Lads progress at Pilgrims
Our Under-18s produced another impressive display in the mud at Home Park to beat Plymouth and set up a tantalising home clash against Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
Our Under-18s produced another impressive display in the mud at Home Park to beat Plymouth 3-0 and set up a tantalising home clash against Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
The heavy conditions were hardly condusive to the team's preferred passing style of play but it mattered little as they breezed into the last eight.
In fact, the biggest compliment worth paying is to say that the conditions made hardly any difference to the performance on the night.
The lads took control from the off and had already signalled their intent via attempts from Ryan Mason and Dean Parrett when they struck the key opening goal in the 20th minute.
It stemmed from Andros Townsend cutting in from the right and laying the perfect pass into the path of Mason who didn't break stride and clipped over home keeper Tom Brooks. Mason and Townsend were a threat all night.
However, goalscorer Mason had to turn goalsaver minutes later to keep out the home side's only serious attempt all night. Luke Young swung in a corner from the right, Liam Head rose highest and his header would have crept in at the near post but for Mason's intervention.
That was a rare forray into our territory and it wasn't long before we doubled the lead.
This goal was all about Paul Jose M'poku, who intercepted a poor defensive pass from Ben Gerring in the left channel, ran at two defenders and got them back-peddling before curling into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Plymouth made a bright start to the second half but were soon on the back foot again.
Only Calum Butcher and M'poku will know how they failed to convert Townsend's free-kick inside the six-yard box and Mason then rattled the crossbar, all within five minutes of the restart.
Five minutes later and it was game over at 3-0. Jon Obika won possession 30 yards from goal, spotted M'poku's run to his left, picked him out and let M'poku do the rest, drilling low across Brooks into the bottom corner.
Four chances followed in quick succession as we dominated. Steven Caulker's header was cleared off the line, John Bostock arrowed a shot just wide and was then denied by Brooks and the keeper then produced a double save to keep out M'poku and Dean Parrett.
The next 15 minutes saw just about the only lull in proceedings and it was quite apt that Brooks was involved again in the final chance as he slid out to deny substitute Kudos Oyenuga five minutes from time.
Plymouth: Brooks, Leonard, Brett, Kinsella, Hodgkinson (C), Gerring, Edwards, Young, Head, Mason, Grant. Subs: Trott, Sawyer, Rickard, Levett, Chenoweth.
Spurs: Jansson, Smith, Byrne (Nicholson, 91), Parrett (C), Caulker, Butcher, M'poku (Oyenuga, 83), Bostock (Kasim, 73), Obika, Mason, Townsend. Subs: Butler (GK), Ekim.