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Report: U18s 1-3 Newport County

4 April 2016

The Under-18s lost 3-1 at home to Newport County in their latest Youth Alliance Merit League match at Woughton-on-the-Green last Saturday lunchtime.

The hosts made three changes from the side that won at home to Northampton Town the previous weekend with Peter Kioso, Kevin Owusu and Dylan Asonganyi coming in for Callum Brittain, Sam Nombe and Connor Furlong.

After going behind early on, the Dons levelled through striker Asonganyi however two second-half goals gave the Welsh side victory in a game played in glorious sunshine.

Newport took the lead 10 minutes in when, from a throw-in, the ball fell to a visiting striker in space inside the box and he was able to finish low into the net – 0-1.

The young Dons had a good chance to equalise on 17 minutes when midfielder Andrew Osei-Bonsu made a good run forward, beating a couple of County players, and hitting a fierce shot against the crossbar.

It rebounded into the path of striker Brandon Thomas-Asante inside the box, however he wasn’t able to strike his effort cleanly and as it went into the ground it lacked power and was cleared from in front of the goal.

The leveller, though, did come on 21 minutes courtesy of a well-worked team goal as a ball in from the right by Thomas-Asante was dummied by attacking midfielder Hugo Logan and then hammered in from around the penalty spot by Asonganyi – 1-1.

A minute later, the Dons had the ball in the net again as a cross from the right was volleyed home by Thomas-Asante however he was judged offside and the goal was chalked off.

The boys from MK1 could have taken a lead into the interval as just moments before the break the lively Thomas-Asante hit a swirling shot from distance which moved in the air and only cleared the crossbar by a couple of yards.

The side from Wales regained the advantage on 59 minutes before they extended their lead as an ambitious lobbed effort from outside the box caught Dons keeper Andrew McCorkell off his line and nestled into the net – 1-3.

The Dons had a chance to reduce their arrears on 80 minutes as Osei-Bonsu ran into the area and hit a shot but he could only find the woodwork.

After the match Director of Youth Mike Dove said: “We have been working on getting and maintaining control of a game and at 1-1 at half-time we felt we were doing okay.

“We changed the shape at the break and went from a back three to a back four and I thought we started the second period brightly.

“The opponents kept going and got a goal on the break. We lost control in the second half through our mistakes and Newport changed their tactics and once they took the lead adopted a block formation.

“I felt we didn’t have the patience and quality in the final third. We didn’t exploit the amount of possession we had and we couldn’t break them down.

“I wanted to make sure we kept playing to our philosophy because they pressed us at the back in the first half however I wanted us to keep playing our style. It was a real challenge for the players in that respect and it is good for their development.

“The goal by Dylan was one of the best we have put together for a while. There was some clever play, a step over and a good finish so that was a plus point.”

Starting XI (3-4-1-2): McCorkell; Kioso, Hunt (c), Jackson; Owusu (Omar 64), Hadden, Osei-Bonsu, Hope; Logan (Furlong 55); Thomas-Asante, Asonganyi.

Unused subs: Pickworth, McElroy, Kasumu.

Goal: Asonganyi (21)

Referee: John Hyde.

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