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Posted: Tuesday, June 25th 2019
Tuesday, September 4th 2018
City Under-23s extended their unbeaten run to three matches following a 1-1 draw with Hull City.
Luke Williams named a young starting XI for the Professional Development League encounter at Ashton Gate, with Max O’Leary the only player to boast first team experience.
Both sides enjoyed spells of possession in the opening stages, but neither goalkeeper were tested, as Connor Lemonheigh-Evans, Tom Harrison and Tyler Hamilton all shot wide of the target from distance.
The first notable save of the evening came from O’Leary, as Brandon Fleming powered his way down the left flank and his shin-high cross was inadvertently turned goalwards by the outstretched Harrison.
Fortunately, the defender’s blushes were spared as City’s shot-stopper showed quick reactions to get down to his left and make the necessary save.
Following the near scare, the young Robins started to dictate play and the deadlock was broken two minutes later. Lemonheigh-Evans hooked a right-footed free kick, in line with the edge of the box, into the area, and Harvey Smith rose above his marker to send a looping header beyond the helpless Harrison Folkes.
The Tigers went close, and probably should have levelled the scores midway through the first half. Max Sheaf created himself a yard of space, picking out the unmarked Keane Lewis-Potter with a delicious delivery, only for his downward header from six yards to drop into the waiting arms of O’Leary.
As half-time approached, the lively Saikou Janneh released two shots from inside the area, following a sudden change in pace and quick footwork, but on both occasions the forward could only find the side-netting from closing angles.
With neither side opting for a change at the break, it was the visitors who flew out the traps and O’Leary was required to make a routine save to deny Billy Chadwick’s effort, which triggered a spell of sustained pressure.
Lemonheigh-Evans recovered well to hook clear Elliott Holmes’ cross after City lost possession inside their own half, before Robbie McKenzie bent his free kick narrowly over the crossbar.
Tyler Hamilton was the latest Hull City player to then try his luck, as he made a lung-busting run into the area, only for his placement shot to beat O’Leary but crash against the outside of the post.
However, the impressive Hamilton found himself driving towards goal moments later and rather than take aim himself, he pulled the ball across the face of goal to the supporting Keane Lewis-Potter, who tapped home from close range.
O’Leary was again called into action soon after as he raced from his line to halt a threatening attack with a powerful punch, before Sam Pearson headed into the South Stand from 12 yards.
With both sides pushing for a late winner, Hamilton couldn’t have been blamed for thinking he had produced the decisive moment when he struck towards goal from four yards. However, O’Leary scrambled across his line and made a superb stop at his near post to deny the attacker’s first-timed shot, much to his team’s appreciation.
Jake Andrews then went close at the other end following a neat passage of play on the edge of the area, but as the substitute broke into the area, he could only guide his effort inches wide of the far corner, ensuring the spoils would be shared in BS3.
City’s development group return to competitive action on Friday (September 7th, 3pm) when they travel to face Leeds United at Elland Road.
City Under-23s: O’Leary, Ali, Lemonheigh-Evans, Smith, Harrison, Day (Nurse), Richards, Janneh, Pearson (Andrews), Rees, Turner-Williams (Edwards). Subs not used: Buse, Webb.
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