Our under-21s won 3-0 against Coventry City in their first-ever Checkatrade Trophy clash on Wednesday night.
Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock all found the net as Freddie Ljungberg – 20 years to the day since he signed for the club himself – presided over an impressive 3-0 victory at the Ricoh Arena.
It would take us just four minutes to break the deadlock, thanks to a fine finish from Smith Rowe inside the box.
Our playmaker stifled Coventry’s build-up play and won the ball high up the pitch, before receiving the ball once more on the right wing and finding the back of the net with a low, right-footed strike.
The hosts then went on to enjoy a spell of possession, carving open a number of half-chances. Amadou Bakayoko failed to hit the target with a powerful header from six yards out, before forcing Deyan Iliev into a difficult save from the edge of the box.
Smith Rowe then came close to his second on the stroke of half-time, but Liam O’Brien was quick to react and parried the ball to safety.
Robbie Burton tried his luck with a half-volley that was turned behind for a corner, before Zech Medley fired his first-time effort wide from inside the box.
We continued to apply pressure on the hosts and with 13 minutes remaining Nketiah doubled our advantage. Former Gunner Abu Ogogo undercooked a back-pass which set substitute Nketiah through on goal – and our young forward made no mistake in finding the bottom right corner with a composed finish.
Coventry were failing to contain our attacking talent, and in the final minute, Willock rounded off the scoring with a dinked effort into the top left corner from inside the six yard box.
We now turn our attention to our Premier League 2 clash with Blackburn Rovers on Monday, September 17.
The game will take place at Ewood Park with kick-off at 7pm (UK time).
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