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22 August 2016

Two goals in a minute do the damage as Town's U23s are beaten by Birmingham

Goals from trialist, Leon Best and Adam McDonnell weren’t enough to see Town’s U23s to victory in an entertaining encounter against Birmingham City at Playford Road.

Tommy Smith, Paul Digby, Andre Dozzell and Luke Varney all came through the full 90 minutes whereas Best played an hour before being replaced by Ben Morris.

The early stages looked promising for Blues as Dozzell forced Jake Weaver into a good stop, but were behind with less than five minutes on the clock as Wes McDonald tapped a Viv Solomon Otabor cross past Michael Crowe and into the net.

The visitors second wasn’t far behind as they extended their lead less than a minute later. Kyle McFarlane latched onto a long ball over the top from Josh Cogley and looped the ball over Crowe from just outside the box.

Dozzell came close again to reducing the arrears with a powerful free-kick before Best did manage to do so, with the former Rotherham man collecting Varney’s header before racing through and calmly slotting home.

Birmingham striker, McFarlane grabbed his second of the game to restore his side’s lead with just over ten minutes to play in the first-half when he comfortably dispatched from fellow goalscorer, McDonald’s through ball.

With the break approaching, Blues had an ideal opportunity to close the gap again from the penalty spot after some pulling in the box, but Dozzell’s spot-kick was well saved by Weaver low to his left.

The visitors sat back in the second half as Town looked to claw themselves back into the game, and with 20 to go, McDonnell just about squeezed the ball past Weaver from the centre of the box following Morris’ pass.

Morris was involved again with the hosts pushing for a leveller as he played Varney in on goal, but again Weaver came to his side’s rescue and parried clear as Birmingham held on for the win.

Town: Crowe, Emmanuel, Digby, T. Smith, Kenlock, Blanchfield, McDonnell, Dozzell, McLoughlin (Patterson, 41), Varney, Best (Morris, 60). Not used: Marsden, Robinson, C. Smith.


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