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Adam Baker

Adam Baker writes

Posted Tuesday, February 6th 2018

Report: Bristol City U23s 5-5 Watford U23s

City Under-23s were involved in a remarkable ten-goal thriller as the development side shared the spoils with their Watford counterparts.

Luke Williams’ side raced into a 4-0 lead inside the first 25 minutes. However, the Hornets completed an unbelievable turnaround in the space of 19 minutes to lead 5-4.

City then drew level through Tyreeq Bakinson’s superb finish before playing out the final 33 minutes without another goal at Stoke Gifford Stadium.

Rory Holden got the ball rolling with a smart finish past the Watford goalkeeper before Bath City loanee Antoine Semenyo doubled the lead, firing home with his left foot.

Semenyo turned provider in the 18th minute as Kel Akpobire – who recently joined Guernsey on loan – slotted home to continue the lively opening.

Holden grabbed his second and City’s fourth with a brilliant free kick in the 25th minute to leave the crowd stunned.

But the game was far from over.

Ashley Charles netted for the visitors just past the half-hour mark, and soon after Dennon Lewis struck the foot of the post to signal their intentions.

Ryan Cassidy, a 16-year-old making his first start at Under-23 level, reduced the deficit to two with a calm finish past James Carey.

Cassidy scored again two minutes before half-time, converting Dion Pereira’s cross from close range and, remarkably, the visitors were back on level terms before half-time when Lewis rounded Carey to score in first half stoppage time.

Cassidy completed his hat-trick to put the Premier League side in front for the first time just two minutes after the restart. Now it was City who were stunned.

But Semenyo threatened an immediate reply, forcing a smart save from the visiting goalkeeper before missing an easier chance from close range.

Bakinson restored parity just before the hour mark – and that’s how it stayed.

A total of ten goals in 57 minutes, before 33 minutes with the scoreline locked at 5-5.

City Under-23s: Carey, A.Harper (Turner-Williams 77), Harvey Smith, Baldwin, Nurse, Akpobire, Richards (Morton 79), Bakinson, Holden, Edwards, Semenyo. Subs not used: Sainsbury, Parsons.