U19’s reach National League Academy Cup Final

The U19’s came from behind to seal their place in the National League Alliance Academy Cup Final after a 2-1 win over Notts County.

After going behind after only three minutes in Keyworth, goals from Alex Hernandez and George Harrison produced a comeback, which sees the Young Minstermen enter the final where they will take on Woking.

The U19’s came into this game full of confidence, having seen off Altrincham, Blyth Spartans and Chester FC in three previous rounds in the competition, having scored a total of twelve goals in only three games.

Tim Ryan named a strong squad ahead of kick off, featuring all five first-year professionals; Jacob Bulmer, Ben Dale, Elliot Owen, Jonny Haase and Jonny Shepherd.

It was the hosts though who started the brightest, opening the scoring after only three minutes. After a ball into the area from the right-hand side was knocked back across goal at the far post, Bulmer was beaten by a close-range finish as the hosts started the game strongly.

City edged forward instantly with a double chance inside a minute as they looked for an instant response. Max Ezard’s low drive was deflected for a corner from the edge of the area, before Billy Gordon’s lofted effort over the keeper narrowly flew wide of the post.

Bulmer was called into action to deny the hosts from doubling their lead in the 25th minute, as the young goalkeeper made a brilliant finger-tip save to deny a goal-bound header from a corner.

The U19’s levelled the contest just after the hour mark, courtesy of Hernandez who fired home a loose-ball inside the penalty area, after the ball had fallen into the path of the young forward from Gordon’s deflected effort from the edge of the area.

Chances galore came in an end-to-end first-half in Nottinghamshire with Jacob McLoughlin heading narrowly wide from a corner from City, before Bulmer produced another brilliant save for the young Minstermen on the stroke of half-time, denying a Notts County midfielder from close-range after good build-up play by the hosts in the final third.

Into the second-half, Harrison went close to finding York the lead with an effort from a tight angle, but his shot was well held by the County ‘keeper after the winger was played in by Shepherd.

York took the lead in the 73rd minute with a spectacular finish from Harrison, who lobbed the goalkeeper from twenty-five yards out after getting onto the end of a loose-ball played out of defence by the home side.

Notts County went close with ten minutes to go as they looked for an equaliser as a free-kick from the edge of the area was deflected out for a corner, before the resulting ball played into the penalty area was easily gathered by Bulmer.

City held on for the victory, which sees them advance into the final where they will take on Woking on Wednesday 3rd May.

Full details on the cup final will follow in due course, keep an eye out on the official club website for more details.

The U19’S return to league action this coming Friday when they travel to Altrincham in the National League Alliance Academy North.