Heartbreak for youths

Colchester United Youths 0 Hull Youths 3COLCHESTER United Youths suffered the heartache of a cup final defeat for the third year in succession, following last night's home reverse at the hands of Hull City.

Carl Marston

Colchester United Youths 0 Hull Youths 3

COLCHESTER United Youths suffered the heartache of a cup final defeat for the third year in succession, following last night's home reverse at the hands of Hull City.

The U's had lost to Preston and Stockport in the two previous finals of the Puma Youth Alliance Cup, and they completed an unwanted hat-trick by conceding two first-half goals at Layer Road, and a third in the dying minutes.

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Goals from defender Liam Cooper and striker Bill Law ensured a comfortable evening for the Tigers, with man-of-the-match Jamie Devitt adding a third in the 89th minute.

The U's misery was complete when Jeremiah Olusanya missed an injury-time penalty, so squandering the chance to score a consolation goal.

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There was no shortage of endeavour from the U's, but in truth they were second best all evening. They found it especially difficult to find a way past centre-halves Cooper and Joe Lamplough, who won everything in the air.

After a nondescript first quarter-of-an-hour, Hull broke the deadlock on 17 minutes from a set piece routine. Centre-half Cooper climbed high at the near post to head home Tom Cairney's free-kick.

The U's enjoyed a lot of possession, but failed to create a meaningful chance inside the first half-hour. Josh Oakley had a sight of goal, but his shot was charged down on the edge of the box.

Hull keeper Ben Hallam was finally given something to think about in the 31st minute. Fabian Quintyn was fouled by Cairney, and the ensuing free-kick from Adam Bailey-Dennis looped agonisingly over the bar and onto the top of the net, with Hallam on his tip-toes.

That was the spark for some Colchester pressure. Midfielder Oakley was unlucky to see his goal-bound shot deflected behind for a corner, and Bailey-Dennis then thumped in a low drive that Hallam smothered at his near post.

The Tigers had barely threatened since their opener, but they made the most of a bad error to double their lead in the 41st minute. Law intercepted a hesitant back pass by James Hammond, and the City striker calmly slotted past onrushing keeper Jack Smelt.

That soft goal knocked the stuffing out of the U's. A minute later and Smelt prevented Ryan Kendall's shot from sneaking in, before Devitt rattled a post with a cracking 20-yarder in the last minute of the first period.

Scoring opportunities dried up for both teams after the break, although Hammond nearly made amends for his earlier poor back pass by executing an overhead kick, from a 71st minute corner, that was cleared off the line by substitute Aaron Raymond.

Hull added a third late on, thanks to a cool finish from Devitt following Kendall's through ball.

There was drama in injury-time when Hull defender Cooper was sent off for deliberate handball in the box. But Olusanya steered the ensuing penalty well wide of target.

n Second year youth teamers James Hammond and Fabian Quintyn have been given professional contracts for next season, while the quartet of Jack Smelt, Nathan Speed, Josh Oakley and Jeremiah Olusanya have all been released.


COLCHESTER UNITED YOUTHS: Smelt, Speed, Griffiths, Bailey-Dennis (sub Marvell, 68) Hammond, Nelson, Malton, Oakley (sub Pirie, 81), Quintyn, Sansford (sub Corcoran, 46) and Olusanya. Unused subs: Pavitt and Larty.

HULL CITY YOUTHS: Hallam, Gardner, Hanley, Hilton (sub Sidhu, 89), Lamplough, Cooper, Devitt, Leonard (sub Raymond, 69), Law (sub Cullen, 62), Kendall and Cairney. Unused subs: Rawson and Fox.

Referee: Mr Sannerude.

Attendance: 662.

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