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U18s bow out of FA Youth Cup

16 December 2014

The Under-18s' FA Youth Cup came to an end at the third-round stage on Tuesday evening, despite a valiant display away at Nottingham Forest.

Mike Dove's side fought back from one down to lead Forest 2-1 thanks to an own goal and a Ben Tilney strike, but a late equaliser from the hosts sent the tie to extra-time.

The young Dons continued to threaten the Nottinghamshire outfit right till the bitter end, but were eventually beaten by a late Tyler Walker goal in the 111th minute of the contest.

Director of Youth Dove made only change to the team which defeated Newport County in the last round, with first-year pro Ben Tilney returning from injury in place of first-year scholar Kevin Owusu.

It was Dove’s side who started the better of the two teams and they had the first chance of the game after just four minutes when Kyran Wiltshire’s drilled effort from the edge of the box stung the palms of Forest keeper Tim Erlandsson.

Forest, though, took the lead against the run of play just six minutes later when Jack Kelly fired a free-kick underneath the Dons wall and past the outstretched arm of McCorkell from the very edge of the box.

Soon after the restart, Forest’s Tyler Walker volleyed over the top from 12-yards before the Dons had a trio of opportunities to equalise but Kabongo Tshimanga, Tilney and Giorgio Rasulo all had shots blocked on the line in the space of a just few seconds.

Dove’s boys did draw level in the 18th minute, when Kelly, who scored the host's opening goal, turned Gedeon Okito’s low cross into his own net at the far post, following a direct run into the box from the Dons left-back.

They then came close to a second straight from the kick-off but after Tilney drove into the penalty area, Erlandsson did well to prevent the cross from reaching a lurking Tshimanga with a strong diving save.

Later, Laurence Vaughan forced a save out of the Forest shot stopper with a fizzing left-footed effort from 20-yards, before McCorkell had to be at his best to palm away Gerry McDonaugh’s shot, which looked to be sneaking in at the near post.

Tshimanga was then presented with a great opportunity to put his side ahead on 27 minutes but after beating the offside trap, he was brilliantly denied by Erlandsson, who, moments later, expertly tipped a curling shot from Rasulo around the post.

The Dons, though, got their noses in-front in first-half stoppage time through full-back Tilney, who applied a composed finish at the far post when Rasulo’s shot deflected into his path.

After the interval, and with a deserved lead, the Dons went in search of a third goal and they almost found it in the 53rd minute through a Rasulo free-kick, but his effort, from no less than 35-yards-out, was superbly thwarted by Erlandsson.

Erlandsson, however, was nowhere near Tshimanga’s close-range header from the resulting corner, but unfortunately for the 17-year-old and the Dons, his effort looped agonisingly over the crossbar.

Forest then enjoyed a spell of possession as the clock ticked past the hour mark, but Luke Thomas and Alex Iacovitti were both denied by blocks from Luke Tingey and McCorkell, respectively.

McCorkell also palmed away a low shot from Matthew Cash on 71 minutes, as the hosts, who soon after had an equaliser chalked off for offside, continued to pile pressure on the visiting Dons.

Dove’s side, though, were still offering a threat on their ventures forward and Rasulo came within a whisker of doubling his side’s advantage with a 25-yard effort which whistled just above the crossbar.

But, in the 83rd minute, Forest drew level through their second-half substitute Kasheme Walton, who turned Oliver Burke’s deep cross past McCorkell from just outside the six-yard box.

With the game finely poised heading into the final five minutes, both sides had chances to snatch a late winner. First, McCorkell saved Walton’s effort before Tshimanga raced through and drilled a shot just wide of the post at the other end.

Tshimanga had two further efforts to put the Dons ahead for a second time in the final few minutes of the contest, but with neither finding the target the game was forced to extra-time.

It was Forest who would have the opening chance of the additional 30 minutes, but McCorkell somehow got his hands to Walker's half-volley.

The Dons keeper then got a foot to McDonaugh's low shot across goal to ensure the sides were level heading into the second half of extra time.

Both teams looked to be tiring, having played close to two hours worth of football, but with just nine minutes remaining Forest forward Walker found some room inside the area and he rifled past McCorkell to win the tie for Forest.

Starting XI (4-2-3-1): McCorkell; Daffern, Tingey, Hunt, Okito (c); Hadden, Wiltshire (Steele 112); Tilney (Brittain 91), Rasulo, Vaughan (Owusu 79); Tshimanga.

Unused subs: Wyant (GK), Weston, Steele.

Goals: Kelly O.G 18, Tilney 45+1

Booked: Hunt

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