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Tournament round-up for Under-18s

City Under-18s have enjoyed a four-team friendly tournament at SGS College in the last few days.

The youngsters had a poor start to the tournament, losing to hosts SGS 3-1 before slumping 6-0 to Oxford United.

However, they recovered in their last game, putting in a solid performance against strong opposition in Scottish side Falkirk to win 2-1. 

The Under-18s began with five first-year scholars against SGS College, and including a few Under-16s in the squad as well. Across the tournament, a total of ten Under-16s played, showing real progress for the young group.

Josh Mortimore broke the deadlock against SGS with a brilliant solo goal. He jinked in and out of challenges to make his way into the area and smashed home at the near post. 

However, SGS recovered well and scored on the stroke of half-time, direct from a free kick after Jack Turner had brought down his man down 30 yards from goal.

SGS’ second goal of the game came in the 48th minute. The left-winger made his way down the flank, flashed the ball across goal where it was tapped in at the back post. 

The home team rounded off victory seconds before the final whistle. As Denis Begovic attempted to claim the ball in the area, the ball ricocheted back off the bar before an easy finish for the onrushing striker.

A strong Oxford side were next up, who raced into a sixth-minute lead through Jago Lott's goal.

Oxford dominated the first half, scoring four goals in total. However, the young City side were trying to do the right things, moving the ball and keeping possession.

Simply put, Oxford used their superior size to pick off a youthful City outfit, running out comprehensive 6-0 victors.

In their final game, City bounced back to overcome Falkirk.

City took the game to their Scottish opponents and Saikou Janneh grabbed the opener just 11 minutes in.

Zac Smith fed Janneh with a defence-splitting through ball and the youngster made no mistake with his calm finish past the keeper.

City again fielded Under-16 scholars, with Josh Owers starting the first half before being replaced by Max Williams after the interval. 

Tommy Conway came on for City in the 42nd minute and proved to be the match-winner. Smith curled a free kick towards the top corner and watched it rattle the crossbar, before Conway charged in to force home the rebound.

Oxford were the eventual winners of the tournament, but despite the results City could take many positives from the tournament.