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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Friday, April 27th 2018

Report: Bristol City U23s 2-4 Barnsley U23s

Luke Williams' development squad fell to an end-of-season defeat, despite an inspired display from young goalkeeper James Carey.

It was an open contest at a chilly and cloudy Failand for City's last league game of the 2017/18 Development League, before their Gloucestershire Senior Cup final in the summer.

The young Robins took the lead through Tin Plavotic's header before the Tykes battled to steal a half-time lead through Victor Adeboyejo's brace.

Amir Berkovib added daylight in the second half but City cut the deficit to 3-2 thanks to Saikou Janneh who headed home from close range.

That goal might have made the travellers nervous but it was not to be, as Timmy Willard raced through to restore Barnsley's two -goal cushion at the death.

Barnsley enjoyed more possession in the early exchanges but City had the first real sight of goal when, in the fifth minute, Tyreeq Bakinson found himself in space and unleashed a top corner-bound effort which the Barnsley shotstopper Joe Walker grasped out of the air.

But he was motionless when Plavotic guided the ball from George Nurse's corner into the net, despite the best efforts of a defender on the line, to give City a 12th-minute lead.

Carey then showed wonderful reflexes to tip away a strong strike from Adeboyejo, before the striker pounced following the resulting corner, with a shot which clipped the upright on its way into the net.

Berkovib could have grabbed Barnsley's second goal but he got his angles all wrong when sent through on goal. However, Adeboyejo ensured the visitors went into the break ahead with a placed shot into the far corner of Carey's net.

Carey then produced another great save to deny Berkovib, after he cut inside, while at the other end City came close to their equaliser in a mad goalmouth scramble. Nurse's corner caused chaos in the box, with both Harvey Smith and Theo Llewellyn seeing shots blocked before the ball was cleared.

Adeboyejo the turned provider as he laid the ball on to Berkovib down the left, who blasted the ball beyond Carey to make it 3-1.

Janneh was then in right place at the right time to nod home from Rory Holden's cross. Barnsley failed to clear their lines and the young Northern Irishman did so well to keep the ball alive at the byline, finding his unmarked teammate for a close-range finish.

One more City goal would have confirmed a strong comeback in their final game of the season but it wasn't to be as substitute Willard broke away one-on-one with Carey, before placing his shot - the last kick of the game - into the corner to seal the 4-2 win.

City starting XI: Carey, Ali, Smith, Plavotic, Nurse, Akpobire, Llewellyn, Bakinson, Richards, Holden Janneh. Subs: Turner-Williams, Sainsbury, Harrison, Day, Hinds.

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