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MATCH REPORT: Athletic Exit FA Youth Cup After Defeat Against Birmingham City

14 December 2016

Oldham Athletic youth team were knocked out of the FA Youth Cup after a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Birmingham City.

Striker Mason Fawns had pulled a goal back after Tony Philliskirk’s side fell two goals behind in the opening 35 minutes of the game.

However, a goal at the end of the first half killed the tie and Birmingham City added a fourth midway through the second half through a powerful strike from Oliver Mulders.

It was a valiant attempt by the Oldham Athletic youth team but it was Birmingham City who progressed through to the fourth round of the competition. 

It wasn’t the start Tony Philliskirk’s side wanted as they fell behind in the opening three minutes of the game.

Birmingham striker Bailey found space on the left to cross, it hit a deflection and went over the head of Callum O’Neill as the visitors took the lead.

Latics responded well to going a goal behind and maybe should have been awarded a penalty on seven minutes as Fawns went over in the penalty area but the referee was unmoved. 

From the resulting corner, Festus Arthur rose highest but headed over the crossbar from close range.

Latics grew into the half and created good chances to get back on level terms. 

Fawns, who was a threat in attack all half, was denied from close range whilst Chinedu Uche saw his shot blocked by the stubborn Birmingham City defence.

Athletic had the momentum but were hit on the counter attack as Birmingham City extended their lead just after the half hour mark.

A long punt forward found Hale in attack and from 40 yards he volleyed over O’Neill to give the Blues a two goal lead. 

Birmingham were forced into an early change as their captain Joshua Martin went down with injury and was replaced by Joseph Redmond. 

Athletic capitalised on that switch and a minute later, they pulled a goal back through Fawns.

A corner into the box found Tom Hamer whose header was tipped onto the post by Adam Siviter, the Birmingham City goalkeeper.

The Blues defence attempted to clear the ball but it landed into the path of Fawns who tapped home to reduce the arrears five minutes before the break.

With Athletic pushing forward to get an equaliser, Birmingham again capitalised on an error in the Latics defence to restore their two goal lead.

Arthur attempted to head the ball back to O’Neill, it went past the goalkeeper, and Hale raced beyond the pair to knock into an open goal as Blues went into the break 1-3 ahead.

Athletic needed a lift in the second half to get back into the game and almost found a goal back on 55 minutes but Fawns was adjudged to have fouled his defender before placing in the bottom corner. 

Both sides enjoyed possession but the visitors took their chance to make it four on 65 minutes.

The ball sat up for Mulders 30 yards from goal and he unleashed a fierce effort into the bottom corner to put the game beyond doubt.

Latics did continue to fight, however, and almost pulled a goal back instantly with Brad Kay smashing the post on the volley from 12 yards.

Birmingham took complete control of proceedings soon after and started to make their superiority pay.

Bailey almost capitalised on an error from O’Neill but he placed his shot wide of the post from inside the penalty area.

Latics battled until the end but it would be Birmingham City who progressed through to the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup to face Chelsea. 

Oldham Athletic: O’Neill, Hamer, Arthur, Lent, Fallon, Middleton, Uche, Dry (Scholes 71’), Brown (Sheridan 63’), Fawns (Whalley 81’), Kay.

Subs not used: Boyling, Norris.

Birmingham City: Siviter, Tuill (Hilton 86’), Timms, Mulders, Martin (Redmond 41’), Bajrami, Chisholm, Lakin, Hale, Ebbutt (Concannon 75’), Bailey.

Subs not used: Beardmore, Hamilton.

Goals: Oldham Athletic (Fawns 41’) 1-4 Birmingham City (Bailey 3’, Hale 34’, 45’, Mulders 65’)

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