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Monday 12 May 2014

Barclays U18s: Man City and Everton through to final

Man City come from behind to beat West Ham while Everton edge past Spurs

  • Man City's Ashley Smith-Brown scored the equaliser against West Ham

  • Michael Donohue's goal for Everton sealed their place in the final

Everton and Manchester City will contest the 2013/14 Barclays Under-18 Premier League final after winning their semi-finals over the weekend.

Twenty-four hours before the senior side beat West Ham United to win the Barclays Premier League title, the two sides' Under-18 sides met at Platt Lane and City came from behind to prevail. In torrential rain, Jason Wilcox's side found themselves a goal behind after just eight minutes when Jordan Brown capitalised on a defensive error, but two goals from Ashley Smith-Brown and Kean Bryan turned the match around in five late second-half minutes.

Although City made a bright start to the match they fell behind when Brown pounced on a defensive lapse before scoring into an empty net. Buoyed by the early goal, West Ham pressed for a second and again had the ball in the net moments later, only to be denied by an offside flag.

The hosts soon found their feet, however, with Nathaniel Oseni heading over from a corner. Thierry Ambrose, who appeared in the Barclays Under-21 Premier League semi-final last week, hit a post after being played through by Smith-Brown and Brandon Barker was denied by the legs of Hammers goalkeeper Vit Nemrava.

After the break City continued to threaten with Barker seeing two shots blocked, while Jorge Intima's mazy run set up Ambrose, only for Nemrava to turn the Frenchman's effort behind. At the other end, Oseni made an important tackle, while City goalkeeper Billy O'Brien had to deny Nathan Mavila.

City produced their equaliser with 10 minutes remaining when captain Smith-Brown bustled his way through the visiting rearguard before curling his second goal in as many matches past Nemrava. With extra-time looming the home side were awarded a penalty when Mavila handled as he attempted a clearance. Bryan, who scored against West Ham when the two teams met last month, sent Nemrava the wrong way to seal a place in the final.

There City will meet Everton who edged past Tottenham Hotspur by a single goal at Goodison Park on Sunday. In an even match substitute Michael Donohue's goal with 15 minutes remaining divided the sides.

Spurs winger Emmanuel Sonupe had the match's first chance, but put his shot over before Everton hit back, with Joe Williams and Calum Dyson failing to get their efforts on target. When Spurs manufactured a shot on target they could not find a way past Everton goalkeeper Russell Griffiths, who kept the scores level at half-time with a save from full-back Kyle Walker-Peters.

After the break, Spurs pressed for the breakthrough but Everton also had chances, until the deadlock was broken on 75 minutes. Donohue combined with Gethin Jones down the right before receiving the ball in the area and firing past Voss in front of the Gwladys Street end.

Spurs almost snatched an equaliser through Anton Walkes but the substitute could not keep his shot down enough.

Everton will play Manchester City at a date and venue to be confirmed.

Barclays Under-18 Premier League semi-finals

Saturday 10 May
Manchester City (Smith-Brown, Byran pen) 2-1 West Ham United (Brown)

Man City report | West Ham report

Sunday 11 May
Everton (Donohue) 1-0 Tottenham Hotspur

Everton report | Spurs report

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Key Points

  • Man City come from behind to beat West Ham and reach Barclays Under-18 Premier League final
  • Ashley Smith-Brown and Kean Bryan reply to Jordan Brown's early opener
  • City will meet Everton in the final after they beat Spurs 1-0 at Goodison Park