FA Youth Cup Report – Swindon 6 Cirencester 1
Swindon recorded a second successive 6-1 victory in the FA Youth cup on Tuesday night and booked a third round tie against the youth of Premier league side Liverpool in the process. Our FA Youth Cup reporter Ben Wills was at the County Ground.
Despite the emphatic score line it was the away side Cirencester who started the game more brightly and created a few half chances although none of them gave Swindon ‘keeper Josh Helm much trouble.
Swindon did create the first meaningful chance of the match when a cross from the right hand side was headed over by Waldon. Two minutes later, Cirencester got their first real chance when right winger Naoki Montoya found right back Mason Thompson who whipped in a cross to number 9 Jack Smith but his free header was directed straight at Helm. Cirencester should’ve took the lead then, and they also should’ve took the lead 5 minutes later after a cross from the left hand side was headed over from close range, this time from Bond, Alex Bond.
Swindon were lucky to still be level at this stage and they responded from this early pressure in the perfect way, by scoring. A left sided free kick from Jake Simpson (who missed the 6-1 victory over Sholing due to being in the Jamaican development team) was headed in by Waldon for his first of the night. This goal had a hint of fortune about it due to the fact Ciren goalie Luke Berwick thought it was going wide and therefore didn’t attempt to save it. 1-0 to Swindon.
We didn’t have to wait long for the game and Swindon’s second goal, just 7 minutes later a chipped through ball by Simpson found Ferguson who skippered Swindon again in Oakley’s absence. Ferguson beat the offside trap and knocked the ball past the on-rushing Berwick, off the inside of the post and into the back of the Cirencester net.
Swindon were in cruise control now and should’ve bagged a third just 4 minutes later when a swift counter attack in which attacking right back Luke Murden started, found Simpson who in-turn found Ferris who used a great deal of pace to get away from a defender before firing straight at Berwick when in truth he really should’ve scored. Swindon eventually added to their lead when a cross from Matthew Jones found Waldon in the box for a simple finish. Both teams had a half-chance before the break but neither of them came close to finding the net. Half time: Swindon 3-0 Cirencester.
Swindon got off to a flying start in the 2nd half scoring their first chance of the half just 3 minutes in. A cross by Murden was knocked down by Ferris’ chest and Ferguson struck a fierce half volley to make it 4.
Cirencester’s first chance of the half was a strange one, a shot by danger man Asa Cox was blocked by Curtis Da Costa and Helm was forced to tip it wide for a corner, this was punched out and away by the Swindon number 1.
The short travelling visitors tried to work their way back into the match with three long range shots all of which flew over, one by Cox, one by Thompson and one from Bond.
Meanwhile, Swindon striker Waldon was after his hat trick and came relatively close when another chest down, this time by Ferguson, was shot wide from 20 yards.
It wasn’t all going Swindon’s way though, centre halves Johns and Da Costa were far too casual in their own area and a Da Costa clearance was charged down by Jack Smith and was blocked over the bar, manager Paul Bodin was apoplectic with rage on the touchline.
20 minutes from time and Swindon got their 5th. Waldon’s strike partner Ferris side stepped past a defender and fired a left footed shot past the Ciren goalkeeper to crush their dreams of playing Liverpool in Round 3 if they weren’t already.
Cirencester did get a consolation a few minutes later when substitute Gareth James made a jinking run on the right hand side of the box before smashing in from a narrow angle. Swindon didn’t let them enjoy this though as just a minute later the duo of Matthew Jones and Conor Waldon combined again with Jones crossing for Waldon to head home for his hat trick and claim the match ball.
Cirencester had one more ambitious chance and that was a fierce but miss-hit volley from 25 yards after a corner was chipped in to the edge of the box.
The game’s drama ended on 85 minutes when Swindon centre mid Ryan Rawlins was sent off for a two footed challenge on Cox which left him having to be carried off the pitch. Cirencester’s misfortune continued though as they didn’t even get the advantage of having the extra man due to the fact they had already made all 3 subs.
The game concluded with a superb last ditch challenge from Swindon sub Liam Walsh following a low cross into the area, if this wasn’t done, Cirencester’s very own number 12 Will Picter would’ve scored with ease. There was still time for Adam Mace to have a free kick tipped over by Helm as well before the end.
So Swindon continue their cup run and for the second year running face Premier League opposition at home, hopefully this time they will be able to conjure up an upset and avenge the 1-4 defeat to Man City last year.