A frustrating evening at Ewood Park saw our FA Youth Cup campaign come to an end at the quarter-final stage, as we lost 4-1 to Blackburn Rovers.
Chances were few and far between during the opening exchanges, but the first of the night fell to the hosts when D’Margio Wright-Phillips, grandson of Ian Wright, whipped an inviting ball into the box and Sam Burns directed his header wide from close range.
Wright-Phillips was causing us problems, and he was almost the architect of the first goal again when he skipped past a challenge to drive into the box, before cutting the ball back to Burns, whose first-time effort flew over the bar.
Blackburn’s pressure finally paid off in the 34th minute when Burns collected the ball on the edge of the box and lashed in a powerful effort.
Our best chance of the first half came on the stroke of half-time when Daniel Oyegoke whipped in an accurate cross into the box, before Sam Greenwood directed a header into the hands of Jordan Eastham.
The hosts started the second half strongly and almost doubled their lead when Dan Pike drove an effort on to the crossbar, before we cleared our lines.
Rovers eventually scored again 10 minutes into the second half when Wright-Phillips collected the ball in-between Alex Kirk and Mazeed Ogungbo, before sprinting into the box and firing the ball low into the bottom corner.
We were momentarily reduced to 10 men when Zane Monlouis was forced off due to an injury, and the hosts took advantage when Luke Brennan collected the ball behind our backline and kept his cool to slot past Hubert Graczyk for Rovers.
In the closing stages of the match, Burns grabbed his second when a low cross from Wright-Phillips deflected into the striker’s path, and he made no mistake.
Deep into injury time we pulled a goal back when Ogungbo received the ball inside the box from a neat Marcelo Flores reverse pass, and he fired home a spectacular effort from a tight angle, but it was nothing more than a consolation.
WHAT IT MEANS
Defeat at Ewood Park sees our FA Youth Cup campaign come to an end.
Ken Gillard’s side next face Reading at Arsenal Training Centre on Saturday, March 14 at 11am (UK time).
By Sam Cox
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