Goals from Nathan Wood and Tyrone O'Neill helped our U23s to victory at Heritage Park...
Players from both sides wore black armbands and there was a minute’s silence before the game in respect of those who lost their lives and those they left behind following the helicopter tragedy at Leicester City eight days ago.
A lively opening saw both teams going for an early breakthrough but we had to wait until the 19th minute for that. Harry Chapman’s delivery from a free-kick out wide on the right was meat and drink for Nathan Wood who rose to power in a header from close to the edge of the six-yard box.
The goal allowed Paul Stephenson’s side to assert themselves on a game which to that point had seen plenty energy exuding from both sides, but not always used to maximise the potential threat.
Chapman fired just over after riding a challenge on the edge of the box, closing down was quicker across the park, tackles were crisp and pressure maintained – finding a second goal proved a difficult task.
Boro were forced into a change ten minutes into the second half when Chapman pulled up sharply, clutching the back of his right leg and was replaced by Billal Brahimi.
A low shot from the French U19 international had John McCracken stooping to gather, before determined work from Connor Malley set up a chance that led to a corner from which a powerful header from Sam Stubbs just cleared the bar.
Stubbs was a non-featuring member of the first team squad yesterday but despite the late arrival time back home from the Potteries, he was fit and fresh and almost added a second when the ball came to him quickly in the box, but an awkward chance just cleared the bar.
Due reward came on 79 minutes when pressure told as Tyrone O’Neill drilled home low from the edge of the penalty area.
Just three minutes later City were back in the game when Devonte Aransibia cracked home from the D.
Scorers Wood 19, O’Neill 79, Aransibia 82
Boro James; D Spence, Robinson, Liddle, Stubbs (Capt.), Wood, Walker (K Spence 74), Ward, O’Neill, Chapman (Brahimi 55), Malley. Subs: Brynn (gk); Brahimi, Hackney, Hannah.
City McCracken; Kamal, Richards, Lomas, Odusina (Capt.), Milovanovic, Aransibia, Payne, Spyrou, Thorvaldssson, Coley (Phillips 69). Subs: Jones, Blair, Scully, Thomas
Referee Garreth Rhodes
Boro Malley 87, handball
City Coley 25, foul, Spyrou 89, foul
Conditions Mild and dry