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8 December 2020

Town U18 manager on superb second-half performance in FA Youth Cup

Adem Atay said the players deserved 'huge credit' following their stunning victory over Fulham in the third round of the FA Youth Cup last night.

The young Blues found themselves two down at the break as the visitors started much the stronger side, but goals from Brooklyn Kabongolo, Liam Gibbs and Harley Curtis saw Adem's side complete a fantastic second-half comeback.

Kabongolo produced a bullet header in the 48th minute to reduce the deficit, before Gibbs converted from the penalty spot and Curtis poked home in the dying stages to put Town in the hat for the fourth round draw.

"It's one of those sayings but it was obviously a game of two halves," Adem told the Club website.

"Those boys deserve huge credit. They're delighted with the second-half performance - as they should be.

"We didn't really show any belief in the first half and we didn't compete enough. I think we showed Fulham too much respect and, in a way, we were perhaps fortunate that we were only down by two at half-time.

"The next goal was always going to be crucial and credit to the lads because the second half was ours and the lads didn't just win it, they won it in style.

"We had to be more aggressive in and out of possession and we did that. We shifted the momentum and the goal from Brooklyn was brilliant.

"We took our chances and to beat a Category One academy side is superb. It will be a memorable game for the lads and they should be very proud of themselves.

"It shows what you can do when you believe. The focus now is for us to learn from that game and take into future matches - whatever age group the lads are involved with."

Liam Gibbs vs Charlton.jpg

Adem also spoke about Elkan Baggott and Gibbs' involvement with the first-team recently, with both players having made their Club debuts this season and the pair travelling as part of the squad for Saturday's win over Plymouth - although neither featured at Home Park.

"The main thing for us as coaches at the Club is to help young lads develop and progress to the first-team," he added.

"When they're there it's not just about them being in it, we want them to make the team better. No one should be there to make up numbers.

"It's important we continue that and Elkan and Liam should be pleased with their involvement recently."

Baggott v Gillingham 16x9 web.png

Last night's FA Youth Cup match between Ipswich Town and Fulham was sponsored by John Fowlers Solicitors.

First pic: Ross Halls

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