Adorjan saw off Boro in what was a decent performance.
The Reds got the game started defending the Academy end in the first half. After just three minutes Krisztian Adorjan had a shot tipped over the bar.
A couple of minutes later and the Reds Captain Conor Coady was shown the yellow card when he won what in my mind was a fifty fifty in midfield. The ref decided he was a little late although I think his decision was influenced by the Boro man staying down.
Chances were few and far between although the Reds were playing some decent stuff on the floor.
Michael Ngoo shot in to the side netting on sixteen minutes with Ince screaming for a pull back. At the other end Boro shot wide after a corner kick wasn't cleared by the Reds.
The Reds took the lead after twenty minutes when Michael Ngoo received the ball from the left and after edging a little space for himself fired a stunning effort to the top corner.
A minute after the goal Tom Ince had a chance to score a second but dragged his shot past the post.
Gibson received a yellow card just short of the half hour when he was late on Adorjan and although the ref initially played advantage he booked him when the ball went out.
Adorjan sent Ngoo through on goal on twenty eight minutes but Ngoo just forgot to stop running with the ball and eventually ran out of space.
Just short of half time Craig Roddan was booked for a late challenge near the Boro area and he could have no complaints really even if it was his first foul.
Boro made a change at half time with Park replacing Smallwood and they got the half started on what was turning out to be a rare sunny and warm day at the academy. For all the years I've gone down to the academy it's rarely been so warm.
Seven minutes in to the half and the exciting Silva forced their keeper in to a save at full stretch after cutting inside his man. I like the look of Silva who likes to run at his man and take him on - he could be one to watch if he carries on improving that's for sure. From the resulting corner Ngoo headed over the bar.
On fifty eight minutes Boro had a great chance to score when Coady gave the ball away cheaply in midfield but Roushias was denied by a fine save off Oldfield.
A minute beyond the hour and the Reds made it two nil through Ince. A good move by the Reds saw Adorjan feed Ince on the inside left and he took his man on before firing well past the keeper to the top far corner. A fine strike and a fine move by the Reds.
A minute after the goal and Boro could have got back in to the game again but a combination of Oldfield and Wisdom managed to block the goal bound effort from three yards out.
The Reds made their first change on sixty seven minutes when Sterling replaced Silva. I thought Silva was unlucky to go off but it was good to take a first look at Raheem Sterling and he's another one who looks like he might have something special. He's only small though at the moment.
On seventy one minutes Ince tried to lob the keeper from forty yards. He got the ball and saw the keeper well out but his shot fell just wide of the target with the keeper seemingly beaten.
The Reds made it three on seventy five minutes thanks to Adorjan but it was just as much down to Sterling who turned his man inside out on the right wing before crossing to the centre where Adorjan got in front of his man well and tucked the ball home. A really good finish by the lad but equally great wing play.
The goal sparked a few changes as Ihiekwe replaced Jack Robinson at left back and Emilsson replaced Ngoo up front whilst Boro made a change too.
There was a late spark in the game and most of it was on the far side from where I was. It started when a foul was given for the Reds for a tackle on Adorjan. Adorjan seemed to flick his leg out though which a couple of Boro players spotted but the ref chose to ignore this and played on. As you would expect Adorjan was clattered shortly after and Jake Fowler was booked for a tackle on him.
Boro finished the game with ten men when the right back Shead was shown a straight red card for a tackle on Ince. I didn't see it clearly but the ref certainly had no hesitation in racing over to red card the lad.
That came with just seconds left on the watch and those seconds ticked down before the Reds were winners of the match. A comfortable victory on the end I think which showed some really good passing.
MotM : Conor Coady - captain of the side and showed why on the day as he was cleaning up everywhere and you could always hear him encouraging the players on to better things. He rarely gave the ball away to be honest and I'd say this was probably one of the best games I've seen him in. Andre Wisdom also looked very impressive at the back and like Coady is a good talker in the back line.