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Report: Bristol City U18s 1-2 Birmingham City U18s

City Under-18s’ FA Youth Cup adventure ended at the third round stage as Birmingham City ran out 2-1 winners at Ashton Gate.

First-half goals from Tom Anderson and Nick Okoro put Birmingham in the driving seat in BS3.

Antoine Semenyo gave City hope with time ticking, driving in an unstoppable shot from the edge of the penalty area.

But Trevor Challis’ men weren’t able to score again to force extra time, leaving a sense of what might have been.

The visitors enjoyed a dream start when Anderson bundled his way into the box and fired low to beat Lochlan Robertson for a fourth-minute opener.

City almost provided an instant reply when Zac Smith chased a through ball and challenged the onrushing goalkeeper. As the ball ran loose, Vince Harper fired goalwards and watched as his effort was cleared off the line.

Harper headed narrowly over the top soon after, before Blues defender Joe Redmond did likewise at the other end from Caolan Boyd-Munce’s pinpoint corner kick.

Then, in the 32nd minute, Jordan Clarke got to the byline and crossed for Okoro to convert at the back post, sliding in.

Just before half-time Zac Smith cut in from the left flank and sent a powerful effort narrowly wide of the far post.

City were much improved after the break and Ricardo Rees had two opportunities to reduce the deficit in quick succession.

The midfielder jinked his way into the area before seeing a shot blocked. Moments later Rees took advantage of Antoine Semenyo’s hard work in closing down the Birmingham defence, but saw his low shot under the keeper cleared from the line.

Robertson produced a superb point-blank range save to keep out Ben Forrest’s header, ensuring the hosts remained in the contest.

With 16 minutes to go Semenyo set up a grandstand finish, firing home with aplomb from the edge of the penalty area.

However, City were unable to force a late equaliser and during stoppage time Robertson was called upon to make another fine save to deny Christ Myauba from adding to the scoreline.

City Under-18s: Robertson, Turner-Williams, Ali, Harry Smith (Hall), Turner (Burford), Spark, Rees, Z.Smith, Semenyo, V.Harper, Day (S.Pearson). Subs not used: Begovic, Webb.

POST-MATCH REACTION ON BCTV