As last season, our trip to the City Football Academy ended in a 3-3 draw, with City’s Bersant Celina snatching a stoppage time equaliser just seconds after Christian Maghoma thought he’d won it for us with a 90th-minute header.
Maghoma had earlier had his pocket picked by Celina, leading to Thierry Ambrose cancelling out Kenny McEvoy’s opener, while Manu Garcia later put City 2-1 up with Ismail Azzaoui equalising prior to the late drama.
Shayon Harrison, Anthony Georgiou and Filip Lesniak also went close for us, with Under-21s Coach Ugo confirming the manner in which we created openings against a strong City side was one of the main positives to take away from the contest.
“We’ve created about six or seven very good opportunities, but the boys haven’t been ruthless enough in taking them,” he said.
“At the higher level, you’ve got to take those chances and the decision-making has got to be better.
“Looking at the positives, though, we created some wonderful opportunities through some very good, brave, intricate play with some really good one-touch passing.
“There were some good individual performances, but a couple of individual mistakes as well and you can’t really account for that.”
Speaking about Maghoma and his contribution at both ends of the field, Ugo said the young centre-half responded well to the disappointment of his role in the build-up to City’s first goal and was pleased to see him get on the scoresheet at the other end.
“We spoke about individual errors at half-time,” he added. “We asked Christian if he could go and maybe score a goal from a set piece and make sure he was clean with his defending in the second half – I thought he had a real go at that.
“He made a couple of important blocks and he was organised, but he’s still young so, like everyone else, he’ll be looking to improve on certain things as we go along.”